Elevate Updates…

Melbourne Summer nights can be beautiful! This photo was taken in early March (so technically not Summer but Melbourne’s seemed to come late this year!) at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne for the National’s concert. This quarter we have some important updates from the team.

Elevating Lives

We here at Elevate have been discussing and looking at ways we can make an impact outside our day-to-day work and we’re excited to announce our new donation program ‘Elevating Lives’.

Each quarter we will donate an amount to a charity or organisation that is making a positive impact in the lives of other people around the world.

To kick off our program, for the March quarter we have donated $4,000 to Pollinate Group.

Pollinate Group started as a provider of solar lights in India and has now grown to an organisation that identifies, trains and develops local women entrepreneurs who serve hard to reach families living on less than US$1.90 a day in both India and Nepal.

Pollinate’s award-winning empowerment model has trained hundreds of women in India and Nepal to become entrepreneurs (Suryamukhis). In a 2018 impact survey, nearly all women said they have gained more respect as a result of operating their own businesses and 100% reported an increase in confidence. Further, 79% of women said they had taken on additional leadership roles in their communities. In total Pollinate has reached 864,000 people and has empowered 2,231 Suryamukhis.

You can find the latest Pollinate impact report here and read more about some of the Suryamukhis individual stories here.

Alliance Subscription Support for Early Stage Founders

We’re always thinking of ways to improve our Alliance subscription service and how we could offer a great value package for very early stage companies or those who don’t need much business as usual support.

So we’re pleased to launch a new Pre-Flight Alliance subscription tier, designed for very early-stage founders.  The Pre-Flight tier includes:

  • access to our Alliance Member Portal;
  • template Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement;
  • setting up Directors with ASIC online access; 
  • access to Alliance member-only events, including peer networking and expert presentations;
  • access to Alliance member discounts;
  • unlimited calls on business as usual legal matters;
  • review of up to two confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements per month; and
  • drafting, reviewing and negotiating business as usual (BAU) contracts, up to two matters per year.

(For comparison, our next tier up, Runway, includes more template documents, unlimited confidentiality reviews and up to five BAU matters per year.)

If you think the Pre-Flight tier could be right for you, please email alliance@elevate.legal.

Tractor Ventures

We are pleased to have joined the Tractor Ventures’ Growth Partner Program. 

Tractor Ventures finds, funds and supports founders with non-dilutive debt funding to enable short to medium term growth.  So far Tractor has lent more than $60 million to more than 170 companies.

Their criteria is:

  • Australia or New Zealand based company
  • $50k or more monthly predictable revenue
  • Technology focused business model
  • At least 6 months’ runway
  • With a track record in sustainable operations and revenue.

Tractor typically lends between 2 to 5 times your monthly revenue, with funding between $100k – $1 million, at an average of $300k.

For more information or to apply for funding, visit the Tractor Ventures website at https://www.tractorventures.com/.  

(Their website also has useful free financial calculators, like MRR growth forecasting, exit waterfalls, pre-money valuation, cost of equity and a bunch of others.)

Client Shoutout

We were pleased to assist Local Agent Finder in their acquisition of the Dott & Crossitt Conveyancing business.  The deal was negotiated last year and closed at the end of January. Congratulations to Daniel, Andrew, Richard and the rest of the Local Agent Finder team and Dott & Crossitt Founder Jared Zak on completing this deal and we wish them all the best with their combined business.

Local Agent Finder is a quick & easy way to find real estate agents in your area and allows you to compare agents side-by-side to ensure you find the right fit for your property. They offer a nationwide operation with thousands of active agents across Australia.

We hope everyone was able to have a restful break over the Easter long weekend.

Best Wishes

Andrew, Roxie, Yee, Dani & Ash


Legal briefing


Tougher Laws Against Foreign Bribery

From September 2024 Australia’s anti-foreign bribery laws will be strengthened through the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Foreign Bribery) Act 2024 (Act). To address perceived shortcomings in the existing laws, the Act creates new offences, similar to the anti-foreign bribery laws in the UK Bribery Act 2010.

The key amendments are:

  • New corporate offence – failing to prevent bribery. Under this provision, a company can be liable if an associate or employee of the company engages in bribery for the benefit of the company. There is a defence if the company can show it had adequate procedures in place to prevent foreign bribery.
  • Increased penalties for companies. The maximum penalty for a company is the higher of 100,000 penalty units (currently equal to $31,300,000), three times the value of the benefit obtained, or 10% of the company’s turnover for the year before the offence.
  • Increased penalties for individuals. If a person is convicted of foreign bribery, the maximum penalty is increased to 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of 10,000 penalty units (which currently equals $3,130,000), or both.
  • Expansion of foreign bribery offence. The Act broadens the definition of the offence to include bribery of candidates for public office, not just current officeholders. It also extends to cover bribery conducted to obtain a personal advantage.
  • Redefining elements of the offence. The requirement that the benefit or business advantage be ‘not legitimately due’ has been removed and replaced by the concept of ‘improperly influencing’ a foreign public official. Foreign public officials will also be able to rely on a ‘lawful conduct’ type defence.
  • Clarification of intent and beneficiaries. The Act makes it clear that the foreign bribery offence does not require proof that the accused had a specific business or personal advantage in mind, and the advantage can be obtained for another entity.

We recommend you review and update your anti-bribery policies and procedures before September, including how they cover agents and employees.  If you would like our help, please get in touch. 

Climate-related Financial Disclosure – new legislation introduced into Parliament

The Federal Government has recently introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Financial Markets Infrastructure and Other Measures) Bill 2024 (Bill) into Parliament. The Bill includes requirements for entities that lodge financial reports under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act), and that meet the minimum size thresholds, to make climate-related financial disclosures.

The Bill (if it is passed) will amend the Corporations Act and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 to establish a mandatory climate reporting regime, based on Australian climate disclosure accounting standards.

These new reporting requirements will generally apply to reporting entities for financial years starting on or after 1 January 2025 and will, similar to existing financial disclosures, require assurance from an auditor.

The information that will need to be disclosed is related to the entity’s exposure to material climate-related risks and opportunities, including climate-related plans, greenhouse gas emissions and governance processes.

Reporting entities will, as part of their existing annual financial reporting, be required to include a new ‘sustainability report’ which will consist of:

  • the climate statement for the year;
  • notes to the climate statement;
  • any statements prescribed by the regulations for the year;
  • notes to those prescribed statements (if any); and
  • the directors’ declaration about the compliance of the statements and notes with relevant sustainability standards.

Generally, an entity must prepare a sustainability report for a financial year if that entity prepares an annual financial report for that financial year under Chapter 2M of the Corporations Act, and if it meets at least two of the following three criteria:

  1. the consolidated revenue of the entity, and any entities it controls, is equal or greater than $50 million;
  2. the value of the consolidated gross assets at the end of the financial year of the entity, and entities it controls, is equal to or greater than $25 million;
  3. the entity, and any entities it controls, have at the end of the financial year, at least 100 employees.

Smaller entities are only required to prepare and lodge a sustainability report if they are a significant greenhouse gas emitter or consume large amounts of energy.

There are transitional provisions to phase in these new obligations (generally depending on the size and the type of the reporting entity) over four years.

We will provide a further update on this when the Bill passes Parliament.

Director ID Reminder

As reported in previous newsletters, all directors of Australian companies are required to apply for and hold a director identification number (director ID). The date for applying for a director ID for those who were already directors (prior to the introduction of the director ID regime) has already passed and the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) is reminding those people to apply as soon as possible.

As a reminder, actions that may be taken if a director fails to apply for a director ID include:

  • being asked to attend an interview with a delegate of the Registrar to explain the reasons for not having obtained one; and / or
  • referral to ASIC to consider investigation and prosecution.

It is a criminal offence for a director to not apply on time and penalties can apply. More information on these penalties can be found here.

If you are a director and have not already applied for a director ID, we encourage you to do this as soon as possible. The fastest way to apply is online at the ABRS website here.

If you live in Australia and are unable to apply online or over the phone you will need to complete a paper application form available here.

Directors who live outside Australia cannot apply online and will need to complete a paper application form available here.




A selection of things taking up time outside work:

  • Tom Lake, Ann Patchett. I have never read any of Ann Patchett’s novels before but after reading Tom Lake I have been busily ordering her other books as I loved it so much. It is a beautiful and moving story about love, family and growing up. It is set during the Covid-19 Pandemic on a cherry farm in Michigan where three daughters have returned home due to lockdown, and their mother tells them about her romance with a famous actor when she was younger. (Roxie)
  • Smother, ABC iview. I watched the first season of Smother during one of the lockdowns in 2021 and was excited to learn that there were actually another two seasons that have come out subsequently. As I recently had some time off work due to a broken collarbone, I was able to zoom through seasons 2 and 3 and they were equally as good as the first. The show focuses on the Ahern family who live in County Clare in Ireland. In the first season Denis Ahern is found dead at the foot of a cliff close to their home the morning after a family party, and subsequently his wife Val begins to interrogate his relationships with his family and uncover an intricate web of lies. If you like a mystery and the Irish accent, this is the show for you! (Roxie)
  • Drive to survive, Netflix. For years I never cared about Formula 1…then I watched Drive to Survive. This series is a thrilling dive into the heart of Formula 1 racing, capturing the adrenaline-fueled drama both on and off the track. Whether you’re a fan of motorsports or a newcomer to the world of Formula 1 (like me!), this Netflix series delivers an engaging and immersive experience that will leave you craving for more! (Yee)
  • The Life You Can Save, Peter Singer. I read this book over the March long weekend. I found it starkly challenging, moving and ultimately compelling: it’s an important force behind our new Elevating Lives commitment.  I won’t do the book justice here; suffice to say, if you’re up for a moral challenge, go to https://www.thelifeyoucansave.org.au/the-book. (Andrew)   
  • The Gentlemen, Netflix. From the sublime to the ridiculous; after some tough moral philosophy, relax on the couch with Guy Ritchie’s action comedy TV series about English aristocrats and crime lords.  Beautiful sets, impeccable wardrobe, mellifluous accents, wry humour and occasional violence.  (Andrew)
  • Unbreakable Runner book, J. Murphy & Brian Mackenzie. The founder of Crossift Endurance (CFE) was out to highlight the differences between his model and the CrossFit discipline. He links the strong evidence suggesting that CFE improves running economy and performance through strength and conditioning. (Dani)
  • The Drive podcast, Dr Peter Attia. Expert insight on health, performance, longevity, critical thinking, and pursuing excellence.  Peter chats with leaders in their respective fields. Some of my favourite episodes: AMA #57 HIIT: Benefits, Risks, Protocols & impact on longevity; Foot Health with Dr Courtney Conley; Lower Back Pain: Causes, treatment, & prevention of LB injuries & pain with Dr Stuart McGill. The list goes on!  (Dani)
  • Boy Swallows Universe,   Beware, it can be quite confronting.  An Aussie drama about a boy who grows up in a drug infested, violent environment that helps feed his family.  The past trauma has unconsciously built resilience in him as he steps up in the face of danger to protect the ones he loves. Star studded cast. (Dani)