image of Leighton SmithLeighton Smith

Clayton Utz Special Counsel , Brisbane T +61 7 3292 7621 +61 412 452 870

Clients appreciate Leighton's ability to identify and simplify complex issues. He adds value to transactions by achieving first-class outcomes based on a clear understanding of the client's business and commercial requirements.

As an experienced property lawyer, Leighton has a considerable advisory and transactional practice, acting for clients often carrying out the most significant projects in Queensland and across Australia. Leighton frequently acts in the sale, purchase, lease and development of residential, rural, commercial and industrial properties.

Leighton works across many sectors including Energy and Resources, Renewable Energy and advises on Carbon Projects.

Leighton's practice focuses on real property transactions. He specialises in acting for:

  • institutional, private and public property investors, including managed funds and REITs;
  • Commonwealth, State and Local Governments;
  • owners and tenants of commercial property in all aspects of leasing and licensing;
  • property developers in flat land and community titles scheme developments (including mixed-use developments); and
  • insolvency practitioners in distressed asset sales.

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Real Estate

Capital transactions

Acted for Blackstone on some of Australia's most significant property portfolio transactions. Leighton, as part of the broader Clayton Utz team, has acquired properties for Blackstone across Australia and also acted in the sale of logistics assets in 2021 to ESR which was the largest direct property transaction in Australia.

Renewable energy projects

Advised the Northern Territory Government on tenure and structuring options associated with the Sun Cable project, which is developing the Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL), a major energy infrastructure project that will supply renewable electricity to Darwin and the ASEAN region. The AAPL will integrate three technology groups – the world’s largest battery, the world’s largest solar farm, and a 4,500km high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system from the solar / storage facility to Darwin, Singapore and eventually Indonesia.

Residential developments

Leighton has provided transactional and strategic advice to Dahua (one of China's largest private property developers – now with a significant presence across several Australian States) on multiple projects in Queensland. Most notably, this involved negotiating, advising and transacting a large-scale residential community project involving acquisitions from multiple sellers.

Government acquisitions

Advised the Queensland State Government on the Land 400 real property acquisitions, including structuring of the transaction generally in conjunction with the Rheinmetall bid, exchange of documents and management through to settlement.

Energy and resources

Regularly advises on acquisitions, disposals, pipeline-related interests in land and general FIRB approval matters. Leighton works closely with our Energy and Resources team to provide APLNG commercial and creative solutions on its growing network of CSG infrastructure across Queensland.

Carbon projects

Acts for Tasman Environmental Markets in relation to the investigation and acquisition of key rural properties across Queensland for establishment of carbon projects. As trusted advisor, we have assisted TEM to establish and follow through with a consistent program of carrying out detailed due diligence in respect of target properties, negotiating sale and leaseback arrangements with owners (in line with carbon project requirements) and completing acquisitions.

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