Family Agribusiness Dispute Resolved

Steve recently successfully facilitated the resolution of a family agribusiness dispute by mediation.

The business is substantial, including many thousands of hectares of land, substantial stock holdings, and production of multiple crops. The dispute involved siblings and also crossed generations of the family. It involved issues of estate planning, succession and orderly separation of assets amongst the next generation.

The dispute had been extended over recent years. Communication between family members had been reduced to written exchanges via legal representatives of each party. A substantial financier of the business was threatening to foreclose on some mortgages.

The mediation outcome was a written, commercially-enforceable heads of agreement acceptable to all parties, which outlines other legal instruments and deeds that will be drafted by the parties to give effect to the heads of agreement.

As a result of this successful outcome, the farming assets, which were acquired over several generations in more than a century, will remain in the hands of the family, which is expected to successfully trade out of its debts in the long term.

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Not a crisis, but a serious problem for the long haul

From https://www.brookings.edu/testimonies/rising-debt-not-a-crisis-but-a-ser…

Testimony by Alice M. Rivlin, Senior Fellow – Economic Studies, Center for Health Policy, before the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress on September 8, 2016:

…..our national debt is high in relation to the size of our economy and will likely rise faster than the economy can grow over the next several decades if budget policies are not changed. Debt held by public is about 74 percent of GDP and likely to rise to about 87 percent in ten years and to keep rising after that.

This rising debt burden is a particularly hard problem for our political system to handle because it is not a crisis. Nothing terrible will happen if we take no action this year or next. Investors here and around the world will continue to lend us all the money we need at low interest rates with touching confidence that they are buying the safest securities money can buy. Rather, the prospect of a rising debt burden is a serious problem that demands sensible management beginning now and continuing for the foreseeable future.

What makes reducing the debt burden so challenging is that we need to tackle two aspects of the debt burden at the same time. We need policies that help grow the GDP faster and slow the growth of debt simultaneously. To grow faster we need a substantial sustained increase in public and private investment aimed at accelerating the growth of productivity and incomes in ways that benefit average workers and provide opportunities for those stuck in low wage jobs. At the same time we need to adjust our tax and entitlement programs to reverse the growth in the ratio of debt to GDP. Winning broad public understanding and support of basic elements of this agenda will require the leadership of the both parties to work together, which would be difficult even in a less polarized atmosphere. The big uncertainty is whether our deeply broken political system is still up to the challenge.

…..There are three necessary elements of a long-run debt reduction plan:

Putting the Social Security program on sustainable track for the long run with some combination higher revenues and reductions in benefits for higher earners.
Gradually adjusting Medicare and Medicaid so that federal health spending is not rising faster than the economy is growing….
Adjusting our complex, inefficient tax system so that we raise more revenue in a more progressive and growth-friendly way and encourage the shift from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources…..

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Amristar moving forward

Amristar Solutions Pty Ltd (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amristar Pty Ltd – formerly iDelve Pty Ltd) have engaged Lieblich & Associates as business consultant to assist with special projects. Steve was formerly on the Board of both companies for over ten years, much of that time, as Chairman.

The Lieblich Superannuation Fund, which is a related entity of Lieblich & Associates, holds 20% of Amristar Pty Ltd.

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Construction Contracts Act – Adjudication has taken on

Since our last update in November 2016, we conducted six adjudications of payment claim disputes under the Construction Contracts Act (2004) WA. The disputed amounts have ranged from $30k to over $1 million.

Steve has also successfully resolved two commercial disputes by mediation in the first half of 2016, and an expert-determination matter has also crossed his desk.

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Dispute-Resolution Activity continues at a high rate

Steve was appointed to adjudicate the following four disputes in October 2015

**adjudication of two payment-claim disputes under the Construction Contracts Act WA, between a contractor and subcontractor on a major public infrastructure building site. The aggregate value of the claims is approximately $2.5m.

**adjudication of two payment-claim disputes under the Construction Contracts Act WA, between the principal and a contractor on a regional, renewable-energy project. The aggregate value of the claims is approximately $100k.

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Increased Dispute-Resolution Activity

The first quarter of the 2015-16 financial year has been busy for Lieblich & Associates in the resolution of commercial disputes, the largest being over approximately $1.25 million, including the following in July and August of 2015:

**adjudication of a payment-claim dispute under the Construction Contracts Act WA, between contractor and subcontractor on a commercial construction

**arbitration of a dispute related to payment for services, between a WA business and a contractor in another state

**adjudication of a payment-claim dispute under the Construction Contracts Act WA, between contractor and subcontractor on a public infrastructure building site

**adjudication of a payment-claim dispute under the Construction Contracts Act WA, between contractor and subcontractor on a multi-residential construction

**adjudication of a payment-claim dispute under the Construction Contracts Act WA, between contractor and subcontractor on a commercial construction

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Disputes resolved in May include a $3million payment-claim dispute

May has seen continued busy dispute-resolution activity, as listed below.

The value of one of the payment disputes in the adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act (WA) set a record for Lieblich & Associates at almost $3million.

**Adjudication of a payment-claim dispute of approximately $250k between a building management systems contractor and his client in a major government facility construction project. The matter was resolved by the mutual consent of the parties.

**Mediation of a dispute over quality and payment for mechanical work, which was successfully resolved.

**Adjudication of a payment-claim dispute of approximately $3million between a scaffolding contractor and his client in a major government facility construction project. The matter was resolved by the mutual consent of the parties.

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