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corporate and business

Corporate Services

Businesses in Australia have a lot of moving parts and a mountain of ever-changing regulations that govern them.

We’ve advised all kinds of businesses at various stages of their lifecycle and, as a business ourselves, at Nevett Ford we know the needs of an organisation and the people within it will change over time.  Therefore, as business advisors, we know we need to be nimble.

We’re confident in adapting our guidance to suit each unique client and what’s most important to them at that moment in their evolution – for example, a small family business looking to raise funds by selling down assets usually requires quite different guidance to a Board of directors deciding whether to recommend a merger to shareholders.



Our clients, past and present, include a broad range of small to medium businesses (SMEs) as well as large companies and national institutions.

We know anyone involved in business requires practical, quick and cost-effective legal guidance and solutions that are tailored to fit your circumstances and objectives. –Regardless of the size, shape or industry of our client, we factor all of the above into our advice.

We’ve worked with a range of stakeholders and industry participants with varying needs who are impacted differently by corporate and business operations including:

  • established family businesses, whether operating as trustees or corporate entities
  • small businesses & sole traders
  • contractors & employees
  • partners & joint venturers/co-owners
  • CEOs & management
  • Boards & Company Secretaries
  • through to more sophisticated and complex corporate structures with independent directors, external investors & shareholders, and layers of corporate and statutory regulation.

Unfortunately, experience has also shown us what can go wrong when risks are ignored rather than managed or when compliance isn’t proactively implemented. For this reason, we very much prefer working in true partnership with clients to help safeguard their future – not just as emergency advisors.


We have a strong multi-skilled team based in Melbourne that comes together on matters to advise clients in all stages of their business – start-up, maturity or in need of turnaround/divestment.

The following are examples of common matters our business and corporate teams can assist clients with:

Business Structures

Business Structures to ensure interests, aims, risks and goals are reflected in the agreements that form the foundations of a business.

  • Business purchases and sales including formation of new companies, trusts, co-ownership entities and other structures.
  • Shareholder agreements, unitholder agreements, partnership agreements.
  • Joint venture & co-investment structures.
  • Business succession planning.
  • Advice for directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries

Commercial and Operational Contracts

Commercial and Operational Contracts advice such as the review and/or development of operating contractual terms so that your interests are protected and advanced throughout your commercial dealings and you understand the practical implications of any contracts your business signs.

  • Franchising and distribution including distribution agreements, franchising agreements, and franchising Code of Conduct matters.
  • Services or supply contracts, Cconsulting & specialist agreements.
  • Trading terms and conditions.
  • Restraint of Trade and confidentiality arrangements
  • Advice on releases and indemnities.
  • Protecting, enforcing or contesting security interests.
  • Consumer and competition laws including Australian Competition and Consumer (ACCC) matters, Australian consumer law – misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct, unfair practices, availability and enforcement of conditions and warranties.
  • Finance agreements including advice on loan and debt agreements, securities and negotiation of terms with funders.

Corporate Matters

Corporate Matters for ASIC registered organisations or businesses wishing to move to or currently operating with a company structure, a legal partner is essential for assisting with regular issues that arise in the course of doing business. We can advise on any of the following common corporate issues:

  • corporate governance and company secretarial services, including resolutions, meeting procedures and registry guidance
  • advising on, protecting and advancing the rights of shareholders and other business participants (see corporate- link)
  • advice on Corporations Act requirements and constitutional matters
  • share subscriptions, options and restructures
  • business acquisitions and sales, including shares and assets
  • compliance failures and regulator investigations and/or disputes, including assisting with internal investigations, regulator ‘Notice to Produce’ and formal investigations by ASIC or other state and federal regulators.

See our corporate page

Workplace Relations

Workplace Relations advice for employers and business owners. Especially with Australia’s complex employment laws, help with compliance and practical advice on employment related issues is essential for businesses regardless of size or industry. We regularly support business clients with advice on the below workplace issues.

  • Employment contracts, including employee incentive schemes and executive contracts.
  • Redundancies and terminations.
  • Collective contracts and union negotiations.
  • Workplace investigations, and dispute resolution including mediations.
  • ‘Global Mobility’ / Workforce Migration, including employer nominations, corporate and business sponsored Temporary and Permanent Residence Visas.

See our Workplace Relations page.

Property Law - Commercial & Industrial Real Estate

Property Law – Commercial & Industrial Real Estate, for commercial landlords and tenants looking to lease premises, or developers seeking to ensure a prospective sale/acquisition is thoroughly considered before a transaction is entered into, and to support their team through development projects. We advise across the full spectrum of property law including:

  • due diligence and property investigation.
  • contracts for purchases and sales, development projects (see Property Development)
  • leasing including owner / tenant negotiations and contract review
  • planning matters such as Change of Use, subdivisions etc.

See our Property page.

Licencing, Trademarks and IP Law

Licencing, Trademarks and IP Law, including copyright registration and licensing agreements, trademarks, technology agreements and contracts.

Conflict and Disputes

Conflict and Disputes are unfortunately part of business life, and we appreciate that businesses need to ensure continuity and  manage exposure when disagreements occur. We work with business owners and individuals with the aim of avoiding costly protracted disputes, advising in relation to:

  • pre-litigation dispute resolution and strategies to manage disputes
  • shareholder oppression, Cco-ownership and/or partnership disputes
  • Breach of Contract, including construction disputes
  • other breaches and disputes such as breach of obligations, misleading and deceptive conduct
  • commercial property disputes.


We advise companies on many matters relating to compliance with Australian Corporate Law (the Corporations Act) and regulator compliance across all stages of the business lifecycle. Whether you’re a board, committee or trustee, it is important to have a practical legal advisor familiar with the boardroom – our advice stems from experience serving in governance roles as well as acting for those in them. In addition to Business Structuring, we advise on corporate operations including:

Corporate Governance

  • Corporate Governance and management advice including guidance for directors and business operators, shareholder and board meeting procedures and voting.
  • Company Secretarial Services.
  • Advice on company constitutions, company meetings and procedures– compliant with Corporations Act and tailored to the objectives and realities of the business.
  • Guidance on Board composition, structuring and appointment processes, skills matrix considerations and eligibility criteria.
  • Directors’ duties and liabilities, access to documents and indemnification.
  • Shareholders and unitholders agreements. 

We also work with directors or shareholders on managing disputes and developing appropriate remedies within the bounds of the company constitution and/or the framework of Australian corporate law.

Capital Management and Transactions

  • Business acquisitions and sales – share sales.
  • Loans and finance – including debt and securities.
  • Ventures and collaboration agreements.
  • Share issues, redemptions and buybacks.
  • Capital finance – preference shares, convertible notes.
  • Employee share schemes.

Compliance Issues and Regulator Disputes

  • Assisting with ASIC investigations or compliance.
  • Advice on directors duties, liabilities, indemnities and insurances.

Regulators we have engaged with on behalf of clients include Australian Tax Office (ATO), ASIC, Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), local councils, Department of Immigration and the State Revenue Office (Vic).

We also advise across all operational business law issues including contracts, workforce agreements, trading terms and conditions, equipment leasing, sales and service agreements etc.


With dual experience across Property and Corporate Law, our team is able to create a solid foundation for any property development project. Particularly where co-investment, risk sharing and a range of agreements with different stakeholder groups are required, it’s vital that legal input is obtained from the outset. Common areas our team advise on include:

  • due diligence investigations, acquisitions and sales of commercial properties and development sites
  • advice on retail and commercial leasing
  • advice under the Building Act 2003 (Vic) and Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic)
  • property joint ventures
  • planning advice and negotiations with local councils
  • sport and licensing agreements.

Who You'll Work With

Stuart Wilson
Peter Lumb
Associate Director
Andrew Lumb
Andrew Lumb
Special Counsel
Nathan Xu
Senior Lawyer
Amandeep Sahota
Hilda Felices
Karen Lu

Topics We’ve Written About

The Benefits of Establishing a Discretionary Trust

The Benefits of Establishing a Discretionary Trust

A discretionary trust can be a versatile and powerful tool as it offers individuals and businesses a range of benefits.  As a legal structure, it allows for the strategic management and distribution of assets and provides level of flexibility that can prove...

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What business structure is right for you?

What business structure is right for you?

In Australia, entrepreneurs have a range of options available to them when looking to start and structure their business ventures.  Each different has its own advantages and disadvantages or considerations but allows for flexibility when it comes to a business’ goals....

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What is a Shareholders Agreement or Partnership Agreement?

What is a Shareholders Agreement or Partnership Agreement?

If you are starting a new business venture in partnership with someone else, it is highly advisable to put in place a Shareholders/Partnership Agreement. We regularly receive enquiries from people who have not done so, and when a dispute breaks out it can be a messy...

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What is a Buy/Sell Agreement?

A Buy/Sell Agreement is a valuable piece of your business succession plan.  For those who run a business with co-owners, you should always consider a Buy/Sell Agreement as it puts measures in place to enable continuing owners to acquire the share of an exiting owner....

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Business Expansion As A Sole Trader: Legal Factors To Consider

Starting your own business is one of the most satisfying things that you can do, and seeing it flourish and grow is an incredibly fulfilling experience. Some people kick off their business as a sole trader because they don’t know how successful it will be.  But if you...

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Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value

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Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value

"Ryan Curtis-Griffiths and Jacqui Azouz provided excellent legal work.  I am a lawyer in the United States so I expect a lot.  And I got it from Ryan and Jacqui.  They are knowledgeable, efficient and very easy to work with. I will use them whenever I have an opportunity. "

Professionalism, Responsiveness, Value

"I cannot find any words to describe the professionalism of thos firm. Everyone from the reception to financial services and not to say Mae who helped out was absolutely amazing. I had Richard Hamilton who was definitely someone I will always have to represent me if I need any further help. Keep up the fantastic work ?  "

Reliable Lawyer and Good Expertise

"Richard Hamilton is a very genuine lawyer with very good expertise, good values and ethics of responsibility. He is not one of the lawyers in the market who would deceive you with false hopes. I found him very reliable which is something you need when you are going through a difficult family court case. Richard is also very good in returning to calls and emails. I definitely recommend him."

Excellent services and advice

"Ryan has been my migration lawyer of a number of years now and has been successful in obtaining PR and Australian Citizenship for me. His advice is clear, straight forward and tailored to an individual's needs. He puts in the effort and time and always cares for his clients. Overall, I received a first-class service from him, and I highly recommend him to anyone looking for migration advice."

The best immigration service provider in Mel

"In all respect to achieve your PR and the pathway for citizenship was done very professionally ! Special thanks to Rayan ( MD) who helped me in all the way throughout to achieve goal."

Best choice

"Ryan Curtis-Griffiths knowledge of immigration law, a skills in preparing all documents, excellent communication skills, rapid response to my inquiries, thoughtful and good listener."

Professional Service with Attention to Detail

"We engaged Nevett Ford Lawyers to prepare our 186 Business Nomination and Visa Application. Ryan provided outstanding service by assisting us with all his experience in the industry. It was the best decision to work with Ryan as he always listened to our instructions and assisted with timely advise. I would definitely recommend Ryan and his team to anyone looking for a Immigration lawyer."

Professional Service and Prompt Response

"Ryan and his team made sure the process of 186 Business Nomination and Visa application were as seamless as possible. We always received prompt response and correct advise regarding the matter. I would happily recommend Ryan and Nevett Ford to anyone who wants assistance with 186 visas."

Best Lawyers in the business

"Looked after me. Always made sure I knew what was going on and why, but also made sure my mental health was top priority."

Very professional team

"Great professional team, best communicating with the customer."

Legal expertise, Client focused service, Courtesy

"Nevett Ford Lawyers, including paralegals and administrative staff, displayed professional and reliable services. All staff with whom I interacted responded promptly to my queries and requests. Their polite and friendly manner was appreciated and reassuring."

Professional, Efficient & Supportive

"A Positive outcome of Permanent Residency from a Ministerial Intervention is what we achieved through Nevett Ford Lawyers. David Stratton and his Team have been highly efficient and professional along the entire journey through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and Ministerial Intervention. The Team managed our file with great care and patience while supporting us through the entire process during the past four years. We would highly recommend Nevett Ford Lawyers for their Professionalism and Task Accomplishments."

Ryan and Shalini worked extremely hard for us

"Ryan and Shalini's communication skills were what really stood out to us. They replied to emails most of the time within minutes and did a good job on helping us stay realistic about expectations as our case was extremely difficult and had a high chance of failure, they did a brilliant job of getting the visa through for my partner."

Service provided was professional & prompt

"Great communication, friendly interaction with all staff (including reception), prompt and did what they said they would do."

Navigating a tricky workplace case

"Generous with their time. Fair and pragmatic advice from which I was able to make an informed decision."

Mlam Camou (MlCam)
Mlam Camou (MlCam)
I will recommend definitely this services to anyone who wants a clear and positive outcome for his immigration case. Professionalism and experience are also 2 very important points to consider when you decide Nevett ford to represent you. I am satisfy with their work to be honest.Thank you Nevett Ford Lawyers for your excellent work.
Lisa-Marie Hinton
Lisa-Marie Hinton
My visa application was the most challenging time of my life. It was so much pressure, lots of tears and emotions. Ryan and the wonderful Team guided our family and secured my husband and children Citizenship and my PR. I think Ryan has a beautiful heart and is very kind. He listened to me when I was at my wits-end and could only cry on the phone. I would choose Ryan again. It has been a difficult journey but he never gave up on helping my family in the fight of staying together. Forever grateful. The Hintons xxx
Vivien Karabinas
Vivien Karabinas
The expertise and service received by lawyer Sophie Stickland was efficient, caring and reasonably priced. I would highly recommend her. Thank you.
Jervin Paul Dhas
Jervin Paul Dhas
Had the pleasure of working with Lili for my PR application and I had a very good experience. She was very responsive and guided me and provided updates in every step and the entire process was smooth and quick. Highly recommend their services and one of the best. Thanks again Team
Tom Simpson
Tom Simpson
During the period between 2020 - 2023 i was applying for a permanent partner visa and hired Ryan to assist me.I had spoke to 7 other immigration lawyers prior to Ryan, and the general feedback i would get back was negative (installing doubt into my mind about the likelihood of obtaining a visa in my circumstance). Ryan was the only lawyer who had a positive attitude and was optimistic about my situation and gave me a lot of free advice about what i could do even before i hired him, this was a major green flag to me so i made the decision to hire him.I couldn't of asked for a better lawyer, i would highly recommended his services to anyone. Good communication, fast responses, never hesitant to answer any queries, pleasant to speak to and most importantly a good lawyer that gets the job done.I recently obtained my PR after a 3 year process and I cannot thank Ryan (and the team) enough for their service.
Hieronim Wiatrowski
Hieronim Wiatrowski
Lili Sibic was ery professional and helpful. Highly recommended ????
Jessica Liu
Jessica Liu
Awesome and extremely professional and patient. Highly recommended!!!
Experienced, organised and friendly, Ryan is always helpful and reassuring during the entire visa application process. The entire duration has made him more than just a lawyer but a friend.
Hiro Kamisugi
Hiro Kamisugi
Nathan and Jean as team helped me for my first home purchase. Even though I knew nothing of this matter, they made my whole journey nice and comfortable. Everyone around myself tells me that purchasing home is a very stressful journey, but I was totally fine with their help. Don’t think I can ever ask anyone else for my next home in the future!

    Contact us

    *If you are overseas, please call our office on +61 3 9614 7111.

    Nevett Ford Melbourne Pty Ltd

    ABN: 80 144 697 790

    Level 16, South Tower, Rialto Building, 525 Collins Street
    Melbourne, VIC 3000