The best conveyancing lawyers in Canberra

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bill baker

Bill Baker, Managing Partner at BDN Lawyers, one of Canberra’s most recommended conveyancing lawyers. Photo: Supplied.

Buying or selling a property can be a stressful and complex process. The open homes, auctions, silent bids, and market competition all make for a high-pressure experience. Add to this, the fact that property the largest investment many will make in a lifetime.

So, when it comes to changing hands – through buying, selling, or transferring – it pays to understand conditions surrounding each transaction. Whether these terms are based on financial arrangements, periods between settlement, or inclusions and exclusions there is much to consider.

While some transactions are more forward, others are inherently more intricate such as those residing within a trust or estate. Getting your head around the nuances of property law in these conditions is not for the faint hearted. Indeed, property law is a discipline unto its own.

So, when you’re dealing with a real estate transaction, not just any lawyer will do. That’s where conveyancing lawyers – lawyers who specialise in real estate law – really step into their own. A skilled property lawyer will guide you through the process, looking after your best interests along the way.

In saying this do bear in mind that not all conveyancers are lawyers. Why does this matter? Because there are limits to the scope of services they can provide. What you really need is a fully-fledged property lawyer with a specialisation in conveyancing.

The good news is that we’ve hunted down the best conveyancing lawyers in the Canberra region. Read on below to find out more.

What makes a great conveyancing lawyer?

If you’re not a legal expert, it can be difficult to know what to look for when choosing a conveyancing lawyer. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Effective communication. When reviewing reader comments for this article, one thing was clear: communication is key. Conveyancing lawyers who focused on communication and kept clients in the loop received consistently high praise. The best conveyancing lawyers didn’t mind answering multiple questions and responded to calls promptly.
  • Positive testimonials. Take a look at reviews and testimonials, keeping an eye out for specifics. Did the lawyer update the client regularly about new developments? Was the process a smooth one? Were clients informed about all the steps involved in completing the transaction? And how about fees, were they reasonable?
  • Experience and qualifications. Find out about the types of property transactions the lawyer has worked on in the past. Helping a first home buyer purchase an off the plan apartment requires very different expertise to assisting developers with bulk land purchases. Look for a lawyer whose experience aligns with your needs.
  • Organisation skills. Conveyancing lawyers need to be highly organised to meet deadlines and manage complex conveyancing tasks – including last minute changes. If something doesn’t go to plan, a conveyancing lawyer who knows the status of all documents and their location can often save the day.
  • Clear fee structure. Buying or selling a property can place added financial pressure on buyers and sellers. Understanding what to budget for conveyancing fees not only helps with planning; it also provides peace of mind. Any conveyancer you approach should be transparent with their fee structure from the very beginning. And do remember that the cheapest conveyancer isn’t necessarily the best, so be cautious if fees are significantly lower than expected.

The best conveyancing lawyers in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended personal injury lawyers according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.

Snedden Hall & Gallop

Snedden Hall & Gallop

As one of Canberra’s most prestigious law firms, Snedden Hall & Gallop have built an enviable reputation that spans over six decades. Their experienced, personal, and dependable property team are exemplary legal practitioners who have it covered.

Specialising in both residential and commercial property their team can help navigate all key steps, from dealing with banks, through to contract advice, negotiations, concessions and exemptions, exchange, and settlement.

For those in the residential market, Snedden Hall & Gallop’s property team can assist anyone looking to enter the market; existing homeowners looking to buy or sell; along with all manner of investors. They are also well versed in complex financial arrangements, for any properties held within estates or trusts.

For those in the commercial market, the team’s sound knowledge of the local market and unique leasehold and planning system is an absolute advantage. Their strong relationships with property developers, investors, and landlords throughout region make them a force to be reckoned with.

For clear, well considered, and smooth conveyancing services look to Snedden Hall & Gallop’s property law team.

Michel Tremblant wrote on Google, “After being recommended Snedden Hall & Gallop (SHG) lawyers, I have nothing but good things to say about this highly professional law firm… My lawyer was passionate about her work, provided sound advice and she took a genuine personal interest in my case… I would highly recommend SHG to anyone.”

43-49 Geils Court
Deakin ACT 2600
BAL Lawyers

BAL Lawyers

If you appreciate clear, honest communication and a stress-free conveyancing experience, BAL Lawyers is ready to help. Its team has earned high praise for providing prompt and effective solutions to both residential and commercial conveyancing clients.

BAL Lawyers offers advice on loan and mortgage documents, provides contract advice for building new homes and can draw up or review sales contracts to put your mind at ease while buying your home. Other specialty areas include off the plan purchases, retirement village purchases, title transfers and providing guarantor advice.

Reviewers Neroli and Simon wrote on Google, “We have now purchased two homes with Bradley Allen Love Lawyers and will do so again if the opportunity arises. The team were very professional, communicative and prompt. Our meetings never seemed rushed. The process and costs were clearly explained and the fees were very reasonable. The team were always happy to answer any question and were very happy to go into as much details as we wanted.”

9th Floor, Canberra House, 40 Marcus Clarke Street
Canberra City ACT 2601
Baker Deane & Nutt

Baker Deane & Nutt

Baker Deane & Nutt has specialised in conveyancing law for more than 150 years, providing expert advice with a personal touch. Minimising risk in real estate transactions isn’t just a job for its team members – it’s their mission, in both the ACT and NSW.

Conveyancing is a complex task including various legal, financial and administrative steps, which the experienced team at Baker Deane & Nutt helps with.

The firm’s conveyancing lawyers support clients with contract preparation, exchange of contracts and settlement of transactions. They work for those selling a property and those buying a property. They also support clients who are subdividing land and updating a title.

Baker Deane & Nutt protects client interests and are precise and accurate with contracts and calculating money involved. Special areas of interest include home purchases and sales in the ACT and NSW, subdivisions, property developments, advice on mortgage and loan documents and property transfers.

Conveyancing lawyers pride themselves on being accessible, responsive and innovative. The firm has invested in technology, systems and staff training so clients receive fast and effective legal services.

Baker Deane & Nutt has offices in Canberra and Queanbeyan.

On Google Tim Gronow wrote, “In the past year, Tanya and Corrina of Baker, Deane & Nutt have assisted my wife and I, in selling our home and buying our new home. I can only speak positively about the experience … Communication throughout was first class and we never had to chase for information. Highly recommend!”

Level 1, 1 Farrell Place
Canberra City ACT 2601
Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers

Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers

When it comes to navigating the daunting process of buying and selling property, Meyer Vandenberg’s conveyancing specialists have the experience to make the process as seamless as possible. With a range of specialists on staff, Meyer Vandenberg is equipped to assist property purchases at any level, whether you’re a seasoned investor or you’re looking to buy your first home.

The team’s stellar qualifications speak for themselves – four of Meyer Vandenberg’s expert lawyers have recently been recognised amongst the best in the country, named in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2021 List. Rest assured that not only are you in extremely capable and professional hands at Meyer Vandenberg, but that you are also receiving the best service in the country.

As Greg Balding writes in their Google review, “They were very helpful especially in these days of Covid-19. Did what I done efficiently and were very helpful and friendly.”

Level 2, 121 Marcus Clarke Street
Canberra City ACT 2601

If you’re looking for more advice on navigating the ins and outs of the property market, try our articles on the best mortgage brokers, best real estate agents and best property managers in Canberra for some useful information. Or, if you’re looking for more legal advice, check out our article on the best law firms in Canberra.

Your experience with conveyancing lawyers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the conveyancing lawyers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process, of transferring property from one owner to another.
What is a conveyancer?
A conveyancer is a licensed professional who specialises in the legal aspects of buying and selling real property. They advise and inform clients throughout the whole process, helping with the settlement and title transfer by ensuring all legal obligations are met and that their client's rights are protected during this transaction.
What happens during the conveyancing process?
There are three key stages to conveyancing - pre-contract, exchange, and settlement. Pre-contract involves receiving sales instructions from the selling agent, conducting the necessary inspections of the property and preparing the contract for sale. Exchange involves the approval of the contract for sale from both parties. Settlement is the point where the buyer moves in. In each of these stages the professional and qualified advice of a conveyancing lawyer will prove extremely useful as you navigate the intricacies of conveyancing and contracts.
How long does the conveyancing process take?
In most cases, the conveyancing for the purchase of a home will take between 10 and 12 weeks. This may vary depending on circumstances such as mortgage offers, surveys, and issues with titles. Having a qualified conveyancing lawyer on your side will help you navigate these issues and reach the desired outcome efficiently.
What are conveyancing searches?
Conveyancing searches provide you with up-to-date information on the property that may not be included in the contract, and some information that is obligatory for the sale to be completed. Some information to be gained from the searches includes building and development codes, neighbourly disputes, and information about the land such as the likelihood of flood or fire.

What's Your Opinion?


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26 Responses to The best conveyancing lawyers in Canberra
acacia24 acacia24 9:02 pm 07 Nov 20

Would not recommend UNited Legal in Fyshwick. Very expensive and did not do the work requested. They have started to advertise and no wonder. They say they have 3 solicitors on every case, I think they meant to say, that they charge for 3 solicitors. The old guy there is very grumpy and quite rude. Paralegals (uni students) seem to do all the work. Unreliable.

Ghanaian Aussies Ghanaian Aussies 3:51 pm 13 Oct 20

Ray Swift Moutrage Very affordable with great service.

Jessica Mitchell Jessica Mitchell 7:14 am 13 Oct 20

Mussa Hijazi at HCC Lawyers Canberra www.hcclawyers.com.au

Mussa is down to earth, fast, thorough and an incredible lawyer. He will take the time to explain the process to you so you understand what is happening and what the legal documents all mean (in plain English). Couldn’t ask for better service, he came recommended to us and now we recommend him to anyone buying or selling a house.

Stephen Crispe Stephen Crispe 8:34 pm 12 Oct 20

Andy Colquhon from Colquhon Murphy is fantastic 👌

Vanessa Essam Vanessa Essam 5:50 pm 12 Oct 20

Mussa Hijazi at HCC Lawyers is fabulous - helpful, clear & so on top of things - highly recommend him & the team.

Simone Merrick Simone Merrick 9:25 am 10 Oct 20

Tetlow Legal are fabulous have used them a number of times I have bought and sold.

Benji James Benji James 10:28 pm 09 Oct 20

Bill Baker is great man, 100% would recommend.

Melissa Whitby Melissa Whitby 10:21 pm 09 Oct 20

I used Paul at artisan legal for a purchase and sale. Great service, explained everything to a first timer and made me feel like I was in safe hands. Would recommend to anyone looking for someone they can trust with a somewhat daunting process

frida20 frida20 8:39 pm 26 Aug 15

Hi there,
I need some advice. So and my husband are thinking to settle in googong it will be our first home. So I wander how everyone manage the loan repayment while constructing. Also we are looking for a good solicitor to act on our behalf and who will be here.

jaydenbraim jaydenbraim 5:21 pm 27 Jan 15

It was good year, though the next will be even better 🙂 Please See http://www.enactconveyancingsydney.com.au

zllauh zllauh 12:04 pm 04 Jun 14

Hi Jacqui,

How did you go ?

Jacqui_Anderson Jacqui_Anderson 11:01 pm 20 Aug 12

Thank you all so much for your recommendations! I really appreciate all your help and will keep you posted 🙂

HenryBG HenryBG 11:38 am 20 Aug 12

dtc said :

HenryBG said :

Use a Solicitor in Queanbeyan. You may then stand a chance of getting one who knows what s/he is doing and does it at a fair price..

Yes, its well known that people are unable to be competent at two things at once, like understanding ACT conveyancing law AND understanding NSW conveyancing law.

Correct. Although the Queanbeyan firms I mentioned will do a perfectly good job of an ACT conveyance as well.

dtc dtc 10:04 am 20 Aug 12

HenryBG said :

Use a Solicitor in Queanbeyan. You may then stand a chance of getting one who knows what s/he is doing and does it at a fair price..

Yes, its well known that people are unable to be competent at two things at once, like understanding ACT conveyancing law AND understanding NSW conveyancing law.

pandaman pandaman 11:57 pm 19 Aug 12

I have had a good experience with Baker, Deane and Nutt. Very smooth transaction. Short story, use them, they’re good. If you wanna know why, keep reading.

By the time I was ready for my second purchase, they’d put their prices up and I decided to shop around and ended up using another queanbeyan based firm. (I’m not going to name names, because slagging off at lawyers, even incompetent ones, is unlikely to end well for me) They were significantly cheaper than Baker, Deane and Nutt, but the solictor I dealt with was so totally clueless that she gave me the contract of sale with a reccomendation to sign immediately, and failed to notice that it included a clause stating that the house had no development approval, certificate of occupancy or any local government documentation whatsoever. At best, that would mean the house was uninsurable, at worst it could mean that the council could have the place knocked down should it suit them at some point.

Conclusion: Baker Deane and Nutt = good in my experience. Another firm based within 500m of them in Queanbeyan = not so good. Take care.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 9:21 pm 19 Aug 12

I did a couple of NSW transactions using Elrington Boardman Allport in Queanbeyan, and they were very good.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 6:34 pm 19 Aug 12

HenryBG said :

Use a Solicitor in Queanbeyan. You may then stand a chance of getting one who knows what s/he is doing and does it at a fair price.

Elringtons has been around for a while, as have Baker Deane and Nutt.
I’ve dealt with both over the years and I have no unpleasant recollections of either.

ACT conveyancing is essentially an exercise in form-filling and box-ticking, so ACT solicitors just have very junior clerks doing it as there is very little to do and almost no risk of anything going wrong (until somebody finally decides to sue somebody on acount of the captive Sellers’ building reports…very tempted to do so myself last time I bought a house in the ACT, usual dodgy builders; report in the contract representing failure to disclose if not an actual attempt to deceive.)

In NSW a lot can go wrong. There are a lot of unconnected State Govt authorities to do searches at – EPA, Electricity, water, roads to name just a few. Use a NSW solicitor.

What he said.

HenryBG HenryBG 7:09 am 19 Aug 12

Use a Solicitor in Queanbeyan. You may then stand a chance of getting one who knows what s/he is doing and does it at a fair price.

Elringtons has been around for a while, as have Baker Deane and Nutt.
I’ve dealt with both over the years and I have no unpleasant recollections of either.

ACT conveyancing is essentially an exercise in form-filling and box-ticking, so ACT solicitors just have very junior clerks doing it as there is very little to do and almost no risk of anything going wrong (until somebody finally decides to sue somebody on acount of the captive Sellers’ building reports…very tempted to do so myself last time I bought a house in the ACT, usual dodgy builders; report in the contract representing failure to disclose if not an actual attempt to deceive.)

In NSW a lot can go wrong. There are a lot of unconnected State Govt authorities to do searches at – EPA, Electricity, water, roads to name just a few. Use a NSW solicitor.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:07 pm 18 Aug 12

Mark Tigwell from Tetlow Tigwell Watch: http://www.ttwlaw.com.au/

Doesn’t take any s*** from developer/builder types and was excellent for us as first home buyers 13-odd years ago. Have used him a couple of times since for good results too.

cranky cranky 8:54 pm 18 Aug 12

Just Law at Erindale could be worth a shot. The Principal hails from Bungendore, so should certainly be all over NSW conveyancing.

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