West Australian firm Lavan Legal (Lavan) has played a key role in securing a preferred proponent for their client, LandCorp, for a highly anticipated, billion-dollar residential development in the Perth coastal area of Alkimos.
Lavan advised LandCorp, a governmental statutory body, and formed part of the selection panel in relation to the examination of tenders and the selection of LandCorp's development partner, Delfin Lend Lease. They are now charged with drafting the development agreement.
Talking to Lawyers Weekly, partner Peter Beekink this week said that being part of the transaction from inception was extremely valuable in terms of gaining a clearer understanding of their client's needs.
"Being part of the selection process is illuminating. You understand what [your client's] drivers are and it provides a deeper understanding. When you get your normal instructions, you know you want to achieve certain desired outcomes. When you know where it is all coming from, you understand it a lot more. So being involved early on has been great for our understanding of the project and where the parties are going," said Beekink.
Part of this understanding, said Beekink, was realising that LandCorp was taking monetary and non-monetary factors into consideration when determining which proponent would deliver the best outcome.
"Normally, you look at it in terms of how many dollars your client will make. This [project] took a broader view in that social infrastructure and benefit to the state, in non-monetary terms, was considered. We had to think: 'How is this going to make our state better? How are we going to achieve really great design and social outcomes?' These are issues that lawyers probably don't get a lot of interface with," he said.
According to Beekink, the process of selecting a preferred proponent, which lasted almost a year, was not an easy one.
"The whole process was challenging because each proponent had strengths and weaknesses and they weren't consistent. How, at the end of the day, you worked out which was the best one - when each one had outstanding abilities in certain areas - and how you got to the overall picture or result, was a bit of a challenge," he said.
- Claire Chaffey