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Brisbane Residential Conveyancing Solicitors

Buying and selling real estate is often one of the most important financial decisions many people will make in their lifetime. The role of the lawyer in all areas of property law is to oversee the transaction and protect your interests. It makes sense to have the benefit of legal advice you can trust.

The Property Law team at BigLaw is led by Tony Biggar and Warren Wood. Tony is a founding solicitor at Big Law with over 30 years experience. Warren has been with Tony since 2010 and has over 10 years experience in Property Law.

The team has a reputation for creating successful outcomes for our clients in all areas of property law.

Whether you are buying or selling residential or vacant real estate, unit titles or rural and lifestyle blocks, are involved in sub-divisions, commercial property, or need advice on retirement villages, or retail and commercial leasing, you can be confident BigLaw have all the skills and expertise you need to ensure a successful, worry-free outcome to your transaction.

BigLaw believes that one of the things that sets it apart from many of the other conveyancing firms is the easy direct access that you will have to the solicitor responsible for your property transaction.

There are very experienced conveyancing paralegals that will handle much of the work and you will find them easily accessible and responsive to your needs. However, you are always welcome to talk direct to Warren or Tony at any stage of the matter.

Total conveyancing costs are typically made up of:

  • the solicitor’s professional fees and
  • the cost of disbursements and outlays and
  • government charges

Professional fees cover the cost of the time and resources of the professional lawyers required to complete the matter, the risk management and legal compliance activities, and normal office costs (e.g. postage, telephone, photocopying, faxes etc.).

As in many aspects of life, you will often get what you pay for. So it is important to look for legal firms that offer good value for money, rather than just looking for the cheapest in town.

Disbursements and Outlays are the costs payable to other agencies such as search companies, councils and utility authorities, settlement agents, etc. The primary purpose of these searches and other services is to protect your interests, so beware the conveyancor that quotes the total price low by skimping on the activities that will protect your interests.

Government charges for purchases can include transfer duty and registration fees.

When comparing legal quotes, don’t just compare total to total. Make sure that you are comparing apples and apples. For example, compare professional fees to professional fees and assess what you are getting for your money in terms of expertise, customer service, and responsiveness. Then compare disbursements to disbursements to review what is being done to look after your best interests. In Queensland the conveyancing protocol recommends a number of standard searches to be undertaken. These recommended searches can be a good comparative guide.


Your lawyer is your adviser, and is the ONLY person in the transaction whose role it is to protect your legal interests.

As your lawyer, it is our role to represent you during the conveyancing transaction. This role requires us to examine the contract or a situation to determine whether you are in dispute with a party to the transaction, decide which party (there may be more than one) is involved, and to determine your rights or responsibilities in relation to that party. We must then provide you with legal advice, obtain your instructions, and do what is necessary to properly fulfil your instructions.

Sometimes a potential adversary may attempt to convince you that it is in your interests to do things their way. For example, the real estate agent may claim to be assisting you by writing a condition into the contract on your behalf. Or your finance broker may tell you to do something that is contrary to our advice.

Remember, no other party to the transaction is being paid specifically to advise, assist and protect you. “Free” advice offered by others is often only worth what it costs!

We strongly recommend using qualified lawyers for conveyancing to ensure your legal rights and investment are protected at all times. Lawyers give legal advice about the property, the transaction, and the complex laws involved in property purchases and sales.

Not at all. Like any other service, your experience will depend on the firm you choose. Be wary of accepting the cheapest quote.

It is recommended that you seek our advice before signing. We can give you legal advice in relation to the standard terms of the contract as well as any special terms which may have been inserted. We can also advise as to whether any special conditions need to be included for your benefit and protection.

Just fax, email or deliver the unsigned contract and we will advise you of the terms of the contract or lack thereof.

Cooling off is a term used to describe the right of a purchaser of residential real estate to cancel the contract and walk away from the purchase on a “no questions asked” basis within a specified period of time, but paying a penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price which is deducted from the deposit paid by the purchaser.

In the state of Queensland the cooling off period expires 5 clear business days from the day on which the purchaser (or their lawyer) recieves a copy of the contract signed by both the purchaser and seller.

Buying “off-the-plan” means buying land or an apartment that does not yet exist other than as a drawing on a proposed plan.

For example:
Imagine a large paddock surrounded by a single fence. The owner would like to divide the land into small lots and sell them off.

The owner/developer must apply for and obtain a development approval and once this is received the developer can “sell” the blocks before the subdivision is registered. This is done by entering into contracts with potential buyers on the basis that the developer /vendor will sub-divide the land and register the subdivision at the Land Titles Office. Settlement is usually 14 days after registration. Usually, the vendor has a limited time (18 months) to have the land sub-divided and registered. If the land cannot be sub-divided and registered within the time, the contracts can be cancelled, and the purchasers will get their deposit back.

The vendor has disclosure plans prepared, showing the paddock divided into smaller lots. Potential purchasers select lots as depicted in the plans, and if everything goes well the purchasers will eventually receive individual titles for the blocks of land they have chosen.

The situation is the same with unit developments. Building works may not have commenced, but purchasers can enter into contracts to purchase units, chosen by reference to disclosure plans of the proposed buildings.

Big Law Solicitors are able to provide advice and guidance in situations that require a high level of legal expertise. We have experience in dealing with unusual and difficult situations.

Big Law has considerable experience acting for retirement villages, and also for clients wishing to take up residence in a retirement village.

The decision to move to a retirement village is a lifestyle choice. Whilst there is a property transaction involved, it is usually not a real estate transaction in the normal course of events. Retirement Villages often have exit fees and other costs in addition to your ongoing financial contributions. In this regard, it is essential you seek legal advice before entering into any negotiations or agreements to acquire property in a Retirement Village.

Big Law has all the requisite expertise to advise you on acquiring property in a retirement village, specifically in the following areas.

  • Whether the premises are Leasehold or Freehold
  • Reviewing documentation, including contracts for sale and purchase, leases, resident
In Queensland a Body Corporate is created when land is subdivided and registered at the Land Titles Office as a Community Titles Scheme. In Queensland, Body Corporates are governed by the Body Corporates and Community Management Act. This is a substantial and complex piece of legislation requiring the highest levels of legal expertise.

Big Law has a high degree of competence in preparing small scheme Community Management Statements (CMS) for owner-builders subdividing their land or those clients who wish to build a granny flat onto an existing home. We liaise with your surveyor, bank, and town planner. We prepare the draft CMS for sealing at your local council as well as the name reservations and consents, for eventual lodgement at the Department of Environment and Resource Management.
Our advice will vary depending on the following circumstances:

  • The number of units or townhouses in the development
  • The Local Authority involved
  • Whether there is a mortgage
  • Whether any easements are required

If an easement needs to be prepared, we can assist with this to this prior to preparation of the CMS. If after the CMS has been registered you wish to engage a Body Corporate Manager, we can assist you with this.

Not necessarily. You are of course most welcome to make an appointment to see us if you want to, but most conveyances can be completed via phone, fax, email and post.

When you sell you have to sign transfer documents and your signature on those documents needs to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace / Commissioner for Declarations / Legal Practitioner. For your convenience, Big Law has a number of qualified witnesses who can assist you.

  1. Perusal of, and legal advice on, proposed Contracts of Sale
  2. Advise on the appropriateness of accepting or waiving the 5 business day cooling off period.
  3. Negotiations with the other party, their agent or lawyer, and preparation of all transfer documentation.
  4. Obtaining all standard and if requested non standard searches.
  5. Liaising with your financial institution to facilitate settlement.
  6. Arranging settlement time and date.
  7. Calculating the appropriate rate for Stamp Duty and arranging stamping
  8. Calculate rate, water, and other necessary adjustments
  9. Attend settlement.
We will only require payment of our professional fees and outgoings at settlement of your Property.

Stamp Duty is required to be paid one month after the contract becomes unconditional or on settlement whichever is earlier. We usually accept payment of stamp duty on the day of settlement as long as payment is by bank cheque.

Residential Conveyancing - Real Estate Law Lawyers Brisbane

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“BigLaw is all about providing legal help to people without the big legal fees and inconvenience of the big city law firms”

TONY BIGGAR – Legal Practitioner Director