Link Group’s PEXA acquisition follows massive UK acquisition

Getting to know the owners of PEXA The three owners of PEXA will be Link Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Inc. Everyone knows the Commonwealth Bank. Morgan Stanley Infrastructure is an investment fund but who is Link Group and why are they are so keen on electronic conveyancing? The exact ownership percentages have not been settled but it looks like Link Group will become the largest single shareholder at around 44%. It already had 19.8%. At a sale value of $1.6 billion, the additional investment by Link Group to get to 44% would be around $390 million.  […]

Sydney property vendors are stabilising the property downturn

At the end of October 2018, Sydney dwelling values* were down by 7.4% compared to 12 months ago. In a market with falling prices, the incentive is for buyers to postpone purchasing because the longer they wait, the lower the price. In the three months August to October 2018, the volume of property transfers in NSW was down by almost 10% compared to the equivalent period of the previous year. Indicators are that the volume of sales activity continues downward. Recent auction clearance rates are between one quarter and one-third lower than 12 months ago.  Such indicators point to a […]

The inevitability of a national conveyancing market and where to start

We may have a national conveyancing market sooner than we expected. Yes, there are state based interests and administrative impediments currently in place but the trend looks unstoppable with only timing being the real question.  Technology doesn’t care about borders. It wants to spread everywhere. There are other factors as well, such as principles of best practice. Why should a transaction in one state have different rules to that of any other state? Efficiency: national businesses that operate within the property market such as banks and insurance companies should be delighted with more uniformity rather than less. Then there are […]

A treasure of books, audio books and other resources from Booktopia to readers of Legal Practice Intelligence

Legal Practice Intelligence has joined forces with Booktopia to form an exciting strategic partnership that creates ‘a unique opportunity to provide its law catalogue to the legal community in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Legal Practice Intelligence (LPI) will curate, review and highlight from over 10,000 law-themed books, ebooks, audio books and stationery relevant to many practice areas. Legal Practice Intelligence editor, Peter Frankl said “Booktopia is a market leading Australian-based publisher offering a treasure of resources for legal professionals. “We will be highlighting publications that we believe are the best in their field, covering topics that include […]

ASX-listed Link Group could end up owning 44% of PEXA

An offer to acquire PEXA by a consortium comprising Link Group [ASX:LNK], Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Inc. (Consortium) (Trade Sale Offer) has now been accepted by shareholdings representing greater than 50% of PEXA’s issued capital (Trade Sale Trigger). The Consortium will pay an enterprise value of up to approximately $1.6B, depending on the level of final acceptances to the Trade Sale Offer received by PEXA’s shareholders (Final Acceptances). Depending on the level of Final Acceptances, Link Group’s interest in PEXA will increase from its current shareholding of 19.8% to between 27% and 44%. Completion of the […]

Commonwealth Bank to Acquire PEXA as Part of Consortium

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced that its joint bid with Link Administration Holdings Limited and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners Inc. to acquire Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA) has been accepted by shareholders holding a majority of PEXA’s shares (the Transaction). CBA Chief Executive Officer Matt Comyn said: “Having been a key stakeholder in PEXA since its inception in 2011, today’s announcement represents our continued commitment to support the property industry as it transitions towards an innovative, fully digital, settlements process that aims to provide improved experiences for customers.” The Transaction aligns with CBA’s strategy to focus on its core […]

The new legaltech company for which tech may be the least important factor

The launch of Immediation How important is technology for resolving disputes? If two parties really want to resolve their dispute they can achieve it with such ordinary tech as the telephone and email. When parties are stuck in disagreement, is adding even more tech, like Skype for example, going to make a difference? Unlikely. If parties to a commercial dispute end up in a court process, they and their advisors will be required to comply with the procedures and technology of the court. When we hear that dispute resolution through the court system is too slow, too costly and too […]

Curtin law student wins Australia’s Next Top Lawyer competition

Curtin University second year double degree law and journalism student Rebecca Stacy has won the inaugural Australia’s Next Top Lawyer Essay-writing Competition, sponsored by Australian Accident Helpline. Stacy, 21, was thrilled with the news that she had won the competition for her submission entitled, Religious freedom and parental rights: The most important development in Australian legal history, for which she was presented a trophy and a cheque for $5000 from Australian Accident Helpline managing director, Mr Liam Millner. Mr Millner said articles were received from law students all over the country and that the work was of an exceptionally high […]

Influential voices object to mandated conveyancing e-settlements in a single-provider market

In September 2018, e-Settlements entrant Sympli hosted an industry roundtable in Sydney, chaired by Australian Institute of Conveyancing NSW CEO, Chris Tyler. The roundtable was established to enable dialogue between key industry practitioners on the current and future state of the conveyancing market as it undergoes significant change and prepares for the introduction of electronic settlement mandating in some states. Sympli reports that the consensus among the practitioners at the roundtable was that the move to digitalisation was a positive step for the industry but several issues needed addressing before state-based mandating should go ahead. The stand-out concern being the […]

Publicly listed law firms – this was never supposed to happen again

Commentary by Peter Frankl Partners in a 100-partner UK-based commercial law firm, Ince & Co have agreed to sell their equity to a publicly listed law firm. Gordon Dadds will acquire Ince & Co International LLP and its affiliated entities to create the UK’s largest listed law firm by revenue. This ‘experiment’ has had its run in Australia and ended with the slow crumbling and eventual dissolution of listed law firm business, Integrated Legal Holdings (ILH). To oversimplify what went wrong at ILH, the partners who had sold their equity gradually left the listed firm. ILH’s investments not only walked out […]