Shekinah Law offers a wide range of services in different facets of the law as follows –
Non for Profit Law
When it comes to non for profit work, Shekinah Law is able to give provide timely and efficient services for you or your organization. Whether it is registering a religious organization or a charitable trust or a non for profit organization, our Team will guide you through every step of the process. Registration of religious organization is governed under the provisions of the Religious Bodies Act and the Charitable Organization is governed under the Charitable Trust Act.
To read more on Fiji’s Religious Bodies Act go to http://www.paclii.org/fj/legis/consol_act_OK/rbra318/
For information on whether charitable trusts are taxed in Fiji go to: https://www.frcs.org.fj/our-services/taxation/non-profit-organisations/
Alternate Dispute Resolution
Shekinah Law believes in the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms that are available to deal with contentious court matter, rather than litigation, provided that the parties are willing to take the route.
Mediation is a confidential and flexible process that can be afforded through the Fiji Mediation Centre for civil matters. Within Shekinah Law, Laurel Vaurasi is an accredited Mediator in Fiji after successfully completing the accreditation mediation course offered by the world recognized Singapore Mediation Centre. In the process of mediation, the parties and their representatives resolve the dispute with the assistance of an impartial mediator who will assist to work through the issue, and explore solutions which are beneficial to both sides. If an agreement is reached, this will be recorded and can be interested into a Terms of Settlement or Consent Orders in Court.
The professional staff at Shekinah Law are also committed to negotiating Settlement for your legal issue on your behalf, provided that this avenue is acceptable to both parties. There is no third party involved when it comes to negotiation as the settlement discussions is between the parties and their legal representatives. We have been able to settle a number of our family matters through the Negotiation process, as well the conciliation process. Conciliation in Fiji is a mandated process provided for under the Family Law Act for Applications for final orders.
Arbitration on the other hand is governed by the Arbitration Act of1965. In Fiji, Arbitration clauses are mostly found or reflected in Contracts or Agreements. Fiji has only a few accredited Arbitrators and costs of the Arbitration is usually shared between the parties, unless stipulated otherwise in the Contract or Agreement. The arbitrator will hear the dispute and issue a binding decision. While less formal than litigation, the process is more formal and structured than mediation.
Learn more about the Fiji Mediation Centre through its website: https://fijimediation.org/
The Shekinah Law Litigation team has a wealth of experience at every court level and brings many years of experience. Our approach to litigation is practical and we will always advise our clients on the likely costs and best avenues up-front. We will also pursue an amicable settlement of your legal issues with the other side, if possible, and if no settlement is foreseeable, we will push your matter for Trial. We will also prepare you thoroughly for Trial. We see our role as guiding our clients towards the best outcome while preserving and upholding their legal rights. We handle all civil litigation matters. We can assist with your civil litigation needs; including, but not limited to –
- Debt recovery;
- Contract law related matters;
- Sale of a property;
- Personal injury;
- Investment law;
- Property disputes;
- Estate disputes;
- Company disputes including shareholder and director issues;
- Trusts Disputes;
- Tort law related matters;
- Equitable interest
- Adoption process
- Family litigation
Company and Commercial Law
The Shekinah Law commercial law team is led by Laurel Vaurasi who has more than 20 years of experience of commercial law in Fiji. The focus of our commercial law team is to deliver practical and efficient advice that is situated for the Fiji context.
Our particular areas of expertise and interest include setting up of a company, setting up of a business, setting up of a Bank, construction law, company law advice, winding up of a company, investment law, mergers and acquisitions, and all commercial contracts.
For more than 10 years Shekinah Law has helped foreign investors and local business persons or organizations set up and acquire assets in Fiji. During initial consultation, you will be provided with advice on the appropriate structure and legal requirements for set up in Fiji.
Some useful website in terms of company and commercial related work includes –
- Registrar of Companies Office: http://www.justice.gov.fj/companies/
- Investment Fiji Office: https://www.investmentfiji.org.fj/
- Reserve Bank of Fiji:. https://www.rbf.gov.fj/
If you are buying or selling a property, Shekinah Law can provide you with the necessary services to ensure that your interests are protected and that the transaction is settled within specified time periods. Fiji has an interesting tenure system when it comes to land. Fiji’s land tenure system initially was made up of i’Taukei (Native) Land, Freehold Land, and State Land. Freehold land can be bought and sold, whilst i’Taukei Land and State Land cannot be bought and sold, but is available on leasehold basis. Leases can be issues for 30 – 99 years, depending on its use and it can be developed. Each type of land tenure in Fiji has its own different processes, which must be followed to validate a transaction on it. All settlement of conveyancing transactions are held at the Registrar of Titles Office in Suva. Further extension of lease hold tenures include Housing Authority leases and religious body’s leases. Our Team also does subdivision of land work, registration of Caveats onto a property, registering a judgment against a property, drafting and registering a deed poll and other property related work.
Some useful website in terms on conveyancing related work includes –
- Land Ownership in Fiji: https://www.tltb.com.fj/getattachment/Media/Brochures/Land-Ownership-in-Fiji-Booklet-(1).pdf.aspx?lang=en-US
- i’Taukei Land Trust Board: https://www.tltb.com.fj/Home
- Department of Land: http://www.lands.gov.fj/
- Town and Country Planning: http://www.townplanning.gov.fj/index.php/planning/planning-issues/land-tenure
- Registrar of Titles Office: http://www.justice.gov.fj/registrar-of-titles/contact-registrar-of-titles/
Shekinah Law offers both a Defense role and also a Prosecutorial role (approved by the Director of Public Prosecutor). When a person is arrested, interviewed and charged for a criminal allegation, under the law, the person charged is innocent until they have been proven guilty or they plead guilty on their own free will.
Shekinah Law has prosecuted breaches of the Local Government Act and Town and Country Planning Act related to Local Government Work on behalf of a Town Council. To perform this role, Shekinah Law obtained the permission of the Director for Public Prosecutions. Shekinah Law has been able to successfully defend the conviction obtained against individuals and Companies who breach the Local Government Act in the Magistrates Court all the way up to the Court of Appeal.
The litigation Team in Shekinah Law can provide you with apt legal advice as well represent your needs in the following areas of criminal law –
- Traffic offences under the Land Transport Act;
- Serious criminal offences under the Crimes Act;
- Minor offences.
Shekinah Law through the able leadership of the Principal offers legal advice in all areas of employment law. We can answer all your questions about employment law and assist you with employment contracts and clauses. When required, we go to court, for example, in cases concerning equal treatment, unfair dismissal, Unfair and/or unlawful summary dismissal, discrimination and all other areas of employment law.
Estate Law and Wills
Do you have a property or valuable assets written under your name? Securing the property and these valuable assets are important during your lifetime and thereafter. It is always recommendable that if you have acquired assets in your lifetime that you ensure that you have a Will to secure the assets.
In Fiji, when you a person dies with no will and has a number of assets, the distribution of these assets will be done in the manner stipulated under the Succession, Administration and Probate Act.
Shekinah Law can assist you with:
- Drafting and Registration of a Will;
- Drafting and attaining a Probate;
- Drafting and attaining Letters of Administration;
- Estate Administration;
- Estate Planning;
- Powers of Attorney;
- Transmissions by Death;
- Interpretation of wills.
Family Law and Hague Related Matters
Choosing the right firm to handle your family matters is crucial, and Shekinah Law is the right choice. When Shekinah Law opened its doors in 2009, the majority of the matters that was being handled in the office was Family matters. One of the first few cases that landed on the table of the Principal of Shekinah Law was a Hague Abduction case, which at that point was a first of its kind for Fiji. Shekinah Law represented the Respondent mother who was defending an Application to have her child removed from Fiji back to the Father in New Zealand. Shekinah Law was able to successfully defend the Respondent mother’s position, setting a precedent in Hague Abduction cases in Fiji and the child remained in Fiji. We are diligent in our work and with our years of experience in this area of law, you have come to the right place.
We can provide you with apt legal advice as well represent your needs in the following areas of family law–
- Residence and Access;
- Parenting Plans;
- Recovery Applications;
- Injunction and restraining orders Application;
- Child Abuse Application;
- Child Maintenance Application;
- Spousal Maintenance Application;
- Defending Child Abduction and Hague Convention Applications;
- Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce), Annulments and Nullity;
- Parental Maintenance;
- Judgment Debtor Summons;
- Pre-Nuptial Agreements; and
- Matrimonial Property Distribution Applications.
A link to the Family Law Act of Fiji:
- Work Visas and renewal of work visa;
- Spousal exemption visa;
- Student Visa; and
- Citizenship Applications.
We also have done work to assist clients in Fiji obtain their visa’s for other countries as well.
Immigration in Fiji is looked after by the Department of Immigration and their website is as follows: http://www.immigration.gov.fj/