Our Co-operatives Experience



BAL are proud to partner with BCCM, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals – the national peak body representing the co-operative and mutual models of enterprise.

Our Co-operatives Experience

Co-operatives are organisations that are owned, controlled and used by their members primarily for the mutual economic, social or cultural benefit of those members. Co-operatives are founded on seven international principles that empower and educate their members and promote community participation and support; they are values-based entities, albeit ones which can turn a profit for their members.

Our lawyers have significant professional experience and an understanding of how businesses work to enable them to deliver commercial strategies and alternative options in business structuring and general business activities. As one of the leading commercial firms in the ACT, we routinely deal with and understand the commercial interactions of the private commercial sector with the requirements of the Commonwealth Government. We work closely with our private clients, and with their taxation and accounting advisors, to ensure their transactions run smoothly and achieve the desired and most beneficial outcome for their business.

Our Business Law team melds with our Real Estate, Planning and Employment Law teams to meet our client’s specific needs of a given transaction. Our Business Law team uses the firm’s knowledge and brings core business skills with its experience with corporate structures and governance responsibilities (co-operatives, corporate, trust, joint venturing and partnerships) as well as ‘good faith’ in contracting, intellectual property, trade practices, privacy and finance and security matters.

Our task is to open our client’s eyes to the risks their businesses may have and assist them gauge the probabilities, to view alternate paths and to take a realistic viewpoint when risk cannot be eliminated; to assist them navigate a path according to their own propensities and to assist them take the steps prudent and necessary to deliver assurance.

We have been working with co-operatives for multiple years – helping establish new co-operatives, advising on the co-operative structure and member rights, and advising on the introduction and application of the Co-operative National Law. We have facilitated several workshops with the Business Council of Co-operatives & Mutuals and other organisations to existing and potential co-operatives on the model, the benefits of a collective and co-ordinated impact in business, and the role of collaborative decision-making.

We have been appointed to the panel of specialists for the Commonwealth’s Farm Co-operatives & Collaboration Pilot Program (‘Farming Together’) and also provide pro-bono legal assistance to other co-operatives in the ACT, NSW and VIC.

For more information about Co-operatives, please contact Katie Innes.