John Wells 01


Property ownership is often considered to be the cornerstone of our nation's wealth. The property industry is a fast paced, constantly changing sector and our property team is at the forefront of advising our clients on those changes.

Our team has extensive experience on a range of property transactions including acquisition/disposition, development and property portfolio management.

We have acted for a broad range of Australian and international clients from listed property trusts, public and large private companies, major Australian retailers, property developers, landlords, tenants, financiers and joint ventures.

Creating an environment which enhances and facilitates commercial enterprise is the key driver for success for owners, users, managers and suppliers of real estate across these industry sectors.

Our team has an intimate understanding of every aspect of asset delivery and operation in the commercialretail and industrial markets.

Our services

Acquisitions and disposals

Our work in this area includes commercial, industrial, retail and residential property, REITs, broadacre and greenfield developments, and involves both due diligence services and large scale legal project management.

We regularly advise on major national acquisition or divestment programs, including preparation of project-specific standard suites of documents and conducting negotiations with various affected stakeholders.

We provide advice to all sectors of the property industry, including many listed and unlisted property trusts. We provide advice on developments where joint venture parties are involved.

Our experience includes:

  • Acquisitions, including full due diligence of property and planning issues
  • Disposals, including vendor due diligence
  • Development arrangements, including agreements to build and lease and other development management agreements and joint ventures
  • Put and call options
  • Structuring
  • Infrastructure and services delivery, including road dedication
  • Titling, including stratum, strata, subdivisions
  • Consolidations, easements, covenants
  • Authority interface
  • Planning and environment issues


We have worked within the rural sector for many years and have well developed expertise in the area including in:

  • feed lots
  • transport
  • water licensing
  • commodity storage
  • rural finance

We have strong relationships across rural Australia and our team understands the sector and its major participants. This experience allows us to provide sophisticated and relevant advice to our clients, as well as delivering cost effective outcomes.

We acted on a number of feedlot transactions, including the acquisition of a major NSW-based feedlot. This included conducting due diligence on the property and business including water licences, easements, planning permits and lease leases, while also preparing and negotiating the land and water acquisition contracts.

Hotels, tourism and leisure

This sector generally involves strict legislative and regulatory regimes with which we are well acquainted. Our clients rely on us to structure transactions that not only comply with applicable legislation, but also provide a commercial advantage over their competitors.

We have direct experience of working with clients across a range of leisure industries - including casino, hotel and resort owners and operators, international airlines, clubs and sporting associations, and venue owners and operators... Read more about our work relating to hotels, tourism and leisure


Our team has very broad experience in assisting clients in managing their property assets and the relevant legal relationships and agreements underpinning their revenue streams from these assets.

We have a particular expertise in advising on leasing, licensing and associated asset management transactions from both a landlord and a tenant perspective. We have a proven track record in successfully navigating the particular leasing requirements applying across Australia.

Our work ranges from agreements for lease to leases of existing buildings and other related transactions such as subleases, licences and lease surrenders. We advise clients nationally on their rights and obligations under the various States’ retail tenancy legislation.

In particular, our experience and expertise includes:

  • Preparing agreements for lease, leases, sub-leases, licences and other ancillary documents for all types of retail, commercial, office and industrial premises
  • Providing general advice about the application of the retail tenancy legislation applying in each jurisdiction
  • Preparing lessor and lessee disclosure statements, retail leases and agreements for lease for speciality shops and major tenancies
  • Preparing deeds of surrender, variations of lease, assignors’ and assignees’ disclosure statements, deeds of consent, assignments of lease and licence agreements
  • Providing advice on the general rights and obligations of the parties under retail and other leases and on any disputes which may arise
  • Preparing and serving notices of default and where necessary liaising with our litigation team to recover any debt owed under the lease and advising on administration and receivership
  • Providing advice in relation to terminating a lease following a party’s default. 


We have strong expertise in the legislative regimes applying to Australian ports. Our team advises on portfolio management strategy and optimising portfolio value, including both wet and dry construction, leasing, development, acquisitions and disposals.

We also have experience in South America, conducting due diligence on a deep water infrastructure project within a regional port. We act for a major national port and act for the developer of Queenscliff Harbour.

We are well placed to advise both tenants looking to secure access to port premises, as well as advising port operators and landlords on documenting transactions, formulating strategy and maintaining optimal operational flexibility. 

Property and leasing disputes

It is an unfortunate reality that, from time to time, the acquisition, development and operation of property assets will lead to disputes. Find out more about how we can assist with property and leasing disputes.  


We provide a full range of legal services to many Australian REITs, working with them across the entire acquisition, management and divestment cycle.  We provide legal services around the: 

  • acquisition of particular property assets
  • management of those assets (including tenancy agreements, service contracts and financing agreements)
  • divestment or redevelopment of assets

We provide our services within the context of helping REITs maximise the income streams from these assets, to ensure maximum shareholder returns. In advising on transactions and asset management, we also understand the need for risk management around our clients' respective market profiles and business strategies, and tailor our advice and services accordingly. 

Residential and affordable housing

This sector is unique in its legislative regime, statutory compliance and funding issues. Our team understands all aspects of this market and in particular, our understanding of the drivers behind affordable housing projects – for example, location, funding and construction constraints - enables us to quickly assist transaction participants to find common ground without wasting time or money.

The particular funding requirements and constraints of many participants in the sector means we need to be innovative in our transaction structuring, and our clients rely on us to find a commercial resolution to often complex transaction challenges. Our experience in the sector ranges from broad acre subdivisions to residential apartment towers. We also have strong knowledge of the NRAS scheme and the opportunities it presents both the affordable housing and private investor markets.

All services