Legal Elements is a highly experienced and trusted Brisbane Law Firm. What we do best is provide solid, understandable practical legal advice by lawyers. Whether you’re buying a home or investment property or selling your home, we can help. If you need a will or have a small business and need advice our law firm can assist you.
Our main practice areas are:
Property Conveyancing: (Real Estate – residential & investment).
Small to Medium Business (buying & selling, leasing, asset management).
Wills & Estates (Wills, Probate & Administration).
We also cover the related areas such as:
Self Managed Superfunds, Mortgages, Body Corporate, Title transactions & Duties.
We firmly believe in providing fixed fees so that there are no surprises and quite often we do not charge for our professional fees on a failed / terminated conveyance. Preferring to continue to build our relationship with you and move on to your next property transaction as we understand that buying or selling a property has many transitions before completion.
What Our Clients Say
As a previous client of ‘The Legal Elements’, I can honestly say they are a very professional and efficient team.
Full explanation of the issues are offered in ‘user friendly’ terms. All matters are dealt with in a direct, courteous manner. I have no hesitation in recommending their services.
I work in a busy property practice and have referred Legal Elements hundreds of files. We recommend Legal Elements as they provide excellent personal service, high quality work and at a very competitive price.
I’ve dealt with many other law firms, including prominent conveyancing practices that have large marketing budgets on radio and TV. I’d use Legal Elements every time and not looked back.
I’ve used Legal Elements on two occasions for two separate investment properties and was extremely pleased with them including their pricing and customer service in both instances. All my follow up questions were answered promptly and settlements occurred swiftly and without any issues. I’d be confident in recommending them to anyone who requires a solicitor for property related purposes.
I deal with the Legal Elements team as part of my full-time job, so when it came time to purchase an Investment Property – I had no hesitation in contacting Brendon & the team to assist me with the purchase.
All of the staff are friendly and helpful – even with my complex purchase, involving Trust Deeds!
I am happy to work with Legal Elements and also would have no hesitation in recommending them to family / friends.
Thank you Brendan and the Legal Element team.
I had the privilege of your team completing the settlement of my property which wasn’t as straight forward as I thought.
With the death of my Dad and his past properties it was apparent the Estate hadn’t taken him off the previous properties which meant these had to be sorted first before the sale of mine.
Dad and his wife had invested in the property with me before his death and the great part to Legal Elements was the efficiency in notifying and corresponding with me during the process. Making sure all the title transfers happened and sorting out Estate (which was meant to happen 4 yrs prior) and have settlement within the 30 days.
Brendan, Thank you and will happily refer all our future property deals to Legal Elements especially our friends, Clients and family as I know this side of property will get sorted with professionalism.
Legal matters are often confusing and the outcomes can deeply affect your life. It’s important that you have a clear understanding of what’s going on and what your options are so that you can make the best decisions for yourself, your family and your business.
Our Brisbane law firm can help you with a wide range of legal situations, including:
Our law firm doesn’t just offer basic legal services, we also offer:
- No exorbitant sundries charges – we’re not going to pad out your bill with photocopying fees.
- Fixed Fees – we offer and prefer fixed fee peace of mind where ever possible.
- Costs agreements on matters where professional fees are over $1,500.00 so that you know how much you’re up for before we begin the work.
- Extended & after hours consultations (at no additional cost) – we know you’re just as busy as we are.
- Mobile service (at no additional cost) – we’ll meet you locally wherever is convenient including at home, in hospital and at your office.
- Family friendly appointments – we’re happy if you bring the kids along or that we meet at a kid friendly location.
- Jargon free legal advice (we talk to you).
Conveyancing at a Glance
Conveyancing is quite complex and involves around 20 different pieces of legislation both State and Federal. The Property Occupations Act (POA) came into effect in late 2014 to update and address numerous issues in previous legislation.
A brief summary of relevant changes to property buyers and sellers are:
- Developers and their employee’s will no longer be required to hold a Real Estate Licence.
- A corporate Real Estate Agency no longer requires a Director to hold a Real Estate Licence but does require a Licenced Real Estate Agent to be employed by the Company
- The old Form 27c (Agent Disclosure), Form 30 (Warning Statement) and BCCM Form 14 (Body Corporate Warning Statement), will no longer be required.
- A new Form 8 (Agent Disclosure) is required where an agent is involved in the transaction.
- A disclosure to the effect that there is a 5 Business Day Cooling Off period and may be subject to a termination penalty must be provided on the Buyer signing page of the Contract.
- The Conveyancing Contract cannot be terminated for; fail to make the disclosure, but there will be a penalty/fine to the party failing to make the disclosure by legislation.
- The old Form 32a Lawyers Certificate and waiving or shortening of Cooling Off Period no longer required – waiving or shortening can be done by written notice.
- A deposit of 20% can be required on “off the plan contract” without it becoming an instalment Contract.
- Buyer deposits must be held in a Solicitor or Real Estate Agent trust account – Developers or Seller’s can no longer hold deposits.
- Where a deposit is potentially in dispute, then a 60 Day notice must be given before releasing the deposit.
Most people will first see a contract when dealing with a property agent. The contract you sign is your offer to purchase the property on your terms such as the price, amount of deposit, finance period, building & pest period, any special conditions and length of settlement (settlement date).
Remember that the more terms in the contract, the more protected a buyer is in the process (with potential “get out” opportunities) and the less terms the better the offer looks to the seller in regards to acceptance.
It is up to the seller whether or not they accept your terms or make a counter offer on price or terms. The negotiation sometimes can go back and forth a few times until an agreement has been reached and the contract has been signed by both parties. The contract is then dated and is “on foot”.
You may have lined up a solicitor before the contract entering into the contract with the seller. If this is the case it is normally a good idea to have the agent send a copy of it to your solicitor before signing to make sure there are no issues.
In some contracts it may be prudent to have a number of special conditions which may benefit the buyer or the seller or both. An example is that you may need to sell a house you currently live in or may have sold your current house but still need it to go to settlement before you can complete settlement on the new house you are buying.
Likewise a seller may need a special condition where they need the approval of their mortgagee (lender) that the security (mortgage) will be released for settlement. Often the agent will have “model” special conditions they will insert for you or otherwise contact our office and we can assist you further.
Cooling Off Period
For consumer protection there is a 5 business day cooling off period on the conveyancing contract as required under legislation. The cooling off period commences on the day that the “seller signed contract” has been received by the buyer or buyer’s solicitor and then ends at 5:00pm on the fifth business day.
During the cooling off period you can end the property conveyancing contract with no reason given, however you may have to pay a termination penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price which the seller is entitled to claim under legislation.
Sometimes to sweeten the offer to a seller, the cooling off period can be waived in writing (current PAMDA requirement is for a Form 32a solicitor certificate to be used). This is the buyer’s choice to waive and it is also their right to keep a cooling off period in place.
The deposit amount on the contract can be any amount offered by the buyer as part of their terms. Generally there will be an initial deposit then a balance deposit (usually after finance has been satisfied). There can be no deposit at all, both deposits or one or the other deposit, it depends on the offer made by the buyer.
Normal practice is that the total combined deposit amounts do not exceed 10% (this will extended up to 20% under POA commencement for “off the plan” contracts in the near future). Remember that a seller may have their mind set on a certain deposit being offered as your commitment. Brisbane Real Estate Agents will normally look for a deposit amount that shows your genuine interest in the property and usually sufficient to cover their commission with the seller at settlement.
Deposits are refundable to the buyer where contracts have been ended under a clearly worded special condition to the same effect, finance or building & pest provisions. Where special conditions have not been clearly worded in relation to termination and return of deposits, a dispute can arise between the parties.
A finance period may be inserted in the contract, this can be any period as part of your offer to purchase the property. Commonly in Queensland we see 14 or 21 day finance periods. If you are not pre-approved with your lender for finance we recommend the longer period.
The Buyer must reasonably take steps to obtain finance. Some contracts will create an obligation on the Buyer to provide evidence of finance rejection in order to terminate the contract pursuant to finance.
In Queensland, where finance has not been approved to your satisfaction by the due date, the seller may grant an extension. There is no guarantee that an extension will be granted and the seller has the right to terminate after the expiry of the finance approval date.
Conveyancing for property transactions:
Your solicitor will do all things normally required to conduct the conveyance of the property such as briefly exampled below:
Advise on contract terms & conditions
Confirm relevant contract dates such as cooling off, building & pest, finance, any special condition dates and settlement date
Obtain your instruction on relevant contract dates such as building & pest, finance, any special condition dates before acting to satisfy or terminate
Conduct property searches during the conveyance
Liaise with your lender/finance broker
Calculate settlement figures including duty payable
Attend to duty assessment and any documentation required to claim a reduction (where entitled)
Prepare Transfer documentation
Lodge a settlement notice (where required)
Direct you on equity funds required into a trust account (where required)
Arrange cheque directions with your lender
Finalise and attend settlement
Notify the agent that settlement has been completed so that you can collect the keys (usually the agent will hold the keys)
Legal Elements is Brisbane Law Firm also specialising in Estate Planning. Our estate-planning practice covers a range of areas that impact your life in critical ways. Our expertise in these areas goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to looking out for your best interest and making sure your wishes are carried out down to the smallest detail. Areas of service include:
Amazingly, studies show that nearly half of Australians do not have a will—a scenario that is potentially disastrous and easily avoidable.
Some common myths include, “I don’t have a lot of assets, so it doesn’t really matter”; or “the courts and my family can sort it out easily enough.”
The truth is, drafting a will—and updating it if your circumstances or wishes change—is important for everyone, saving your heirs legal hassles, lost time and uncertainty at what is already a difficult time. And it’s the only way to make sure your wishes regarding your assets are honoured in your absence.
We structure discretionary and family trusts for a number of clients for purposes of minimising tax burdens, providing shared income for family members, or protecting assets.
We’ll talk through your questions, needs and concerns to help you decide whether setting up a trust is a smart answer for your circumstances and draft the type of trust that best
meets your needs in full accordance with financial and legal requirements.
Succession Planning In Business
Without proper succession planning, few businesses survive the departure of the owner. Instead, power struggles, infighting and legal challenges undermine the hard work you put into building your business.
We are here to advise you about all of your succession options—and there are many, including selling or gifting the business if there is no clear successor— and ultimately prepare and implement a sound plan for your business after your departure.
Power Of Attorney
There are a variety of reasons you might need of a power of attorney. Depending on the type and the circumstances, it’s usually advisable to seek professional legal advice to draft the one that best meets your needs.
There are three types of powers of attorney used in Queensland: general power of attorney, enduring power of attorney and advanced health directive. Because it’s no small matter to entrust your personal affairs to another party, we will talk with you in detail to understand your needs and wishes and draft documents that are in your best interest.
Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF)
If you don’t understand what a self-managed super fund (SMSF) does or why you might need one, you’re not alone. For many of our clients, an SMSF is an excellent strategic retirement vehicle, offering more investment options than other super funds and the ability to combine assets with partners or family members. As with any investment, there are tax implications to be considered as well as other legal regulations pertaining to SMSFs, so we would love to talk with you about the benefits of an SMSF and whether or not it’s right for you.
At Legal Elements our Brisbane Law Firm also specialises in legal advice for local small business. Our clients start their own businesses to follow their passions—not to get bogged down with legal issues. Whether you’re considering starting a business or already have one that’s rapidly growing, we work with clients in all types of industries to meet their legal needs, anticipate future needs and protect against future legal problems.
The Legal Elements law team provides small-business legal services in the following areas:
Starting A Business
We will work with you from day one as you’re laying the groundwork for your business. How do you want to structure the business to create a strong framework for success? Have you taken steps to protect your intellectual property, trademarks and patents? Are you in legal compliance with tax, employment, workers’ compensation and related areas? We can walk you through these areas and more.
Buying A Business
When you’re considering buying a business, we will advise you of all legal considerations and options available to you during the purchase process and beyond.
Buying an established business can have a lot of advantages, such as existing client relationships, long-term contracts, and name recognition. But you need business lawyers who will look out for your interests to make sure you’re getting a fair deal through valuation of existing business assets, advising you of all tax considerations, negotiating lease terms, transferring all applicable licenses, organising and attending the settlement, and much more.
Our business lawyers are experienced in all areas of commercial law, saving you time and money by taking care of existing legal needs while also taking a proactive approach to prevent legal complications in the future.
If you’re purchasing or selling property; restructuring; need help resolving disputes; planning for succession; or any other issues related to commercial law, we can help. We pride ourselves on building long-term relationships with our commercial clients, providing our services at a reasonable price and always being available to discuss your needs and concerns.
Retail And Commercial Leasing
When you’re considering entering into a new lease for retail or commercial property, you need experienced lawyers to look out for your interests. We will provide solid legal advice to make sure the decision is sound for your business and the terms of the lease are well understood and fair.
This includes drafting and reviewing every detail of retail and commercial leases; providing insurance-coverage advice; resolving disputes and much more.
Selling Or Buying A Business
When you buy or sell a business, The Legal Elements team is here to advise you on all the legal issues involved, protect your rights and see the deal through to your complete satisfaction.
Whether you are the buyer or seller, we will help you every step of the way—from structuring the sale and payments; assessing the value of the business and its assets; understanding obligations to current employees; and negotiating non-compete clauses as well as dozens of other areas where having sound legal advice is essential. Our expertise can save you money and headaches down the road.