How can VanderFox lawyers help you?

Business sale and purchase

Buying or selling a business requires careful attention to detail to navigate the various regulatory and legal complexities throughout the transaction cycle, commencing from non-disclosure and exclusivity, heads of agreement/memorandums of understanding, due diligence, negotiation, contract preparation, and settlement.

It is vital to seek professional legal advice from lawyers with extensive experience in selling and purchasing businesses.

Our expert commercial and corporate lawyers will ensure your contract is comprehensively prepared with clarity and accuracy. This will provide a smooth transaction and avoid the risk of expensive litigation if a dispute later arises after the sale or purchase of a business.

Business structuring

A well-executed business plan can protect your assets or limit commercial and non-commercial risks when starting a business or reorganising your current business structure. This contributes to the overall value of your business by establishing a business model that meets the expectations of stakeholders, including financiers, investors, and regulatory authorities.

At VanderFox, our team is experienced with changes in ownership, operations, growth opportunities, or simplifying your business structure during an economic downturn. Whichever life stage your business is experiencing, it’s essential that you have identified the strategic purpose of your establishment or changes to minimise risk and manage the implications from commercial, legal, tax, and other risk perspectives.

Sole Traders, Partnerships, Companies, and Trusts – which business structure best suits your business plans will depend on your circumstances and future intentions.

We recommend you attend a preliminary consultation with our team to discuss which business structure is right for you.

You should also be aware that business plans often change over time, so you should consider undertaking a strategic review to assess your business structure’s appropriateness periodically.

Commercial Contracts

The starting point in any commercial contract is to ensure the provisions contained in the document are aligned with the objectives and intentions of the parties. In our experience, there is a tendency to rush into commercial relationships without first establishing each party’s roles and responsibilities in advance. This approach can lead to unintended and unforeseen consequences if the commercial contract does not adequately address material risks and contingencies.

Our approach is to work with you to identify critical strategic objectives and risks while also managing counterparty expectations. This ensures both parties agree on the expectations and legally binding obligations set out in the commercial contract from offer to acceptance.

Our experienced contract lawyers help our clients with drafting, reviewing, and negotiating commercial and corporatecontracts, including but not limited to:

  • Sale of business agreements.
  • Shareholder agreements.
  • Franchise agreements.
  • Employment and contractor agreements.
  • Joint venture and partnership agreements.
  • Loan agreements.
  • Collaboration agreements.
  • Service agreements.
  • Licensing agreements.
  • Non-disclosure agreements.
  • Confidentiality agreements.

We deliver value to our clients by ensuring that whichever form of agreement is adopted contains specific mechanisms and provisions as necessary to meet current and prospective operating requirements.

Disputes and Litigation

In today’s complex operating environment, the level of risk businesses face is unprecedented. Legal disputes can be expensive and time-consuming for your business to manage.

At VanderFox, our core philosophy for dispute resolution is that it is preferable to manage commercial relationships and agreements proactively to avoid getting into a dispute in the first place. This may require formulating and adopting innovative solutions to specifically address the operational needs of your business and the expectations of key stakeholders.

We recognise that a swift resolution to the challenges of disputes and litigation is paramount to the success of your business. Our lawyers negotiate out-of-court settlements or pursue your legal matter with expertise and determination in court proceedings to achieve the best possible result for you.

It is not always possible to achieve an out-of-court settlement. We work with our clients to explore and assess litigation outcomes in such cases. This extends beyond the dispute at hand and requires a consideration of our clients’ other objectives when making a decision to commence proceedings.

Commercial and Retail Leasing

A commercial or retail lease is a significant commitment for all businesses regardless of whether the business premises are retail or commercial (industrial or agricultural).

Commercial and retail leases have very different private law and regulatory frameworks to consider. A well-drafted retail or commercial lease is the most effective way to mitigate the risk of disputes between landlords and tenants or breach or non-compliance of your agreement.

Our experienced commercial and retail lease lawyers at VanderFox offer tailored legal support to landlords and tenants in leasing matters to protect your business interests. This includes drafting and reviewing your commercial or retail lease agreement, negotiating lease clauses, resolving disputes resulting from a breach of lease, and navigating the State-Based legislative requirements for retail leases.


The three most common types of Trusts are Discretionary Trusts (also known as Family Trusts), Unit Trusts, and Hybrid Trusts.

Trusts are a more complex form of arranging legal and beneficial ownership of assets. Trusts often offer more flexibility in managing assets and wealth than other traditional business structures.

There are many different laws that apply to the administration and governance of trusts. Moreover, the laws affecting the operation of a trust are regularly amended, particularly in State/Territory and Federal taxation matters. This often necessitates periodic reviews of existing trusts to ensure unintended taxation consequences do not arise.

If you are considering setting up a trust or already have a trust, our experienced lawyers can advise you on whether this is suitable for your business, investment, or family needs.

With our meticulous approach and attention to detail in drafting and setting up trusts for our clients, our lawyers can clearly explain the implications of trusts relating to your particular business matter, from asset protection strategies and intergenerational wealth distribution to complex estate planning.

Restructuring and Insolvency


There can be various reasons why business structures need to be reviewed to undertake a restructure of legal and business affairs. It might be the case that rapid growth and expansion of a business requires a broader re-organisation to a more appropriate holding structure. It could come down to challenging trading conditions and any necessary restructuring to mitigate against potential business failure.

At VanderFox, we provide restructuring advice and transaction support to help manage risk while supporting your commercial and private objectives. With our multidisciplinary approach utilising our in-house legal experts from the VanderFox legal team, we also draw on expertise in tax law and mergers and acquisitions.


Our team at VanderFox holds significant experience in personal and corporate insolvency matters, acting for liquidators/trustees in bankruptcy and for businesses.

Our approach to insolvency matters is to seek swift and commercial resolutions that maximise returns for creditors (or, in the case of debtors, mitigate losses) to achieve practical results that reflect a commercial compromise. We always pursue outcomes that our clients can “live with.”

Our trusted expert insolvency lawyers currently support businesses with insolvency legal matters across all industries ranging from corporate insolvency, individual bankruptcy, the recovery of funds, claims against directors and other unfair preference claims against the ATO and other creditors, representing and defending claims, administrations, liquidations, receiverships and sales and purchases relating to bankruptcy.

Our experienced commercial and corporate lawyers are available for a confidential discussion regarding your circumstances by calling us at (02) 9054 2830 or to arrange an appointment online

Request an appointment


I may be facing corporate insolvency, what do I do?
If you are facing corporate insolvency, it is important to seek legal help. We will work with you to explore options such as restructuring, reviewing insolvency vs bankruptcy, and navigating avoiding the trap of insolvent trading.
I am a director of a company facing corporate insolvency, what are some of the obligations?
Directors have a range of duties under insolvency law and must avoid trading while insolvent except where ‘safe harbour’ trading rules apply.

At all times directors must act in the best interests of their creditors. It is a legal requirement under the Corporations Act 2001 for companies to publish insolvency notices if their business cannot meet its debts.

ASIC insolvency notices are publicly available to browse. There are also a number of requirements under the Insolvency Practice Rules (Corporations) 2016. VanderFox can provide advisory services on all the obligations necessary for companies facing corporate insolvency.

A company that owes me money has entered insolvency proceedings, what is my next step?
If you are the creditor of an insolvent business, you may need to take strong steps to recover the money you are owed. There may be a dispute about what you are entitled to. Our expert commercial and corporate lawyers can assist with informal or formal debt recovery processes depending on the circumstances, with a view to achieving a cost-effective commercial outcome.
What is an external administration?
An external administration comprises many types of insolvency including administrations, liquidations, and receiverships. If a company enters into an external administration, the company may owe money to its creditors. Companies may enter external administration either voluntarily by their own directors or involuntarily, by any creditors if they are owed money. Our experienced commercial and corporate lawyers are available for a confidential discussion regarding your circumstances by calling us at (02) 9054 2830 or to arrange an appointment online: Request an appointment.
What is a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA)?

A Deed of Company Arrangement is a binding agreement between a company and its creditors. This deed sets out how the company’s business affairs will be handled between both parties and are most often formed at the end of a Voluntary Administration.

This deed’s main purpose is to ensure the company is given the best possible chance of survival and a better return for creditors as an alternative to an immediate deregistering of the company.

To discuss the drafting and review of your agreements needed, our experienced and dedicated commercial and corporate lawyers are available to discuss your company’s legal requirements. Request an appointment or call us at (02) 9054 2830.

Level 10, 1 Pacific Highway, North Sydney 2060
(02) 9054 2830

Acknowledgement of Country

Vanderfox acknowledges the Traditional Custodians throughout in Australia and their continuing connection to the land, water and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.

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