Burgess Thomson, leaders in Newcastle conveyancing

LEADING NEWCASTLE LAWYERS: Damian Burgess (left) and James Thomson (right). Picture: SUPPLIED.
LEADING NEWCASTLE LAWYERS: Damian Burgess (left) and James Thomson (right). Picture: SUPPLIED.

Experience makes all the difference to getting a successful result in any conveyancing matter. When conveyancing mistakes are made, they can be costly.

Few lawyers have studied at Harvard Law School - but James Thomson, a Director and Principal Lawyer at Burgess Thomson is one of them.

Burgess Thomson is one of Newcastle's longstanding law firms with three main areas of practice:

  1. Conveyancing and Property Law
  2. Wills, Estate Planning, Deceased Estates and Contested Estates
  3. Business and Commercial Law

James, who has over 20 years' experience, completed the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School last year and has also completed National Mediation Accreditation Training at The Resolution Institute and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

He holds a Master of Laws degree from The University of Sydney and Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degrees from The University of NSW.

"It is essential to have an experienced team of lawyers and conveyancers that can negotiate in your best interests," James said. "Burgess Thomson are extremely thorough and detailed in our approach to conveyancing, ensuring that nothing is missed to protect our clients' interests and get them the best possible result in their property transactions.

"We review every contract and the special conditions in detail and explain these to our clients. Anything that we negotiate we ensure is included in the contract special conditions. Our sale contracts for vendors contain terms which protect the vendors' interests if things go wrong, for example, if a purchaser defaults or delays settlement or seeks to cause issues with a final inspection. Everything is done to protect our clients' interests in what can be the most important transaction in their lives."

Burgess Thomson's clients include families and individuals, as well as small and medium business owners.

"We deal a lot with first home buyers, clients selling their existing property and upgrading to buy a larger home, people that are buying off the plan, and people that are downsizing to smaller residences or retirement villages," James said.

"We also assist with land, rural, commercial and industrial property sales and purchases. Clients may be buying or transferring a property into their self-managed superannuation fund or buying/selling a business premises."

Buying and selling property creates many conveyancing challenges.

"A client may be selling a property and needs the funds from their sale to purchase another property," James said. "We are able to negotiate a simultaneous settlement of their sale and purchase, to ensure a smooth move without the need for bridging finance. We are also able to assist with negotiating early access to the property they are purchasing, to reduce the stresses of having to move from one property to another on the same day."

Burgess Thomson are often able to negotiate a reduced deposit of 5 per cent or arrange a deposit bond.

"Clients often worry about missing out on a property, getting into a bidding war with another buyer, and being gazumped," James said.

"In these cases, we recommend clients seek to exchange contracts immediately with either a cooling-off period or a subject-to-finance clause. The advantage is it takes the property off the market, while they are able to complete building and pest inspection reports and arrange their formal finance approval and this reduces the risk of being gazumped. If people are buying into a strata unit we encourage them to obtain a strata inspection report to identify any issues with the building management or special levies which could expose them to unforeseen expenses."

For first home buyers, Burgess Thomson are able to complete all documentation required to enable them to get the full stamp duty exemption on existing properties up to $650,000 and new properties up to $800,000.

Damian Burgess founded Burgess Thomson in 1983 and has over 40 years' experience in the law. He continues to practice at the firm and is dedicated to delivering the best possible result for his clients. Sharon Musgrave is a Licensed Conveyancer at Burgess Thomson with over 30 years' conveyancing experience across residential, commercial and industrial properties and is PEXA certified. Senior Paralegal Sue Cheal supports the conveyancing team with her precise attention to detail and experience in the legal profession, having been employed at the firm for over 28 years. Together, they take the time to get to know their clients and provide regular updates so clients are kept fully informed during what can sometimes be a stressful time in their lives.

"We conduct all our settlements electronically using PEXA, which means that clients receive funds from their sale on the same day and properties are transferred into our clients' names in real time at settlement," James said.

Burgess Thomson is located at 400 Hunter Street, Newcastle, directly opposite the new Courthouse, with parking conveniently located in the HarbourPark carpark in Argyle Street. For more information, visit www.burgessthomson.com.au or call 02 4929 5602 or email mail@burgessthomson.com.au.