Managing Principal Solicitor
BA (Criminology major), LLB

Current practice

Margaret co-manages the Property Team at VGSO.  Margaret  advises on the full range of property issues that arise for the State and its agencies in relation to both Crown and freehold land.

Experience

Margaret has extensive experience in property law in both the private and public sectors.  She regularly advises on:

  • issues relating to Crown land, Crown Grants and surrenders to the Crown;
  • negotiating and drafting complex property transaction documents, including commercial lease and licence agreements, acquisition and disposal of land, commercial agreements that regulate the development and use of land;
  • electronic conveyancing;
  • adverse possession claims, easements, caveats, restrictions on title, General Law land and conversion of land; and
  • taxation related to land and land transactions including GST, land tax and stamp duty.

Key projects that Margaret has been involved in include:  

  • renovation and upgrade works to the Palais Theatre on reserved Crown land, including the preparation and negotiation of short and long-term lease arrangements, Memorandum of Understanding, Funding Deed and Request for Proposal;
  • advising on land issues and tenure arrangements for the reserved Crown land and freehold land at the Werribee Mercy Hospital and Royal Melbourne Hospital sites, including negotiating and preparing various freehold and Crown land commercial lease and surrender of lease agreements with the hospital and third parties for the redevelopment or upgrade of the hospital;
  • advising on the then proposed legislation, government agreements and potential litigation by owners corporations relating to the rectification of combustible cladding;
  • developing a new suite of template Crown leases under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, Land Act 1958 and Forests Act 1958, including retail, non-retail and telecommunications;
  • acquisition of land for the Western Grassland Reserve and for a new court in Bendigo;
  • agreements for lease, long term lease and licence arrangements and statutory interpretation issues arising in connection with the Queenscliff Centre, with a particular environmental protection focus;
  • advising on land issues for the Docklands Film Studios and the Melbourne Convention Centre; and
  • land status and occupation arrangements for the Port Phillip Prison site and for various cemeteries, health services and school sites.

In 2012/2013 Margaret spent just under 12 months on secondment at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development where she managed the Commercial & Property Team in the Legal Unit.

Margaret has been with VGSO for 15 years and previously worked in commercial and property law with the then Department of Human Services, in taxation and property law with a Melbourne mid-tier law firm and in taxation law with the Australian Taxation Office.