Sue Harris Partner

Driven with in depth knowledge of the law, Dr Sue Harris is a highly respected property lawyer with a particular specialisation in the retirement and hospitality industry. Sue has over 30 years’ experience advising on all aspects of property investments, transactions, developments, leasing, disputes and operations.

Sue is a proactive lawyer who has advised investors and developers in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors as well as landlords, tenants, owners’ corporations and farmers and is focused on achieving the best possible result whilst minimising risk.

A recognised property expert in Doyle’s Guide Health & Aged Care section, Sue’s practice has a significant focus on the retirement and hospitality industry including caravan parks, hotels and motels, and retirement villages. In particular, she has built up significant and in-depth experience in the Retirement Living industry where she acts for both the operators and residents. Sue’s clients include Retirement Villages and Lifestyle Villages (including Moveable Home Parks).

Sue has represented the farming and agribusiness industries and has experience in handling transactions, leases and seeking foreign investment approvals. Sue has a practical appreciation of the farming and agribusiness industries from operating her own farm in rural Victoria.

Key focus areas: 

  • Due Diligence on Large Acquisitions
  • Contract Drafting & Negotiations
  • Settlements
  • Leasing: Commercial, Industrial & Retail
  • Owners Corporations
  • Retirement Living
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Adverse Possession Claims
  • Agribusiness
  • Retirement Villages & Aged Care Facilities

Key matters:

  • Acted on a complex corporate refinance involving a number of associated companies (worth tens of millions).
  • Acted on the sale of a lifestyle village in regional Victoria where vendor retained in management role post settlement.
  • Advised on trust acquisition of an interest in Northern Territory cattle stations including a complex foreign investment advice and provision of material to support foreign investment approval which was obtained.
  • Undertook due diligence for and acting on the acquisition of a significant commercial building in Swanston Street, Melbourne, which included reviewing more than 30 leases, both commercial and retail some of which were in default.
  • Acted for a joint venture of property investors on the acquisition of a substantial business park in metropolitan Melbourne.
  • Advised the vendors on the sale of a contaminated development site, including on legal issues relating to remediation of the site, which was to occur prior to settlement.
  • Acted and advised on a commercial development including, preparing agreements for a complex arrangement involving the use of car parking spaces on weekends by an adjoining owner with resulting savings to the owners corporation of that development.
  • Acted on the sale of 11 rental villages (for retiree residents) across Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
  • Acted on sales and acquisitions of caravan parks and motels (freehold & leasehold) including, for example, addressing issues of fire protection and review of resident and annuals agreements.
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