Nikki Robinson

Clayton Utz
Partner Sydney

Nikki Robinson has 20 years' experience advising on real estate, urban renewal infrastructure development and general commercial property and funds work.

Nikki specialises in advising clients on large transactional matters, providing advice on strategic and commercial issues affecting a variety of areas. She regularly provides advice to private and public sector clients on strategic, commercial and legal issues affecting all forms of property related matters.

She is known for her hands-on approach and for finding practical, commercial solutions.

Nikki is a board member of the Property Council of Australia.

Notable Work
  • Western Sydney University (WSU): Advising on a range of Innovation Precincts underpinned by a university campus with flexibility through each stage to allow for the evolution of the project and precinct to help transform WSU's campuses for the future. Also advising on the WSU/Charter Hall Direct Office Fund JV.
  • Leading Australian Developer: Advised on the development of Australia’s first health clinic to offer integrated, patient-centred healthcare, as well as aged-care and retirement living facilities to be built in Wollongong at the University of Wollongong’s innovative Health and Wellbeing Precinct.
  • Barangaroo Delivery Authority: Nikki had a role on the legal team, advising the BDA on property and commercial issues relating to the $15bn Barangaroo South development for 6 years. She was lead advisor on the investment of $3bn worth of equity investment for the 3 commercial towers constructed on Barangaroo South as well as developing the original procurement documents for Barangaroo Central.
  • Blacktown City Council: Acted on the procurement process to attract a university campus to Blacktown CBD as part of the broader transformational projects for Blacktown CBD. Also advised the Council in relation to two separate property acquisitions valued at more than $30 million.
  • City of Parramatta Council: Advised on the multi staged procurement and delivery of the $2 billion mixed-use Parramatta Square development, which includes significant public domain space.
  • Liverpool City Council: Advising on a mixed-use development (including, residential, retail and University of Wollongong campus), including a revitalised public domain, the delivery of which will activate the Liverpool CBD. Providing complex legal advice on all aspects of the procurement processes and project documentation.
  • TfNSW - Sydney Metro Northwest: Advised TfNSW (now Sydney Metro) on the overridingPrecinct Delivery Agreement with UrbanGrowth NSW (now Landcom) for the activation and sale of land surrounding the North West Rail Link Urban Renewal Project. The agreement was crafted so that Sydney Metro and Landcom could work together to deliver the outcomes for NSW Government by bringing the land surrounding the North West Rail Link Urban Renewal project to market for development that activates the area and maximises value of this land.
  • Infrastructure NSW (INSW): Advised on the procurement of the new multifunction convention and exhibition centre within the precinct of the existing Sydney Entertainment Centre and car park and associated commercial redevelopment of the precinct. Nikki also advised INSW in connection with Interim Exhibition Facilities to be constructed and operated during the 3 year period that the new facilities at Darling Harbour will be constructed.
  • Stockland: Advising in relation to an apartment project in Parramatta comprising a mixed use precinct including up to 350 architecturally designed apartments and around 1,565 sqm of community retail and services development. Also advising Stockland on a number of its flat land disposal transactions that also relate to house/land sale arrangements and mixed-use residential developments in NSW.
  • Defence Housing Australia (DHA): Advised DHA on the development and disposals by way of sales off the plan of apartment developments in NSW. The custom built DHA software allows us to generate correspondence, produce reports and settlement statements with maximum efficiency and has automatic calendar reminders for important dates such as finance approval, in order to streamline the conveyancing process.
  • Evolve Housing: Advised in relation to a mixed use development. The development brought together the private and not-for-profit sectors to address housing need. The development contains 268 units with a mixed tenure model of private, affordable rental housing, social housing and other commercial uses including a social enterprise café.
  • Evolve: Advised Evolve, a community housing provider, as part of a consortium bid with Stockland (Ivanhoe site). The 8.2 hectare site will be transformed into an integrated neighbourhood of more than 2,500 dwellings including more social housing mixed with affordable and private housing.
  • Evolve Housing: Advised Evolve in relation to a project involving the redevelopment of a former heavy rail line comprising the development of 30 residential apartments dedicated to affordable rental housing.
  • Pacific National - St Mary's intermodal terminal: Advising on the joint development with ACFS to develop the St Mary's intermodal terminal. The advice on the development process deed and lease to be granted to ACFS was drafted ensuring the risk profile was minimised whilst maximising a commercial outcome and financial return for Pacific National.
  • Patrick Stevedores: Advised on their long term Lease and Development Agreement arrangements for the expansion of the container terminal at Port Botany - their key strategic port in Australia.
  • Eli Lily: Advised Eli Lily on the sale and lease back of its major premises in Sydney, including the extension of the original lease term due to the impacts of COVID-19.
  • Local Government structuring and advice: Nikki regularly advises Council clients on the operation of the Local Government Act, including on the formation of companies under s358 and the processes required to establish a PPP under the Local Government Act and the Public Private Partnership Guidelines issued by the OLG. Her extensive experience on structuring large scale development projects for Councils has enabled her to develop a highly nuanced understanding of the private sectors appetite for deals which generate a return for government.
  • Liverpool City Council: Advising on a mixed-use development (including, residential, retail and University of Wollongong campus), including a revitalised public domain, the delivery of which will activate the Liverpool CBD. Providing complex legal advice on all aspects of the procurement processes and project documentation.
  • City of Parramatta:
    • Advised on the $2 billion mixed-use multi-stage Parramatta Square development, which includes significant public domain space for community use.
    • Advised on Stage 1 of the Riverbank Precinct mixed-use retail, cultural and residential redevelopment (this Project was terminated when the site was selected as the Powerhouse Museum site by the NSW Government).
    • Advised on the documentation for the Lidis Riverside Tower, a mixed-use development (residential, retail and community space), a discovery centre, revitalised public domain and complex carpark arrangements.
  • Blacktown City Council:
    • Advised on the procurement process to attract a university campus to Blacktown CBD as part of the broader transformational projects for Blacktown CBD.
    • Advised Council in relation to two separate property acquisitions valued at more than $30 million.
    • Advising Council on the delivery of the Blacktown Brain and Spinal Institute, a medical research institute, a private hospital, hotel and ancillary services and public domain.
  • The Council of the City of Sydney: Advised on the restructuring of the ownership, management and leasehold arrangements for the iconic Queen Victoria Building which was redeveloped under a long term Project Development Agreement/lease arrangement, worth over $800 million.
  • Shellharbour City Council: Advising on the implementation of a governance structure at their marine development that ensures existing requirements and future considerations for growth are met.
  • Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH): Advising OEH and DPC (since 2009) on a wide range of leasing land management and tenure issues relating to the control, management and commercialisation of NSW ski resorts. This has included running a number of processes to identify and deliver alternative management proposals for the long term delivery of services at the Perisher Range and Charlotte's Pass Ski fields in NSW. This has required extensive stake holder engagement and the development of a package able to deliver value to the government and flexibility to the ultimate provider while also ensuring the long term management and preservation of the fragile alpine environment.
  • Property NSW: Acting on the disposal of 85,000 hectares of Nimmie-Caira land in the Murrumbidgee Valley.  The matter involves advising on a complex procurement process and probity issues and drafting a long-term lease and sale contract to be entered into pursuant to a put and call option as well as easements and covenants in order to ensure the objectives of the NSW Government are met, including environmental and Aboriginal and cultural heritage values and the establishment of an environmental fund to ensure ongoing compliance with the Land and Water Management Plan for the property.
  • Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH): Advising on the Snowy 2.0 Project on implementing documentation that permit the construction of an underground power station, 3km of tunnelling, removal and storage of 750,000 cubic metres of rock, upgrading of roads and other types of large scale works, all while minimising the disturbance footprint within the KNP.
  • Sydney Metro: Advising on all property aspects for Sydney Metro West and Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport stages as well as advising, Sydney Metro and Landcom on the activation strategy and development of land around those parts of Sydney Metro North West that have been completed.
  • Landcom and Sydney Metro: Acting on the development and divestment of land surrounding the Tallawong and Norwest metro stations respectively by way of EOI and ITT. These matters involve advising on a competitive process in order to achieve the parties objectives for the activation of the land around the Tallawong and Norwest stations, including certainty of site outcome, design, sustainability and affordable housing.
  • SOHT: Acting on the procurement process for service agreements for Western Foyers and The House Venues (including Theatre Bars and Function Centre) for food and beverage services at the Sydney Opera House.  We have also advised SOHT in relation to Health Orders relating to COVID-19 and their corresponding obligations.
  • Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC): Advising on the property issues associated with Release 2 and 3 of the Communities Plus Program. The program involves delivering integrated social, affordable and private housing by partnering with private and non-government sectors. The Communities Plus program is part of the NSW Government's $22 billion Future Directions building program that will deliver approximately 5,300 new private housing dwellings, 2,200 new and replacement Social Housing dwellings, and more than 500 affordable housing dwellings. We also acted for LAHC on the large scale sale of assets to community housing providers pursuant to the closing of the Social Housing Subsidy Program. Advised LAHC on their build-to-rent strategy for their upcoming mixed-use projects. A key part of the role included understanding the planning and rezoning process and how these affected the structure of the transaction and consequently the drafting of the build to rent leases.
  • Landcom Affordable Housing Project: Provided strategic advice to Landcom in relation to the engagement of the private sector to facilitate the development, delivery and regulation of affordable housing (in the rental market) in New South Wales.
  • Landcom: Advised on the acquisition of a 2/3rd interest in a number of pieces of land located in Newcastle city centre, with the intention of jointly developing the sites with their co-owner, GPT. Nikki also advised on parts of the restructure of the Bonnyrigg project.
  • Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust: advising on various commercial and property-related matters involving trust lands, including licensing and commercial uses of trust land.
  • NSW Health: advising in relation to the redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital (car parking) and the redevelopment of parts of St Vincent's Hospital and the renegotiation of the Careflight arrangements.
  • WSN: advised WSN on a numerous matters relating to operation of its waste facilities and assisted with the preparation of the legal scoping study for the sale of Waste Services NSW.
  • Domain Principal Group: advising on the restructure of the group, including the disposal of numerous Aged Care Facilities.
  • Seven Network: advised Australian Capital Equity Pty Ltd (ACE) in relation to the property aspects of Seven's acquisition of WesTrac Holdings Pty Ltd from ACE for over A$1 billion. Seven merged with WesTrac to form a new company called Seven Group Holdings Limited.
  • NRMA: advised NRMA on a number of its strategic acquisitions, including the acquisition of five tourist parks in NSW and Queensland; Thrifty Car Rental; and Adventure World Travel (in Australia and New Zealand).
  • Cushman & Wakefield of Asia Limited: Advised Cushman & Wakefield Asia Limited in all aspects of the acquisition of the Laing & Simmons Commercial business. The acquisition was a key part of the Cushman & Wakefield group's strategy to expand its operations within the Australasian region. The services of the Cushman & Wakefield's Australian operations now include brokerage & leasing, corporate advisory, valuation, property management, tenant representation and research.
  • Leighton Contractors: Advised on the disposal (as part of a joint venture) of a PPP asset into the Australian Secondary Market.
  • AMP Capital: advising on a number of property disposals around Australia and on the restructuring of part of its aged care portfolio.
  • Aged Care Investment Trust: advising the trust on a variety of issues relating to a restructure, its debt and equity arrangements and assets acquisitions and disposals. The trust holds more than 60 aged care assets valued in excess of $500,000 around Australia.
  • RBS Group Australia: advised RBS Group Australia and RBS Funds Management on the divestment of the RBS Social Infrastructure Fund to AMP Capital Investors, including the retirement of RFM as the responsible entity, the transfer of the asset management rights and obligations and the sale of RFM's interest in Reliance Rail prior to the divestment.
  • RBS Group Australia: advised on the establishment of its Social Infrastructure Fund in relation to the fundraising for, acquisition of, and full due diligence on, the Funds' underlying assets.
  • Canadian pension fund manager: advised a large Canadian pension fund manager on proposed acquisition of Alinta and AET&D energy assets.
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