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 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.
He has been highlighted in Chambers Asia Pacific as being valued for his “terrific broad knowledge of property” and described by sources as “one of the most experienced property financing practitioners in the Melbourne marketplace”.
Stephen Sharp is “considered a top lawyer in his field of expertise and provides clear advice rather than sitting on the fence.”
Stephen’s 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.
Stephen has been the lead practitioner on many commercial transactions, including on behalf of:
- Qualitas: in relation to
- a $250 million senior debt facility for developer Trennery Property Group,
- the setup of a new $500m development fund, established to provide senior construction finance to property developers,
- the purchase of the $400m property portfolio of the Allied Pinnacle flour milling and baked goods business, and
- numerous mezzanine and preferred equity funding transactions;
- LK Property Group: in relation to the financing of the construction of the Capitol Grand tower in South Yarra, Victoria;
- Charter Hall and its institutional investors: on the acquisition of a $353 million portfolio of six Bunnings assets located in prime metropolitan markets, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane;
- Charter Hall and VMFC: in relation to the acquisition and construction financing for a $480 million office development in Richmond;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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 interests in Highpoint Shopping Centre;
- R Corporation: in relation to residential and commercial developments, including the Metropol residential project, St Kilda, the Botanicca office project, Richmond, the Clara Mews residential project, South Yarra and the York residential precinct;
- 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
- Journal Student Accommodation Fund: on the sale of two student accommodation buildings in Melbourne for $459 million to German investment house Allianz Real Estate.
Directorships & memberships
Stephen serves as a board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Australia and is the current national Chairman.
Awards & recognition
Stephen is recognised as a leading lawyer by various international guides to lawyers and law firms, including:
- Best Lawyers® International: banking & finance law and project finance and development practice
- Chambers Asia Pacific: banking & finance: property finance, and
- Legal 500 Asia Pacific: banking & finance.