Property law

Property Law and Conveyancing

Securing your home or property

Property Lawyers Cairns

Miller Harris Lawyers offer competitively priced conveyancing and property law services delivered by our experienced conveyancing lawyers. Our team is lead by partner Nigel Hales who is the only Queensland Law Society accredited property law specialist in Cairns. Our Cairns Property Lawyers understand the Cairns and North Queensland property market and can advise you on the potential risks and opportunities relevant to your property transaction.

Our services include:

  • conveyancing in Cairns and throughout Queensland;
  • leasing in Cairns and throughout Queensland;
  • body corporate and community title arrangements in Cairns and throughout Queensland;
  • property development in Cairns and throughout Queensland
  • flat land and strata title subdivisions in Cairns and throughout Queensland;
  • development restructuring in Cairns and throughout Queensland; and
  • development approvals and planning appeals in Cairns and throughout Queensland.

Conveyancing Lawyers Cairns

Conveyancing is the process of transferring the legal title of a property from one person to another in accordance with a contract of sale, and it is not as simple as many people are lead to believe. It is not just an administrative process. There is a lot of quite complicated law which governs contracts and property transactions which need to be complied with. Simple mistakes can end up being very costly in the long run.
Purchasing or selling property is often one of the largest and most important transactions of your life. We make it easier and less stressful for you to achieve your property dream.

We can provide you with a fixed fee quote up front so you have certainty regarding the cost of your conveyancing transaction.

Our services:

  • Giving advice on contracts for the purchase or sale of property
  • Representing the buyer or seller in the conveyancing process
  • Advising on searches of the title and property
  • Drafting contracts and special conditions in contracts
  • Calculating adjustments to the purchase price in accordance with the contract
  • Liaising with banks regarding financing and settlement for the sale or purchase

Read our article on Choosing a Conveyancing Lawyer in Cairns

Buying a Property in Cairns

Buying a property is often the single biggest financial decision many of us will make in our lifetime. That is why it is important to engage an experienced conveyancing lawyer early in the process. Our Cairns Conveyancing Lawyers can:

  • provide you with advice before you sign a contract so that understand your rights and obligations under the contract;
  • negotiate the terms of the contract with the seller on your behalf and draft special conditions;
  • provide advice on finance, building and pest inspection conditions;
  • conduct and advise on property searches;
  • prepare and/or review the settlement statement and calculate any adjustments such as for rates;
  • complete the necessary transfer documentation;
  • liaise with your financial institutions to facilitate settlement; and
  • attend settlement on your behalf and advise when the contract has settled.

Throughout the process, we represent your interests with the seller (and their lawyer or agent where required) including submitting requests for extensions on contract conditions (finance, building and pest inspections etc) and coordinating the settlement process.

Read our article which highlights the importance of building inspections and contract conditions

First Homer buyers in Cairns

The Queensland Government offers a first home owners grant, vacant land concession and transfer duty concession for first home buyers who meet certain criteria. Our Cairns Conveyancing Lawyers can discuss with you your eligibility for a first home owner grant or concession and your legal obligations in order to retain the grant after the purchase of your property.

For more information on the grants and concessions available, download our First Home Buyer Information Sheet.

Read our article: What you need to know when buying your first property

Selling a Property in Cairns

Selling a property is not a process that ends once the contract has been signed. At this point, many people fall into the trap of believing the conveyancing process is a ‘formality’ and it can come as an unwelcome shock when a problem is encountered. That is why it is important that the conveyancing process itself is actively managed to ensure your rights are protected, particularly if the buyer defaults.

Our Cairns Conveyancing Lawyers can advise you on the contract before it is signed including any potential risks associated with the contract conditions and the time frames for when these need to be satisfied. Miller Harris’ Cairns Conveyancing Lawyers can also prepare any special conditions that may be unique to your particular property or personal circumstances.

Once the contract is signed, we manage the conveyancing process for you including keeping track of deadlines associated with contract conditions and communicating with the buyer’s solicitor to ensure these are satisfied. Where a contract condition is not met, we advise you on the implications, alternative courses of action available to you and the associated risks.

In the lead up to settlement, our Cairns Conveyancing Lawyers liaise with your financial institution (where relevant) to ensure any mortgage on the property will be able to be discharged at settlement. We also prepare and/or review the settlement statement including the calculation of any adjustments to the purchase price under the contract. We attend settlement on your behalf and facilitate the exchange of the relevant documentation. We can also bank the proceeds of sale into a bank account of your choosing.

Throughout the selling process, we represent your interests with the buyer (and their lawyer) including receiving any extension requests and discussing these with you.

Choosing Miller Harris Lawyers means you have the peace of mind of knowing that your conveyancing transaction will be actively managed by our Cairns Conveyancing Lawyers throughout the process and that you will be kept fully informed at all times.

We offer legal advice and services for:

Residential conveyancing

We act for property buyers and sellers to ensure the conveyancing process is as smooth and stress free as possible.  Work with the team who understand the Cairns property market.

Property development purchases and sales

Undertaking any kind of property development needs to be done in consultation with a qualified and experienced solicitor. At Miller Harris Lawyers, we know the development industry and we understand what makes projects work. You can rely on our expertise to minimise your risk and maximise your project’s potential for success.  

Leasing of retail, commercial, industrial and farming properties

Regardless of the nature of the property, a good lease depends on the detail. Miller Harris Lawyers will delve into the detail to make sure that your business or property is secure, and that there are no nasty surprises. We can help with new leases, subleases, assignments and variations.

Mortgages and other finance documentation

We can help you to understand your contractual obligations relating to any mortgages or finance arrangements required to undertake your property purchase or development.

Flat land and strata title subdivisions

Over the years we have assisted our clients to develop thousands of lots throughout North Queensland. We understand the development process from start to finish, and can support you every step of the way.

Development structuring

Prior to commencing any kind of property development, consideration needs to be given to the investment vehicle which will undertake the venture. Failure to do so can result in unnecessarily high risk, high tax liabilities as well as a range of practical issues and problems. We can review your circumstances and provide advice on the best option for you and your goals.

Development approvals and planning appeals

We can offer you informed advice about the development approval process, from initial concept through to lodgment of the application, submissions, decisions and appeals.

Body corporate and community title issues

At Miller Harris Lawyers, we know body corporate and community title issues inside out. We can help with establishing or winding up schemes, advise about body corporate management issues, bylaws, disputes and development.

Due diligence in relation to property transactions

From planning and title considerations to environmental and tenancy concerns, Miller Harris Lawyers can assist you to make sure you are getting what you expect, without any nasty surprises.

Meet the experts in
Property Law and Conveyancing

Nigel Hales


Nigel is the only Queensland Law Society accredited property law specialist in Cairns.

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more about Nigel

Rachelle Parker

Senior Associate

Rachelle is one of our commercial lawyers based in our Mareeba office.  She primarily practices in the area of commercial and property law.

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more about Rachelle

Lauren Doktor

Senior Associate

Lauren is a commercial and property lawyer with a broad range of experience in business, commercial and property law.

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Djordja Vico


Djordja obtained her Bachelor of Laws in 2019 from the University of Southern Queensland before returning to her hometown of Cairns and joining the Miller Harris team in our property law and conveyancing teams.

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more about Djordja