Monday, February 27, 2012

PPSA and company charges

The long awaited transition to the personal property security regime has continued to evolve since the official ‘live’ date of 30 January 2012.

While there are an ever increasing number of war stories, for anyone involved in advising companies, arguably one of the most tangible changes has been the abolition of ASIC forms in relation to registering company charges.

Today’s post focuses on some of the critical aspects of the new company charge regime.

On 30 January 2012, ASIC ceased to register company charges and ASIC forms 309, 311 and 312 are no longer relevant.

No forms - The difference between the PPS register and the ASIC register of company charges is that there are no physical forms that are lodged with the PPS register. All registrations, amendments and releases are done online using the PPS register (i.e. no forms are signed).

How do I find out if a company has charges against its assets? - ASIC searches will no longer show details of current registered charges. You will need to search the PPS register to reveal these details. As the PPS register search function has experienced a number of technical difficulties, you should always search a company by ACN, ABN and company name until these issues are resolved.

How do I register a security interest? - In order to register a security interest on the PPS register you need to register a financing statement.

How do I release a security interest? - As the ASIC form 312 is no longer relevant, parties will need to agree on a way to document the release in another fashion e.g. a deed of release.

Until next week.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Verasage ‘TED’

As part of the thought leadership event facilitated by the Verasage Group in early 2011, I had the opportunity to present a 'TED' style presentation on the evolution of Australia's first virtual law firm platform which was the precursor to foundation in 2014 of View Legal.

A link to the presentation –

Until next week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Superannuation and binding death benefit nominations (BDBN)

A couple of weeks ago there was a post in relation to superannuation nominations.

As mentioned in that post, where there is a valid BDBN, the trustee has no discretion to pay death benefits other than in accordance with the notice.

Based on recent client situations we have seen, a few critical points to remember in this area include the following:

1. If a member’s circumstances change and they have failed to update their BDBN, it will, subject in some situations to automatic lapsing (for example, every three years), continue to be binding on the trustee.

2. The trust deed for the superannuation fund must allow for a BDBN to be given to the trustee of the fund – even some recently set up deeds do not always have such a provision.

3. Unless specifically provided for in the deed, a BDBN will often need to be ‘refreshed’ every three years. An alternate approach is to update the trust deed for the fund to ‘hardwire’ the nomination into the deed, avoiding the requirement to regularly refresh the nomination.

Until next week.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What exactly is a firm of the future ?

Many regular readers will be aware that for around ten years now we have charged on the basis of scoping work up front and providing a set price – that is no time billing.

A large part of the inspiration for abandoning time billing came from the landmark publication ‘Firm of the Future’ by Ron Baker and Paul Dunn. That book describes a journey from the traditional (and largely archaic) professional service firm model to being a knowledge firm. Understanding the value that knowledge workers create and having the skills to price without any reference to time is the foundation of the journey.

While subsequent publications by Baker (in particular ‘Pricing on Purpose’ and the more recent ‘Implementing Value Pricing’) provide significant guidance, we have found that the ability to listen and interact with likeminded advisers who are wanting to consider (or have started) the journey to a life without timesheets is invaluable.

Over the coming weeks there is a special opportunity to participate in Firm of the Future seminars across the eastern seaboard that will be led by internationally renowned pricing expert Ron Baker and facilitated by leading Australian consultant in this area John Chisholm.
To learn more, click on the following link:

Until next week.