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Stephen Sharp

About Stephen

Stephen Sharp practises in commercial and property law with a strong emphasis on property-related finance and development matters. Combining a superior technical knowledge with a broad business perspective, Stephen can identify and negotiate the most appropriate ownership structure, financing and exit mechanisms to match a client’s commercial objectives.

He is a clear thinker and gives common-sense advice that he links into good legal practice.

Client quote, Chambers Global

Stephen Sharp is consistently ranked as a leading lawyer in the areas of property finance, corporate finance and real estate in a number of prominent international guides to law firms, including The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Chambers Global  and IFLR 1000. He has been highlighted in Chambers Global  as being valued for his “terrific broad knowledge of property” and described by sources as “well known to lenders because he understands their positions, takes a highly commercial approach, understands the legal framework, and is accessible and easy to get along with”. Chambers also references that “sources especially praise his commerciality and negotiation skills, with one noting ‘He is a clear thinker and gives common-sense advice that he links into good legal practice.’”. The Legal 500 Asia Pacific  has cited sources commenting that Stephen “knows the finance and development industry better than anyone else in Melbourne”. Stephen is also recognised by Best Lawyers® International  in the area of banking and finance law. Most recently, Stephen was ranked by Doyle’s Guide  as ‘recommended’ in the category of Leading Banking & Finance Lawyers  Melbourne, 2016.

Stephen takes a comprehensive approach to commercial and property matters and manages complex transactions from beginning to end in a timely and efficient manner. He draws on his extensive network of contacts in the banking, private and structured capital environment to give clients financing and take-out solutions that are realistic and commercially focused.

Stephen joined Arnold Bloch Leibler as an articled clerk in 1987 and was admitted to the partnership in 1992.

Practice focus

Stephen heads the banking & finance department and is a member of the commercial & corporate and property & development practices. His practice focuses on the following areas:
  • property finance, acting for borrowers and lenders in the full spectrum of financing transactions at the senior, mezzanine and equity levels; and
  • development and long-term ownership joint ventures.

Directorships & memberships

Stephen also has a strong commitment to community interests having commenced serving as a board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Australia in 1998 and as its current national Chairman.

Experience

Stephen has been the lead practitioner on many commercial transactions, including on behalf of:

  • Charter Hall and Host Plus: in relation to the acquisition of a $603 million sale and leaseback portfolio from ALH;
  • Charter Hall and Telstra Super: in relation to their co-investment in Bunnings property portfolios and other retail assets;
  • Charter Hall, Telstra Super and Victorian Funds Management Corporation: in relation to the creation, debt and equity funding and industrial property portfolio acquisitions by the Core Logistics Partnership Trust;
  • Telstra Super: in relation to property and infrastructure investments, including the equity and loan facilities for the Adelaide Tax Office project, the co-investment in the Barangaroo Office project in NSW, co investments with Charter Hall for the acquisition of Woolworths and Bunnings property portfolios, the acquisition and development of the Brisbane Bus Depot, and the acquisition of notes issued for the funding of the Rivercity Motorway in Brisbane;
  • MAB Corporation: in relation to residential and commercial developments, including each residential and office precinct at Docklands, the University Hill retail and residential project at Bundoora, and the Buxton / Gibson joint venture at Merrifield;
  • the Besen, Highpoint and Sussan Groups: in relation to numerous projects, including the sale (and co-ownership arrangements) of a 50 per cent interest in Highpoint Shopping Centre;
  • Baron Corporation: in relation to residential and commercial developments, including the former Southern Cross Hotel office project (in conjunction with Multiplex and Babcock & Brown), the Clarendon Towers residential project and most recently the WRAP residential project (in conjunction with Qualitas, Leighton and Baracon);
  • R Corporation: in relation to residential and commercial developments, including the Metropol residential project, the Botanicca office project, Richmond, and most recently the Clara Mews residential project, South Yarra;
  • Lustig & Moar Group: in relation to the Melbourne Grand Hyatt Hotel and Park Hyatt Hotel projects, the Concept Blue and Lucient residential projects, and most recently the Silverleaf residential project in South Melbourne;
  • Fridcorp: in relation to the Elm residential project, Southbank, Lilli residential project, South Yarra, AveSY residential project, South Yarra and the Eve residential project, Erskineville; and
  • Qualitas: in relation to numerous mezzanine and preferred equity funding transactions.

Contact Stephen Sharp

Recognition & publications

Take a look at Insights & News articles referencing Stephen Sharp.