TWO LAW firms are advising on Telstra’s consolidation of its offices in Melbourne, which is said to be the largest suburban office development in the city for 20 years.
Telstra’s moves in Melbourne follow similar office relocations by the telco in Brisbane earlier this year, which amounted to that city’s largest ever leasing deal (see story on www.lawyersweekly.com.au).
The new site will house all Telstra employees that now work in various offices in the eastern suburbs and outer-CBD.
“The project will reduce our net office area in Melbourne by over 10,000 square metres and deliver annual lease savings of $2 million from 2009,” said Telstra chief operations officer Greg Winn.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth advised Telstra to finalise the agreement for Salta Constructions to build the 40,000 square metre office complex at Clayton in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
Logie-Smith Lanyon acted for Salta Constructions, led by Michael Lanyon.
“The deal was particularly challenging because of the need to give Telstra maximum flexibility both in relation to the use of the property and from a transactional viewpoint given the rapidly evolving and changing nature of the business environment in which Telstra operates,” said Corrs’ lead partner Randall Gerkins.
He said discussions on the deal began in March this year, but the “key work” had to be completed in May during a week long “lock down” meeting involving the parties, their lawyers and other consultants.
Telstra’s property legal counsel David Stewart said “this was no easy task given the pressure of the lockdown and the extremely long hours of drafting and negotiating required”.
A total of seven Corrs lawyers worked on the deal, including three who worked full time during the lock down.
Four other lawyers provided assistance on town planning, corporate and financing issues.
Randall Gerkens, senior associate Paul Lewis and the Corrs project team worked closely with Stewart and Vito Chiodo, the company’s director of property.