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Lucy McCullagh

Partner, Head of Finance, Melbourne
Melbourne Australia

Lucy is a leading debt finance specialist with particular experience in social impact and green impact financing. She is the Head of Finance in Melbourne.

With more than 20 years’ experience at the forefront of finance offerings her specialisation in social and green impact financing sees her structuring and advising on loans with purpose across the spectrum of:

  • social and affordable housing;
  • specialist disability accommodation;
  • aged care;
  • social loans;
  • carbon loans;
  • green loans; and
  • loans provided for strategic governmental purposes.  

She is trusted adviser to community and disability housing associations, social housing funds, not-for-profit organisations, developers and housing platform aggregators, government departments, statutory corporations, leading Australian and international banks, financial institutions and corporate borrowers. Lucy’s expertise spans across a variety of sectors, including housing, social infrastructure, real estate, energy and critical minerals in the areas of corporate finance, acquisition finance, property finance and project finance.

Clients choose her for her commercial, solution-focused and thoughtful approach to complex and demanding transactions, allowing clients to meet their commercial outcomes in a constructive and relationship-oriented manner.

Awards and Recognition

Lucy is recognised in Asia-Pacific Legal 500 as a ‘debt finance expert’. Chambers Global describes Lucy as an ‘excellent practitioner’. Lucy has been voted one of Australia’s Best Lawyers in The Best Lawyers Australia for her work in Banking and Finance Law, Debt Capital Markets Law, Asset Finance Law, Equipment Finance Law, Project Finance and Development Practice and Structured Finance Law. The Australian Doyles Guide ranks Lucy as a ‘Leading Individual’ for Banking & Finance law.

Whilst working in London, Lucy was awarded 3rd place ‘Solicitor of the Year’ by The Lawyer magazine and was awarded the Wig & Pen Pro Bono Prize by the City of London, Holborn and Westminster Law Societies.


Lucy has completed a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Melbourne. Lucy has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Director’s ‘Company Directors Course’ and is a qualified mediator. Lucy is admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

Social Impact

  • Department of Treasury and Finance: advising the Department of Treasury and Finance on Phase 2 of its Low Interest Loan Program which provides Community Housing Agencies with access to long-term loan facilities to enhance such Agencies’ financial capacity to increase the supply of social housing. This included advising on matters involving National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).
  • Lighthouse Infrastructure: advising Lighthouse Infrastructure on its $270 million acquisition of a portfolio of specialist disability accommodation assets involving Summer Housing and Homes4Life, the debt financing component of which is recognised as a ‘Social Loan’ in line with the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association Social Loan Principles.
  • SuperHousingPartnerships: advising SuperHousingPartnerships on the structuring and documenting of its debt financing of its social, affordable and market build to rent project in Kensington, Victoria.
  • Synergis: advising Synergis Fund in relation to a portfolio of specialist disability accommodation projects financed by ANZ and NAB and managed by Federation Asset Management and Social Ventures Australia (SVA).
  • Social Ventures Australia: advising SVA on its debt financing of aged care assets in Tasmania.
  • Community Housing Canberra: advising Community Housing Canberra Limited on the financing of its affordable housing developments in Canberra, ACT.
  • Scape Student Living: advising Scape on a range of debt financing facilities for the acquisition and construction of build-to-rent student accommodation in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
  • Herston Quarter: advising ANZ, Westpac, NAB and AustralianSuper on their $740 million debt financing of the Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust, including a facility for the development financing of the Herston Quarter SRACC (specialist rehabilitation and ambulatory care centre) precinct in Brisbane, Queensland.

Green Impact

  • Bank Australia: advising Bank Australia on its financing of a carbon offsets project in Western Australia.
  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC): advising CEFC on its A$150 million construction of a net zero emissions 15-level office building being developed in Collingwood, Melbourne using sustainable mass timber construction methods to reduce embodied carbon levels.
  • Export Finance Australia (EFA): advising EFA on its financing of Liontown Resources to secure renewable energy for the Kathleen Valley Lithium Project in Western Australia for use in the electric vehicle battery supply chain of key global players such as Tesla, Ford and LG Energy Solution.
  • Westpac: advising Westpac on the refinancing of the project finance facilities provided to Transmission Operations Australia a company owned by CKI and Power Assets and owning and operating electricity transmission assets in Victoria

Government and statutory corporations

In addition to the work mentioned above for the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, EFA and CEFC, Lucy’s government related expertise includes:

  • Export Finance Australia and Commonwealth Department of Finance and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: advising EFA and DFAT on the structuring and financing of Telstra’s US$1.6 billion acquisition of Digicel Pacific, the largest mobile telecommunications provider in the Pacific region.
  • Victorian Funds Management Limited (VFMC): advising VFMC on its participation in numerous leveraged finance transactions, including under Term Loan B structures.

Real Estate

Lucy has deep experience in the financing of real estate assets across all product sectors. Some recent examples include:

  • Leading Australian Developer: advising a leading Australian developer on the debt financing arrangements for Melbourne Quarter residential and mixed use precinct in Melbourne, Victoria, including a residential tower with 1,200 apartments.
  • Coles: advising Coles on the development financing and security aspects of the development, sale and leaseback of properties in Victoria
  • CEFC: advising CEFC on its $68 million development financing provided to unlisted property fund manager Quintessential Equity for the construction of a market leading 5.5 star standard (NABERS) office tower in Geelong, Victoria
  • Epworth Hospital Group: advising the financiers to Epworth Hospital on all financings for Epworth’s corporate and real estate acquisitions and developments in the healthcare sector.
  • National Australia Bank (NAB): advising NAB on its facilities for the construction of residential apartments on St. Kilda Road, Melbourne by Golden Age Group and on Tooronga Road, East Malvern by Bensons Property Group and known as the Vanguard Apartments.
  • Wingate: advising Wingate on its debt financing of the construction of residential apartments by the Glenvill Group in Melbourne.
  • Property funds and financiers: advising property funds and debt financiers, including advising Scape Student Living on various facilities for the acquisition and construction of student accommodation in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Placer Property on its acquisition facility for the NewActon East Property Fund and on its construction facility for the Stables shopping centre in Adelaide, and the financiers to Australian Unity Retail Property Fund