Experts

Who are AJ&Co

AJ & Co Lawyers is a commercial law firm that offers a wide range of legal services to private and commercial clients.

Each area of law is managed and represented by experienced partners with strong reputations in their area of practice.

If you have any enquiries, please contact info@ajandco.com.au.

Real Estate & Commercial

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Development and titling – broad acre subdivisions, mixed use developments, residential, commercial, retail and industrial (including bulky goods)
  • Major acquisitions and disposals – including legal due diligence and forced sales
  • Leasing – agreements for lease, lease, subleases, breaches, termination, disputes and management of lease schedules
  • Commercial structuring – joint ventures, project development agreements, fund through arrangements, property trusts and syndicates
  • Body corporate law and community title schemes – new schemes, amalgamations, disposals and improvements to common property, by-law reviews, assignment and variations to management and letting rights
  • Property tax considerations
  • Securities and funds management (listed and unlisted)
  • Easements and restrictive covenants (including design covenants)
  • Rural transactions
  • Resumptions – compulsory land acquisitions and compensation
  • Major leisure and commercial projects

EXPERTS

Andrew Johnson Managing Partner - Real Estate & Commercial
Sarah Bird Special Counsel - Real Estate & Commercial
Jodie Lonard Senior Associate - Real Estate & Commercial

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Andrew Johnson

Managing Partner - Real Estate & Commercial

ANDREW IS A SPECIALIST IN THE REAL ESTATE AND COMMERCIAL SECTOR WHO DELIVERS AN UNPARALLELED DEPTH OF COMMERCIAL LEGAL EXPERTISE THAT IS UNMATCHED IN COMPETING MARKETS.

HIS EXPERTISE INCLUDES:

  • Major acquisitions and disposals including contract and option drafting, negotiation, confidentiality and exclusivity agreements and land sale disclosures for standalone and syndicated assets.
  • Major leisure and commercial projects such as hotels, resorts and entertainment facility developments.
  • Residential and retail developments including planning, engagement and co-coordinator of consultants, agency appointments, contract preparation and settlements (including structure advice, set up and securities issues).
  • Sale and acquisitions strategies and negotiations.
  • Leasing and re-structuring in the commercial, retail and industrial sectors on behalf of landlord and tenant and for property trusts and financiers.
  • Joint ventures including incorporated and unincorporated, development and finance procurement and advising on funding structures.
  • Listed and unlisted funds management including property trusts, syndication, capital raising, mezzanine funding and securitization.

Andrew’s ability to craft creative, proactive and commercially beneficial outcomes, delivers an unmatched level of client service & care.

+61 7 3708 0901

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Sarah Bird

Special Counsel - Real Estate & Commercial

’I love helping people move forward, advance their interests and chase their dreams.’

Sarah has a strong focus on leasing and property development. Her knowledge of leasing, finance and property and business sales and acquisitions makes her a sought after advisor and has seen her work with everyone from local developers to top 100 ASX listed companies.

Sarah provides relevant, sensible and commercially strategic advice and has a reputation for delivering authoritative counsel while under pressure.
Her ability to communicate clearly and directly ensures clients are informed at all times and can manage expectations effectively.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

’I have worked with Andrew Johnson previously. When he set up his own firm, I knew it would be a progressive, positive, and energetic workplace that treats its clients and staff with respect. I knew that missing the opportunity to join the firm would be a mistake I would regret.’

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Jodie Lonard

Senior Associate - Real Estate & Commercial

‘I aim to make my clients’ lives as easy as possible by understanding their commercial needs, talking their language and driving outcomes.’

Jodie acts on a broad range of real estate and commercial matters. She spends a large part of her day working with developers on a wide range of matters from initial set up structures, acquisitions, titling and access to implementing projects and managing the sale process.

Jodie is a driving force and constant source of positive energy on projects which she maintains by drawing on her experience to manage expectations of processes and risks.

Her origins are from the area of body corporate law and hospitality law but her extensive practice today extends into all aspects of leasing and the sale and purchase of a wide range of businesses in the hospitality, business and retail industries.

Clients feel well supported and like their matters are under control when working with Jodie because she has a ‘can do’ and ‘no excuses’ attitude.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

‘The culture at AJ&Co is not static. It adopts a growth mindset that embraces learning, taking on challenges and asks how things can be done better both internally and for our clients.’

Corporate Advisory

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Corporate governance and insolvency
  • Structuring advice and restructuring
  • Shareholder and unitholder agreements
  • Incorporated and unincorporated joint ventures
  • Partnerships and incorporated associations
  • Capital raising (unregulated)
  • Mergers and acquisitions (unregulated)
  • Disposal of companies – through asset sales and share sales
  • Corporate due diligence
  • Non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements
  • Hospitality law – liquor licence and gaming applications and alterations

EXPERTS

Jonathan Whybird Partner - Corporate Advisory

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Jonathan Whybird

Partner - Corporate Advisory

‘I believe that getting to know our clients and how their businesses operates allows us help them manage legal risks as well as promote commercial success.’

Jonathan’s understanding of business and his diverse legal experience makes him an asset in any commercial or legal matter. Clients value his practical approach to legal practice and his ability to find commercial solutions whilst protecting their interests.
Jonathan is an experienced negotiator, drafter and problem solver and has acted on over $15 billion of transactions spanning the tourism, agricultural, resources and industrial sectors. Of note, Jonathan recently provided advice on the acquisition of orchards in Western Australia and Queensland valued at over $300 million; acted for the purchaser of Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal for $350 million; and on the development of the $4.3 billion Wiggins Island Coal Terminal.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

The legal industry is becoming more and more competitive – successful lawyers now have to be business partners with their clients. AJ & Co Lawyers attracts leaders that are not just exceptional lawyers, but are client focused. This means they understand their clients’ business, their industries and how to navigate legal risks. Interacting with the AJ & Co legal team is refreshing, because they are strategic, commercially focused and driven to succeed.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Commercial class actions
  • International commercial arbitration
  • Restructuring & insolvency law
  • Franchising law and disputes
  • Professional negligence
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Insurance litigation
  • Revenue, taxation & administrative law disputes
  • Debt recovery

EXPERTS

Alex Moriarty Partner - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Ashley Stanton Partner - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Marion Niestroj Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution

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Alex Moriarty

Partner - Litigation & Dispute Resolution

’It’s about thinking outside the square to unlock superior results’

Alex is known for his ability to confidently handle complex commercial litigation disputes and for delivering outstanding results for his clients.

In 2016, he advised on and won the test case, berryman v zurich australia ltd [2016] wasc 196, which held for the first time in australia that the bankruptcy act 1966 protects the proceeds of tpd insurance policies exclusively for bankrupts, beyond the reach of creditors.

In recent years he also ran a class action in the federal court on behalf of investors in the pearls india ponzi scheme, which commenced with an urgent injunction to restrain the sale of the sheraton mirage gold coast.
this experience, along with an extensive knowledge of both local and international law, makes alex a natural choice for sophisticated commercial litigation clients.

Why aj & co lawyers?

’Sophisticated clients are becoming ever more discerning in picking and choosing the right law firm to fit the right matter, rather than being blindly loyal to a particular firm. i believe this presents exciting, new opportunities for aj & co lawyers.’

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Ashley Stanton

Partner - Litigation & Dispute Resolution

‘understanding the process is critical to achieving great results.’

Ashley is our leading insolvency practitioner. He practices across all Australian jurisdictions and represents a wide range of private and commercial clients on complex commercial litigation and corporate disputes.

Ashley regularly advises clients on partnership disputes, contractual disputes, leasing disputes, taxation, corporate compliance matters, estate disputes, financial services and manages a debt recovery team.

In 2016, Ashley defended a client from a multi-million dollar claim based on a failed merger and acquisition between his client and two other parties.

Ashley is focused on achieving the best result for the client, whether that involves negotiating commercial outcomes or proceeding to trial.

Why AJ&Co Lawyers?

‘In AJ&Co, I saw a progressive and dynamic law firm that is high energy and innovative in its approach to understanding the needs of clients in ever changing world.’

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Marion Niestroj

Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution

’I find it rewarding helping clients resolve complex legal disputes’

Marion specialises in corporate and commercial litigation, tax disputes, class actions, insurance litigation, franchise disputes, corporate and personal insolvency.

She has acted for clients in leading cases before the Supreme Court of Queensland, Court of Appeal, Federal Court of Australia and the High Court of Australia.

Marion was the recipient of the Toni Dick Memorial Award for outstanding community service in the legal profession.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

‘Everyone on the team at AJ & Co Lawyers is truly passionate about their area of practice and we are committed to achieving great results for our clients.’

Building & Construction

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Construction contracts – drafting and negotiation
  • Key legislation advice
  • Tendering, probity, project briefs and contractual arrangement advice
  • Risk review of contract documentation for bid purposes
  • Drafting and negotiating joint-venture agreements and alliance contracts
  • Contract management, compliance, risk management and performance monitoring advice
  • Building and construction contracts and subcontracts
  • Drafting and contractual notice review
  • Professional services contract and disputes
  • QBCC Licencing, compliance and statutory insurance issues and litigation
  • Subcontractor charge notices & proceedings
  • BCIPA notices, adjudications, submissions and responses
  • QCAT reviews, appeals and applications
  • PPSA issues on construction sites
  • Insolvency/administration and liquidation issues in construction
  • Labour & employment contracts and WH&S policies

EXPERTS

Jonathan Hitchcock Partner - Building & Construction

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Jonathan Hitchcock

Partner - Building & Construction

’Building and construction is a very real and practical application of the law. the conflicts and clashes can be challenging, but bring great satisfaction and rewards’

Jonathan has conducted significant construction based litigation matters. Highlights include longstanding litigation at Port Hinchinbrook North Queensland, substantial arbitration for South Tweed Shopping Centres, to a pipeline arbitration from Tasmania, construction cases in New Zealand and matter for a refinery in the London international Court of Arbitration.

In a career that has spanned almost three decades, Jonathan’s knowledge of both the Australian and global construction industries has led him to work with a broad range of clients, from local developer to multinational corporations.

His commitment to fair process and flexibility makes Jonathan a highly sought after representative and means he is always in demand.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

The firm is different. AJ & Co Lawyers approaches client connections with the goal of adding value. As a result the firm has established an interesting and capable team to work on challenging projects.”

Planning & Environment

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Development applications, appeals and infrastructure charging advice
  • Development consents, planning permits and development permits
  • Environmental, nature resource and land use approvals
  • Strategic and statutory land use planning
  • Land contamination, pollution incidents and claims of nuisance
  • Planning and development agreements
  • Flora, fauna and native vegetation matters
  • Heritage issues
  • Valuation, compulsory land acquisition and compensation
  • Planning law enforcement
  • Development contributions and levies

EXPERTS

Peter Macgregor Consultant - Planning & Environment

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Peter Macgregor

Consultant - Planning & Environment

‘I enjoy being part of such a skilled professional team, achieving great results and challenging mediocrity.’

Peter specialises in leading and appointing professional development teams through approval processes, as well as negotiating approvals with state and council, managing legal teams in large scale planning appeals and overseeing preparation of development feasibility analysis.

He also manages development and construction processes, negotiates infrastructure agreements, instigates and manages finance applications for large-scale developments and manages the marketing and selling of development projects.
Peter’s comprehensive skillset ensures his clients receive knowledgeable advice and highly effective representation.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

“AJ & Co Lawyers exudes confidence, with an exciting mix of dedicated professionals prepared to give 101% effort and strive for 101% result.”

Private Advisory & Revenue

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Technical income tax, CGT, GST, stamp duty and land tax advice
  • Asset protection strategies
  • Tax effective restructuring and transaction advice
  • Business succession planning and family continuity
  • Complex estate planning including wills and powers of attorney
  • Trust structuring solutions

EXPERTS

Mark Lowis Partner - Private Advisory & Revenue

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Mark Lowis

Partner - Private Advisory & Revenue

‘My ability to simplify complex issues and technical concepts allows me to help my clients make practical, informed decisions, protecting what is most important to them.’

Mark provides expert advice in Tax and Revenue, Family Business, Asset Protection, Succession, Trusts, Professional Adviser Support Services, Mergers & Acquisitions and Commercial Transactions.

Mark has worked on several high-profile matters including structuring the acquisition of a $60M multi-storey commercial building in Fortitude Valley for domestic and foreign investors; providing stamp duty advice in respect of RATCH-Queensland’s $400M wind farm project; and advising on the restructure of a $20M property development business operating in QLD and NSW.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?
I am energised by professionals who work tirelessly to ensure that above all else their clients receive the best possible outcomes. It was clear to me that the experts at AJ & Co Lawyers not only embrace this philosophy, but that they also possessed the agility, experience and instinct to adapt to the evolving needs of modern private business.