Stephen’s practice reflects a career that has its foundations in property and business. His clients include property owners and developers, business owners, franchise chains and other corporates.
Over the course of his career, Stephen has acted in the sale and purchase of investment properties; development sites, including Melbourne landmarks; farms; countless hotels; aged care facilities; and other businesses.
Stephen has acted for national retail chains, including franchised chains, in acquiring sites, negotiating leases and assisting with the management of their property portfolios. He works closely with our corporate team on the property aspects of mergers and acquisitions.
Clients consider him a skilled negotiator who takes a commercial approach to efficiently achieve desired outcomes.
- the sale and purchase of farms and other rural properties. Recently, he has acted in two purchases of Western District farms and a sale. In each case, the properties resulted from the aggregation of dozens of smaller farms. These properties were among the 10 most valuable farms to have changed hands in Victoria in recent years;
- the sale of a development site in South Melbourne with a permit for more than 1000 residential apartments;
- the restructure of, and the day to day issues arising from a fifty strong Victorian Hotel portfolio. Stephen’s legal tasks included liquor licensing advice, acting in leases, sub-leases, tenancy disputes, supply agreements and ultimately, the sale of the portfolio. Stephen’s role included the management of the due diligence and tender processes, preparation of sale documentation, drafting of ongoing commercial agreements, negotiating consents from landlords, and devising and implementing strategies to minimise ongoing liability under leases;
- acting on a $1 billion project for a racing club via a competitive tender for the right to develop surplus land;
- acting in the property aspects of an oil company’s deal for the agreement to lease 80 petrol stations around Australia and the subsequent sale of some of those service stations to various investment syndicates; and
- acting in the leases and pre-lease agreements for national fast-food chains and the sale of some of those sites to investors.