Madgwicks’ Property Team has the depth and experience to provide effective legal solutions to commercial, industrial and residential developers. Our practice is relationship driven and we pride ourselves on obtaining a detailed understanding of our clients’ objectives, which enables us to guide you throughout the development process and to assist in delivering successful projects.

We offer an integrated solution to property developers that includes advice and guidance from the early planning and financing stages, through to the realisation of completed projects.


1. Pre-Acquisition Stage

Project due diligence

  • Preparation of the project management agreements
  • Drafting of sale development, joint venture or services development agreements
  • Drafting of term sheets and Memorandum of Agreements
  • Connecting you with, or working with your preferred consultants across the areas of:
    • Land contamination
    • Town planning and Zoning
    • Overlays
    • Constraints
    • Flooding and Fire Surveys
    • Heritage or character controls
    • Vegetation protection

Property due diligence

  • Title searches
  • Financial and non-financial Encumbrances
  • Mortgages
  • Easements
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Strata management
  • Land dedications or resumptions
  • Unpaid taxes and charges

Pre-Acquisition Finance Services

  • Advising on optimal Taxation structure of development and finance agreements including capital gains, revenue, windfall gains tax, GST and Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC)
  • Establishment of property trusts, development of Investor Memorandums and profit sharing agreements

2. Acquisition Stage

  • Contract review, contract amendments for special conditions and related due diligence
  • Negotiating and finalising these on your behalf


Acquisition Finance Services

  • Liaising with provider and review and advice on finance documentation
  • Finance structuring for acquisition
  • Preparation of banking and finance facility documentation for specialised securities, mezzanine finance, inter-creditor arrangements, subordinated debt and priority agreements and debt/equity swap arrangements.

3. Permits and Approvals Stage

  • Preparation of or preparation of submissions to go into the development application
  • Responding to request for information from planning authority
  • Advice on preparing Public notification process, including responding to feedback


  • Negotiation preparation or direct negotiation with planning authority based on RFI and public notification concerns (i.e. height, traffic, density, heritage or landscape concerns)
  • Advising and preparation of appeals process until approval received

4. Pre-sales Stage

  • Preparation of off-the-plan contract or contracts of sale setting agreement, price, deposit, terms, conditions, sunset clause and settlement date
  • Drafting and negotiating consulting agreements between developers and estate agents, architects, engineers and surveyors


For larger projects

  • Madgwicks utilises specialty applications such  as PEXA and other subscription-based software to manage the compiling, communication and settlement arrangement of projects via a real-time, online portal to meet the specific requirements of your project
  • We have experience in managing both clients and finance providers throughout the process to ensure it is completed efficiently

5. Construction

  • Preparation and review of construction agreements
  • Assistance with contractual disputes that may arise during the construction stage

Construction Finance Services

  • Liaising with construction finance provider and providing review and advice on finance documentation
  • Structuring of construction finance
  • Assistance in the negotiation and structure of inter-creditor arrangements (involving both senior loans and secondary finance options)
  • Drafting complex agreements allowing the construction company to invest their own capital as part of the funding mix
  • Ensuring optimal Taxation structure of construction and finance agreements

6. Sub-division or Owners Corporation Establishment Stage


  • Assistance in preparation of agreements with referral authorities, (water, VicRoads, power, sewerage etc)
  • Negotiating and drafting third party agreements (ie work in kind agreements)
  • Assisting with compliance for authorities
  • Preparation of required documentation for easements, access licenses, s173 agreements and other matters required for the registration of subdivision


Owners Corporation Matters

  • Assistance in establishing an Owners Corporation (OC) for the new establishment
  • Advice and drafting of operation and management documents
  • Assistance in disputes arising from disproportionate levies and improper dealings or activities under an existing OC agreement

7. Practical Completion and Settlement

  • Assisting with issues surrounding practical completion, including dispute management processes
  • Formal triggering of property settlements
  • Preparation of additional or extra contracts of sale outlining contract, price, deposit, terms, conditions, sunset clause and settlement date


  • Effecting property settlements
  • Financial settlement reporting for vendor on the stage of each settlement

Recent Experience


  • Acted on the behalf of the vendor in the sale of a regional shopping centre with a tenancy of three national anchor tenants
  • Managed the sale of Westwaters Hotel and Entertainment facility, the second largest gambling facility in Victoria after Crown Casino, to prominent licensed venue aggregator
  • Managed the multi-million dollar sale and settlement of regional retirement village, land and business holdings
  • Ongoing sale of interests on behalf of a syndicate member involving the preparation of complex documents for sale documentation and related development agreement documentation

Property Finance and Funding

  • Acting for the lender on a complex construction facility for an apartment development
  • Acting for Bank as Lender of a major Asian development and investment group in the acquisition of Melbourne hotels and serviced apartments
  • Acting for Bank as the financier of major land development outside Geelong. Project included six separate, but cross-collateralised loan agreements and development entities with series of tripartite agreements prepared
  • Drafting of facility agreements and securities for an acquisition and construction project involving multi state securities

Greenfield and Built Form Development

  • Managed legal requirements for a 1200 lot development in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne including Template Contract documentation, ongoing dealings with Council and Authorities, negotiation of civil construction contracts, loan facility refinances and draw downs, Plan of Subdivision registrations, volume discharges and settlements and attending to multiple lender settlement and conveyancing requirements
  • Managing legal requirements for the development of a major land development in Melbourne’s west. Project included the review and amendment of complex joint venture agreements, development agreements and associated management agreements together with the settlements of sale for over 500 properties to date in a project consisting of 20 stages

Property Development and Leasing

  • Acting for the land owner and developer of a market-leading hardware retailer on their first inner city, multi storey development
  • Overseen the development contract administration and OTP settlements for two Southbank residential developments (400+ apartments in total) together with several other mid-to-large residential development projects
  • Appearances representing clients on various matters before the Small Business Commissioner, VCAT and the Supreme Court
  • Provided leasing and disputes advice to commercial and retail landlords and blue-chip tenants across Victoria and Australia

Our Experts

James practices in the areas of commercial property and leasing, property development and commercial law with particular specialisations in developments, property syndications/structuring, leasing, property litigation and joint ventures and other commercial agreements.

Laurance Davis

Laurance leads the successful Madgwicks Property team with expert knowledge in property and property finance and the ability to drive deals for his dedicated network of clients.

Joe Katz

Joe is a trusted advisor to his network of property developers and investors, shopping centre and other high profile leased premises owners and tenants.

Chris Vlahos

Special Counsel
Chris is an experienced and commercially astute property lawyer with hands on experience in property development, advising on transactions, contracts and leasing.

Bethany Visser

Senior Associate
An approachable and dedicated advisor to her clients, Bethany is a detail driven lawyer, experienced in working with a variety of stakeholders in matters of property law.

Thought Leadership & Past Experiences