Philip Chester has a wide range of experience and expertise in banking and finance and property and development. He regularly advises on major commercial property and finance transactions.
A tenacious negotiator who pursues the best possible commercial result for his clients, Philip has acted for major banking groups, financial institutions, commercial borrowers, family businesses, partnerships and property developers.
Philip has been a partner of Arnold Bloch Leibler since 1991. He is recognised by Best Lawyers® International for his expertise in the area of commercial law. In addition to his commercial practice, Philip has provided pro bono legal advice to many community organisations and institutions. He was the President of the Zionist Federation of Australia from 2006 to 2014. In 2003, Philip was awarded the Centenary Medal in recognition of his service to the Jewish community.
“Very thorough, knowledgeable and reliable; able to communicate very complex issues simply and clearly.”
- banking and finance, including acting for many banking and finance institutions in large property and corporate lending transactions, as well as acting for large commercial borrowers;
- commercial property, including sales and acquisitions advice, due diligence reviews, portfolio management advice to trustees, responsible entities, custodians and property syndicates;
- project and structured finance, negotiating mezzanine debt and venture capital arrangements, documenting large commercial transactions and negotiating workouts;
- reconstruction and insolvency, advising receivers, managers and voluntary administrators on complex insolvency issues; and
- commercial advice, including the sale and acquisition of major businesses, private business restructuring, succession planning, partnership, joint venture, financial and commercial agreements.
Philip has acted in a range of commercial property, finance and insolvency matters, including on behalf of:
- The Major Transport Infrastructure Authority and the State of Victoria: in relation to negotiations with the Cross Yarra Partnership (CYP) and Transurban Group on the $11 billion Metro Tunnel project, Victoria’s biggest ever public transport project;
- Gurner™ & Qualitas: on partial acquisition of Melbourne’s historic Chapel Street ‘Jam Factory’ landmark alongside existing owner Newmark Capital and future re-development of the site into a leading mixed-use precinct valued at $1.4 billion
- Gurner™: in relation to its $600 million residential development and mixed use project in Fortitude Valley, Queensland. The project is one of Brisbane's largest developments, featuring 651 apartments and approximately 1860 sqm of retail space;
- The Infrastructure Fund, an institutional infrastructure fund: in relation to its management arrangements with Hastings;
- New Zealand’s largest company, the Fonterra Group: in relation to various acquisitions and commercial arrangements;
- the administrators of Arrium Limited: in relation to the sale of various assets;
- the Grollo family: in relation to its 50% ownership interest in the Rialto Towers in Melbourne, for an enterprise value of $644 million;
- US debt providers and hedge funds: in relation to the workout of the Centro Group;
- the receivers of the NLG hotel group;
- various financial institutions: in relation to numerous finance and syndication agreements;
- mezzanine mortgage funds: in relation to the creation of such funds and preparing all relevant finance and security documentation for loans to be made by the funds;
- a major mortgage origination business: in relation to the negotiation of finance supply agreements;
- various receivers, administrators and liquidators; and
- numerous mezzanine and preferred equity financing transactions.
Awards & recognition
Philip is recognised as a leading lawyer by an international guide to lawyers and law firms:
- Best Lawyers® International: commercial law.