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Phil McMahon is a partner in Hebert Smith Freehills Brisbane office and leads the Queensland finance practice.

Phil acts for borrowers and lenders across a range of industries including real estate, energy, project, mining, infrastructure and corporate financings.

Phil’s expertise includes leveraged acquisition financings, real estate portfolio acquisitions, as well as transaction banking facilities and derivatives, balance sheet and joint venture financings.

Phil’s recent transactions have also included acting for banks and real estate funds in connection with the Islamic financing of single asset and portfolio acquisitions.



Phil has completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of New South Wales. Phil is admitted in a number of Australian jurisdictions and in the U.K.

Before joining Herbert Smith Freehills, Phil worked for a magic circle law firm in the United Kingdom. He also spent time on secondment with the syndicated finance group at the London head office of HSBC Bank plc.

Market Recognition

Phil has been listed since 2013 in the ‘Best Lawyers’ list published by the Australian Financial Review as a leading a leading lawyer in the categories of banking and finance, debt capital markets, structured finance and project finance and development.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

Real estate financing

  • Link REIT – in connection with the A$444 million debt facilities provided for their acquisition of 100 Market Street, Sydney from Blackstone
  • Suntec REIT – in connection with the A$450 million financing of a portfolio of commercial properties
  • M&G Real Estate Asia – in connection with the A$74.5 million debt facilities provided for their acquisition of a portfolio of industrial assets
  • Nuveen Global – in connection with a $72 million construction and investment facility for the redevelopment of 183-185 Clarence Street, Sydney
  • QIC - in connection with the financing aspects of its acquisition of a 50% interest in the sale and leaseback of a portfolio of office buildings from the Queensland Government
  • QIC - in connection with the establishment and ongoing financing requirements (including to finance the acquisition of assets) of a number of its funds including the QIC Shopping Centre Fund, the QIC Active Retail Property Fund, the QIC Core Plus Fund, the QIC Property Fund and the QIC Core Plus Fund
  • ESR/Propertylink – on the financing aspects of numerous portfolio acquisitions and ongoing financing requirements
  • Lend Lease – the financing aspects of its RNA Showgrounds development
  • Lend Lease – the financing aspects of a residential and commercial development at Orrong Road, Armadale
  • Suncorp – numerous real estate investment and development financings

Energy and resources, projects and infrastructure

  • Yancoal Australia Limited – in relation to a range of matters, including the financing aspects of its acquisitions of Coal & Allied and Gloucester Coal Ltd, a structured asset-backed bond issuance, a syndicated master lease facility for the sale and lease-back of yellow goods utilised in a mining  joint venture and ongoing financing requirements
  • Jera Trading – in relation to an environmental bonding facility and offtake arrangement with Malabar Coal
  • CBA and Westpac – in relation to the A$750 million senior syndicated debt facilities for Adani’s Abbot Point Coal terminal and a range of secured hedge providers in connection with secured hedging arrangements
  • Santos – in relation to a range of matters including the project financing aspects of the US$15 billion PNG LNG project (awarded Project Finance Deal of the Year 2010 at the ALB Australasian Law Awards), the financing aspects of the Gladstone LNG project and a US$65 million borrowing base facility for its Indonesian oil and gas assets
  • Aston Resources Limited – in relation to the financing aspects of its merger with Whitehaven Coal and Boardwalk Resources

Corporate finance

  • IFM – in relation to the $2 billion acquisition bridge facilities for its Global Infrastructure Fund and the $1 billion acquisition bridge facilities for its domestic funds, for the financing of a range of domestic and offshore infrastructure investments
  • Eclipx Group – in connection with a secured USPP bond issuance and subsequent refinancing of the Group’s bank debt facilities and amendment of USPP bonds
  • NSW Treasury, Queensland Treasury and Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria – in connection with its Whole of Government Banking and Payment Services procurement
  • Future Fund and The Campbell Group – in relation to the financing aspects of their acquisition of South Australia’s forestry assets and the subsequent acquisition of the New Zealand forestry assets, and subsequent USPP bond issuance

Islamic finance

  • National Australia Bank –  numerous Shari’ah compliant financing (based on Wakala)
  • Propertylink – investments by Al Salaam bank, and Saudi Economic and Development Company provided under a commodity murabahah in conjunction with secured bank debt facilities to finance the acquisition of a portfolio of industrial properties in Australia
  • Global Rental and Leasing – the proposed establishment of a Shari’ah compliant Australian and offshore investment fund structure, and related Shari’ah compliant financing arrangements in connection with an asset leasing business