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Advantages of ordering unit trusts from DBA Lawyers

Daniel Butler ([email protected]), Director, DBA Lawyers  

This article highlights the value of ordering unit trust documents from a law firm with the relevant expertise such as DBA Lawyers.

DBA Lawyers has always focused on providing quality documents and solutions instead of competing with other document suppliers on pricing (especially non-qualified and non-expert suppliers). In the context of ordering documents, the appearance of a lower price at the beginning can pale into insignificance given the substantial costs, time and adverse damage that result from not obtaining the right documents.


We outline a list of some of the advantages from ordering unit trust documents from DBA Lawyers.

  1. Our unit trust is a fixed trust for income tax purposes (eg, for trust loss and franking credit purposes). Further, the NSW Office of State Revenue has expressly confirmed that our unit trust is a fixed trust for NSW land tax purposes.
  2. Our unit trust deed contains a comprehensive ‘limitation of liability’ clause so that unit holders are not exposed to liabilities.
  3. Our unit trust documents include a detailed memo that explains important concepts and provides practical guidance to trustees and unit holders that is more extensive and informative than many Product Disclosure Statements. Many other suppliers do not supply such helpful information to assist clients in their understanding of how the law and tax rules apply to unit trusts.
  4. Our unit trust deed has been specially designed so that it can be used as a ‘50-50 non-related unit trust’ arrangement where there is SMSF involvement. We also recommend using a corporate trustee with our constitution as the decision-making and share structure in our constitution also supports a ’50-50 non-related unit trust’ arrangement. For more information about the benefits of our constitution, please refer to the following links: and
  5. Our unit trust deed gives the power to have meetings using technology, so meetings can occur even if some uni tholders are in different locations. Also, while we do not recommend individual trustees, they can also use circulating resolutions.
  6. Our firm has extensive expertise in SMSF and tax matters involving unit trusts and superannuation and tax law compliance. Our lawyers regularly work on unit trust consulting matters, especially where our firm has provided detailed advice about SMSFs’ involvement in unit trusts and related structuring. We also have a sound understanding of duty and land tax implications, including when landholder duty arises on transfer of units.
  7. We review our unit trust documents on a regular basis and obtain feedback from a number of experienced trust and tax practitioners.
  8. We also have a very advanced online ordering capability and swift turnaround times without any compromise of quality as each document suite is reviewed by a lawyer.
  9.  Our documents are provided by a law firm that is a registered legal practice with professional indemnity insurance. Many other suppliers are non-qualified and non-expert and claim that they may source or licence their documents from a law firm, or have their documents signed-off by a law firm. However, whenever clients hear such a claim, they should consider the following questions:(a)      What does the supplier actually receive from the law firm?
    (b)      When did the law firm last review and/or update its documents?
    (c)      Does the law firm have any lawyers who are experts in the field of SMSFs, trusts, corporations law, etc?
    (d)      Does the supplier have professional indemnity insurance and if so, what is the insurance arrangement?

    For advisers, making a decision to order a specific trust deed from a non-qualified supplier could itself constitute a legal decision for which they can be held liable to a client. Ordering directly from a law firm minimises this risk. For more background in relation to this point, please refer to following link:
  10.  Our firm has approachable and helpful staff who can assist beyond merely preparing documents. In particular, our lawyers assist with any general off-the-cuff queries within certain limitations. Naturally, where the queries are more complex and fact-specific, we can be engaged to provide formal advice and we are happy to provide a quote or estimate before proceeding.


Advisers and clients should have a long-term perspective when choosing a supplier of unit trust documents. In particular, ordering directly from a law firm with the relevant expertise in trusts, tax and SMSFs reduces risk and results in much better value.

DBA Lawyers offers a wide range of document services. DBA Lawyers also offers a range of consulting services in relation to superannuation and tax matters.

Related articles

Other related articles on trusts can be accessed here:

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Note: DBA Lawyers hold SMSF CPD training at venues all around. For more details or to register, visit or call 03 9092 9400.

For more information regarding how DBA Lawyers can assist in your SMSF practice.

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