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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

Partners

Partner - Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Partner – Corporate Advisory

Partner - Building & Construction

Partner - Private Advisory & Revenue

Partner - Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Partner - Corporate Advisory

Partner - Real Estate & Commercial

Partner – Planning and Environment

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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 any complex or sensitive corporate dispute, utilising his superior strategic insight and intellect to deliver you outstanding results.

He possesses vast experience in running large and high-stakes litigation in all Australian jurisdictions with diverse subject matter ranging from any commercial or contractual dispute to trade practices, revenue and administrative law, intellectual property and insolvency disputes.

Alex’s major litigation in 2017 and 2018 includes obtaining urgent injunctive relief to curtail alleged, multi-million dollar employee frauds, in both the Supreme Courts of Queensland and N.S.W; defending world-leading renewable energy scientist, Dr Patrick Glynn, in relation to injunctions and IP infringement proceedings concerning his thermal battery patents, in the Supreme Court of S.A.; winning a multi-million dollar judgment after a two week Supreme Court trial against leading U.S. yacht manufacturer, Bertram Yachts, concerning its manufacture and sale of a dangerously defective vessel.

In 2018 he also ran a further bankruptcy law test case in Gittins (a bankrupt) v Field as bankruptcy trustee (Federal Court of Australia) (judgment reserved), following his 2016 win in the landmark bankruptcy test case, Berryman v Zurich Australia Ltd (Supreme Court of W.A.), which held for the first time in Australia that proceeds of TPD insurance policies are protected in bankruptcy, beyond the reach of creditors.

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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Gavin McInnes

Partner – Corporate Advisory

Gavin is a dynamic, lateral thinking corporate, commercial and property lawyer with a diverse interest in business.

Gavin’s clients include a number of private and listed companies, high net worth individuals and their families, leading private equity funds as well as many national brands. Gavin has had extensive industry experience in fields encompassing health, property, SME businesses in all sectors, energy and resources, finance, technology, hospitality, retail and the infrastructure sector. Gavin sits on the Queensland Law Society Specialist Accreditation Committee and is Board Member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Gavin specialises is complex corporate arrangements and aggregations (roll-ups) of businesses, particularly focusing on the health sector. In the past, Gavin has been instrumental in bringing together Dental Partners (dental), Greencross Vets (veterinary), LensPro (optometry), Early Leaning Services & Foundation Early Learning (childcare), pharmacy, physio and allied health generally. Gavin is currently working on Chiropractic, Orthodontic and medical centre rollups and intends to bring all of these to an IPO conclusion.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

After moving on as a capital partner of a large mid-tier firm and after working in top tier firms in Brisbane, Gavin elected to join a top tier environment with a boutique feel that is AJ & Co. AJ & Co Lawyers’ provides top tier experience and expertise with specialised service and delivers on its promise to exceed expectations and deliver value to it clients.

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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.”

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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.

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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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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 on the sale of Heron Island Resort, and on the development of over $5 billion of energy projects in Queensland.

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.

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Sarah Bird

Partner - 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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Wendy Evans

Partner – Planning and Environment

There are only two Planning and Environment lawyers in Australia who have also practiced as town planners and have been elevated to Fellow members of the Planning Institute of Australia in recognition of their contribution to the planning and development industry. Wendy was the first of those two practitioners, meaning she brings a commercial and real edge to her legal expertise which is unparalleled.

Her expertise includes:

  • Development strategy and application review/restructure, to best position the application and help avoid or reduce future litigation.
  • Planning advisory work for the private sector as well as local and state government
  • Statutory planning including planning scheme reviews, legislative and policy reform, the preparation and review of charges resolutions and planning scheme policies, and the development of model conditions.
  • Negotiations and drafting work associated with infrastructure agreements.
  • Mediations by Court order or otherwise.
  • Litigation in the Planning and Environment Court including merits appeals, infrastructure charges appeals, conversion appeals, declaratory actions, enforcement work, applications for leave to appeal and cost applications.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

I’ve fallen out of love with the top tier’s (which is where I have spent my entire practicing career before joining AJ&Co). I wanted to be a part of a team which has a beating heart again – which is absolutely an experience that clients are entitled to feel aswell. I want my clients to know that not only do I personally care about the work I’m doing with and for them, but also that my whole firm does. Its a relationship that’s based on meaning, action and quality. With this combination – what we do as legal practitioners moves from being transactional, to being real again.

Team

Consultant - Planning & Environment

Special Counsel - Real Estate & Commercial

Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Senior Associate - Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Senior Associate – Corporate Advisory

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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.”

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Jodie Lonard

Special Counsel - 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.’

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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.’

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Emma Hardy

Senior Associate - Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Emma is commercially minded and pragmatic. Clients value her ability to deliver outcomes that minimise disruption and allow them to move forward with business.

An experienced litigator across areas including insurance, insolvency, consumer law, franchising and taxation, Emma is well positioned to assist clients to navigate their way through disputes and litigation.

Emma’s in-house legal experience, provided her with insights on the commercial experience and the impact of legal service delivery on a more holistic level with a deeper appreciation of what drives business and outcomes.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

AJ & Co are leading the way in legal service delivery. There is no red tape holding back our clients from achieving their goals. In fact, AJ &Co partner with their clients to achieve their goals.

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Kyla Brose

Senior Associate – Corporate Advisory

ACHIEVING COMMERCIAL SOLUTIONS THROUGH CREATIVITY AND TECHNICAL ABILITY

Kyla’s carefully honed skill set, wide-ranging experience and business and commercial acumen are all applied for her clients to enable them to thrive. Her keen eye for detail and lateral thinking, applied with consideration of practical and commercial aspects ensures that she is an asset in in each and every transaction.

Client’s value her ability to manage and limit transactional and operational risks while maintaining the practical goals and her ability to communicate the legal aspects and issues in transactions clearly.

She acts for a variety of clients, from small family businesses to ASX listed companies, with the same determination to excel and obtain the best possible results.

Why AJ & Co Lawyers?

The team at AJ & Co Lawyers understand that their position as legal advisers requires both excellent technical ability and the ability to understand and appreciate the position of their clients, not only legally but commercially within their industry. Not one of the experts at AJ & Co Lawyers can been seen as a blockade or as providing increased red tape in transactions; we work with our clients to achieve the best possible outcome with commercial realities firmly at the forefront of our mind.