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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Real estate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Michael Back - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • Peter Calov - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
    • Cameron Charlton - MinterEllison
    • Stuart Dixon-Smith - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Andrew Erikson - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Ken Gray - Arnold Bloch Leibler
    • Amanda Hempel - Gilbert + Tobin
    • Les Koltai - DLA Piper
    • Simone Menz - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Chris Mitchell - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Frank Poeta - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • Nikki Robinson - Clayton Utz
    • Luke Simpson - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • David Sinn - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • John Stawyskyj - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Clayton Utz’s team consists of ‘market leaders’ who ‘bring a certain gravitas to meetings that is missing in some other firms’. Hosting a particular expertise in urban renewal schemes, university, government and aged care work, Nikki Robinson leads the team from Sydney and is currently counselling the city of Parramatta council on a major renewal development including several commercial, residential and civic buildings and the Aspire tower, all of which seek a Green Star-Communities rating. The team is also assisting BP with its retail growth strategy, handling contractual and transactional issues related to the Level Crossing Removal Project under the supervision of Melbourne-based Andrew Norman; Julie Levis has been representing the Barangaroo Delivery Authority in the procurement and delivery stages of the high-value and high-profile development project. Perth-based Mary Pringle is singled out for her ‘experience and negotiating skills’, and Simon Taskunas for his ‘knowledge, pragmatic approach and approachability’; Carrie Rogers was promoted to partner in the Sydney office and ‘stands out for her responsiveness and attention to detail’.

Noted for its ‘extremely high level of expertise’ and its ‘very commercial approach’, Herbert Smith Freehills’ team welcomed Nicholas Cowie in Sydney from Allens and saw Greg Hing retire from the partnership to become a consultant. The Brisbane-based Luke Simpson provides ‘excellent commercially relevant advice’ and has ‘strong negotiation skills’; he regularly represents Charter Hall in large commercial property transactions. Lendlease appointed the practice to oversee its joint venture with Mitsubishi and Ping An in connection with the development of the Circular Quay Tower project, and on the transactional front Kerry Heilbronn and Michael Back handle interest disposals and asset acquisitions for QIC and Propertylink, respectively. Other names to note include Julie Couch in Sydney, Jane Hodder in Melbourne, and Frank Poeta in Perth. David Sinn heads the Asia-Pacific real estate department from Melbourne with strong experience in high-value transactions, such as the sale of an industrial asset portfolio to a Singapore-listed entity.

King & Wood Mallesons’ offering was bolstered by the promotion to partner of Emily Masters in Melbourne and Francesca Giorlando in Sydney, and by its appointment to a number of new domestic, regional and global panels. A cross-office team is currently acting for AMP Capital in a wide range of legal matters surrounding its involvement in a high-value mixed-use development and acquisition of 33 Alfred Street in Sydney. Mark Bayliss and Simone Menz are based in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively, and recently advised Challenger and Invesco on their joint fund investment in the 839 Collins Street development in Melbourne. In other highlights, Brian Murphy and Stuart Dixon-Smith – who jointly lead the practice from Sydney – worked with the corporate team to facilitate the IPO of the Charter Hall WALE REIT, which involved a geographically diverse portfolio of office, industrial and hospitality assets. The firm’s enviable client roster also includes Canberra airport; Andrew Erikson and Chris Mitchell are also key names in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively.

Excellent across all fronts’, Allens’ team is led by David McLeish from Melbourne and noted for its ‘good response times, business acumen and industry knowledge – especially on large transactions’. Michael Graves is advising Dixon Hospitality on the acquisition of two portfolio assets as part of its upcoming IPO, and the Sydney-based Nigel Papi is acting for a real estate developer on the project documentation, multiparty investor and funding arrangements in connection with a high-profile mixed-use development. In Brisbane, Dan Young worked with managing associate Liam Chambers to assist the state of Queensland with the Herston Quarter redevelopment. Sydney Airport engaged the practice to counsel on all aspects of the proposed second Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek, including its negotiations with the Commonwealth. Other key names are Victoria Holthouse and John Beckinsale in Sydney and Brisbane, respectively; the team recently made significant client gains including Blackstone, Propertylink and Challenger.

Corrs Chambers Westgarthhas a strong team with deep industry knowledge that can deliver appropriate and cost-effective business-focused advice’ to a client roster including Charter Hall, John Holland and Woolworths. In recent highlights, the Melbourne-based Randall Gerkens – noted for his ‘laser-like focus’ – forms part of the team advising a major residential developer on a number of matters, including its acquisition of a shopping centre and its role in several mixed-use developments. The highly recommended Paul Carrick in Sydney acts for a leading investment firm with respect to its acquisition of a number of high-value real estate assets across the country. The team also represents tenants, as shown by Melbourne-based practice head Nathaniel Popelianski’s work for National Australia Bank, Seek and Arup regarding the procurement of office space. Peter Calov is based in Sydney and holds substantial experience in project development, finance and joint venture agreements; Brisbane-based Daryl Clifford frequently advises the government on the full range of real estate mandates. In Perth, the key name to note is the ‘accessible, responsive and consistentAlan Churley.

At Minter Ellison, Virginia Briggs ‘just ‘gets’ what the client wants’ and John Prevost is ‘extremely competent and provides an excellent all-round service’. Brookfield engaged the group to advise on the sale of Macquarie’s Sydney headquarters to Charter Hall, and construction specialist Elizabeth McKechnie – who is ‘a gun in complex matters’ and ‘a wonderful leader of people’ – worked with Briggs to oversee AMP’s Quay Quarter Tower development. David McElhone represented Ping An in its acquisition of a 50% share in Lendlease’s Circular Quay development, and the Melbourne-based Anthony Poynton led the advice to the Victorian government in connection with the privatisation of Melbourne’s port, which included acting for the Port of Melbourne Corporation in two Supreme Court proceedings. The national team spearheaded by Angela Skandarajah in the Melbourne office was recently bolstered by the arrival of Amanda Johns from Thomson Geer. Lee Rossetto works in Perth and is recommended alongside the ‘terrific and dynamic’ Brisbane-based Adrian Rich and the experienced urban renewal adviser Cameron Charlton.

Damian Salsbury heads Ashurst’s regional real estate offering from the Brisbane office jointly with John Stawyskyj in Sydney. BP, Mitsubishi and the University of Canberra recently joined the firm’s client roster. Among the team’s recent caseload feature high-value infrastructure share and asset transactions, Jason Cornwall-Jones’ current work for the city of Melbourne in connection with its investment to preserve, renew and expand the Queen Victoria Market precinct, and the Sydney-based Olivia Lau and Andrew Deane’s advice to the NSW government in connection to the Sydney metro project which aims to provide a new stand-alone rail network. Recent work has also involved significant matters in the retail sector, where Deane assisted a leading global brand with the opening of flagship stores across the country, and the healthcare sector, where Melbourne partner Richard Brooks advised the Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust on the development of the Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre after its appointment by the state government. Senior associates Carol Kahler and Gaby Stach are based in Brisbane and Melbourne, respectively, and play a key supportive role.

Baker McKenziestands out, especially in the hospitality space’ with ‘an incredibly deep understanding of the market’. The team features the recommended David Jones and Roy Melick who ‘provide exceptional and responsive client service’ from the Sydney office. Sebastian Busa is also a noteworthy name in Sydney and is part of the team advising a leading aged care home provider on its acquisition, redevelopment and leasing of a retail property portfolio; he is also lead counsel to a number of retailers including Decathlon, for whom he is handling the developments of its first sites in Sydney and Melbourne. On the development side, the Melbourne-based Bruce Webb – who co-heads the practice with Jones – is working with Dora Stilianos and the construction team to oversee a number of high-value mixed-use developments including luxury hospitality assets. Sydney partners Graeme Dickson and Caroline Ho are also a key contacts in the hotel and resort sector.

DLA Piper’s ‘competent, efficient and client-focused’ team acts for clients such as the Blackstone Group, Charter Hall and the National Pension Scheme of Korea. Astrid Beemster in the Sydney office advised JP Morgan on the sale of industrial assets, and recently worked alongside Brisbane-based practice head Tim Mathers who advised Aventus Property Group on its acquisition of five retail centres. Also based in Sydney is Les Koltai who advises on high-value acquisitions and development matters. In Melbourne, Arthur Chong ‘provides sound, pragmatic advice with a commercial nous’ and recently assisted the AFL with its acquisition of the Etihad stadium in the Melbourne Docklands. The main name to note in Perth is Eagul Faigen who recently handled the joint venture, structuring and project delivery agreements in connection with the Finbar Group’s Civic Heart development in Western Australia. The Melbourne-based Jane Baddeley is also a key contact.

Gadens Lawyers provides a full-service real estate offering under the leadership of Andrew Kennedy in Melbourne and Paul Spiro in Brisbane. Recent highlights include advising on the redevelopment of the Karrinyup and Booragoon shopping centres in Western Australia, as well as the Glen and Mandurah Forum shopping centres which involved debt recovery and retail leasing litigation issues. Mark Poustie, who is based in Melbourne, acted for Cbus Property in a high-value commercial office property development in Brisbane, and Brisbane partner Gary Koh is currently overseeing Mary 111’s development of the Westin Hotel as well as the negotiation of various operating agreements. Other key names include John Nicolas and Matthew Raven who specialise in retail leasing, project development and commercial property transactions.

Australian real estate practice head Michael French and global practice head Peter Trevaskis lead Norton Rose Fulbright’s offering from the Brisbane and Sydney offices, respectively. In Melbourne, Justin Lucas is ‘an astute, trusted and invaluable advisor’ and is currently acting for BP with regards to its acquisition of service stations across Australia from Woolworths; in Sydney, Michael McKee advised the Goodman Group on the divestment of a portfolio of industrial estates to the Blackstone Group. Qube and its related entities also engaged the practice to oversee the development and operation of the Moorebank Intermodal precinct project commissioned by the federal government, which includes the drafting of joint venture agreements with neighbouring land owners, private and public sector entities, and the leasing of the warehouse precinct. Brisbane-based Matthew Derrick is assisting the federal government and Queensland Rail with the redevelopment of the Albion railways station precinct; he is a key contact alongside Nicholas Afaras in Sydney who specialises in infrastructure projects. Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York have announced their intention to merge in late 2017.

Arnold Bloch Leibler’s team is valued for ‘the timeliness and expert nature of the advice provided’; it is led by Ken Gray in Melbourne and Jonathan Caplan in Sydney and specialises in transactional matters. Noted for being an ‘excellent communicator, problem solver and articulator’, the Melbourne-based Tyrone McCarthy counselled Charter Hall on its acquisition of around 49% of the residual equity notes related to a portfolio of Bunnings properties, and assisted Impact Investment Group with its acquisition of a mixed-use building in Chippendale. Other recent work highlights also include providing advice to Mt Atkinson on its agreement with Stockland to develop a 315-hectare parcel of land. The practice has ‘a range of associates and pre-partner level lawyers who are all characterised by efficiency, attention to detail and good response rates’.

The level of service from partners, senior associates and lawyers is extraordinarily high’ at Colin Biggers & Paisley where the practice is jointly led by Rhett Oliver and Duane Keighran, who recently joined the firm from Jones Day and brought with him substantial expertise in the hotels, tourism and hospitality sector. Keighran spearheaded a team to assist a leading Chinese building materials company with its acquisition of a large industrial asset as part of its entry into the Australian market, and Brendan Maier acted for YMCI Australia in a high-value single asset residential structured purchase. Also recommended is the ‘extremely diligent’ Brisbane-based senior associate Julia Hewitt who assisted Oliver with advising on the first stage of a mixed-use development. The ‘stand-out lawyer’ Mark Morgan whose ‘legal knowledge and professionalism are second to none’, and who initiated the firm’s innovative online contracts system, has retired from the partnership and is now a consultant; Lisa Lane made partner in Melbourne and Rebecca Edwards became general counsel at a private company.

At Henry Davis York, practice co-head Andrew Steele ‘has the ability to provide confident and clear guidance’ and the team ‘is accessible and advice is instantaneously available’. The practice is advising Australian National University on leasing and documentation issues arising from the first stage of the Union Court and University Avenue precinct redevelopment. The team is representing Sydney Trains and RailCorp in connection with the construction and operation of the Moorebank Intermodal terminal project, and Nicholas Brunton is part of the team overseeing all planning, infrastructure and property issues arising from Celestino’s development of the Sydney Science Park. Also noteworthy is senior associate Elizabeth Boden who specialises in corporate real estate matters. Former practice co-head Jennifer Degotardi left to join K&L Gates. Henry Davis York and Norton Rose Fulbright have announced their intention to merge in late 2017.

Maddocks’ real estate team acts for government entities, foreign investors and private clients such as retailers and land developers in a wide range of real estate matters. Nick Holuigue heads the Melbourne development practice and advised on several asset transactions such as Spencer West’s acquisition of a potential development site and the development of the Ikebana project in West Melbourne on behalf of Gurner. David Hartney also handled several of the team’s work highlights; he advised Golden Sunrise on its development of a twin tower residential apartment, and Parklea on the sale of the Arena shopping centre in Victoria. The department is spearheaded by Bronwyn Badcock in Sydney and Marine Nincevic in Melbourne; they are supported by the Sydney-based commercial transactions specialist Alicia Albury and leasing expert Stella Wild. Nick Sparks made partner.

Nothing is too much trouble’ for McCullough Robertson’s team and advice ‘is always well thought out and relevant to the issues at hand’. After the majority of the Sydney-based team left to join Thomson Geer in June 2017, Ian Hazzard now leads the practice with the support of Kristan Conlon from the Brisbane office; the team frequently advised clients in the leisure and hospitality, university and healthcare sectors. Conlon’s recent work highlights include advising R&F Properties on the planning, corporate and financing aspects of its joint venture with another leading Chinese developer, and acting for the Queensland Canegrowers Organisation in the sale of half of its interest in 100 Edward Street to Evolution Investment Partners. MiiResorts also engaged a team led by ‘stand-out’ Tim Wiedman – who ‘generates a genuine level of trust with clients’ – to oversee the sale of the Sheraton Mirage on the Gold Coast. In Newcastle, the key name to note is property and mining expert Michelle Sirasch, and special counsel Eva Vicic recently joined the Sydney office from Colin Biggers & Paisley.

Mills Oakley Lawyers’ service ‘from engagement to finalisation is characterised by consistency, quality and professionalism’; ‘all information and advice is always prompt and thorough, and more importantly, in plain English’. Leading the Canberra team, Adam Peppinck is representing the Department of Finance in the sale of the Anzac Park assets, specifically with regards to the land tenure and planning arrangements attached to the properties. In Melbourne, national practice head James Price acted for ICD Property in its development of the Eq. Tower in Melbourne, which comprises 633 residential assets; in Sydney, Tim L’Orange oversaw the sale of five Bulky Goods retail sites to Aventus across the country on behalf of Blackstone. Key names in Sydney also include Catherine Hallgath who has particular expertise in leasing work for large commercial office landlords.

Dentons renders an ‘excellent service, both in terms of expertise and value for money’. Specialising in transactions, leasing, development and Strata renewals, the practice led by Sally Tuckfield consists mainly of former Gadens Lawyers’ partners from Sydney, Port Moresby and Perth due to these offices merging with Dentons in 2016. In Perth, Doug Stipanicev ‘has great experience keeping clients out of trouble’ and is currently overseeing Westminster Estates’ coastal development in Jindee. Also noted is Jennifer Andrews, who is advising The GPT Group on the expansion of the Rouse Hill town centre and the development of land acquired at Rouse Hill. The Bridgehill Group appointed a team led by John Grimble to handle its acquisition of a 125-hectare parcel of land, as well as the acquisition of a government-approved concept plan for over a thousand homes and rejuvenated communal space from EnergyAustralia. Other noteworthy contacts are ‘efficient and accurate’ Perth-based senior associate Natasha Murgatroyd who ‘shows great signs of becoming a worthwhile advocate in this area’, and Strata regulations expert Chris Fabiansson.

DibbsBarkerdefinitely punches above its weight in commercial real estate transactions’, and the team makes ‘clients feel like they are the only client in the world’. A longstanding client in the residential property sector received advice from practice head and ‘consummate professionalAndrew Flannery and Penny Murray on the development of a new town; ‘client favouriteJane Wild advised Long Ze International Development Group alongside Brisbane-based Matthew Rollason and Mahoney Smith on all aspects of a two-tower staged development. David Sharpe in Sydney and Bill Burrough are also key names. Lex Orange left to join Kaden Boriss Partners in Brisbane and Mark Baker-Jones departed to sit on the Queensland Climate Advisory Council; the team gained five new senior associates as lateral hires across its three offices.

Gilbert + Tobin’s Sydney-based practice advises on industrial and commercial property transactions and leasing matters with a particular specialism in the ports and transport infrastructure sectors. Steven Mackay is a key name for development, construction and property work and recently acted for an investment firm in its successful bid to become operator of an airport and a commercial partner in the development of proposed expansions. Practice head Amanda Hempel works closely with the corporate team and handled the real estate issues arising from VIVA Energy’s IPO, which involved a portfolio of approximately 420 retail service stations; she also represented David Jones in numerous leasing matters, including the development of its new head offices, the redevelopment of several shopping centres and the opening of its new store in the Barangaroo precinct. Other noteworthy names include special counsel Ben Fuller, who specialises in strategic advice in connection with environmental law, and Simon Lynch who has substantial experience advising clients such as Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Payce and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in infrastructure project financings.

At Hall & Wilcox, the ‘service is excellent’, and the team ‘exceeds expectations regarding response times, strength-in-depth and industry knowledge’. The firm has actively sought to reinforce its projects and property offering; Paul O’Donnell in Sydney has been made a partner. Natalie Bannister leads the practice from Melbourne and acts as the firm’s liaison with the Victorian government, which recently appointed the firm to its panel; she also leads a team including senior associate Chris Hammond, which advises Arena REIT on the full spectrum of property matters. Sydney-based Stan Kondilios is advising Coronation on the planning aspects of several mixed-use developments in metropolitan Sydney, and John O’Kane, Bannister and Hammond advised a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to negotiate and finalise a leasing agreement, a co-ownership deed and termination deed related to the expansion of a hospital.

Jackson McDonald’s team ‘has great knowledge of the Western Australian property market, the government agencies that work in the sector and how land development is done’. The ‘considered and strategically-minded’ Simon Moen advised Lendlease on the transaction structuring and development agreements for its Alkimos Beach development in Perth, and Ryan Chorley is acting for a leading retailer with regards to its expansion into the Western Australian market, which includes the acquisition of its entire freehold property portfolio. Stockland instructed the team on the sale of five retirement villages and the development of a number of residential estates. Special counsel Bianca McGoldrick is ‘very experienced in the area of retirement and seniors housing law’.

Lander & Rogers’ team ‘has the ability to handle a significant volume of work in a fast-paced environment and to take both a technical and commercial approach’. On the transactional front, practice head John Wells ‘knows the nuances of getting a deal across the line’; he assisted PIP Holdings with its acquisition of an office building in Brisbane, and the Melbourne-based Lisa Gaddie acted for The Myer Family Company in the sale of its interest in the Myer building in Melbourne to TH Real Estate; she was assisted by Nick Stocks who ‘provides tremendous advisory services’. Sallie Bowtell joined from Trowers & Hamlins LLP’ Dubai office, bringing substantial expertise in the hospitality and tourism sectors. The practice’s recent caseload also includes contentious work, such as Louise Nixon’s work with the commercial disputes team to settle five proceedings filed to challenge a client’s relocation notices.

Piper Alderman’s team led by Lexia Wilson ‘provides high-quality and commercially sound legal advice’ to a wide range of clients including foreign investors, property funds, large corporates and government entities. As well as a number of high-value land and property acquisitions, the team oversaw the refurbishment and long-term leasing of a commercial office building in Darling Harbour, and assisted Charter Hall with several significant development agreements in New South Wales and Queensland. Other key contacts include Adelaide-based managing partner Tony Britten-Jones who advised a joint venture on leasing agreements and the main construction contract of Adelaide’s VUE development, assisted by senior associates Adam Rinaldi and Lisa Olsen, as well as Melbourne-based Greg Taylor, who handles acquisitions and developments in the retail sector.

Ted Vlahos’ ‘outstanding’ team at Pointon Partners provides ‘comprehensive and specialist advice that is easy to understand’ and is also noted for its ‘response times and industry knowledge’. The recent caseload features a number of farming property acquisitions for Dingley Dell Springs, the joint sale of adjoined properties in South Yarra for Claremont and Armstrong Holdings, respectively, and a lease dispute for a client in the retail sector. Nicholas Brandprovides strong real world advice and guidance’ and works alongside the recommended senior lawyer Andrew Power. Legal executive Rosemary McLoughlinis always accommodating and quick to respond’.

Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘absolutely top-rate’ team has been bolstered with Rahul Parrab from Baker McKenzie and Dannelle Howley from Allen & Overy LLP in the Sydney office, and by client wins such as Avant Hotels, Alceon Group and BIM Group. In Perth, ‘stand-out partnerCarl Black, who ‘knows his stuff and does it well’, is representing Woolworths in a challenge to a regulatory change by the Northern Territory government in relation to the client’s effort to open its first Dan Murphy liquor store in Darwin airport. New client the World Trade Centre Perth receives advice from of counsel Mark Palermo on the development of a A$1.85bn integrated World Trade complex, and Parrab advised Indochina Capital Corporation on its joint venture with Kajima Corporation to develop several projects in Vietnam. Government procurement and landmark development project expert Fabio Fior in Darwin is another name to note. Of counsel Josh Clarke joined HFW.

Melinda Graham in Sydney leads Thomson Geer’s team with a focus on corporate matters, especially commercial portfolios across a wide range of industries. The team’s recent caseload includes residential property developments, leasing mandates for large corporate landlords and tenants, and commercial property asset transactions by high-profile Asian clients, including in the agribusiness. Melbourne-based Eu Ming Lim represented Longriver in the development of a skyscraper and acted for Jimmy Goh on the purchase of the Total House car park. Other names to note are Chris O’Shea in Brisbane, and David Beer and Sian Rees in Adelaide.

Thynne + Macartney’s Brisbane-based team is ‘highly competent’ and ‘above and beyond the competition in the rural sector’. Practice head Aaron Webb has a strong track record advising clients in the religious and not-for-profit space, and Sue Maxwell assists developers with regulatory compliance related to the acquisition of development projects in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Agribusiness expert Bill Loughnan acted for The Western Grazing Company in the sale of two significant property assets, including a calf breeding facility, to Paraway Pastoral, and Peter Kenny handled a property sale to a Chinese investor. Leasing specialist Cameron Graham joined from Barry.Nilsson.; he has strong experience in the shopping centre space.

Nothing is too difficult’ for the ‘excellent’ team at TressCox Lawyers, which is valued for its ‘very fast response times and fathomless knowledge’. The Sydney-based team head Martyn Tier displays ‘trust, fairness, diligence and empathy’ and has ‘the welfare of his clients at the forefront of his mind’. Gary Newton is assisting a leading global technology company with leasing arrangements in the context of setting up Australian headquarters, and overseeing transactions and leasing matters for a Chinese development and investment company. Senior associate Caroline Najjar is well regarded for her ‘quiet strength and resolve’; she continues to advise Lindsay Bennelong Developments on the VUE development, its residential complex in Bondi Junction. Penny Evans is singled out for her ‘excellent knowledge and experience, attention to detail and constructive approach’, and Brisbane-based Lynette Reynolds has ‘impressive industry knowledge’. Christopher Conolly heads the public sector offering and handles infrastructure projects, planning issues and property developments; the team added a number of new public sector entities to its client roster.

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