A security is defined as a tradable asset. Securities can constitute stocks, debentures, bonds and other assets. Securities can be categorised as being an equity or a debt. Securities are a way of raising capital or investing for the purpose of gaining capital. Securities however, can also entail risk – both financially and legally.
Stocks (also called shares) are intangible assets which represent partial ownership or a ‘stake’ in a company. Companies can offer stock to employees or stock can be purchased and traded if the company is publicly listed. Debentures are a debt which carries no collateral and has a fixed interest rate. A bond is a type of loan which contains details of interest payments and when the loan is to be repaid (the maturity date). These securities are normally used by companies and governments to raise funds, with individuals providing the capital in exchange for the asset.
Securities law involves the regulation of how securities are traded. These regulations aim to prevent crimes such as insider trading, and aim to ensure that securities are traded honestly and fairly.
Securities law in Australia is mainly governed by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). However, securities law also involves elements of contract law, criminal law and fair trading. Various provisions of the Corporations Act are relevant to securities. Further, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is the governmental body which is tasked with enforcing the Corporations Act.
Matters relating to securities law can be heard in the Federal Court of Australia and state Supreme Courts. These matters are often complex, and can involve elements of both corporate and criminal law.
What is a Securities Lawyer?
Securities Lawyers deal deal with the law relating to the purchase and sale of various investments including stocks, debentures and bonds. Securities Lawyers also deal with matters relating to insider trading, fraud and market manipulation. Securities Lawyers understand the various provisions of the Corporations Act and what needs to be done to ensure that all reporting requirements to ASIC are complied with.
Our network of Securities Lawyers are skilled and experienced in dealing with these transactions to provide your business the assistance required to meet its goals and to provide advice in the event that any issues arise.
When will I need a Securities Lawyer?
A Securities Lawyer can help to protect your existing investments, as well as help with planning and purchasing future investments. They will be able to assist you and your business’s security interests. You may need a Securities Lawyer to advise you on the common signs of securities fraud or poorly managed securities and how to ensure you remain compliant.
A Securities Lawyer can also help you if you suffer a loss as a result of an investor’s breach of fiduciary duties, conflicts of interest, malpractice, insider trading, and trading without permission. A Securities Lawyer will also be useful in any litigation that arises from your investments.
What will a Securities Lawyer provide?
A Securities Lawyer will be able to apply their expertise in commercial and financial systems along with their understanding of the legal regulatory environment. They have a vast understanding of the Corporations Act along with ASX Listing rules, and will provide you with the right advice to make the best decisions about your investments.
A Securities Lawyer will be able to help you when making investments. They will also provide you with expert advice when dealing with regulatory bodies such as ASIC. A Securities Lawyer will ensure that any securities dealings you undertake are legal and comply with all relevant laws.
What will a Securities Lawyer charge?
Our aim at LawPath is to provide you with legal options that are quick, affordable and suited to your needs. We’ll connect you to the Securities Lawyers across Australia that are most suited to your individual or corporate investment needs. This allows you to compare and choose which option suits you.
Hourly rates and Court fees
The cost of a Securities 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 Court, there may be additional fees involved, particularly as this work takes time. These types of matters may also involve obtaining financial documents and scrutinisation of transactions.
What can a Securities 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 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.