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Karen Donner

Special Counsel
Fax +61.2.9513.2399
Ms. Donner practices in commercial real estate law with a focus on infrastructure, the health sector and the hotel and tourism industry. She advises a range of government, institutional and corporate clients on commercial property matters. Her areas of expertise include the sale and purchase of real estate and hotel assets, leasing transactions, property and infrastructure development projects, management agreements, franchise agreements, multi-vendor sales and general advice to real estate stakeholders. She has extensive experience in property due diligence investigations and managing large transactions and leasing portfolios.

Professional Background

Ms. Donner gained the first thirteen years of her legal experience with two of Australia's leading international law firms. Most recently she has been part of the real estate team at two local Australian firms with particular expertise in government projects. She has also completed client secondments with Rail Corporation NSW and NBN Co Limited.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Adjunct Lecturer at the College of Law, Sydney
  • Member of the Law Society of New South Wales
Commercial Property Transactions
  • Acted on the property aspects of the sale of the Guess brand in Australia.
  • Acted on the sale of land for the University of Western Sydney.
  • Acted on the sale of a commercial and industrial strata-titled building in Rosebery NSW comprising 23 lots for 14 individual vendors to Stable Properties for AUD22.5 million.
  • Acted on the acquisition of development sites for Option Fund, Crown Group and Rich Sea International and the sale of development sites for Rich Sea International and Centuria Capital.
  • Acted for Sekisui House on its exit from its operations in Victoria and South Australia.
  • Acted on the sale of the 14-storey A grade office building located at 140 Sussex Street Sydney to RREEF Real Estate for AUD84 million for Eureka Funds Management.
  • Acted on the sale of the commercial office building located at 10 Bridge Street Sydney to a European private investor for AUD60 million for Eureka Funds Management.
  • Acted on the property aspects of the sale of the Beechwood Homes group of companies (Manager and Receiver appointed) for the Deloitte Corporate Reorganisation Group and BankWest as mortgagee in possession.
  • Acted on the purchase of the office block located at 5-9 Harbourview Crescent Milsons Point site and its subsequent redevelopment into the Halcyon Apartment complex and sale as residential apartments for Thakral Holdings Limited.
  • Acted for RailCorp in relation to the development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.
  • Acted on the acquisition of 11 sites for the NBN Satellite Earth Station Project.
Leasing Transactions
  • Acted for Rio Tinto on its agreement to lease its Brisbane headquarters at Rio Tinto Tower, 123 Albert Street Brisbane from the Dexus Property Group.
  • Managed commercial and retail leasing portfolios for the Ho Group, Kennards Storage, RailCorp, Sydney Local Health District, IBM, Unisys Australia, the Reserve Bank of Australia, Goodman Fielder, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, EyeCorp, Hapag-LLopyd, MTV Networks Australia, Thakral
  • Holdings, Eureka Funds Management, Macquarie Office Trust, AMP and Telstra Corporation.
Hotel Transactions
  • Acted on the exchange and completion of the sale of the five-star InterContinental Hotel Wellington for NZD50 million (AUD40 million) for Eureka Funds Management Limited.
  • Acted on the sale of the 380-room Novotel on Collins Hotel and adjoining 7,797 sqm Australia on Collins Shopping Centre Melbourne to LaSalle Investment Management for a combined price of AUD204 million for Thakral Holdings Limited.
  • Acted for CBus Property, Host-Plus and Starwood on the sale of the 262-room Westin Melbourne Hotel for AUD160 million to TA Enterprise Bhd.
  • Advised Marriott International on the Australian law aspects of its acquisition of 32 hotels worldwide including the Courtyard by Marriott Parramatta and the Courtyard by Marriott Surfers Paradise together with certain joint venture interests from the CTF Hotel Group for US$1.4 billion.
  • Acted on the purchase of the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney for Eureka Funds Management for AUD220 million.
  • Drafted and negotiated the Implementation Agreement for the development of the Noosa North Shore Resort and the subsequent management of the resort pursuant to a management rights scheme and community title scheme for Dransfield Hotels and Resorts.
  • Drafted and negotiated the Accor Management Agreement for the Sofitel Brisbane and the variation of the Master Accor Hotel Management Agreement for Thakral Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Marriott International, the Jumeirah Group and Hilton Hotels Corporation on the franchising of their brands in Australia.