Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, the banking and finance team at Hamilton Locke specialises in advising borrowers, sponsors and financier on syndicated corporate finance, asset and structured finance, and asset-backed lending. 
Expanded from a firm started in Newcastle by William Sparke in 1882, Sparke Helmore Lawyers provides comprehensive banking and finance services to multinational corporates, banks, non-bank lenders and other institutions seeking financing and security arrangements.

Banking and finance in Australia

Allens

The banking and finance team at Allens remains a market leader, providing bespoke solutions to major domestic and international banks, multinational corporations and governments. among other financial institutions, on a diverse spectrum of matters. Examples include leveraged finance transactions, M&A, asset finance and leasing, fund finance, project finance, margin loans and construction finance. Practice head Alan Maxton brings his corporate finance expertise to the group, whose client portfolio includes JP Morgan and Citibank and spans the aviation, dairy, mining, real estate, utilities and government sectors. Other key names include fund finance expert Tom Highnam, real estate investment specialist Jo Folan, and Rita Pang, an up-and-coming name when it comes to the financing of aircraft, yellow goods and motor vehicles. Named lawyers are based in Sydney though the team is also present in Melbourne where syndicated lending advisor, Ben O’Hoy, is a standout.

Practice head(s):

Alan Maxton

Testimonials

‘The quality of the service is what makes Allens a stand out. The firm is a great partner and always strives to get the best outcome for clients.’

‘Jo Folan is genuinely interested in understanding our organisation. We appreciate greatly our direct access and the relationship.’

‘Alan Maxton – Depth of knowledge, superior service levels and amazing ability to turn huge workloads around quickly.’

‘Strong industry expertise, good resourcing, always delivers on time.’

‘High degree of client engagement and service, detailed knowledge of business and documentation, retained key staff members over the years with continuity of service, rolled out consistent documentation across our business. Many years of maintaining a high standard of customer service.’

Key clients

Madison Dearborn Partners

Pacific Equity Partners

Global Infrastructure Partners

JPMorgan

NSW Rural Fire Service

Toyota Finance Australia Limited

Macquarie

TPG Telecom

Wesfarmers Limited

Newcrest Mining Limited

National Australia Bank

Citibank

JPMorgan

Boral Limited

CSL Limited

Westpac Banking Corporation Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Charter Hall

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The Star Entertainment Group

Work highlights

  • Advised on the acquisition of APM Group by Madison Dearborn Partners.
  • Advised Pacific Equity Partners on a transformative acquisition for its LifeHealthCare business (an independent medical device distributor), of Australian Biotechnologies (a specialist in allograft tissue processing business).
  • Advised on the refinance of the syndicated facility agreement between, amongst others, Cooperatieve Rabobank U.A., Australian Branch (as Agent and Initial Financier), Westpac Banking Corporation (as Initial Financier) and Bega Cheese Limited (as Borrower) in connection with the acquisition of Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd by Bega Cheese Limited.

Ashurst

Ashurst‘s global loans group is famed for its ‘exceptional knowledge‘ in M&A, disputes, restructuring and insolvency, asset finance and leasing. Led by Brenton Key, a property finance expert, the practice is particularly accomplished within the media, financial services, aviation, healthcare industries and caters to a client roster of global corporates and investment banks, major financial institutions, funds, alternative lenders and private equity sponsors. Shawn Wytenburg and Melbourne-based Martin Coleman are experts in respect of corporate, leveraged, acquisition and infrastructure finance meanwhile Steve Smith holds distinguished capabilities in ABL, holdco facilities and sovereign debt transactions. At the more junior end of the partnership spectrum, Kenneth Tang is carving out a prominent reputation for debt financings. Named lawyers are based in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Brenton Key

Testimonials

‘Excellent delivery, exceptional knowledge, great solution providers, highly commercial and good value for money.’

‘Martin Coleman is readily accessible, a gifted and warm communicator, and very solution-focused.’

‘The team takes a commercial approach to legal negotiations and formal documentation. It is clear that the team have a deep understanding and wide coverage of industry standards as well as commercial terms – both leading to acceptable commercial outcomes and streamlined negotiations.

The team is also very responsive, and partners are well supported by their associates. In most instances, work is done in a timely manner to meet commercial outcomes.’

‘Kenneth Nguyen from the Melbourne office is a standout.

‘Good market understanding, responsive and available as required.’

‘Jock O’Shea is a pleasure to work with. He is always on top of matters and ensures that not only is he available and engaged throughout the transaction but he is also supported by a great team of associates who are equally excellent in the support and advice they provide.’

Key clients

ANZ

CBA

ING Bank

NAB

Westpac

Bank of America

Bank of China

BNP Paribas

China Construction Bank

Crédit Agricole CIB

Credit Suisse

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

Bain Capital

Barings

Blackstone

Macquarie Capital

Coca-Cola Amatil

Crown

Nine Entertainment

Qantas

Woolworths

Work highlights

  • Advised the Downer Group on its refinancing, including its award-winning A$1.4 bn sustainability linked syndicated facility agreement.
  • Advised Barclays on the financing of its joint venture with Barrenjoey – an important strategic move for Barclays to strengthen its presence in Australia and accelerate its growth strategy.
  • Advised, in a hybrid unitranche deal, the lead arranger and underwriter and lenders to Quadrant Private Equity in financing the secondary buy-out of TSA Management from Livingbridge.

Gilbert + Tobin

The ‘market leading’ banking and finance team at Gilbert + Tobin utilises the bench strength of its team to advise local and international lenders, sponsors, developers and multinational corporates within the infrastructure, real estate, transport, energy, construction, and healthcare sectors. Its lawyers provide a comprehensive service, supporting on M&A, project finance, restructurings, corporate facilities, property finance, social infrastructure PPPs, and syndicated debt transactions. The team is headed by acquisition, project and corporate finance authority John Schembri who is supported in Sydney by Gail Christopher, noted for her ‘deep understanding of commercial objectives‘, as well as infrastructure and energy finance specialist Adela Smith. Over in Melbourne, Simon Lynch has carved out a prominent reputation for his work on corporate facilities, LBOs, workouts and construction financing.

Practice head(s):

John Schembri

Testimonials

‘The team provide outstanding client service, are responsive, and adopt a commercial approach which provides real work practicality.’

‘The G&T team has strong experience with renewables transactions and working through the issues the sector has faced.’

‘Adela Smith has been in the trenches with us in the renewables sector. She has supported us through the various challenges our transaction has faced.’

‘They are the market leading practice in Australia. They deliver on a continual basis bespoke, tailored solutions for their clients and are at the forefront of innovation to deliver on client objectives.’

‘Gail Christopher and her team are across every aspect of the transaction in detail including a deep understanding of the commercial objectives and potential industry / other factors that could influence a transaction as well as during the ownership period. They work at a rapid pace with a deep pool of talent that can be drawn on and ensure best-of-breed practices and a consistent focus on excellence is achieved at all levels.’

Key clients

Alinta Energy

Airtrunk

Amcor

BGH Capital

Canberra Data Centres

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Cleanaway

DuluxGroup

ELMO Software

GrainCorp

HSBC

IFM Investors

KKR

Nine Entertainment Group

Pacific Equity Partners

QIC

Quadrant Private Equity

Tilt Renewables

TPG Capital

Viva Energy

Westpac

Whitehaven

Work highlights

  • Advised KKR on its $1.7bn acquisition of a 55% interest in each of Colonial First State Investments Limited and Avanteos Investments Limited from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
  • Advised on the financing of the IPOs of Adore Beauty, Universal Store and DDH1.
  • Advised on the JPY 45bn financing to fund AirTrunk’s construction of a new 300+ megawatt hyperscale data centre campus in Tokyo.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills remains a leader in the marketplace, leveraging its expansive global network and track record in representing major international and domestic banks, non-bank lenders and multinational corporates on all manner of banking and finance matters. Melbourne-based Andrew Booth fronts the local practice, in addition to the wider Asia Pacific department, enjoying a particularly formidable reputation within the manufacturing, TMT, real estate, transport and infrastructure sectors; his team’s full-service offering extends to assistance with M&A, restructurings, leasing arrangements, asset finance, and infrastructure and property finance. Support is provided in Sydney by senior partner and structured finance veteran John Angus, property finance specialist Melita Cottrell and acquisition finance expert Hayley Neilson. Debt restructuring advisor Martin MacDonald operates alongside Booth in Melbourne meanwhile the Perth office is home to Marnie Fels who has handled several standout acquisition finance matters of late.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Booth

Key clients

Bain Capital

NAB

Morrison & Co

Westpac Banking Corporation

US private equity firm

BNP Paribas

JP Morgan

Mizuho

Westpac Banking Corporation

SMBC

AGL Energy Limited

Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure Management Pty Ltd

Riverside Asia Partners Pty Ltd

Crescent Capital Partners

Deutsche Bank AG

Shinsei Bank Limited

SMBC Financing and Leasing

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Livingbridge

Synergis Fund

The Riverside Company

Yancoal Australia Limited

QIC

Eclipx Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Bain Capital on its acquisition of Virgin Australia Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries out of administration.
  • Advised NAB on its $120m senior secured financing to Capital Alliance in relation to its $75m development of The Normanby Project.
  • Advised global investment manager Morrison & Co on the financing aspects of its acquisition of an aggregate ~70% stake in Qscan, a leading Australian diagnostic imaging business with a portfolio of over 70 clinics across Australia, on behalf of two of its funds.

King & Wood Mallesons

At Hong Kong-headquartered legal King & Wood Mallesons, the team crafts tailored solutions for major domestic and international and investment banks, private equity firms, debt funds and global corporations. Melbourne-based Jonathan Oldham holds a track record in project and corporate finance matters; he co-leads the practice alongside Yuen-Yee Cho, a specialist in leveraged and general corporate finance, and Evie Bruce who serves as managing partner. The team is especially well-versed in the financial services, aviation, real estate, private equity, government, energy and resources sectors and is geared to handle everything from asset finance, acquisition financing and restructurings through to infrastructure PPPs and property finance, the latter of which is a particular specialism for the 'exceptional' Ken Astridge. Named lawyers are based in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Testimonials

‘High degree of client engagement and service, detailed knowledge of business and documentation, retained key staff members over the years with continuity of service, rolled out consistent documentation across our business. Many years of maintaining a high standard of customer service.’

‘Ken Astridge is an exceptional lawyer who works tirelessly to achieve the best outcome for our business. His understanding of our business is outstanding and his commitment to customer service is very high.’

‘Best on the street in terms of technical expertise.’

‘Andrew Maynes is technically outstanding yet still commercial and pragmatic. The go-to partner for complex structured financing transactions.’

‘Aaron Bourke (Partner, Brisbane) is not only an excellent lawyer but a trusted adviser. Aaron is able to navigate through complex negotiations and offer appropriate commercial solutions when negotiations stall.’

Key clients

Macquarie Group

HSBC

Commonwealth of Australia

ANZ Banking Group

National Australia Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Westpac Banking Corporation

Macquarie Group

Export Finance Australia

BNP Paribas

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Caydon Group

Bingo Industries

BGH Capital

Gandel Group

Industry Funds Management

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising as Australian law, English law and international counsel over the life of the Virgin Australian Airlines administration to over 30 lessors and financiers for 98 out of the 118 financed and leased Aircraft subject to the insolvency administration proceedings.
  • Advising as transaction counsel for the Commonwealth of Australia to fund the A$20bn National Broadband Network, an Australian national wholesale open-access data network project, for capital equipment expenditure.
  • Advising as transaction counsel for local and international bank and financial institution clients in securing financing of Qantas Aircraft worth A$1.25bn. This involved an innovative withholding tax structure and security structure.

Allen & Overy LLP

Utilising the strength of its global team, some 1,000 lawyers strong, Allen & Overy LLP offers a comprehensive service to major national and international banks, non-bank lenders and multinational corporations active within the TMT, financial services, tourism, mining, real estate and infrastructure industries. Jason Huinink has recognised expertise in asset financing while in Perth Peter Wilkes handles areas such as debt finance transactions, acquisition and leverage finance and syndicated bank facilities, particularly in the energy and resources sectors. The group’s services also extend to restructuring mandates. Former practice head Adam Stapledon joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth in January 2022, followed by James Abbott in February.

Testimonials

“Clear strength is in the team and the individuals we work with.”

“You expect certain things from professional advisors; technical expertise, responsivenes and sound advice. The team provides all of that to a very high level but provide so much more – detailed commercial advice and views on what the market is doing, but also what the potential impact and response may be of positions taken. They are always thinking ahead and finding the best option for their client.”

Key clients

Flight Centre

IOOF

CIMIC/Thiess

QIC

Qantas Airways

Jetstar Japan

Pilbara Minerals

Macquarie

ANZ

Fortescue Metals Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the financiers to NBN Co Limited (nbn), a fixed line broadband infrastructure company and primary wholesale high-speed broadband provider, on AUD$6.1bn of unsecured revolving bilateral facilities documented under a common terms deed poll platform.
  • Advised CIMIC Group Limited in relation to the various consents, releases and restructuring of CIMIC’s existing financing arrangements in connection with the sale by CIMIC of 50% of Thiess, the world’s largest mining service provider, for an enterprise value of AUD$4.3bn.
  • Advised Port of Newcastle on an ESG-focused refinancing transaction, which included the introduction of both a green loan and sustainability linked loan facilities with long-term environmentally and socially responsible outcomes.

Clayton Utz

The banking and financial services team at Clayton Utz advises on high-value transactions related to asset finance, property finance, social infrastructure PPPs, structured finance, fund finance, IPOs, and acquisition finance. The group is headed by syndicated corporate financing lawyer Alexander Schlosser and includes corporate finance expert Graeme Tucker, as well as acquisition finance specialist Kate O’Donovan. The client base spans major local and international banks, non-bank financial institutions, credit funds and multinational corporates from industries as diverse as aviation, software, environmental services, healthcare, real estate, retail and mining. Referenced lawyers are based in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Schlosser

Testimonials

‘Graeme Tucker’s expertise in finance law has been invaluable, particularly for complex and structured transactions.’

Key clients

Virgin Airlines Australia

Nuix Pty Ltd

ATI Holdings Co Pty Ltd

Plenary Group

Schenck Australia

China Investment Corporation

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Gordon Brothers, Westpac Banking Corporation

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Collection House

Marubeni Equipment Finance (Oceania) Pty Ltd

EQ Projects & Waterbrook Retirement Living

Tianqi’s Australian entities

Myer

Sprott Resources

Blackstone Real Estate Australia

Work highlights

  • Acted for Virgin Airlines Australia (VAA) and the voluntary administrators, Deloitte, on all of the finance work streams in connection with the high-profile VAA administration, sale, administrator funding and ultimate exit from the administration through the deed of company arrangement.
  • Acted for ATI in respect of the first-lien TLB financing of an acquisition of Groundsure, a UK-based business and a leading supplier of environmental searches, data, mapping and reports for the UK property market.
  • Negotiated for China Investment Corporation complex loan documentation for an office portfolio comprising nine prime office buildings throughout Australia, including negotiating multiple financier side deeds with key stakeholders.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Corrs Chambers Westgarth provides a ‘commercially pragmatic view‘ when instructed on lending and restructuring mandates, acquisition, infrastructure and project finance transactions, derivatives and corporate finance affairs. The team, which is led by the broad expertise of Rommel Harding-Farrenberg, is equipped to support all parties to a transaction including national and international banks, non-bank financial institutions, and major multinational companies, counting the food and beverages, financial services, construction, real estate, and aquaculture sectors as its key fields. The practice’s leveraged and acquisition finance capabilities were recently bolstered by the high-profile arrival of John Mosley from MinterEllison who supplements a back bench which includes international finance specialist, Brad Husband, as well as special counsel Megan Russell, adept in the financing of a various asset types. Named lawyers form part of the Sydney office with the exception of Husband who works from Melbourne. The team has been further boosted with the arrival of Adam Stapledon and James Abbott from Allen & Overy LLP in early 2022.

Other key lawyers:

Brad Husband; Adam Stapledon; John Mosley; Megan Russell; James Abbott

Testimonials

‘Good partner involvement, good depth in the team. Matches it with the bigger firms and is significantly more price-friendly.’

‘Brad Husband – commercial, responsive, personable, knowledgeable, and delivers.’

‘Right people for the right task meaning they don’t over service and give pragmatic advice.’

‘Strong trust, commercially pragmatic view, willingness to help us achieve the goal without pushing belts and braces approaches that waste time.’

‘Rommel Harding – commercial, pragmatic, sensible – a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Coca-Cola European Partners plc

Silver Lake

Mirvac Residential (NSW) Developments Pty Ltd

Medibank Health Solutions Pty Limited

St George Community Housing Ltd

CuString Pty Ltd

Seafarms Group Limited

DWS Investments

Pacific Alliance Group

Virgin Airlines Australia

Broad Peak Investment Advisers Pte Ltd

Pulse Partnerships Pty Limited ATF Pulse

National Australia Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Macquarie Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders providing finance to Velocity Frequent Flyer Pty Ltd (VFF), the operator of Virgin Australia’s loyalty program, in the context of Virgin Australia’s administration.
  • Advising Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) on its proposed A$11.1bn acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil (Amatil).
  • Advised Silver Lake, a US-based private equity house and a global leader in technology investing, on financing its acquisition of TEG, Asia Pacific’s leading live entertainment and ticketing company, from Affinity Equity Partners, estimated at around A$1.3bn.

Minter Ellison

The finance team at globe-spanning Australian firm Minter Ellison is headed by structured and asset finance practicioner James Mok. The team builds bespoke solutions for major local and international banks, non-bank financial institutions and sovereign wealth and debt funds, also representing multinational corporate clients across such industry sectors as hospitality and leisure, aviation and real estate. Other key names include property finance specialist, Tony Berriman, in addition to Daniel Marks who is particularly accomplished in respect of project finance. Named lawyers operate from Sydney.

Practice head(s):

James Mok

Testimonials

‘A strong combination of deep technical and industry expertise with good people who are always accessible and committed. Excellent value for money.’

‘Darren Sumich – technically excellent but able to explain complex matters in understandable terms without omitting critical details. Very commercial in his approach preferring to focus on things that matter without spending unnecessary time and fees negotiating things that don’t. Very committed to the deal, always available any time on any day.’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

National Australia Bank Ltd

Westpac Banking Corporation

Macquarie

Goldman Sachs

Bank of Queensland

Caterpillar Financial Australia

GIC

Qualitas Property Partners

Carlyle Group

Clean Energy Finance Corporation

BlackRock

Cromwell Property Group

Geocon Group

Hometown Australia

Sekisui House Australia Limited

Village Roadshow Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Village Roadshow on three interrelated financing arrangements put into place in connection with its acquisition by private equity firm BGH Capital by way of scheme of arrangement.
  • Advised the financiers on an A$320m acquisition facility to fund telecommunications provider Uniti Group’s acquisition of carrier OptiComm by scheme of arrangement for A$532m.
  • Advised ANZ on its provision of acquisition facilities for Loan Market Group to assist with funding its acquisition of 100% of NAB’s broker aggregation businesses for an undisclosed amount.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright caters to a roster of major local international banks, non-bank lenders, and multinational companies involved in high-value transactions. The team utilises the strength of its global network, comprising 840 lawyers over 50 offices, and provides a full-service, advising clients on acquisition finance, non-recourse lending, corporate finance, project finance, asset finance and multi-currency debt lending facilities. Tim Mornane, a lawyer with a tenacity for international restructurings, helms the group with support from corporate finance expert Nuncio D’Angelo and property finance practitioner Hamish Dixon. The client base covers the education, real estate, tech, travel, engineering, mining, energy and telecoms sectors, featuring household names such as Bank of America and HSBC. All lawyers mentioned are based at the Sydney office.

Practice head(s):

Tim Mornane

Other key lawyers:

Nuncio D’Angelo; Hamish Dixon

Testimonials

‘Great availability, associates are competent and efficient. Good value for money. Quick and commercial.’

‘Very quick responses, the staff assisting the partners are very competent in their own right.’

Key clients

Nikko Asset Management

Associated Kiln Driers Pty Ltd

National Australia Bank

ANZ

Coronado Coal

AirTrunk

HSBC

Bank of America

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Daiwa House

Work highlights

  • Appointed by one of the big four Australian banks to assist with analysis and categorisation of all counterparty agreements in its benchmark rate transition and to develop efficient and effective strategies for the amendment of contracts that use LIBOR [London InterBank Offer Rate] and similar benchmark rates.
  • Advised AirTrunk on a company-led financing package to establish a new global multi-currency syndicated debt facility refinancing the company’s existing debt in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Acted as legal counsel for CBA in their capacity as development funder for the second South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute building in Adelaide (SAHMRI2), a unique A$500m infrastructure project developed with funding support from State and Federal governments.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

At Arnold Bloch Leibler, the banking and finance team provides a comprehensive service to major national and international banks, non-bank financial institutions and corporate borrowers involved in high-value cross-border transactions. The group's advises clients matters such as property finance, corporate acquisition facilities, structured financing arrangements, project finance, restructuring, and insolvency. Restructuring transaction expertise is brought by team head Ben Mahoney who is also the key point of contact for debt and equity financing; he is supported in Melbourne by the 'commercially focused' Genevieve Sexton who predominantly focuses on corporate finance. The group’s client base features Freedom Foods Group Limited and the Australian Football League and covers the real estate, food and beverage, sports and entertainment, and transport and infrastructure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Ben Mahoney

Other key lawyers:

Genevieve Sexton; Nathan Briner

Testimonials

‘Genevieve Sexton is knowledgeable, responsive, and practical. I trust Genevieve to provide advice that is timely, commercially focused, and ready to be applied.’

Key clients

Freedom Foods Group Limited

Pure Asset Management

Visy

Australian Football League (AFL)

Merricks Capital

Wingate Property Finance

AsheMorgan

Medical Properties Trust

Grollo Australia

VIMG

Make Ventures

Alceon

OneVentures

Work highlights

  • Advised Freedom Foods Group in relation to all aspects of Freedom’s recapitalisation, including negotiating a standstill with their principal bankers, defending litigation and in relation to their proposed capital raising.
  • Advised Pure Asset Management on a number of financing transactions, and continues to provide advice on prospective transactions and the management of existing borrowers.
  • Advised global packaging and recycling company, Visy, on the financing of its acquisition of the Australian and New Zealand glass manufacturing business of Owens-Illinois.

Baker McKenzie

International firm Baker McKenzie utilises a network of 77 offices in 46 countries and the experience of its team to assist major domestic and multinational banks, non-bank financial institutions, and local and international corporations on a broad range of banking and finance issues across the practice area. These are not limited to real estate finance, structured finance, derivatives, insolvency, restructuring, and acquisition financings. Headed by Duncan McGrath in Sydney, a specialist in corporate finance, securitisation and debt capital markets matters, among many other matters, the group’s portfolio features HSBC and Citibank and spans industries such as energy, agribusiness, food and beverages, financial services, transport, and insurance. McGrath is backed by acquisition finance expert Alastair Gourlay in Sydney and Melbourne-based Charlie Detmold whose recent workload included a standout revolving credit mandate.

Practice head(s):

Duncan McGrath

Testimonials

‘First-class – always available and prepared to go that ‘extra mile’ to support your request.’

Key clients

Allianz

ANZ (Australia & New Zealand Banking Group)

Beulah International

Bright Food Group

CDPQ

Citibank

Commerzbank

DBS Bank Ltd

Genex

HSBC

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd

Lendlease

Manildra

MUFG

National Australia Bank

NEFG

Regional Express Holdings

Rio Tinto

Société Générale

Telstra Corporation Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising HSBC and other arrangers on an AUD $1.5bn sustainability-linked loan to ASX-listed Ramsay Health Care Limited.
  • Advised ANZ (as Agent) and a syndicate of 20 domestic and international banks on an AUD $1bn revolving facility for Telstra Corporation Limited.
  • Acting for Genex on all aspects of the $610m financing for Genex’s Pumped Hydro project in Queensland.

Clifford Chance

Providing a personalised service to major local and international banks, non-bank lenders, and multinational corporates involved in high-value transactions, the ‘internationally experienced ‘group at Clifford Chance provides a full range of banking and finance services. These include assistance with acquisition finance, project finance, structured products, insolvency, and regulatory compliance. In Sydney, Richard Gordon demonstrates a track record in financing transactions meanwhile Chad Bochan leverages distinguished expertise in infrastructure financings, IBOR transition projects and green financings throughout the Asia Pacific region; the pair co-head the department together with recently promoted partner Elizabeth Hundt Russell and Perth-based Mark Gillgren who provides the group with specialist expertise in respect of trade and commodity finance. The team’s client base features Barclays and Shell and encompasses players in oil and gas, renewables, mining and metals, healthcare and infrastructure sectors. 

Testimonials

‘Global experience and a top-tier focus across all geographies allowing the interconnected team to deliver global expertise taking the best practice/most innovative solutions from each market and applying them.’

‘Richard Gordon is trusted by the market including global investment banks, credit funds and other advisers as being able to navigate and deliver solutions to difficult situations in a timely manner.’

Key clients

Partner’s Group

Credit Suisse

Barclays

Citibank

HSBC

AMP Capital

Global Infrastructure Partners

Asian Development Bank

Glencore

Shell

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC Bank plc and the other active bookrunners in the syndication of Glencore’s refinancing of its short-term syndicated revolving credit facilities.
  • Appointed by GIP to advise the lenders on the financing for their bid to acquire a 26.5% stake in the Shell-operated Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Common Facilities (which included LNG storage tanks, jetties and operations infrastructure that service QCNLG’s LNG trains).
  • Advised the Nature’s Care group, as borrower, in relation to its financing arrangements.

Dentons

Dentons provides a one-stop shop to major local and international banks and non-bank financial institutions involved in cross-border high-value transactions. In Sydney, real estate finance expert Timothy Lipscombe co-heads the team with Chris Fanning who has been instructed on a number of debt transactions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The team’s client base is spread across the financial services, real estate, and renewables sectors and features key market players Deutsche Bank and Citibank. Examples of work undertaken include construction finance, leveraged and acquisition finance, asset finance, debt restructuring and structured products.

Other key lawyers:

Peter Luke Anthony Tesvic

Testimonials

‘Much more access to partners and managing associates compared to other law firms.’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

National Australia Bank Limited

Westpac Banking Corporation

HSBC

St George Bank

ING Bank (Australia) Limited

Macquarie Bank Limited

Rabobank Australia Limited

Bank of China

United Overseas Bank Limited

Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation

DBS Bank Limited

Deutsche Bank

Citibank

Bank of Communications

Bank of Queensland

Suncorp-Metway Ltd

Bankwest

First Commercial Bank of Taiwan

Perpetual Trustees Limited

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited

Heritage Bank

Members Equity Bank Limited

Qudos Mutual Limited

Teachers Mutual Bank Limited

Credit Union Australia Limited

Greater Building Society

Flexigroup Limited

Societe Generale

Work highlights

  • Advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ING Bank (Australia) Limited senior lending syndicate in relation to the provision of structured secured construction finance facilities to a Sydney developer in relation to a large mixed-use residential and retail development in Sydney with mezzanine finance provided by an Australian mezzanine finance fund, valued at $350m.
  • Advised the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited and Commonwealth Bank of Australia senior lending syndicate in relation to the provision of structured secured construction finance facilities to Billbergia Group in relation to the development of a 48 level commercial and hotel tower in North Sydney with mezzanine finance provided by Metrics Credit Partners.
  • Advised ANZ as senior lender in relation to the provision of senior secured finance facilities to a large Sydney hotel operator in connection with the refinancing of the debt corresponding to its hotels.

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Lawyers at Johnson Winter & Slattery assist major national and international banks, non-bank lenders and multinational corporates involved in high-value transactions, on a broad range of issues; these range from acquisition and leveraged finance, syndicated financing arrangements and financial products through to project finance, debt restructurings, and insolvency matters. Spearheaded by veteran leveraged finance practitioner David Beckett in Brisbane, the group’s portfolio features Eagers Automotive and CleanTech Asia and covers the automotive, tech, energy and resources, construction, logistics and infrastructure sectors. Craig Wappett supports the team in Melbourne, particularly in relation to securities-related mandates.

Practice head(s):

David Beckett

Other key lawyers:

Craig Wappett Nicholas Grambas

Key clients

Eagers Automotive Limited (ASX: APE)

REV

CleanTech Asia Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Eagers with all aspects of its senior syndicated financing requirements.
  • Advised REV on all aspects of its investment in, and funding of, the Ecotech Project, including structuring, investment and funding agreements.
  • Advising the CleanTech Asia Pty Ltd and its shareholders on the financing, due diligence, structuring and governance arrangements.

K&L Gates

The finance group at K&L Gates provides tailored solutions to advise major local and international banks, non-bank financial institutions, debt funds, and multinational corporates on matters such as acquisition and leveraged financing transactions in addition to asset, property, project and infrastructure-related finance. In addition, the group is equipped to support on restructuring and insolvency mandates, owing to the dedicated expertise provided by team head Jason Opperman; he operates from the Sydney office which recently saw the arrival of Richard Hayes from Hogan Lovells, a move which bolsters the group's general corporate finance, funds financing and acquisition finance capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Jason Opperman

Key clients

J.P. Morgan

Citibank

Macquarie Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Westpac

Scentre Group

Banner Asset Management

Centennial Property Group

Canadian Solar

Splend Group

Wiluna Mining Corporation Limited

Tanarra Credit Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised J.P. Morgan on the structuring, negotiation and documentation of an AU$735m financing for Infrabuild Australia comprising an AU$250m asset-based revolving facility and US$325m senior secured bond issuance.
  • Advised Scentre Management Limited on a $1.5bn 144A note issue; an update to €10bn program and on an issue of $HK notes; and a new A$ medium term note program.
  • Advised Canadian Solar on the 189MW Suntop Solar Farm and 154MW Gunnedah Solar Farm projects which have a total value of approximately AU$400m. The team also supported on all aspects of the projects, including the property, planning, corporate, EPC, O&M and project financing.

DLA Piper

Headed by Onno Bakker, a lawyer who directs his focus towards general banking, syndicated lending and leveraged finance mandates, the team at DLA Piper provides a comprehensive service when advising major national and international banks, non-bank financial institutions and multinational corporates across the financial services, tech, insurance, mining and resources sectors. The group's full-service covers acquisition finance, asset finance, project finance, and syndicated lending and restructuring. Hugo Thistlewood works alongside Bakker in Sydney, running a broad caseload which encompasses property and construction finance and syndicated and mezzanine lending in addition to structured finance.

Practice head(s):

Onno Bakker

Testimonials

‘The team works well together, from partner down to associate. Things just seem to work, all are contactable and issues can be resolved without too much hassle.’

‘Very skilled at dealing with different scenarios. No overbearing egos, all are very approachable and knowledgable.’

Key clients

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited

Hotel Property Investments

McDermott Australia Pty Ltd

HSBC Bank

Westpac Banking Corporation

Australia and New Zealand Banking Corporation (ANZ)

Keolis Downer Pty Ltd

Salt Lake Potash Limited

Sprott LLP

Suncorp Group Limited

Graphic Packaging International Inc.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Australia Pty Limited

Webjet Limited

Naturalena Brands Holdings Pty Ltd

McGrath Nicol Limited

BNP Pariba

Work highlights

  • Advised Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited (WHSP) on its A$225m convertible notes offering.
  • Advised Webjet in relation to the amendment and extension of existing club facilities with HSBC/NAB/ANZ of A$135m in total.
  • Assisted Broadspectrum on financing arrangements for its sale by Ferrovial.

Gadens Lawyers

Noted by for its 'fantastic client service', the banking and finance group at Gadens Lawyers advises national and international banks, funds, non-bank funds, superannuation funds, offshore lenders, and multinational corporations involved in high-value cross-border transactions. The team assists clients with acquisition financing arrangements, property finance, secured loan facilities, restructuring, due diligence and social impact bonds. Under the leadership of corporate finance and debt capital markets expert Doug Scobie, the group’s client portfolio covers the construction, pharmaceuticals, retail, automotive, leisure and tech sectors. Elliot Raleigh is a veteran of many construction and property investment financing matters, operating from Melbourne alongside Scobie. Over in Sydney, Renae Suttor is relied upon for her debt finance knowhow, both secured and unsecured. 

Practice head(s):

Doug Scobie

Other key lawyers:

Elliot Raleigh; Renae Suttor

Testimonials

‘Very strong banking and finance team with fantastic client service.’

‘Technical ability, excellent drafting and strategic advice.’

‘Renae Suttor- excellent and solid drafting and commercial negotiation skills. Easy to work with and pleasant manner.’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd

Goodyear Australia

Kathmandu Holdings Ltd

Judo Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (incl. Bankwest and

Colonial)

Computershare

Citadel Group

National Bank Australia

Westpac Banking Corporation (incl. St George and

Bank of Melbourne) No

Cbus Property

Work highlights

  • Advised PDG Corporation on the A$170m construction financing with National Australia Bank Ltd for the QVM Munro site in the Queen Victoria Market Precinct, including negotiating complex tripartite arrangements with Mirvac, Hamilton Marino, City of Melbourne and Veriu.
  • Advised Vitex Pharmaceuticals, a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Western Sydney, in relation to a senior secured loan facility for it and its related companies for the purposes of refinancing the group’s existing indebtedness, funding capital expenditure requirements of the business and for working capital purposes.
  • Advised DCF Asset Management Pty Ltd on the acquisition and debt funding of distressed assets from Rapid Securities Ltd.

Hogan Lovells

‘Technically strong and a very safe pair of hands’, Hogan Lovells leverages the strength of its globe-spanning network to advise domestic and international banks and financial institutions on a broad spectrum of matters, both domestic and cross-border. These include acquisition and leveraged finance, asset finance, fund finance and restructuring and insolvency. Bryan Paisley, often instructed on loan portfolio management transactions, co-heads the group jointly with Scott Harris, a lawyer vastly experienced on the restructuring front; the pair operate from Sydney alongside senior associate Lisa Mazor whose expertise encompasses syndicated and bilateral corporate finance transactions, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Bryan Paisley; Scott Harris

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Mazor

Testimonials

‘Proactive, people-driven team who don’t struggle with deal fatigue. The team takes a pragmatic approach to transactions and can deliver on short deadlines in a professional manner without dropping the ball. Essentially the next best thing to having an in-house legal team.’

‘Bryan Paisley is a standout partner. He is technically strong, diligent and responsive but also commercial, pragmatic, always across the detail while never losing sight of the bigger picture.’

Key clients

Emeco Holdings Limited

Home Consortium Limited

HomeCo Daily Needs REIT

Revolution Asset Management Limited

HSBC Bank plc

Efficient Frontier Investing

Work highlights

  • Acted as advisers to HDN in relation to the A$400m syndicated financing provided to support the establishment and listing of the real estate investment trust which was on the ASX by capital raised (A$301m) in 2020.
  • Advised Revolution Asset Management (Revolution) on the establishment of a A$40m subscription finance facility for Revolution Private Debt Fund II with National Australia Bank.
  • Advised Aware Super on its consortium bid in conjunction with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for ASX listed Vocus Group Limited.

McCullough Robertson

Coordinating with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle and Canberra, the finance team at McCullough Robertson crafts custom solutions to counsel major Australian banks, non-bank lenders and government lending bodies. The group assists with a broad range of services, ranging from debt restructurings, leveraged and acquisition financings through to real estate and development financings and syndicated and bilateral finance transactions. Led by lender side banking specialist Wei Lim in Brisbane and property finance expert David Gilham in Sydney, the group's work spans the mining and resources, real estate, transport, agribusiness, retail and construction sectors.

Practice head(s):

Wei Lim; David Gilham

Other key lawyers:

Emile McPhee

Testimonials

‘Wei Lim. Deep understanding of how banks think. Personable, commercial, efficient & intelligent.’

‘Market leading knowledge of complex property development financing. We go to them for the more complicated matters, which they deal with well. Emile McPhee is a stand-out. The team is large enough to be able to deal with any matter and to deliver if people are away.’

‘A strong practice that clients can always rely on to deliver. Good bench strength and coverage across multiple areas. We primarily use them for banking and finance and construction law.’

‘David Gilham goes above and beyond. Has a great understanding of commercial and legal balance and works well across varied lenders and complex finance arrangements.’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority

Macquarie Bank Limited

Global Student Accommodation

National Australia Bank

Bank of Queensland

Westpac / St George

The JAGA Group

Toplace

Work highlights

  • Advised Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility on funding provided to Central Queensland University for its capital expenditure programs including campus upgrades and refurbishments.
  • Assisted Macquarie Bank in relation to loan facilities provided to the Canberra Airport Group in respect of its landmark office and retail development at Constitution Place, Canberra.
  • Acting for ANZ, NAB and Westpac on institutional property lending transactions including residential tower construction, land subdivision projects and industrial land development.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP, a global firm with 26 offices on four continents, advises major national and international banks, non-bank lenders and multinational corporations on a wide span of matters across the practice area. Expertise encompasses leveraged and acquisition finance, asset finance, corporate finance, structured finance and project finance in addition to restructuring and workouts. Practice head Jeremy King, a member of the Melbourne office, holds distinguished expertise in a number of industries, namely social infrastructure, energy, aviation, shipping, mining, water and sanitation.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy King

Other key lawyers:

Jim Hunwick

Testimonials

‘The team led by Jeremy King is very responsive and commercial and not afraid to ask hard questions.’

‘Jeremy King has an excellent knowledge of the space, is commercial and very responsive.’

Key clients

Tesla

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG)

ING Bank

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG)

Australian Gas Networks

GFG Alliance

Lloyds Bank

HSBC

Barclays Bank

The Tokyo Star Bank, Limited

SIMEC Energy Limited

Abacus Property Group

Turner & Townsend

Asian Development Bank

Barwon Healthcare Property Fund

Work highlights

  • Advising Australian Gas Infrastructure Group on a A$4bn secured debt program which has been rated A3 by Moody’s and BBB+ by S&P.
  • Advising GFG Alliance on securing up to A$450m in new working capital to replace the working capital facilities provided to GFG by the recently insolvent Greensill.
  • Advising the senior bank syndicate on the A$240m refinancing of the 106.6MW Bald Hills Wind Farm located in Tarwin Lower, Gippsland, Victoria.

Thomson Geer

Thomson Geer is a domestic firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide; it acts for major banks, financial institutions, lenders and retail and wholesale fund managers on a broad spectrum of issues. The Melbourne office is home to debt funding expert Andrea Wookey while over in Sydney, David Murray-Nobbs is proficient in commercial lending and development and equipment finance. The team is also noted for its capabilities in acquisition, asset, structured, project and property finance in addition to loans and credit facilities, funds management, restructuring and insolvency mandates.

Work highlights

  • Advised Sunbot Technologies and Foresight Group in relation to a two year technology finance and prototype development project with the Stanhope Solar Farm, developed, owned and managed by Providence.

Colin Biggers & Paisley

Colin Biggers & Paisley demonstrates a tenacity for acquisition, corporate and syndicated, property finance and construction finance in addition finance-related disputes and restructuring and insolvency. Sydney-based practice head Kate Craig is principally active in the debt finance field, placing a high degree of emphasis on the hotel, residential and commercial property sectors. The wider team is also adept in the  financial services, food manufacturing, health and life sciences sectors, acting for a client base which spans major national and multinational banks, non-bank financial institutions and international corporates.

Practice head(s):

Kate Craig

Other key lawyers:

Timothy SetonMichael Bracken

Key clients

Hindmarsh Constructions Pty Limited

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd & United Overseas Bank

Avari Capital Limited

Jana Pty Limited as part of the Trinity Constructions Group

825 Stanley Pty Ltd as part of the Sarazin Group

Chobani Pty Limited

DBS Bank

Stamford Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising OCBC Bank on its syndicated credit facility for Mulpha Australia.
  • Advising on the negotiation of its refinancing of existing ANZ indebtedness and liaising and managing interests of Australia and the US divisions of Chobani.
  • Acting for Sarazin Group in the negotiation of a construction and development facility for the Group in relating to a large development in Brisbane.

Hall & Wilcox

Hall & Wilcox leverages the strength of a network of over 800 lawyers and 7 offices across Australia. It fields a banking and finance practice which is particularly accomplished within the corporate and property finance fields though also demonstrates proficiency in structured finance and leasing, finance-related disputes, construction finance and acquisition finance. In Melbourne, Mark Inston brings over 25 years’ worth of experience to the table, representing borrowers and banks alike. The client base spans the manufacturing, transport, real estate, and energy and renewables sectors and includes key market players Credit Suisse and Westpac.

Practice head(s):

Mark Inston

Other key lawyers:

Nick Slack

Testimonials

‘Hall & Wilcox are a boutique Melbourne-based firm who have excellent specialist knowledge in the financial service space. Partners & staff are friendly and approachable. Billing is clear and reasonable and they use technology as expected for a firm of their size.’

Key clients

Westpac

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Credit Suisse

Westport Capital

Dahua Group Melbourne Investment Pty Ltd

China Everbright Bank Co., Ltd

Newmark Capital Limited

Bluescope Steel

LeasePlan Australia

Work highlights

  • Reappointed as advisors for NewCold (a leading global cold chain logistics service provider) to advise on the cross border refinancing of its flagship automated cold storage facilities in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.       
  • Advising Dahua Group (headquartered in Shanghai, China) on multiple residential projects across Sydney and Melbourne including the A$1.5 billion master plan project in Menangle Park, Sydney and ‘Hawthorn Park’ a 345-unit residential development in Hawthorn East and legal advisor for banking facilities relating to Melbourne based projects.
  • Advising Newmark Capital (with almost $1bn in funds under management) in relation to a syndicated facility with CBA to refinance multiple shopping centres in Victoria, New South Vales, Queensland and Tasmania.

Maddocks

Established in 1885, Maddocks offers a full line of bespoke banking and finance solutions for domestic and international banks, non-bank financial institutions and corporate borrowers. The group centres its practice around corporate, property and structured asset finance and is jointly helmed by Sydney-based Arlene Colquhoun and property financing expert Ilan Kraus in Melbourne. The group acts for clients in the property, manufacturing, and renewable energy sectors and represents major market players such as Macquarie Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Practice head(s):

Arlene Colquhoun; Ilan Kraus

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge and service. Very experienced proactive team.’

‘Extremely good knowledge of the real estate structured finance industry.’

Key clients

Macquarie Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

JDH Capital

Madigan Capital Pty Ltd

Greenland Group

Jingle Property

Kings Transport & Logistics

Juris Partnerships

ID_Land Group of Companies

Lechte Corporation

Occasio Projects Pty Ltd

MA Asset Management Australia (Moelis)

Newground Capital Partners

Monark Property Partners

Centuria Bass Capital

CVC Ltd / Eildon Funds Management Ltd

Qualitas

Work highlights

  • Acting for Commonwealth Bank of Australia and drafting and negotiating a facility agreement and related securities in connection with the acquisition by a newly formed entity of a 45% ownership interest in several companies owning approximately 10 hotels located in and around the Greater Sydney area.
  • Negotiating all facility documentation associated with providing funding for the acquisition of the iconic Sirius Building located on Sydney harbour.
  • Advising Newground on a multi-tranche structured debt facility secured against the Coburg Quarter project (old Pentridge prison) in Coburg, Victoria.

Mills Oakley

With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth, Mills Oakley Lawyers is geared to support on project, corporate and acquisition finance in addition to syndicated lending and workout and restructuring mandates. In Sydney, real estate finance expert Graeme Gurney helms the practice meanwhile Tim Macmillan is the key contact for project finance. Clients include domestic and multinational banks, non-bank financial institutions and major corporate borrowers from sectors such as hospitality, financial services and construction.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Gurney

Other key lawyers:

Tim Macmillan; Isabella Barnes

Testimonials

‘Expertise, timeliness, responsiveness to attend to matters in addition to a fee structure that is not cost-prohibitive.’

‘Always comes back in a timely manner. Can run high-level matters past them without worrying about getting charged. Isabella Barnes is a star.’

Key clients

AEP Developments

Ark Asset Management

Austar Group

Australian Mortgage Marketplace Limited

Bank of Communications

Bank of Queensland Limited / BOQ Equipment Finance Limited

China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd

CIP Pte Ltd

Crown Resorts Limited

CUA

DNB Bank

First Commercial Bank (Taiwan)

JY Mulpha BB Level 2 Pty Ltd being a consortium of Australian and foreign entities.

Macquarie Bank

QLD Capital Pty Ltd

RSL Lifecare

Scottish Pacific Business Finance

UIL Commodities DMCC/ UD Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Crown Resorts on an $450m development financing to support the continuation of construction of the Crown Sydney hotel resort.
  • Advised Qualitas as co-purchaser under a joint venture arrangement with Pelligra for the acquisition and staged development of the Ford Assembly Plant at Broadmeadows in Melbourne.
  • Advised Macquarie on the $A170m residual stock financing of Greenland’s Macquarie Park mixed development.