Our Mission and Values
Legal Services provides legal advice and services to the executive, administrative and academic areas of Griffith University. In particular, we provide advice about legal issues and risk management to the Office for Research, Griffith Enterprise, the Vice President (Corporate Services) and the various other Offices and Elements of the University. We also assist the University in managing legal and other risk matters to achieve practical and commercially sensible outcomes.
Our role includes reviewing, drafting, advising, risk managing, negotiating and arranging for the execution of agreements where the University is a party to an agreement. We also interpret legislation, provide advice on intellectual property issues and dispute resolution and respond to any court documents, subpoenas, requests from lawyers or insurers for personal records and notices of non-party disclosure served on the University.
We aim to provide timely and accurate legal advice so that the University can confidently persue teaching and research opportunities on a local and global stage.
A significant part of our role is facilitating the University's contractual engagements. These fall within one of three categories:
- Griffith standard contracts: A range of template contracts, together with some useful background information is included under the ‘Standard Contracts’ tab. These are contracts that have already been approved by Legal Services, and may be completed by filling details into text fields. These standard contracts only need to be referred back to Legal Services if a change to the terms and conditions is required.
- Agreements prepared by an external party: These are agreements or deeds prepared by the external organisation you are wanting to engage with. Our in-house lawyers will review the terms and may advise that certain clauses be re-negotiated (for example, those dealing with intellectual property or indemnities).
- An agreement drafted by Legal Services: If our Standard Contracts do not meet the needs or requirements of the arrangement you are wanting to enter into with an external organisation, Legal Services can draft a bespoke agreement or deed. If the arrangements are particularly complex, you might want to describe these issues in a general way, and make an appointment to provide a verbal briefing to a lawyer once the request form has been lodged and approved and you have been advised which lawyer has been allocated to your matter.
- provide legal advice on contractual, intellectual property and dispute resolution issues
- interpret legislation
- review the University's leasing arrangements for on and off-campus locations
- respond to court documents, subpoenas, lawyers, insurers and the Police for personal records and notices of non-party disclosure served on the University
- manage licencing and registration of the University's business names and trade-marks
Training and Information Sessions
Legal Services regularly provides training and information sessions to Academic and Administrative groups on a range of legal issues and standard terms.
Please contact our office if you would like to request a training session.
Registration of Business Names
We arrange for the Australia-wide registration of business names of various University operations where a business is carried on under a name other than Griffith University. In order to register the business name, the appropriate section of the University carrying on the business needs to provide an on-line briefing to our office including:
- the business name you want to register
- the period of registration (ASIC offer 1 year or 3 year registrations)
- your department cost code
We will process the online registration of the business name and arrange payment with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). An overview of business names registration can be accessed at the ASIC website.
Requests for Documents and Court Subpoenas
Any court documents, subpoenas, police warrants, requests from lawyers or insurers for personal records and notice of non-party disclosure served on the University should be sent to Legal Services as soon as possible following receipt as strict reporting timeframes are often imposed. We will obtain the necessary documents and respond to those requests on behalf of the University.
If your office is served with any of the above documents, please forward them directly to our office.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How to get contracts signed
- How to identify the University in Agreements
- How to identify the Counterparty in Agreements
- Copyright Enquiries
- Insurance Enquiries
- Do you provide personal legal advice?
- Privacy and requests for the release of personal information
- Tender Submissions
- IT Agreements
- What do I do with a signed Agreement?
- Where can I get more information?
- What is a Standard Contract and why should I use them?
How to identify the University in Agreements
The University is a body corporate established under the Griffith University Act 1998 and should be named in agreements as follows:
GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY ABN 78 106 094 461, a body corporate established pursuant to the Griffith University Act 1998, of Kessels Road, Nathan, Qld.
Please note that internal administrative units of the University such as offices, elements and faculties do not have the independent legal existence. The contracting party must always be Griffith University.
How to identify the Counterparty in Agreements
You can confirm the details of the Counterparty by searching the Australian Business Register (ABN Lookup) for publicly available information such as the organisation name and Australian Business Number (ABN). An appropriate format when identifying the Counterparty in a contract would be:
[Registered name of business or company], [ABN] of [registered address], [State], [Postcode]
The University has a dedicated Information Policy Officer within Library and Learning Services, whose role is to provide advice around copyright issues. The answer to your copyright question may be contained in the Intellectual Property Policy, found in this Insight article or on the Copyright Matters website.
The University has an Insurance Office whose role is to provide advice about insurance issues and the scope and operation of the University's public liability, professional indemnity, industrial special risks and other insurance policies. The answer to your insurance question may be outlined on the Insurance and Risk Management website or you can contact the office directly to speak with the Insurance Manager.
Do you provide personal legal advice?
Legal Services does not provide personal legal advice to individual staff members and students. For advice on these matters staff and students should consult their family solicitor, union, student union or the Queensland Law Society for assistance.
Privacy and requests for the release of personal information
The University has a delegated officer whose role is to provide advice about privacy issues, the University’s Privacy Plan and the extent to which the University can release personal information about students and staff. The answer to your privacy question may be contained in the University’s Privacy Plan.
- The University’s delegated officer is the Vice President (Corporate Services) Mr Peter Bryant
- Requests for the release of personal information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Where the University is responding to a tender under the Consultancy and Commercial Research Policy framework, please review the Griffith Enterprise webpage for further information or contact Griffith Enterprise directly.
Where the University is preparing a tender for the purposes of hiring a third party to undertake services for the University, please contact Finance Business Services if you have any queries in relation to the tender process.
In both instances, Legal Services are only involved in the tender stage where a draft contact has been included in the tender documents and Griffith Enterprise or Finance Business Services seeks our advice on the draft contract.
How to get contracts signed
The Authority to Sign Contracts and Agreements provides a list of delegations authorising officers to sign contracts and agreements on behalf of the University. You need to check through the schedule to determine the correct officer of the University to approach to have your agreement signed on behalf of the University.
Documentation which must be signed by the Vice President (Corporate Services) will generally need to be passed through to Legal Services before those documents are sent to the Vice President (Corporate Services) for final consideration. Instructions to Legal Services should be initiated through the Requests tab on our website.
If you have a contract that needs to be signed by the Director Legal Services as delegated under the Authority to Sign Contracts and Agreements, please upload a digital copy of the documents via the Requests tab on our website.
The University’s legal team have experience reviewing and negotiating a wide range of software, telecommunication and related service agreements including Queensland Information Technology Contracting (QITC) documents. QITC are a set of standard template documents developed by the Queensland Government that cover a range of IT goods and services. For more information about the QITC Framework and to access fact sheets and informative videos, please visit the Queensland Government website.
IT agreements should usually be passed in the first instance through:
Business Services - Procurement - to ensure the underlying procurement exercise is conducted in accordance with University and statutory guidelines; and
Digital Solutions Software Services - to assist in sourcing appropriate software, negotiating with vendors and purchasing of applications.
Further information on how to gain access or purchase software is available through the IT Solution webpage.
What do I do with a signed Agreement?
Agreements and important records are stored by the Records Services team. It is essential that final signed versions of all legal agreements are lodged with Records Services for appropriate storage as vital records. You will need to complete a Vital Records Lodgement Form and attach it to the record before sending to Records Services. Details on submitted contracts received by the University digitally are included on the Form. More information on this process can be found on the Contracts and Agreements List website.
Where can I get more information?
Legal Services have developed a suite of Fact Sheets which may provide you with the answer you seek. If the information can't be located on our website, please contact our office by email: email@example.com or give us a call: (07) 3735 5586.
What is a Standard Contract and why should I use them?
A Standard Contract is a document that has been drafted by Legal Services and approved for use (in the Griffith University context) as a way to manage the University’s contractual risks. There are many benefits of using a Standard Contract and more information and access to the documents can be found here.