Virginia Owen is a special counsel in our Banking & Financial Services team, specialising in PPPs, project finance and major projects, with a focus on social infrastructure projects such as hospitals and prisons, and road and rail projects.

Virginia has acted for a wide range of government authorities, project sponsors, banks and bond financiers in PPP and project financed infrastructure projects in Australia and internationally.

As part of the core project team on many large and complex government procurements in Australia, Virginia regularly undertakes the following work:

  • analysing project risks, and the development of risk allocation and mitigation strategies;
  • preparing, and advising in relation to, registrations of capability, invitations to tender, project briefs, draft contract documentation and tender evaluation criteria;
  • drafting and negotiating project contracts and all ancillary documents including government security documents and direct agreements with subcontractors and financiers;
  • evaluating equity and debt funding structures and negotiating and drafting associated documentation; and
  • overall project management, including liaison with and management of key stakeholders, co-ordinating commercial, technical and legal team inputs and completion of contractual and financial close.

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Expertise

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Banking and Finance

Eastern Goldfields Region Prison, Western Australia: Member of legal evaluation team advising the WA State Solicitor's Office on all the $230 million project, the latest social infrastructure PPP project in Western Australia.

 

New Royal Adelaide Hospital PPP Project, South Australia: Senior member of the legal team advising the South Australian Crown Solicitor's Office in relation to the private financing, construction and maintenance of the New Royal Adelaide Hospital, valued at more than $1.85bn, Australia's largest PPP hospital project to date. Virginia undertook the evaluation of competing bidders' funding proposals and advised in relation to the financing and security arrangements, including a considerable reduction in the level of GFC-related funding support required by the financiers from the State. The project was awarded the Asia Pacific PPP Deal of the Year 2012 by Project Finance.

 

Royal Children's Hospital Project: Senior member of the legal team acting for the Department of Human Services on the redevelopment of the Royal Children's Hospital under Partnerships Victoria, then Australia's largest hospital project to be delivered as a PPP. Virginia's role included drafting all tendering documents, drafting the project agreement and ancillary project documents and undertaking comprehensive evaluation of bids including funding structures. In the project delivery phase, Virginia advises on ongoing issues.

 

Biosciences Victoria PPP Project (now AgriBio): Senior member of the legal team who advised the joint venture between the State of Victoria and LaTrobe University on this PPP project, which was the first Partnerships Victoria project to reach financial close in Australia after the GFC began. Virginia continues to advise the joint venture in the operational phase.

 

New Prisons and Secure Facilities PPP Project, South Australia: Senior member of the legal team who advised the South Australian Government on this complex, multi-site project. Virginia's role focused particularly on risk allocation, payment and abatement regimes and funding structures.

 

Partnerships Victoria Correctional Prisons Project: Senior adviser to the State's contract administrator in the Department of Justice in respect of project operations at the two prison facilities delivered through Partnerships Victoria.

 

Victorian Desalination Plant: Member of team who advised the AquaSure consortium (comprising Macquarie, Thiess, Degremont and Suez Environnement) appointed by the Victorian Government to design, build and operate a $4 billion desalination plant in Victoria.

 

Melbourne Convention Centre Project: Acted for Multiplex as design and construction contractor appointed by Plenary project company. Virginia advised Multiplex in relation to its financial support obligations and direct deeds with lenders and government for this PPP project.

 

Mildura Base Hospital Project: Acted for the Department of Human Services in relation to Mildura's privately funded, owned and operated hospital. As a lead team member, responsible for drafting and negotiating all project documents, evaluating and finalising finance documents and the completion of contract and financial close.

 

Metropolitan Hospital Projects: Part of the team advising the Victorian Government on the structuring, tendering, evaluation and documentation of the Metropolitan Hospital Projects (since disbanded) for new private sector hospitals at Berwick and the redevelopment of the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre. The role involved advice on business case development, project structuring and strategic advice in relation to project delivery options.

 

UK Southern Region New Trains Project: Senior adviser to the UK Strategic Rail Authority as project sponsor for the £1.5 billion implementation of upgrades to the UK heavy rail network, stations and depots to enable the commissioning of new rolling stock in southern England. Virginia's role involved detailed project risk analysis and allocation, management of divergent stakeholders including multiple government agencies, and contract negotiation and documentation.

 

UK Network Rail Private Financings: Senior member of the legal team advising the UK Strategic Rail Authority in relation to the progressive issuing of a £4 billion commercial paper, £10 billion medium term note and £20 billion combined bank and bond debt issuance programme, to finance the UK's Network Rail ongoing funding requirements for heavy rail upgrades, enhancements and operations. 


See Banking and Finance

Construction and Major Projects

Eastern Goldfields Region Prison, Western Australia: Member of legal evaluation team advising the WA State Solicitor's Office on all the $230 million project, the latest social infrastructure PPP project in Western Australia.

New Royal Adelaide Hospital PPP Project, South Australia: Senior member of the legal team advising the South Australian Crown Solicitor's Office in relation to the private financing, construction and maintenance of the New Royal Adelaide Hospital, valued at more than $1.85bn, Australia's largest PPP hospital project to date. Virginia undertook the evaluation of competing bidders' funding proposals and advised in relation to the financing and security arrangements, including a considerable reduction in the level of GFC-related funding support required by the financiers from the State. The project was awarded the Asia Pacific PPP Deal of the Year 2012 by Project Finance.

 

Royal Children's Hospital Project: Senior member of the legal team acting for the Department of Human Services on the redevelopment of the Royal Children's Hospital under Partnerships Victoria, then Australia's largest hospital project to be delivered as a PPP. Virginia's role included drafting all tendering documents, drafting the project agreement and ancillary project documents and undertaking comprehensive evaluation of bids including funding structures. In the project delivery phase, Virginia advises on ongoing issues.

 

Biosciences Victoria PPP Project (now AgriBio): Senior member of the legal team who advised the joint venture between the State of Victoria and LaTrobe University on this PPP project, which was the first Partnerships Victoria project to reach financial close in Australia after the GFC began. Virginia continues to advise the joint venture in the operational phase.

 

New Prisons and Secure Facilities PPP Project, South Australia: Senior member of the legal team who advised the South Australian Government on this complex, multi-site project. Virginia's role focused particularly on risk allocation, payment and abatement regimes and funding structures.

 

Partnerships Victoria Correctional Prisons Project: Senior adviser to the State's contract administrator in the Department of Justice in respect of project operations at the two prison facilities delivered through Partnerships Victoria.

 

Victorian Desalination Plant: Member of team who advised the AquaSure consortium (comprising Macquarie, Thiess, Degremont and Suez Environnement) appointed by the Victorian Government to design, build and operate a $4 billion desalination plant in Victoria.

 

Melbourne Convention Centre Project: Acted for Multiplex as design and construction contractor appointed by Plenary project company. Virginia advised Multiplex in relation to its financial support obligations and direct deeds with lenders and government for this PPP project.

 

Mildura Base Hospital Project: Acted for the Department of Human Services in relation to Mildura's privately funded, owned and operated hospital. As a lead team member, responsible for drafting and negotiating all project documents, evaluating and finalising finance documents and the completion of contract and financial close.

 

Metropolitan Hospital Projects: Part of the team advising the Victorian Government on the structuring, tendering, evaluation and documentation of the Metropolitan Hospital Projects (since disbanded) for new private sector hospitals at Berwick and the redevelopment of the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre. The role involved advice on business case development, project structuring and strategic advice in relation to project delivery options.

 

UK Southern Region New Trains Project: Senior adviser to the UK Strategic Rail Authority as project sponsor for the £1.5 billion implementation of upgrades to the UK heavy rail network, stations and depots to enable the commissioning of new rolling stock in southern England. Virginia's role involved detailed project risk analysis and allocation, management of divergent stakeholders including multiple government agencies, and contract negotiation and documentation.

 

UK Network Rail Private Financings: Senior member of the legal team advising the UK Strategic Rail Authority in relation to the progressive issuing of a £4 billion commercial paper, £10 billion medium term note and £20 billion combined bank and bond debt issuance programme, to finance the UK's Network Rail ongoing funding requirements for heavy rail upgrades, enhancements and operations. 


See Construction and Major Projects

Project Finance

Eastern Goldfields Region Prison, Western Australia: Member of legal evaluation team advising the WA State Solicitor's Office on all the $230 million project, the latest social infrastructure PPP project in Western Australia.

New Royal Adelaide Hospital PPP Project, South Australia: Senior member of the legal team advising the South Australian Crown Solicitor's Office in relation to the private financing, construction and maintenance of the New Royal Adelaide Hospital, valued at more than $1.85bn, Australia's largest PPP hospital project to date. Virginia undertook the evaluation of competing bidders' funding proposals and advised in relation to the financing and security arrangements, including a considerable reduction in the level of GFC-related funding support required by the financiers from the State. The project was awarded the Asia Pacific PPP Deal of the Year 2012 by Project Finance.

 

Royal Children's Hospital Project: Senior member of the legal team acting for the Department of Human Services on the redevelopment of the Royal Children's Hospital under Partnerships Victoria, then Australia's largest hospital project to be delivered as a PPP. Virginia's role included drafting all tendering documents, drafting the project agreement and ancillary project documents and undertaking comprehensive evaluation of bids including funding structures. In the project delivery phase, Virginia advises on ongoing issues.

 

Biosciences Victoria PPP Project (now AgriBio): Senior member of the legal team who advised the joint venture between the State of Victoria and LaTrobe University on this PPP project, which was the first Partnerships Victoria project to reach financial close in Australia after the GFC began. Virginia continues to advise the joint venture in the operational phase.

 

New Prisons and Secure Facilities PPP Project, South Australia: Senior member of the legal team who advised the South Australian Government on this complex, multi-site project. Virginia's role focused particularly on risk allocation, payment and abatement regimes and funding structures.

 

Partnerships Victoria Correctional Prisons Project: Senior adviser to the State's contract administrator in the Department of Justice in respect of project operations at the two prison facilities delivered through

Partnerships Victoria.

 

Victorian Desalination Plant: Member of team who advised the AquaSure consortium (comprising Macquarie, Thiess, Degremont and Suez Environnement) appointed by the Victorian Government to design, build and operate a $4 billion desalination plant in Victoria.

 

Melbourne Convention Centre Project: Acted for Multiplex as design and construction contractor appointed by Plenary project company. Virginia advised Multiplex in relation to its financial support obligations and direct deeds with lenders and government for this PPP project.

 

Mildura Base Hospital Project: Acted for the Department of Human Services in relation to Mildura's privately funded, owned and operated hospital. As a lead team member, responsible for drafting and negotiating all project documents, evaluating and finalising finance documents and the completion of contract and financial close.

 

Metropolitan Hospital Projects: Part of the team advising the Victorian Government on the structuring, tendering, evaluation and documentation of the Metropolitan Hospital Projects (since disbanded) for new private sector hospitals at Berwick and the redevelopment of the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre. The role involved advice on business case development, project structuring and strategic advice in relation to project delivery options.

 

UK Southern Region New Trains Project: Senior adviser to the UK Strategic Rail Authority as project sponsor for the £1.5 billion implementation of upgrades to the UK heavy rail network, stations and depots to enable the commissioning of new rolling stock in southern England. Virginia's role involved detailed project risk analysis and allocation, management of divergent stakeholders including multiple government agencies, and contract negotiation and documentation.

 

UK Network Rail Private Financings: Senior member of the legal team advising the UK Strategic Rail Authority in relation to the progressive issuing of a £4 billion commercial paper, £10 billion medium term note and £20 billion combined bank and bond debt issuance programme, to finance the UK's Network Rail ongoing funding requirements for heavy rail upgrades, enhancements and operations. 


See Project Finance

Government Services

Eastern Goldfields Region Prison, Western Australia: Member of legal evaluation team advising the WA State Solicitor's Office on all the $230 million project, the latest social infrastructure PPP project in Western Australia.

New Royal Adelaide Hospital PPP Project, South Australia: Senior member of the legal team advising the South Australian Crown Solicitor's Office in relation to the private financing, construction and maintenance of the New Royal Adelaide Hospital, valued at more than $1.85bn, Australia's largest PPP hospital project to date. Virginia undertook the evaluation of competing bidders' funding proposals and advised in relation to the financing and security arrangements, including a considerable reduction in the level of GFC-related funding support required by the financiers from the State. The project was awarded the Asia Pacific PPP Deal of the Year 2012 by Project Finance.

 

Royal Children's Hospital Project: Senior member of the legal team acting for the Department of Human Services on the redevelopment of the Royal Children's Hospital under Partnerships Victoria, then Australia's largest hospital project to be delivered as a PPP. Virginia's role included drafting all tendering documents, drafting the project agreement and ancillary project documents and undertaking comprehensive evaluation of bids including funding structures. In the project delivery phase, Virginia advises on ongoing issues.

 

Biosciences Victoria PPP Project (now AgriBio): Senior member of the legal team who advised the joint venture between the State of Victoria and LaTrobe University on this PPP project, which was the first Partnerships Victoria project to reach financial close in Australia after the GFC began. Virginia continues to advise the joint venture in the operational phase.

 

New Prisons and Secure Facilities PPP Project, South Australia: Senior member of the legal team who advised the South Australian Government on this complex, multi-site project. Virginia's role focused particularly on risk allocation, payment and abatement regimes and funding structures.

 

Partnerships Victoria Correctional Prisons Project: Senior adviser to the State's contract administrator in the Department of Justice in respect of project operations at the two prison facilities delivered through Partnerships Victoria.

 

Mildura Base Hospital Project: Acted for the Department of Human Services in relation to Mildura's privately funded, owned and operated hospital. As a lead team member, responsible for drafting and negotiating all project documents, evaluating and finalising finance documents and the completion of contract and financial close.

 

Metropolitan Hospital Projects: Part of the team advising the Victorian Government on the structuring, tendering, evaluation and documentation of the Metropolitan Hospital Projects (since disbanded) for new private sector hospitals at Berwick and the redevelopment of the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre. The role involved advice on business case development, project structuring and strategic advice in relation to project delivery options.

 

UK Southern Region New Trains Project: Senior adviser to the UK Strategic Rail Authority as project sponsor for the £1.5 billion implementation of upgrades to the UK heavy rail network, stations and depots to enable the commissioning of new rolling stock in southern England. Virginia's role involved detailed project risk analysis and allocation, management of divergent stakeholders including multiple government agencies, and contract negotiation and documentation.

 

UK Network Rail Private Financings: Senior member of the legal team advising the UK Strategic Rail Authority in relation to the progressive issuing of a £4 billion commercial paper, £10 billion medium term note and £20 billion combined bank and bond debt issuance programme, to finance the UK's Network Rail ongoing funding requirements for heavy rail upgrades, enhancements and operations. 


See Government Services

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