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Australian Government Solicitor

 

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Property practice  

Property practice

During 2010–11, AGS worked on more than 2,500 property-related matters ranging from mortgages and securities and building and construction to complex leasing transactions and assisting a number of agencies to manage their national property portfolios.

This work is typically characterised by the need for strong project management, regular communications about the overall portfolio objectives, a coordinated approach to individual transactions across a number of jurisdictions, the use of consistent templates and implementation of agreed processes between AGS and the agency to maximise efficiency.

National Measurement Institute

A national team of AGS lawyers assisted the National Measurement Institute (NMI) to roll out a national property leasing program covering its new offices in each State and Territory (27 separate sites across Australia). This included providing a streamlined approach to reduce administrative and legal costs by undertaking the leasing and contract work as a single integrated project to support the rollout. We drafted a standard lease and a simple depot lease together with a standard advice on risk and indemnity issues. These were used in all matters other than assigned leases and allowed NMI to meet its property leasing target.

Department of Human Services

A national team of AGS lawyers and paralegals acted for the Department of Human Services in a full range of property transactions from precommitment leases for customer service office accommodation in metropolitan, regional and remote locations throughout Australia, through to high-volume transactional leasing and property management related advice. This was also underpinned by our ongoing work with the department to develop and maintain a standard suite of tailored property acquisition documents which streamline the acquisition process, is reflective of Government policy and compliant with regulatory requirements, but is at the same time widely accepted in the property marketplace.

Australian Human Rights Commission

AGS provided assistance to the Australian Human Rights Commission on the relocation of its Sydney headquarters to 175 Pitt Street. AGS negotiated the terms of the new lease, drafted contracts for office fit-out and IT and communication systems, advised on the related tenders and assisted with make-good obligations arising out of expiry of AHRC’s existing leases.

Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman

We conducted nationwide renegotiation of leases for the property portfolio of the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman. This necessitated a strong project management approach and liaison with multiple agents and lessors. Regular status reporting was a key feature of our approach.

AGS lawyers who coordinated our work on these matters included Peter Bowen, Teresa Miraglia, Andrew Miles and Simon Konecny.

This is an extract from the 2010–11 AGS annual report