Guarantors Beware

Not all guarantees are created equal: understanding the risks associated with guarantees in property transactions and whether you might be forced to ‘pay the price’ for a purchaser’s non-completion.

June 18, 2024

Legal 500 (Asia Pacific) Guide 2023

Sincere thanks to our wonderful clients and hard-working team for supporting our inclusion in the Legal 500 (Asia Pacific) Guide as a leading firm in Real Estate for 2023

The Legal 500 has been analysing law firm capabilities across the world for more than 3 decades in over 150 jurisdictions. Their research is based on: “feedback from 300,000 clients worldwide, submissions from law firms and interviews with leading private practice lawyers, and a team of researchers who have unrivalled experience in the legal market.”

February 10, 2023

"Excellence Awardee" - Boutique Firm of the Year - 2022 Australasian Law Awards

We are delighted that Massons has been selected as an “Excellence Awardee” in the category of “Boutique Firm of the Year” at the 2022 Australasian Law Awards.

Thank you to all of our wonderful clients who have supported our nomination in this category, and to our amazing lawyers and support staff for making this possible!

Wishing all the other Awardees the best of luck and looking forward to the Gala Dinner.  A night out with our team is always cause for celebration – win, lose or draw!!

March 23, 2022

Doyle's Guide 2022

We are excited about our inclusion in Doyle’s Guide for 2022 for NSW in the following categories:

Massons – Leading Property & Real Estate Law Firms
Jodie Masson – Leading Property & Real Estate Lawyers and Leading Leasing Lawyers
Leisha de Aboitiz – Leading Property & Real Estate Lawyers and Leading Leasing Lawyers
Ben Malone – Property & Real Estate Law Rising Stars

Thank you to all of our peers and wonderful clients who have helped to achieve this recognition.

March 14, 2022

"Rising Stars" Australasian Lawyer 2022

February 28, 2022

Appointment as Senior Associate

We are excited to announce the appointment of Alex Ho as a Senior Associate at Massons.  Alex started with us as a paralegal and has achieved this milestone in record time due to his hard work, his ability to develop and sustain fantastic relationships with clients, his engagement in constantly seeking to improve himself and others in equal measure, and his absolutely infectious enthusiasm.  We couldn’t be prouder!  Congratulations Alex!

January 5, 2022

Australian Lawyer's Elite Women List 2021

December 8, 2021

We are excited to have been named as finalists in several categories in the Lawyers Weekly “Women in Law Awards 2021”:

– Massons – “Boutique Diversity Law Firm of the Year”
– Ole Mitrevski – “Senior Associate of the Year – SME Law”
– Michelle Mon – “Rising Star of the Year – SME Law”
– Nicole Caryofyllis – “Legal Support Professional of the Year”

We are proud to be recognised as a Firm which supports diversity in the workplace and are humbled to be included in the list of finalists in these categories. Win or lose, we are looking forward to celebrating the Awards night and would love to thank our peers and clients who have helped us achieve this recognition.

October 12, 2021

Doyle's Guide 2021 - "Leading Property & Real Estate Law Firms - NSW"

We are delighted to have been recognised in Doyle’s Guide 2021 in the list of “Leading Property & Real Estate Law Firms – NSW”.  Thank you to all of our peers and wonderful clients who have helped us achieve this recognition!

April 20, 2021

April 19, 2021

April 16, 2021

Changes to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in response to COVID-19: section 127 execution

The Federal Government has introduced welcome changes to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) by way of the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No. 1) 2020 to amongst other things permit companies to execute documents pursuant to section 127 electronically (for example, by Docusign).

At this stage, the changes apply from 6 May 2020 and will be in force for 6 months.

Companies will still need to ensure the electronic execution method complies with the Determination and the relevant electronic transaction legislation in each State (for example, using an appropriate electronic execution method and obtaining consent from parties to the transaction).  We suggest it may be appropriate to include additional drafting in contracts to ensure the electronic execution arrangements are compliant.

May 6, 2020

ACCC Interim authorisation for collective negotiations by retail tenants

On 22 April 2020, the ACCC granted interim authorisation for tenants who are members of the Australian Retailers Association to collectively negotiate with landlords regarding the support to be provided to retail tenants who are adversely impacted by COVID-19 – including information sharing for the purposes of those negotiations.

This interim authorisation protects retail tenants from legal action for certain conduct which might otherwise breach the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and remains in place until it is revoked or the date that the ACCC has made its final determination.  The public consultation process is currently open and the final determination is anticipated in September 2020.

This interim authorisation will be especially helpful for tenants in retail shopping centres and will impact how retail landlords approach rent relief negotiations with their tenants.

April 24, 2020

New South Wales - COVID-19 New regulation - Witnessing documents via audio visual link

New regulation introduced in NSW (applicable to documents governed by state laws) allows for documents to be witnessed by audio visual link for an anticipated period of 6 months commencing from 22 April 2020. Find full copy of regulation here:

Electronic Transactions Amendment (COVID-19 Witnessing of Documents) Regulation 2020

April 24, 2020

Victoria - COVID-19 Omnibus legislation - What it means for commercial/retail tenancies now

The COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 was passed by the Victorian Government yesterday and came into effect today. The Act gives the Governor powers to enact Regulations to prohibit termination rights and limit/modify rights under an ‘eligible lease’.

What we do know now

  • The Regulations (which we have not yet seen) may be retrospective, but they wont apply before 29 March 2020 (so consider whether any April arrangement should remain subject to future rights that you may have under the regulations).
  • For now, the Regulations will only have effect for a maximum 6 months (ie. until 24 October 2020).
  • The Victorian Small Business Commission can make recommendations on the Regulations (so keep an eye out on the VSBC website).
  • The criteria for the Regulations to apply to your lease (ie to be an ‘eligible lease’) includes:
    • the tenant must have less than $50 million annual turnover (current or previous year)
    • the tenant must qualify for and participate in the JobKeeper scheme (eg. at least 30% fall in turnover)
    • the lease must be in effect on the date the first regulation operates (ie. a future date – so consider the impact on leases being/about to be entered into now)

What we don’t know yet

  • We still have to wait for Regulations from the Governor to know the details on how this may impact your rights under a lease.
  • No update on Victoria’s version of the commercial/retail tenancy rent relief framework (the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Code of Conduct is still not law yet in Victoria…).
  • The Regulations may apply to other occupancy arrangements like licences, but we won’t know exactly what that will mean in practice until we see the Regulations.

April 24, 2020

Western Australia - COVID-19 Legislation - Commercial tenancies

Covid-19 legislation for commercial tenancies appears one step closer in WA, with proposed legislation successfully passing both houses of Parliament this week.  Enactment of legislation should be imminent. Interesting to see that WA has also taken the further step of introducing proposed additional legislation (which hasn’t passed Parliament yet) giving certain tenants in ‘severe financial distress’ a regime for early termination of their lease.  This is in contrast to some other States’ views against providing tenants with early termination measures.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Eviction moratorium and code of conduct to protect WA businesses

April 23, 2020

NSW - Strata management during COVID-19 crisis

Many strata schemes in NSW are presently stuck between a rock (face to face meeting obligations) and a hard place (Covid-19 meeting restrictions). NSW Fair Trading acknowledges that whilst meetings for smaller schemes may be able to comply with social distancing orders, meeting requirements are likely to be problematic for larger schemes and so it is “reviewing the situation”. There has been some talk of relying on the “no quorum” default provisions in the legislation to push through approval for alternative/electronic meeting arrangements at a 2-person meeting. Whilst this might seem a little cheeky, query whether this might just meet the dual objectives of staying safe whilst complying with face to face meeting requirements. Guidance notes from NSW Fair Trading Trading can be found here:

Fair Trading – Guidance notes

April 17, 2020

NSW - Tenancy Code of Conduct

Don’t like where the Tenancy Code of Conduct is heading? Here is your chance to have a say and potentially help shape more balanced outcomes.

The Property Council of Australia has recently posted an alert as follows:

“The Property Council is aware of the difficulties being experienced by our members in dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on commercial property leases as well as tenant behaviour and expectations.

As the NSW Government prepares to implement a Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies during the COVID-19 period, it is vital that we are effectively communicating the real-world experience of our members in managing tenancy issues.

To this end, we need you to support our advocacy on these matters by sharing your story and experience and the impact these changes will have on your business.”

If you have any case studies illustrating examples of tenant/landlord related issues and impacts on your business, consider submitting to the PCA directly (if you are a member), or submit to us and we can submit on your behalf as examples of issues that our clients are facing.  Submissions are due by COB on Thursday, 16 April 2020.

April 15, 2020

2020 Australasian Law Awards - Finalist

A little bit of good news during difficult times. Thanks to our fantastic team and to our wonderful clients for making this possible!

The team from Massons hopes that everyone is managing to stay safe and well.

April 7, 2020

Rising Stars 2020 - Australasian Lawyer

Some exciting news!  We are so proud of Ben.

Rising Stars 2020 – Australasian Lawyer

March 11, 2020

Board member - REINSW

REINSW Welcomes President & Board

November 21, 2019

Property & Real Estate Law Rising Stars - Doyle's Guide 2019

We are absolutely delighted to see our Ben Malone recognised in Doyles Guide 2019 in the category of “Property & Real Estate Law Rising Stars – Australia”

June 6, 2019

Doyle's Guide 2019

We are excited that Massons has been recognised once again (and moved up a tier in rankings) in Doyle’s Guide 2019 in the category of “Leading Property & Real Estate Law Firms – NSW”. We are thrilled to be recognised by our peers for doing what we love to do! To add to our excitement, our Jodie Masson and Leisha de Aboitiz have both been recommended in the category of “Leading Property & Real Estate Lawyers – NSW” and Jodie has also been recommended in the category of “Leading Leasing Lawyers – NSW”. What an amazing week – we haven’t stopped smiling!

May 15, 2019

Acquisition of iconic heritage listed Customs House

Massons was delighted to work with the exceptional team at the City of Sydney in its recent acquisition of the iconic heritage listed Customs House from The Commonwealth of Australia

April 1, 2019

Australasian Law Awards - Finalist

It has been a big week for Massons! We are excited to be nominated as a finalist in the 2019 Australasian Law Awards “Law Firm of the Year (1-100 Lawyers)” category.  Thank you to all of our amazing staff and valued clients for helping us to achieve this recognition.

March 28, 2019

Rachael Bass - LawyersWeekly '30 Under 30' awards

March 26, 2019

Jodie Masson - Best Lawyers® in Australia

March 22, 2019

Location or amenities: leveraging the benefits of your commercial listing

To assist in leveraging the benefits of commercial listings, the REINSW has recently published an article in which our Ole Mitrevski provides some insights into what businesses prioritise when looking for commercial space

Read the article here – Locations or amenities: leveraging the benefits of your commercial listing

February 15, 2019

Sale of freehold at Chifley Plaza & Tower

Well done to the team in getting this very significant deal through to its successful conclusion at the end of last year! Special shout out to Jodie Masson, Ben Malone, Rachael Bass and Nicole Caryofyllis for all their hard work. We really value the opportunity to work with such great clients and such a landmark asset. Hopefully 2019 will bring us some more opportunities to work on deals like this…

January 16, 2019

Adverse Possession

Our very own Ben Malone recently appeared on ABCNews24 last week chatting all things “adverse possession”.  This was a hot topic in the press following a very interesting (and unusual) adverse possession case relating to a property in the Inner West in NSW (see article in the link below for more details):

Sydney property developer awarded home under squatting laws

November 5, 2018

Strata Renewal update

The Owners – Strata Plan 49574 v Scorpio Holdings (Aust) Pty Ltd & Ors

Another strata renewal hits the Land & Environment Court, and it becomes apparent that:

  • a security for costs application under rule 42.21 of the UCPR will not be available to a dissenting lot owner in strata renewal proceedings; and
  • – applicants are entitled to require dissenting owners to properly “state their case” and provide particulars of compensation early in the proceedings

Read the full case here –




May 4, 2018

Doyle's Guide - 2018

We are delighted that Massons has been listed in the Doyle’s Guide of “Leading Property & Real Estate Law Firms – NSW, 2018 and that both of our partners, Jodie Masson and Leisha de Aboitiz have been listed as “Leading Property & Real Estate Lawyers – NSW, 2018”. Doyle’s Guide is compiled using “online peer-based surveys as well as extensive telephone and face to face interviews with clients, peers and relevant industry bodies” so a big THANK YOU must go out to our wonderful clients and our respected peers in the legal industry – thank you!

April 23, 2018

Ben Malone - Law Society of NSW Property Law Committee for 2018

April 20, 2018

Ole Mitrevski - 500 Women in Property

April 20, 2018

Massons - Finalist in the Australasian Law Awards 2018 – Boutique Firm of the Year

Massons is pleased to announce that it is a finalist in the 2018 Australasian Law Awards for Boutique Firm of the Year.

Partner, Leisha de Aboitiz, said that ‘this is a reflection of all the hard work carried out by the team at Massons and also to our valued clients for entrusting us to act in their property transactions.  We have set out to achieve a reputation as a firm which provides a specialised service to its clients and our nomination as a finalist in this category is a wonderful recognition of that achievement.’

Winners of categories in the Australasian Law Awards will be announced in May 2018.

March 27, 2018

Specialisation the rising giant in Australian law

Massons partner Leisha de Aboitiz has responded to calls from Lawyers Weekly to identify the major trend impacting the Australian legal sector.

Ms de Aboitiz said specialisation was the ‘rising giant’ in Australian law.

“There is an increasing number of breakaway firms who are responding to client demand for specialist knowledge. While this has seen a rise in boutique offerings, it is occurring at all levels in the legal market. For example, there are a number of global and national firms who have either re-structured around core practice areas, or who have entered the Australian market with the express intention to focus on a particular industry or discipline,” she said.

“With large global firms developing core practices and trimming down the non-core practices which have more of a local (and less of a global) focus, the market for boutique specialist firms is growing and the cross-referral network for reputable specialists is growing as a result.”

Ms de Aboitz said factors driving specialisation include the rise of artificial intelligence, increased demand from in-house legal teams and clients being more willing to hand pick the right team for the right advice.

See the full article here.

August 9, 2017

Changes to ATO clearance certificate regime

The Government has announced important changes to the ATO clearance certificate regime (foreign resident capital gains tax withholding rules):

  • the ATO clearance certificate regime threshold is being reduced from $2m purchase price to anything >$750k purchase price
  • the foreign resident capital gains tax withholding rate will be 12.5% (currently 10%) – (this is the amount that the purchaser must withhold if the clearance certificate isn’t provided)

The change only applies to contracts entered into on and from 1 July 2017. – Ben Malone. 

May 15, 2017

Ben Malone - '30 under 30' Award Finalist

Our Senior Associate, Ben Malone, has been named as a finalist in the prestigious Lawyers Weekly ‘30 under 30 Awards’ for Construction and Real Estate.

Now in its fifth year, the 30 Under 30 awards programme recognises young lawyers striving for professional excellence within their specific practice area.

William Magee, publisher of Lawyers Weekly, said: “Lawyers Weekly has seen an overwhelming response during the submissions phase. For those who have made it to the finalist stage, congratulations, you have secured your place amongst Australia’s top young lawyers.”

Ben has been with our firm since its inception, acting on significant real estate transactions for a broad range of clients across Australia. He is drawn upon regularly for his deep knowledge of property law.

We’re delighted to see him recognised by his peers and clients for his outstanding and diligent work.

The category winners are due to be announced on Friday, 23 June 2017.

May 9, 2017

Inclusion in Best Lawyers® 2017

Congratulations to our Partner, Jodie Masson, who was recently selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2017™ in the field of Real Property Law. Best Lawyers® is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. It strives to ensure that a listing in its publication signals not only legal expertise, but also, ethics and professionalism of the highest calibre.

April 7, 2017

Boutique Firm of The Year - Finalists

We continue to be both energised and humbled by the support we have received from the Australian property sector since our establishment in July 2016– support which has led to us being named as an Innovative Law Firm in the 2016 Australasian Lawyer Awards, and a finalist in the 2016 Women in Law Awards in the category of ‘boutique diversity law firm’.

Incredibly, thanks to the nomination of our clients, we have now been named as a finalist in the 2017 Australasian Lawyer Awards in the category of Boutique Firm of the Year. This is not only an honour but confirmation that our decision to break from the traditional law firm model was the right one. We proudly work for some of Australia’s best known companies, and deliver a service that is built on an ethos which favours relationship building and excellence over billable hours. Our team is passionate about property and delivering outstanding solutions for our clients, and as a firm we are determined to prove that a happy, diverse, team-based culture is a better path to profitability and staff retention.

March 22, 2017

Retail strata owners: are you prepared?

Our Partner, Leisha de Aboitiz, has provided a warning that retail strata owners need to be aware of how legislative changes being applied in NSW to the Strata Schemes Management Act and the Strata Schemes Development Act will impact them. To learn more, read Leisha’s insights in the December edition of Shopping Centre News here.

December 8, 2016

How the strata scheme renewal process works

Leisha de Aboitiz and Leila Packett have shared their insights into one of the most talked about features of the new Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 NSW with members of the Real Estate Institute of NSW. To find out how the new regime affects you, and in particular how the sale of strata schemes can now be undertaken with a majority vote, visit the REINSW website here.

December 1, 2016

Strata schemes must act now

The team at Massons has issued a strong recommendation to all strata schemes that changes to strata by-laws not yet registered should be lodged for registration before the new reforms begin.

Strata schemes should take urgent action to lodge changes to by-laws (approved by special resolution) for registration before the new strata reforms begin on 30 November 2016. Click here for more information.

November 22, 2016

It's all about retail

On 12 November, changes to the Australian Consumer Law took effect, voiding “unfair terms” in certain small business contracts. In particular the ACCC has taken issue with broad indemnities, termination and make good clauses in retail leases.

On 25 November, the QLD retail shop lease reforms finally start – new tenant termination rights and landlord disclosure obligations to name a few. – Ben Malone, Lawyer. 

November 18, 2016

Strata schemes development regulations published

The new Strata Schemes Development Regulation have been published…just in the nick of time, with 30 November fast approaching. We’re pleased to see a measured approach taken to the valuation piece in the implementation puzzle. – Leisha de Aboitiz, Partner

November 8, 2016

Power in numbers!

Twenty-five neighbours recently grouped together to sell their properties for a premium. This type of activity is happening all over Sydney and seems to have no signs of slowing down. It’s important to appoint a good team that can go in and bat for you – good luck to Sam Brewer and team with the proposed sale. – Ben Malone, Lawyer.

August 8, 2016

Foreign resident capital gains

The application forms for the foreign resident withholding tax are now finally out to the extent that these are relevant for assets you intend to sell after 1 July 2016 or if you simply want to be ‘sale ready’). We presume that most of our clients will look after this internally, but please let us know if we can assist in any way. – Jodie Masson, Partner

May 14, 2016

Gaming Machines Act

Are you an operator of a gaming machine? Amendments to the Gaming Machines Act 2001 commenced in March which provide some guidance as to the future of the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) once the current licence expires in November. The CMS monitors gaming machines and one of its functions is to calculate the gaming machine tax. Given that the new CMS licence will be granted via a tender process, it will be interesting to see if any cost cutting measures will actually be passed onto operators. – Ole Mitrevski, Senior Associate.

May 2, 2016

Registration fees increasing

For those registering documents at Land and Property Information (LPI) in NSW, be aware that there are fee increases (and some decreases) on and from 1 July 2016. Some of the changes aren’t significant (eg lease registration will increase from $109.50 to $136.30) and there are probably bigger issues to deal with in most transactions, but it might be worth thinking about timing of registration, particularly if you are registering a lot of documents. It all adds up, right? Requisition fees will also be charged from 1 January 2017, making registration of non-compliant documents much more costly. – Jodie Masson, Partner.

May 2, 2016

Fire at Whitsunday Shopping Centre

Heard the news on Monday about a major fire at the Whitsunday Shopping Centre at Cannonvale, near Airlie Beach. It’s tragic for all those who work and shop there and it is a good reminder for landlords and tenants to not gloss over damage and destruction clauses when negotiating leases – these types of events do happen and it’s important to have an agreed process in place to avoid a dispute at a time when you can least afford it!. – Jodie Masson, Partner.

April 6, 2016

Diversity in law firms

This article is interesting but, having interviewed graduates over many years for large law firms, this is not where the problem lies. The graduate intakes that I saw comprised smart, talented young people from different cultural backgrounds, genders (in fact, firms had to work hard to get male candidates given the large number of female graduates), sexual orientation, universities, schools etc. But they don’t stay. More initiatives are necessary (not just token ‘committees’) which support diversity in senior levels, because that’s where the real problem is. – Jodie Masson, Partner.

April 1, 2016

PPSR and property sales

Do property lawyers ‘get’ Personal Property Security Register (PPSR)? Recently, trying to settle the sale of a large development site, we came across lawyers demanding PPSR releases (in addition to the usual releases). The settlement was rescued when we found another lawyer who understood. Under the old law, lawyers needed to get Form 312s on settlement. Under PPSR, if you are selling land and fixtures only, it doesn’t apply. What is a ‘fixture’ can be tricky, and we are paid to be cautious, but if lawyers keep demanding items at settlement that are “standard”, but completely unnecessary, then we just waste our clients’ money. – Jodie Masson, Partner

April 1, 2016

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