Banking and finance in Australia

Allens

At Allens, the banking group fields specialist practitioners across the full gamut of finance work including leveraged finance expert Mark Kidston, Renee Boundy, who leads the structured and asset finance group and property finance specialist Jo Folan. Corporate finance partner Alan Maxton recently took over as group head from Tom Higham; Higham remains active in the team’s corporate finance, leveraged finance and subscription finance work. Alongside its substantial bank lender client base, which includes ANZ and CBA, the group also acts for non-bank lenders and borrower clients. It is also singled out for its expertise in innovative financing structures (it handled the first unitranche loan in Australia), cross-border mandates, where it leverages its global alliance with Linklaters LLP; aircraft finance work and asset-based loans. Fund financing expert Rita Pang was promoted to the partnership in 2019, and Ben O’Hoy is also a key name to note for corporate finance work.

Practice head(s):

Alan Maxton

Other key lawyers:

Mark Kidston; Renee Boundy; Jo Folan; Tom Higham; Rita Pang; Ben O’Hoy

Testimonials

The team gets on with the job, always working ahead of the timetable with clear advice along the way.

Alan Maxton is very experienced, commercial and has a good knowledge of the client’s company and stakeholder issues.

Nicholas Adkins is personable, fair and available, and his advice is commercial and timely.

Key clients

First State Super

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

ESR Management (Australia) Pty Ltd

BNP Paribas, Australia Branch

United Overseas Bank Ltd, Sydney Branch

Pacific Equity Partners

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Mizuho Bank Ltd

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

NSW Land Registry Services

Vodafone Hutchinson Australia Pty Limited

TPG Telecom Limited

Investa Commercial Property Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised First State Super on the financing for its successful bid for a 40-year concession to operate the Victorian Land Titles Registry Office.
  • Assisted ANZ with the financing of the acquisition of Exact Radiology and DRRAS Holdings by Bridgeport Capital and Direct Capital.
  • Acting for ANZ as agent for a syndicate of lenders on providing acquisition finance to a joint venture between Pacific Equity Partners and Landis+Gyr for its acquisition of Origin Energy’s smart metering business and Mercury’s Metrix smart metering business.
  • Acting for Pacific Equity Partners on the acquisition of LHC by Pacific Health Supplies Bidco.
  • Advising CBA, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as lenders on providing bilateral facilities to Oil Search Group for the refinancing of its expiring loan facilities.

Ashurst

Brenton Key heads up the department at Ashurst, which has an active lender client base encompassing major Australian and global banks, private equity sponsors, funds and alternative lenders; the group is also expanding its borrower representation and counts Qantas, Woolworths and Oxford Properties as key examples. Notable areas of expertise for the team include acquisition and leveraged finance, corporate finance, property finance and asset finance mandates; it also stands out for its unitranche financing knowledge and ability to utilise the firm’s wider global network on cross-border matters. Shawn Wytenburg and Steve Smith are key practitioners in the Sydney office, while Martin Coleman is a noteworthy name in the Melbourne office. Jock O’Shea and counsel Paul Zanelli are recommended for property finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Brenton Key

Other key lawyers:

Shawn Wytenburg; Steve Smith; Martin Coleman; Jock O’Shea; Paul Zanelli

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

J.P. Morgan

MUFG

Nomura

RBC

RBS

Société Générale

Standard Chartered Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

United Overseas Bank

White Oak ABL

White Oak Merchant Partners

Apollo

Bain Capital

Barings

Blackstone

Brookfield

Cbus

ISPT Pty

KKR

Rockworth Capital Partners

Quadrant Private Equity

United Super

PGIM

Challenger

Downer/Spotless Group

Galaxy Resources Limited

Oxford Properties Group

Qantas

Santos

HT&E

Woolworths

Nine Entertainment

Norske Skog

Work highlights

  • Acted for a group of senior lenders including NAB and the Royal Bank of Canada on the provision of a A$1.7bn senior syndicated facility to finance First State Super’s acquisition of the concession to operate the the Victorian Government’s Land Titles and Registry office.
  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers and underwriters on Brookfield’s A$2.3bn acquisition facilities to acquire Healthscope Group, an ASX listed private hospital operator.
  • Assisted Oxford Properties Group with its acquisition of Investa Office Fund including the negotiation of a A$2.2bn loan facility used to finance the transaction.
  • Acted for the mandated lead arrangers, underwriters, bookrunners and original lenders on the provision of syndicated facilities to Navis Capital for its A$700m acquisition of the Device Technologies Group.
  • Advised Credit Suisse as left lead arranger on the arranging and underwriting of a $1bn facility to KKR for its acquisition of ASX-listed MYOB Software by scheme of arrangement.

Gilbert + Tobin

With a substantial lender client base, Gilbert + Tobin counts the four major Australian banks and multiple global banks as clients and also acts for private equity companies, funds and investment banks including the Carlyle Group, RBC Capital markets and Goldman Sachs. Practice head John Schembri and Gail Christopher are highly regarded in the acquisition finance space; both also regularly handle unitranche structures. Simon Lynch is also key name for acquisition finance mandates alongside advising on corporate facilities, LBOs, property financing work and project finance matters; David Kirkland focuses on leveraged finance, acquisition finance and restructuring issues; and Adela Smith focuses on the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors. Project finance specialist Peter Doyle joined from King & Wood Mallesons in 2019.

Practice head(s):

John Schembri

Testimonials

The practice is always focused on the client-objective.

The firm fields a senior-led practice with a deep bench of talent and precedent to draw from to provide best-in-market advice.

Gail Christopher is a market leader and respected by her peers and clients as one of the most experienced and successful operators in the market. She is the go-to person for all private equity firms as well as banks in the market.

Key clients

RBC Capital Markets

The Carlyle Group

Cushman & Wakefield

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

United Overseas Bank Limited

New Hope Corporation Limited

Tilt Renewables Limited

Deutsche Bank (London, New York and Sydney branches)

Alinta Energy

Goldman Sachs

Deutsche Bank AG

Viva Energy Group Limited

Veolia

Nine Entertainment Group & Fairfax Media

National Australia Bank

Work highlights

  • Acting for Tilt Renewables on the A$400m financing of the Dundonnell wind farm.
  • Advising the New York and Sydney branches of Deutsche Bank as underwriters on the refinancing of AirTrunk Group’s existing senior facilities and the provision of funding for additional growth capital expenditure.
  • Advising the Carlyle Group on the financing of its A$1bn acquisition of Accolade Wines from Champ Private Equity and Constellation Wines.
  • Acted for CBA and United Overseas Bank as mandated lead arrangers and underwriters of a A$604m debt facility for the funding of Keppel Infrastructure Trust’s acquisition of the Ixom Group from Blackstone.
  • Advising a syndicate of Australian and international lenders on the refinancing of Perth Airport’s debt facilities.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills assists with the full range of structures and funding lines for a client base spanning national and international banks, non-bank lenders, funds, corporates and private equity houses. The group handles work across asset finance, acquisition finance, property finance and corporate finance mandates at a domestic and global level, leveraging the firm’s network throughout Asia and globally. Andrew Booth leads the department, which also includes debt finance specialist Lucy McCullagh, who leads the Melbourne-based finance group; highly regarded leveraged finance expert Hayley Neilson, property finance specialist Melita Cottrell and John Angus, who focuses on asset and structured finance matters. Other key practitioners include executive counsel Marnie Fels and senior associate Steven Catanzariti.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Booth

Testimonials

Herbert Smith Freehills stands out for the maturity and experience of the partners, who are well respected by both the banking industry and clients, so transactions tend to go quite smoothly in the negotiating, drafting, and closing process. This is complemented by great senior associates that get given the opportunity to step up and run the transactions.

John Angus is great for more complex transactions.

Mark Breheny is calm, considered and great to work with on government and mining transactions.

Steven Catanzariti is a smart and driven senior associate that is proactive, highly interested and engaged.

Key clients

3L Alliances Pty Ltd

3L Bridgefields Pty Ltd

Adamantem Capital and Liverpool Partners

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Bis Industries

Cardno Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Crescent Capital

Deutsche Bank AG, Tokyo Branch

IntelliHUB Holdings Pty Ltd

Lendlease Corporation Limited

Maia Financial

MUFG

National Australia Banking Group

Odyssey Private Equity

Reliance Worldwide

Rivet group

The Growth Fund

Virgin Airlines Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising a syndicate of banks led by Deutsche Bank on the financing of Joyson KSS’ $1.2bn acquisition of Takata’s airbag business.
  • Acted for the mandated lead arrangers and underwriters on the A$2.2bn financing of Oxford Properties’ acquisition of the Investa Office Fund.
  • Assisted Intellihub Holdings, a joint venture between Pacific Equity Partners and Landis+Gyr, with the financing of its acquisition of Metrix from Mercury NZ, which will notably expand its smart metering rollout capabilities.
  • Advised Westpac as arranger and various other lenders including superannuation funds and asset managers on a A$214m long-term debt raising for the Visy Group.
  • Acted for Reliance Worldwide on a $750m underwritten and secured syndicated facility agreement to refinance existing debt and subsequently finance its acquisition of the UK-based business of John Guest .

King & Wood Mallesons

Fielding one of the largest banking practices in Australia, King & Wood Mallesons handles the full breadth of financing work, regularly acting on innovative finance solutions and matters involving fintech and regtech issues; derivatives specialist Scott Farrell also recently advised on the new open banking regime review. The department is jointly led by Yuen-Yee Cho and Paul Smith in Sydney, and Jonathan Oldham in Melbourne; Cho focuses on corporate and acquisition finance work, Smith is a structured finance expert and Oldham handles project and corporate finance mandates. Real estate finance specialist Ken Astridge is also singled out, as are asset and aviation sector expert John Canning and special counsel Charlie Detmold, who handles infrastructure transactions. Tim Ma and Will Stawell were promoted to the partnership in Melbourne and Sydney respectively, and Peter Doyle departed to Gilbert + Tobin.

Practice head(s):

Yuen-Yee Cho; Jonathan Oldham; Paul Smith

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

Transurban

QBE Insurance Group Limited

Woolworths

CKI Group

Grocon

Sydney Airport

Perth Airport

Adelaide Airport

Pepper Money

Investec Australia Limited (IAL)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Sydney Transport Partners consortium, led by Transurban, on the debt financing for the A$9.3bn Westconnex scheme, an underground motorway infrastructure project.
  • Assisted Sydney Airport with the refinancing of its syndicated facilities through a A$1.4bn sustainability linked loan, the first of its kind in Australia.
  • Acted on the issuance of a £2.1bn loan facility including £500m in green tranches; this is the first transaction globally in which a financial institution has issued a green loan under APLMA Green Loan Principles.
  • Advising on the acquisition financing for Coronado Group’s acquisition of Curragh coal mine from Wesfarmers.
  • Acting for HSBC’s Sydney branch as financier on the negotiation of a multi-option facility agreement to Virgin Australia Airlines.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP’s Sydney and Perth-based practice acts for lender and borrower clients on the full gamut of financing transactions spanning acquisition, corporate and property finance work; it also has notable fund financing expertise and fields an asset finance team, led by Jason Huinink, which focuses on aviation and equipment leasings. The banking group, which is headed up by Adam Stapledon, is singled out for handling deals involving multiple lenders and several jurisdictions; as well as benefitting from the firm’s global network, the Australia team also has UK and US law capabilities. Other names include David Christensen, who focuses on structured debt finance, energy and infrastructure transactions; James Abbott, and Perth-based partner Peter Wilkes.

Practice head(s):

Adam Stapledon

Testimonials

The team stands out, quite simply, for the commercial perspective offered by the team combined with the ability to marry solid legal advice with a pragmatic understanding of the commercial drivers.

James Abbott is not only a very intelligent individual but extremely responsive, supportive and willing to challenge clients when appropriate. This combines with a commercial perspective to make him and the team a highly valued expert adviser.

Key clients

Port of Melbourne

ANZ

WesTrac

HSBC

Natixis

Westpac Group

Fortescue Metals Group

Flight Centre

Macquarie Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the Port of Melbourne on the partial refinancing of its acquisition facilities.
  • Acted for ANZ as arranger, original lender and security agent on a syndicated multicurrency letter of credit facility for QBE Insurance Group.
  • Assisted WesTrac Holdings with its A$1.3bn syndicated debt facility.
  • Advised Natixis, Hong Kong branch as lender and Natixis, Singapore branch as security trustee on an uncommitted subscription facility for a real estate fund manager.
  • Acted for Fortescue Metals Group on a $1.4bn loan facility, which will redeem a portion of its 2022 senior secured notes.

Clayton Utz

Bruce Cooper leads the department at Clayton Utz, which easily adapts to market trends thanks to its ability to act for lender and borrower clients and cover the full spectrum of financing mandates from acquisition and property finance work to leveraged and structured finance mandates. The group’s client base encompasses domestic and international banks, private equity houses, funds and corporate borrowers; CBA, JP Morgan and ANZ are key examples. Noteworthy practitioners include property finance expert Kathy Santikos, Alexander Schlosser, who leads the acquisition finance and corporate finance practices; and project finance specialists Rohan Mishra and Marcus Davenport, who are based in Perth and Melbourne respectively. Graeme Gurney departed to Mills Oakley and Fran Rush moved in-house at QSuper.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Cooper

Key clients

JP Morgan

AXA Property Group

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

National Australia Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Credit Agricole CIB Australia Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

ING Bank (Australia) Limited

Myer Holdings Limited

Noble Group Limited

Tianqi Lithium Corporation

Australian Technology Innovators Pty Ltd

MYOB Group Limited

The Emergent Cold group

Greencross Limited

Wingate Group

Yuhu Group

Blackstone Real Estate Australia

Work highlights

  • Advised Australian Technology Innovators on its A$350m term loan B raising.
  • Acted for a syndicate of lenders including CBA and NAB on oOh!media’s acquisition of the Adshel Group, which was funded by a combination of new debt and equity capital raisings.
  • Assisted MYOB Group with the refinancing of its senior syndicated facilities for its acquisition of Reckon and other targets by way of an amendment and restatement of the existing facilities.
  • Acted for the Emergent Cold Group on the financing of its acquisition of John Swire & Sons’ entire Australian and Vietnamese cold storage business.
  • Assisted Greencross with its acquisition of TPG Capital via a scheme of arrangement.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Corrs Chambers Westgarth fields a team of dedicated specialists with notable expertise in property finance matters alongside knowledge of project finance, syndicated lending, acquisition finance and alternative lending mandates; the firm also has a distinct financial services regulatory practice. Rommel Harding-Farrenberg heads up the banking and finance team, while Robert Clarke and Mark Wilks lead the financial sponsors group and litigation practice respectively; Wiks focuses on financial services disputes. Brad Robinson is a key name for corporate finance work, Henry Self and Brad Husband jointly lead the property finance team from Sydney and Melbourne respectively, and Michael Chaaya and Fadi Khoury are notable contacts for regulatory advice.

Practice head(s):

Rommel Harding-Farrenberg

Testimonials

Corrs is extremely familiar with the usual risk positions and so is not only able to advise on the risks of a particular issue, but also able to draw on the extensive experience. This helps clients to remain consistent across transactions and firmly develop positions.

The Corrs team supports in a way that you would expect an in-house legal team to. They are always available for discussions about particular matters, without the feeling that you are necessarily on the clock. They respond quickly to requests and matters and are always accommodative, and get high-quality work done quickly.

Brad Robinson is a brilliant lawyer. He has a deep understanding of each transaction and what is important to us based on his extensive experience. Brad is incredibly thorough across the detail while remaining commercial and pragmatic. In short, he is everything you look for in a lawyer.

For Brad Husband, nothing is too difficult, or any time frame too short. Brad, and the entire banking and finance team, take a very commercial “how do we achieve our aim” approach to matters, rather than just saying whether something can or can’t be done.

Key clients

Aspen Funds Management Limited

Aurizon

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group

AustSafe Pty Ltd (AustSafe Super)

IS Industry Superannuation Pty Ltd (Intrust Super)

QSuper Board (QSuper)

Sunsuper Pty Ltd (Sunsuper Superannuation Fund)

Bank of China

Bank of East Asia

Blackstone

CBS

Challenger

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

eBay Australia and NZ Pty Ltd

ESR/Warburg Pincus

Fubon Bank (Hong Kong)

ICBC

Law Finance (formerly JustKapital Ltd)

Macquarie Bank

Macquarie Capital

MaxCap

Metrics Capital

National Australia Bank

Neuberger Berman Australia Pty Ltd

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation

Pacific Alliance

Pacific Group

Quadrant Energy

Qualitas

Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC)

Remagen Capital Management

SA PowerNetworks

St George Community Housing Ltd

Taipai Fubon Commercial Bank

Temasek Capital Management (Private) Ltd

Tradeweb

United Overseas Bank

Vanguard Investments Australia Limited.

Work highlights

  • Acted for a syndicate of lenders on a A$1bn syndicated facility agreement to Victorian Power Networks.
  • Advised SA Power Networks on a A$350m syndicated faciltiy agreement provided by a syndicate of domestic and offshore banks.
  • Acting for a syndicate of regional and global financial institutions led by ANZ on all elements of the stage 1 financing of the A$1.2bn development of Far East Consortium’s Ritz Carlton hotel, residential and mixed-use development in Melbourne.
  • Acting for ESR on the debt financing and other aspects of its A$723m public off-market takeover bid for Propertylink Group.
  • Advised SGCH Portfolio on its project financing with CBA relating to its successful bid for phase 2 of the NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund’s developments.

Minter Ellison

Minter Ellison takes a specialised sector-focused approach to its banking work, acting for a range of lender and borrower clients across the financial services, health, energy, agribusiness, technology, real estate and private equity sectors; it has also recently grown its representation of alternative capital providers. The practice, which is led by structured finance and asset finance expert James Mok, also fields separate acquisition and corporate finance, property finance, and agri corporate finance teams, led by Stewart Robertson, Tony Berriman and Matthew Cunningham respectively. Other key practitioners include John Mosley, who focuses on acquisition finance work; Daniel Marks and senior associate Leigh Schulz.

Practice head(s):

James Mok

Testimonials

Minter Ellison fields a great team, which is easy to deal with and knowledgeable across the banking market (from property to leveraged to corporate deals). Strong partners and senior associates are always willing to press for their client’s requirements, are responsive and drive matters where needed.

Key clients

ANZ

Blackstone

Brookfield

CBA

Deutsche Bank

Graincorp

Greenlit Pty Ltd

IFM Investors

NAB

Westpac

Work highlights

  • Advised Greenlit on the global restructure of its syndicated bilateral and parent group financing arrangements including cross-border negotiations with four separate sets of creditors.
  • Acting for the lending syndicate on the A$533m fully underwritten facilities for ESR Group’s take-private bid for the Propertylink Group.
  • Assisting Cliffbrook Capital with A$336m fully underwritten term and working capital facilities for The Blackstone Group’s acquisition of a 50% stake in a commercial office tower in Sydney.
  • Advised a syndicate of five investment and retail banks as lenders to Blackstone on its bid for the acquisition of AMA Group’s vehicle repair business.
  • Assisted Brookfield Asset Management with its acquisition and financing of Blackstone’s DCI data centre.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Under the joint leadership of Nuncio D’Angelo and Alex Mufford, Norton Rose Fulbright leverages its global network to act for domestic and international banks and finance providers, export credit agencies and corporate clients. The group is notably active in corporate, acquisition and property finance mandates across its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth offices; Hamish Dixon is a key name for development, project and corporate financing work, and Chris Patten, who splits his time between Brisbane and Melbourne, also handles non-recourse lending and specialised finance matters. Energy sector specialist Kelly Davies and project finance lawyer Lisa Koch were promoted to the partnership in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Nuncio D’Angelo; Alex Mufford

Testimonials

Nuncio and his team take the necessary time to understand both the legal and practical issues with the client which helps form a balanced (but informed) view of the optimal position when negotiating. The group is always accessible and willing to help understanding on complex issues, and time frames are met as agreed.

The team stands out for its willingness to build a relationship to foster greater engagement and better outcomes for all parties. It is also generous with time (within reason) to help the deal team to achieve the best outcome.

Key clients

Nikko Asset Management

Associated Kiln Driers Pty Ltd

NAB

ANZ

Coronado Coal

AirTrunk

HSBC

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sydney Branch

Daiwa House

Work highlights

  • Advised ANZ on its successful tender for the provision of whole-of-government banking services to the State of NSW.
  • Assisted Perth Airport with its A$950m syndicated bank debt refinancing.
  • Acted for Associated Kiln Driers on its A$225m acquisition and related working capital debt financing of Carter Holt Harvey’s NSW sawmilling business.
  • Advised NAB, HSBC and ANZ as lenders on the A$100m club loan funding of Webjet’s A$240m acquisition of Destinations of the World.
  • Assisted AirTrunk with the completion of a A$850m financing process to fund the expansion of its Australia data centres, and also handled the development of a hyperscale data centre in Singapore.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Arnold Bloch Leibler’s predominantly Melbourne-based team advises on the full spectrum of banking transactions with notable expertise in property finance, corporate finance and project finance mandates, capital raisings and restructuring issues. The group, which is led by property finance expert Stephen Sharp, counts domestic and international trading and investment banks, corporates, property developers, private equity houses, hedge funds and institutional investors as clients. Ben Mahoney focuses on debt and equity financing and restructuring transactions, Paul Rubenstein is managing partner of the Sydney office, Genevieve Sexton handles corporate finance work, and Sydney-based Nathan Briner is increasingly focused on non-bank lending issues.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Sharp

Key clients

Medical Properties Trust

Carsales.com Limited

Gurner

Nufarm Limited

Ferrier Hodgson (KPMG)

Victorian Funds Management Corporation

Merricks Capital Pty Ltd

AsheMorgan

Partners for Growth

Centennial Property Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Medical Properties Trust on its acquisition of multiple hospitals from Healthscope.
  • Advised Carsales.com on the refinancing of its debt facilities.
  • Assisted Gurner with the financing elements of a A$550m residential development in Melbourne.
  • Advised Ferrier Hodgson as deed administrator of various entities on the financing by special purpose funding entity of an international special institutions fund of the Pasminco Cockle Creek smelter site.
  • Acting for the Victorian Fund Management Corporation on the establishment of an Australian sovereign wealth credit fund.

Baker McKenzie

A year of notable change for Baker McKenzie’s practice saw debt capital market specialist Duncan McGrath take over the role of practice head from Sean Rush following his departure from the partnership, George Harris’ retirement, the promotion of David Cooper to partner, and the recruitment of Alastair Gourlay from Clifford Chance. Building on the firm’s international capabilities, the Australian team has also increased its focus on the domestic market, particularly in infrastructure and real estate finance matters; the group also has expertise acting for Chinese banks, handling renewable project financing transactions and acquisition financing, securitisation and derivatives work. Corporate finance expert Bryan Paisley and Melbourne-based acquisition and property finance specialist Chuong Nguyen  are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Duncan McGrath

Other key lawyers:

David Cooper; Alastair Gourlay; Bryan Paisley; Chuong Nguyen

Testimonials

Baker McKenzie is diligent, responsive, practical, gets the job done, has excellent attention to detail, is always accessible, adheres to very tight time frames, calm and rational under pressure, and easy to work with.

Key clients

Boral Limited

Lendlease Corporation Limited

Oaktree Capital

Emeco Holdings Ltd

National Australia Bank

Government of Fiji

Societe Generale

One Corporate Trust Services

China Merchants Bank

Genex Power

Maybank Investment Bank

E. Sun Commercial Bank Ltd

United Overseas Bank

Honan Holdings Pty Ltd

Bank of China

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Work highlights

  • Acted for Emeco Holdings on the establishment of a new upsized facility on better terms with a global investment bank which permitted its US dollar note exposure to be hedged.
  • Advised Honan Holdings and the Manildra group on the expansion of its A£208m syndicated facility and A$35m mark to market facility to fund further capital works at the Manildra group’s main industrial facility.
  • Acted for a syndicate of senior secured lenders on a A$600m syndicated facility agreement to New Hope for its acquisition of a stake in the Bengalla coal operation in the Hunter Valley.
  • Assisting a syndicate of incoming financiers including Société Générale, ING Bank and BNP Paribas with the refinancing of a A$500m debt facility relating to Malakoff’s interest in the Macarthur Wind Farm.
  • Advising Genex Power on its A$516m concessional finance from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for the development of its Kidston stage 2 hydro project.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance utilises its international network to excel in cross-border financings, with notable expertise in acquisition, asset and project finance work, structured products and financial regulatory issues. The group counts lenders, borrowers, advisers and other intermediaries as clients, with Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs and Westpac being key examples. Practice head Richard Gordon is Australia managing partner and specialises in leveraged acquisitions, project and infrastructure transactions, corporate lending and restructurings; Chad Bochan is also recommended for infrastructure matters. Alastair Gourlay joined Baker McKenzie in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Richard Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Chad Bouchan

Testimonials

Richard Gordon has a strong work ethic, a clear understanding of client and counterpart objectives and critical points with a clear ability to navigate through an issue, delivers on tight timelines and has a holistic view of key focus areas to deliver on all stakeholder objectives.

Richard Gordon is a solid negotiator and is great at focusing attention on important matters and reaching compromises on lower order issues.

It is a smaller team with great access to senior individuals (partners and special counsel). They are very active in the market and have solid knowledge and expertise, and are very capable at guiding bank groups.

Senior-led practice with a deep bench of global talent and precedent to draw from to provide best in market advice.

Key clients

Bain Capital

Goldman Sachs

WestConnex

BNPP

DNB

HSBC

MUFG

SMBC

Davidson Kempner

Deutsche Bank

Westpac

CBA

Bain Credit

Challenger

Metrics Credit Partners

GIC

Serenitas

Tasman Capital

JIC

Tamar (subsidiary of CITIC)

Barclays

Citi

Deutsche Bank

UBS

MIRA

JP Morgan

Work highlights

  • Advised Bain Capital as second lien lender to Australian Technology Innovators.
  • Assisted Goldmans Sachs as lender to the Guangzhou R&F Property Group to finance the construction of three buildings comprised of residential and retail units in South Brisbane.
  • Acted for three syndicates of Australian and international financiers to the Sydney Transport Partners consortium on its A$9.3bn acquisition of a 51% majority stake in the WestConnex road infrastructure project from the NSW Government.
  • Acted for BNPP, DNB, HSBC, MUFG and SMBC on a bridge financing to Ramsay Health Care for its acquisition of Capio.
  • Advised Davidson Kempner on its super senior secured financing of the HNA Ecotech Group.

Dentons

Dentons focuses its efforts on its lender client base with several Australian banks, Bank of China, Bank of Queensland, the Central Bank of PNG and Macquarie Bank as notable examples. The group is also particularly noted for its expertise in property and construction finance mandates, a key area of strength for Chris Fanning and practice co-head Tim Lipscombe; Lipscombe and Jeff Baker jointly lead the department from Sydney and Brisbane respectively. Peter Luke is a key contact for project and structured finance work, particularly with cross-border elements, and Anthony Walsh regularly handles in-bound financing transactions from the Asia Pacific region.

Practice head(s):

Tim Lipscombe; Jeff Baker

Other key lawyers:

Chris Fanning; Peter Luke; Anthony Walsh

Testimonials

We have been working with Timothy Lipscombe for the past 12 years. We believe he is the best in the market in this space. He has exceptional knowledge and experience in this area. He has great attention to detail and we know we can fully rely on his work without concern that something has been missed. His work ethic is incredible and he is always responsive and meets required deadlines. Overall he and his colleague Jeremy Murnain are an outstanding team.

‘A very efficient, commercial law firm.’

‘They look for solutions in commercial situations.’

‘Annie Tseung (Senior Assoc) and Chris Fanning (Partner) are first class.’

Key clients

Australian Executor Trustees

Bank of China Limited

Bank of Queensland

Bankwest

Central Bank of PNG

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited

Macquarie Bank Limited

Members Equity

Suncorp

Teachers Mutual Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised ANZ Banking Group (PNG) and the Bank of South Pacific as club lenders on the provision of PGK250m secured multi-option corporate finance facilities to Papindo Trading Group.
  • Acted for Deloitte Australia on the restructuring of its partnership capital arrangements, which required an overhaul of its partner capital contribution funding facilities with ANZ and St George Bank.
  • Assisted CBA as lender with a A$180m secured property investment assets financing for Comino Group.
  • Acted for Rawson Homes Group on the refinancing of A$150m of assets by multiple institutions including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Mizuho Bank.
  • Advised Moelis Australia as borrower on the A$115m financing of its acquisition of the Figtree Grove Shopping Centre.

HWL Ebsworth

HWL Ebsworth stands out for its property finance expertise counting borrowers in the aged health care, retail, hospitality, property and agribusiness sectors as clients; it also counts a range of Australian and international banks, funds and financial institutions on its client roster. Harry Cormack heads up the practice, which also includes Paul Gatward, Mark Russell and Tom Suttie. The department also fields a financial services regulatory sub-group, which includes regulatory specialists Andrew Galvin and James Moore. With the capacity to assist with domestic and international mandates, the firm’s national network includes offices in every Australian state and territory.

Practice head(s):

Harry Cormack

Testimonials

Nothing is too hard for the team, which is highly accommodating and comes across as a close knit group.

HWL Ebsworth provides a great service, which is professional, and the team is always available.

Key clients

RAC Finance Limited

Heritage Bank Limited

Australian Diversified Income Pty Ltd AC

Malayan Banking Berhad, Singapore Branch

Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd

Infinity Investments Group Australia Pty

P3 Capital Pty Ltd

ING Bank (Australia) Limited

Business Leaderz Group Pty Ltd

Anglican Community Fund (Inc)

National Australia Bank

Macquarie Bank

Bank of China

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for an Australian Bank as agent, security trustee and lender on its provision of A$70m secured financing to ProTen, which was acquired by First State Super.
  • Assisted Pact Group with the refinancing and upsizing of its syndicated debt facility.
  • Advised an Australian investment company on the refinancing of its term debt facilities for its commercial office portfolio.
  • Acted for a foreign investment company on obtaining syndicated secured loan facilities from an Australian bank  for the development of a mixed commercial and residential site in Sydney.
  • Advised Scape on the bank funding for the construction of a new student accommodation asset in Queensland.

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery’s decision to not accept appointments from the big four Australian banks allows for a substantial borrower, financial sponsor and non-bank lender client base; the team’s roster includes Australian Gas Networks, Abacus Property Group and GFG Alliance. Joseph Scarcella leads the finance and restructuring practice, which fields Jim Hunwick, who handles a range of debt financing arrangements; David Beckett, who regularly acts for private equity houses on leveraged finance transactions; and Craig Wappett, who specialises in securities law and regulatory issues. Matthew Allchurch retired.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Scarcella

Testimonials

Very pragmatic and commercial practitioners. Trusted & respected advisors who always provide advice that is valuable & commercial.

JWS combined a strong banking team with knowledge of the underlying resource sector.’

David Beckett is very knowledgeable and commercial advisor.

David Beckett is thoughtful, constructive and super responsive. David was ably supported by David Li, who is a strong senior associate.

Key clients

Australian Gas Networks Limited

Abacus Property Group

Royal Wolf

Archer Capital

GFG Alliance

Brookfield

BMD Group

Flinders Ports

Beach Energy Limited

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

Work highlights

  • Advised Abacus Property Group on all debt matters including structuring and managing mezzanine and joint venture structures to facilitate substantial debt and equity investments.
  • Instructed to act as Australian counsel for Crescent Capital Group as second lien lender on KKR’s A$2bn acquisition of MYOB.
  • Acting for the senior, bridge and mezzanine lenders on the EMR and Adaro consortium’s $2.5bn acquisition of Rio Tinto’s interests in the Kestrel coal mine.
  • Assisted GFG Alliance with the establishment of its debt structure and the addition A$650m in credit lines for working capital management and future growth.
  • Advised Royal Wolf on its debt requirements including the refinancing of facilities relating to its takeover by General Finance.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper divides its practice into three notable areas of expertise spanning corporate banking transactions for Australian borrowers and lenders, domestic and international finance transactions for corporates, investors and banks and project finance transactions. The group’s position within the firm’s global network allows for substantial cross-border experience, while notable domestic clients include ANZ, Bank of Melbourne and Washington H Soul Pattinson. Onno Bakker heads up the finance and projects, and financial services sector teams; other key practitioners include Hugo Thistlewood, who is a specialist in surety bond financings; and Alex Regan, who handles acquisition, leveraged, project and real estate financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Onno Bakker

Other key lawyers:

Hugo Thistlewood; Alex Regan

Testimonials

The group’s key strengths are its commerciality, its team of trusted advisors and partners, strong knowledge and capability, speed to market, and ability to provide insights and offers solutions.

Key clients

Washington H Soul Pattinson

PGIM Real Estate

Broadspectrum Pty Limited

Bank of Melbourne, a division of Westpac Banking Group

Bothar Boring Group

St George Bank and Westpac (New Zealand)

Palisade Investment Partners Limited

Cromwell Funds Management Limited

Speedcast International Limited

Suncorp Group Limited

Deutsche Bank

Citibank N.A.

Reece Limited

Maroon Gold Pty Ltd

Euler Hermes, Singapore Branch

IAG Re Singapore Pte Ltd

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

HSBC Bank Australia Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Washington H Soul Pattinson as lender on a structured finance transaction including syndicated facility lending to LawFinance.
  • Acted for Reece on its A$1.9bn acquisition of Morsco, a US-based plumbing supplies business.
  • Assisted Broadspectrum with a debt restructuring relating to a A$500m club facility for the refinancing of its local and offshore group funding arrangements.
  • Advising Bothar Boring Group on the structuring and implementation of new secured financing arrangements including a subscription note issuance, warrant arrangement, security trust and custodial arrangement.
  • Advising the lead arranger banks on the financing of Brookfield’s acquisition of DCI data centres from Blackstone.

Gadens Lawyers

Gadens Lawyers’ practice is jointly led by Doug Scoobie and Craig Green, who are based in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively, and is a key name in the market for property, construction and development financing work; the practice has also recently grown its corporate finance and debt refinancing expertise. The group’s client roster encompasses banks, funds, non-bank debt funds, superannuation funds, offshore lenders, listed and unlisted corporates and property developers; examples include ANZ, Bank of Queensland, Cbus Property and NAB. Elliott Raleigh is also a key name to note. Danny Moore retired, Craig Chapman moved in-house at the Bank of Queensland, and Renae Suttor joined from Minter Ellison.

Practice head(s):

Doug Scobie; Craig Green

Other key lawyers:

Elliot Raleigh; Renae Suttor

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Bank of Queensland

Barwon Investment Partners

Cbus Property

CIMIC Group Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (incl. Bankwest and Colonial)

Computershare

Macquarie Bank

National Australia Bank

Westpac Banking Corporation (including St George and Bank of Melbourne

Work highlights

  • Advised Cbus Property on the syndicated construction financing and the long-term post-construction financing of the Collins Arch Project in Melbourne.
  • Acting for NAB and Westpac on the syndicated construction financing for the Central Equity Group’s mixed-use development, Melbourne Grand.
  • Assisted Computershare with its $900m syndicated facility agreements.
  • Handled the financing of the acquisition of John James Private Hospital for Barwon Investment Partners.
  • Assisted Cbus Property with the construction financing of the Newmarket residential development in Sydney.

Hogan Lovells

Richard Hayes heads up the finance department at Hogan Lovells, which is a key name in the market for cross-border financing transactions; the Australian practice is able to provide clients with Australian, English and New York law. Notable areas of expertise include leveraged, acquisition, corporate, asset, real estate, fund and project finance work, restructuring and insolvency issues, regulatory matters and derivatives mandates. The group counts banks and debt funds as clients; examples include ANZ, Barings and HSBC. Ros O’Mally is singled out for project, asset and corporate finance work and derivatives matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hayes

Other key lawyers:

Ros O’Mally

Key clients

ANZ

Barings

BAML

Citibank

HSBC

JP Morgan

ICG (Intermediate Capital Group)

Investec

Macquarie Bank

Branford Castle

CIC (Credit Industriel ét Commercial)

Revolution Asset Management

Soliton Capital

SSG

Swissport Group

Tanarra Credit Partners

Work highlights

  • Acted for Swissport Group on the financing of its acquisition of Aerocare from Archer Capital via a €325m incremental Term Loan B facility.
  • Assisted Partners Group with the letter of credit financing for an equity investment in Murra Warra wind farm.
  • Advised Tanarra Credit Partners on the financing of Next Capital’s acquisition of a stake in iseek Communications.
  • Acted for Tanarra Credit Partners on its provision of funding to Ansett Aviation Queensland.

K&L Gates

Led by Jason Opperman, K&L Gates’ finance practice excels in mid-market real estate and corporate financing transactions, and also leverages the firm’s global network to act on cross-border mandates. Clients span banks, alternative lenders, debt funds, professional trustees, sponsors and corporate lenders; examples include Macquarie Group, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, and Citigroup. Noteworthy individuals include Melbourne-based Alan Maclean, project finance expert Richard Gray and aviation asset finance specialist Brian Santos, who are both in the Sydney office; Brisbane-based property finance partner Deborah Bean, and Sydney-based special counsel Eric Boone, who provides US law capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Jason Opperman

Testimonials

K&L Gates are always accessible in between times for advice and when they are appointed to a transaction, issues are addressed quickly, documents are drawn up to sign and settlements are effected promptly. Any speed bumps that are encountered along the way are always promptly and professionally sorted out.

K&L Gates provides strong partner access and involvement and there is deep finance expertise across the team.

Deborah Bean acts commercially with her advice and knows when to push an issue and when to concede on an issue. Deborah is one of the most commercially aware partners I have dealt with in over 25 years in banking.

The group takes a very commercial approach to problem solving.

Key clients

Westpac Group (including St George and Bank of Melbourne)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (including Bankwest)

Macquarie Group

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Scentre Group

Banner Asset Management

CVS Lane Capital Partners

Wingate

Capitol Health

Citigroup

Work highlights

  • Assisting CBA with the negotiation and completion of a facility for Sandhill Road hotel and pub group involving the refinancing of existing hotels and the redevelopment of other hotel properties.
  • Advising CVS Lane Capital Properties on its senior facility for the acquisition of part of the former Amcor paper mill site, which is now part of a residential, commercial and retail development.
  • Acting for CBA on an acquisition and development facility relating to three shopping centres in Queensland.
  • Assisted Wingate Investment Partners 3 with the negotiation of a syndicated facility with Credit Suisse.
  • Advised Banner Asset Management on a syndicated loan note subscription facility with the Welsh Group for the financing of the development of land at Armstrong Creek, Victoria.

McCullough Robertson

McCullough Robertson is noted for its real estate and development finance expertise, regularly acting for a range of borrower and lender clients including banks, non-bank lenders, funds and developers. The group is particularly strong in Brisbane, where Wei Lim recently joined the practice from an in-house position at ANZ. Other key individuals include practice co-heads Peter Stewart and David Gilham, who are based in Brisbane and Sydney respectively. Partner Kirby Jukes and special counsel Peter Kennedy are also key names; Jukes has developed notable expertise in personal property securities law.

Practice head(s):

Peter Stewart; David Gilham

Other key lawyers:

Wei Lim; Peter Kennedy; Kirby Jukes

Testimonials

The group is comfortable on smaller transactions as well as larger ones and seems to have a unique ability to ‘right size’ the response to the credit and reputational risk.

McCullough Robertson are active in the banking and finance market, providing good quality advice and services for a reasonable price. I have found the team approachable and professional. In addition, they are clear on the scope and quote and communicate any changes as they may arise.

A strong banking and finance team who are engaged from the outset. Transactions vary in terms of dollar size and complexity. Smaller and less complex transactions receive the same attention to detail as the larger (more interesting / challenging) transactions. There is the ability to simplify complex matters into layman terms.

The team has a strong presence primarily in Queensland, and traditionally acted for borrower clients but the recent addition of partner Wei Lim now means it is a robust choice as lender counsel. Being part of one of the largest commercial firms in Queensland, the practice has the benefit of being backed by full service capabilities especially in the corporate and commercial space.

New partner Wei Lim, is very commercial and understands the key drivers of his clients, allowing for more efficient negotiations and better client outcomes.

Wei Lim provides first-class legal advice. He has an extremely broad knowledge of all types of financing structures and his point of difference is the industry insights he has from his time spent in-house. He is always available and an excellent communicator.

David Gilham is insightful, commercial and responsive. He is also a pleasure to deal with.

David Gilham and the team are friendly, commercial and easy to work with. It feels like having your lawyers working with you on your team to achieve the desired outcome, rather than having engaged an external service provider to provide you with a service.

Peter Stewart and Kirby Dukes are both great to deal with, easily relatable and totally responsive to needs. They find ways to do things as opposed to presenting road blocks.

Key clients

Westpac / St George

Bank of Queensland

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

HSBC Bank Australia Limited

Morgan Stanley

National Australia Bank Limited

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Greensill Capital (UK) Limited

Taylor Wessing LLP (London and Frankfurt)

Paul Hastings LLP (Chicago)

Global Student Accommodation

Work highlights

  • Advising ANZ on five real estate development financings.
  • Acting for ING Bank on a facility to fund the acquisition of Stockland Shopping Centre in Queensland.
  • Advised Global Student Accommodation on a tender for the mandate to refinance existing construction facilities to fund the development of student accommodation in Perth.
  • Assisted HSBC with the provision of secured loan facilities to a Hong Kong sponsor.
  • Advised Greensill Capital on a $25bn financing transaction with Liberty Onesteel.

Colin Biggers & Paisley

The team of property finance experts at Colin Biggers & Paisley is led by Kate Craig, who focuses her practice on the hotel, residential and commercial property sectors; other areas of expertise for the group include the construction, tourism, aged care and faith-based not-for-profit industries. Clients encompass domestic and international financial institutions, funds and fund managers, developers, contractors, investors and corporate borrowers. Toby Blyth is also active in the space and regularly handles risk management issues and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Kate Craig

Other key lawyers:

Toby Blyth

Key clients

Aqualand Holdings Pty Limited

ANZ Banking Group

DBS Bank

Macquarie Bank Limited

Kanebridge Capital and Kanebridge Property Group

Hindmarsh Construction

Richard Crookes Construction

HS Credit (Sydney) Pty Ltd (Hap Seng Credit)

Stamford Capital Partners

Think Childcare and Education Limited

Bank of Sydney

Bank of New Zealand

Work highlights

  • Acted for a Victorian-based developer on structuring issues related to the establishment of property trusts and shareholder agreements including a construction facility.
  • Advising a residential developer on senior and mezzanine facilities and security documents for a project in Melbourne.
  • Assisted a publically listed childcare operator with the negotiation of a syndicated facility agreement with major Australian banks relating to a working capital and centre acquisition facility.

Hall & Wilcox

With substantial property finance expertise, Hall & Wilcox counts senior and mezzanine lenders, property funds and property developers as clients; it also handles financing deals for community housing projects, corporate finance work, debt and equity financings and security structures, and works closely with the firm’s investment funds team. The group also stands out for its work in emerging markets, notably handling blockchain and cryptocurrency mandates. Mark Inston and Harry New lead the predominantly Melbourne-based practice, which also includes China specialist Eugene Chen, superannuation experts Heather Gray and Anna MacNamara, and Nick Slack.

Practice head(s):

Mark Inston; Harry New

Testimonials

The partners always readily accessible and the junior lawyers and senior associates are extremely professional and competent.

Great mid sized Banking and Finance practice that delivers not only value for money but also quality documentation for a range of finance facilities.

Nick Slack stands out for his professionalism and timeliness when responding to requests.

Nick Slack and Mark Inston have built a quality practice focused on understanding and then meeting clients objectives. Practical and pragmatic, but with a firm eye on the important details, Nick and Mark ensure personalised attention to get the facility documented.

Key clients

Anti-Hero Capital

Elanor  investors

Equipsuper

Qualitas

Viapac

Compass Housing Co Limited ‘Social and Affordable Housing Fund’ (SAHF)

Hume Community Housing Association

Compass Housing Co Limited

Ronal AG

St George

Managed Account Holdings

Prime Super

DomaCom Australia Limited

Australian Unity Funds Management Limited

Alleron Investment Management Pty Limited

Ellerston Capital

Work highlights

  • Assisted Anti Hero Capital with the establishment of the Anti Hero Cryptocurrency Fund.
  • Acted for Elanor Investors Group on its acquisition of Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre from Blackstone including a cross-border loan from MetLife in Japan.
  • Assisted Catholic Super with its response to the Royal Commission into Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services.
  • Acted for Qualitas as lender on a A$35.7m syndicated facility loan to finance a residential development site in Clyde North, Victoria.
  • Assisted Viapac with the early stage construction funding for its project in Melbourne.

Maddocks

Maddocks’ department focuses on corporate and property finance work, acting for a range of borrower and lender clients including CBA, Macquarie Bank, Westpac and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. Recently promoted partner Arlene Colquhoun and Ian Beattie jointly lead the group from Sydney and Melbourne respectively; Colquhoun also handles corporate, acquisition and project finance work, and Beattie regularly acts for institutional construction and development financiers.

Practice head(s):

Arlene Colquhoun; Ian Beattie

Testimonials

The team is easy to deal with and has very good access to partners.

Key clients

Commonwealth Bank Australia

Macquarie Bank

Greenland Australia

Westpac Banking Corporation

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd

BP Finance

Adamantem Capital

Madigan Capital

Occasio Projects

Meteorite Land (Pearl River) Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised CBA on the provision of a secured bank guarantee facility and other associated facilities to Bradcorp for a South Sydney-based development.
  • Assisted CBA with the provision of a corporate facility to JK Williams Group.
  • Acting for Macquarie Bank on the refinancing of facilities provided to Top Level Real Estate for its acquisition by The Agency Group.
  • Advising Macquarie Bank on an IPO facility for the ReadyTech Group.
  • Acting for Adamantem Capital on acquisition facilities to fund its acquisition of the Hellers Group.