6-8 William Street, Nambour, Sunshine Coast

Consumer Law

Consumer Law Solicitors

If you feel aggrieved by the practices of a salesperson or have purchased a product, or received a service that you are not happy with, you may have a claim against the seller and have justification to hire a consumer law lawyer to pursue your claim.


Protecting consumers

Australia has some of the best protection in the World for consumers. The enactment of a body of law known as the Australian Consumer Law on 1 January 2011 afforded you, as a consumer, an abundance of rights against traders. It effectively replaced the fair trading laws that existed in Queensland.

The Australian Consumer Law applies to all Australian businesses nationally and in all States and Territories for transactions occurring after 1 January 2011. For transactions that occurred prior to 1 January 2011, the previous national, State and Territory consumer laws continue to apply.

Australian Consumer Law is aimed at protecting consumers from traders who seek to use their relative strength and influence for their own benefit and to your detriment by promoting and regulating fair and reasonable sales contracts and fair and reasonable purchase rights.

You do not need to have a sales contract to be afforded its protection; they will apply to you if you purchase groceries at the supermarket, a television from an electrical store, a bed from a department store and everywhere in between.

The key element of the protection is that you have bought something from a store, trader or tradesperson for less than $40,000, and that item is to be used by you as an ordinary household good, in other words, for personal use (as opposed to commercial use).

As a consumer (or shopper) you have Consumer Law rights against trading practices that might be used to make a sale, for instance

  • A business must not make false, misleading or deceiving claims to you about a product it sells or it is in breach of Consumer Law.
  • Products must be safe, durable, free from defects, fit for purpose, acceptable in appearance, match its description and match any sample or demonstration model or it is in breach of Consumer Law.
  • If you enter a contract, lay-by agreement or other agreement it must be clear, concise and not contain unfair terms or it is in breach of Consumer Law.

Protecting consumers

If you have been the victim of any of these types of trading practices then you may be able to demand a refund from the trader, a replacement or that the product be fixed. If you’re unsure, or would like legal advice regarding the ins-and-outs of Consumer Law, contact our Sunshine Coast Consumer Law solicitors. The other major inclusion of your rights are consumer guarantees that apply to the product that you buy.

In essence, the Australian Consumer Law requires the seller to guarantee the product is of a certain quality, durability and free from defects otherwise you as a consumer would have justification to hire a consumer law lawyer to pursue the seller.

There is no specific timeframe that the guarantee lasts for and it cannot be limited by agreement, for instance, if you purchase a washing machine for $2,000 and its promoted as a long lasting product that will be fit for the purpose of washing clothes for 10 years, then your expectation is that the product will do exactly that, so if it breaks down (without fault on your part), then you are protected by these guarantees, regardless of any manufacture’s warranty or guarantee they might offer you separately.

Of course, it is not always that simple, the period in which a product might be protected by a consumer guarantee varies from product to product and the law recognises that a $300 washing machine is unlikely to last 10 years and a consumer guarantee as to durability of that product would be much less. It will change from product to product and from manufacturer to manufacturer.


Meet Our Consumer Law Team

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Peter Boyce


Peter has been practising as a Nambour Solicitor since 1977 and joined Butler McDermott Lawyers the same year.

With over 40 years practicing as a Sunshine Coast lawyer, Peter has extensive knowledge of various facets of law.

He has practised in all areas of litigation and has special interests in:

  • Criminal law
  • Civil and Commercial litigation
  • Retirement Village matters
  • Sports law
  • Resumption of land and compensation claims


Peter has specialised knowledge of and experience with resumption matters as a result of the Traveston Dam project, road corridors, Main Roads and water pipeline. He is renowned for his professional approach and is an experienced and determined advocate.

Brent King


Brent works as a litigation lawyer, providing litigation legal advice in relation to both civil and criminal law matters, including:
  • Defamation Claims
  • Contract and Debt Disputes
  • Building and Construction Disputes
  • Planning Matters
  • Criminal Law and Traffic Legal Matters
Having grown up on the Sunshine Coast and joining Butler McDermott after the completion of his studies, Brent appreciates the needs of our clients, and brings a particularly commercial approach to litigation. Brent is a member of the Queensland Law Society and the Sunshine Coast Law Association, and has litigated a wide variety of matters in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts.

Al Upton


After arriving at Butler McDermott Lawyers in 2016, Al quickly progressed to running our Wills and Estates section and has successfully litigated disputes in the Supreme and District Courts of Queensland in the early stages of his career.

In the years that followed Al has now moved to assist our clients with commercial and property matters having achieved positive outcomes in that area as well as general litigation. Al’s experience has him uniquely placed to provide quality advice in the areas of property, commercial, wills and estates and general litigation.

Al is involved in giving back to the community, sitting on the board for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and Sundale Community Foundation. He otherwise became a director of Butler McDermott Lawyers in November 2021.