Wed 07 2017

A Guide to Taxation in Australia

The aim of this guide is to provide a broad introduction to the framework of Australia’s tax system. The Commonwealth is Australia’s federal (or national) level government which can impose taxation on all Australian taxpayers. The Australian tax system is a mix of direct and indirect taxes levied by both the Commonwealth and State governments, depending on the type of tax.

Commonwealth taxes

Jurisdiction to tax

The Federal Government of Australia has jurisdiction to tax Australian residents on income from worldwide sources and non-residents on only Australian sourced income.

Australian legislation contains specific rules relating to residency to determine whether an individual or company is a resident for tax purposes.

Australia also has a system for determining whether an income amount is sourced in Australia or another country. Generally, income is sourced in the place of employment or the fixed place of business.

International transactions are often sourced according to where the relevant contract is made, although there are often variations to these broad rules depending on the circumstances.

The risk associated with the residence and source rules is that one amount of income may be taxed in two different countries.

To avoid this, Australia has entered into many double tax agreements with other countries which will prevail over domestic law to ensure that taxation is only imposed once on any given amount of income.

In addition, Australia also operates a system of foreign tax credits under which tax credits are given to Australian residents who pay foreign tax on foreign income.

These credits are then used to offset against Australian tax paid on the same amount, again ensuring income is only taxed once.

Taxes on income

Taxable income is generally an entity’s total assessable income less any allowable deductions. If a loss is incurred it may be carried forward to future years provided the loss carry forward tests are satisfied.

Assessable income includes items such as salaries, wages, income from business, interest, rent and dividends.

Deductions generally include expenses that have been incurred in the course of gaining or producing income, in addition to a number of specific deductions allowable under legislation.

Deductions are not allowed for personal expenses or those of a capital nature. However, if certain conditions are met, it is possible for companies and individuals to set off losses against other types of income.

Taxes on capital gains (Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

CGT is imposed on gains realised from the sale of assets, with special rules applicable to the valuation of capital gains.

For taxation purposes, the assets subject to CGT are very broad and include both tangible and intangible assets.

Certain assets such as motor vehicles, personal use assets and one’s main residence are subject to exemptions, while foreign residents are subject to capital gains on only a limited range of assets, such as real property.

Capital gains are included in taxpayers’ assessable income and therefore taxed at each taxpayer’s applicable income tax rate (see below, Taxation of Individuals).

If the capital asset is held for longer than 12 months, Australian residents are entitled 50% discount for taxation purposes. The CGT rules have recently been amended so that non-residents can no longer access the 50% discount. Any capital loss incurred can be offset only against capital gains.

The aim of this guide is to provide a broad introduction to the framework of Australia’s tax system. The Australian tax system is a mix of direct and indirect taxes levied by both the Commonwealth and State governments, depending on the type of tax. The Commonwealth is Australia’s federal (or national) level government which can impose taxation on all Australian taxpayers.

There are also various tax incentives for capital investment and inbound investments to Australia that may apply in certain circumstances for a limited period of time.

Taxation of individuals and business entities on income and capital gains

Individuals

Individuals are taxed on income and capital gains according to the rules mentioned above. As stated, both Australian resident individuals and non-resident individuals can be subject to income tax and CGT depending on the source of the income.

Australia uses a progressive tax scale system for the purposes of taxing individuals. Under this system, the rate of tax payable increases as taxable income increases.

For the 2013-14 income year (1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014), the following individual income tax rates apply in relation to Australian residents:

Taxable income  Tax on this income
 $0 – $18,200  Nil
  $18,201 – $37,000  19 cents for each $1 over $18,200
  $37,001 – $80,000  $3,572 plus 32.5 cents for each $1 over $37,000
  $80,001 – $180,000  $17,547 plus 37 cents for each $1 over $80,000
 $180,001 and over   $54,547 plus 45 cents for each $1 over $180,000

Non-residents who come to Australia for work purposes and are treated as residents for tax purposes may also qualify to be a ‘temporary resident’.

Temporary residents are subject to the same tax rates as residents and receive other tax concessions.

Non-residents are taxed on their Australian sourced income in the 2013-14 income tax year in accordance with the following rates:

Taxable income  Tax on this income
$0 – $80,000 32.5 cents for each $1
  $80,001 – $180,000 $26,000 plus 37 cents for each $1 over $80,000
  $180,001 and over $63,000 plus 45 cents for each $1 over $180,000

Companies

A company in Australia is a distinct and separate entity from its shareholders. Income received by a company is taxable to the company, after applying residency and source rules similar to those that apply to individuals.

Unlike individuals however, company profits are taxed at the flat rate of 30% regardless of the company’s level of income. However, the newly elected Liberal Party plans to cut the company tax rate by 1.5% from 1 July 2015, thereby reducing the company tax rate to 28.5%.

Dividends paid by companies to their shareholders are included in the shareholders’ assessable income and are subject to a ‘dividend imputation system’.

The purpose of this system is to pass on a ‘credit’ to shareholders for the tax that the company has paid on the profits from which dividends are paid.

This system therefore ensures that dividends are ultimately taxed at each shareholder’s applicable income tax rate. Access to credits however only applies to Australian resident shareholders.

A tax consolidation regime also applies for 100% owned group companies, allowing them to consolidate income for the entire group and ignore transactions within the group for the purposes of income tax.

Consumption taxes – the Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST is a broad based consumption tax (similar to the Value Added Tax in other countries) imposed on the sale of most goods and services in Australia and those imported into Australia.

It is levied at a flat rate of 10%. Some supplies such as food, exports, education and health are excluded from GST. All consumers are required to pay GST when making a purchase.

Businesses or individuals carrying on an enterprise that have an annual turnover of more than a specified amount are required to register for GST purposes.

These businesses may either be liable to the ATO or entitled to a refund each year depending on the balance of the amount of GST collected through sales compared to any tax credits received from GST paid on goods and services purchased in the course of carrying on their enterprise.

Other taxes and levies

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)

FBT is imposed on the value of non-cash benefits provided by employers to employees.

Generally, benefits must be connected to the employee’s employment in order to be taxable, although certain fringe benefits are either specifically subject to FBT or expressly excluded under Australian law.

FBT is levied on the provider of the benefit at a flat rate of 46.5% and may be deductible against the employer’s taxable income.

Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge

Medicare is Australia’s public health insurance scheme. It operates by receiving contributions through the Medicare Levy and the Medicare Levy Surcharge, which are taxes imposed on Australian residents’ taxable incomes.

The Medicare Levy is imposed at a flat rate of 1.5% of an individual’s taxable income, although exemptions may be given to low income earners and foreign residents.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge is an additional flat rate of between 1-1.5% imposed on high income earners who do not have private hospital insurance.

Superannuation tax – the Superannuation Guarantee Charge

In Australia, every employer must pay a minimum level of superannuation (known as the superannuation guarantee) to its employees to ensure that workers have money set aside for their retirement.

In the 2013-14 income tax year, the superannuation guarantee rate increased from 9% the previous year to 9.25% of each individual’s employment earnings. With amendments recently coming into effect, the minimum rate will increase progressively over the next six years until it reaches 12% from 1 July 2019 onwards.

If an employer fails to provide the minimum level of superannuation, they become liable to pay the Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) which includes the amount of the shortfall in superannuation payments plus interest and administrative charges.

However, in practice, most companies will contribute the minimum level of superannuation to avoid the SGC.

Also, there are statutory limits to how much employers or employees can contribute to superannuation funds. If contributions are made in excess of these limits, a penalty charge may apply.

Luxury car tax

The luxury car tax is a flat rate of 33% imposed when a luxury car is sold or imported into Australia. Certain rules specify what amounts to a luxury car and under what circumstances it will attract the luxury car tax, although it generally applies to cars valued over approximately either $60,000 or $75,000, depending on the fuel consumption of the vehicle.

Other considerations when trading between Australia and other countries

Transfer pricing

Australia has transfer pricing rules that need to be considered where goods or services are bought or sold between Australia and other countries.

The transfer pricing rules have particular relevance to transactions between related parties in a corporate group for the supply of goods, services or finance that are not priced on terms which would be comparable to those that would be charged between parties transacting at arm’s length.

If an international transaction does not occur at arm’s length or is not supported by an acceptable pricing methodology, then market prices may be substituted into the transaction for Australian taxation purposes to ensure an appropriate level of tax is paid.

For an intra-group cross-border transaction to be deemed to have occurred at arm’s length, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires that companies appropriately document the transaction itself and the pricing methodologies used when entering into the transaction.

Other factors that may be taken into account by the ATO include, amongst other things, the commercial justifications for the transaction, any applicable review processes and whether any alternatives were considered.

Customs duty

Customs duty is imposed on goods imported into Australia. The rate of customs duty is generally around 5% of the ‘customs value’ of goods, although this often changes depending on the type of good that is imported.

The customs value of a good is determined as a question of law, taking into account the type of good, its country of origin and the purpose of its import into Australia.

Customs duty is payable when the relevant goods enter Australia. The specific duty rules that apply will depend on how the goods are classified by the Australian Customs Service, and may be altered by Tariff Concession Orders or Free Trade Agreements.

The rules applying to customs duty in Australia are complex and importers should seek advice on a caseby-case basis.

Excise duty

Excise duty is imposed on alcohol, tobacco, fuel and petroleum products that are produced or manufactured in Australia.

If these products are imported into Australia rather than produced or manufactured in Australia, customs duty applies to their importation at a rate comparable to the excise rate (see above, Customs duty).

Excise duty is paid by either the manufacturer or distributer at a flat rate. The applicable excise rates may increase twice a year to reflect inflationary changes.

In addition, a licence is generally required to undertake activities in relation to excisable goods.

Administration of Australia’s taxation system

Self-assessment

Australian taxation is based on a self-assessment model, where taxpayers are responsible for lodging their own taxation returns.

Individuals and companies are required to lodge an annual ‘Income Tax Return’, while companies and other entities may have further requirements for the purposes of GST and PAYG (see below, Withholding taxes).

Not every tax return in Australia is reviewed by the ATO. Instead, each taxpayer’s assessment of his/her income is taken to be true.

However the ATO does undertake audits of individuals’ and companies’ tax returns to ensure that a taxpayer’s actual tax affairs are consistent with his/her selfassessment.

Withholding taxes

General

Withholding taxes are payable on a number of payment types at various flat rates depending on the payment in question.

The purpose of Australia’s withholding tax rules is to enable the efficient and timely collection of tax revenue on an ongoing basis.

The obligation to make a withholding rests with the ‘payer’ of funds, not the recipient. Under these rules, the payer must withhold an amount from certain payments it makes and then pay that amount to the ATO, usually in regular instalments throughout the year, depending on the size of the entity.

Withholding taxes are often paid where dividends, interest or royalties are paid by an Australian resident to a foreign entity. The rate of withholding is typically set out in the relevant double tax agreement.

In addition, withholding taxes also apply in relation to the failure to quote an Australian Business Number (ABN) or a Tax File Number (TFN) in various situations in which they are required (see below, Australian Business Numbers and Tax File Numbers).

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG)

Australia also has a ‘pay-as-you-go’ (PAYG) withholding tax regime. In the most common application of PAYG withholding, a business that has employees must withhold an amount from salary or wage payments made to its employees.

The amount withheld broadly represents the income tax payable on that salary or wage and must be remitted to the ATO.

Further, an amount must be withheld from payments made to another business if it has not quoted its ABN when dealing with your business (see below, Australian Business Numbers and Tax File Numbers).

PAYG withholdings generally occur at a rate of 46.5% in this situation.

Australian Business Numbers and Tax File Numbers

An ABN is an identification tool used by businesses in dealings with the ATO, other business and government agencies.

A business must have an ABN if it is required to register for GST (see above, Consumption taxes). All other businesses may choose whether to obtain an ABN.

However, if a business does not have an ABN, withholding taxes apply in its dealings with other businesses, effectively reducing the value of receipts from their other businesses (see above, Withholding taxes: PAYG).

As a similar identification tool, TFNs are used by individuals and organisations to help the ATO administer the Australian tax system.

They apply to certain types of income such as salary, wages and some forms of investment income. While it is not compulsory for an individual to have a TFN, it is highly recommended that individuals obtain a TFN because if it is not quoted where required, income tax will be withheld from income earned at the highest marginal tax rate (see above, Withholding taxes: PAYG).

State and Territory taxes

State jurisdiction to impose taxes and duties

States and Territories in Australia generally have jurisdiction to impose tax on various state-based transactions.

To fall within a state’s jurisdiction, transactions must generally be entered into or carried out within the boarders of a particular State, or alternatively they must have a connection to the particular State wishing to impose taxation on the relevant transaction.

States and Territories most commonly impose tax on immovable property situated in that particular State, as well as on various other state-based transactions such as car registration and employment.

Many State and Territory taxes and duties are not consistent throughout Australia and therefore the laws applicable in each jurisdiction must be considered where relevant. The taxes and duties mentioned below however indicate some common forms of state taxation.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is imposed on certain transactions such as transfers of property and dealings with shares in companies that are landholders. It is imposed on the acquirer in the relevant transaction, not the transferor.

The imposition of stamp duty is not consistent throughout the states, although it is generally imposed at either a fixed rate or at a rate that depends on the value of the transaction.

For example, New South Wales imposes stamp duty on transfers of land according to a sliding scale that is dependent on the value of the real property.

The cheapest valued properties attract stamp duty of 1.25%, with the rate progressively increasing to approximately 7% for the most expensively valued properties in New South Wales.

In a similar manner, Victoria charges duty on transfers of land on the greater of the market value of, or the consideration paid for, the property.

For transfers occurring since 2008, stamp duty is then paid at a rate of 5.5% for high valued properties down to 1.4% for the cheapest valued properties.

It is important to consider stamp duty rules on a state by state basis whenever real property or business assets are acquired or transferred as rates can vary significantly, while certain transactions may receive concessions or exemptions.

Payroll tax

Payroll tax is imposed on employers whose annual wages paid to employees exceed a set amount determined by each state. The tax is generally between 3% and 7%.

Payroll tax is currently payable in New South Wales at a rate of 5.45% for businesses who pay more than $750,000 in annual wages. By comparison, Victoria sets its threshold annual wages level at $550,000 and its rate of payroll tax at 4.9%.

Land tax

Individuals and other entities who own land in Australia over a prescribed value are liable to pay land tax annually on the combined value of all taxable land owned.

Again, the rate payable varies between states, while some states exempt certain classes of land such as one’s principal place of residence, land used for primary production (for example, farming) and land used by charities, religions and schools.

New South Wales and Victoria use progressive scales of taxation in relation to land tax. The minimum threshold land values above which land tax must be paid are $406,000 and $250,000 in New South Wales and Victoria, respectively.

Further, whilst the rate payable depends on the value of the land owned, the range of rates is 0-2% and 0-2.25% for the same states, respectively.

Motor vehicles duty

Motor vehicle duties are often payable where a motor vehicle is registered in or transferred within a certain state. The duty is paid by the purchaser with the applicable rate of duty generally depending on the type of car and the circumstances surrounding its transfer.

Contact

Tony has been the Hall & Wilcox Managing Partner since 2007. He is well recognised in the legal sector and has led the firm through a period of substantial growth and success.

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'"Stand out" Rachael Arnold is recommended for public and product liability claims.' – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017

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Jane has been a practising solicitor for over 20 years specialising in Real Estate law with a focus on leasing in the commercial, retail, industrial, education and government sectors in all Australian jurisdictions...

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Alison has close to 18 years’ experience in a wide-ranging employment practice, advising private sector and public sector clients on all aspects of employment, industrial relations and human resources law, and work health and safety law...

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Natalie has close to 20 years’ experience in property, planning and environment law and has been recognised as a leading Australian lawyer in this area in Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession...

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In the corporate space, Jacqui regularly advises and assists client with mergers and acquisitions, corporate structuring, corporate compliance and governance, capital raisings and managed investment schemes.

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Paul has over 20 years' experience in insurance and commercial litigation. In particular his practice focuses on personal injury and property liability claims under common law and statutory schemes as well as marine and transport industry litigation.

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Anthony is a highly regarded tax practitioner with over 20 years’ experience. He has particular expertise in taxation planning and structuring for corporate clients, including advising on capital raisings, business structuring, mergers and acquisitions, and disputes with Federal and state taxation authorities.

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Angela has significant experience in workers’ compensation, product liability and public liability matters...

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Chris Brown is a commercial lawyer with 20 plus years’ experience in corporate transactions and advice.

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Fay has acted for employers for over 17 years across a range of industries including professional services, recruitment, finance, entertainment, FMCG & general manufacturing, sport, health, aged care, community services and local councils focused always on the purpose and imperatives of the organisations she is servicing.

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Liam is an accomplished and determined litigator with an excellent eye for detail and an exceptional track record in obtaining successful outcomes for his insurer clients.

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Drew has over 20 years’ experience as an insurance and commercial litigation lawyer. His area of focus has been the defence of professional negligence claims, directors' and officers' claims and medical malpractice.

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    Fluent in Chinese

Eugene specialises in capital raising, funds management, financial services licensing and anti-money laundering law.

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Deborah has extensive experience across a broad range of commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets and other corporate transactions, equity investments, shareholders and joint venture arrangements, management equity arrangements, ASX listed company advice, and a wide variety of commercial arrangements.

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With over 25 years of corporate, commercial and regulatory experience, Alison has specialised in advising clients in the health, aged care, disability, life sciences and community sectors...

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Anastasia’s practice focuses on personal injury litigation management and administrative law. Anastasia focuses on achieving quality outcomes for her clients in worker’s compensation matters, including statutory benefits and common law claims under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Matthew Curll is one of the top ‘go-to’ people for Australian insurance law matters – both coverage and defence...

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James has experience in a broad range of commercial and intellectual property matters, including intellectual property commercialisation, agreements and licensing, trade mark registrability and infringement issues.

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Aaron has extensive employment and industrial relations law experience working with clients across a range of industries.

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Mark specialises in the construction, energy and infrastructure sectors...

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Maurice has more than 25 years’ experience delivering legal services for clients in both the private and public sector...

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Graydon acts on behalf of a number of national and overseas clients on large and complex commercial litigation matters and advises on all aspects of dispute resolution...

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Stephanie has over 15 years' experience in representing employers, insurers and self-insured corporations in the management and defence of a range of claims including intentional torts, property damage, pure economic loss and statutory classes of insurance...

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Mark’s practice encompasses both litigious and non-litigious applications of employment and industrial relations law...

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Maree acts for and advises insurers, employers and self-insurers and regularly appears in the District Court and at WorkCover WA...

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Ana’s practice focuses on the litigation of common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to Victorian workers’ compensation legislation...

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Grant has more than 25 years' experience advising on catastrophic and major claims in the areas of CTP and general liability, which often involve complex liability, medical, causation and quantum issues...

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Heather advises on all regulatory, compliance, investment, tax and contractual issues, as well as acting in connection with disputes, regulator actions, product development, fund mergers and restructurings, and other transactions...

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Kylie is a senior practitioner with extensive experience in advising both government and non-government clients across all areas of employment, workplace relations, discrimination and health and safety law...

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Ben has a range of experience in intellectual property, technology, and commercial matters...

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Frank advises his clients on direct taxes, international structuring and taxation, business transactions, corporate restructuring, taxation disputes and the not-for-profit sector...

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Kathryn specialises in resolving disputes, and works collaboratively with her clients to provide the legal and strategic advice that best achieves their preferred outcome...

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John has strong technical expertise in the property funds sector, having advised on real estate portfolio and corporate acquisitions, transactional activity for wholesale and retail unlisted funds and related regulatory, governance and compliance matters.

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Mark has almost 20 years' experience acting for Australian and overseas financial institutions and borrowers in a broad range of finance transactions...

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Oliver is a corporate partner, whose practice focuses on mergers & acquisitions, corporate advisory, divestments, foreign investments and start-up capital raising.

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Zoe is a specialist insurance lawyer who manages complex and varied matters for a number of leading corporate insurers and Lloyd's of London syndicates.

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Wayne is a leading litigation and insolvency expert, with over 20 years' experience, specialising in large and complex commercial disputes in all jurisdictions, including commercial arbitrations.

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Nathan is an experienced insurance litigator with over 18 years' experience advising insurers on workers compensation, CTP and liability claims.

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Terry has over 25 years' insurance litigation experience, with his past 20 years focused predominantly on advising underwriters and self-insurers in the defence of damages claims for personal injuries, property damage and financial loss.

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Stephen is a well-respected commercial litigation lawyer with almost 30 years’ experience. His area of specialisation is in corporate and commercial dispute resolution, with a particular focus on complex debt, consumer law, contract, corporations law, equity, real property and regulatory investigations.

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Stan has been providing legal services to Local Government in NSW since 1996 and practices primarily in the areas of Environment, Local Government and Planning Law, and is a leading trusted adviser to Local Government.

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Adrian has been involved in litigation across a wide range of matters, including corporate and personal insolvency, banking and finance litigation, property and contractual disputes.

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Anne is a leading superannuation and financial services lawyer with deep knowledge and understanding of the superannuation and financial services industry...

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Gavin’s practice focuses on the specialist area of statutory recovery for worker’s compensation claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic)...

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Joe has more than 23 years' experience advising insurers on large and complex claims under CTP and statutory classes of insurance...

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Matt has vast experience and expertise in public and product liability, professional indemnity, property, including recoveries, class actions and coverage disputes, and fraud...

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Tom has extensive experience in acting for high net wealth families, private and public corporations and corporate trustees...

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Jason’s practice focuses on personal injury litigation management and administrative law.

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Liz’s practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims and issues under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic)...

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With over ten years' of experience, William helps clients to work through their succession planning goals and issues...

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Simon is a highly experienced litigator, having practiced for over 25 years in the CTP, workers compensation, recovery and liability jurisdictions.

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James has a broad range of both corporate and general commercial experience, particularly in the areas of equity capital markets, corporate advice, and public and private M&A...

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Andrew’s practice includes workers compensation, work injury damages/common law, s151Z recoveries, builders warranty claims, workplace law and alternative dispute resolution.

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Peter is the section leader of the firm's Tax team. Peter has joined Hall & Wilcox in 2016 after nearly 30 years with KPMG where he was a Senior Tax Partner.

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Matthew has over 18 years experience in insurance litigation and specialises in defending state statutory class and common law claims arising in the challenging Australian Capital Territory jurisdiction...

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Harry has represented a number of listed public companies, large private companies and government organisations...

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Andrew provides advice on the application of a wide range of taxation.

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Paul is an experienced energy and resources lawyer, who specialises in the development of energy projects and acquisitions, energy trading and regulation, with a particular focus on renewable energy.

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John advises principals in relation to the appropriate joint venture and development arrangements and regarding the appropriate delivery mechanism for construction projects.

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Rory has over 10 years’ experience in planning and environmental law and was recognised in 2016 as a “Rising Star” in Planning and Environment, and again in 2018 as a Recommended Town Planning & Development Lawyer in the Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession.

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Leigh has significant experience and expertise in general insurance litigation acting for most major Australian insurers as well as a number of English insurers and underwriters.

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Michael’s practice focuses on tax disputes, capital gains tax, business sales and acquisitions and restructuring...

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Ed’s practice covers private mergers and acquisitions, family business and private equity.

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Mark specialises in corporate insolvency matters, commercial litigation and corporations law disputes, intellectual property and copyright litigation, and financial services disputes including securities enforcement...

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Katrina practises principally in the areas of commercial law and property law and development.

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Martin practices commercial law with extensive experience in contracts and commercial litigation. Martin focuses on corporate, commercial, regulatory and private clients, with particular expertise in the sports and media sectors.

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Karl advises his clients in adverse action claims at the Fair Work Commission, implementing and negotiating enterprise agreements, unfair dismissal claims, discrimination claims and contractual disputes.

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Joel is an experienced and well-rounded insurance lawyer, who is always accessible to his clients and delivers prompt, pragmatic and comprehensive analysis and advice...

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Nick has 19 years’ experience acting for Australian and international financiers and borrowers in corporate finance, acquisition finance, real estate finance and general finance across a range of sectors including financial services, property and  technology.

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Rhett is the National Insurance Practice Head and is responsible for the driving and coordinating the strategy for the firm’s national insurance practice.

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Matthew joined Hall & Wilcox on 1 July 2017, after almost 30 years at Harris Wheeler, most recently as managing partner of the firm and supervising partner of the firm’s Commercial practice.

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Kelli has extensive experience in insurance, product liability, public liability and workers’ compensation having acted for more than 30 years on behalf of insurers (both domestic and international), corporations, government bodies and instrumentalities.

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Andrew practices in personal injury litigation on behalf of self insurers, employers, and WorkSafe Victoria and its agents, managing claims brought under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Daniel is an experienced insurance lawyer with close to 20 years advising clients on insurance litigation...

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Ilona has more than 15 years’ experience with her practice focusing on both statutory and common law claims across both Victorian and Tasmanian workcover legislation

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Nicholas is a highly experienced lawyer who has concentrated on insurance law, particularly claims under the NSW statutory classes of insurance, for more than 20 years...

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Joanna has extensive experience advising and representing employers, self-insurers, NSW workers' compensation managed fund scheme agents, treasury managed fund agents and the Workers' Compensation Nominal Insurer (icare).

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Jacob is a member of Hall & Wilcox’s commercial dispute resolution team, practising predominantly in general commercial litigation.

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Adrian’s financial services law practice covers superannuation, managed funds, insurance, and financial advice...

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Ahranee advises insurers and corporates in the defence of public and product liability claims, both personal injury and property damage, as well as policy advice...

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Anton practices in all areas of insurance with a focus on workers’ compensation, medical treatment and public/property liability.

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James specialises in estate and succession planning for ultra-high and high net worth clients. He also has experience in estate and trust disputes including cross-border succession issues and conflicts, tax planning and related advice to trust structures for Australian and UK non-residents and probate and estate administration.

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Emma has extensive experience in advising clients in estate planning and estate administration, trust establishment, and ongoing administration, trust estate disputes and structuring for succession of ownership and control of private and family businesses...

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Noel advises his clients on commercial disputes and related matters including banking and finance, insolvency, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), ASIC and other regulatory issues.

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John’s practice focuses on personal injury litigation management. He acts primarily for WorkSafe Victoria and is responsible for managing the delivery of quality common law and statutory benefits service and outcomes.

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Andrew has more than 35 years’ experience in superannuation, trusts, estate and succession planning...

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Keith is a key figure in tax advisory, having been in significant roles within the profession for over 20 years...

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Andrew has extensive experience in the provision of advice and conduct of litigation for insurers.

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Eileen's practice includes personal and business succession planning, probate and estate administration, trusts and self-managed superannuation funds and tax and related strategies related to estate and succession planning.

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In over 33 years in the profession, Steve has accumulated a wide range of skills and extensive experience in commercial law and in particular, in all aspects of real estate and property development.

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Nikki is an experienced litigator who advises CTP insurers, with her practice focused on helping clients defend CTP and major claims.

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Melinda is an experienced insurance litigator who helps insurers resolve CTP claims involving complex liability and quantum issues.

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Emma is a specialist insurance lawyer. She has over 10 years’ experience in insurance litigation with a specific focus on professional indemnity and medical liability claims.

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John has broad experience in financial services, funds management, blockchain, corporate and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on funds management related matters.

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Vince Battaglia is an experienced funds management and financial services practitioner.  He has worked in global and national law firms, as well as at ASIC.

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Melinda provides strategic and practical advice on a range of employment and industrial relations law issues...

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Bree has worked almost exclusively in Insurance and Risk since being admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2004...

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Matthew is a general commercial lawyer with more than 18 years’ experience covering a range of areas of practice including private M&A, general commercial and corporate transactions, projects and advisory work, family succession arrangements, non-contentious employment matters, property, contracts and governanc

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Sauming is a specialist insurance lawyer with over 11 years’ civil litigation experience in personal injury and property damage.

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Rosena practices in insurance litigation: state compensation and liability claims (personal injury and property damage)...

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Michael is an experienced insurance litigator who helps insurers resolve CTP claims involving complex issues including liability issues, multi-defendant issues and detailed quantum assessments as well as relatives' claims.

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David is a commercial litigator with extensive insolvency and reconstruction experience, and expertise in property disputes.

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Nik advises on a broad range of property related transactions and disputes.  With over 17 years legal experience, he has acted for a variety of financial institutions, finance and investment companies, joint venture partners, property developers, private and public companies, government agencies and local councils.

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Iona has experience in assisting clients with both litigious and non-litigious employment and workplace relations matters.

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Lauren has extensive experience representing employers, insurers and self-insured entities in the management and defence of workers’ compensation claims.

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Jillian provides practical and commercially-minded advice to private and public sector employers on a wide range of labour and employment and privacy matters.

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With over 20 years’ experience in property law, Peter is one of the senior members of the firm's Property & Projects team...

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Kirrilee has more than 15 years' legal experience and acts on behalf of insurers in relation to catastrophic and complex personal injury claims...

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With more than 20 years of legal experience, Vicky specialises in representing clients in a wide range of commercial disputes across Australia...

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Jim has over 10 years’ experience providing taxation advice on a broad range of corporate and trust tax matters, with a particular focus on the banking and finance, government and property and construction sectors.

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Kristopher advises on all aspects of migration to Australia, with particular emphasis on employment-related migration...

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Emily specialises in property and leasing law, acting for a variety of clients in property, real estate and leasing transactions...

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Amber is an experienced insurance litigator who helps insurers resolve CTP claims involving complex liability issues, catastrophic injuries, multi-defendant issues and detailed quantum assessments as well as compensation to relative claims.

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Scott advises on a wide variety of corporate and commercial disputes and insolvency matters. His clients include those in a range of industry sectors, including insolvency practitioners, energy and resources, commercial property, financial services and intellectual property and technology.

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Carl is an experienced insurance litigator who helps insurers resolve CTP and major claims involving complex liability issues, dual insurance, detailed quantum assessments and fraud...

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Rachel has over 15 years of experience advising on tax law and specialises in stamp duties, land tax and other tax issues in all Australian states and territories.

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Katherine is a commercial litigation specialist with a focus on insolvency, contract litigation, construction disputes and the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (PPSA).

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Elisabeth advises her clients on commercial litigation, international arbitration, corporate insolvency, claims arising from contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), financial product disputes, tax litigation, business crime and fraud.

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Since arriving in Australia Albert has worked on various types of commercial disputes, for a range of clients including the Greater Building Society, Newcastle Airport, Port Stephens Council and various engineering companies based in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

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Vanessa has worked in the area of insurance law, with a specific focus on workers compensation and personal injury insurance litigation since beginning her career as a paralegal in 1996...

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Mark has more than 16 years’ experience in advising on construction and infrastructure projects. He has acted for public and private organisations on social infrastructure projects including housing, schools, hospitals, primary care facilities and specialist disability care homes.

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Louise has provided advice in personal injuries law for over 20 years, to both plaintiffs and defendants...

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Graeme has a broad practice in commercial dispute resolution, conducting small to complex litigation in the Supreme and Federal Courts, and mediation.

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Megan specialises in corporate litigation, bankruptcy and insolvency, shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, contractual disputes, breach of confidence and restraint of trade, banking matters, and Australian Consumer Law.

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Rebecca has been working in the legal profession since 1998. Her practice has focussed on insurance litigation, predominantly workers’ compensation claims.

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Tanya is an insurance specialist and an Accredited Specialist in personal injury.  For close to 20 years, she has worked with insurers and self-insured corporations to resolve CTP and public liability claims, including major claims.

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Conrad has a broad range of commercial experience, particularly in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, restructures and business succession, insolvency, and Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) compliance.

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Bettina is a highly experienced insurance lawyer who defends claims on behalf of domestic and international insurers and corporations...

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Sean has practised in insurance litigation since 1992, acting on behalf of defendant insurers and self insured across the CTP, workers compensation and public liability regimes...

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Chris has 20 years of experience in health and medical law, delivering solutions to clients in the insurance and health sectors...

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Jonathon is a Special Counsel in the Sydney Corporate and Commercial team. He has over 15 years’ transactional and advisory experience specialising in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, joint ventures, shareholder arrangements and corporate governance...

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Lauren has over 12 years’ experience, specialising in insurance litigation and practicing in the areas of workers compensation, compulsory third party and public liability claims...

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Anna has 10 years’ experience practising in property and projects. She has particular expertise in managing large volumes of conveyancing work for developers.

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Thomas is an experienced litigation lawyer with knowledge across a diverse range of litigation practice areas...

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Sam’s practice focuses on estate and succession planning...

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Krisha has 19 years’ workers compensation and common law experience with a particular focus on section 151Z indemnity claims.

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Taleen has significant experience in insurance litigation and advice in workers’ compensation and public liability matters in Western Australia and the Northern Territory...

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Amy practices in insurance litigation and personal injury law.

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Marisa’s practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Catherine is an experienced insurance lawyer who focuses on public liability and property damage claims.

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Jacinta’s current practice includes direct and indirect taxes, business transactions, corporate restructuring, taxation disputes (including pre-audit, audit and litigation), the not-for-profit sector and trusts.

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James has more than 8 years of experience working across a broad range of general commercial transactions and arrangements, including acting in mergers, acquisitions and restructures and drafting general commercial agreements.

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David is an experienced employment and industrial relations lawyer. He acts for a range of local and global clients across a wide range of industries.

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Glenn is an experienced litigator practicing predominately in commercial litigation with a focus on corporate and personal insolvency...

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Barbara works with insurers on CTP and public liability insurance claims involving sensitive and complex matters, often involving multi-defendant and medical causation issues.

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Jessica’s practice concentrates on personal injury litigation management. Jessica focuses on achieving quality outcomes for her clients in worker’s compensation matters, including statutory benefits and common law claims under the Accident Compensation Act and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act...

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Ben has a broad knowledge across all disciplines of property, planning and construction and currently acts for clients in a wide range of matters in the firm’s Property & Projects practice.

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Elise's practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic) and common law claims brought pursuant to the Transport Accident Act 1986 (Vic).

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Anthony assists insurers to resolve CTP claims involving complex liability and quantum issues, fraud, catastrophic injuries, nervous shock, multi-defendant matters and administrative law challenges.

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Jane-Elise is an experienced insurance lawyer whose practise focuses on general liability. Her clients include international insurers and large self-insured corporations.

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Adam is an experienced tax lawyer, and advises clients on a range of matters including tax planning and structuring, Division 7A, the small business CGT concessions, corporate restructuring, professional firm structures, trust taxation, the taxation of settlements and cryptocurrency taxation.

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Elizabeth is a commercial litigation lawyer who specialises in corporate and commercial dispute resolution, with a particular focus on contractual disputes, consumer law, corporations and equity, real property disputes and insolvency.

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Jennifer has over 10 years’ experience in the insurance industry and has worked in both private practice and in house defending claims under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 and the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

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Natasha acts for a variety of professionals in the defence of professional negligence and other claims arising out of purely economic loss, property damage, defamation, and alleged breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.

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Felicity is an experienced energy and resources and corporate lawyer, who specialises in general corporate and commercial matters, rail, infrastructure and energy and resources...

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Catherine's expertise include compulsory third party (CTP) and public liability claims, including major claims, section 151z recovery matters and defendant insurance litigation.

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Belinda’s practice focuses on the litigation of common law claims brought pursuant to the Transport Accident Act 1986 (Vic) and common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Alexandra has experience acting on behalf of and advising both public and private sector clients in a broad range of industries including in the tertiary education, apprenticeship training and retail sectors.

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Sarah is an experienced employment and industrial relations lawyer.  Sarah acts for a range of local and global clients across a wide range of industries in both litigious and non-litigious employment and industrial relations matters.

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Diana specialises in personal injury law and insurance litigation.

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Kate has close to 10 years' experience specialising in succession law including wills, testamentary and discretionary trusts, protective trusts, powers of attorney, appointments of guardian advanced health directives and probate and letters of administration.

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Julian is an experienced senior litigator who has acted in high profile, complex and fiercely contested commercial litigation, public inquiries and investigations on behalf of companies, individuals (including members of parliament) and Government entities.

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Sarah has over 10 years’ experience in workers’ compensation and personal injuries claims. She has worked predominately on workers’ compensation matters in Queensland and more recently in the Western Australian jurisdiction

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Terri is an experienced insurance and litigation lawyer who has defended claims on behalf of domestic and international insurers for a decade...

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Katherine’s practice is predominantly in the area of general commercial dispute resolution and litigation and includes tax litigation and tax audit, contractual disputes, leasing disputes, restraint of trade injunctions, debt recovery, and insolvency and corporations matters.

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George has particular expertise in representing and advising insurers in relation to large scale litigation including class actions, indemnity disputes and insurance fraud claims, as well as public and product liability and professional indemnity claims.

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William specialises in private M&A and general commercial transactions and provides strategic advice on acquisitions, restructures and exits...

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Sheridan specialises in insurance litigation, with particular experience in complex claims and fraud...

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Ben’s practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Clare is passionate, practical and results-oriented employment lawyer who takes pride in providing commercially-minded advice, exceptional communication and effective problem-solving skills to all types of employment, industrial and safety issues.

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Jennifer has significant experience in general insurance litigation. Her experience includes public and product liability, property damage and compulsory third party insurance...

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Jamie is an experienced lawyer with her practice focusing primarily on CTP claims, in particular non-meritorious claims.

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Daniella’s practice focuses on common law and statutory benefit claims in all jurisdictions, where she continuously delivers quality results.

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Rachel is a tax lawyer specialising in direct taxes and tax disputes. Rachel’s areas of experience include advising on a variety of domestic and international tax laws...

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Kate has a broad practice, having experience in public and product liability, professional indemnity, fraud and policy interpretation...

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Holly provides advice and acts on behalf of insurers in a variety of CTP claims including advising on complex quantum and liability issues and representing insurers in the Local and District Courts and the Claims Assessment and Resolution Service.

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Mark has a broad range of experience in corporate and commercial practice areas, with a particular focus on the sports and media industries.

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  • Fluent in Chinese

Joey’s practice focuses on property acquisitions and sales, property due diligence, contract negotiations, commercial leasing, and foreign investments.

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Jeanette has over 10 years’ experience working in the Asia-Pacific region. She specialises in advising borrowers and financial institutions on bilateral and syndicated financing, as well as cross-border project financing.

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Tina is experienced in defending public and product liability claims in New South Wales and Queensland on behalf of domestic and international insurers.

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William is an experienced litigator with over 11 years’ experience in both Australia and overseas and currently practices in multiple Australian jurisdictions...

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Stacey has over 6 years’ experience in workers’ compensation law. In addition to her workers’ compensation practice, Stacey has specialised expertise in common law, public liability and asbestos claims.

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David’s practice is predominantly in commercial litigation and insolvency...

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Donna has approximately 20 years’ experience in alternative dispute resolution through her previous roles in the insurance and legal industry...

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Bianca’s commercial dispute resolution and litigation practice extends to include acting for entities and individuals in contractual disputes, high quantum intellectual property disputes, breach of confidence and restraint of trade matters, shareholder oppression claims, partnership disputes, estate disputes and large equitable disputes.

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Nina has 11 years’ broad experience as a commercial lawyer with a specialty in intellectual property and information technology law, and related areas of practice including privacy, data security and competition law.

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Amber has more than 12 years of experience in the legal insurance sphere, and has covered the field, working in State and Federal Government legal practices, private practice and in-house at WorkCover in 2011.

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Hamish is a commercial dispute resolution lawyer. His experience extends to applications for urgent relief, appellate matters and defence of class actions.

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Victoria’s practice focuses on the common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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With over fourteen years’ experience working in the NSW workers compensation area, Jenny is a highly skilled and proficient lawyer who defends statutory and common law workers compensation claims.

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Toniel’s practice focuses on general insurance advice and litigation. She manages complex and varied matters for a number of high profile insurers and private clients.

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Elisa's practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2014 (Vic).

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Hannah practices in general insurance litigation with a particular focus on claims and risk...

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Rebecca's areas of expertise include the preparation of design and construction documents, and construction dispute advice and litigation...

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Jessica practices in employment and workplace relations law and provides strategic advice to clients across a range of industries.

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Pia is a Senior Associate in the Commercial Dispute Resolution team with experience across general commercial litigation, banking enforcement and insolvency...

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Markus’ practice focuses on statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Liz's practice focuses on state compensation and liability claims. She has developed particular expertise in identifying and managing complex and technical liability and state compensation claims, considering, analysing and providing commercial advice to both insurers and self-insured employers...

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Lauren specialises in resolving disputes, and works collaboratively with her team and with clients to provide strategic advice and success for the client...

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Kathryn advises and represents clients in a wide range of matters, including general commercial litigation, banking and finance litigation involving mortgages, guarantees and loan agreements, debt recovery and enforcement and corporate insolvency advice.

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Brandon is an experienced insurance litigator specialising in workers’ compensation, medical treatment liability and public liability claims.

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Mitch is an experienced insurance and litigation lawyer who has defended claims on behalf of insurer and private clients as well as state government departments.

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Zoe acts predominately for corporate clients and company directors in cases involving contractual disputes, fraud, corporations and equity matters, competition and consumer law...

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Bridget is an experienced insurance and litigation lawyer who has acted for leading Australian and international insurers and underwriters...

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Shane has a broad commercial and regulatory litigation practice, encompassing investment fund and trustee disputes, banking and company law, financial services, civil and commercial fraud, aviation, construction and infrastructure disputes.

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Belinda is an insurance lawyer with decades of experience over a range of jurisdictions. Belinda is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law...

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Ebonie has worked in the area of insurance law since 2011. She has a specific interest in representing employers in workers compensation claims, with her practice encompassing both physical injury and psychological injury claims in both litigated and non-litigated advice matters.

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Melissa is an experienced insurance lawyer who focuses on advising major national insurers on CTP and public liability claims ranging from homeowners to small businesses.

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Dr Wolfgang Babeck has more than 20 years’ experience as a corporate and commercial lawyer and is admitted in New South Wales, England & Wales and as Rechtsanwalt in Germany...

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Sumith Perera

Chief Operating Officer

Sumith is the Chief Operating Officer and the national Head of Corporate Services at Hall & Wilcox. He has over 20 years' experience in leading and managing teams at professional services firms.

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Peter is the Client Solutions Director at Hall & Wilcox where he drives their Smarter Law program and fosters innovation at the firm...

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Dean is the Head of Hall & Wilcox’s Finance team. He has over 15 years’ experience in finance within professional services firms.

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Katie is the Director of People & Culture for Hall & Wilcox. She has over 20 years’ experience in the legal industry.

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Melanie is the national head of Hall & Wilcox’s Business Development, Marketing & Communications team...

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Mike manages the Legal Excellence & Risk team at Hall & Wilcox and is responsible for the firm’s precedents, risk management and general counsel/company secretarial functions.

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Pious is the IT manager and head of IT nationally at Hall & Wilcox. He has over 18 years’ experience as a senior IT executive with a proven track record in legal and government technology management sectors.

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Melinda is the national marketing and communications manager at Hall & Wilcox. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, content creator and marketing communications specialist at professional services firms.

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