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Richard Skopal

Partner - Melbourne

Areas of Expertise

Property & Real Estate


Richard is an experienced property and real estate lawyer with a particular focus on commercial transactions, large and mid-scale development projects, and commercial and retail leasing.

Richard has been recognised by Best Lawyers as a leading practitioner in Real Property Law and Leasing Law.


Richard's experience includes:

Complex property transactions

  • Acting for the Victorian State Government in the acquisition of the GMH Site at Fishermans Bend for approximately $120 million, which involved the extensive due diligence and negotiation of transaction documents to protect the State‚Äôs interest as purchaser and future development of the Site as a precinct of excellence. The site will form a cornerstone for the State Government vision for the Fishermans Bend precinct and will be the most significant urban renewal project in Melbourne for the next 10 years
  • Acting for Arena Funds Management in the sale of assets held in their office and property fund portfolios with a value in excess of $300 million, which involved the simultaneous settlement of assets located in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and New Zealand
  • Acting for the Aventus Retail Property Fund in the acquisition of homemaker centres in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, with a valuation in excess of $200 million. This included undertaking legal due diligence, preparing a report for the board, negotiating sale documentation with the respective vendors and attending to settlement. Richard also assisted in the successful listing of the Fund by undertaking property due diligence and preparation of the product disclosure statement
  • Acting for the Australian arm of a Singaporean exchange listed business, Grand Chancellor Group, in the acquisition and lease-back of the strata-titled office portion of 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne from Victoria University for $48.5 million. This involved undertaking legal due diligence, preparing documents for the tender response, negotiating sale documentation and preparing and attending to settlement
  • Acting for the vendor in the sale of the Kingsgate Ibis Hotel in Melbourne to an international purchaser for more than $27 million. The transaction involved the sale of the freehold and business assets, the preparation of documentation for a sale by expression of interest, negotiating the terms of sale with the purchaser and attending to simultaneous settlement of the freehold and business
  • Acting for a prospective new listed trust undertaking property due diligence for the purchase of six sub-regional shopping centres in excess of $350 million in both Victoria and New South Wales, which included reviewing lease documentation, reporting on material risk issues and preparing an extensive due diligence report
  • Conducting various legal due diligences for both vendors and purchasers for commercial, retail and industrial properties across Australia, including undertaking searches, advising on risk and potential risk mitigation steps.

Leasing related matters

  • Acting for the Victorian State Government in the negotiation of a long term commercial tenancies throughout the Melbourne CBD and surrounds
  • Acting for large national companies including DHL Express, Carlton and United Breweries and Caltex Australia in ongoing leasing transactions throughout Australia, including the preparation, negotiation and finalisation of lease agreements and lease renewals
  • Preparing ongoing leasing documentation for a number of major landlords across Australia in relation to commercial offices within the Melbourne CBD and surrounds, including the preparation and negotiation of various leasing documents, including new leases, renewals, variations, surrenders, and assignments.

At his previous firm, Richard spent six months as acting General Counsel for Mazda Australia where he developed a broad understanding of the day to day legal issues faced by clients and a commercial approach to managing these issues. Richard continues to act for Mazda in ongoing matters.


08 August 2019 - Knowledge

Leases falling out of Retail Leases Act

#Property & Real Estate

VCAT has held that a retail premises lease can ‘jump out’ of the operation of the RLA during its term if occupancy costs exceed $1 million.

09 October 2017 - Knowledge

Airspace encroachments in Victorian construction projects

#Property & Real Estate

In Janney Ors v Stellar Works Pty Ltd [2017] VSC 363 the Victorian Supreme Court (the Court) granted an injunction in favour of a land owner to stop a developer from overhanging part of a crane...

11 July 2017 - Knowledge

‘Non-commercial’ uses and the Retail Leases Act

#Property & Real Estate

A recent decision of the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal serves as an important reminder of the broad application of the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) (RLA). In IMCC Group (Australia) Pty Ltd v CB Co...