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About Shaun Cockle

After finishing my HSC, I worked and travelled up to my mid 20s when I finally settled on Law as my career. I studied remotely whilst working as a law clerk in a respected Newcastle Law Firm for 8 years. I was subsequently admitted as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW in 2000.

Having previously travelled and with continuing itchy feet, I took my family overseas for an intended brief stint in the United Kingdom in 2004. I was admitted to practice as a Solicitor in England/Wales in 2005. I worked in London with top tier law firm, Field Fisher Waterhouse, as a Senior Associate where I worked as an employment lawyer.

In 2010, an opportunity arose and we moved to the Cayman Islands to work with one of the most respected international offshore Law Firms, Appleby Global. I was admitted and practiced as an Attorney/Senior Associate working as a Personal Injury, Employment and General Litigation Lawyer.

Whilst in the Cayman Islands, I was appointed to the Labour Tribunal as Chairman from 2011 and concurrently, as a member of the Gender Discrimination Tribunal from 2012 where I served from its inception.

After 10 years working overseas, I returned to Newcastle in 2014 to work for a large full-service law firm based in Sydney with offices in Newcastle and Melbourne. I worked in the Newcastle office as a Senior Associate, specialising in personal injury and employment law, until Christmas 2021.

During the course of this period of employment, I was recognised by Doyle’s Guide in 2018 as a Leading Work Injury Compensation Lawyer (Plaintiff)

Working as a Personal Injury and Employment specialist for top law firms in Australia and abroad for over 20 years, I gathered the knowledge, life experience and drive to open a legal practice offering an alternative to large corporate firms. Accordingly, Shaun Cockle Legal opened its doors in The Junction from January 2022.

Being a small law firm, I offer my extensive and considered experience gained by working in top law firms, but at reasonable rates – the benefit of having low overheads.

Shaun Cockle Legal will provide the best possible legal representation and a personal service. I remain personally involved with your matter from start to finish. I do not hand off work to other solicitors.

areas of practice

You are welcome to contact me to discuss any questions you have concerning the following areas of law:

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Personal Injury Law

A Dust Disease includes all occupational lung diseases which occur due to exposure to a dust or fume where that exposure occurred in the workplace. Exposure may have taken place decades ago or more recently. Examples of the types of dust or fumes that can precipitate a Dust Disease Claim include:

1. Asbestos;

2. Aluminium;

3. Beryllium;

4. Silica;

5. Grain or straw;

6. Hard metals such as cobalt and tungsten.

Exposure in the workplace often includes home and commercial building sites, mechanics workshops including heavy duty machine workshops, construction of tunnels, coal mines and other dusty environments. Family members of workers exposed to asbestos can also bring a claim if they have been exposed to asbestos carried home from work on for example, clothing. Claims for compensation can be made together with a claim in negligence in certain circumstances.

Exposure can occur in non work environments during a home renovations, for example. These claims will be an action in negligence against the manufacturer or supplier of the asbestos products.

If you think you have been exposed to dust or fume or a doctor has diagnosed you with a disease of the lung caused or contributed to by exposure to dust or fume in your past employment or non work situation, it is very important to contact a solicitor with experience in this area of law to discuss your circumstances. Dust Disease claims are a highly specialised area of Law. I have represented numerous clients with mild lung conditions to clients with mesothelioma who were exposed at sites including heavy industry, building sites, hospitals, schools and others.

Institutional Abuse usually occurs at or through a church, children’s home including the foster system, a school, youth organisation or other institution. The abuse itself has a dramatic and devastating affect on the life of the individual but also their family and friends. The damage is often both physical and psychological and can result in ongoing difficulties with relationships, employment, drugs, self harm, sexual risk and other behaviours all of which manifest differently for each person.

Having more than 20 years experience in personal injuries law I understand how to be discreet, sensitive and confidential all of which I consider highly important when dealing with Institutional Abuse claims.

Unfortunately, errors occur by those providing medical care. The error may result in significant injury or complicate an already existing injury. Doctors and other treatment providers owe their patients a duty of care and must act with appropriate and reasonable skill.

Medical Negligence claims involve a determination of whether the medical professional acted outside of his or her duty of care when providing the advice or treatment. In the determination of Medical Negligence Claims, insurance companies can be difficult.

I have extensive experience in personal injury claims involving negligence and able to offer very competitive legal fees in medical negligence claims.

A motor accident can happen to anyone at any time. You could be a driver, rider, passenger, cyclist, pedestrian or onlooker and it may or may not be your fault. Your accident may or may not be work related.

Legislation governing motor accidents is highly prescriptive meaning that the nature of your injury will define the process of your claim and the damages you are entitled to. There are specific and strict time frames applying to each stage of your claim.

I have been representing clients with motor accident claims since 1998 and can assist you with your claim in an efficient and timely manner. I highly recommend consulting a Solicitor if you have had a motor accident to advise and guide you through the claims process, as it can be extremely complicated particularly if you have had a serious injury.

Public liability injuries (physical and or psychological) are generally caused by the negligence of another individual, business or public authority. Injuries can occur in a home, a building (public or private) or in a public space.

Like most other jurisdictions in NSW, public liability claims are governed and regulated by legislation so it is important to obtain advice from a Solicitor who practices in the area. I have been practicing for 20 years in the area of Public liability claims and I understand what makes a successful claim.

One of the most significant issues you will find with Public Liability Claims is the cost of your legal representation. Costs can vary significantly among lawyers so it is important to choose wisely. We encourage you to enquire with us about the difference, even if you have a current claim on foot with another firm.

TPD claims are available where you are unable to return to your previous occupation due to your injury. Such entitlement arises out of your superannuation policy. The process dealing with insurers and trustees during the claims process can be daunting and difficult to navigate.

When choosing a Solicitor to represent you in this area, you need to be aware of the value of your entitlement and how much your legal fees are likely to be. Legal fees are not generally included or paid by the insurer in your TPD claim and it is important to note that your legal fees will be deducted from your lump sum payment unless liability is denied and litigation is necessary. Shaun Cockle Legal offers very competitive legal fees for TPD claims compared to larger firms .

All workers are not equal under the Workers Compensation Act in NSW. Some are ‘exempt’ and others not. There are subtle but significant differences in the claims process and entitlement to compensation depending on whether you are a First Responder (Police Officer, Ambulance Officer, Fire Fighter, SES Worker or Life Guard), a deemed or actual Coal Miner or the rest of us. The main differences in compensation include:

1. Permanent impairment – the amount of compensation and even the nature of your injury is assessed differently under the relevant scheme;

2. Pain & Suffering is available to some workers but not others;

3. Wages – whether you are entitled wages until retirement or other limited period will differ;

4. Medical/treatment expenses – the extent and length of time of this entitlement differs;

5. Work Injury/Negligence Claims – what and where you can claim damages if your employer negligently caused or contributed to your injury is different in each case.

I have extensive experience and specialise in working for Coal Miners and First Responders both in the Personal Injury Commission and in the Supreme/District Court. It is important to engage a Solicitor with this expertise otherwise you might be let down and fail to claim the full entitlements available to you.

emplyment law

Employment Law

As an employment lawyer, I have acted for employers and employees across a wide range of employment issues. I can help you with:

Contracts of employment – it is important to have a contract for employees that is compliant and provides protection for your business in the good times and the bad. Ensuring contracts are up-to-date with Award payments, changing Superannuation contributions etc is very important.

Employment disputes – disputes between employees can be difficult to navigate from the perspective of employer or employee. Dealing with the situation early is important prior to matters getting out of hand.

Termination of employment – Negotiating the termination of employment is often tricky whether by an employer or an employee. There are a number of issue to consider including breach of contract, entitlements and unfair dismissal.

Discrimination & Harassment – these are highly emotive issues in the workplace and must be dealt with appropriately as disruption to harmony and productivity can be significant.

I have extensive experience in all these issues and can guide you or step in to assist where appropriate.

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Home » legal representation

Wills & Guardianship Law

Power of Attorney is a document appointing a person, usually a trusted family member or friend, to make financial decisions on your behalf in circumstances where you are incapable. Examples of decisions an Attorney can make on your behalf include – paying bills, managing investment property/s, your banking, buying and selling property etc.

You can appoint an Attorney on a temporary or enduring basis. The difference is:

  • Power of Attorney – usually if you go overseas travelling or anticipate that you may be temporarily incapacitated due to an illness or surgery. This Power of Attorney will become invalid if you lose capacity to make your own decisions. It is usually made for a specific event or period of time.
  • Enduring Power of Attorney – signed at a time you have capacity to understand and make your own decisions for a period in your life when you may not be able to. The Power of Attorney endures until it is revoked or upon death.

Neither temporary nor Enduring Power of Attorney displaces your right or ability to make your own decisions when you have capacity to do so.

Generally, preparation of an Enduring Power of Attorney will be prepared with an Enduring Guardianship. Your Will should also be updated.

Appointing an Enduring Guardian is appropriate for people who want to ensure that a trusted family member or friend can make lifestyle decisions on their behalf should their health situation change. Types of decision making under this arrangement includes determining appropriate medical treatment, living arrangements and care at home or moving to palliative care, for example.

Appointment of an Enduring Guardian involves understanding your wishes and preparing a document setting out who you want to act as your Guardian, which can be one or more people acting together or separately.

Generally, preparation of an Enduring Guardianship will be prepared with an Enduring Power of Attorney and updating your Will if required. 

A Will is essential for everyone who has assets or intents to have assets in the future, particularly if you want to control where those assets end up following your death.

Wills can be complicated particularly where you intend splitting your Estate between a number of beneficiaries in unequal portions.

In circumstances where you have specific assets to be left, for example, to children for education or leaving property to one party for their lifetime, you may want to consider a Testamentary Trust.

You should seriously think about updating your Will if your circumstances have changed by reason of divorce or the beneficiary/s nominated in your previous Will has passed away for example. Divorce does not disentitle your ex-spouse from entitlement under your Will unless and until your Will is updated or you remarry.

“Not everyone has the same view of what is important. My job as a lawyer is to find out what is important to each client and focus on obtaining that result for them.”

Frequently Asked Questions

It is a good idea to obtain advice if for no other reason than to put your mind at ease. There can be multiple and varied legal and non legal consequences that arise out of your accident which may not be obvious to begin with. Having to deal with a host of new people in your life such as doctors, physiotherapists , psychologists etc is challenging. Throw in a difficult employer and a demanding insurance company, suddenly life can become frustrating and complicated. Feeling so alone in these circumstances is a good reason to get legal advice.

There is no one answer to this question but I can assure you that meeting with me to discuss your situation will not cost you anything. The reason why there is no simple answer is that the law generally and specifically the law relating to costs differs depending on where and how your accident occurs. For example, if you have an injury at work then your legal fees are paid through a government body, the Independent Review Office (IRO). Non-work injuries are generally not covered by a government body that will pay your legal fees.

Legal fees for all other claims are paid at the end of your claim by both the insurance company and you, if your claim is successful. The vast majority of claims will be successful, the difference between a large firm and Shaun Cockle Legal will be amount paid for your legal fees. 

Law firms cannot tell you how much you will pay in legal fees at the beginning of your claim as all claims are different – some are more complicated than others requiring more work which means higher legal fees. The two main factors relevant to the size of a bill are the solicitor’s hourly rate and the firms overheads. I am happy to talk to you about any of these matters from the first time we meet.

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