Australia: Keep calm and trust your lawyer: Getting ready for the era of e-conveyancing in Victoria

Is your business involved in property-related transactions? Then take note: there has never been a more important time to ensure that you can trust the lawyer or conveyancer representing you...

The era of e-conveyancing is upon us, and as Victoria makes the transition to a 100% digital future, new requirements will come into effect that will forever change the way property-related transactions are conducted.

Accordingly, businesses should be asking their lawyers and conveyancers what their practices are doing in preparation.


Set out below is the current timetable for the transition to e-conveyancing in Victoria:

  • From 1 December 2017 – Standalone caveats, withdrawals of caveat and non-ADI discharges, mortgages and refinance must be lodged on PEXA (the new national e-conveyancing platform).
  • From 1 January 2018All Victorian Land Titles Office documents (paper and electronic) must be executed by a lawyer on the client's behalf and Client Authorisation Forms must be in place.
  • From 1 February 2018 – Transmission Applications may be lodged on PEXA.
  • From 1 March 2018 – Standalone transfers and survivorship applications must be lodged on PEXA.
  • From 1 October 2018 – All types and combinations of transactions may be lodged by PEXA (including a withdrawal of caveat, discharge of mortgage, transfer and mortgage).
  • From 1 August 2019 – All transactions must be lodged electronically (with what we expect to be an increasing amount of exceptions).


From 1 December 2017, all standalone caveats, withdrawals of caveat and standalone mortgages must be lodged electronically through PEXA. Therefore, practically, unless your lawyer is a PEXA 'Subscriber' and has the necessary procedures in place, the lodgement of the caveat will be delayed, potentially exposing your company to unnecessary risk.


From 1 January 2018, all Victorian Land Titles Office documents (paper and electronic) which historically were executed by the client must instead be executed by a lawyer as the client's agent.

The lawyer will be required to certify that:

  • they have verified the identity of the client;
  • they hold a Client Authorisation Form (CAF); and
  • the relevant Land Titles Office form is compliant with relevant legislation.

The Australian Registrars' National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) has mandated that a CAF must be completed to authorise a lawyer to sign documents on the client's behalf. There are no changes to the form, no variations, no alternatives.

Practically, we view this as an extension of the existing lawyer-client relationship but with the added incentive that no CAF means no settlement!

To ensure that obtaining a signed CAF (and completing the corresponding Verification of Identify procedure) does not form part of the last-minute rush before exchange or settlement, we are encouraging lawyers and their clients to engage now to ensure that CAFs are put in place before the 1 January 2018 deadline.

The CAF allows for authority to be provided for a specific transaction, as a batch authority or as a standing authority. We suspect that many clients will favour a batch or standing authority to ensure that their lawyers are able to respond quickly, and to avoid any unnecessary delays to a transaction. A standing (rather than specific or batch) authority also means that multiple CAFs will not be required – a company can provide one CAF that provides authority at a national level.

This is where the trust element becomes vitally important. CAFs can be considered akin to a power of attorney, as a standing authority given through a CAF can authorise the lawyer to sign any and all Land Titles Office (or PEXA forms) on a client's behalf. It will therefore be imperative that the client and lawyer agree on appropriate procedures quite separate to the CAF to ensure that clients have appropriate oversight to documents and forms that lawyers will be authorised to sign.

Throughout Victoria's transition to e-conveyancing, it is critical that businesses ensure they are aligned with knowledgeable legal representatives who are not only able to provide guidance through the new system, but have committed to updating their procedures to adapt to the changes, and have a client-focused plan in place to facilitate the transition.


In October 2017, following extensive consultations with major property developer InfoTrack, Corrs adopted PlanIT, a cloud-based software that integrates PEXA into Corrs' suite of conveyancing management software. With PlanIT, Corrs' market-leading Developer Sales Group is able to cost-effectively manage property transactions on one electronic platform. The platform also enables clients to view up-to-date sales information from their conveyancing team.

Find out more about Corrs' adoption of the PlanIT platform here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Chambers Asia Pacific Awards 2016 Winner – Australia
Client Service Award
Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (WGEA)

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions