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Investing

Both businesses and individuals invest capital to gain long-term rewards. People and businesses invest money to gain a benefit in the future. These benefits can include the accumulation of interest, appreciation in value and dividends. Investing requires long-term strategic thinking.
Investing can be done through a variety of channels, such as through investment firms, schemes and bank accounts. The purpose of investing is to keep your money safe, whilst allowing it to grow. Investments can be made in a variety of ways including (but not limited to):

  • Funds (including hedge funds)
  • Property
  • Shares
  • Foreign investment

However, investing can also carry risks if it’s not done the right way. This is especially true if you are investing your money through shares. It is therefore important to understand where your money is going, how it is expected to grow and when you can expect to see a return on your investment.

Why invest?

Investing is a classic example of making a short-term sacrifice for long-term reward. If individuals or businesses want to set themselves up financially in the future, investing is a good way to achieve that goal. Further, if they have capital that they do not have an immediate need for, investing can not only store it safely but also allow it to accumulate over time.

A good example of this is the superannuation scheme in Australia. Most Australians are members of a super fund which invests portions of their wages or salary on their behalf. The idea behind this is that having a portion of a person’s salary invested will allow it to grow over time and be accessible upon retirement from the workforce.

Legislation

Investment law is the area of law developed to regulate the investment activities of individuals as well as businesses. As investment is a commercial activity, it is still bound by the commercial codes of conduct and legislation such as the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) govern the majority of the financial system in Australia, which includes investment schemes.

What is an investment lawyer?

An investment lawyer has experience dealing with all types of investments ranging from personal or commercial investments to domestic or international investments. These lawyers work closely with their clients when purchasing, selling and structuring investments with the primary focus of protecting and growing their clients wealth. An investment lawyer also has a solid understanding of what people and businesses need to do in order to comply with their legal obligations. Further, an investment lawyer can help you determine which investment schemes are likely to bring you more long-term rewards rather that risky or illegitimate investments.

Our network of investment lawyers are skilled and experienced in dealing with these situations which will insure that you make the right decisions with respect to your investments.

When will I need an investment lawyer?

Some situations where you may want to seek the advice of an investment lawyer include:

  • If you are considering buying an investment property
  • If you want to structure your investments to maximise profit
  • If you are considering selling your investments
  • If you wish to diversify your investments
  • If you want better protections over your existing investments
  • If you manage an investment fund and need advice in regards to financing
  • Co-investment schemes
  • Negotiating fund terms

What will an investment lawyer provide?

An investment lawyer will provide you or your business with expert and strategic advice when investing into any kind of property or asset. They will inform you of the best ways in which you can maximise the benefits of your investment. With the necessary experience, an investment lawyer is able to assist you through all stages of the transaction process. Additionally, they will be able to draft and negotiate investment contracts and assist you with any tax issues which may arise.

Hourly rates and Court fees

The cost of an Investment Lawyer will vary based on the scope of the work. Small issues likely to be addressed quickly will cost less. For matters that will need to go to the relevant Court or Tribunal, there may be additional fees involved, particularly as this work takes time. These types of matters may also involve obtaining documents and negotiating with the other party.

What can an Investment Lawyer legally charge?

Legal costs can rise very quickly, especially in litigation. However, this is sometimes hard to avoid when work is being done by a lawyer on an hourly basis. Where fixed-fees are not offered by the lawyer, you should expect to be invoiced on a monthly basis with a time period within which you are required to make payment. Lawyers are required to adhere to the rules outlined in the relevant acts. For example, in NSW and Victoria, this is the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014. Lawyers who do not comply with these rules can face disciplinary action from the law society of their State.

Lawyers are required to provide to their clients a document called a ‘costs disclosure’ if your costs will be higher than $750.00. This document will outline how costs will be calculated in relation to your case. Also be mindful that costs are divided into ‘professional costs’ and ‘disbursements’, and you will be expected to pay for both. Professional costs are the costs of the actual work done by the lawyer, whilst disbursements cover incidentals such as court filing fees, telephone calls, photocopying charges – amongst other things.

What if I don’t agree with the costs?

You have the right to request an itemised bill that will outline how much time was spent on each task in relation to your matter, and how this adds up to the fee you’re requested to pay. If you wish to dispute the cost, you can make a complaint to the The Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC) and they will investigate the matter and may allocate a costs assessor. You can also take further legal action in the Courts if you feel you have been unfairly charged.

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