Delivering specialised legal advice in the not-for-profit sector, we’re here to serve Australian organisations.
A Brisbane-based law firm, we advise charities and NFPs right across Australia.
Tell us how we can help you
Charity and not-for-profit clients have always formed the single largest client group of our practice. We make it our business to be up to date with all aspects of how the law affects the not-for-profit sector Australia-wide.
We’re not just lawyers — we know what it’s like to operate not-for-profit organisations day-to-day. Our team are actively involved as board members for schools, churches and charities and many of them have worked on staff of charities. Our legal (and personal) experience will reassure you, as we guide you carefully through your legal challenges.
You need diligent, accurate legal counsel. We focus on listening in a deliberate and thoughtful way so we can understand your purpose, the community you serve and your stakeholders.
Getting the right legal structure is crucial. While there are a wide array of structuring options, it’s important to select an appropriate structure that will work for you and your members – now and in the future.
Your organisation is unique, so the cloth needs to be cut to fit. We’ll listen carefully to your aims and aspirations, explain the benefits and drawbacks of each option, and ensure you’re on the right path – from day one.
With strict legal requirements in place for charities, constitutions, rules and by-laws need to be properly drafted. It’s important to have the right framework to protect your governors and properly advance your aims & objects.
Too often, we see constitutions that have narrowly scoped objects – exposing your governors and tax concessions to risk. We offer a review service, where we’ll look at your existing constitution and rules and help you in making sure your operations and objects are compliant above reproach.
Most charities understand the tax concessions granted by the ATO. Many however are missing out on State and Territory concessions and exemptions (to which different rules apply). Additionally, there are particularly high standards in place for DGRs where breaches of tax regulations can result in serious penalties.
Work with us. We’ll ensure you’re set up properly to gain and keep your concessions or exemptions.
Asset protection can seem like an overwhelming, time consuming challenge. We’ll help you get set up and running with ease. Our experienced team will ensure you avoid common trust establishment mistakes.
Whether you’re an unincorporated entity looking for a way to own property, or an incorporated not-for-profit wanting to establish a fund for receiving and distributing charitable donations – we can help.
We can also assist in a Cy Pres Application for a Court Order to be made to apply trust property aligned with the original charitable intent of a trust.
Good governance requires continued attention. There’s a plethora of laws, rules and regulations to comply with, and it’s not always easy to keep track of changes. For example there are the ACNC Governance Standards and the External Conduct Standards (set to commence in July 2019).
Effective management of conflicts of interest seems to be attracting the attention of regulators currently. We assist with Policies and Registers to assist governors in the discharge of their duties.
We’ll help you navigate the legalities, so you can take thoughtful, strategic steps forward for your organisation. We regularly advise governors and boards on their obligations and provide our clients with regular updates on upcoming changes to the law.
Property deals can become unwieldy – especially when multiple interests and entities get involved. We’ll do the heavy lifting, dotting the ‘i’s’ and crossing the ‘t’s’, while you’re getting on with the business of your charity or not for profit. We’ll keep you informed throughout the process, so you’re always up-to-date.
We can help with conveyancing and property transfers, property holding structures, asset protection and contracting, lending, leases, licensing, transfer of business, intellectual property, personal property and other commercial property-related law advice.
We also regularly assist clients in ensuring that any relevant concessions are in place, and seeking exemptions from transfer duty (stamp duty) and land tax.
Employee and volunteer policies can be a minefield. It’s important to put in place clear and solid policies to ensure the smooth operation, and protection of your enterprise.
We’ll help you put together policies which give your staff the flexibility to work effectively, whilst ensuring your organisation is safeguarded.
When expanding your charity or not for profit, you don’t want to miss a thing. In a merger or acquisition, it’s essential to carry out rigorous due diligence. We’ll check for undisclosed dealings or surprises that can potentially hurt you and guide you in understanding who you’re dealing with.
We’ll help you protect your stakeholders and stay true to your heartbeat, as we’ll be by your side throughout the process – so you can handle the situation carefully.
Sometimes you need someone to ‘go to bat’ for you. Whether it’s an employment contract or a trade mark dispute, our experienced litigation team have represented clients across a broad range of legal disputes. Our litigation team will seek to mediate and negotiate with careful diplomacy. However, when it’s required, we can pursue litigation as a last resort.
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