Protecting your interests – Should you buy property through a Trust?

June 1, 2018

What is a trust? The law of trusts is one of the oldest areas of law which still applies to this day. For that reason alone, it brings great complexities to both the lawyer and the lay person. When trying to understand the use of a trust during the purchase of a property, it is […]

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How the Hunter fared in the 2018 Federal Budget

June 1, 2018

Last month the Treasurer promised a Budget that would strengthen the economy with a return to surplus in two years, boost jobs and increase essential services whilst putting money back in the pockets of low and middle-income earners. More than $24 billion has been allocated to infrastructure projects across Australia, but unfortunately the Budget largely […]

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Multi-jurisdictional Estate planning: which Will is right for you?

June 1, 2018

If you own assets in both Australia and overseas, you should consider which sort of Will best suits your circumstances. There are two options to consider when you own assets in multiple jurisdictions. International Wills Australia is a party to the Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will 1973 (“the […]

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Are first-home buyers in luck? Budget shows hope for securing the Australian Dream

May 8, 2018

With the 2018 Federal Budget being released tonight, we thought it pertinent to take a step back and look at one of the proposals that is finally being implemented from last year’s budget – The  First Home Super Save Scheme implemented on 1 July 2017 under the First Home Super Saver Tax Act 2017 (Cth). […]

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Digital Retail

Thumbnail image for Digital Retail August 28, 2017

In 2016, about 7% of retail goods sold in Australia were sold online. Online retailers are often based overseas and sometimes in jurisdictions with less stringent consumer laws than Australia. The issue of jurisdiction recently came before an Australian Court as to whether digital content was covered by the Australian Consumer Law (“the ACL”). The […]

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Planning Ahead for Your Pet

Thumbnail image for Planning Ahead for Your Pet August 28, 2017

For many of us, our pets are important members of the family. Have you considered how they are dealt with by the law after your death or in the event of a relationship breakdown? Estate Planning and Pets It is possible to include a clause in your Will directing how you would like your pet […]

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Changes to the Limitation of Liability Scheme for CPA Accountants

August 28, 2017

Members of CPA Australia will lose the benefit of protection under the Liability Scheme for CPA Accountants from 7 October 2017 when the CPA Professional Standards Scheme renewal expires. This is because the NSW Government is examining whether the financial services offered by CPA Australia could hinder the discipline of its members in relation to […]

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Budget 2017: Changes to Property Law

Thumbnail image for Budget 2017: Changes to Property Law June 8, 2017

Residential properties From 1 July 2017 depreciation deductions on removable assets (such as plant and equipment) will be abolished for purchasers of residential property. Also, purchasers of plant and equipment will only be eligible to claim a deduction over the effective life of the asset after 9 May 2017. Additionally, any deductions for travel expenditure […]

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Budget 2017: Changes to GST

June 8, 2017

From 1 July 2018, purchasers of newly constructed residential property or subdivisions will be required to remit GST directly to the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) instead of the vendor upon settlement. This will stop developers from failing to remit the GST to the ATO despite having previously claimed GST credits from their construction costs. The […]

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Representative of tenants at meetings of an Owners Corporation

February 14, 2017

The new Strata Schemes Management Act permits tenants to be represented at the meetings of the Owners Corporation.  A representative of the tenants can only be appointed if at least 50% of the lots in the Strata Scheme are tenanted and the representative is appointed by the tenants.   If more than 50% of the […]

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McDonald Johnson adopts electronic conveyancing

February 14, 2017

The firm has joined a system which connects to an electronic network of banks, Land and Property Information, other lawyers and other industry participants involved in property transactions. This system now permits transactions to be completely conducted on an electronic platform to the extent that contracts and settlements can now be exchanged electronically. Importantly for […]

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Exclusive dealings

November 17, 2016

It is becoming common for people considering purchasing a property to want to have an exclusivity period where the vendor is not allowed to deal with anyone else during the period whilst the purchaser "gets its house in order".  This allows a purchaser to carry out due diligence and other enquiries during the exclusivity period […]

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All issues to be raised together

November 17, 2016

There is a longstanding legal principle that all relevant legal issues must be raised in the one set of Court proceedings.  It is not possible to be silent on an issue and then raise it later.  This comes from the decision of Port of Melbourne Authority v Anshun Pty Ltd.   The recent decision in […]

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Does a solicitor owe a duty of care to a beneficiary?

Thumbnail image for Does a solicitor owe a duty of care to a beneficiary? November 17, 2016

It has been established law for some time that when drafting a Will a solicitor owes a duty to the client and also to any third party beneficiary.  The High Court recently had to consider this issue in the case of Badenach v Calvert [2016] HCA 18.   The High Court has found that there […]

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Strata management legislation and the increasing popularity of Airbnb

Thumbnail image for Strata management legislation and the increasing popularity of Airbnb November 17, 2016

There has been a proliferation of short term lettings through operations like Airbnb.  A relevant issue is whether a Strata Scheme can pass a by-law to prevent short term lettings of lots.    The new Strata Schemes Management Act prohibits a by-law which prevents dealing with a lot unless the by-law allows that dealing.    […]

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