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Julie Couch


Julie assists clients to acquire, develop, lease and sell major commercial, industrial and retail real estate.



Julie is focused on delivering commercial outcomes for her clients and takes a straightforward, solutions focused approach. She has a developed close relationships with many of the firm’s key clients. 

Julie has worked with clients on some of the most significant real estate developments in Australia in recent years, including the development and leasing of Barangaroo for Lendlease, the acquisition, development and leasing of Australian Technology Park at Redfern for Mirvac and the sale of more than $600 million worth of real estate by the NSW government.

Based in Sydney, Julie has more than two decades of experience in real estate and has led the Herbert Smith Freehills team on significant property transactions in five Australian states.

Julie’s experience advising on some of the largest and most complex real estate deals in Australia means she is well versed on the issues that are likely to arise on property transactions and the solutions available to address those issues. She helps clients to negotiate deals with a view to mitigating risk while ensuring their objectives are achieved.

Julie's experience includes advising:

  • Mirvac on its acquisition and development of Australian Technology Park at Redfern, including the development and sell down arrangements with AMP and SunSuper and the agreement for lease with CBA for premises in excess of 95,000 square metres
  • Lendlease on the joint venture and sell down arrangements with Mitsubishi and Ping An in respect of the development of Circular Quay Tower
  • Lendlease as developer on the commercial leasing at Barangaroo South, including agreements for lease and leases of more than 200,000 square metres to Westpac, KPMG, Lendlease, PwC, Gilbert & Tobin, HSBC, Marsh, Swiss Re, Baker & McKenzie and Servcorp
  • ANZ as owner in relation to the acquisition and development of its 80,000 square metre head office at Docklands
  • Government Property NSW in respect of the sale (and leaseback) of more than $600 million worth of office buildings throughout NSW
  • David Jones in respect of the sale and leaseback of its Market Street Sydney store to Scentre and Cbus

Julie is widely recognised for her legal expertise in the real estate market. Chambers Asia-Pacific Australia states that Julie “attracts widespread applause from sources who highlight her work ethic and her ability to remain calm and focused under pressure”. Julie was named by Best Lawyers Australia as the 2018 NSW Real Property Law Lawyer of the Year.


Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Sydney. Julie is admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales.