FAQs and Useful Information


FAQs

Can OGC give me advice on personal legal matters?

Staff members in OGC cannot provide legal advice or services of a personal nature to individual staff or students.  If staff or students have a concern or a complaint involving the University, they can contact the University's Complaints Management and Resolution Unit (opens in a new window).

Students can go to the 'Getting Help' page on the University website to find out where to obtain help for any matters affecting their studies.  Students may also be able to seek assistance from Student Legal Services.

What do I need to do before contacting OGC for legal advice?

Things you will need before contacting OGC for legal advice:

  1. Dean/Director approval
  2. All documents relating to the dispute/transaction (including approvals and background information)
  3. Name of the person who will be instructing us (so that we can refer to them when we need to clarify details)

Please note, our approach is to deal with matters in order of receipt or based on our assessment of their urgency, for instance, meeting any deadlines imposed by a court or time limits imposed by legislation.

What is legal professional privilege?

Legal professional privilege (sometimes called client legal privilege) is a rule of law that is designed to protect the confidentiality of communications between lawyers and their clients made for the dominant purpose of obtaining or giving legal advice or in connection with existing or anticipated legal proceedings.

Legal professional privilege is a very important principle that allows clients and lawyers to communicate candidly with one another.

However, the protection is not absolute and can be taken to have been waived or lost if some precautions are not taken. It is not simply enough to mark a document "privileged" or "confidential". Particular care needs to be taken with email communications and text messages.

Legal professional privilege can be claimed for communications between OGC lawyers and University employees and officers seeking legal advice on behalf of the University.

To minimise the risk of challenge, we recommend you always take these precautions:

  • Any requests for legal advice should be in writing and marked confidential;
  • Any communications should only be sent or copied to people within the University who are directly involved in the issue which is the subject of legal advice;
  • These communications should NEVER be sent or copied to anyone outside the University;
  • Any legal advice should not be copied into, or summarised or commented on, in other documents (such as minutes of meetings, memoranda and so on). Instead, the advice should be attached separately.

Please contact OGC if you have any questions or concerns about legal professional privilege.

What is our ABN?

The ABN for the University is 53 014 069 881.
The University should be described in all legal documents (including contracts) as follows:
WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSITY ABN 53 014 069 881.

What is the legal status of the University?

The University is a public university and a statutory corporation pursuant to the Western Sydney University Act 1997 (opens in a new window)(NSW). Its functions and powers are prescribed in that Act and the Western Sydney University By-Law 2017 (opens in a new window)(NSW). The governing body of the University is the Board of Trustees.

What are Intellectual Property Rights?

Intellectual property rights are the manifestation of a person's intellectual efforts. They can be an invention, copyright in an artistic, musical or literary work, a design, plant breeder's rights or the practical application of an idea. Intellectual property rights are very important in the University environment.

The University has implemented an Intellectual Property Policy (opens in a new window) that applies to all staff and students. For further information about intellectual property rights generally, please contact IP Australia (opens in a new window).

How much does legal advice cost?

If you receive legal advice from the in-house legal counsel for University related matters, your unit won't be charged. For more information, refer to the Legal Services Policy.

Who can sign legal agreements for Western Sydney University?

The Delegations Register is an online database of all staff that hold delegations (the ability to approve actions on the University's behalf) in a substantive or acting capacity.

In the Register, you can find who can sign documents for your unit or other units of the University.

The Register enables you to ascertain who holds a delegation for a particular cost centre or organisational unit, what the level of their delegation is, and when that authority was or is effective.

What should I do if I receive court documents on behalf of the University?

If these relate to a University matter (and not a personal matter), please send them immediately via internal mail to:

Office of General Counsel
Building EQ
Parramatta South campus

What is the turnaround time for receiving legal advice?

We will allocate your matter to an OGC lawyer within 2-3 business days (or earlier if your matter is specified as urgent) after receiving all relevant documentation and approvals. You should then receive a follow up email notifying you of the name and contact details of the OGC lawyer handling your matter.

What is the deductible gift status of the University?

The University is constituted for a charitable purpose (education) and is able to conduct charitable appeals without the need for an authority under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW). However, controlled entities of the University that conduct fundraising activities must obtain an authority. For more information, please contact Hannah McLean (opens in a new window), Company Secretary, Controlled Entities.

The University is also a deductible gift recipient for the purposes of Australian tax laws. Donations of AUD$2.00 or more to the University may be claimed as tax deductions in the hands of the donor. For more information about donations generally, please seek assistance from the Australian Tax Office (opens in a new window).

The University has established 'Giving to Western Sydney University'. For more information please go to the Giving to Western Sydney University (opens in a new window) website.

Useful Links

University Internal Links

Legal Research

Higher Education Sector

Intellectual Property Rights

NSW Government

Commonwealth Government