We offer you a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.
Our team of highly experienced business lawyers provide professional legal advice to all business ranging from start up and small business all the way through to large corporations.
We have experience with some of the world’s leading companies and brands. Our clients have remained loyal to the firm and we are proud to have developed long term relationships based on trust and professionalism.
We provide the full range of legal services for businesses in a very cost effective manner. Our lawyers will get the job done at a considerable saving compared to large city firms.
Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.
Major Corporation and Joint Venture Experience
Brander Smith McKnight has experience with businesses at all levels including major corporations, large joint venture projects and government bodies. We provide a responsive, client focussed and cost effective legal service including contract drafting and advice, dispute resolution and litigation, property transactions and compliance issues.
Our lawyers have negotiated and drafted contracts for joint venture projects worth over $1 billion (Barclay Mowlem) and $1 billion (Surat Basin Rail Joint Venture). We have provided legal advice to Sydney Airport Corporation regarding runway extensions, the Victorian Government regarding competition law and rail access for essential services and Sydney Ports Corporation regarding the extension of Port Botany. Our lawyers have the expertise required to provide legal services to major corporations. We have drafted policies, procedures and contracts for the major German firm Henkel who owns brands such as Omo, Schwarzkopf and Loctite. We provide all legal advice for Henkel throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Brander Smith McKnight have the experience, dedication and knowledge to provide premium legal advice at a considerable saving compared to large city firms.
Business Start Up
Starting a business can be a stressful and daunting process. Our business and commercial team have over 40 combined years of experience and will help you navigate this process. We will tailor legal advice and assistance in relation to contracts, employees, business structures and legal requirements. Our lawyers are able to mitigate business risks and optimise the commercial success of your business.
Business contracts are an essential aspect of business and commercial transactions. BSM Lawyers can draft, review, amend, negotiate and enforce business contracts. We will advise you regarding your legal rights and responsibilities.
Having a lawyer negotiate the terms of your business contract will protect you from unfair and unreasonable terms which if left unchecked can cause future financial losses. BSM Lawyers will fiercely advocate for you and protect your business and commercial interests.
Having an effectively drafted business contract is an important step in managing business risks, protecting your commercial interests and avoiding potential disputes. A comprehensive and legally effective business contract will clearly define the rights and obligations of the parties, ensuring future enforceability and appropriately allocate risks between the parties to the agreement. The lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight Sydney lawyers have over 40 combined years of experience and are experts at drafting contracts.
Review of Contracts
Our lawyers are happy to review business contracts prior to you signing and being bound by their terms. We can identify problematic clauses and ensure that you understand the terms and the legal rights and responsibilities it creates. This will help avoid future legal problems.
Brander Smith McKnight can assist with enforcing the terms and conditions of your business contract. Where a commercial contract has been breached, we can pursue a number of courses including damages and injunctions. Our highly effective lawyers will fight for your rights.
Types of Business Contracts
Examples of different types of business contracts that our lawyers negotiate, draft, review and enforce are shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, distribution agreements, import/export, lease agreements, finance agreements, service agreements, supply agreements and major transactions. We recognise the unique issues which pertain to the various types of business contracts and tailor our advice accordingly.
Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.
Different business structures have different advantages and disadvantages. The lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight can assess the suitability of different types of structures for your business and advise you on the most appropriate. The common business structures in Australia are sole traders, partnership, companies and trusts.
This business structure is operated by an individual who is considered entirely responsible for the business. This structure offers a high degree of control over the business and is both simple and inexpensive to establish. However, there is some risk associated with this structure as the sole trader will be personally responsible for all of the business’ legal liabilities and debts. This structure can also limit business growth and flexibility. The lawyers at BSM can discuss the pros and cons of being a sole trader and also advise on legal registration and record keeping requirements.
A partnership is a business structure which has two or more people/entities carrying out a business together. Parties to a partnership take joint responsibility for the business and its debts and liabilities. A partnership is also a relatively inexpensive and uncomplicated business structure to establish. Partnerships may be established either informally or formally with a written agreement. Our business and commercial lawyers can advise you on the obligations of a partnership including legal, reporting, registration and tax.
A company is a separate legal entity, meaning that it has its own legal standing and responsibilities. This means that there is reduced risk as the members and shareholders have limited liability. Furthermore, a company has access to increased opportunities to raise capital, for instance through the sale of shares. Setting up and operating a company is more complex and expensive compared to some other business structures. It is important to seek premium legal advice when setting up a company. There are unique legal, record keeping, reporting and tax obligations that must be complied with. Our team at BSM Sydney have extensive experience in company law.
A trust is a business structure which has a trustee manage a business for the benefit of certain beneficiaries. There are various kinds of trusts including fixed unit and discretionary trusts and they may offer financial and asset protection. It is important to appreciate that trustees and beneficiaries have various legal rights and obligations. Our lawyers can advise if a trust is suitable for your business structure and assist with the registration process.
Advice for Directors
A director is an officer or officers of a company that has responsibilities, powers and legal obligations in relation to the management of the company. The lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight can provide you with advice about director’s fiduciary duties, arising from relationships of trust and confidence between people, as well as legal duties, outlined in legislation and derived from common law. The duties include to act in good faith and in the best interest of the company, to exercise powers for proper purposes, to retain discretion, to avoid conflicts of interest, to exercise care and diligence, to prevent insolvent trading and to not prejudice creditor interests.
There are serious legal consequences for directors who fail to comply with their legal duties, including financial penalties, disqualification and imprisonment. The gravity of these penalties highlights the importance of seeking legal advice when faced with issues relating to directors duties. BSM lawyers can also provide you with circumstantially appropriate advice about how directors rights and duties change depending on a company’s solvency.
Advice for Shareholders
Shareholders in a company have rights defined by legislation, company constitutions and shareholder agreements. Our business and commercial lawyers can provide advice regarding your rights as a shareholder including how to enforce and protect them. Shareholders may also seek legal advice in relation to a breach of director’s duties or a business decision they disagree with. Having comprehensive and effective shareholder agreements and company constitutions is a highly effective way to mitigate the risk of shareholder issues and disputes.
Legal disputes commonly arise in the business and commercial context. Disputes can include issues relating to business contracts, employment disagreements, shareholder disagreements, quality of products and debt recovery. Our lawyers are highly experienced in all facets of dispute resolution. We will calmly and confidently advocate for you and negotiate with the opposing side, including during formal mediation, conciliation and arbitration. We have extensive experience and understand the legal intricacies and processes. Our emphasis is on settling disputes without the need for expensive litigation. However, if litigation is required, our lawyers have outstanding advocacy experience in all tribunals and courts including the Local Court, District Court, Supreme and Federal Court.
Bankruptcy and Insolvency
Bankruptcy and insolvency are similar actions where debts are ordered to be paid by the court. Bankruptcy is legislated by the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) and applies to individuals, not companies. Where a judgement debt is greater than $10,000, the debtor can be bankrupted for failure to make a payment. The process involves serving a bankruptcy notice on the debtor, allowing them 21 days to make payment. If the debtor fails to pay, they have committed a failure of bankruptcy and the creditor can file a creditor’s petition to the Federal Court to make an order to bankrupt the debtor. Once this order has been made a trustee in bankruptcy is appointed to take control of the debtors assets and income and pay creditors from any funds in the bankruptcy person’s estate.
Insolvency is legislated by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and applies to companies and not individuals. Where a judgement debt is more than $4,000, the creditor may issue a statutory demand on the company. Generally in the absence of payment the company will be presumed to be insolvent. The creditor may then apply to the court for the debtor company to be wound up in insolvency and a liquidator appointed to the company. The liquidator will pay creditors from any funds available in the company.
Our lawyers can assist you with the serious and onerous legal processes associated with bankruptcy and insolvency. We can provide advice in relation to receivership, liquidation, business restructuring and fundraising options.
BSM is also able to provide expert legal advice to creditors to help protect your interests and financial position when a business is facing financial difficulties.
Intellectual property refers to exclusive knowledge and ideas, examples include inventions, logos and art. Our business and commercial lawyers can assist in identifying and protecting your business’ intellectual property. For instance with the use trademark copyright, patents and licensing agreements. We can take legal action against parties who infringe your intellectual property rights via negotiation or if required litigation.
Business and Commercial Legislation
In Australia, various pieces of Federal and State legislation govern business and commercial activity. This legislation governs issues which relate to companies, employment, workplace safety, privacy, consumer protection, business partnerships, intellectual property and taxation. This legislation can appear complicated and intimidating. Brander Smith McKnight Sydney lawyers can explain the most recent and relevant legislation to your situation.
For example the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) sets out director’s obligations and duties and company insolvency. The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) provides Australian consumer law including unfair practices such as misleading or deceptive conduct, collusive conduct and exclusive dealing.
Why BSM Law?
Our team of highly experienced business lawyers provide clear and effective advice that supports our client’s strategies and objectives. We provide professional legal advice to businesses ranging from small start ups through to large corporations and major joint venture projects. We pride ourselves on providing all clients with the same level of premium service and attention to detail regardless of the size of the business.
Brander Smith McKnight will provide the full range of legal services for businesses in a very cost effective way. Our lawyers will get the job done at considerable saving compared to large city firms.
We have lawyers fluent in Arabic, Mandarin, French and Japanese.
9-15 East Parade
Parramatta, NSW 2150.
90 Market Street
Wollongong NSW 2500
Level 57, 19-29 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000