Paul Crawford

Paul Crawford

Paul’s strong technical legal skills and business acumen have positioned him as a key strategic advisor to his public and private sectors clients where he is often delivering complex and often sensitive projects. He has excellent project management skills and adopts a solutions-based collaborative approach when working with clients and their other business advisers. The commercial manager at the Capital Airport Group commented recently ...“very experienced and knowledgeable frank and forthright advice on both commercial issues delivered in a concise informative manner at all times”.

His practice involves multifaceted commercial and business structures, property and development projects and joint venture arrangements across a number of industry sectors, including government, mining, tourism, telecommunications and commercial property.

Policy and procurement, front end construction projects, major retail, commercial and government leasing, acquisitions and disposals and project finance are also key experience areas for Paul where he is regularly managing multi-jurisdictional teams. He also works internationally with Asian based clients on joint venture arrangements and commercial property acquisitions and advised an overseas based commercial client on the acquisition of an Australian based aerospace and Defence services business unit.

Paul is been recognised in the Australian Financial Review’s leading lawyer list in the areas of real property, commercial, corporate, mergers and acquisitions and construction / infrastructure . He is a seasoned presenter giving seminars on topics including business structuring shareholders agreements and consequential loss. Paul has also lectured and tutored extensively in law programs at the Australian National University.

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Recent Matters

  • Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) - A key advisor to this PGPA body with unparalleled experience spanning 17 years on acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, investments and statutory interpretation including: * Establishment and funding (both debt and equity arrangements) of special purpose vehicles for joint venture participation; * Structuring of investments to comply with IBA’s legislative framework; * Advising on its grant program, including preparation of proforma grant documents; * Advising on the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, including advice on the relationship between IBA’s powers under its enabling legislation and the provisions of the CAC Act; * The incorporation by IBA of special purpose vehicles for participation in joint ventures, including advice on nominee director duties of IBA appointed directors to those vehicles; * The acquisition, development and leasing to the Department of Health of the Central office of the Department (Scarborough House in Woden), having a net lettable area of 16,499m2; * Advising on the acquisition of the holiday park business and administration of 4WD and beach camping permits on North Stradbroke Island; * The grant of the long term lease for ‘Cicada Lodge’ in the Northern Territory and the development of that site; * The acquisition and joint venture arrangements for Wilpena Pound Resort in the Flinders Ranges National Park; * Various property acquisitions and disposals, including the acquisition of the ‘Holiday Inn Townsville, the ‘CPS Building’ in Adelaide (including its recent disposal), acquisition of one-half interest in the Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront and the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront, and commercial buildings in Port Hedland, Perth, Kalgoorlie and Alice Springs
  • Capital Airport Group – According to the Chief Executive Officer, “Some lawyers are trusted advisors… like Paul Crawford. It’s about them knowing you. Paul is an authority [in meetings with us] because he knows us. He has our trust”: * Acting on the construction of the new passenger terminal and surrounding infrastructure ($350 million), which included the preparation of a number of inter related construction agreements and agreements for lease tailored for the staged handover approach to the completion of the terminal together with the procurement contract for the aerobridges; * Negotiation of anchor tenant leases for the Majura Retail Centre and business parks (including the Commonwealth)
  • Confidential client – Providing high level strategic advice to an overseas based commercial client on the acquisition of an Australian based aerospace and Defence services business unit
  • SC Capital Partners Pte. Limited – Advisor to this Singapore based client on joint venture arrangements with a residential property developer for a multi-unit development in Sydney and acquisition of commercial property
  • Tuggeranong Office Park Pty Limited – Advising on the unwinding of an early form of PPP in respect to the ownership of the Centrelink building, which involved the facilitation of the sale of the site by the Commonwealth (acting through the Department of Finance) with a long term leaseback arrangement to what is now the Department of Social Services
  • Australian National University – Advising on the acquisition of the City West precinct and the subsequent equity participation in its student accommodation no. 2 project
  • Molonglo Group – Negotiating the $115m property development finance documentation for the ‘Nishi’ residential and commercial development at Canberra’s NewActon precinct. This included the review, negotiation and tailoring of a complex suite of limited recourse loan and security documentation within a fixed deadline to ensure that construction on the site could commence and leasing commitments to the anchor Commonwealth tenant met
  • Queensland Investment Corporation – Core member of the team that worked on the development of a residential, retail and office complex worth in excess of $150m which included planning advice, negotiating construction agreements and negotiating the leasing of 60,000+ square metres of office space by a major Commonwealth government tenant (the Australian Taxation Office). This project included detailed planning issues and objections that needed to be dealt with and overcome in a tight timeframe. Some of the issues Paul managed included a complex set of inter-related agreements to develop and lease two separate sites and back to backing the agreements with a complex design and construction contract
  • Australian National Audit Office – Advising on its politically sensitive whole of building lease for its Canberra headquarters
  • [Former] Department of Industry, Science and Resources (Invest Australia) – Advising on its $40m loan and IP transfer arrangement with a US based corporation
  • Five D Holdings Pty Ltd (acting on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Finance) – Advising on the memorandum of understanding with various courts and tribunals for the occupation of Commonwealth Law Courts throughout Australia
  • Department of Health – National office refit program, as well as a senior member on the team that acted for the Commonwealth on all aspects of the acquisition of the Mersey Community Hospital
  • Commonwealth Ombudsman – Negotiated the head office lease in Canberra and lease renewals in Adelaide and Sydney.


  • ACT Law Society
  • Practice Management Committee of the ACT Law Society
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Economic Development Committee of the Property Council of Australia (ACT Division)
  • Australian Corporate Lawyers Association.


  • Present: Partner, King & Wood Mallesons Canberra
  • Jan - Mar 2012: Partner, Mallesons Stephen Jaques Canberra
  • 2000 - 2011: Senior Associate, Mallesons Stephen Jaques Canberra
  • 1997 - 2000: Solicitor, Mallesons Stephen Jaques Canberra
  • 1997: Senior Associate, Allen Allen & Hensley Canberra
  • 1996: Lecturer, International Business Transactions, Australian National University
  • 1994 - present: Legal Officer, Royal Australian Navy Reserve
  • 1994: Solicitor, Allen Allen & Hemsley Canberra
  • 1992 - 1998: Tutor, Commercial Law, Australian National University
  • 1992: Solicitor, Macphillamy Cummins & Gibson Canberra
  • 1992: Legal workshop, Australian National University
  • 1991: Bachelor of Economics and Laws (Hons) degrees, Australian National University.


Legal insights

The National Commission of Audit's two reports were jointly released by the Treasurer, Joe Hockey and the Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, on 1 May 2014.

01 May 2014

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