Business succession

SWS Lawyers works with clients to create a business succession plan well in advance of any change in leadership, whether expected or unexpected, so that a transition strategy is in place to eliminate conflict, minimise disruption, and ensure the business is left in capable hands.

How we can help

  • Family Business Advisory Services
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Asset Protection and Trusts
  • Wills and Testamentary Trusts


Many business owners fail to consider the future of their business appropriately or sufficiently when it comes to their own retirement, illness, injury, or death or for a similar occurrence with their business partner or partners.

Many of our clients are business owners that have worked most of their lives to build successful businesses. Our goal is to assist them in maintaining a high level of satisfaction and significant wealth for their families. If a business owner intends to pass their business on to the next generation, we can help them do so with a minimum of cost and familial conflict. However, we can also assist clients in instances when issues have arisen as a result of the failure of a business owner to plan ahead.

SWS Lawyers works with families to plan for both the successful transition of ownership of their business and for the comfortable retirement of the aging generation. As part of this planning, we offer services such as:

  • providing advice on and drafting key legal documents such as shareholders’ agreements, constitutions, trust deeds, family charters, wills, powers of attorney, testamentary trusts;
  • providing advice on business structure, acquisition or divestment, engaging with relevant stakeholders, establishing and formalising corporate governance and family oversight, and facilitating a formal process for identifying and resolving family conflicts;
  • conducting preliminary due diligence to identify and manage risks to the business, and then leveraging that information to develop an appropriate business transition plan and implement intergenerational change;
  • liaising with insurance brokers and tax professionals for specialist business planning and family financial advice; and
  • implementing business succession alternatives such as an Employee Share Option Plans (ESOP), during which we work with our clients to prepare the necessary documents and offer letters, as well as assist with the determination of appropriate vesting conditions and criteria.

Their approach is always professional and delivered at a standard comparable to a capital city law firm. It is the clear strategic direction that has always impressed me about the SWS team.

-Director, Top 10 Australian Accounting Firm

We believe their ability to combine first rate legal expertise, commercial judgement and strong negotiating skills is rare amongst lawyers and provides us with a real competitive advantage in corporate transactions. We use SWS because of their ability, not their post code.

-Robert Radcliffe-Smith, Advent

The combination of rare legal expertise, commercial judgement and strong negotiating skills is rare amongst lawyers and provides us with a real competitive advantage in corporate transactions.

-Paul Valaire, Addcar

SWS has assisted with advice on securing and exercising complex property and commercial contractual rights and assisting with protracted contractual management and implementation. We value legal experts who can offer pragmatic and commercial legal solutions for our complicated matters. SWS Lawyers has consistently met these criteria.

-Leading AU/NZ Logistics Company

The team at SWS Lawyers have already showcased their professionalism, commitment, positive can-do attitude and insight into our needs and have a clear understanding of the disability sector.

-Garry West-Bail, Deaf Sports Australia

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