New Schiff base ligands, N-(3-methoxysalicylidene)-3,5-di(tert-butyl)-4-hydroxy aniline (HL1), N-(3-hydroxysalicylidene)-3,5-di(tert-butyl)-4-hydroxyaniline (HL2) and N-(4-hydroxysalicylidene)-3,5-di(tert-butyl)-4-hydroxyaniline (HL3) with their Cu(II), Pd(II) and VO(IV) complexes were synthesized and characterized by elemental analyses, IR, electronic absorption spectral data, magnetic moment and molar conductance. For the ligands and their Pd(II) complexes, H-1 and C-13 NMR spectra were obtained. H-1 and C-13 NMR spectra suggest that the ligands in the Pd(II) complexes coordinate through the nitrogen atom of the azomethine group and the oxygen atom of the phenolic (C-OH) group. All the compounds were found to be non-electrolytes in DMSO. However, the Pd(II) complexes exhibit low conductance in DMF due to solvolysis. Thermal studies show that the complexes decompose with the loss of water, followed by the organic ligand to give the corresponding metal oxides.