Banking and finance in Australia

Allens

Allens offers a comprehensive service across the full spectrum of banking and finance work, with dedicated teams handling acquisition finance, asset finance and leasing, corporate finance and property finance streams. The department counts the four major Australian banks, multinational financial institutions, and market-leading corporate entities among its diverse client roster. Sydney-based team head Alan Maxton leads the corporate finance stream, and is highly respected in this space. Other key team members based in Sydney include Tom Highnam, who is known for his expertise in fund finance, leveraged finance and derivatives; Mark Kidston, the leader of the leveraged finance stream; the 'incisiveJo Folan, who heads up the property finance team; and head of structured and asset finance Renee Boundy. Elsewhere, Ben Farnsworth is a notable name in Perth and Karla Fraser is a commercial real estate finance specialist in Brisbane. Junior partner Rita Pang (in Sydney) and Melbourne-based managing associate Ben O’Hoy are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Alan Maxton

Testimonials

Jo Folan listens to get an understanding of what matters for your business and guides a smooth path cutting through the argy bargy back and forth to get to a great result as quickly as possible.

Jo Folan: incisive, pragmatic, solution focussed, accessible.

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

AustralianSuper

Bain Capital

BGH Capital

BlackRock

Caltex

Challenger

Charter Hall

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

First State Super

The GPT Group

HSBC

Investec

Macquarie AirFinance

National Australia Bank (NAB)

NSW Rural Fire Service

OCP Asia

Origin Energy

News

Pacific Equity Partners

Toyota Finance Australia

Treasury Wine Estates

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield SE

Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Wesfarmers

Westpac Banking Group (Westpac)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Challenger on the initial acquisition financing of CPE Capital’s (previously Champ Private Equity) A$120m purchase of Marand, a leading global aerospace, defence, and manufacturing group, and the ‘bolt-on’ financing for the acquisition of Levett Engineering, an Australian sovereign defence and advanced manufacturing company.
  • Acting for NSW RFS in the purchase of a Boeing 737 large air tanker aircraft (the LAT) from Canadian company Coulson Aviation.
  • Advising nbn on its $19.5bn loan from the Commonwealth government including negotiating and executing an Amended and Restated $19.5bn Loan Agreement.

Ashurst

Ashurst remains a trusted adviser to the four major Australian banks, while also attracting a broad client base of multinational investment banks, private equity sponsors, and top corporate entities. The banking and finance practice, headed up by Brenton Key, also has a standout capacity handling cross-jurisdictional instructions, drawing on the expertise of the firm's global network. Among the department's leading names, the highly respected Shawn Wytenburg regularly advises on market-leading transactions; Steve Smith and the Melbourne-based Martin Coleman are experts in corporate, project and infrastructure finance; and Jock O’Shea leads on property financing and asset financing and leasing, particularly in the aviation space. A name to watch on the junior end of the team is Kenneth Tang, who has recently been active in significant unitranche transactions. In internal team news, Melbourne-based Madeleine de Garis was promoted to partner in May 2019; her specialist experience lies in acquisition and corporate finance. Named partners are Sydney-based unless otherwise mentioned.

Practice head(s):

Brenton Key

Testimonials

Experts in banking and finance, especially property related. They ensure they are resourced to meet deadlines. Highly commercial and able to assist with structuring improvements.

Martin Coleman is highly accessible and very commercial, strong ability to communicate clearly and problem solve.’

The team has a practical can-do attitude. They have a deep working knowledge of our business and what we need to achieve with each transaction.

Madeleine de Garis has an intimate knowledge of our business. She is extremely knowledgeable about her area of law and has a “can-do” attitude. She is prepared to do complex work in tight turnaround time. She is easy to deal with and our go-to person for banking and finance.

Key clients

ANZ

CBA

ING Bank

NAB

Westpac.

Bank of America

Bank of China

BNP Paribas

China Construction Bank

Crédit Agricole CIB

Credit Suisse

DBS Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

Mizuho

MUFG

Nomura

Rabobank

RBC

RBS

Société Générale

Standard Chartered Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

United Overseas Bank

White Oak ABL

White Oak Merchant Partners

Adamantem Capital

Affinity Equity Partners

Anchorage Capital

Apollo

Bain Capital

Blackstone

Brookfield

Challenger

Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Gordon Brothers

Hastings

HPS Investment Partners

IFM Investors

KKR

Macquarie Capital

MaxCap

Metrics Credit Partners

Oaktree

Partners Group

PGIM

Quadrant

White Oak

Wingate

AGL Energy

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries

Cleanaway

Coca-Cola Amatil

Cotton On

Crown

Downer

Galaxy Resources Limited

Gene

Work highlights

  • Advising the finance parties on the A$2.15 billion secured syndicated facilities for Brookfield Capital Partners’ A$4.3 billion acquisition of ASX-listed Healthscope Limited, by way of a scheme of arrangement.
  • Advising ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac, Credit Agricole and Bank of China on the A$1.7bn multi-tranched senior secured club facilities for the Charter Hall Office Trust.
  • Advising ANZ and BNP Paribas as sustainability coordinators and bookrunners and financiers on AGL Energy’s A$600m syndicated sustainability-linked loan.

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin has a standout capability handling the full spectrum of banking and finance work for the most well-known and prestigious clients, from the top Australian banks to multinational private equity companies. Practice head John Schembri is a go-to name across the areas of acquisition, project, and corporate finance, regularly leading on major transactions, while also lending expertise in unitranche financings. Among other notable names in the team, the veteran Simon Lynch combines experience in property and construction financings with deep knowledge in LBOs and corporate facilities; Peter Doyle, a recent arrival from King & Wood Mallesons, has bolstered the department's project and infrastructure financing offering; and Gail Christopher continues rapidly to grow her impressive practice in acquisition, leveraged and corporate finance transactions. A junior partner to note, Adela Smith focuses her practice on the infrastructure and energy sectors, with a strong workload in project finance, and leveraged and syndicated transactions.

Practice head(s):

John Schembri

Testimonials

G+T take an extremely practical and commercial approach to their work, supporting clients in a timely and supportive manner. I like the fact that they don’t tend to over-complicate issues.

Simon Lynch is extremely responsive, provides practical and helpful solutions, and is only too willing to go out of his way to support the client, especially when we are very global in nature. I find him excellent to deal with.

Super responsive lawyers, who know the market extremely well, so I have great confidence that we are getting the right advice.

Gail Christopher is a star. She knows our business really well and is clearly thoroughly on top of market practice. She and her team are super responsive and make deals happen in the time we need. They are very cost-efficient (more so than the lawyers for the banks on the same deals).

Key clients

Alinta Energy

Airtrunk

Amcor

BGH Capital

Canberra Data Centres

Cleanaway

DuluxGroup

GrainCorp

KKR

Nine Entertainment Group

QIC

Quadrant Private Equity

Snowy Hydro

The Star

Tilt Renewables

TPG Capital

Westpac

Whitehaven Coal

Work highlights

  • Advising KKR on the financing of its acquisitions of Arnott’s Biscuits (A$3.2bn – KKR’s biggest buyout in Australia) and MYOB (A$2bn).
  • Acting for the Lender Syndicate (ANZ, Bank of China, CBA, HSBC, Mizuho, MUFG, NAB, Westpac) on the A$3.5bn debt facilities to fund the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro power station project.
  • Advising the unitranche and super senior RCF lenders (HPS Investment Partners, LLC and HSBC) on a A$435m unitranche loan and a A$40 million super senior revolving working capital loan.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Combining a broad and impressive national practice with a highly regarded cross-border capability, Herbert Smith Freehills routinely advises on the full range of work in banking and finance for a client base including the four major Australian banks and an impressive roster of private equity companies, international investment banks, corporate and governmental bodies. Melbourne-based senior partner Andrew Booth heads up the large team, bringing specialist experience in property and corporate finance. Other key team members include John Angus, a veteran practitioner with a broad and impressive base of top domestic and international clients; Melita Cottrell, whose extensive experience in financing includes specialist knowledge in senior debt, mezzanine debt, and holdco debt instruments; and Hayley Neilson, an expert in leveraged finance. Junior partner Steven Catanzariti and executive counsel Marnie Fels are also names to watch. Recent team news sees the retirement of Amanda Wales and the departure of Laura Moulton-Sheridan in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Booth

Testimonials

Year-round consistent engagement regardless of transaction flow. They also take an Asia-Pac and global view on industry and partner coverage. They are well respected by opposing counsel, which leads to a pragmatic approach to transaction execution.

John Angus has a wealth of knowledge and experience. He nurtures young lawyers to excel at their work.

Steven Catanzariti is prepared to work hard and smart, and keen to look at innovative ways of financing/crafting transactions. Strong passion and understanding of the global aviation industry.

Adam Parkin has the ability to run large syndicated facilities and manage internal HSF team and borrowers counsel to ensure a successful transaction. Calm, controlled, and considered manner.

Key clients

AGL Energy

Arrow Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd

Cardno Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Eclipx Group

EML Payments Limited

Goldman Sachs

GUD Holdings Limited

Lendlease

National Australia Bank Limited

Nexus Day Hospitals Pty Ltd

NSW Treasury

Odyssey Private Equity Pty Ltd

OneFortyOne Plantations Pty Ltd

Queensland Government

Westpac

Victorian Government

Virgin Australia

Bain Capital Credit (Australia) Pty Ltd and Goldman Sachs Special Situations Group

Work highlights

  • Advising ASX listed EML Payments Limited on its corporate secured debt facilities with ANZ and its A$175m secured syndicated debt facilities underwritten by ANZ and Royal Bank of Canada for the acquisition of the Prepaid Financial Services Group.
  • Advising an ASX200 listed entity on the refinancing of its debt.
  • Advising AGL Energy Limited as borrower on its innovative $600m sustainability-linked syndicated loan facility.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons continues to deliver one of the strongest banking and finance offerings in the market, fielding a deep team with recognised practitioners across all specialist areas. In acquisition and corporate finance, practice co-head Yuen-Yee Cho is a clear go-to lawyer, maintaining a steady stream of large, complex deals for leading companies, private equity clients, and investment banks. With a practice spanning project and corporate finance, fellow practice co-head Jonathan Oldham in Melbourne is another key lawyer in the team. Evie Bruce acts as managing partner of the banking and finance department. The asset finance specialist to note is John Canning, while a key Brisbane-based practitioner is Aaron Bourke. Other key team members include Ken Astridge, whose practice includes property and corporate finance, and capital markets expertise; asset and structured finance expert Dale Rayner; and Andrew Maynes, whose broad practice includes major Australian and international borrowers and financiers. Named lawyers are Sydney-based unless otherwise mentioned.

Key clients

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

Commonwealth Bank Group (CBA)

Westpac Bank Group (Westpac)

Bank of Queensland

Suncorp Group.

Standard Chartered Plc

HSBC Holdings Plc

KKR & Co. L.P

Blackstone Private Equity

Blackstone Tactical Opportunities

CHAMP Private Equity

Quadrant Private Equity

Affinity Equity Partners PAG

QBE Insurance Group Limited

Woolworths CKI Group

Grocon

Sydney Airport

Perth Airport

Adelaide Airport

Pepper Money

Investec Australia Limited (IAL)

Work highlights

  • Advising Brookfield Business Partners on all aspects of its successful bid for Healthscope, Australia’s second-largest private hospital operator, with an implied enterprise value of $5.7bn.
  • Acting as transaction counsel for Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, CIT Bank Goldman Sachs and Castlelake, advising on both English and Australian law. The transaction involved two syndicates under a cross collateralised structure with Loan Notes by two special purpose vehicles with one SPV financing 7 aircraft and the other 11 aircraft totalling an amount of A$820m (US$574m equivalent).
  • Acting for BofA as sole underwriter on Australian law Term Loan B financing of Madison Dearborn Partners’ acquisition of a controlling stake in disability and employer services provider, APM.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP has a highly distinguished cross-border banking and finance offering, comfortably handling large, complex transactions with multiple lenders across multiple jurisdictions. The practice benefits hugely from the firm's international presence on matters of this sort. Equally impressive is the firm's client base, which features the major Australian domestic banks in addition to global investment banks. Practice head Adam Stapledon is known for his expertise in implementing complex multi-source financing structures. Other key names in the team include Jason Huinink, a recognised expert in the asset finance space, especially in the aviation equipment and equipment leasing space, and junior partner James Abbott, who has developed a strong lending practice, especially particularly in the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors. The key name in Perth is Peter Wilkes, who handles a wide range of transactions, with emphasis on clients in the energy and resources sector. Other named partners are based out of the main Sydney office.

Practice head(s):

Adam Stapledon

Testimonials

Professional and helpful team. Very resourceful firm.

Key clients

Palisade Investments Partners

Queensland Investment Corporation

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

Port of Melbourne

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

Flight Centre

Macquarie

CIMIC

Work highlights

  • Advising Flight Centre Travel Group Limited on an additional A$200m of bilateral facilities, with the loan proceeds to be used to ensure Flight Centre has the necessary liquidity to manage the business through the significant disruption to the global travel industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acting for Fortescue Metals Group Ltd on an amendment and extension of its $1.4bn term loan facility with a syndicate of ten Australian, Chinese and other international banks.
  • Advising the lenders in relation to a $5.25bn revolving credit facility for BHP Group.

Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz fields an experienced and well-regarded team in banking and finance which is a trusted panel member for major Australian retail banks and international investment banks. The department's offering in corporate and acquisition finance is particularly strong, drawing on the expertise of practice head Alexander Schlosser, whose varied practice includes leading work in leveraged buyouts and complex refinancings. Another key lawyer in this space is Graeme Tucker, who regularly acts for a mixture of credit funds, banks, and non-bank lending institutions. Both are increasingly involved in developing the department's use of asset-based finance for corporate transactions, an area of promising growth. In property finance, Kathy Santikos maintains a broad and impressive practice, regularly advising domestic and international banks, global property funds, and sponsors. Melbourne-based Marcus Davenport is also a name to note. All other named lawyers operate out of Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Schlosser

Key clients

InfraBuild Australia / GFG Alliance

Avid Property Group

Brookfield

DBS Bank Limited

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Deluxe Australia

V Group Pty Ltd

Gordon Brothers

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited and Macquarie Bank Limited

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited and National Australia Bank Limited

Collins Foods Limited

Centennial Coal Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for InfraBuild (formerly Liberty OneSteel and part of the GFG Alliance conglomerate) on its A$735m financing package comprising of an A$250m asset-based lending facility and an $325m senior secured bond issuance, the first such high-yield bond issuance undertaken by GFG Alliance.
  • Acting for Avid Property Group on the syndicated financing of its acquisition of Villa World Limited (a company listed on the ASX) by way of Scheme of Arrangement for A$410million.
  • Acting for Brookfield on the construction financing of an innovative A$800 million office tower project undertaken by Brookfield in collaboration with super fund Investor ISPT and which will become the new Melbourne headquarters for NAB as anchor tenant.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

The wide-ranging and experienced banking and finance department at Corrs Chambers Westgarth is regularly called on to handle large, complex transactions for major domestic and international clients, including the major Australian banks. The practice handles the full scope of work in this area, from acquisition finance through to bond financing and alternative financing. Sydney-based group head Rommel Harding-Farrenberg has expertise across areas including corporate and structured finance and acquisition finance. Based out of Melbourne and Sydney respectively, Brad Husband and Henry Self are co-heads of the highly active property finance team. Other key names in the team include Brad Robinson in Melbourne, who routinely advises top bank lenders, and Simon Reid in Sydney, whose practice encompasses acquisition financing and real estate finance. A more junior lawyer to note is the 'outstanding' Sydney-based special counsel Megan Russell, whose practice spans corporate, acquisition, and property finance.

Practice head(s):

Rommel Harding-Farrenberg

Testimonials

Corrs compete with the bigger firms in banking, finance, and restructuring with some clever lateral hires and consistently high-quality services.

The Corrs team is commercially strong and involved in a lot of deals, so they understand where ‘the market’ is at, and are willing to push for an outcome that is always at or slightly ahead of the market.

They are very client-focused and willing to go the extra mile (or 3) when necessary to achieve the right result in the right (very tight) deadline.

Megan Russell led our recent transaction day-to-day and was outstanding.

I think the difference they added was a lack of ego about drafting, as long as the commercial intent was achieved and our position was protected. Megan Russell was also very patient and generous with her time when she was under pressure for document turns and to make sure nothing slipped through the cracks.

Rommel Harding-Farrenberg gave Megan Russell the space she needed to shine as the lead lawyer while being across the detail in the background. The Corrs team made an otherwise difficult and stressful period entirely manageable and very satisfying in the end.

Rommel Harding-Farrenberg and Megan Russell are our go-to team. They consistently provide pragmatic advice and demonstrate a deep understanding of our business.

Rommel Harding-Farrenberg is tuned in to what is happening in the market and offers consistently pragmatic commercial advice. I trust his judgement and his strong personal commitment to our success. Megan Russell has been a valued advisor and recently led a new precedent-setting transaction for us. She is always across the details, happy to offer a view, and help us make decisions about what is important.

Key clients

Silver Lake

Blackstone

ESR/Warburg Pincus

Southern Cross Austereo

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Federation Asset Management

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group

National Australia Bank

Aurizon

Pacific Alliance

CBS

Challenger

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising Silver Lake, a US-based private equity house and a global leader in technology investing, on the financing of its acquisition of TEG, Asia Pacific’s leading live entertainment and ticketing company, from Affinity Equity Partners, estimated at around $1.3bn.
  • Advising Blackstone on a record $1.52bn deal (one of the largest property deals of 2019) to acquire a 299-year leasehold interest in three office towers from Scentre Group.
  • Acting for Warburg Pincus and ESR (now listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange) on all aspects of ESR’s A$723m off-market takeover bid to acquire all of the remaining Propertylink securities not already owned by ESR (Propertylink Takeover).

Minter Ellison

Minter Ellison has an excellent reputation for providing specialist banking and finance advice to clients in sectors including financial services, health, energy and resources, agribusiness, tech, real estate, and private equity. Its long-term clients include the four major Australian banks, and it continues to attract new clients from among international investment banks and sovereign wealth funds. The firm has a reputation as a go-to firm for leading alternative capital providers. Asset finance expert James Mok heads up the team from Sydney. Other highly experienced practitioners include John Mosley, whose client base includes both borrowers and lenders; Daniel Marks, who has recently been involved in new areas including 'green loan' syndicated financing; and Tony Berriman, the head of the firm's property finance team. In a lateral hire, the highly experienced Ros O’Mally joined the Sydney office from Hogan Lovells in February 2020. All named lawyers are based in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

James Mok

Key clients

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Qantas Airways Limited

BNY Mellon Australia Pty Ltd

Geocon and Empire Global

National Australia Bank

Greenlit Pty Ltd

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Discovery Holiday Parks

Starwood Capital and Arrow Property Investments

Westpac Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising senior lenders on funding for AATS Group’s winning bid for Transit Australia Group (TAG).
  • Acting for lenders to the Blackstone Group in a range of market-leading transactions which totalled over A$4bn in transaction value.
  • Advising MLABs (and syndicate financiers) on the $900m refinancing of pay-TV giant Foxtel, including a new A$610m syndicated revolving credit facility and new A$250m syndicated term loan facility, as well as amendments to existing financing instruments and the revision of the common terms deed.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright stands out for its recognised expertise advising top banks and financial services institutions, including leading domestic and international (American, European, and Asian) banks and investment companies. The department benefits from the firm's global network, which allows it to act seamlessly on complex, cross-border mandates from its offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. Team co-head Nuncio D’Angelo is a trusted adviser to Australia's leading banks and leads on many of the team's major deals. He is supported by fellow co-head Alex Mufford, whose practice spans finance, capital markets, and restructuring. Junior partner Hamish Dixon advises on a wide range of financing transactions, especially in development, project and corporate finance, while Brisbane-based Chris Patten focuses his practice on corporate and acquisition finance, non-recourse lending, and specialised finance. Named partners are Sydney-based unless otherwise mentioned.

Practice head(s):

Nuncio D’Angelo; Alex Mufford

Other key lawyers:

Hamish Dixon; Chris Patten

Key clients

Nikko Asset Management

Associated Kiln Driers Pty Ltd

NAB

ANZ

Coronado Coal

AirTrunk

HSBC

Bank of America

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sydney Branch

Daiwa House

Work highlights

  • Acting for Coronado Global Resources, Inc. and its US and Australian subsidiaries in their initial circa $900m IPO financing (comprised of $350m multi-currency facility and an A$370m bank guarantee facility) from a syndicate arranged and led by Westpac Banking Corporation.
  • Advising data centre unicorn, AirTrunk, on a A$450m senior and mezzanine debt financing with Natixis, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs to finance the construction of its new Singapore data centre and a HK$440m senior debt financing with Deutsche Bank to finance the construction of its new Hong Kong data centre.
  • Advising the syndicate lenders on the restructure of existing facilities to the AU Direct Property Fund as part of its merger with the AU Retail Property Fund ($300 million facility).

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Arnold Bloch Leibler is known in particular for its strong Melbourne-based banking and finance practice, which focuses on the key areas of property and corporate finance, with additional expertise in project finance and restructurings. Sector strengths include construction, utilities, telecoms, property, and real estate. Department head Ben Mahoney centres his practice on large debt and equity financing and restructuring transactions. Other key names include Paul Rubenstein, whose work spans finance, restructuring and private M&A, and Genevieve Sexton, who regularly acts for borrowers and financiers on corporate finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ben Mahoney

Key clients

State of Victoria

Medical Properties Trust

Victorian Funds Management Corporation

Gurner™

Starwood Capital Partners

AsheMorgan

Wingate Property Finance

Merricks Capital

Thorney Investment Group

Atlas Advisors Australia

QCoal

MaxCap Group

Fortius Debt Capital

Impact Investment Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the State of Victoria on a range of matters for the $6.7bn West Gate Tunnel Project and the $11bn Metro Tunnel.
  • Acting for Bracewell LLP in Australia for the $4.6bn debtor on possession refinancing for international energy engineering and construction services company, McDermott International, Inc.
  • Advising Medical Properties Trust (MPT) on a syndicated facility agreement between MPT and the Bank of America worth $600m.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has recently continued to see a number of changes in personnel, with the retirement of Stephen Watts from the partnership in January 2020 (remaining on as a consultant) and the departure of Bryan Paisley to Hogan Lovells in February 2020. In a notable arrival, the up-and-coming Charlie Detmold joined the Melbourne office from King & Wood Mallesons in February 2020. The 'very strong' banking and finance practice, headed up by the Sydney-based Duncan McGrath, acts for a number of major domestic and international clients across a wide range of areas, including corporate and real estate finance and green and sustainable finance.

Practice head(s):

Duncan McGrath

Testimonials

Very strong team.’

The team demonstrate strong commercial acumen in addition to its strong legal expertise. Good communication with the client by delivering the result/outcome as communicated. We are pleased to work with Baker McKenzie as the team is approachable, easy to work with (no surprises), and very diligent.

In addition to strong legal expertise, the partner in charge has strong commercial acumen and have proactively offered solutions that are practical. Strong communication skills and clearly communicated the scope of work and fees in advance. Always reachable and efficient in solving issues for clients. Fees are reasonable for the value of services offered.’

Key clients

ARENA

Boral Limited

IVE Group Limited

Global Power Generation

Lendlease Corporation Limited

HSBC Bank Australia Limited

New South Wales Treasury Corporation

Nomura

Honan Holdings

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Acting for ARENA on its recoupable grant funding to Alinta for their Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid project in Western Australia.
  • Assisting Home Consortium with its A$500m syndicated bank facility provided by a number of domestic and international banks which supported its highly successful A$325m IPO.
  • Advising Global Power Generation’s project vehicle on the project financing of its 180MW Berrybank wind farm, a project awarded to GPG under the Victorian government’s reverse auction scheme, under which the project received a 15-year off-take agreement.

Clifford Chance

Drawing on its vast international network, Clifford Chance is regularly instructed on significant cross-border deals. Sydney-based Australia managing partner Richard Gordon heads up the department, bringing specialist experience in leveraged acquisitions, project and infrastructure transactions, corporate lending, and restructurings. In recent team news, May 2020 saw the promotion to partner of both Chad Bochan in Sydney, an energy and infrastructure financing specialist and head of the firm's Australian financial markets regulatory practice, and Mark Gillgren, who leads the national restructuring and insolvency practice from Perth and has expertise in trade and commodity finance.

Practice head(s):

Richard Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Chad Bochan; Mark Gillgren

Testimonials

Very strong banking and finance practice.

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Five V Capital

Credit Suisse

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)

Land Services WA consortium

OCP Asia

Deutsche Bank

ING Bank

HSBC

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

AMP Capital

WestConnex syndicates

Opportunity International

Barclays – on EG Group’s acquisition of Woolworths’ petrol stations

Davidson Kempner

Bank of China

ANZ

Work highlights

  • Advising on the financing and corporate aspects of the partial privatisation of Landgate, the Western Australian property and land data agency.
  • Advising on the $350 million multi-sourced refinancing of Endeavour Energy’s initial acquisition financing, including the update and issuance under the MTN for Endeavour Energy, the refinancing of numerous debt facilities, an initial ‘samurai’ financing into the Japanese market, and the implementation of various bilateral facilities.
  • Advising on the A$9.3bn acquisition from the New South Wales government of a majority stake in WestConnex, the largest road infrastructure project and biggest privatisation currently in Australia.

Dentons

Dentons' core strengths lie in real estate, property, and construction finance, and the practice works largely on the bank side in transactions. The department also leverages its international network to attract a growing base of work for foreign banks lending into the Australian market. Team co-head Timothy Lipscombe is the go-to name for real estate finance, while co-head Chris Fanning has considerable experience advising top banks; both are based in Sydney. In team news, Paul Griscti joined the Adelaide office from Fisher Jefferies in October 2019 following Dentons' acquisition of the firm.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Lipscombe; Chris Fanning

Testimonials

Anthony and the Dentons team are an invaluable resource for our business. They provide a very impressive service that ticks all the boxes, providing high-quality advice with a pragmatic and commercial approach but are also always sensible in terms of identifying and addressing legal and commercial risk. They do so on tight timeframes, are always responsive and available, and offer fantastic value for money in terms of the quality of advice and work done vs cost. They have an excellent understanding of our approach to business, process, and risk which informs the work, advice, and service they provide.

Calling out in particular, Anthony Tesvic and his team for: the quality of their support and advice; their availability and ability to deliver on time in very short timeframes without compromising on the quality of advice or service; their pragmatic and commercial approach but with a sensible approach to legal and commercial risks; going above and beyond in understanding their client’s business, internal requirements, and needs. They provide real value add in this respect, anticipating our needs and responses.

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Westpac Banking Corporation

Bankwest

National Australia Bank Limited

ING Bank (Australia) Limited

Macquarie Bank Limited

Bank of China

Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acting for Moelis Australia and SPH REIT on all Australian debt finance aspects corresponding to the acquisition of a 50% interest in the Marion Westfield Shopping Centre in Adelaide from Lendlease.
  • Establishing a completely new combined residential, commercial and SMSF business origination program involving a securitisation funding program with an external recognised third party trustee, the establishment of all underlying loan contracts, policies and procedures and the undertaking of all licensing and regulatory advice for the client.
  • Advising NHFIC on splitting a complicated and highly regulated loan into two tranches with the first being used to refinance Bridge Housing’s existing development program, which included around 270 homes across four sites.

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Traditionally known for its expertise acting for sponsors and borrowers, Johnson Winter & Slattery has recently grown its practice in cross-border transactions advising international credit funds and investment banks. The team is particularly strong in Queensland. Team co-head David Beckett in Brisbane has a strong client base of private equity clients and has recently been active in the corporate finance space, while fellow co-head Joseph Scarcella in Sydney operates largely in restructuring and insolvency. In team news, debt finance expert Jim Hunwick departed for Pinsent Masons LLP in November 2019.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Scarcella; David Beckett

Other key lawyers:

Craig Wappett

Testimonials

The decision to not act for financiers and only for private clients has been a wise one. No matter the bank, there is never a conflict situation whereby I can’t have my chosen lawyer.

Craig Wappett is a senior practitioner, who used to act for the lenders. He’s very experienced and respected in the profession, which assists when negotiating with the Bank’s lawyers.

Key clients

Infrastructure Capital Group

Adelaide Brighton Limited and subsidiaries (ABL)

AP Eagers

Crescent Capital Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG) on its successful bid to acquire Enwave Australia from Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.
  • Advising ABL on the refinancing of its existing $715m syndicated term and working capital facilities with bilateral facilities totalling A$900m among 11 financiers under a new common terms deed structure.
  • Advising AP Eagers on all aspects of its financing requirements in connection with its off-market takeover of Automotive Holdings Group Limited, including the refinancing of senior bank debt of APE and AHG (following off-market takeover).

DLA Piper

The banking and finance team at DLA Piper splits its time between acting on corporate transactions for borrowers and domestic lenders in Australia, and advising corporates and investors and investment banks (both domestic and international). Practice head Onno Bakker's practice spans syndicated lending, leveraged acquisition finance, and general banking; he also heads up the wider finance, projects, and restructuring practice. Another key name in the team is Martin Jamieson, who leads the firm's Australian investment funds practice.

Practice head(s):

Onno Bakker

Other key lawyers:

Martin Jamieson

Testimonials

Excellent understanding of our financial and legal requirements, coupled with a long-standing relationship. DLA Piper has been able to work well remotely to respond/comply with our requests in a timely fashion, including liaising directly with financiers, other law firms, and all related parties.

The DLA team has been very proactive in assisting us with our refinancing engagements. They have a good understanding of the USPP market as well as the domestic markets and identified the issues early.

‘The DLA partners and staff are very knowledgeable and are quickly able to understand complex scenarios. The engagements have been completed to a high standard with minimal fuss.

High level of responsiveness and expertise.

Key clients

Australian Fresh Milk Holdings Pty Ltd

Manuka Resources Limited

Gold Valley Holding

Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company Limited

Sprott Private Resource Lending (Collector), LP

Hotel Property Investments Ltd

Suncorp Group Limited

Ares Management Corporation

Pengana Capital Group

HSBC Bank Australia

Australia and New Zealand Banking

Westpac Banking Corporation

Bank of Queensland

Siemens Bank GmbH

Aareal Bank GmbH

Coperatieve Raffaisen Boerenlenbank (Rabo)

Work highlights

  • Advising Sprott Private Resource Lending (Collector), LP, a Canadian based resource lender, on the project financing of the A$60m Okvau Gold Project, a complex, cross-border deal.
  • Advising Hotel Property Investments Ltd on all aspects of its syndicated facility agreement with Metrics Credit Partners Diversified Australian Senior Loan Fund to fund its expansion of its property portfolio.
  • Advising Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company Limited, a diversified investment house, on the financing of its acquisition of equity interests in various unit trusts managed by private investment company Argyle Capital Partners, that manages investments in Australian water rights, farmland and agribusiness enterprises.

Gadens Lawyers

Gadens Lawyers retains strong links with clients in the property and construction sectors. Another area of activity is the corporate and institutional sector, where the practice has recently been active in corporate financing and acquisition debt financing. Clients of the practice include banks, superannuation funds, non-bank debt funds, offshore lenders and property developers. Doug Scobie heads up the team from Melbourne. In team news, corporate and acquisition finance practitioner Brad Allen departed for Hamilton Locke in June 2019.

Practice head(s):

Doug Scobie

Other key lawyers:

Elliot Raleigh; Renae Suttor

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Goodyear Australia

Kathmandu Holdings Limited

Judo Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (incl. Bankwest and Colonial)

Computershare

Citadel Group

National Australia Bank

Westpac Banking Corporation (incl. St George and Bank of Melbourne)

Cbus Property

Work highlights

  • Advising Barwon Investment Partners on the acquisition of Gosford Private Hospital.
  • Acting for Kathmandu Holdings Limited on their acquisition of Rip Curl.
  • Advising Cbus Property on the financing of the Collins Arch Project at 447 Collins Street.

Hogan Lovells

The banking and finance team at Hogan Lovells has recently undergone a change in leadership, following the arrival of new practice head Bryan Paisley from Baker McKenzie in February 2020 and the departure of Richard Hayes for K&L Gates in June 2020. Other arrivals include investment funds specialist James Wood from Gilbert + Tobin in September 2019. The practice is best known for handling complex cross-border transactions, and counts a number of international banks, debt funds and private equity companies among its clients.

Practice head(s):

Bryan Paisley

Other key lawyers:

James Wood

Testimonials

Excellent knowledge experts and highly responsive.

Bryan Paisley possesses that appropriate combination of relationship building, subject matter expertise and strong communication.

Key clients

HSBC

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising an international syndicate of banks, primarily led by HSBC, on the $1bn debt financing of the acquisition of Bellamy’s Organic, one of Australia’s largest producers of high quality infant milk formula and an Australian company listed on the ASX, by China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited.
  • Advising J.P. Morgan as sole lead arranger and underwriter on a A$735 million financing, comprising a $325 million high-yield bond offering and A$250 million senior secured revolving facility secured over inventory and receivables.

HWL Ebsworth

HWL Ebsworth is known for its strong property finance practice, and acts for a wide range of borrower and lender clients, including major Australian and international banks, funds and investment companies. Harry Cormack heads up the team from Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Harry Cormack

Other key lawyers:

Paul Gatward; Tom Suttie

K&L Gates

The banking and finance team at K&L Gates acts for a range of clients including major domestic banks, alternative lenders, debt funds, professional trustees, sponsors and corporates. The key strength of the team is in complex mid-market real estate finance transactions. Jason Opperman heads up the national finance practice from Sydney, and Melbourne-based Alan Maclean is active in property finance in Victoria. In a major hire, Richard Hayes joined the Sydney office from Hogan Lovells in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jason Opperman

Testimonials

High-quality legal advice, commitment, and commercial awareness.

Alan Maclean is highly credentialed, knowledgeable, and hands-on.

Key clients

Westpac Group (including St George and Bank of Melbourne)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Scentre Group

Banner Asset Management

CVS Lane Capital Partners

Citibank International

China Construction Bank

RATCH Australia

Village Retirement Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Scentre on a $1.5bn 144A note issue, on an update to a €10bn program and on an issue of HK$ notes, and on a new A$ Medium Term Note Program.
  • Acting for CBA on the construction of 214 apartments and associated retail known as “Luminaire” and located at 20 Festival Place Newstead, Qld, and on the refinancing of key CBD office buildings in both Queensland and New South Wales.
  • Acting for Banner Capital Management on its various participations in syndicated fund arrangements in relation to the acquisition and development of a supermarket and retail site in Victoria, and development financing in New South Wales.

McCullough Robertson

McCullough Robertson remains a strong force in east-coast property finance. Operating primarily out of offices in Brisbane and Sydney, the banking and finance practice advises both borrowers and lenders, including major Australian banks, financial institutions and corporate borrowers. The department is headed up by Wei Lim in Brisbane, who has experience in corporate and institutional debt financing, and David Gilham in Sydney, whose practice covers a wide range of syndicated and bilateral finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Wei Lim; David Gilham

Other key lawyers:

Kirby Jukes

Testimonials

Access to partners, in-depth knowledge, and experience in the Queensland market, cost-effectiveness.

Wei Lim – access, a great mix of skills and experience (in Queensland, Hong Kong & London) in firms and financial institutions. Understands how banks work and what they are looking for. Commercial. High EQ.’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

ING Bank (Australia)

National Australia Bank

Westpac Banking Corporation / St George

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

Stockwell NC Pty Ltd

James Cook University

Global Student Accommodation

Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority

Work highlights

  • Assisting QRIDA with its COVID-19 Job Support Loan Scheme, preparing all templates and systems to document up to 2,700 loan transactions (secured and unsecured) for the scheme.
  • Advising NAIF on funding for the construction of the NRL North Queensland Cowboys’ new Community High Performance Training Centre in Townsville.
  • Working with ANZ, NAB and Westpac to continually assist with transactions in the property finance space.

Thomson Geer

Thomson Geer continues its trajectory of growth following its acquisition of banking-specialised firm Kemp Strang in 2018. Acting for all four major banks, the department has a particular focus on corporate finance, property finance, and operating and finance leases. Clients include retail and wholesale funds, managed investment schemes, banks, and other financial institutions and superannuation funds. Andrea Wookey is known for her expertise in debt funding.

Colin Biggers & Paisley

Colin Biggers & Paisley is known for its specialism in property finance, regularly working on matters involving sectors such as construction, hospitality, and tourism, aged-care and not-for-profit. Practice head Kate Craig has particular expertise handling debt finance matters involving clients in the hotel, residential and commercial property industries. A recent hire into the team is Michael Bracken, who joined from Meridian Lawyers in August 2019.

Practice head(s):

Kate Craig

Other key lawyers:

Michael Bracken

Key clients

Poly Global

Huawei

Avari Capital Limited

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd

DBS Bank Limited

Hindmarsh Constructions Pty Ltd

Richard Crookes Constructions

Econ Mortgage Fund

Uniting Financial Services

Work highlights

  • Advising Poly Global on the implementation of their first debt transaction in Australia, involving a joint venture with an existing Australian developer and Poly Australia.
  • Acting for the purchaser of the Rydges Hotel, Cairns on the financing from Taishin Bank, in a matter involving the negotiating hotel asset security documents including negotiating hotel management step in deeds, non-disturbance agreements and the usual facility agreement and other securities.

Hall & Wilcox

In addition to its recognised strength in property finance, Hall & Wilcox is active in corporate finance, and continues to grow in a number of areas, including social and affordable housing, acting for Chinese banks and non-bank lenders. Clients include senior and mezzanine lenders, borrowers, property funds and developers. Mark Inston heads up the team from Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Mark Inston

Testimonials

The HW finance team has a strong focus on client needs and the highest level of professional service quality.

Mark Inston, Eugene Chen, Jeanette Liu, and the rest of the finance team have continuously provided high-quality service to various projects of our company. Their level of professionalism, commitment, focus on the client’s need, flexibility, and the overall service quality is among the highest in the industry.

They go beyond the normal firm and solve issues that arise, working and thinking practically.

Key clients

Compass Housing

APN Property Group Limited

HousingFirst Ltd

Hume Community Housing Association Co Ltd

Westpac Banking Corporation (including St George and Bank of Melbourne

Wingate Corporate Investments Pty Ltd

China Everbright Bank Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acting for Compass Housing in connection with A$184m in facilities provided to it by the National Housing and Investment Corporation.
  • Advising HousingFirst Ltd on its A$72m loan from the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation.
  • Advising Wingate Corporate Investments on a A$21m construction facility advising on all debt and property aspects in connection with the development of a site in Victoria.

Maddocks

Maddocks has a strong reputation in corporate and property finance. Sydney-based practice co-head Arlene Colquhoun is the name in the team for corporate finance, regularly advising corporate borrowers and financial institutions in transactions. Fellow co-head Ian Beattie is the name in the Melbourne team for property finance, and has recently been active across a number of major developments in Victoria.

Practice head(s):

Arlene Colquhoun; Ian Beattie

Other key lawyers:

Miles Tuckfield

Testimonials

The key differentiators were the level of access to the partner and their responsiveness with respect to transaction matters including those outside of the initial scope.

I have enjoyed working with both Arlene Colquhoun and Miles Tuckfield given their straightforward no-nonsense, no-fuss and no-complaints attitude and approach to a transaction which took my turns towards settlement. Their active communication, responsiveness, and practical approach to assist the transaction and make sure it completed. For example, they assisted with drafting minutes where the client’s legal representatives did not have the resourcing to draft in the required time.

Very hands-on approach by a partner.’

Key clients

Macquarie Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

DBS Bank (Singapore)

Madigan Capital

Greenland Group

Jingle Property

Kings Transport & Logistics

Roxy Pacific (Melbourne House) Pty Ltd

Pace of Sunshine North Pty Ltd

Neometro Group

Red Packet Partners

Blueways Group

EIG Development

Evolve Development

Work highlights

  • Advising Macquarie Bank on the A$60m financing of residual stock at the Capitol Grand apartment building in South Yarra in Melbourne.
  • Advising on a refinancing transaction involving the transfer of all of the Penrith Panthers’ corporate and equipment finance facilities, valued at approximately $42m, together with all of the payment machines located at the Panthers’ club, from ANZ to CBA.
  • Advising the Borrower in a multi-staged large residential townhouse facility in Melbourne allowing for funding of construction of 32 apartments and 234 townhouses over 7 stages.

Mills Oakley

Mills Oakley has recently undertaken a recruitment drive which has brought in names such as real estate finance specialist Graeme Gurney (now practice head) from Clayton Utz in June 2019, and project finance expert Tim Macmillan from Ashurst in August 2019. With a growing client list of banks, funds, and insurance companies, the firm is increasingly active in a number of areas, most notably property finance and corporate finance.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Gurney

Key clients

Austar Group

Australian Mortgage Marketplace Limited

Balbec Capital LP

Bank of Communications.

Bank of Queensland Limited/BOQ Equipment Finance Limited

China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd

CIP Pte Ltd

CUA

First Commercial Bank (Taiwan)

Freedom Foods Group Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

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

Macquarie Bank

Scottish Pacific Business Finance

UIL Commodities DMCC/ UD Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acting for BOQ Equipment Finance on the financing and acquisition of the Bank of Queensland debtor book by Octet.
  • Acting for ScotPac which partially funded the acquisition of Coca Cola Amatil’s SPC business by Shepparton Partners Collective.
  • Acting for Bank of Queensland in the funding of two large retirement village developments in 2019 – the first being the Knowles Group-backed retirement village in Point Lonsdale; and the second being RCA Villages-backed retirement village in Martha Bay.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for borrowers, lenders, and financial advisers on a wide range of banking and finance structures, and offers cross-border capability through its international network of offices. The practice has recently doubled in size, following the hire of Jim Hunwick from Johnson Winter & Slattery in November 2019. The practice is headed up by Jeremy King.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy King

Other key lawyers:

Jim Hunwick

Key clients

International Parking Group Pty Ltd

International Parking Group Pty Ltd

HSBC UK Bank PLC

ING Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Barclays Bank PLC

Abacus Property Group

Openpay Pty Ltd

City Developments Limited

SIMEC Zen Technologies

GFG Alliance

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising International Parking Group on a funding competition to refinance secured debt facilities and once the debt facilities had been refinanced, advising the client on its successful bid for the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre car park in Perth, Western Australia.
  • Advising The Learning Communities South Australia Consortium on its bid for the SA Schools PPP to construct and maintain two new K-12 schools in South Australia, having appointed by the consortium to act for ING Bank (Australia) Limited and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the mandated lead arrangers and hedge providers for the bid.
  • Advising SIMEC Zen Technologies on all aspects of financing for its first and only project in Australia, the 280MW Cultana Solar Farm Project.