Project finance in Australia


Ashurst‘s full-service projects team, spread across the firm’s Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth and Brisbane offices, has a strong reputation in the market for project finance work across a project’s entire life cycle. The group assists clients with large nationwide projects such as Australia’s largest public transport works, Sydney Metro, as well as significant international projects. The cross-practice group includes cross-border financing expert Chris Redden, resource project authority David Mason, financial products expert Gaelan Cooney in Perth, and power development authority Chris Skordas in Melbourne. At associate level, Douglas Fung in Sydney is a key name to note. Former practice head Simon Irvine left the firm in June 2022 to join Johnson Winter Slattery.

Practice head(s):

Chris Redden; David Mason; Gaelan Cooney; Chris Skordas

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Fung


‘Highly knowledgeable partners. Open to introduce non-market standard concepts and mechanisms into financing agreements.’ 

‘Chris Redden is highly experienced and provided a strong guiding hand to assist us in our first project financing. Its reassuring to have that support. Chris is very good at explaining rationale for commercial positions, and open-minded to introducing new ideas/mechanisms that are non-market standard. Chris is very responsive to client enquiries, provides high quality deliverables and has good bench strength/resourcing to turn documents around quickly.’

‘Pragmatic, client focused approach to closing the transaction.’ 


Allens' project finance team handles matters for both borrowers and lenders throughout the whole of the project’s life cycle. Melbourne-based group head Michael Ryan  - praised for his ‘knowledge of how both lenders and sponsors approach project finance’ - regularly advises on large domestic PPP projects, including the redevelopment and expansion project at Melbourne’s Frankston Hospital. Rob Watt in Sydney is particularly engaged in the energy and resources sectors, drawing on the firm's wider expertise in the area. Also based in Sydney, Scott McCoy advises widely on renewables, battery storage, and social infrastructure matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Scott McCoy; Nick Adkins; Rob Watt; Lisa Zhao; David Donnelly


‘Michael Ryan brings a calm and considered approach, a deep and insightful knowledge of how both lenders and sponsors approach project finance, and a strong ability to clearly summarise key issues and propose potential solutions.’

‘The team’s strengths are underpinned by a balanced legal advice that is clear and concise, a strong understanding of their client’s objectives, and a pragmatic approach to resolving issues.’

‘Allens have delivered a tremendous combination of muscle and smarts across a number of complex transactions for us in recent years.’

Key clients

Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd

Tetris Capital

Capella Capital Webuild, GS Engineering & Construction,

China Construction Oceania, Pacific Partnerships, CPB

Contractors, Ventia and John Laing (‘the Consortium’)

GoldlinQ Pty Ltd

Plenary Group Pty Ltd



Iluka Resources

Macquarie Capital


Solar Pacific Pristine Power

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF)

Global Infrastructure Partners

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation


Lenders to Celsus Pty Ltd (syndicate led by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group)

Lenders to the CQC Partners consortium (led by Capella Capital)

Lenders to ASTRA SLR Finance Pty Limited (syndicate represented by Commonwealth Bank of Australia as agent)


Work highlights

  • Advised Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd and Tetris Capital in relation to AustralianSuper’s acquisition of a 70% interest in Australia Tower Network Pty Limited (ATN) from Singtel, who retained a 30% interest.
  • Advised Iluka Resources in relation to its entry into a risk sharing arrangement under the Australian Government’s $2 billion Critical Minerals Facility, administered by Export Finance Australia.
  • Advising GoldlinQ Pty Ltd throughout the construction phase and the first 4 years of operations, for the New Royal Adelaide Hospital PPP project, assisting with the resolution of critical issues faced by the project whilst preserving debt and equity value.

Gilbert + Tobin

Entrusted by all four of the major Australian trading banks, the group at Gilbert + Tobin routinely advises blue-chip clients on a host of high-value, complex transactions. Jointly spearheading the practice are John Schembri and Alexander Danne, based in Sydney and Melbourne respectively. The pair are well supported at partner level by Adela Smith in Sydney, referred to by one client as ‘one of the best banking and finance lawyers in the market’ who displays an ‘in-depth understanding of the issues‘, and by Sydney-based Peter Doyle who specialises in infrastructure finance. Also based in Sydney, the 'very experienced, accessible, and tough' Simon Lynch is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Schembri; Alexander Danne

Other key lawyers:

Simon Lynch; Peter Doyle; Stuart Cormack; Adela Smith


‘Gilbert Tobin’s banking and finance lawyers are experienced in advising on both domestic and cross-border transactions. Most have practised in other jurisdictions across Europe, Asia and the United States, as well as in-house with their clients. They regularly act for lenders, borrowers, arrangers and investors, and understand the different commercial drivers in any financial transaction. This means they are able to anticipate key legal and commercial issues likely to arise on any transaction and guide their clients through them.’

‘They are one of the few firms in Australia that have strong relationships with, and are approved counsel for, all four major Australian trading banks and maintains strong relationships with all of the major global investment banks active in Australia; which gives them a unique insight into these institutions’ individual approaches and requirements, and also allows them to operate seamlessly for any party.’

‘Adela Smith is one of the best banking and finance lawyers in the market. She has an in-depth understanding of the issues that are sensitive to lenders and can clearly articulate arguments to win complex negotiation points on live transactions.’

Key clients


Alinta Energy



Circular Plastics Australia (PET) Pty Ltd


HRL Morrison & Co

IFM Investors

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA)

New Century Resources

Pacific Hydro


Tetris Capital

Tilt Renewables

Work highlights

  • Advised the PowAR consortium on the $3 billion acquisition of Tilt Renewables, representing the largest acquisition of a renewables portfolio in Australia.
  • Advised the lenders to ESR Milestone Partnership on the c. $2.23 billion facilities for ESR Milestone Partnership’s acquisition of Milestone Logistics Portfolio from Blackstone, Australia’s largest ever logistics portfolio transaction.
  • Advising Healthscope on the project financing of the La Trobe Private Hospital.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Fielding practitioners  across Queensland and New South Wales, Herbert Smith Freehills is regularly involved in projects across a variety of sectors such as renewable energy, logistics, social infrastructure and telecommunications. The team advises a varied client base made up of banks, investors, and government bodies on large infrastructure projects, often with a strong cross-border aspect. The cross-disciplinary group is jointly led by Toby Anderson, who heads up of the project’s practice; Erin Wakelin, head of the project finance desk; and contentious specialist Geoff Hansen, who also serves as head of construction and infrastructure disputes offering.  Other key names to note include Sydney-based partner Andrew Griffiths, a specialist in transport and infrastructure matters who counts various project sponsors and contractors among his clients.

Practice head(s):

Toby Anderson; Erin Wakelin; Geoff Hansen

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Griffiths

Key clients

New South Wales Government / Transport for NSW


CIMIC / Pacific Partnerships / UGL


Victorian Government / Department of Transport



Lendlease / Capella Capital

Big Four Domestic Banks (i.e. Australia and New Zealand Banking Limited, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation)

AGL Energ

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons‘ large team acts for a myriad of high-profile public and private sector clients on a host of prominent projects and financing matters. Brisbane-based managing partner Craig Rogers co-chairs the team alongside the Sydney-based Claire Rogers, who also heads up the firm’s climate and ESG practice. Other key figures to note include the Melbourne-based Catherine Danne – promoted to partner in July 2021 – who has a broad sector knowledge, encompassing economic infrastructure and real estate work. The Sydney-based Rebecca Finklestein is recommended for her expertise in public private partnerships (PPPs), while Tim Ma, who works in Melbourne, is noted for his banking and finance acumen. Experienced project finance lawyer Jeff Clark works on a range of acquisition, development and financing mandates. At the associate level, Sydney-based Amy Maguire has experience of working on a number of significant infrastructure projects and privatisations. Jo Crew joined the Melbourne team from Norton Rose Fulbright in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Craig Rogers; Claire Rogers

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Danne; Tim Ma; Jeff Clark; Rebecca Finklestein

Key clients

Transport for NSW

Transurban Limited



Lendlease Corporation Limited

John Holland

Infrastructure NSW


Queensland Airports Limited



Charter Hall

Port of Melbourne Operations Pty Ltd


Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Future Fund Board of Guardians

Gladstone Ports Corporation


Hobart International Airport

Lochard Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised NHFIC on its role as financier for the first stage of the Victorian Public Housing Renewal Project. To date, the project is one of the largest financing transactions NHFIC has participated in.
  • Acted for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as financier to the Victorian Big Battery Project, which has successfully reached financial close and commenced construction.
  • Acted for WestConnexon in the $4.2bn refinancing of its existing asset level debt in respect of the M4 Motorway, one of Australia’s largest road infrastructure projects.

White & Case

Working across sites in Melbourne and Sydney, White & Case‘s dedicated project finance, infrastructure and energy team is praised for its ‘strong expertise in debt funding for energy projects’. Its work in the renewables space is particularly noteworthy, with Ged Cochrane serving as a key port of call for clients seeking assistance with the financing of major energy projects. Practice head Brendan Quinn regularly advises on high-profile, nationwide ventures, frequently working alongside Joel Rennie, who offers ‘intelligent, commercially astute’ advice. The group often benefits from the depth of the corporate and m&A team at the firm, which adds to its depth of expertise in complex project financing matters.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Quinn

Other key lawyers:

Ged Cochrane; Joel Rennie


‘Leading project finance team in Australia, with strong expertise in debt funding for energy projects.’

‘Joel Rennie is ranked as one of the top project financing lawyers in Australia and it is clear why. Joel and his team are extremely good at what they do. Joel’s advice is always intelligent, commercially astute and focuses on what is necessary.’

Key clients

HyperOne Pty Ltd

The lenders to AustralianSuper Pty Ltd

Star of the South

Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd

Carnarvon Energy Limited

Genesis Energy Limited

First Sentier Investors and Palisade Investment Partners

Syrah Resources

Work highlights

  • Advising on the HyperOne project, Australia’s first hyperscale national fibre network, which will comprise the design, procurement, construction and installation of a 20,000km fibre network connecting major data hubs across Australia.
  • Advising the lenders to AustralianSuper on the funding of the acquisition of a 70 per cent stake in Australian Tower Network for approximately AU$1.9 billion
  • Advising on Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm, Star of the South, located in Gippsland, Victoria.

Allen & Overy LLP

Drawing on the firm's strong global network, Allen & Overy LLP regularly collaborates across multiple offices on complex, cross-border projects in the infrastructure, energy and resources sectors. Peter Wilkes, who heads up the group from the firm’s Perth office, principally focuses on debt and equity financing, especially in the realm of energy and resources. Also based in Perth, Goran Galic is a key name to note for mining, oil, and gas matters. Adam Stapledon, James Abbott and Simon Huxley left the firm in early 2022.

Practice head(s):

Peter Wilkes

Other key lawyers:

Goran Galic

Key clients





Australian Gas Infrastructure Group

Fortescue Metals Group


Palisade Investment Partners

Pilbara Minerals

Port of Melbourne

Work highlights

  • Advised ConnectEast Pty Ltd (ConnectEast) on the AUD1.11bn refinancing of the EastLink tollway in Melbourne.
  • Advised Port of Melbourne in connection with a AUD680m refinancing of certain of its existing bank debt facilities

Clayton Utz

Led by Alexander Schlosser out of Melbourne, Clayton Utz's group utilises its ‘strong depth of knowledge' to advise on a range of infrastructure projects, acting for public and private sector players alike on high-profile ventures. A standout recent highlight for the team was advising the State of Victoria on all aspects of the procurement and development for the NELP (The North East Link Program), a project in which bankability was procured during a time of intense market activity against the backdrop of Covid-19. Dan Fitts plays a central role in many of the firm's standout engagements, including a number of privately financed projects. Elsewhere, Peter Staciwa possesses particularly deep experience in the renewables, LNG, water, and transport sectors.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Schlosser

Other key lawyers:

Peter Staciwa; Marcus Davenport; Dan Fitts


‘The team has strong depth of knowledge and works very hard to understand all aspects of the issue/matter in providing advice. They work hard to build relationships with clients and their advice is timely and well written.’

Key clients

Foresight Solar Australia Pty Ltd

Plenary Group

State of Victoria – Major Transport Infrastructure Authority

Multiple: Wilmington Trust National Association, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Wells Fargo Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc., Standard Chartered Bank, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc

First Sentier Investors

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners & Star of the South Wind Farm

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Plenary Health on all aspects of its winning bid for the New Footscray Hospital PPP Project, including on negotiations with the State, the financiers, equity providers, construction and facilities maintenance contracts.
  • Advised the State of Victoria on all aspects of the procurement and development for the NELP (The North East Link Program).
  • Acting for Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and as the Star of the South Wind Farm project’s general counsel on many aspects of the project’s development.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is praised by clients for its ‘solution orientated approach that addresses bankability requirements’, fielding a multidisciplinary practice that draws on the firm’s broader expertise in areas such as M&A, asset finance, commodity trading, commercial, competition, and dispute resolution. The practice is jointly spearheaded by multiple partners working across the firm’s Perth and Sydney offices: Richard GordonNadia Kalic, Chad Bochan, Sam Luttrell, and Philip Sealey, the latter of whom is especially well regarded for his ‘commercial approach grounded in an in-depth knowledge of the market’. Sydney-based senior associate Dale Straughen is recommended for his expertise in renewable energy matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Gordon; Nadia Kalic; Chad Bochan; Sam Luttrell; Philip Sealey

Other key lawyers:

Dale Straughen; Dominik Kepinski


‘Current and in-depth knowledge of the project finance market. A pro-active, solution orientated approach that addresses bankability requirements whilst keeping to timelines.’

‘Philip Sealey is a great team leader and know the law and drives deals towards meeting deadlines. He has a commercial approach grounded in an in-depth knowledge of the market.’

Key clients

Financiers to Morrison & Co

Financiers to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP)

Financiers of 18 domestic Australian and international banks

Financiers to Land Services WA Operating Pty Ltd

Two major Australian banks as mandated lead arrangers and sustainability coordinators

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders to a consortium led by Morrison & Co on the acquisition financing of a 49% stake in Telstra’s InfraCo Towers business.
  • Advised the financiers to Global Infrastructure Partners’ (GIP) acquisition of a 26.25 percent interest in the Shell-operated Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Common Facilities for US$2.5 billion.
  • Advising the lenders on the financing made available to Global Infrastructure Partners to fund the acquisition of a 49% stake in Woodside’s $7.6 billion JV for the Pluto Train 2 LNG train project.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

The experienced and ever growing team at Corrs Chambers Westgarth draws praise from clients for its ability to ‘understand the commercial implications’ of project finance work, as well as for its considerable technical acumen. The team is principally engaged on high-value financing matters across the energy, port, water, mining, transport, and social infrastructure sectors. Clare Corke is a Brisbane-based partner whose expertise includes project infrastructure, property, and natural resources. Julie Myers was promoted to special counsel in January 2022, while Paul Brickley remains a key team member who is praised for his commercial nous. A flurry of lateral hiring activity saw the team bring Adam StapledonJames Abbott, and Simon Huxley aboard from Allen & Overy LLP in July 2022.

Other key lawyers:

Clare Corke; Paul Brickley; Rommel Harding-Farrenberg; Brad Robinson; Julie Myers; Adam Stapledon; James Abbott; Simon Huxley


‘Great and well-experienced team.’

‘Strong experience and financing industry knowledge.’

‘High quality service, receive good amount of the partner’s time.’

‘Paul Brickley is across the detail, understands the commercial implications and what items are important for sponsors and investors in project finance.’

Key clients

CuString Pty Ltd

Pulse Consortium

Seafarms Group Limited

Altrac Consortium

Manulife and TD Asset Management

Pilbara Ports

Water Corporation

Copper Mountain

MACH energy

Amber Infrastructure Group

Work highlights

  • Advising CuString Pty Ltd as the developer of the CopperString Project, which involves the proposed development of a privately owned, project-financed 1,100-kilometre electricity transmission network from Townsville to Mt Isa, with an estimated project value of A$2.4 billion.
  • Advised the Pulse Consortium, the successful proponent for the Cross River Rail Tunnel, Stations and Development, a $5.8 billion PPP Project, since its inception on all aspects of the project, including project finance.
  • Advising Seafarms Group Limited, an Australian aquaculture company, on its A$115 million development of a large-scale, integrated, land-based prawn aquaculture project to be developed in Northern Australia and known as ‘Project Sea Dragon’.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright handles the financing and acquisition of high-value infrastructure and PPP projects for high-profile clients, including a number of market-leading commercial banks. A recent standout engagement saw the group advising Sapphire Wind Farm on the high-value refinancing and restructuring of its senior debt facilities for the Sapphire Wind Farm in New South Wales. The team is led by Rob White, a practitioner with considerable experience in PPP matters. Lauded as an ‘excellent lawyer, proactive communicator, and organised operator’, Lisa Koch is a standout partner who notably focuses on the energy and natural resources sectors. All named lawyers are based in Sydney. Joanna Taylor is no longer at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Rob White

Other key lawyers:

Justin Goushas; Lisa Koch; Alen Pazin; Chris Patten


‘Lisa Koch is an excellent lawyer, proactive communicator and organised operator.’

‘The team has a lot of deep knowledge in key advisory areas including ESG, permitting and dispute resolution, but its real strength is the communication and teamwork exhibited. The team are all joined up, they know what they are doing, they know our business and what the transaction is about.’

‘Nick Sinclair is not scared to give us open and honest advice and feedback (which we value greatly!). We have been really impressed with Nick and his team. A fantastic partner. Lisa Koch goes above and beyond for her clients and understands our business needs. Justin Goushas is extremely hard working and does not buckle under pressure. Definitely future partner material and one to watch.’

Key clients

Capella Capital

Taurus Mining

National Australia Bank


Coronado Coal



Bank of America

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Brookfield Asset Management

CWP Renewables Pty Ltd

Nomura Securities International, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Capella Capital as project sponsor of the Exemplar Health consortium for the successful tender regarding the design, construction, operation and financing of the $1.2 billion million Frankston Hospital redevelopment.
  • Advised the Sydney-based Taurus Mining Finance Fund (Taurus) on its US$200 million financing of, and US$80 million royalty arrangement in relation to the Longview mine in West Virginia, USA.
  • Advising the CQC consortium (led by Capella Capital and comprising Capella, Lendlease and Watpac) on the second phase of the structured market engagement for the design, development, construction, O&M, project financing and management of the regeneration of Circular Quay in Sydney, NSW under a PPP structure.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie‘s workload includes a regular stream of major construction, infrastructure, energy, transport, and social infrastructure projects. Melbourne-based Matt Coleman joined the team from Minter Ellison in August 2021, bringing with him many years’ of experience in infrastructure, construction and major projects and, in particular, strengthening the front-end construction expertise within the team. The group is co-led by a quartet working across the firm’s Melbourne and Sydney offices, comprising Leigh Duthie, Sean Duffy, Charlie Detmold, and David Cooper – all of whom have a track record of working with clients in the construction industry.

Practice head(s):

Leigh Duthie (Construction); Sean Duffy (Infrastructure); Charlie Detmold / David Cooper (Project Finance)

Other key lawyers:

Matt Coleman; Anthony Whelan

Key clients




Construction and Building Unions Superannuation Fund (Cbus)

KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management (KIAMCO)

Keolis Downer

Lendlease (Building and Services divisions)

mRNA Victoria

National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC)

Origin Energy Limited


University of Technology Sydney

Ventia Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted Origin with negotiating an agreement to sell a 10% interest in the Asia-Pacific LNG Project to EIG, including highly bespoke funding arrangements to support the sale.
  • Assisted Cbus as financier to the Village Park Consortium (comprising Citta and Frasers Property), in respect of the Parkville affordable housing project, which is a redevelopment of part of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games Village.
  • Assisting mRNA Victoria on negotiating and documenting arrangements with the Commonwealth Government and Moderna Australia in relation to the funding and establishment by Moderna Australia of local mRNA vaccine manufacturing and fill/finish capabilities in Victoria.

Minter Ellison

Minter Ellison advises a diverse mix of borrowers, financiers, and government departments throughout the project’s life cycle. The sizeable practice is jointly led by the Sydney-based finance solutions head James Mok and the Brisbane-based projects chief Brendan Clark. In Melbourne, Peter Block is particularly noted for his expertise in end-to-end project work. Paul Paxton, also in Melbourne, has a history of working on project finance and PPPs, as well as project delivery and policy development matters.

Practice head(s):

James Mok; Brendan Clark

Other key lawyers:

Peter Block; Paul Paxton; Gemey Visscher

Key clients

Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, Ghella, DIF Capital Partners consortium

State and Federal Government departments and agencies

REMONDIS and John Laing consortium

Australian Potash Limited

Red 5 Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for one of the 3 shortlisted consortia, “Capstone” (comprising Pacific Partnerships, CPB, Ghella, & DIF), on the financing and procurement of their bid for the Inland Rail PPP – Gowri to Kagaru (G2K Project).
  • Representing Australian Potash Limited to obtain funding of approximately A$200 million from senior secured lenders to develop the Lake Wells sulphate of potash project in Western Australia.
  • Supported the Victorian Government in a second Victorian Renewable Energy Target program (VRET#2).

Pinsent Masons LLP

Traditionally strong on the borrower side, Pinsent Masons LLP's increasingly diverse client roster includes a number of lenders, who are involved in projects across the construction and infrastructure arenas. The team is helmed by the Sydney-based Jim Hunwick, an experienced banking and finance lawyer who specialises in debt finance transactions. Another key member of the multidisciplinary team is the Melbourne-based Jeremy King, another experienced banking and finance lawyer who has a strong track record of advising on large-scale financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jim Hunwick

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy King; Michael Capsalis

Key clients

Victorian Correctional Infrastructure Partnership

Prospect Water Partnership/SUEZ Australia and New Zealand

The lenders to NV Besix and Plenary GroupNV Besix SA (Sharjah Branch) and Plenary Group Holdings Pty Ltd

Acciona Construction Australia Pty Ltd and Ferrovial Construction (Australia) Pty Ltd

Tesla Motors Australia Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Victorian Correctional Infrastructure Partnership on the financing elements regarding the procurement of the augmentation of two maximum security prisons in Melbourne.
  • Advising Prospect Water on financing and structuring issues arising on the upgrade and expansion of the Prospect Water Filtration Plant Project in New South Wales.
  • Advising the lenders to NV Besix and Plenary Group on the Zayed City Schools PPP Project, which forms part of the Abu Dhabi Future Schools Programme and is the first social infrastructure PPP in the United Arab Emirates.