April Newsletter 2019

DISCLAIMER The contents of this newsletter are of a general nature and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.  However, if you need legal advice please contact any one of our lawyers.

From Peter Nevile’s Desk

In the first quarter of this year, I have had several trips to Indonesia. Primarily to Jakarta with a side trip to Bali and Gili Air off the coast of Lombok. Gili Air is probably one of the lesser known islands, with a fairly relaxed pace. No motor vehicles, by “Cidomo” a horse-drawn cart. There are some motorbikes and bicycles. The island can be easily navigated on foot.

I attended a birthday party there for a son of one of my clients and friends. He, at the age of 50, had decided that he needed a change of life and escaped to an island. He purchased a business called Legends and is now in the process of converting it into a restaurant and a bar at a slightly more upmarket scale. If you get to Gili Air, call in and say hello to Justin.

On a more serious note, I was pleasantly surprised to see how resilient the Indonesian economy was. While there still remain some enormous challenges, particularly in transportation and infrastructure, there is little doubt that in years to come, Indonesia will grow into one of the world’s major economies. As a near neighbour, we have a lot to offer to Indonesia and vice-versa. However, if we do not take the opportunity to engage more closely, that opportunity will within the next several decades be lost.

In April, Joko Widodo, the President, goes to an election. He represents the new direction of Indonesia and a break away from the old political influential wealthy. The recent polls have shown him pulling ahead of his rival, Prabowo Subianto whose re-election would be likely to see a return to the old days.

Last month in China, we saw the Peoples National Congress during which the elected representatives come together from all over China to rubberstamp the parties’ policies and guidelines. There was some positive news about the stated desire to make it easier for foreign companies and investment in China. However, it is too soon to say how that will apply in practice.  It appears to be a step in the right direction.

We are seeing an increasing business from Vietnam. The food is good too! At the end of last year, we entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Viet-think, a well-regarded law firm with offices in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

We are also delighted to welcome Thi Minh Chau Nguyen. She is studying law here at Monash University as an intern with the firm.

Since the date of our last newsletter, we farewelled Andrea Lucas and congratulated her on her engagement. We also welcome to the firm  Michael Xu a commercial lawyer.

This year will be a year of some challenge. The Australian economy has still managed not to slide into recession, but the balance is quite fine. Our property market is certainly going through an interesting period, that is not being helped by the recent Royal Commission pointing out the unacceptable behaviour by our major banks. We trust this will be rectified soon, without inflicting further tightening of credit small businesses are feeling at present.

In every crisis, there is always opportunity. We are still seeing opportunities and if you have plans for investment, then please do not hesitate to discuss the opportunities we see.

                                                                                                                 Peter Nevile 


IMPORTANT NOTICE TO CLIENTS WHO OPERATE UNDER A COMPANY STRUCTURE

Do you have a company structure? If your company has given you money or a loan, you need a division 7A Loan Agreement to be completed before the company return lodgement date. Otherwise, the loan can end up assessed by the ATO as a “bad dividend”.

We recommend seeking advice from your accountant as to whether Division 7A applies to you. We can assist you with a Division 7A Loan Agreement if required.

If you are considering buying a business and would like some help, please contact us.


CHALLENGING A WILL IN VICTORIA- Have you got a current Will?

In Victoria, family provision claims made against a deceased estate are governed by the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) (‘the Act’).
Eligibility to make a claim
To be entitled to make a claim against an estate, a person must fall within the category of an ‘eligible person’ under the Act. While not exhaustive, the list of eligible person includes the following categories:

  1. The spouse or de facto partner of the deceased;
  2. A child or stepchild of the deceased who at the time of the deceased’s death was:
    1. Under the age of 18 years; or
    2. A fulltime student between the age of 18 and 25 years;
    3. A child with a disability.
  3. A former spouse or partner of the deceased, who at the time of the deceased’s death was eligible to issue proceedings in the Family Court pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth);
  4. A child or stepchild of the deceased who is not otherwise referred to in category 2.
  5. A person who at the time of the deceased’s death was a member of the household of which the deceased was also a member of.
Time limits in making a claim
Strict time limits are imposed on potential applicants making an application to the Court seeking further and better provision from an estate.

Considerations of the Court

In determining whether to make an order for further and better provision from an estate, the Court may consider, among other factors, the financial resources and financial needs of the applicant, any other applicant and the other beneficiaries of an estate and the site and …. of the estate.

In order to be successful in an application for further and better provision from an estate, an applicant must prove that the deceased had a responsibility to adequately provide for the applicant’s proper maintenance and support, and that the provisions of the will or the terms of intestacy do not provide such provision.

Making a claim for further and better provision from an estate can be complicated, expensive and time consuming. For advice on making a claim against an estate, or for estate planning strategies to best avoid a claim being made against your estate, please contact sarah.slattery@nevile.com.au at our office.

WANTING TO MIGRATE TO AUSTRALIA AS AN INVESTOR?

There are many different Australian business visas for investors wanting to set up a business here. One of the most commonly used visas for investors are a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188). These visas allow you to:

  • Own and manage a business in Australia (the Business Innovation stream)
  • Conduct business and investment activity in Australia (the investor stream, the significant investor stream and the Premium Investor stream)
  • Undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia *Must be under 55 years of age (Entrepreneurs stream)

However, the processing times will vary from stream to stream and can range between a period of 16 months to 23 months.

There are many things you must consider in order to make a smooth visa application. Nevile & Co. can help you achieve your business proposals.

Should you be interested in further information on the above or concerning any other visa, please contact us.

COURT NEWS 

Last month, David Dudderidge, the firm’s Litigation lawyer and Advocate, won a reported case in the Victorian Court of Appeal. He has had a remarkably high success rate in his cases.  We are not sure if that is related to his experience as a champion boxer. For those who are interested, details of the case can be found as follow:

In Tao Yang v Finder Earth Pty Ltd Pty Ltd and Ximei Luo [2019] VSCA 22, the Supreme Court of Victoria – Court of Appeal, reviewed the rules concerning the entry of default judgment under r 21.03 of the County Procedure Rules 2008 (Vic), and reiterated the difference between a plaintiff’s entitlement to final judgment for a claim for recovery of debt versus a plaintiff’s entitlement to only interlocutory judgment for a claim for recovery of damages.


NEW LAND TAX REFORMS 2019 

An article from LemonBaxter

Changes to Land Tax Values

Previously, Land Tax could be paid over 4 equal instalments to the State Revenue Office through various payment options.

Instalments can now only be paid via direct debit, otherwise known as ‘Autopay’, which must be set up within 30 days of the Land Tax Assessment Notice being issued.

Important to note is that the Autopay system is not available to Trust Accounts, as a direct debit from a Trust Account is prohibited by law.

This means Estate Agents cannot pay your Land Tax by Instalments.

However, our property management department can talk you through the new payment options available’.

Site Values

We are seeing some Site Values increasing markedly across the CBD and fringe.

If your Site Value has increased significantly, contact Nevile & Co for advice on whether the site value is reasonable or if there are grounds for objection.


LEASES – Did you know….?

Leasing premises for your business

If you enter into a lease as a Lessee and the Landlord or owner has a mortgage on the property, you must have written consent from the mortgagee. Failure to do so, can result in your lease being extinguished by the failure of the landlord to pay the mortgage and a mortgagee sale resulting.

Your business can effectively be thrown out of the premises with potentially disastrous results.


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN EUROPE, IRELAND OR THE CARIBBEAN? 

We are able to facilitate this through a relatively small investment. For further information, contact our office.


COMMON KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

We sometimes forget about the keyboard and the many shortcut combinations to help improve our productivity. Here are some to try:

In Windows:
ALT + TAB: Switch Between applications
CTRL + S: Save changes to a document
CTRL + P: Print the current document/open the print dialog window
CTRL + ESC: Opens the start menu. Pro tip – start typing the name of the application you want to run, and it will be shown.  Press enter when highlighted
WINDOWS KEY + E: Opens file Explorer
WINDOWS KEY + UP ARROW: Maximise the active window
WINDOWS KEY + M: Minimise ALL windows (goes to desktop)

Word:
F7: Launch the spell checker


November Newsletter 2018

DISCLAIMER The contents of this newsletter are of a general nature and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.  However, if you need legal advice please do not hesitate to contact any one of our lawyers. 

Peter Nevile Principal Lawyer

Peter’s Update

Last month I slept in Angeline Jolie’s bed! I will tell you more shortly….

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with some French lawyers in Paris at their beautiful offices on the Champs Elysee, to discuss some inheritance issues for one of our clients.

I also managed to have some very good meals while I was there. It seemed a shame not to! One place I strongly recommend is Le Marche des Enfants Rouge in Le Marais.  Reputedly the oldest covered market in Paris.  Named after the colour of the clothing worn by the children of the orphanage. An open-air market with stools at high tables and some cover.  A variety of food stalls each with a different style of food.

Following a short stay in San Sebastian to see one of my sons who lives in Madrid, and even shorter stays in Porto and Lisbon, I flew to Marrakech in Morocco where I stayed in the Medina at the beautiful Riad Farnatchi.  It was there that I slept in her bed.  Regrettably for me and fortunately for her…or so my wife said… she was not there!

Anyway, the point of my story was that I ended up “Glamping” at a desert camp Erg Chigaga set up by a Berber tribesman with the very non Berber name of Bobo and his English friend Nick Garsten. A not to be missed experience. There among other things, the open bar was a distraction at times, I went camel trekking and quad bike riding in the desert.

In my younger days I had several farms, one of which was quite hilly, and I was very aware of the risks on my tractor. Quad bike riding up and down very steep dunes was probably more dangerous, although, it was a lot of fun. It occurred to me that as lawyers, we are effectively Risk Managers. There are risks in life, including marriage, children, and death and certainly, risks in business.  They cannot be avoided.  However, our role as lawyers is to work with you to identify them, so together we can manage and minimize them.

We are happy to discuss a risk assessment with you at any time.

Peter Nevile


New Staff

Since our last newsletter, we are happy to welcome a number of new staff to our firm.
  • Katie Hinds is a property lawyer originally from Scotland. She does not need a translator.
  • Traci Chen from Guangzhou is a migration lawyer who speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin and passable English
  • Liuqian Liu is an Intern. She is qualified as a Chinese lawyer and now undertaking a JD to become an Australian lawyer.
  • Minh Chau who is presently studying law at Monash University will join us as an intern at the beginning of next year. She speaks Vietnamese and French
  • Gaia Piesse is an intern who is finishing an undergraduate degree in an unrelated discipline and intends to commence her JD next year. She speaks Thai.
  • Jack Nevile has also re-joined us as an intern after a year abroad studying German and Spanish.  He is fluent in German and reasonably proficient in Spanish.

 


Migration
 

We are pleased to welcome Yan Yan Chen (Traci), who has joined us as a migration lawyer. Traci speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese and is a Registered Migration Agent in addition.
Traci was born in Guanzhou, and her profile is attached. She spends a significant amount of time in China and you may contact her as follows:

Email: traci.chen@nevile.com.au
Phone: +61 3 9664 4708
WeChat:  18588772947

Business Migration

I have set out the 7 different classes of prospective migration, with a very short summary on each one. If you send us an email, or WeChat we can forward you information sheets about each or all of the above classes of migration.  We find that the 188 Business Innovation and Investment Visa class and the 188 Significant Investor Visa class are the most popular.

o   Business Innovation stream
o   Business Innovation Extension Stream
o   Investor stream
o   Significant Investor stream
o   Significant Investor Extension Stream
o   Premium Investor Stream
o   Entrepreneur Stream

While the Significant Investor Visa class does require an investment of AUD$5 million, while it has a distinct advantage of no age limitation, no language requirements and simply a minimum of 40 days a year or accumulate a total of 160 days in four years. The Business Innovation and Investment Visa is simpler with a requirement of assets of a minimum of AUD$800,000 and a business turnover of a minimum of AUD$500,000 in any two of the last four years. However, there are language and age qualifications. It also requires you to set up a business in Australia.

If you have any questions, or you would like us to send a questionnaire, then when you have completed it and returned it to our office, we are happy to make an initial assessment, based on the information you provide without charge.

Interested in EU Passport or citizenship?

We can refer you to a program which will provide you with a citizenship on the basis of investment. For further details, please contact our migration lawyer, Traci Chen –
Email:                        traci.chen@nevile.com.au
WeChat:                    18588772947
WhatsApp:                +61 3 9664 4708

 


Serving a Statutory Demand: Guidelines For Creditors

Source: Lord Commercial Lawyers
A statutory demand is a useful way to pressure a company to pay its debts. However, a creditor using a statutory demand to quickly recover a debt can run into trouble if the legal requirements for service of the statutory demand are not complied with.

In this article, we set out how to properly serve a statutory demand and avoid some common problems which can arise.

What is a Statutory Demand?

A statutory demand is a quick and inexpensive way of recovering undisputed money owed by corporate debtors.
A creditor can make a statutory demand for payment of a debt as long as there is a debt which is due and payable.
Companies served with a statutory demand have 21 days to either pay the money owed, or to make an application to set aside the statutory demand. If a debtor company fails to comply with a statutory demand or have the demand set aside, a presumption is made that the debtor company is insolvent, and an application can be made to have the debtor company wound up.

Serving a Statutory DemandThe Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) sets out the procedure that must be followed when serving a statutory demand. The procedure can be complicated.

If a statutory demand is not properly served a Court may find that the service was invalid, and set aside the statutory demand.
Under the Corporations Act, all companies must register their office address with ASIC, and keep those registered details up to date. A creditor can serve a statutory demand by leaving it at the registered office of the debtor company, sending it by post to that office or delivering a copy of the demand personally to a directory of the company who resides in Australia.

You cannot serve a statutory demand on a foreign company, as separate procedures are in place to wind up foreign companies.
Under the Commonwealth Evidence Act, a postal article sent by prepaid post to a person at a specified address in Australia is presumed to have been received 4 business days after postage. That timeframe can be accelerated by serving a statutory demand by express post, where the date of delivery can be tracked and proven by Australia Post’s tracking system.

Avoiding Pitfalls

Debtor companies often argue that they did not receive the statutory demand on the day it was served, or that they never received the demand in the first place. These issues can be avoided by:

• undertaking a company search in relation to the debtor company and ensuring that the address on the envelope serving the statutory demand is identical to the address appearing on the ASIC record;
• hand delivering the demand to the registered office; and/or
• keeping contemporaneous records of the details of service (something which is made easier if registered post is used).

Where a creditor becomes aware that the company no longer occupies the registered address and the creditor is aware of the new address, then he or she should bring the demand to the notice of the company at that new address.

If the creditor is aware that the company no longer occupies the registered address but does not know where the company has moved, then it is prudent to serve the statutory demand on the company’s director.

Conclusion

There is a strict procedure with respect to the service of a statutory demand.

A failure to properly issue a demand can be expensive. The statutory demand may not be enforceable if it is not served in accordance with the relevant procedure.

Debtor companies regularly claim that they did not receive the statutory demand on the day it was served. As such, it is advisable that a statutory demand be served on a company by being personally delivered to the registered offices of the company.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us on (03) 9664 4700 or email david.dudderidge@nevile.com.au.


Incorporating a Company 

Setting up a Company in Australia is easy for non-residents.

  1. You can be both a Director and a Shareholder of the Australian company.
  2. The company can conduct almost any business except be involved in second hand residential real estate. We can advise on the few restricted areas.
  3. You can purchase the whole or part of:
  • a business or set up a new one
  • greenfield land for development
  • commercial buildings, industrial or tourism real estate
  • a farm or a winery, horticulture, aquaculture and a whole range of businesses including start-ups and hi-tech companies.

4.  If you have a specific business venture, need or structure you would like to discuss, please let us know.
5.  Our related Corporate Advisory company, Cavendish Corporate Advisory (CCA), can assist you to locate, source and negotiate for the whole range of possible mergers & acquisitions.

6.  You need to do the following to set up a company:

  • Choose a company name
  • Nominate Directors and Shareholders. The company must have at least one Director that lives in Australia.
  • Decide if you want a standard company Constitution or you have special requirements for governing the company.
  • Decide how much initial capital you wish to contribute and how many shares you want in exchange. You can issue different classes of shares with different entitlements.
  • Appoint a Secretary or Public Officer.
  • Select a Registered Office. This can be your Lawyer or Accountant’s office.
  • Select an Accountant. We can refer several Chinese speaking Accounts with Australian CPA qualifications for your consideration. The company needs to lodge annual tax returns and they can help you with that.
  • Set up an Australian bank account with appropriate signatures and internet access.  We can assist you with this.

7.  If there are a number of Shareholders, we recommend you have a Shareholders Agreement, which is a specialised document tailored to the particular purpose of the company, the nature of your business and, more importantly, the wishes of each Shareholder.

We can email an instruction form to you or your clients to complete, which contains sufficient information for us to set up a new company.

Our legal costs

The legal cost for a standard company with all necessary documentation including the Certificate of Incorporation is AUD $2,500 plus 10% GST (Goods and Service Tax).
The cost for providing an Australian registered office (if required) is negotiable but generally around $400 plus GST per year.
The cost of a Shareholders Agreement depends on its complexity and how many rounds of amendment it requires to finalise.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by the methods below:

In Australia:
meng.cheong@nevile.com.au

We are able to provide you with a range of businesses to purchase at any given time. We always recommend the appointment of an independent accountant, and we can refer you to several to carry out the financial due diligence on any business prior to purchase. We are also able to set up a company at any stage for you in Australia. You do not need to have any form of Visa, however, one of the Directors of the Company, must be ordinarily resident in Australia. That is, a citizen or a Permanent Resident. Any adult foreigner can also be a Director and Shareholder.

 


Farms and Wineries

GrapesWe have a number of significant farm properties available at any given time. We do however stress, that they need to be of a sufficient size to employ preferably existing management.

We have already acted in the purchase of a number of farms and sourced a number of wineries for our clients.

We are happy to announce that a winery sourced end negotiated for a Chinese client several years ago, was selected this year as the winery of the Year in Australia by James Halliday, who is probably the most famous wine writer in Australia. That winery was Seville Estate. We have enclosed a recent news article.  

Finally, we have provided you with a link to provide some examples of a number farming properties, ranging from the very large to the very small. If you have interest, please contact our office by completing the registration login on the website and entering your details.

 


Blockchain

Many of you will have heard about Blockchain, but most of you will have heard about Crypto Currency and probably Bitcoin.  There are many hundreds of coins or types of Cryptocurrency and we have seen great volatility with paper fortunes being made and lost.

Blockchain is the underlying software program from which cryptocurrency is an application. However, we are seeing the rapid development of many useful applications. For example, the Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) is moving to a Blockchain based operation.

Meng Cheong who is one of our lawyers also has a Computer Science degree.  I have attached a link to his article which provides an initial glimpse at explaining what Blockchain is and what it does. Blockchain will have an increasing influence on the way we do business with smart contracts from Ethereum being just one example.

 


Beware of Scams 

Payments to and from our Trust Account

We want to draw your attention to emails supposedly from our office requesting payment to a particular account. The only account to be used is the Nevile & Co. Law Practice Trust – SBS 183 334, Account no. 3018 74764, Swift Code MACQAU2S.

For your protection, we will not transfer any monies following an email from you directing where payment should be made until we have spoken with you on the telephone, WhatsApp or WeChat.

 


Banks and Finance

Following the revelations of the Royal Commission, it is no secret that our banks and other financial institutions have not actually come up smelling of roses. Makes you wonder why we the public guaranteed them via our government during the financial crisis, and allowed them to continue to treat us with such arrogance. Perhaps the Four Pillars has become too cosy a monopoly.

One of the results has been a very strong tightening of lending which is having a significant effect on the ability of prospective purchasers to borrow money.

There has been much hysteria in the press about a property market crash.  While I do not hold myself out as an expert in the field, it seems to me that we are seeing a much-needed correction.  However, it is most unlikely to lead to a major crash unless there are other significant external factors.  We still have a very strong migration to Melbourne.  We are not building enough accommodation to meet the present need. It appears that there will be a time of adjustment while the present numbers of apartments under construction are sold and occupied.

It is also worth noting that the number of apartments approved for construction is far greater than those which will actually be constructed.

Finally, it does not really matter when you get in to the property market it is when you get out.  If you take a short term view you are a speculator.  A long term view you are an investor.  As one of my work colleagues says “the best time to buy property was 10 years ago.  The second best time is now!”
For further information, please contact us.

June Newsletter 2018

DISCLAIMER This advice is of a general nature and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.  However, if you need legal advice please do not hesitate to contact any one of our lawyers.

Update from Peter

Peter Nevile Principal Lawyer

I have just arrived back from China where I spent a week working in Beijing. There were blue skies, sunny days and no pollution. I have no doubt that there will be days once more of the polluted air, however, there is no doubt that serious efforts are being made to address the situation, and like most things in China, it will happen much more quickly than we think. There are other signs such as the electric buses on the roads. They look like trolley buses but run independently and every so often put up their twin poles to get a fast charge to keep them going. In the carparks under major hotels and shopping malls, there are electric vehicle charging points. Nearly all the motorbikes in the city are electric. The canals and rivers are clean, the streets are clean. The people have a sense of purpose. There is a lot to like, and equally, a lot we can learn. The inexorable rise of China as the world’s major power will impact on us all. Rather than turn back or hold up the tide, as seems to be apparent in some American policy decisions, I think it might be more useful for us all to gain a better understanding of what the world will look like and how we can best adapt to our advantage. China is different. It is not a democracy, and it is unlikely to be one in the foreseeable future. Its system is certainly not without its faults, but then neither is ours, and perhaps, we should look at some of the attributes that have contributed to China’s meteoric rise. I am not aware of any senseless massacres in schools anywhere in China.  

On an entirely different note as we come to the end of the financial year, it is always a good time to review what are effectively risk management issues. They include looking at whether your Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, and particularly, if you are involved in traditional family Trust, whether that Trust has been updated. So now you need to take advantage of various legislative changes that have occurred and the ever changing obligations. If any of your legal documentation, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Finally, there are certainly indicators on the horizon that we may be in for a significant change. After so many years of almost unprecedented continuous economic growth, one would think that something would have to give. The question of course is, when, and how much will property prices tumble? As we hear again and again in the press, will the share market collapse? Will the wildly fluctuating cryptocurrencies finally settle down and offer an alternative? I do not think I am in a position to offer any solution, other than to remind you that, in almost all situations of change, safety lies in having as little debt as possible.

 

Are you familiar with Blockchain, Bitcoin and ICO?

Blockchain is a form of distributed digital ledgers technology on a peer to peer network. It represents a new paradigm for the way information is stored and shared. Blockchain, by itself, is just a data structure but, by design it is inherently immutable. It has the potential for a wide range of applications that can increase accountability.

Blockchain is the underpinning framework that underpins Bitcoin and numerous other cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is to the Blockchain what email is to the Internet. Bitcoin was the first application of blockchain that was first created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.

There are a few funding options to raise start-up capital for your business, including but not limited to seeking venture capitalists, angel investors, bank loan, and initial public offering (IPO). One funding option that has sprung to life from the rise of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency revolution is the Initial Coin Offering or the ICO.

What is Initial Coin Offering (ICO)?

An ICO is a funding strategy for start-ups developing blockchain-related products and services. It involves the creation and sale of digital tokens on a blockchain to fund the project development. It can have different structures because the way the coins are released, the manner in which funds are accepted, and what the coin represents vary from ICO to ICO.

Many start-ups are attracted to the benefits of using ICOs to fund their projects. Unlike other traditional funding channels that can be riddled with regulatory requirements and endless red tapes, ICOs are relatively inexpensive and fast to setup with low level of bureaucracy. It is possible to raise millions in hours using ICOs without ceding any control to private investors and without the paperwork burdens of an IPO.

What’s the legal point of view?

Investors like ICOs because it is the latest disruptive technology, the rockstar of the investment world. Tech investors love ICOs. During an ICO, they buy digital tokens or coins from the offering company, hoping to become a stakeholder in a start-up that could turn out to be as popular as Google or Facebook and thereby generate demand for the tokens which in turn increases their value on a secondary market.

However, as interesting as it may sound, ICOs currently occupy a regulatory grey area that could leave start-ups in legal trouble and investors vulnerable to fraud. Jurisdictions across the world have adopted different approaches to the treatment of tokens offered in an ICO. Australia’s new approach is markedly different than the path of regulators in other countries.

In Australia, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has issued a guidance note for those considering launching an ICO. ASIC’s guidance note states that each ICO has to be assessed on a case-by-case basis as every ICO is unique and can diverge significantly in form and substance. For example, if an ICO is classified as a financial product, then it may fall under ASIC’S regulatory reach and may trigger licensing and disclosure requirements under the Corporations Act. For ICOs that are not financial products, these are subject to the general law and the Australian consumer laws.

Therefore, it is crucial that anyone considering to undertake an ICO should take legal advice. The legal status of an ICO will depend on the circumstances and features of the tokens being offered for sale, the ICO’s structure and operation, and more importantly the rights attached to the tokens.

The lawyers at Nevile & Co can provide you with advice on ICOs, whether you are a start-up or an investor. We can assist you by identifying the legal risks associated with ICOs and draw your attention to the legal obligations that may be attached to certain ICOs. For more information, contact Mr Meng Cheong for a free initial consultation.

 

Employment needs / issues

At Nevile and Co., we understand that when it comes to running and operating a successful business you need all round support. You may have employment law issues as well as employment requirements …where do you turn? We are affiliated with the following recruitment service who can advise and provide a personalized and cost-effective solution to your recruitment needs. Providing support within the administrative area. Jane Devereux will look after you with the utmost professionalism, whether you are looking for a new staff member, or wanting support in other HR areas.

Jane offers over 25 years expertise in each step of the recruitment and human resources process. She knows and understands that there is nothing more vital for your business than to have only the best people surrounding you and working for your brand or business. Jane has spent her many years in the recruitment business focusing on quality delivery of service and tapping into candidates of the highest caliber, and is passionate about taking time to match only the best candidate to you.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to source a quality candidate, and in addition, when you advertise you can be overwhelmed with responses as well, and trying to identify the best candidates for the position.

Jane will save you time and resources with all the screening done for you. It’s simple! Just place an advertisement on Seek or any other job board, and place the YSS email address on it for all responses. These are thoroughly screened and the best candidates given a phone interview prior to referral to you. You will be sent a regular update on the progress of the applications, and within 1 week a short list of the most suitable candidates for you to interview.

  • Please note that a set fee is charged for this service, due and payable once candidates are set up for interview with the client.

Jane also offers companies the total solution to recruiting. She will take the process of recruiting staff in hand by receiving a comprehensive understanding of the role to be filled, then undertaking the necessary search and advertising process to find the best candidate. Interviewing, reference checking and supporting every step of the recruitment process is all part of our service.

  • Please note a fee of 10% is charged for this service and comes with a 3 month guarantee.

She can also offer these services at an hourly rate:

  • Creating Position Descriptions
  • Writing job ads
  • Screening CV’s and candidates
  • Interviewing
  • Checking references
  • Performance reviews during probationary period
  • Recommendations on training staff
  • Exit interviews

Training support service

Her services can also be used to support with training of staff internally in the following areas:

  • Reception
  • Customer service
  • Administrative staff
  • Sales and marketing
  • Support with general professionalism and presentation

David Dudderidge can assist you with legal advice on employment issues.

BLENDED FAMILIES – DO YOU HAVE A PLAN?

Families can be complicated. Blended families even more so, particularly on the death of one of the parties to the first, or subsequent marriages, or relationships. With the prevalence of divorce in Australia and resulting re-partnering, it is important to have up-to-date Will in place to ensure that your estate is dealt with in a way that is intended by you.

Without an up-to-date Will in place, problems can arise from an estate planning perspective, which can lead to conflict within families. Such possibilities include, when one person dies passing their entire estate to their spouse (partner from a second or third relationship), with the assumption that the spouse’s estate would be split equally between the children of both spouses, and the surviving spouse instead favours their own biological children over their step-children. This may result in the deceased spouse’s children being left out completely.

Estate planning for blended families requires careful consideration and planning. We can guide you through the estate planning process and ensure that your unique personal circumstance are taken into account throughout the process.

Sarah Slattery can assist you with legal advice on Wills.

 

What many of our clients want to know.

Want to drive barefoot or in thongs…the footwear kind…is it legal?

Although thongs may be comfortable to wear on hot days (If you are in Darwin black thongs are considered formal) or perhaps on a holiday to Queensland, we have often been asked the question whether driving barefoot or with thongs is against the law.

We understand, courtesy of an article from GoGet the car sharing App, it is not against the law to drive barefoot or with thongs in Victoria New South Wales or Queensland, however you are strongly encouraged not to do so.

Why may you ask? Think of the hazardous risks you can put potentially yourself and others in. The soles of your feet are more sensitive so standing hard on the brakes is not easy. Thongs are not exactly a secure type of shoe, let alone underwear, they can easily to get caught under your pedals, leading to unnecessary and dangerous accidents….so can your footwear!!

Although it is not illegal to drive in thongs in Victoria, you can be liable if Victoria Police find you responsible for an accident due to inappropriate footwear.

Source:GoGet

 

 Is how well you drive written in the stars? GoGet used data to find out.

Does your star sign make you a better driver? Instead of asking astrology, GoGet asked the data to find out! The GoGet team crunched the numbers on 1,000,000 trips made by almost 100,000 members in 2017, to figure out which star signs were the least, and most likely to get busted breaking the law.

So which star sign was the best behaved? Find out GoGet

 Source:GoGet

 

Payments to and from our Trust Account

We now want to draw your attention to emails supposedly from our office requesting payment to a particular account. The only account to be used is the Nevile & Co Law Practice Trust –  SBS 183 334 , Account no. 3018 74764, Swift Code MACQAU2S.

For your protection, we will not transfer any monies following an email from you directing where payment should be made until we have spoken with you on the telephone, WhatsApp or Wechat.

 

So your building has non-conforming aluminium composite panels (“ACP”) – who is liable for their removal and replacement?

 In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in London on 14 June 2017 and the Lacrosse building fire on 25 November 2014 in Melbourne, the Australian Federal and State Governments began inquiries into the potential exposure of buildings to non-conforming and non-compliant building products, including the use of certain types of combustible ACPs.

 On 6 September 2017, the Australian Senate Economics References Committee released its interim report on the use of ACP in Australia recommending that the Federal Government implement a number of measures including a total ban (importation, sale and use) of ACPs with polyethylene core and a national approach to increase accountability across the supply chain, with a penalties regime for non-compliant work. The report noted that there had been extensive delays by State governments in implementing measures to address non-compliance and non-conformity of building products.

 So who then is liable for the cost of removal and replacement of non-compliant ACP? 

 

 To date in Victoria there have not been any successful challenges against the Government (State or Local) or other cases whereby owners have been directly compensated for the installation and/or removal of non-compliant ACP. What is clear is that each case will turn upon its own facts and that there remains legal uncertainty in this area, particularly in relation to who will be liable to cover the costs of replacing the non-compliant ACP and practically, who will actually end up paying for it.

 Despite the availability of statutory warranties for defects that can be enforced by purchasers, these warranties apply for limited periods and many owners of residential buildings have found themselves outside of this time period, leaving them essentially with no statutory recourse against those responsible for the installation of non-compliant materials. Further, the Australian courts have to date demonstrated a reluctance to recognise the duty of care of a builder to owners corporations seeking compensation for pure economic loss to replace non-compliant ACP on common property, finding that a builder will not owe a duty of care to an owners corporation as agent of the owners of residential lots in a building. In addition, the notion of ACP as being a latent defect remains untested in the courts and it is not presently known whether a case involving ACP would be determined strictly along the same lines.

 In early April 2018, following a Victorian Supreme Court ruling that the Victorian Building Authority, a Government agency, does not have authority to order builders to rectify cladding defects after a certificate of final inspection or occupancy permit has been issued, a class action was being considered in Victoria as the first stage in a national campaign against construction companies to compensate for the costs of replacing ACP. It is far too early to predict whether this class action will proceed and/or be successful in ending the legal uncertainty and providing compensation for building owners/owners corporations.

 Will your insurer cover the cost of removal and replacement of non-compliant ACP? 

 It should be noted that insurance implications flow from non-compliant ACP for both building owners and owners corporations. Should a building owner/owners corporation become aware that its building is cladded with non-compliant ACP, it is obliged to disclose this heightened risk factor to its insurer in accordance with the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) as insurers may otherwise decline indemnity for a claim due to non-disclosure. This can become relevant in the event of property damage and a consequential loss claim or a public liability claim.

 However, notification of non-compliant ACP can result in the insurer being:

  • unwilling to renew cover;
  • only willing to insure at a higher cost; and/or
  • only willing to insure for limited circumstances, which exclude the adverse outcome from the ACP remaining in situ.

 If a building owner/owners corporation is refused cover by one insurer, that information and the reason for the denial of cover, is required to be disclosed on applications to another insurer resulting in difficulty securing appropriate cover. Yet for owners corporations, failure to obtain insurance cover for the common property is a breach of the Owners Corporation Act 2006 (Vic).

 Therefore, building owners/owners corporations should consider working closely with their insurer to ensure that the identification and evaluation process adopted for the building, including those engaged to undertake the process, will be considered sufficient for ongoing underwriting of the building.

Form more information, contact Andrea Lucas

 

Agribusiness Opportunities

If you are interested in farming properties, please contact Ken Matheson or call on 03 96644700.

 

March Newsletter 2018

Chinese New Year - Year of the Dog

For the first newsletter of our year I wish a Happy New Year to all our clients and a Happy Chinese New Year to all our Chinese clients in this year of the dog. I trust it is safe, healthy, prosperous and full of grace.

 

 

We look forward to another year of challenge. There is one thing certain in all our lives apart from taxes and death and that is the increasingly rapid and constant pace of change. Our ability and our agility to cope with change is the key to our survival and prosperity. This in turn means a constant review of the way we do things now and acceptance that almost certainly will not be the way we will do many things in the very near future.

While there is much talk of a strong economy, we should not lose sight of the increasing debt both domestically and internationally. As we are all aware, living beyond our means one day comes to a grinding halt. There is no reason to suspect the global economy is really any different. It is more a question of when, not if.

We have seen dramatic rises and falls in crypto currency and a less dramatic but certainly significant movement ion the share market. Property prices are generally tending downwards, Sydney is certainly showing a clear trend in this regard, although presently Melbourne seems to be maintaining a small increase. There has been much talk of an oversupply of apartments. This has now been tempered with the acknowledgement that there is actually a shortage of accommodation due to inbound migration. Vacancy rates are still very low.

We have enjoyed quite a warm summer here however I suspect there are some dark clouds on the horizon. Life in all aspects goes in cycles, it’s really a question of length. In Australia, we have enjoyed an extraordinarily long one, so we would be naïve to think it will continue forever, As Jack Reacher says in his Lee Child novels, “prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

We are currently undertaking a strategic review of the firm and this is an ongoing process. We need to focus on what we want to do, where we want to be and how we are going to get there. We are here not only to provide a service to our clients, but to fulfil your expectations. To do this we need an increasingly better understanding of your requirements. We need to harness that for the benefit for our clients, by being able to provide a cost effective and improved level of service. We look forward to that challenge.

Don’t forget to ask for our “famous” chilli sauce when next you are in our office.

Finally, if you need a meeting room with the use of our 80 inch touchscreen at any time please feel free to book it.

Peter Nevile Principal Lawyer

 

 

 

 

Peter Nevile

 

ILLEGAL CORPORATE ACTIVITY?

The Turnbull Government has recently announced that is taking action to crack down on illegal ‘phoenix’ activity.

Illegal phoenix activity occurs when a new company is created to continue the business of a company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying its debts, including taxes, creditors and employee entitlements.

Whether you are an employee, contractor or business owner working with other businesses, there are signs to look out for that may indicate a company is involved in illegal phoenix activity.

If you are an employee or contractor working for a company warning signs include you don’t receive a payslip; the company ABN and name changes, but the phone number or address stays the same; your superannuation or other employment entitlements are not being paid and/or your payslip records a different employer name to whom you believe you work for.

If you own a business look warning signs from a company you are working with include the directors of that company have previously been involved with liquidated entities; the company requests payments to a new company and/or there have been recent changes of company directors and name, but the manager and staff remain the same.

If you suspect illegal phoenix activity contact us at Nevile & Co. to discuss steps that you can take to protect yourself and/or your business. 

At Nevile & Co. our senior commercial lawyers have operated successful businesses and have a real understanding of the risks involved, ensuring they are able to provide cost effective, plain language, practical and focused legal advice and services.

 

HOW TO AVOID PAYING CAPITAL GAINS TAX (CGT) ON THE SALE OF YOUR “RENTAL” PROPERTY

That has your attention hasn’t it!!  Well it can be achieved, it is legal and is all about timing and approach. 

Our tax laws provide that in circumstances where a person has lived in their home as their primary place of residence, and for whatever reason they vacate that home, the property can still be considered as their “Primary Residence” for up to 6 years,  and thus, not attract CGT on the sale.  

The first step is to buy your home and live in it for 12 months. As proof of your home being your primary residence, you would naturally intend to actually live at the home, ensuring that all of your ‘registered addresses’ with all the various authorities reference the property as being your home address. e.g. driver’s license, bank accounts, health cards, electoral roll, etc. Those actions assist in establishing the property as being your “Primary Residence” for tax purposes.

The next step is to then move out into alternative (and preferably cheaper accommodation), using whatever spare cash you now have, to pay down the mortgage as quickly as possible. You can now also rent your home and the rental income will also assist in paying down the mortgage. The tax rules surrounding negative gearing are also available to the home owner.

After the 6 years is up, you can then either sell the property and take advantage of whatever capital gain results from the sale, or you can move back in and start the cycle all over again.

The above process is particularly suitable for a young couple in that it facilitates them buying their currently unaffordable “dream” home, ensuring they are in the rising property market.   After perhaps after 5 or so years, there is enough equity in the property to allow the owners to move back in and afford the now reduced mortgage payments. 

Please note that the above advice is general in nature and as such should you contemplate such a strategy, the first step is to talk to your accountant and/or financial planner.  Talk to the team at Nevile & Co who are ready assist with all of your legal requirements.

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW TEMPORARY SKILL SHORTAGE (TSS) VISA

The new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa is to be implemented in March 2018. The new TSS subclass 482 visa will replace the 457 Visa program. There are three (3) Streams with the TSS Visa, as follows:

 

  • Short-Term Stream (STSOL)
  • Medium-Term Stream (MLTSSL)
  • Labour Agreement Stream

 

  1. Short-Term Stream (STSOL)

 

o   Occupations on the STSOL List (Short-Term Skilled Occupations) will be eligible for visas of up to two years;

o   Visas might be renewable once, for a further two years

o   TSS visa holders are allowed to remain in Australia for no longer than four years

o   There is no pathway for Australian permanent residency through the employer-sponsored skilled visa program.

 

  1. Medium-Term Stream (MLTSSL)

 

o   Occupations on the MLTSSL List (Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List) will be eligible for up to four years visa;

o   Occupations on this list will be eligible for permanent residency after three years.

 

  1. Sponsorship Stage

 

o   18 months sponsorship approval for start-up company will be eliminated;

o   One lifetime TRN will be utilised for all subsequent approvals;

o   All sponsorships will be approved for 5 years.

 

  1. Nomination Stage

 

o   Nominated occupation must be listed on the relevant list at the time of application. Occupation will not be reassessed at the visa stage, or if it is already removed from the list.;

o   Applicants will need to have 2 years of work experience within the nominated occupation for both medium term and short term lists;

o   Labour Market Testing (LMT)* is required for all applications except if International Trade Obligations (ITO) applies;

o   LMT needs to be undertaken for a minimum duration although no specific duration requirement is released yet.

 

  1. Transitional Arrangement

o   Applicants are allowed to continue their time spent on 457 Visa when they apply for the new 482 visa;

o   If the 457 Visa holder’s nominated occupation is removed from the STSOL or MLTSSL, the applicant cannot access the new TSS visa.

 

  1. Other Important Points

 

o   If your occupation is on the STSOL, you cannot lodge onshore twice. You must be offshore to lodge your second application;

o   Annual Market Salary Rate (ASMR) will be introduced and the TSMIT ($53,900) will continue. Guaranteed earnings must not be less than ASMR & TSMIT;

o   Mandatory Skills Assessment is required.

o   TSS Visa Applications will only be able to be linked to the original TSS nomination being lodged. The TSS nomination cannot be linked to a 457 Visa Application.

o   If you hold another kind of visa which has a “no further stay” clause, you are not permitted to apply for a TSS visa to extend your stay.

Decision-ready application with clear submissions should be provided for faster processing, usually within 2 months. Applications with no attached documents will be declined within 2 days.

For further enquiries of the above Visa, please email jstone@nevile.com.au

WILLS

The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016- New medical decision-making powers

The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic) (“the Act”) will come into effect in Victoria from 12 March 2018, repealing the Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic). The Act will introduce a new scheme that will allow a person to create legally binding advance care directives, with respect to medical treatment and care, and to appoint a medical treatment decision maker and support person.

Prior to the implementation of the new Act, legally enforceable advance care directives were limited to making a refusal-of- treatment certificate made under the Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic).

While the advance care directive can be in any form, certain information must be provided, and steps followed to ensure that the directive is legally binding. For example, the directive must be in writing and witnessed by two people, with one being a registered medical practitioner. The advance care directive will only take effect once a person loses capacity to make medical decisions and will continue to apply until it expires or is revoked in accordance with the Act.

From 12 March 2018, there will be two types of advance care directives that can be made in Victoria, an instructional directive and a values directive.

Instructional Directive

An instructional directive, as the name suggests, allows a person to make binding instructions with respect to their future medical treatment and care, including whether they consent or refuse certain medical procedures or treatments.

Unlike directives made under a refusal-of-treatment certificate, a directive made under the Act is not limited to a current medical condition of the person, but rather can set out instructions to the medical decision maker for future medical conditions.

However, the instructional directive does not allow a person to demand medical treatment.

Examples of an instructional directive provided in the Act include;

  1. A statement that a person consents to a heart bypass operation in specified circumstances.
  2. A statement that a person refuses cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Values Directive

A values directive allows a person to set out their preferences and values in relation to medical decisions made when they lack the capacity to do so. Such a directive may include a statement of medical treatment outcomes that a person would find acceptable to them.

When considering a values directive, a medical decision maker will need to make the decision that they believe, in all the relevant circumstances, that the person who appoints them would have made. To do this, they are to consider the following factors:

  1. Any valid and relevant issues and preferences in the person’s advance care directive; and
  2. Any preferences that the person has expressed to them, taking into account the circumstances in which a person may have expressed those preferences.

Examples of a Values Directive are provided by the following statements;

  1. “If I am unable to recognise my family and friends, and cannot communicate, I do not want any medical treatment to prolong my life.”
  2. “If a time comes when I cannot make decisions about my medical treatment, I would like to receive any life prolonging medical treatments that are beneficial. This includes receiving a medical research procedure to see if the procedure has any benefit for me.”

After the law changes, while a person can still make an enduring power of attorney to appoint someone with authority to make decisions about the financial and personal matters, it is important to note that ‘personal’ matters will no longer include health care matters. It is also important to note that a pre-existing agent appointed as an enduring power of attorney under section 5A of the Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic), will be adopted as an appointment of a medical treatment decision-maker under the Act.

 

PPSA….BE CAREFUL OF CONSIGNING YOUR GOODS!

Placing your goods on consignment, for example art, furniture or cars can result in a total loss of ownership of those goods to a Receiver or Liquidator.

An article in The Australian from the 17th February, headed “Mossgreen Administrators demand $1.8 million from clients” has brought the harsh reality home to a number of people. Many private individuals and businesses are unaware of the provisions of the Personal Properties Security Act which came into effect in January 2012. That legislation revolutionised the notion of ownership and title to personal property. The devil is always in the detail. Now, if you place your goods on consignment or in the case of Mossgreen your art works with an auction house for sale, without registering a security interest in those goods, then in the event of the business failing, and a Receiver or a Liquidator being appointed, you may lose ownership of those goods to the Liquidator or Receiver. The best you can hope for is that you can do a deal as appears to be the case with Mossgreen. This which effectively means paying something for the goods you used to own. An unpalatable thought.

There are many areas where Personal Properties Security Registration is essential. It applies not only to goods on consignment, but also for example, delivery of goods and materials by a supplier to a builder. If the goods have not yet been paid for, but are in the possession of the builder, without registration under the Personal Properties Security Act, a Liquidator or Receiver can take title to those goods if the builder’s business fails, which is not an unusual event.

There are a number of other areas including protecting outstanding monies, which can effectively be secured by registration.

Failure to register your interest in your personal property or your goods when placing them in the possession and control of a third party is a potentially risky business.

The process of documentation and registration is precise. Errors can lead to a loss of the protection offered by the legislation. Legal advice should be sought.

 

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Restaurants

Gold Coast –  Well established Licenced, long leases Professionally managed  Price $2.6,000,000

Strong profit.  Excellent for business migration for qualified person.

 

Agribusiness

Farms

Farm1   Northern Victoria

1947 acres Dry land farming with opportunity to purchase a further 9,000 acres.

        Highly suitable for multiple crops- barley, wheat, canola, vetch, peas.

 

Farm 2  Central Victoria

        3610 acres highly developed irrigation property.

Excellent cropping opportunity for corn, tomatoes etc.

Access to main channel for irrigation.

 

Farm 3  Central Victoria

              1710 acres of premium soils including 336 acres of drip irrigation.

              Land 100% laser levelled for irrigation.

 

Farm 4  Southern NSW

5400 acres mixed cropping and grazing property comprising outstanding soil types and well developed infrastructure.

Murray river frontage.

For further enquiry on the above business opportunities, please contact ken.matheson@nevile.com.au

 

BEWARE – EMAIL SCAMS RELATING TO PAYMENTS TO AND FROM OUR TRUST ACCOUNT

Recently, we wrote advising you to be aware of scams. A number of lawyers have received false emails supposedly from clients requesting that funds be directed to another bank account.

To protect you against these scams, we have instituted a process where we confirm directly with you by telephone any request for payment made to us by email.

We now want to draw your attention to emails supposedly from our office requesting payment to a particular account.

For your protection, please ensure that no payment is ever made to an account relating to our firm other than the Nevile & Co. Law Practice Trust Account

BSB 183 334

Account no. 3018 74764

Swift Code MACQAU2S

For your protection, if you are ever in doubt, please telephone our office to discuss any email you think may be a scam or fraudulent. 

 

December Newsletter 2017

On the second Tuesday of this month, we had the Melbourne Cup – the race that stops the nation. Well, it certainly stops productivity. We live in a lucky country where we can afford to have a day off for the races, let alone, a ridiculous day off in Melbourne prior to the AFL football grand final. Having said that, it’s interesting to note that the ASX has broken the 6,000 barrier and continues to rise. House prices in Melbourne, while they may have slowed down a little in contrast to Sydney, have also continued to rise. However, those rises are not right across the board. There are pockets where we have seen slowing down and even a slight flattening, and in some specific cases, a negative trend. Is it time to be concerned about both the share market and the housing market? Well, I guess no one can really predict with certainty where they are going. The only thing one can say is, looking back, both the share market and the housing market do go in cycles, and we have been experiencing a particularly long cycle. So certainly, one would think it is time to be a little more cautious. Having said that, in my last newsletter I did point out that in general, you need to decide whether you are an investor or a speculator and timing in the share market and the property market is everything. Although of course, we do not hold ourselves out to be financial advisors.

We have just been involved in the sale and settlement of Large Abbatoire in Gippsland and the team involved is headed by Andrea Lucas and assisted by Meng Cheong and Laura Millar. Congratulations to them on an excellent job. As a result, we are now involved in the preliminary stages of a sale of a much larger Abbatoire in excess of $60 million. On the final day of settlement we were very happy to be able to use our 80 inch touch screen in the Boardroom to set out all settlement requirements and be able to mark them off as they are completed. We are still coming to grips on how to get the best advantage of our touch screen, but we are impressed and thankfully so are our clients who have seen it.

We welcomed Andrea back from a short break in Egypt, celebrating a milestone birthday, as well as the completion of her MBA. Later this month, nearly all of our staff are participating in the LIV annual fun run & walk, and undoubtedly you will see photographs on our Facebook page following that event.

We are implementing further changes in our internal processes, with a view to further improving the quality control of our work. If you as our clients have any suggestions as to how we might improve our service to you in order to meet your expectations, we would be delighted to hear from you.

As this will be the last newsletter of the year, we take this opportunity to wish you and your family, your colleagues and friends all the best for the festive season and a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

PROPERTY

Non-Resident Foreign Buyers Beware! 

Non-resident foreign persons generally need to apply for and receive foreign investment approval before purchasing residential property in Australia.

Foreign non-residents are individuals not ordinarily resident in Australia (except Australian citizens), including holders of temporary residence visas, as well as corporations, trustees of a trust and/or a general partner of a limited partnership that meet the definition of a foreign person under Australia’s foreign investment rules.

The Foreign Investment Review Board (“FIRB”) has recently confirmed that the relevant action requiring approval is entering into an unconditional contract/agreement to acquire the property rather than the action of actually acquiring the property at settlement. Therefore, FIRB approval and payment of the applicable fee is required for a foreign person to enter into a contract/agreement to acquire a residential property even if they ultimately do not end up purchasing the property and/or intend to nominate another buyer prior to settlement.

The same applies when a non-resident foreign person purchases from a Vendor who has been granted approval of an exemption certificate to sell new residential dwellings. The exemption certificate exempts foreign non-residents from needing to apply for FIRB approval before entering into an unconditional contract/agreement with the Vendor but the action must still be reported by the Vendor to the FIRB and the applicable fee paid.

Refunds are not granted if a foreign purchaser, who enters into an unconditional contract/agreement, does not proceed to settlement for any reason and/or nominates another party prior to settlement.

Strict penalties (including civil and criminal penalties and disposal orders) apply for breaches of Australia’s foreign investment rules.

What does all of this mean for you?

Before entering into an unconditional contract/agreement to purchase residential property in Australia do your due diligence:

  1. Confirm whether you need FIRB approval to purchase the property;
  2. Apply for FIRB approval (if required);
  3. Carefully review the contract/agreement; and
  4. Check your ability to finance the purchase.

If you are uncertain as to whether you require FIRB approval to purchase a property in Australia and/or need help with checking the contract/agreement and confirming your ability to finance the purchase, please do not hesitate to contact us at Nevile & Co. With over 40 years’ experience in property law, Nevile & Co. is able to advise and assist both local and international clients on a diverse range of property transactions, including Foreign Investment Review Board regulations, residential and commercial developments, subdivisions, strata titles, industrial estates, hotels, farms and wineries. If required, we are also able to refer potential purchasers to a range of prospective lenders to provide appropriate finance solutions.

If you require further information, please contact andrea.lucas@nevile.com.au


CORPORATE – ARE YOU A COMPANY DIRECTOR?

The Turnbull Government has recently announced that is taking action to crack down on illegal ‘phoenix’ activity while ensuring legitimate company restructures are not unduly limited.

Illegal phoenix activity occurs where there is the deliberate liquidation of a company to avoid paying debts but the business continues through another company, and in corporate groups through the liquidation of undercapitalised subsidiaries and transfer of business to other companies within the group.

The Government’s proposed reform package includes introduction of a Director Identification Number (DIN) which will allow regulators to map the relationships between individuals and entities and individuals and other people by interfacing with other government agencies and databases. It will also will enable prospective creditors or employees to search the prior corporate history of a Director to see whether or not the Director has been involved in past insolvencies, and thereby assist in the identification of rogue directors who, through recurring company failures, shift themselves and assets to a new company but leave behind the debts.

It is proposed that Directors will be prevented from backdating their resignations to avoid personal liability or from resigning and leaving a company with no directors and Directors will become personally liable for company GST liabilities.

Facilitators and advisers of phoenix operators are also to be targeted with the extension of the penalties that apply to those who promote tax avoidance schemes.

To ensure that legitimate company restructures are not limited by these initiatives, the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No. 2) Bill 2017 was recently passed with the view to allowing Directors to take reasonable steps to restructure their company in certain circumstances rather than rushing to go into administration. These reforms are intended to provide directors with a safe harbour from personal civil liability during the restructure phase.

If you are a Director or owner of a company considering restructuring and are concerned about illegal phoenix activity contact us at Nevile & Co. to discuss steps that you can take to protect yourself and/or your business.

At Nevile & Co. our senior commercial lawyers have operated successful businesses and have a real understanding of the risks involved, ensuring they are able to provide cost effective, plain language, practical and focused legal advice and services.

 


POTENTIAL INVESTMENT SUITABLE FOR MIGRATION

This business may provide prospect for immigration.

Project Whistle
Manufacturer and distributor of premium gelato, ice cream, yogurt, frozen fruits,  jam, sauces, chutneys and marmalades which also cans and vacuum packs high quality abalone. The opportunity exists to purchase a majority stake or up to 100% ownership.

• Industry: Premium Foods
• Deal size: $12M – $18M

Overview

  • The Company is a privately owned family business. The family has been involved in the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of a premium range of Italian gelato, ice cream, yogurt for several decades.
  • The Company is based in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Originally from Northern Italy, this family business has been involved in the ice cream and gelati industry since 1980s. The family opened Melbourne’s first traditional Italian gelataria located on Melbourne’s iconic Chapel Street strip. The gelataria enjoyed a reputation for producing and serving the latest European flavours.
  • There are the following key businesses:
o Gelato
o Ice cream & Frozen fruits
o Jams & Marmalades
o Chutneys, Relishes & Sauces
o Abalone
  • The Company has agreements with interstate distributors and international parties. These relationships enable the Company to maintain a consistent supply of produce which may otherwise be affected by seasonality.
  • The jams, sauces, chutneys, relishes have been in Victoria for the past 40 years.

Financial Information

 

 

 

 

 

Key Company Highlights

• The Company has long standing relationships with key customers and suppliers
• The Company has a large range of dairy and sorbet products within the premium market segment, including vegan and other sugar free options
• The Company complies with all Australian food manufacturing standards and operates under an approved food safety management system
• An on-premises state-of-the-art manufacturing plant is updated and maintained by its international alliance partner, a specialist in gelato machine equipment
• The Business employs its own in-house R&D team, including complete with food technicians and qualified chefs
• It sources the ingredients for its products from both Australia and Overseas
• The Company is poised to grow strongly with further interstate and international growth

Growth Opportunities

• Multiple opportunities exist, including;

o New Distribution in Australia and Internationally
o New Product lines for existing brands
o Co-Manufacturing with international parties

• Victoria accounts for the largest production volume of ice cream in Australia
• The quality of ice cream in general, has seen a marked increase over the last 10 years. Consumers desire a higher quality product
• Premium take-home ice cream in a tub now accounts for 19.7%of the total market in Australia
• Substantial growth available in China / Asia

The Group’s Core Businesses

Gelato Abalone
The Gelato business is close to the family’s heart, having been established, operated, and improved upon, generation after generation. It is a hallmark of the Group.

Ice cream
The addition of an Ice cream & Frozen fruits production and supply facility was a logical value add to core operations.

Jam/Sauces/Chutney
The Jam business makes delicious Jams, Sauces, Chutneys Marmalades and Relishes. These products are targeted at the premium end of the market. This business delivers  on the Group’s reputation for quality, providing wholesale distribution of Australia’s first grade wild caught abalone.

 

For further enquiry, please contact nevileco@nevile.com.au


MIGRATION

457 Visa and 186 Visa – Changes you should know about

Migration agents are under pressure much of the time and this is likely to increase in March 2018 with the introduction of the TSS visa.

The Skilling Australia Fund levy (SAF) will replace the current training benchmarks for employers sponsoring applicants for Subclass 457 and Subclass 186 visas.

Below is information from the Department* –

How much will the TSS visa cost?

The TSS sponsorship fee will be $420, the same as current 457 sponsorship fee.

The TSS nomination fee will be $330, the same as the current 457 nomination fee.

Visa application Charges (VACs) for the TSS visa are outlined below.

Visa Application Charges   Primary Application Adult Dependent  Child Dependent

TSS visa (Short-Term stream)  $1,150   $1,150   $290

TSS visa (Medium-Term stream)  $2,400   $2,400   $600

The SAF

Business Size     TSS visa     ENS / RSMS

Small (annual turnover less than $10 million) $1,200 per year or part thereof  $3,000 one-off

Other businesses      $1,800 per year or part thereof  $5,000 one-off

The levy has to be paid “up front” and will only be refunded in limited circumstances.

Below is an extract from the Department’s July 2017 newsletter with underlining added:

The sponsor will need to indicate the proposed employment period for the nominee and this future period will be used to calculate the required fee.

And later:

Note: It is intended that the SAF levy will only be refundable where a refund of the nomination fee is also available.

For example, if the sponsorship application was refused and the nomination application is otherwise finalised, both the nomination application fee and the SAF levy would be refunded.

That is, it is not intended that there will be any refunds (or part-refunds) just for the SAF levy by itself.

Imagine an application for sponsorship approval, nomination approval and a 4 year TSS visa (medium stream) where the sponsor has a turnover of more than $10 million and the visa applicants comprise the primary applicant, a partner and a child.

The fees are as follows:

Sponsorship        $420

Nomination        $330

Visa application     $2400+ 2400+ $600    $5400

SAF levy 4x $1800       $ 5400

Total         $11550

And don’t forget the migration agent’s fees.

If the nomination is refused and no refund of any of the payments is made there are going to be some very unhappy sponsors and visa applicants.

Of course an appeal can be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal but some appeals succeed and some do not.

Migration agents are going to have to be extremely careful about the advice that they give on the prospects of the success of such applications.

I am already on a 457 visa in Australia and want to apply for a PR. Should I hire the services of an agent based here or in my home country?

The 457 visa program is constantly being updated and requires immediate response if and when there is any policy change. The policy may change anytime without the need for the government to take it through the parliament and can be changed or amended at a very short notice.

These constant policy changes are sometimes a challenge even for local Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) and it is therefore advisable that you choose a local RMA for your visa.

Communication is very important in the process and being in the same time zone or country is extremely helpful. More importantly, all RMAs carry Professional Indemnity Insurance in Australia, which is unavailable overseas and there is no consumer protection overseas the likes of which is provided under Australian law.

Last but not the least, OMARA, the body that regulates RMAs, has no jurisdiction overseas and will not be able to take action in case of any issue with the agent.

 

For further enquiry about visa, please contact jstone@nevile.com.au

*Source: Department of Immigration and Border Protection

WILLS

November 2017 has brought about a change in the way that intestacy operates in Victoria. With the Administration and Probate and Other Acts Amendment (Succession and Related Matters) Act 2017 coming into operation on 1 November 2017, there has been a significant overhaul in the way that intestate estates are dealt with, particularly in relation to the surviving spouse or partner of the deceased.

The intestate provisions operate in circumstances where a person has died without a valid Will in place, and are used to determine how the intestate’s estate ought to be dealt with.

With the change in legislation now in operation, an intestate’s estate is distributed as follows:

1. Where the intestate leaves a surviving partner (either by marriage or de facto relationship), and no children, then the partner takes the whole of the estate;

2. Where there is a surviving partner and a child or children of that relationship then, again, the partner takes the whole of the estate (this is a significant departure from the earlier intestacy provisions which allowed for the partner to take the first $100,000 of the deceased’s estate and then one third of the balance, with the children taking the remaining two thirds);

3. In circumstances where there is a partner and a child or children from a previous relationship, then the partner will receive the deceased’s personal chattels (as defined by the Act), the first $451,909 (the statutory legacy amount) and 50% of the balance, with the remainder to be divided equally between the children of the deceased;

4. Where there are multiple partners of the deceased, collectively, the partners will be entitled to 100% of the estate, which is then to be distributed:

(a) by agreement;
(b) upon application, in accordance with a Distribution Order from the Court;
(c) equally.

5. Where there is no partner, and the deceased has children from a previous relationship then the estate is divided equally between the children;

6. In circumstances where the deceased does not have a partner, or children then the estate is to be divided, at first instance equally between any surviving parent, then equally between siblings. Where there is no surviving parent or siblings, distribution will follow along the line of the deceased’s grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

While in some circumstances intestacy will not leave beneficiaries at a significant disadvantage, to ensure that your estate is distributed in a way that reflects your wishes please contact our office to discuss your estate planning needs.

For further information or enquiry, please contact sarah.slattery@nevile.com.au

 


IS YOUR DISCRETIONARY TRUST DEED CURRENT?

Nevile & Co has the expertise to help you establish or review a Trust structure. We have a wealth of experience dealing with Trust Deeds and can prepare custom documents to effect any amendment you wish to make to the Trust Deed, such as changes to the beneficiaries or trustees powers. Our lawyers can also draft unit holder agreements if you have a Unit Trust, or provide legal advice in the vesting of a Family Trust. Some of the documents that we are ready to prepare for you include:

  • Change Appointor And/Or Guardian of a Family Trust;
  • Change Trustee of a Family Trust;
  • Streaming & Bamford Update for a Family Trust;
  • Update To Allow Change Of Appointor And Guardian of a Family Trust;
  • Update To Allow Sole Trustee for a Family Trust;
  • Vesting of a Family Trust;
  • Update Rules of an SMSF; and
  • Trust Distribution Minutes.

Foreign Beneficiaries – Change of Law

Is your son living overseas? Is your daughter working in London?

Most family trusts have wide beneficiary classes that will catch family members that are residing overseas, including distant relatives that you barely know.

Recent changes in stamp/transfer duty and land tax legislation may bite the Trustee with higher foreign surcharge duties and land tax if you do not take steps to exclude foreign persons from being beneficiaries. Let our lawyers review your Trust Deed and determine if you should update your family trust to avoid adverse financial repercussions.

We Can Help

You will be pleased to know that we offer a fixed fee price with short turnaround times. We usually advise our clients not to sit on their hands and wait until it’s too late. So, if you would like to have an initial consultation with one of our lawyers or if you wish to obtain a quote, please contact us on 03 9664 4700 or at nevileco@nevile.com.au


MAKING CHILLI SAUCE FOR OUR CLIENTS

Quite often when our clients come to the office the first thing they ask us is if they can have another bottle of our chilli sauce. This has struck me as somewhat funny that the chilli sauce has become almost more memorable than our legal services although I sincerely think that’s not really the case.

Each year approximately half of the Nevile & Co staff come to my warehouse in Fitzroy and together we make a chilli sauce or Sambal. We use small birds eye chillies which are quite hot and cook them up to a receipt including garlic, ginger, lemon juice, vinegar, oil and some sugar. We bottle and then label. This year we made almost 700 bottles, which we hope will last us for the next 12 months. On completion of the chilli sauce making, the tradition has been that I cook lunch for my staff and this year the menu was hard boiled quail eggs, followed by caramelised figs topped with goat’s curd, duck a l’orange and affogato. A big thank you from me to my staff who participated. When you come to the office, don’t forget to ask for chilli sauce. It’s priceless because you can’t buy it, we make it, only for our clients. We have enclosed some pictures of the event.

    


2017 LIV LEGAL FUN RUN & WALK

This is also an annual event, in which most of the staff participate in a walk or run around the Botanical Gardens, known as the Tan. This year roughly 10 of our staff took part and while we did not win any prizes for being the fastest, they always look good decked out in Nevile & Co polo tops. On completion of the run, they all enjoy a BBQ as part of the event. Good to see the staff keeping fit.


FRIDAY NIGHT DRINKS

We normally have a Friday night office drinks and networking session for clients every quarter. However, we have delayed it this year for some time waiting on the completion of renovations of one of our toilets. So, as good as an occasion to celebrate the opening of our toilet as any, last Friday between 5:30pm – 8:30pm, we had a very successful gathering of some 40 clients plus staff in the office. Once again, my staff all pitched in and worked together to make the night a success. They not only prepared the food in our newly renovated kitchen, but also served it on almost a continuing basis, which gives them an opportunity to meet and mingle with our clients. We pride ourselves on the variety of our menus, which include tortillas and gazpacho prepared by Olga, my Spanish P.A., prawns, smoked salmon, rare roasted beef, chicken sandwiches, served together with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. My thanks go to, Alex Taylor, the son of Peter Taylor, one of our extremely good clients, for assisting with the bar.

The night was enjoyed by all, and happily we already know that a number of our clients are already discussing ways they can work together with some of our other clients. This is the prime functions of that evening, to put out our clients together for their mutual benefit, as well as enjoy their company.

 

 

 

Newsletter August 2017

  1. Risk Management
  2. Where a Company owes you money
  3. Migration – Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa
  4. Median House prices – 20 years of growth

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Message from Peter

We are drawing to the end of winter here in Melbourne and although I have recently returned from overseas, I understand it has been quite cold. Being Melbourne it does vary from day to day, or even hour to hour, much like our political and economic climate. We are living in times of political uncertainty on both domestic and international level, and that uncertainty always creates potential threats and corresponding opportunities.

Many of our clients both locally and internationally, will have read of the possibility of a property downturn and of the banks’ exposure to the property market. Like terrorism, it is always a possibility however, the fundamentals of investment really do not change. If you are looking for short term gains then clearly you are speculator and not an investor. The property market has always gone in a cycle and we seem to be experiencing at present a particularly long one. However, historically in any given ten-year period the price of property at the end of the cycle has shown a good return over almost any ten-year period. Certainly, there are from time to time peaks and troughs within that cycle. While we in no way hold ourselves out as investment advisors or financial planners it generally pays to hold a strategic long-term view, to diversify your investments geographically, by nature and type and to weigh up the risks and level of borrowings or gearing of those investments.

The old mantra profit follows risks should never be underestimated or forgotten. Nor should we ever expect good times to last forever. Having said that, those with access to cash in times of economic pressure are generally able to avail themselves of some excellent opportunities.

We welcome Natasha our new receptionist to our team, together with Irene Chen, Peter Nicholls and early next month, Andrea Lucas will join us to lead the property team.
When you next visit our office, we hope you will note some changes to our facilities and our technology. We are particularly excited about installation of a very large interactive touch screen in our boardroom for both client presentations and internal training purposes.

We also suggest that you have a look at our website which is being continually revised. Presently in English, Chinese and Indonesian. Shortly we will be adding further language options to our website as we diversify our client base even further to several European countries.

Our role as lawyers is to ensure that we meet your expectations as our clients and to provide to you a personal, pragmatic and cost-effective level of service. We welcome your comments and in these days where social media is playing an increasing important part- your google reviews.

Next time you are in our office, please make sure you make yourself known to me. I thank you for your support in the past and looking forward to being of service to you in the future.

 

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Risk Management 

All business carries an element of risk which cannot be avoided, however, it can be generally identified and then managed to minimise that risk. There are of course, many ways in doing this, and we are very happy to discuss with you and work with you to make an evaluation of those risks.

There are a number of ways of dealing with them, including appropriate legal structures and even considering specific insurance. Debtors are always an issue for most businesses, and in this newsletter, we have focused on where you may be owed money by a Company.

Where a Company owes you money

Under section 459E of the Corporations Act, a creditor can make a statutory demand on a company for payment of a debt that is over $2,000 and due and payable. The company that is served with a statutory demand have 21 days to apply to the Court to have it set aside.

A company is presumed to be insolvent if it fails to comply with the statutory demand or it fails to make an application to the Court within that time period to have it set aside. Once there is a presumption of insolvency, the creditor may commence proceedings to wind up the company. Therefore, if a company receives a statutory demand from a creditor, it must act fast and seek immediate legal advice.

If you are a creditor, Nevile & Co can assist you in preparing a statutory demand. The statutory demand must follow the form specified in the Corporations Act otherwise it will be susceptible to being challenged and set aside.

If you are a debtor company, it is very important that you contact us immediately. The statutory demand can be set aside on a number of grounds such as if the company has an offsetting claim against the creditor (which would reduce the debt to below the statutory minimum) or if there is a genuine dispute about the debt claimed. We will assess you position and advise you on the options available to you.

If you require further information, please contact one of our commercial lawyers Mr Meng Cheong.

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Migration

Subject to the passage of relevant legislation, should it be approved, the Government will introduce this visa in late 2017. The purpose of this Visa is designed to allow the parents of Australians to spend longer periods of time with their children in Australia.

FAQ’s – Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa –

What is the temporary sponsored parent visa?
• The new visa will allow Australians to sponsor their parents to stay in Australia for up to five years at a time.

Who is eligible to apply for a temporary sponsored parent visa?
• This new visa arrangement is for parents (biological or adoptive) and step-parents of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand Citizens.

• Only one set of parents per household (that is maximum two people) can be sponsored for this visa at a time.

What requirements must a parent meet to be granted a temporary sponsored parent visa?

To be granted a temporary sponsored parent visa, a person must satisfy a number of requirements, including:
• having their Australian child approved as a sponsor
• meet identity, health and character requirements
• not having an outstanding public health debt in Australia.

They will also be required to hold, and maintain, health insurance, from an Australian provider, valid for their intended period of stay in Australia.
How can I apply for this visa?

The new visa is proposed to be introduced in late 2017.

How will the temporary sponsored parent visa differ from existing parent visa arrangements?
• the sponsorship and visa applications will be assessed separately
• a person must be approved as a sponsor before a visa application can be made

What fees and charges will be applicable to this new visa? What will the ‘bond’ be set at?
The visa application charge for:
• a five year visa will be AUD10,000
• a three year visa will be AUD5,000.
There will be no financial bond for this visa.

How long will a temporary sponsored parent visa be valid for, and how many times will I be able to apply?
Once granted, the visa will be valid for either three or five years.
You can apply for, and be granted, this visa more than once but the maximum stay is 10 years in total.

Will there be an English language requirement?
No. There is no English language requirement.

Will holders of this visa be able to work, or study?
A parent(s) cannot work on this visa.
They will be able to undertake short term, informal study on this visa. If they wish to study a formal full-time course, they will need to apply for a Student Visa.

I want to sponsor my parents. How do I make a sponsorship application?
Applications for this new visa will be available online, through ImmiAccount. There will be no paper applications supporting this new visa.

What requirements must a sponsor meet?
• be a biological, adoptive, or a step-child of their parent
• provide valid evidence of their identity
• be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
• be 18 years or older
• have lived in Australia for at least four years
• meet a household income requirement
• meet character requirements
• accept legal liability for any outstanding public health debt their sponsored parent accrues.

Sponsors must also agree to undertake certain obligations in relation to those they are sponsoring.

For further enquiries of the above visa, please email jstone@nevile.com.au.

 

Median House prices – 20 years of growth

 1995                                                   2015

  • ACT –   $130,000                ACT –   $507,500
  • NSW – $157,000                NSW – $550,000
  • NT –     $135,000                NT –     $498,000
  • QLD –  $135,000                QLD –  $416,000
  • SA –      $  91,000                SA –     $368,000
  • TAS –  $   83,500                TAS –   $280,000
  • VIC –    $110,000                VIC –   $452,500
  • WA –    $  98,000                WA –    $495,000

 

Newsletter March 2017

  1. Off-the-plan dwellings that fail to settle are considered new properties
  2. Acquisition and Sale of Business
  3. Migration
  4. Risk Management
  5. Family Law / Wills & Estate Planning
  6. Putting the “Off” in Off-the-Plan Nominations

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Message from Peter Nevile

A Happy New Year to all our clients and colleagues and a Happy Chinese New Year to all our Chinese clients in the year of the Rooster.

We live in times where the only certainty seems to be the uncertainty of constant change. We need to expect the unexpected. Donald Trump being just one example. Disruptive technology continues to affect us all in one form or another. While we might sometimes long for the familiarity of the past we all need to adapt to and embrace the changes or risk being swept aside.

The law has traditionally been one area which is slow to change. The way we practice and provide our legal services to our clients today will be significantly different and perhaps even unrecognizable in ten years. We recognize this and have implemented a policy of constant change to provide the type and level of service to match our client’s changing expectations and requirements.

It is now a year since the firm moved its information technology systems completely into the Cloud. This has provided a better platform for the sharing of information between our members of staff to enable a better service to you our clients.  While it has on the whole been a smooth transition it has not been without issues. We are now on top of them!

Our website has been recently completely updated and is available in English, Chinese and Indonesian. We encourage you to visit us at www.nevile.com.au and click on the flags for other language versions. We also encourage you to REGISTER which will give you access to further information not available to the public at large including investment opportunities. We are moving to the next stage of development, where clients will be able will submit information to us online in a number of areas.

We have also appointed a Social Media consultant who has been working with us to improve our presence on a number of social media platforms. You can find us on Facebook and LinkedIn again by clicking on the icons on our website.

Our role as lawyers is principally as Risk Managers.  Life, marriage , children and death are all known risks.  Business has constant risk which cannot be removed.  However we can assist you to identify those risks , whether they be through Wills, Legal structures, Agreements or other actions . The risks can then be managed and generally minimized.

We look forward to provide support you our clients in the coming year.  We welcome your enquiries and are always happy to have initial discussions with you without fees about any issues which concern you. We do suggest you arrange such a discussion to review your areas of both personal and business risk.

We need to differentiate between practice of the law as a profession and the business of law. In the second area, we are enjoying some success in attracting Inbound Investment. We have introduced a number of wineries and agricultural properties to investors from overseas. We have a number of farms and also other investments available. Please do not hesitate to enquire if you have interest.

We look forward to spring, and oncoming summer, after what seemed to be a longer and colder winter this year.

Off-the-Plan dwellings that fail to settle are considered new properties

Changes implemented under the foreign investment framework will allow foreign buyers to purchase an off-the-plan dwelling when another foreign buyer has failed to reach settlement.

An apartment or house that has just been built, or is still under construction and for which the title has never changed hands, is not considered an established dwelling.

Therefore, in the event of a failure to complete settlement, the dwelling should revert to its previous status – that is, a new dwelling.

The changes are in response to developers who have experienced a rise in the default rate for settlement of off-the-plan property sales which in turn was a result of the big four banks clamping down on lending for foreign investors following several cases of fraudulent claims of income.

Foreign persons who apply to purchase a dwelling that is considered established, only due to a failed settlement, will be assessed as if it was a new dwelling.

This action will ensure that markets will not be impacted negatively by an increased amount of off-the-plan sales, particularly from foreign purchasers, not being completed.

If you require assistance with your purchase, or any clarification in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact Nevile & Co.

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Acquisition and Sale of Business

Nevile & Co. receive many requests to buy and sell businesses.

We have access to many types of businesses ranging from wineries and farms, through to commercial property purchases, throughout Australia.

Wineries

These range in value from $A 2M to $A 50M, and may include a cellar door, reception/conference/ accommodation and often, export licences.

Farms

These range in value from $A 5M to $A 100M, and can be cropping, grazing, dairy, or mixed activities.

Lifestyle Villages / Housing

Lifestyle Villages for over 55 is a rapidly growing business in Australia. This is a great opportunity for investors who would like to explore this niche of the market.

Details of a selection of these opportunities may also be viewed on our website www.nevile.com.au. For further enquiries of any of the above businesses, please email ken.matheson@nevile.com.au.

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Migration

Temporary and Permanent Work Visas – subclass 457
In our recent experience, it would appear that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is scrutinising visa applications for both subclasses of these visas more closely than previously.

In particular there is a requirement for the employer of some visa applicants to have paid training expenses in their business for the duration of their Sponsorship, for the training of Australian citizen and permanent resident employees.

In order to be granted a temporary work visa, the visa applicant has to locate an employer willing to nominate them for an occupation which is listed on a list called the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List. The list changes from time to time.

The sponsor must pay for training expenses under one of the 2 types of legislated Training Benchmarks-

(a) by paying 2% of their gross payroll (wages plus superannuation) to an industry training fund. The fund should offer training or studies in the area of work being undertaken by the employer; or

(b) 1% of their gross payroll for training courses, seminars, certain types of on the job training by trainers qualified to do this, and the like.

DIBP is presently more closely ensuring that employers are meeting this sponsorship obligation – at the time of sponsorship approval, sponsors agreed to be monitored by DIBP in relation to their various obligations. Employers are required to have met this training obligation for each year of their sponsorship, and provide actual invoices and receipts for payments of training expenses.

Failure to do this by a sponsor can lead to dire consequences, such as the sponsorship being cancelled, or the inability of employees to seek a permanent residence visa as their nominating sponsor has not met their earlier obligation. Employees who have been nominated for a temporary work visa, will have to either find another sponsor employer, or wait until their current proposed employer lodges and obtains a further Standard Business Sponsorship.

This all the more so, as Sponsorships are now granted for 5 years, as opposed to the previous 3 year period. An exception is that start up employers (who have been trading for less than 12 months), can only obtain a sponsorship for a period of 18 months.

Sponsorship periods can be extended by further Application.

Below is an excerpt from the DIBP website in relation to Sponsorship obligations –

Who monitors my sponsorship obligations?

We will monitor you to make sure you meet your sponsorship obligations.

You must comply with your obligations as a sponsor. We monitor your compliance with the sponsorship obligations and whether your visa holders are upholding their visa conditions.

We monitor you while you are a sponsor and for up to five years after you cease being a sponsor. We do this routinely and in response to information provided to us, and in three main ways:

  • writing to you to ask for information in accordance with the obligation to provide records and information
  • site visits, usually to the sponsored business premises, with or without notice
  • exchanging information with other Commonwealth, State and Territory Government agencies, including the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Department of Employment and the Australian Taxation Office.

Your compliance with the sponsorship obligations might be monitored by Immigration inspectors, Fair Work Inspectors or Fair Work Building Industry Inspectors, who have investigative powers under the Migration Act 1958. Failure to cooperate with inspectors is a breach of the sponsorship obligations.

For more information, contact jstone@nevile.com.au.

Interesting Migration Statistics

A report issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection indicates a high volume of Visas were granted during the Financial Year 2015 / 2016 –

Temporary Visas Granted                                                            7.7 million*

Visitor Visas granted                                                                               4.8 million

Student Visas granted (incl. student guardians)                              310,845

Working Holiday Maker Visas granted                                              214,583

Special Category (s/c 444) Visas granted                                          1.9 million

Maritime Crew and Transit Visas granted                                        345,873

Temporary Work (skilled) (s/c 457) Visas granted                            85,611

Temporary residents (other) Visas granted                                     130,807

Permanent Residency Visas granted                                                 190,000

Australian Citizenship                                                                           133,000

Humanitarian                                                                                          19,000

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Risk Management

What is PPSR?

PPSR is the national online database of security interests in personal property.  PPSR is a risk management tool that can help protect your business from risk. It also improves the ability of your business to use your property to secure lending to increase your available working capital.

What could happen if you decide not to register?

Having your rights in a contract, or relying simply on ownership (for example, in a lease), is no longer enough to protect your position. If you do not register your interest and the grantor (the person to whom your property was granted) becomes insolvent, your rights will be ineffective. Registered creditors will have priority, and you may lose rights to recover the goods or proceeds sold, leased or transformed.

How else can PPSR help your business?

PPSR makes it easier to use your assets to secure lending, as financiers can easily view interests registered against your assets when deciding whether to lend to you.  You can also register and offer a wide range of assets as security, as financiers will be able to register their interests on these assets.

What can you register? 

‘Personal property’ is all forms of property other than real estate, including goods, equipment and intellectual property.

‘Security interests’ are interests in personal property that secure payment of a debt or other obligation, regardless of the form of the transaction. Examples include mortgages over motor vehicles, and financing leases. Certain transactions are also deemed security interests by the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth), such as consignment arrangements.

How is PPSR relevant to you?

The PPSR is particularly relevant to businesses that are selling, hiring, renting or leasing on terms, or buying or selling valuable second-hand goods. It is also relevant for businesses wanting to raise finance using stock or other personal property as collateral.

How can PPSR protect your business? 

Buying goods

A search of PPSR will indicate if the goods are free from an existing security interest and thus, safe from possible repossession.

Selling on terms, such as retention of title or consignment, or hiring, renting or leasing out goods

Your business can register your interest in goods you have yet to receive payment for, helping you to recover the debt and lessen the risk of losing the goods if the customer does not pay, sells or leases the property. The PPSR also legally defines the priority of security interests, with a ‘first in, best dressed’ principle.

How much does it cost?

A PPSR search costs $3.40, while PPSR registration starts from $6.80 for a registration period of up to 7 years. Note that these prices are subject to change.

For more information on how Nevile & Co. can assist, please contact our solicitor Mr. Meng Cheong meng.cheong@nevile.com.au

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Family Law / Wills & Estate Planning

Can my step-child contest my Will?

The first hurdle to clear if someone wants to contest a Will is whether they are an ‘eligible person’ under the relevant legislation. A ‘step-child’ is specifically included in the list of such eligible persons in the law.
Seems straightforward? Think again. A recent case in the Supreme Court of Victoria (Bail v Scott-Mackenzie [2016] VSC 562) tackled the below thorny hypotheticals:

Hypothetical #1: what if you weren’t married to your partner? Does their child still count as your ‘step child’?

On the basis of the wording of the rest of the legislation, and the fact that it was drafted to reflect modern attitudes about relationships, the Court decided that a child is still considered a step-child even if the parent and their partner are in a de facto relationship, but not married.

Hypothetical #2: what if your partner, the biological parent of your step-child, died before you? Can your step-child still claim against your estate in this scenario?

On this question, the Court decided that a step-child can contest their step-parent’s Will if, at the time their natural parent died, they were in a still married or in a de facto relationship. In the recent case, this was decided even though the natural parent had died 15 years before the step-parent. If the married couple had divorced prior to the death of the natural parent, the step-child relationship would have ended.

It must be said that simply satisfying the ‘eligible person’ test isn’t a get out of jail free card for someone seeking to contest a Will. A claimant must also demonstrate, amongst other things, that the deceased had a moral duty to provide for them, and that they are in financial need.

So what?

The above case highlights a number of important factors in relation to estate planning for blended families:

  1. Ending a marriage or de facto relationship

If a married couple’s marriage has broken down irretrievably, as opposed to where the couple has separated with some hope of reconciliation, steps should be taken to obtain a divorce prior to death. Many couples simply don’t get around to it, notwithstanding that they may have finalised property matters between them through consent orders or a binding financial agreement.

While failing to divorce might sound harmless, as set out above it could make it easier for a step-child to contest a step-parent’s Will, and of course it also makes it easier for the spouse to contest the Will. Further, where the deceased failed to make a Will, the surviving spouse may be automatically entitled to a share of the estate, and even if they disclaim their interest, this usually has adverse tax consequences for the estate.

The situation is more complicated for those in unregistered de facto relationships. There are steps you can take, however, to more formally finalise your relationship.

2.  Thorough estate planning

It is crucial that partners in blended families carefully turn their mind to their estate planning. There are a number of mechanisms which can be used in Wills to assist in the wishes of the couple/step-parent being met, such Will contracts, or including reasons in the Will for leaving someone out.

Nevile & Co can assist you with all aspects of family law, including divorce or finalising a de facto relationship. We can also guide you, or you and your partner, through the estate planning process, ensuring that your unique familial circumstances and wishes are best accounted for in your Wills.

For more information about our family law services, contact David Dudderidge: david.dudderidge@nevile.com.au; and

for estate planning, contact Anna Goodluck: anna.goodluck@nevile.com.au

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Putting the “Off” in Off-The-Plan Nominations

The latest credit crunch on foreign investors has impacted the Victorian real estate market in a way seldom seen before. Many foreign investors who purchased a new property before registration of its plan of subdivision (“off-the-plan”) have resorted to on-sale transactions – more commonly known in Victoria as a nomination – to avoid failure to complete the purchase transaction.

To a purchaser, the financial benefits of being on the receiving end of such a nomination for an off-the-plan contract could be enticing: the promise of significant savings in stamp duty since the property was initially purchased off-the-plan; the willingness of the original purchaser to do away with part of their deposit; the avoidance of a long wait (perilous at times) for completion of an off-the-plan property.
Nomination transactions may have its redeeming qualities – but do nominees know what they have just signed up for?

Contract or No Contract?

The power to nominate another purchaser in a contract of sale, does not create contractual obligations between the Vendor and the nominee.

The original purchaser remains liable to complete the contract. Save and except where there is direct involvement between the Vendor and the Nominee, the Nominee cannot enforce any contractual obligations against the Vendor, his remedy is against the original purchaser.

The Victorian Supreme Court made this clear in the case of Commissioner of State Revenue v Politis:

…any interest the nominee may have in the land is one which derives from the [original] purchaser, and relevantly the most that can be said is that the nominee may acquire an interest in the land equivalent to that which the [original] purchaser had or would have had under the contract of sale.

Some nomination clauses do result in the substitution of the nominee for the [original] purchaser. But even there the nominee would not acquire the [original] purchaser’s rights under the contract. The substitution of the nominee for the [original] purchaser would work a novation of the agreement…

So, the nominee does not have a contract with the Vendor – but at most, has merely obtained the right to complete the existing contract as a substitute for the original purchaser.

Significant Stamp Duty Savings?

Section 31 of Duties Act 2000 (VIC) provides that nominees taking an interest in land do not attract additional duty UNLESS the transaction are of a certain type – one of these transaction which will incur additional duty is a transfer involving additional consideration.

Additional consideration is the amount of monetary consideration (or the value of non-monetary consideration) that exceeds the consideration given or to be given to the Vendor under the contract of sale. Certain defined costs are not included as additional consideration (e.g. legal costs, selling agent’s commission, and survey and valuation fees) as they represent reimbursements of the costs of on-sale.

The below scenario is one that we frequently encounter at Nevile & Co: –

  • The Vendor agrees to transfer land to Bill (the original Purchaser) under a contract of sale; and
  • Bill passes on its right to take a transfer of the land to Bob (the Nominee); and
  • Bob pays Bill additional consideration for that right; and
  • The Vendor transfers the land to the Bob.

The transfer will be treated as a dutiable transaction. It is immaterial that the nominee obtained the transfer right by nomination.

Separate duty will be levied on Bill on the dutiable value of the Contract (as if it had been completed) AND on Bob, stamp duty will be assessed on the whole dutiable value of the subsequent transaction – not just on the value of the additional consideration.

Bob will be surprised by how much stamp duty he now must pay.

What can Nominees do to Protect their Interest?

These suggestions may be cliché; however, they will stand test of time:

  1. Have a lawyer or licensed conveyancer represent you

Obtaining professional advice and having the contract reviewed by a lawyer or licensed conveyancer is imperative to avoiding pitfalls and surprises. The last thing you would want as a nominee is having no contractual right against the Vendor and also ineffective representation to assist you to complete the nomination process.

  1. Stop paying too much

          Quite literally.

Some nominees are willing to pay “a little extra” to obtain “that better lot” they missed out on obtaining when it was first released. That “little bit more” may end up costing you a whole lot more on stamp duty.

Nevile & Co can assist you with all aspects of property law, including conveyancing or contractual advice. We can also guide you through the conveyancing process, ensuring that your unique circumstances and wishes are best accounted for.

For more information about our property law services, contact our team at property@nevile.com.au. Alternatively, please feel free to visit our website at www.nevile.com.au to learn more.

 

Newsletter November 2016

1. Nevile & Co. New Website Relaunch
2. Interns @ Nevile & Co.
3. Migration – New Subclass 188 Entrepreneur and Start-up Visa
4. Property Division in short-term relationships: Where do you stand?
5. Privacy Policy
6. Property – Dramatic Changes in the Property Law for Foreign Purchasers
7. Start-ups
8. Staff Activities – Chilli Sauce


Nevile & Co. New Website Relaunch

We are delighted to announce the re-launch of our Website. Despite having firewalls and anti-hacker protection, we were hacked and saw it an excellent opportunity to to re-do our Website with a new look. Our thanks go to Bill Nixon with his company TaDah Data Pty Ltd and to the photographer he introduced, Malorie Raymakers.

Our Website is up and running in English, Chinese and Indonesian and we will continue to add to its functionality. Shortly, we anticipate providing short videos introducing each of the professional staff as well as paralegals followed by the introduction of Forms which can be completed online and submitted directly to us.

We would appreciate any comments from our clients as to any aspect of the Website, particularly where you believe we can improve our service to you.


Interns @ Nevile & Co.

georgia-reid

Georgia Reid came to us as an intern for a period of 6 weeks from June 20th, 2016 to July 27th, 2016. We were approached by Intern Australia, who had provided us previously with an intern from Italy. Following several Skype interviews, and receipt of a short video from her, about her and her family background which we require from all interns, we employed Georgia.

We endeavour to provide our interns with as wide a range of experience as possible, including responsibility for preparation of draft documentation, attending Court hearings, participation in commercial matters including commercial litigation, Court hearings, property matters, estate planning, family law and migration.

Georgia was a delight to have in the office, she has a wonderful personality, is enthusiastic, motivated and highly intelligent. I have no reservations that she will do well in her chosen profession.

Georgia comments about her internship.

 

 

During June and July of this year, I had the great privilege of joining the team at Nevile & Co. as an intern.

I had travelled from the other side of the globe, from Scotland to arrive in Melbourne. I would be part of the firm for six weeks.

For the duration of these six weeks I learnt such valuable skills that will stay with me for the rest of my legal career.

From the outset, I was made to feel like a valuable member of this hardworking team. Every day was different from the previous. In my time there, I spent some time at court and having my first experience at a settlement. It was great on these days to discover the great city that Melbourne is. Other days were spent in the office researching and putting together important letters and documents. All of this experience will be hugely beneficial as I prepare to undertake my third year at university.

Every person at this firm is so enthusiastic about what they do but they also have so much time to give to the people who they surround themselves with at work. It is such a fantastic and friendly firm, and I could not thank everyone there enough for all of their help and support whenever it was required.

I have not only gained new and expanded knowledge of a different legal system, I have also made great friendships.

I felt so welcomed and part of the team that it was very difficult to say goodbye.


Migration – New Subclass 188 Entrepreneur and Start-up Visa Available

Effective as of September 10th, 2016

To encourage Entrepreneurs and Start-up businesses in Australia, the Australian Government has added a new stream to the existing subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa. You can apply for this visa if:

  • You have lodged an Expression of Interest in SkillSelect
  • You have secured a minimum of AUD$200,000 from an authorised investor/entity and which innovative idea will lead to a business activity in Australia (certain types of business are excluded).
  • You must be under 55 years of age (exceptions may apply). Have a competent level of English and have at least 30% interest in the entrepreneur venture.
  • You have been nominated by a State or Territory Government
  • You have received an invitation to apply for this visa.
  • Other requirements depend on the stream you listed in your Expression of Interest.
  • This is a Temporary Visa granted for 4 years. Thereafter, you will be eligible for permanent residence via subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa. If you can meet filters such as business turnover, employment of Australians and ability to obtain Significant Financial Banking.
  • You must have a business plan outlining plans for the venture in Australia.
  • The venture must not be related to residential real estate, or labour hire, or involve purchasing an existing business or franchise

For more information contact jstone@nevile.com.au or go to Live In Victoria .


Property division in short-term relationships: Where do you stand?

It was meant to be forever. Turns out forever was closer to 18 months. But it’s not always as simple as calling the removalists and downloading Tinder. Even short-term relationships can lead to complex wrangling over property in the Family Court. Find out where you stand in our October newsletter.

Property division in short-term relationships: Where do you stand?

It was meant to be forever. Turns out forever was closer to 18 months. But it’s not always as simple as calling the removalists and downloading Tinder. Even short-term relationships can lead to complex wrangling over property in the Family Court.

But we weren’t married and don’t have kids!

If your de facto relationship (with no kids) lasted at least 2 years, then the Family Law Act applies to property division. This is also the case for same-sex de facto couples. However, the court may be able to make an exception for relationships of less than 2 years duration, provided an Applicant can prove:

1. That there was a relationship

Time is not the only factor used to determine the existence of a relationship (in the absence of official paperwork). The Court can also consider other aspects such as: your living arrangements, whether there was sexual involvement and whether others considered you a couple.

And, (in accordance with s.90SB of the Family Law Act), that:

2. That the party seeking the orders has made substantial contributions

This means the Applicant has to prove that, during the relationship, he or she made substantial contributions to the acquisition, and/or maintenance and/or improvement of assets. This could include real estate, bank accounts, shares, vehicles and superannuation. And;

3. A failure to make the orders sought would result in serious injustice to that party.

What the Court needs to see is that it would be manifestly unfair not to make an order. This involves providing evidence that not having the matter heard in the Family Court would likely cause the Applicant future suffering. An Applicant may also have to prove that there is no alternative or more appropriate venue to deal with the case.

Assuming a relationship is proven, if the court is not satisfied of points 2 and 3 means the Court does not have jurisdiction under the Family Law Act and the Application will be dismissed. (We’ll get to the issue of legal costs another time!) If the Application is rejected, the case could still proceed in a different jurisdiction, e.g. the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal, where different legislation will apply.

If the Family Court accepts the case, then it can proceed through the system as per other cases. However, allowing a claim to proceed, doesn’t necessarily mean a claim will succeed.

A Hypothetical – Are you Sam or Alex?

Shortly after starting a relationship, Alex moves into Sam’s place. Sam and Alex share expenses and mortgage payments initially. Then, Sam’s family law property settlement requires her to re-finance her home (formerly her marital home) so she can buy-out her ex-husbands. Unfortunately, Sam is unable to obtain finance, so Alex kindly offers to obtain the loan.

Alex then begins making all the repayments, and they both share household expenses. After 21 months, sadly, the relationship comes to an end. The house is in Sam’s name, however, the mortgage is in Alex’s name.

Alex wants the money back that he paid towards the mortgage.

Sam doesn’t think he’s owed anything, after all, he had to live somewhere.

Are you Sam or Alex?

This is just one of many examples which we can help you with.

How do I avoid this legal nightmare?

Nobody wants to think about breaking up when they’re giddy on dopamine. But if you’re currently in a new relationship where s.90SB of the Family Law Act could apply, then consider sitting down with David Dudderidge to discuss how to best protect your assets and/or simplify any future split.

On the flipside, contact David if you’re parting ways with a short-term domestic partner and want to clarify what your options are.

Nevile & Co.’s David Dudderidge practices in all areas of Family Law, including cases such as these. With years of experience to draw from, he’s helped clients to preserve property and receive their proper entitlements.

For assistance with your family law matters, whether it be property, parenting or divorce, please contact David on:
03 9664 4700
david.dudderidge@nevile.com.au
0412 621 075 (SMS)


Privacy Policy

Did your business make more than $3mil last financial year? If so, you are required by law to have an up-to-date Privacy Policy. Even if not, a Privacy Policy should be part of every business’ best practice model and customer service strategy. We can help you.

A Privacy Policy is a document which explains to the public how your business handles ‘personal information’ that it holds about individuals. Personal information is simply information that could be used to identify someone, for example, their name, email address, or a photo.

If your business doesn’t meet its obligations in relation to privacy, monetary penalties can be imposed against it under the Privacy Act 1988. However, particularly in our ever-evolving environment of rapid information-sharing and internet security concerns, it is also crucial from a customer service perspective that you can communicate to your clients clearly about how you will collect, use and store their personal information.

To set up a Privacy Policy, or to obtain further advice about your obligations, contact Anna Goodluck via email or call 03 9664 4700.


Property – Dramatic changes in the property law landscape for foreign purchasers

It is important that you are aware of these changes and how these changes apply to your transactions in order to provide you with efficient and accurate advice now and in the future.

Stamp duty – Victoria

The additional stamp duty payable by a foreign purchaser has increased in Victoria from 3% to 7% from 1 July 2016.

This means that a foreign purchasers acquiring (signing a contract) residential property on or after 1 July 2016 must pay additional duty in additional to the normal land transfer duty on the dutiable value of the property. The additional stamp duty will also apply to any arrangement or transactions that involves the transfer of an interest in residential property to a foreign purchaser such as nominations.

It is interesting to note that other states, such as Queensland, are following suit with the introduction of an additional 3% stamp duty applicable to acquisition of residential land by foreign persons from 1 October 2016.For further details on how changes to stamp duty impacts on your purchase, please contact our office.

Verification of identity requirements

From 9 November 2015, new verification of identity requirements come into effect for persons who wishing to lodge registrable instruments or dealings in paper form at Land Victoria.

This requirement applies regardless of whether you are purchasing or selling a property. The Verification of Identity can be done through a number of ways, including in person at the Australia Post Office or in person at our office. For further details on the Verification of Identity procedure, please contact our office.

Absentee owner surcharge

From 1 January 2016, an absentee owner surcharge applies to Victorian land owned by an absentee owner. This surcharge will increase from 0.5% to 1.5% from 1 January 2017. If you are an absentee owner at 32 December, the surcharge will apply in the following land tax year.
For more details on the absentee owner surcharge and how it may apply to you, please contact our office.

Foreign resident capital gains withholding payments

The government has introduced a 10% non-final withholding tax on payments made to foreign residents who dispose of certain taxable Australia property.

This is applicable to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2016. This means that where foreign residents dispose of property, the purchaser will be required to withhold 10% of the purchase price and pay that amount to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

If, however, the property transaction has a market value of less than $2million, the new withholding requirements will not apply. Similarly, if a clearance certificate confirming that the withholding tax is not to be withheld from the transaction is obtained by the vendor, the purchaser is not required to withhold an amount from the purchase price.

For further details on the effects of the new withholding tax requirement and how it may affect your sale, please contact our office.

For any other property related enquiries please do not hesitate to contact our office.


Start – ups

The firm had a policy for many years of assisting start-ups in a diverse range of businesses –

We have acted for many start-ups over the years, and continue to act for them. We understand that in almost every start up there will be a great deal of pain to be suffered in getting a new concept off the ground and through to commercial exploitation.

We have been involved in start-ups as diverse as the Colonial Tramcar Company with its now multiple award winning Restaurant Trams to films, “The Man from Snowy river” being one example, the gaming industry and breakthrough medical devices. The major qualities required would appear to be passion, persistence and planning.

We have a policy with start-ups that provided we share the passion, then we are also willing to share the pain. In short, we will provide advice and assistance in planning, in particular legal structures, documentation and commercial advice based on many years of experience, at very reduced and in some cases, a deferred fee on the basis we will also show in the gains. Clearly, a risky business but it has proved to be interesting professionally and at times a lot of fun. Who knows, we may even make a profit.


Staff Activities – Chilli Sauce

chilli-sauce

A number of our staff joined with me at my warehouse to make some 450 bottles of chilli sauce. We make this for our clients so please do not hesitate to request a jar when next you come to the office. Be warned – it is HOT!