Successful Decision for Australian National Car Parks

Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors are happy to report another successful Court decision in favour of one of our clients, Australian National Car Parks (ANCP).

After what appeared to be extensive lobbying to the Department of Fair Trading about the business operations of our client ANCP, the Department issued charges against ANCP alleging undue harassment for pursuing unpaid payment notices levied against the drivers of vehicles on properties managed by our client. We were familiar with the recovery processes undertaken by ANCP and never considered that those processes were either undue harassment or in any other way inappropriate.

Mr Peter Silver, Senior Counsel briefed to appear on behalf of ANCP made submissions to the presiding Judge demonstrating the hopelessness of the Prosecution’s case. Following his submissions, the Judge recommended negotiations. The presiding Judge also expressed her concern as to how the charges could ever be proven against ANCP. It was recommended that the parties engage in some discussion in relation to payment of legal costs. In accordance with Her Honour’s directions, ANCP did enter into negotiations with the Department’s representatives which led to the charges being formally withdrawn and the Department arguing to meet with representatives of ANCP to discuss dealing with consumer complaints and a general review of the business operation.

We are pleased that our initial advice was proven correct and we were able to provide sound legal advice and assistance to our client.

Previous news report:

F&G’s current media statement:

When F&G were asked to comment in relation to the Court proceedings, we said:

“We were initially surprised that any charges were laid against our client, ANCP. The withdrawal of those charges was not only gratifying, but also appropriate. After having spent significant time in understanding our client’s business model and methods of operation, it was clear that ANCP undertakes a legitimate business enterprise which also assists its customers in managing their property portfolio.

Not only were we able to negotiate the withdrawal of charges against our client but have been able to enter into arrangements to meet with the Department of Fair Trading to ensure that an even better processes for dispute resolution are negotiated and our clients overall business process receives the necessary approval and endorsement from the Department. We consider the outcome to be a positive result for all concerned.”

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