Equine Law.

Anyone who has ever owned a horse can appreciate the many issues connected with horse ownership.

Equine law may involve everything from purchase and sale, ownership disputes, breeding, negligence, welfare, employment concerns, insurance, syndication and more.

People in the horse industry can be self-reliant to a fault. However, there is a danger in carrying that self-reliance into complex legal matters. Our specialists can help you close the gate on liability issues and give you the assurance of better professional business practices, asset protection, risk management and dispute avoidance.

Equestrian Business

Many people in the horse industry participate as a small business, such as a riding instructor, boutique retailer, boarding and training operation or coaching business. All businesses have legal requirements to meet, and practical requirements which may raise legal issues such as safety considerations.

For example, if you are accepting horses onto your property for boarding or training, you should have a contract in place which addresses all the situations where things typically go awry in that scenario. This means that the terms are clear to all parties which reduces arguments involving the contract should a party be in breach. You will also be more confident in what to do if a sticky situation evolves. If you have lawyers that you work with regularly, they will be familiar with the terms of the contracts you use because they drafted them, and they can easily advise you should any issues arise.

Chamberlains also offers Equine Business related services such as:

  • Starting a new Equine Business;
  • Buying or selling an Equine Business;
  • Buying or selling property;
  • Providing taxation advice;
  • Succession and estates planning;
  • Business structuring;
  • Drafting website terms and conditions
  • Drafting terms of trade;
  • Recovering debts owed to you; and
  • Protecting your assets.

Tax, Employment & Intellectual Property

Other areas all businesses typically need assistance with include intellectual property, employment law, taxation law, and property law. Lawyers can often assist you in finding other help you may need, such as an accountant with experience in the issues your business is facing, and they can work with your accountant to ensure your business management practices meet the legal requirements and function efficiently and cost effectively. Good business practices can be a little like preventative medicine – many problems can be avoided or reduced in severity by the appropriate practices being in place. This also tends to reduce the cost of dealing with any problems that do arise!

Waivers

A waiver is a legal document or clause in a legal document that seeks to limit the liability of an organisation in the event that a participant suffers a loss or injury. This limitation of liability can only be done within the framework of the relevant laws of the State or Territory, or they will be deemed void.

Waivers may have greater benefits in managing risk by highlighting the hazards inherent in the activity to the participant. Making the participant aware of these dangers may cause them to modify their behaviour and therefore make safer decisions. It also prevents any claims later on that the participant was not aware of the activity’s risks.

Additionally, by including a self-assessment in the risk acknowledgement declaration, it provides some protection for the organisation if there is a claim arising from the incompatibility of a horse and rider. It places some liability back on the participant who overrates his or her ability to the organisation or business.

Waivers and risk acknowledgement declarations are essential for organisations, businesses and individuals in the horse industry. Whether you are a large riding school, an event organiser, a private instructor, or a potential buyer riding a horse for sale – waivers and risk acknowledgements are very important to ensuring everyone is aware of the risks involved and where the liability falls should there be an accident.

Contracts

Chamberlains also offers drafting of legal documents such as:

  • Sale Contracts for buyers or sellers;
  • Lease Agreements;
  • Agistment Agreements;
  • Training Agreements;
  • Indemnity and Release forms;
  • Breeding Contracts; and
  • Employment Contracts.
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