THE Victorian Bar has spent $54 million on new chambers buildings that will link two of the state's most prestigious barristers chambers.
Barristers’ Chambers Ltd, the chambers company of the Victorian Bar, has purchased the land and buildings of Owen Dixon Chambers West at 525 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne for $54 million, plus GST.
The purchase joins ownership of the two Owen Dixon Chambers buildings, which are already linked in physical terms.
The Victorian Bar said the purchase fulfils the original objective of the Bar when it purchased the land at 525 Lonsdale Street in 1979, to own the Chambers and secure tenure for members of the Bar into the future.
Investigation into the viability and suitability of the purchase began in March this year and concluded with the signing of a contract on Friday last week, with settlement scheduled before Christmas.
The move leaves the Bar without the risks and costs of hefty leases in an increasingly expensive city.
“This purchase releases the Bar from constraints as a tenant of a commercial building, said Michael Colbran QC, chairman of the Victorian Bar."
"Importantly, it means a security of tenure of chambers provided by the Bar that are close to the courts for current and future generations of Victorian barristers," Colbran said.
"The acquisition will strengthen and consolidate the asset base of the Bar and facilitate the long term expansion of Barristers Chambers Ltd.
"We made this decision after detailed reviews and advice on the commercial property market, valuation advice and engineering advice on the building integrity and capital works options to upgrade the building," he said.