How and when did Legal Home Loans come about?
Andrew: Legal Home Loans officially launched 4 May 2018 after we realised that there was a gap in the market for lawyer-specific finance and a lack of knowledge in the legal community around their unique risk profile amongst lenders. The financial savings, product discounts and favourable credit criteria most lawyers are eligible for were and still are widely unknown. We’ve now developed a service specifically for lawyers that really is above and beyond what you would expect from a finance broker.
What were you doing before Legal Home Loans came about? (Andrew & Cullen)
Andrew: I started my banking career at BOQ Specialist (formerly Investec) organising private banking for doctors, vets, dentists and accountants. I eventually diverged and started a brokerage firm with partners, and then branched off on my own to open LHL as a solo venture.
Cullen: I was working at Macquarie Bank as an asset finance executive and joined the team at LHL as a specialist in that space.
What are the compelling services/products you offer which the legal community needs to know about?
Andrew: One of the main reasons we started this business is Lenders Mortgage Insurance. In residential finance, this is an insurance premium applied when lending over 80 per cent of property value. It’s a one-off, non-refundable payment paid by the borrower. Many legal professionals today are unaware that, because of their elite standing as lawyers, they can avoid this unnecessary payment and can in fact, borrow up to 90 per cent with certain lenders, pending review. On a $1 million loan, this is a saving in excess of $20,000.
Cullen: Our other primary business focus is organising smarter asset finance solutions for both practicing individuals and law firms alike. We have partnerships with financiers that allow us to source our client’s new drive at fleet-listed prices.
For SME Law Practices, as the cost of owning and upgrading technology continues to rise, there are equipment finance solutions that will improve cash flow, bring cost certainty, allow the ability to refresh equipment and the repayments may be tax deductible. The asset finance space is evolving, and you’d be amazed at what can be leased or loaned – from office chairs to case management software.
How is it different from your standard broker service?
Andrew: Unlike other brokers, LHL has specific, in-depth knowledge of the products available to lawyers in financing at different stages of their careers. Our brokers have a better understanding of lawyers as customers and can deliver the level of professionalism and knowledge that they are accustomed to dealing with in their own high-performing cultures. We take the stress off our clients’ plate by dealing with all the admin and information gathering ourselves. The end result is a simple suite of options that make sense and are tailored to an individual’s situation.
Who can benefit from your service?
Andrew and Cullen: Really any legal professional including barristers, business owners and those working in the big firms. Our mission is to help all admitted lawyers with their finances, including financing for vehicles, homes, chambers, tech, investment – whatever their personal or business needs, we have a range of options that deliver better value.
What is different about working solely with lawyers?
Cullen: The high expectations and attention to detail of lawyers that we must match, along with respect for time and efficiency.
Andrew: Being specialists to a specific cohort also allows us to stay focused and relevant with our products. A lot of our time is spent researching the latest options for lawyers only, and no one else.
What has the feedback been like?
Andrew: Amazing! Our clients consistently tell us about how much time and money they saved dealing with us, and how simple we made the process. We offer flexibility and mobility. If helping means that we’re at the client’s house explaining the process again to partners after work hours, then we can do that. If they need us to come to their offices at the last minute, we can be there too. Being based in the heart of the CBD, we can service our clients face-to-face in most cases, which we love doing.
Why do you think it has taken so long for there to be a lawyer specific broker service?
Andrew: Well, there’s been a lot of focus on doctors and accountants who have their own unique needs, but nothing for legal professionals despite there being such a wide range of unique product offerings for their risk profiles.
Cullen: Brokers tend to like to be all things to all people; in contrast, we offer a service through specialisation and an approach that delivers more to our clients!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Cullen: Our service is free to the customer, which is widely unknown. To any lawyer reading this; we’d be delighted to have a coffee with you at your local, and look to get your financial house in order – freeing up your time so you’re able to focus on what you do best, which is servicing your clients.
You can contact Legal Home Loans through:
T: (02) 9030 0420
A: 21/133 Castlereagh St, Sydney