Sydney-based startup and LawTech Hub resident, FamilyProperty has partnered with Legal Aid NSW to pilot a quick, cost-effective solution for couples with small property pools to resolve property disputes.
The initiative is part of the Commonwealth Property Mediation Pilot, funded by the 2018 Commonwealth Women's Economic Security Statement, which aims to improve access to the family law system for women who are unable to afford private solicitors but who might not qualify for a grant of legal aid. Eligibility criteria for the pilot specifically targets clients who would have difficulty negotiating a property settlement due to experience of family and domestic violence, disability, homelessness and other vulnerabilities.
Dividing assets after a relationship breakdown can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. FamilyProperty provides an innovative solution for managing family law matters, from intakes to balance sheet to court form automation. It also has built-in tools designed specifically for mediators. The platform allows lawyers, mediators and separating couples to more easily collect and disclose information, model and compare property settlement splits and document agreements. The process is more transparent and easier to understand for the client; more user-friendly for the legal professional, and significantly minimises time and cost for all parties.
FamilyProperty is the brainchild of Professor Patrick Parkinson AM. This idea was then developed by family law specialist and mediator Fiona Kirkman, alongside her technologist husband, Tim Kirkman, who launched FamilyProperty in March 2019. FamilyProperty aims to minimise the administrative burden in family law financial separations and allow everyone in the process to better work together toward an outcome. The start-up joined Lander & Rogers' LawTech Hub in Sydney in October 2019, as it looked to scale up, widen its network, gain investment and restructure for growth. The FamilyProperty team has worked closely with Lander & Rogers' Family & Relationship Law group, as well as the LawTech Hub's digital and business experts, to test and refine its product and develop the roadmap for its business.
The platform is currently being used by more than 100 clients from across various segments of family law, including family lawyers, mediators, family relationship centres and the not-for-profit sector. The partnership with Legal Aid NSW is a strong example of the platform's potential to improve access to legal assistance for vulnerable Australians, simplify processes for legal teams and transform the way property settlements are handled in the future.
The LawTech Hub is a joint venture between Lander & Rogers and YBF Ventures – and it's the first of its kind in Australia. Its two campuses are centrally located in the Melbourne and Sydney CBDs. FamilyProperty is a Sydney-based start-up and current resident of the LawTech Hub.