Clayton Utz‘s team, headquartered in Sydney, handles a high volume of major private equity transactions, acquisitions, and disposals in the real estate industry. In addition, the firm has handled numerous transactions in the industrial sector, driven by the demand for logistics and distribution facilities following the impact of COVID-19 on the retail sector. Other areas of strength include social housing, urban renewal, infrastructure and education projects. Andrew Steele (Sydney) has a diverse practice, which includes advising major investors, developers and government departments on commercial agreements, planning and environment issues. Nikki Robinson (Sydney) advises on projects in New South Wales, with a particular focus on the transport and education sectors. In Sydney, Julie Levis' ongoing work includes advising on the $15bn Barangaroo urban renewal project; Andrew Norman (Melbourne) is noted for his experience in major real estate transactions; and Carrie Rogers (Sydney) is an expert in acquisitions and investments. Eva Oraham is highly respected by clients such as major institutional investors and government agencies and she counts Charter Hall as a long-standing client.
Real estate in Australia
Other key lawyers:
Nikki Robinson; Andrew Norman; Carrie Rogers; Eva Oraham
‘I choose Clayton Utz for this work because in my experience they are the best in the business. This particular work is highly complex in terms of structuring, risk, number of “moving parts” and the number of independent parties to manage/coordinate to bring the deal together. Accordingly, I heavily rely on Clayton Utz’s attention to detail and knowledge to allow us to make these deals happen. In short, for our complex deals, I give no consideration to anyone but Clayton Utz and I don’t think I could pull these deals off without them.’
‘Strong focus on high quality output, partner rolls up their sleeves and absolutely leads the matter without an associate or associates holding their hand.‘
‘The team understands the how to balance our interests as a commercial investor and government entity. They provide great expertise and prompt service. Communication is excellent. ’
‘Andy Steele is always available and is able to understand our requirements and shape negotiations to achieve them.’
‘Eva Oraham delivers great service.’
Cadence Property Group
- Advised Blackstone Funds on the A$3.8bnn sale of its ‘Milestone Logistics’ portfolio to the ESR Milestone Partnership, an investment joint venture between Hong Kong-listed property manager ESR (20%) and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC (80%).
- Advising Sydney Metro on parts of the $12bn Sydney Metro Project on the property aspects for Sydney Metro West; Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport stages as well as on the activation strategy and development of land around those parts of Sydney Metro North West.
- Acting for Celestino on the development of its land in south-western Sydney for the $5bn Sydney Science Park.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth advises major investors, sponsors, corporate occupiers, commercial landlords and banks in connection with mega projects throughout Australia. In one outstanding matter, the firm is assisting Mirvac with its 3.2-hectare, AUD1bn housing development. Nathaniel Popelianski , who leads the practice from Melbourne, handles a varied portfolio of large real estate transactions. Sydney partner Peter Calov specialises in all areas of commercial property, including project development, financing, title structures and joint venture arrangements. Paul Carrick (Sydney) stands out for his expertise advising investors, developers, tenants and community-based housing providers in relation to all facets of their projects. Natalie Bryant (Sydney) frequently assists major property developers with corporate and commercial work.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Calov; Paul Carrick; Natalie Bryant; Andrew Leadston; Beth Crilly
‘The Corrs RE team are subject matter leaders in the real estate sector.’
‘Corrs has a stand-out real estate team. ’
‘What differentiates Corrs Chambers Westgarth is their ability to distill and communicate clearly complex legal advice so that it’s practical for the business to apply, giving us great business results. ’
‘The Corrs Team consistently provides professional, informed and timely advice that assist me in my decision making. I very much appreciate the patience they take with me to ensure I am fully informed and supported in all legal aspects of my projects.
‘Corrs property team have significant bench strength and experience in property and are backed up by other areas of their practice to compliment the property work which they draw on strategically and collaboratively. They enjoy a well deserved reputation as leading property legal support providers. ’
‘Nathaniel Popelienski has enviable market knowledge, a pro-active strategic approach, is pragmatic and commercial. His capabilities have earned respect across the industry, which along with his intelligent, respectful and deeply prepared negotiation style leads to great outcomes for his clients. Nathanial is well supported by Beth Crilly.’
‘We have been impressed by the practice’s ability to work across states and while running a variety of matters remotely (in the COVID-19 environment), maintain a high level of service.’
‘Paul Carrick – approachable/available, well known in the industry, good knowledge of industry, practical/commercial, good technical knowledge. Andy Leadston – approachable/available, practical/commercial, good technical knowledge, responsive.’
Mirvac (client over 20 years)
National Australia Bank (client over 10 years)
Coles Group (client for over 7 years)
Port of Melbourne
DWS (a division of Deutsche Bank)
Frasers Property Limited (client over 10 years)
Metro North Hospital and Health Service
Investa Property Group
Risland (formerly Country Garden)
Queensland Government (client over 10 years)
Stockland (client over 30 years)
Oxford Property Group
- Advising National Australia Bank (NAB) on three huge office projects, including a new Melbourne headquarters comprising a 66,000sqm tower which will be valued at close to A$1bn.
- Acting for Blackstone on the A$1bn plus divestment of retail and logistics assets.
- Advising Mirvac on its 3.2-hectare, A$1bn development, ‘Nine by Mirvac’, which will comprise a boutique collection of 460 apartments and townhouses across 10 mid-rise buildings, as well as 6,000sqm of public space.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills‘ comprehensive practice has an outstanding track record in large real estate transactions, including sales, acquisitions, and lease agreements. David Sinn leads the practice, specialising in major real estate deals. Julie Cough handles a variety of developments, leasing matters, land acquisitions and disposals, whereas Jane Hodder is a go-to partner for clients involved in property development and infrastructure projects. Hodder is advising Lendlease in relation to its residential development of Melbourne Quarter R1 East Tower. Michael Back has expertise in the build-to-rent sector, in addition to his broader real estate practice while Frank Poeta (Perth) counts developers and real estate funds among his clients. Luke Simpson in Brisbane handles large-scale complex commercial property developments across Australia (and also advises on native title matters) and the team has been further enhanced since Julie Jankowski (Brisbane) rejoined from Lendlease.
Other key lawyers:
Luke Simpson; Michael Back; Luke Simpson; Frank Poeta; Julie Jankowski; Julie Cough; Jane Hodder
Dexus and Frasers Property Australia
M&G Real Estate
Australian Industrial Energy
- Advised Ampol in relation to the establishment of a A$1.4 billion unlisted property trust that will own 203 core freehold convenience retail sites.
- Advised Allianz on the acquisition of two student accommodation assets in Melbourne for $459 million from South African REIT Redefine Properties.
- Advised Scape on the third closing of the Scape Core Fund which included the investment of an additional $300 million into the Scape Core Fund by NPS.
King & Wood Mallesons
Headquartered in Sydney, King & Wood Mallesons’ practice focuses primarily on urban renewal projects, marquee buying and selling, M&A and restructuring, however the firm also boasts considerable expertise across the full life cycle of real estate matters. Stuart Dixon-Smith, based in Sydney, handles various substantial real estate transactions and urban renewal projects; he is also well-regarded for his experience in property tax matters, structured title and debt issues. Mark Bayliss (Sydney) has an exceptional track record of advising clients on domestic and foreign private equity transactions and joint ventures targeting the real estate sector. Simone Menz (Melbourne) frequently assists real estate institutions, developers and investors with project development, investments and asset management matters. Chris Mitchell advises on large-scale residential and urban redevelopments combined with broader expertise in PPPs and and joint ventures while Emily Masters is entrusted with large-scale real estate deals by some of the biggest developers and investors in relation to acquisitions and sales of industrial, office and shopping centre real estate. Andrew Erikson is known for his acclaimed career while Jessica Wallis is one of the up-coming partners with expertise ranging from acquisitions, disposals and property finance to leasing matters. Chris Piston David Bell
Stuart Dixon; Mark Bayliss; Craig Rogers
Other key lawyers:
Simone Menz; Andrew Erikson; Chris Mitchell; Emily Masters; Jessica Wallis; Chris Pitson
‘The KWM real estate practice is great. They have invested in innovative technology to leverage efficiencies in real estate transactions, particularly in relation to due diligence and master panning projects. ’
‘Chris Pitson is terrific to work with. He is hands-on, approachable, pragmatic and thorough and manages a cohesive team of talented lawyers.’
‘The KWM Property team is the best in the business – outstanding client service and deep skills across all major offices.’
‘Our main contact is David Bell (Brisbane). David has outstanding black-letter legal skills and strong commercial judgment together with excellent client service.’
‘KWM people just get it – they deliver in a simple relaxed way and understand risk/commercial balance really well.‘
GIC Private Limited
Beijing Capital Land and FTI Consulting
Brookfield Asset Management
Dexus Property Services Pty Limited
Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW)
Pacific Alliance Group
EG Funds Management
Assembly funds management
- Advised GIC on a 25% foundation investment in the core portfolio of the newly established Dexus Australian Logistics Trust (DALT) in 2018, with put and call rights to acquire an additional 24% by June 2020.
- Advised Oxford Properties Group (OPG) on the acquisition of a 50% interest in Investa Office Management Holdings Pty Limited (IOMH) from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Holding Pty Limited, part of the Macquarie Group.
- Advised the Sunshine Coast Council and SunCentral Maroochydore Pty Ltd on the landmark development agreement and other documents that will see an investment in the order of A$2.5bn by Walker Corporation in the new Maroochydore city centre on the Sunshine Coast – one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions.
MinterEllison’s nationwide team handles strategic sales and acquisitions, assisting clients engaged in major development projects, including urban renewal and ‘smart city’ initiatives, and handles a high volume of leasing and conveyancing matter on behalf of institutional property owners and tenants. In addition, the firm has invested heavily in supporting retirement village owners with asset transactions, development and conveyancing. Virginia Briggs (Sydney) has notable expertise in capital transactions and project development. Her work includes advising Property & Development NSW and Place Management NSW on the Cockle Bay redevelopment deal. Cameron Charlton (Brisbane) co-heads the real estate group alongside Briggs, specialising in urban renewal projects and build-to-rent initiatives. Adrian Rich (Brisbane) stands out for his strong transactional real estate practice.
Virginia Briggs; Cameron Charlton; Adrian Rich; Carla Deluca; Peter Mitchell
‘I commend Minters on investing the time and effort in technology (e.g. MinterConnect) and in its staff to provide good quality service for stream leasing, which can be voluminous and fast paced. As a firm, it performs very well in this area and I feel that other national firms cannot compete on a comparable basis. ’
‘There is a genuine effort on the part of Minters to understand our business and risk appetites in real estate capital and leasing transactions.’
‘I enjoy working with Adrian Rich and Max Cameron. They are both very knowledgeable and are prepared to give pragmatic commercial advice (while balancing legal risks).’
‘Working with Lucy Forrest on a major leasing transaction earlier in 20201, I found her to be knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.’
Frasers Property Australia
Government entities (both Federal and State)
- Advising VicTrack on the sale of 13,500 square metre railyards adjacent to the Melbourne CBD – a development opportunity for a new CBD block with approximately 100,000 sqm of office, hotel and residential development. Sale is via an international EOI / RFP process.
- Represented Stockland on a put and call option deed (and contract for sale) with Johnson & Johnson to acquire the healthcare company’s 4-hectare campus in Macquarie Park and agreements regarding Johnson & Johnson’s HQ.
- Advising Development Victoria (Victorian Government lead development agency) on delivery of A$1.4 billion Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation, including complex land use planning, construction and procurement and aspects of government liaison.
Allens’ team, based in Melbourne, handles all stages of real estate projects for a wide range of domestic and international clients, including tax structuring, planning and environment issues, acquisitions, and sales. Furthermore, the firm has a very well-established investments practice, which assists pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and life insurers looking to invest in the real estate sector. David McLeish leads the team, predominantly advising clients in relation to complex structuring, development, acquisition and leasing arrangements. In Sydney, Victoria Holthouse stands out for her strong credentials in real estate finance, due diligence, property development and leasing arrangements. Tim Chislett (Melbourne) is also an outstanding member of the team, best known for handling capital transactions and real estate joint ventures.
Other key lawyers:
Victoria Holthouse; Tim Chislett; John Beckinsdale
Australian Unity No
QIC Limited No
Woolworths Limited No
Stockland Funds Management Limited No
Charter Hall No
ESR Australia No
Boyuan Holdings Limited (BHL) No
Development Victoria No
Aoyuan Property Group Pty Ltd No
Aware Super No
Altis Property Partners
- Advising a consortium of investors led by LOGOS on the acquisition of the warehouse and property development rights for Moorebank Logistics Park, Australia’s largest freight infrastructure project expected to be worth more than A$2 billion.
- Advising Development Victoria on the delivery of its $1 billion Revitalising Central Dandenong urban renewal project – which aims to rejuvenate and re-establish Dandenong’s city centre as a vibrant and thriving economic hub in Melbourne’s growing south east region.
- Advising Stockland on the formation of a joint venture capital partnership with JP Morgan Asset Management to acquire a portfolio of industrial and logistics properties worth A$110 million that is expected to expand to A$1 billion over the next three years.
With its headquarters in Sydney, Ashurst’s team expanded with the recruitment of Tim Mathers and Arthur Chong from DLA Piper in May 2020 and May 2021, respectively. Its work is extremely varied, encompassing real estate acquisitions and divestments, developments, financing arrangements and investments across various sectors, including healthcare, logistics and education. Pauline Tan , who leads the team from Sydney, stands out for handling a high volume of major real estate transactions in which she advises major property developers and investment funds. Fellow Sydney partner John Stawyskyi is also a core remember of the team, known for his dual experience in major transactions and project development. In Melbourne, Jason Cornwall-Jones is a highly active real estate partner.
Other key lawyers:
John Stawyskyi; Tim Mathers; Arthur Chong; Jason Cornwall-Jones
‘Technically excellent, highly responsive, commercial and very easy to deal with. Ashurst’s property team is a key partner in my organisation’s retail strategy, particularly in relation to commercial leasing. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.’
‘Vicki Aron – nothing is ever too difficult or too much trouble for Vicki. She always provides sound, sensible and timely advice. I trust her judgment absolutely and couldn’t recommend her highly enough.’
‘Ashurst provides exceptional service. Their Real Estate partner based in Melbourne, Australia, Arthur Chong is an excellent lawyer who takes pain to understand the client and is service-oriented. Arthur provides good value for money, ensures a quick turnaround time and offers pragmatic commercial legal advice and at reasonable rates.’
Box Hill Institute
Destination Brisbane Consortium
- Advising on PGGM’s investment into the EG Australian Core Enhanced Fund (being a real estate fund) to acquire an approximate 41% interest.
- Advising Woolworths on their agreements with Qube for the $1.2bn development of dual distribution centres at Moorebank Logistics Park, Sydney.
- Advising on the sale of a 24.5 hectare greenfield site in Mernda, as well as the development and leaseback of that site.
Headquartered in Brisbane, Norton Rose Fulbright advises numerous onshore and offshore real estate investors in relation to commercial real estate investments, and in transactions and development work targeting major sectors such as leisure, health and renewable energy. Brisbane partner Michael French stands out for his role in mega real estate transactions, both on the domestic front and internationally. Sydney partner Michael McKee is also recommended, given his expertise in project structuring, joint venture agreements and property development. Additionally, Matthew Derrick (Brisbane) stands out for his expertise in urban renewal projects, with a particular focus on the local market.
‘The NRF RE team is a strong client-focused team with good interpersonal skills with their stakeholders.’
‘Will Webster has assisted us on multiple transactions. He is calm under pressure and his availability is great.’
‘Terrific client engagement, particularly through periods of covid-19 lockdown Well resourced and efficient attendance to the subject matter.’
‘Excellent knowledge/experience in subject matter Pragmatic views and sound advice in various circumstances. Terrific communication and always swift responses. Special mention to Justin Lucas.’
Caydon Property Group
Reserve Bank of Australia
University of Wollongong
- Advising leading Asia-Pacific logistics real estate platform, ESR, on its conditional agreement to purchase Blackstone’s A$3.8 billion Milestone Logistics Portfolio – reportedly Australia’s largest ever direct real estate transaction.
- Acting for Goodman in relation to the development of Amazon’s new robotic fulfilment centre in Western Sydney – described in the press as the largest warehouse in Australia.
- Advised German supermarket giant Kaufland on the sale of its completed distribution centre in Melbourne, together with nine retail and industrial development sites across Australia.
Arnold Bloch Leibler
Arnold Bloch Leibler’s team, headquartered in Melbourne, specialises in retail, commercial, mixed-use and industrial projects. Its range of legal services includes due diligence, property acquisitions and sales, planning and environment issues, financing and development matters. Ken Gray leads the team from Melbourne, focusing primarily on commercial property transactions. In Sydney, Jonathan Caplan stands out for his expertise handling property transactions for high-net-worth individuals and large real estate companies. Gia Cari (Melbourne) is also a core member of the team, known for handling a varied portfolio of real estate transactions and development projects.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Caplan; Gia Cari
‘ABL is an easy choice given the high quality of senior lawyers, commercial advice, commerciality and overall culture of integrity.’
‘Jonathan Caplan, who I consider the best property lawyer in Australia. Exceptional understanding of the law, highly commercial and resolute in looking after the client’s best interests. Always available, work ethic is amazing.’
‘Very adaptable partners able to work across disciplines. ’
‘Tyrone McCarthy is an exceptional lawyer with a huge capacity to manage complex transcations.’
- Acted for Riverlee in relation to the development of one of Australia’s biggest residential projects – Lovely Banks – a proposed suburb covering about 1,500 hectares in Northern Geelong.
- Advised Charter Hall on its acquisition to acquire 49% stake in $1.4bn Ampol portfolio.
- Acted for Gurner™ and joint venture equity partner, Qualitas on the revamp of Melbourne’s historic Chapel Street ‘Jam Factory’ landmark.
From its headquarters in Sydney, Baker McKenzie advises domestic and international corporates, financial institutions and government bodies in relation to real estate transactions, with a particular focus on the hotel and tourism industry. In addition, the team frequently advises overseas investors engaged in the Australian real estate market, leveraging its multijurisdictional connections. Sebastian Busa (Sydney) specialises in logistics, retail and mixed-use developments, boasting particular expertise in joint ventures. Graeme Dickson (Sydney) leads the firm’s hotel practice, which involves acting for domestic clients and companies operating throughout APAC. Another key partner is Roy Melick (Sydney), who is noted for his expertise in the sale and acquisition of commercial CBD buildings, mixed-use developments and shopping centres. Dora Stilianos (Melbourne) has a broad practice advising on substantial developments including mixed use and high-end residential off-plan subdivisions and commercial and industrial leasing.
Other key lawyers:
Graeme Dickson; Roy Melick; Dora Stilianos; Sarah Merrett; Rebecca Tan
‘The real estate team at Baker McKenzie Sydney/Brisbane are practical, strategic and supportive of client needs. They follow up on action items and provide insights as well as good legal analysis and writing.’
‘Very professional team who give solid commercial advice. The team went the extra mile in terms of availability and meeting deal deadlines. ’
‘Roy Melick and Sarah Merrett work together well despite being in different cities. Their teamwork is integrated and not duplicative.’
‘Graeme Dickson: A seasoned and well-experienced senior professional with the ability to understand the big picture and wider context of the matters.’
Kerrie Duong: Very sharp & astute Senior Associate.Kerrie is pragmatic and yet diplomatic in her approach and is a charming influencer who has been able to assist & successfully deliver in the most complex (and often exasperating) matters.’
‘Rebecca Tan: A highly reliable, learned & intelligent Associate who demonstrates her grasp & understanding of all important matters comprehensively.’
‘Bilal Ambikapathy is not only an experienced senior lawyer in the hospitality agreements in general but is also a highly recognized and very well-known authority on all matters residential (and particularly branded residential) management agreements in the region.’
‘Dora and Emilie are experts in their field and focus on delivering a solution that matches the client’s needs and risk appetite. Both have the ability to “see around corners” and head off potential issues before they become problems.’
AEW Capital Management
Home Consortium Limited
- Advised Home Consortium Limited on all real estate-related aspects of the A$325m ASX listing of HomeCo’s Daily Needs REIT with retail assets in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, including the acquisition of 8 major centres from the listed Home Consortium and acquisition of an eighth centre in Victoria for A$55.6m.
- Represented Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) in intense negotiations – against all the major operators – of up to 29 hotel and branded residence agreements for an A$33bn development in Riyadh.
- Advised L.E.P.C9 Pty Ltd on the sale of the Nine Network headquarters site, which is the subject of a development application set to transform the area into a mixed-use community precinct comprised of 460 new dwellings and 6,000 sq/m of public space.
Colin Biggers & Paisley
Colin Biggers & Paisley’s team, based in Melbourne, handles contentious and non-contentious work in the real estate sector, including property development, corporate transactions and disputes relating to issues generated by the pandemic. Practice head Rhett Oliver (Melbourne) utilizes two decades of industry experience to provide clients with comprehensive support during real estate projects, encompassing planning and zoning, acquisitions, disposals and title issues. Brisbane partner Matthew Castley focuses on all areas of commercial property law, however he has particular strength in property acquisitions and leasing arrangements. Associate Elyse Di Stefano is also recommended, given her expansive practice in the real estate industry.
‘The litigant team have a distinct focus on alternate solutions to best serve the economic outcome for the client even if there are strong legal reasons to take the matter further. They are very happy to bring together round table discussions to identify the best approach for the client.’
‘Most in the legal sector only consider the best legal outcome, not the best outcome. CBP stands out in this aspect.’
‘The firm has a strong Real Estate Group that work together across the east coast. They are experts in their field and offer top-tier service without the top-tier cost.’
‘Bob Miljevic is our go-to partner for property transactions and difficult matters. ’
‘The team is diversified and has strong experience across all facets of property, finance, construction and transactions .
‘They are fair on billing and find very client focused cost effective solutions to transactions and project teams’
‘Rhett Oliver is very strong and astute in commercial drafting and negotiation. He finds practical solutions to all commercial matters he is directing and is invaluable at directing the firms resources to projects and transaction teams.’
‘Matt Casteley’s skill in lease negotiation, not only drafting, but in dealing with the other side to work through drafting and documentation is enormous. Natalie Humzy Hancock is also very good in this area. Nathan Rhimes in complex leasing and commercial agreements. Nathan Abbott in Construction and disputes.’
Australia YMCI Pty Limited
- Advising Macpro Properties on a daily basis to formulate the most effective strategies to make appropriate rent relief arrangements with tenants during COVID-19, allowing them to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis with no tenancy disputes requiring mediation, minimal closures of businesses and satisfactory outcomes in relation to rent relief, arrears management and preservation of income.
- Advised Deicorp on the tender documents, option agreements, purchase of the property, stamp duty and revenue matters, and off-the-plan sales for 16 buildings and about 1000 homes to be built.
- Assisted Chobani in preparing an Agreement to Lease and Lease relating to the extension and new construction of buildings pertaining to Chobani head office and specialist manufacturing/cold storage facilities.
Based in Melbourne, Gadens Lawyers offers assistance with real estate transactions, development projects and leasing, including stream leasing arrangements. It is particularly well-known for its investment in retail, commercial and mixed-use developments, as well as matters in the care home sector. Andrew Kennedy (Melbourne) specialises in the acquisition and disposal of commercial properties. Brihony Boan (Melbourne) and associate Karena Leung (Melbourne) both have standout experience in commercial leasing, property sales and acquisitions. Partners Liam Chambers and Andrea Towson joined the firm in March 2021 from Allens and DWF, respectively.
Barwon Investment Partners
- Advised AMP Capital Investors regarding the Karrinyup Shopping Centre; has been the key legal advisor on all material property matters relating to the site. This includes all majors and international leasing, all retail leasing and building and construction matters.
- Advised Cbus Property on the purchase, development and construction financing of 75% interest in 135 Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra from Alkero Development Pty Ltd.
- Advise Primewest on the acquisition of a number of agricultural properties including Lamattina Celery Farm, the second property to be acquired under Primewest’s recently established agricultural trust.
Headquartered in Melbourne, Hall & Wilcox focuses on assisting clients in relation to REITs, property development, public infrastructure and large leasing portfolios. Its track record in public sector-led projects is particularly strong, especially in the healthcare and affordable housing sectors. Natalie Bannister (Melbourne) has experience in all areas of property development, including complex planning and compliance matters related to heritage issues, native title and environmental matters. John O’Kane (Melbourne) handles commercial arrangements relating to real estate developments, including joint venture agreements. The firm strengthened its national and Western Australian commercial property practice with the hire of a team from Kott Gunning including Emma Leys in its Perth office.
Natalie Bannister; John O’Kane
Other key lawyers:
Arena REIT Management Limited
Banner Asset Management
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation
Compass Housing Services Co Ltd
Plenary Group Pty Ltd
Fletcher Building Group Ltd
Archland Property Group
Greater Geelong City Council
Mr John Kilpatrick
Victorian School Building Authority
- Acted as sole legal adviser to Arena REIT Management Limited as it continues to acquire of social infrastructure assets nationally, bringing the current value of assets under management to A$914m.
- Acting for HCCDC in relation to two major urban renewal projects in Newcastle, each valued in excess of A$200m.
- Advising Fletcher Building Group with ongoing strategic property advice including disposal of property holdings valued at A$60m in the past 12 months.
McCullough Robertson’s team, based in Brisbane, has a strong real estate practice in the education, energy and leisure sectors. Additionally, the firm is known for advising major landowners in relation to monetising their rural assets, and acting for international developers engaged in Australian construction projects. Kristan Conlon leads the practice, focusing on assisting developers with acquisitions and sales; she also advises listed landlords and tenants in relation to real estate transactions. Ian Hazzard in Brisbane and Eva Vicic in Sydney are also core members of the team.
‘Availability, I need access to advice in a timely manner, this always occurs.’
‘Ian Hazzard is brilliant, very appreciative of his support.’
Stockwell Funds Management
Prime Super Pty Limited
City of Darwin
Rural Funds Group
Hope Island Resort
Frasers Property Australia
Palgrove / NZ Super
Dentons’ team, headquartered in Sydney, specialises in residential development and possesses additional expertise in matters regarding Foreign Investment Review Board regulations in the real estate sector. Furthermore, the firm has a strong track record of advising clients on leasing arrangements, including a large volume of lease variations. John Grimble (Sydney) assists clients with acquisitions, disposals, and project development, focusing predominantly on the industrial and retail sectors. In Perth, Natasha Murgatroyd stands out for her expertise handling due diligence, purchase documentation and lease agreements.
‘Leading industry expertise, knowledge of our business and the commercial focus and availability are what makes them strong.’
‘Dentons’ in-depth knowledge and expertise helps our business and adds value in meaningful ways.’
‘The team provides strategic and commercially relevant advice in a timely manner.’
‘The team is responsive, communicative and consistently helps us achieve our objectives.’
‘David Sharpe helps clients navigate through complex legal problems by delivering innovative and commercially relevant solutions in a proactive manner.’
Elanor Investors Group
Risland Australia Pty Ltd
Property Bank Australia
Housing Choices of South Australia
- Acted for Elanor Investors Group on the sale of a significant retail shopping centre in Sydney.
- Acting for Mirvac on a major residential project, The Village, Menangle, a residential master-planned community located in Sydney’s South West.
- Advising Risland Australia on its development and off-the-plan sales of the greenfield master-planned community, Wilton Greens, which commenced selling in September 2020.
DLA Piper’s team acts for foreign investors in high value property acquisitions and disposals focused on the domestic real estate market. Les Koltai leads the team from Sydney, utilizing over thirty years’ experience in the field to support clients with complex capital transactions, including the use of trusts and Australian overseas acquisition structures. Kate Pickthall (Sydney) is recommended for her expertise in advising institutional investors and emerging investors in capital transactions involving real estate assets. Perth partner Eagul Faigen has notable experience in large capital transactions and leasing arrangements, both in the private and public sector.
‘Stephanie Lambert is our go-to lawyer for large transaction-based property work. There is never anything too big or small for her team to handle. She has a great depth in her team and we can talk to any member at any time. ’
‘Kate Pickthall and Carolyn Harding-Smith were tireless, fastidious and responsive. They assisted with a long-lasting deal with an extremely challenging counterparty, but were always patient and proactive in offering commercially sensible solutions.’
‘Jose de Ponte also stood out with excellent subject area expertise and as a robust negotiator.’
‘The team has excellent cross-practice integration and can seamlessly draw upon expertise from different departments as needed.’
Gilbert + Tobin
Gilbert + Tobin expanded its team with the recruitment of several lawyers including senior associate Teodora Lomaca (Clyde & Co) and special counsel Bhavini Sundarjee (Charter Hall). Practice head Amanda Hempel, based in Sydney, specialises in advising clients on all aspects of infrastructure projects, residential and commercial developments and tenant representation. Elias Stephen (Sydney) is also a core member of the practice, given his experience in a wide range of commercial and corporate real estate deals, particularly in the hotel and leisure sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Elias Stephen; Teodor Lomaca; Bhavini Sundarjee
‘Strong work ethic and desire to understand the client’s motivations and goals, and thus represent most effectively. Commercial and respected.’
‘Elias Stephen – partner – strong commerce, negotiations, relationships, understanding of clients.’
AIP Asset Management
Altis Property Partners
APN Property Group
Cedar Pacific Investment Management
Health Infrastructure NSW
- Advised Altis and Frasers Property on its approx. $1bn corporate and real estate joint venture in relation to the acquisition and development of industrial assets at the Mamre Road Precinct in Western Sydney.
- Advised Iris Capital on the purchase of 17 Ibis Budget hotels from AccorInvest by way of asset sale, valued at $180m. This was the largest portfolio hotel transaction in Australia in 2020.
- Advised Aware Super, by its investment manager Altis Property Partners, on an investment-grade portfolio of acquisitions and projects, project delivery agreements, and property management agreements as part of Aware’s investment in key-worker affordable housing and build-to-rent projects across Australia, with an estimated combined value of $1bn.
Based in Sydney, K&L Gates has expertise in commercial, residential, industrial and mixed-use developments, providing comprehensive support which includes handling capital transactions, planning and environment issues and tax structuring. It is particularly invested, however, in assisting clients with their expansion programmes, capital reallocation strategies and strategic divestments. Jennifer Degotardi has a strong practice in government-led real transport and infrastructure projects, in which she advises on a wide range of corporate and regulatory matters. Samuel Brown is recommended for his experience in the investment and project development space.
Other key lawyers:
Jennifer Degotardi; Samuel Brown
‘The practice can handle large matters and small matters. Regardless of the scale or size of the matter, the practice treats all matters with the same attentiveness and level of expertise.’
‘The practice is also our ‘go to’ practice for complex matters, or transactions that require a bespoke, robust, and commercial approach. This is of great comfort for a client, as we know we can go to the practice for all our matters.’
‘K&L Gates has invested in technology enabling the use of e-contracts for large-scale apartment buildings. It allows all stakeholders to access a dashboard and view the progress of apartment projects in real-time. It’s a more efficient way of doing business and has also brought down the cost of conveyancing significantly. It also increases productivity for us as the client so we can focus on our core business expertise rather than legal administration. It also provides a very accessible and cost-effective level of transparency.’
‘Will Grinter has provided top-tier, seamless service. What is most impressive is that when we brief Will and K&L Gates, we know that we are being represented by the smartest people. There is great comfort in knowing that when entering into a transaction worth millions of dollars. ’
‘The team understands our corporate risk structure and provides advice accordingly.’
‘K&L Gates are good performers and represent reasonable value for money.’
‘Our main contact is Randall Gerkens (Melbourne). Randall has a wealth of experience in property transactions and is an outstanding negotiator bringing a laser-like focus to solving the critical issues.’
NSW Government (including the Transport cluster, Land and Housing Corporation and DPIE)
Local Government Super
Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd
RATCH Australia Corporation
NSW Ports Pty Ltd
Port of Brisbane
Telstra Corporation Limited
Bensons Property Group
National Australia Bank
City of Sydney
Evolution Trustees Limited
Springfield City Group
John Hancock Financial Services Inc.
Nutrien Ag Solutions Ltd
Generator Property Management
Opal Aged Care
- Acted for NSW Ports, the owner of Port Kembla, to negotiate agreements to enable the development and operation of a liquid natural gas (LNG) import facility at Port Kembla in NSW.
- Advised on The Moonee Valley Racecourse Redevelopment, an unprecedented urban renewal project comprising 9 hectares of land in close proximity to Melbourne’s central business district.
- Acting on the development of the M-City project in Melbourne’s south east – a mixed use project outside the Melbourne CBD including over 600 residential apartments a retail centre, office component and a hotel with an end value in excess of A$1000m.
Maddocks‘ team, divided between Sydney and Melbourne, is best known for its expertise in infrastructure projects. In addition, the team regularly advises government bodies in connection with property developments, handling project procurement, leasing, acquisitions and divestments. Melbourne partner Marine Nincevic tends to act for local government bodies in relation to major regeneration projects. Guy O’Connor (Melbourne) has extensive experience acting for a wide range of clients, including investors, developments and government departments, in relation to local real estate projects.
Alicia Albury; Marine Nincevic; Nick Holuigue
Commonwealth Government of Australia Departments & Agencies
NSW and Victorian State Governments
Numerous NSW and Victoria local councils
La Trobe University
GARDA Capital Ltd
3L Alliances Pty Ltd
Sirius Developments Pty Ltd
Niagara Bottling LLC
- Acting for Wyndham City Council in negotiating and reviewing documents to support a development agreement with the WMG development entity for the development of 15,000 seat rectangular stadium of national standard, training facilities, residential and commercial development.
- Acting for SPV of Vestas, the proponent of Winterbourne Wind Farm, on all real estate aspects of the wind farm, a significant new wind farm developments in Australia.
- Advising Tong Eng on a complex, $145m acquisition of a multi-tenanted commercial building in Melbourne CBD.
Squire Patton Boggs’ Sydney practice focuses on urban renewal projects, commercial and retail leasing, structured investment, and disposals. Its work also encompasses projects in the hospitality and leisure sectors. Michael Swift combines extensive real estate expertise with large-scale infrastructure projects and Mary Pringle is well-versed in project development. Margie Tannock left the firm in early 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Swift; Mary Pringle
‘Always available and competent.’
Far East Consortium
Thomson Geer’s practice specialises in leasing, capital transactions and renewable energy projects. Barbara Callanan , based in Perth, specialises in regulatory compliance, environmental issues, governance matters and litigation. In Adelaide, Chris Kelly handles numerous commercial acquisitions, leasing transactions, infrastructure, and renewable energy projects. Fellow Adelaide partner David Beer has notable experience in sales and purchases, leasing, building contracts and land divisions. Eu Ming Lim (Melbourne) is also recommended given his expertise in real estate transactions.
- Advising Dato Holdings Pty Ltd on the $100m redevelopment of the Kardinya Park District Shopping Centre.
- Acting on behalf of Dexus Property Group on the lease to Amazon at 2 Momentum Way, Ravenhall, Victoria.
- Acted for Dexus Property Group on the acquisition by Dexus Australian Logistics Trust of a new Ford Facility and fund under a development management arrangement to achieve practical completion of construction also practical completion and lease commencement under Ford Australia AFL.
Well know Perth firm, Jackson McDonald has notable experience in urban development, which is supplemented by broader capabilities in leasing, structured property transactions, real estate litigation and aged care projects. Simon Moen leads the team, advising property developers, local governments and NGOs in relation to the structuring and implementation of real estate projects, joint ventures, land and development agreements. Ryan Chorley is also recommended, given his extensive experience in tenant leasing, acquisitions and disposals. Bianca McGoldrick has strong credentials in the retirement village and aged care sector.
‘Commercial acumen and customer service focus.’
‘Understanding the commercial imperative and translating the legal position into a mutually satisfactory outcome.’
Canci Property group
Southern Cross Care Inc
Georgiou Capital and Georgiou Developments
City of South Perth
City of Fremantle
- Advised Westchester Group in relation to the purchase of a number of grain and wheat assets in Western Australia.
- Advised St Ives on all aspects of its business including buying and selling assets, agreements with residents, legal compliance and regulatory compliance.
- Advised a major global build to rent fund in relation to two builds to rent developments in Western Australia, the first developments of this class in the Western Australian market.
Headquartered in Sydney, Johnson Winter & Slattery advises a wide range of clients, including real estate holding companies, investors and developers, in relation to the full spectrum of commercial and corporate matters, with a particular focus on agribusiness and forestry developments. Peter Trevaskis (Sydney) co-leads the practice alongside Carrie Follas (Sydney), who is known for her expertise in investment, supply and management matters in the agribusiness sector. David Colenso (Brisbane) has particular strength in property investments and joint ventures.
Peter Trevaskis; Carrie Follas
‘They are practical in solutions and getting work done.’
‘Carrie Follas is practical and knows the agribusiness industry well.’
Wee Hur Group
Elanor Investors Group
Brisbane Hebrew Congregation
Pipeclay Lawson Ltd
- Advised Wee Hur Group on its acquisition of a $46.1m site in Sydney’s Redfern, following its recent acquisition in Moore Street, Canberra.
- Advised Elanor Investors Group on the acquisition of 4 assets for the recently established managed fund, Elanor Healthcare Real Estate Fund.
- Advising Microsoft on the acquisition and development of data centre sites in Australia under a range of delivery models including freehold, fund through, ground lease, joint venture and co-location arrangements.
Lander & Rogers
Lander & Rogers’ Melbourne practice specialises in acquisitions and sales, leasing arrangements and cross-border investment deals in the retail, office and industrial industries. John Wells leads the team, possessing particular expertise in real estate acquisitions and sales, leasing, joint ventures and investments. Lisa Gaddie is a standout partner given her depth of experience in private and public sector real estate transactions and infrastructure projects. Nick Stocks is another core member of the firm’s transactional real estate practice.
‘John Wells is very user-friendly and an excellent lawyer. ’
‘Lisa Gaddie provides practical, quick and commercial advice. She is very responsive and cost-effective.’
‘Deep sector knowledge and experience and focus on deepening deal value/impact particularly across the office, industrial and retail sectors.’
Hines Australia Pty Ltd (Hines)
ARA LOGOS Logistics Trust
Centuria Industrial REIT
LOGOS Property Group
Australian Rail Track Corporation Limited (ARTC)
- Advised ARA Logos Logistics Trust regarding its acquisition of 5 industrial properties in Brisbane, Queensland for $225.9m (approx.) and the parallel acquisitions of stakes in two industrial property-owning funds holding properties in New South Wales and Victoria.
- Advised an independent fund and asset manager on the acquisition of a portfolio of industrial, office and residential assets (over 40 in total) located in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland, which were acquired for over $200m.
- Advised Credit Suisse on its acquisition of a high profile but underperforming retail shopping centre in the Melbourne central business district worth $121m.
Mills Oakley Lawyers is best known for handling commercial, industrial and residential projects, especially sales and acquisitions. James Price leads the team from Melbourne, specialising in commercial development contracts, sales and leases. Tim L’Orange (Sydney) stands out for his well-rounded experience in retail developments and industrial projects; Patrick Thaung (Perth) is well-known for his strong track record in commercial real estate transactions and Catherine Hallgath (Sydney) regularly advises institutional property trusts and landlords in relation to development projects.
James Price; Tim L’Orange; Tony Butler; Adam Peppinck; Patrick Thaung
‘Good property team that ‘goes the extra mile’, access to partners plus great senior associates, cost-conscious, practical and proactive.’
‘Tim L’Orange – always makes himself available, values clients, solutions-focused, good technical skills and practical advice.’
Blackstone Real Estate
Investa Property Group
Far East Organization
China Investment Corporation (Leader AutaInvest)
- Advised Blackstone on the $116m sale of 338 Bradman Avenue, Acacia Ridge, Queensland.
- Advised Woolworths on a transaction comprising a string of shopping centre sales by Woolworths Limited during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic sold to different purchasers.
- Advised Mirvac on the redevelopment of the office tower of 55 Market St, Sydney.
Moray & Agnew
Moray & Agnew focuses on commercial, industrial, and retail developments, handling both transactional and contentious matters, including sales and acquisitions, leasing and project financing. Sallie Bowtell and David Gandolfo lead the Melbourne team; Fiona Nelson and Jim Griffiths lead the team in Newcastle. In Canberra, Emma Reilly is the practice leader, bringing notable expertise in contentious property law (and professional indemnity and personal injury insurance claims in the construction industry). Senior associates John Wu and Kellie Ross are also recommended.
Sallie Bowtell; David Gandolfo; Fiona Nelson; Jim Griffiths; Emma Reilly
‘The team has a wealth of knowledge in many areas and are able to consult with each other to give you the best outcome in a reasonable time frame. ’
‘I have dealt with David Gandolfo over a few years now and his property law knowledge stands out from many others.’
‘Sallie Bowtall is an extremely capable and confident partner.’
‘John Wu is efficient, quick in responding to client’s queries, possessing business acumen and excellent strategic thinking.’
Centennial Property Group
HB Commerce Pty Ltd/VidaXL
IWG – TLA Australia Pty Ltd
State Government of Victoria
University of Newcastle
Virgate Development Group
Camden Council (NSW)
City of Newcastle (NSW)
City of Sydney (NSW)
Cushman & Wakefield
Pantone Developments Pty Ltd
G3 Development Group
Hunter Water Corporation
Liuzzi Property Group
Maitland City Council (NSW)
Matrix Concepts Group
Moremas Land Group
Spacious Property Group
Tal GP Pty Ltd
Third Age Villages
City of Melbourne,
City of Kingston
City of Geelong
Macedon Ranges Shire Council
City of Stonnington
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
Insight Early Learning
- Advised Pelligra Group on the acquisition of Ford Motor Company’s portfolio of sites across Victoria.
- Advised University of Newcastle on all aspects of its strategically significant land acquisitions and disposals in the Newcastle CBD and Hunter region as part of its continued campus expansion and restructure, all its leasing matters, and assisting with formulating its delivery strategy and all associated contracts, and tendering processes.
- Advised HB Commerce / VidaXL on the negotiation of a sale and development agreement – a transaction representing one of the largest in Melbourne’s industrial subsector.
Piper Alderman advises a diverse range of clients, including institutional investors, developers, landlords and tenants, in relation to leasing transactions, risk management and project development. Brisbane partner Mark Askin and Adelaide partner Adam Rinaldi lead the team, specialising in real estate transactions, including leasing, acquisitions, and sales. Mark Askin, who is also based in Brisbane, has a strong reputation for advising property institutions and REITs in relation to capital transactions. In Sydney, Margot King is a standout partner, given her depth of expertise in urban renewable and infrastructure projects, in which she focuses primarily on risk assessment.
‘Piper Alderman are experts in their field and are prompt and efficient when dealing with Leases and Tenants.’
‘Diversity is strong with a good mix of people from different backgrounds. Collaboration is very good. High level of interaction.’
‘Very knowledgeable and great team to work with; tasks are always completed in a cost-effective and timely manner.’
‘Mark Askin is an outstanding individual, he has great knowledge and is a relationship builder. Mark has really added value to our organisation.’
Alceon Group Pty Limited
Broadmoor Private Investments Limited
Charter Hall Group
Duxton Group of Companies
FRP Capital Pty Ltd
Growthpoint Properties Australia
Penfold Property Group
Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd
Tian An Australia Limited
Warakirri Asset Management Limited
- Advising Chinese renewables company Maoneng in relation to solar, wind and battery renewables projects.
- Advised Charter Hall on its divestment of a national portfolio of 9 strategically located automotive dealership assets across 4 different states to Eagers Automotive in two tranches for $181m.
- Advised Duxton Group of Companies on the sale of a 217,000 hectare cattle station in Queensland for approximately $23m.