Nicholas Afaras

Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

T:+61 2 9330 8338
T:+61 2 9330 8338
Nicholas Afaras

Nicholas Afaras


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Nicholas Afaras is a real estate and infrastructure lawyer based in Sydney.

Nicholas has over 28 years’ experience advising many of Australia’s leading property owners and developers on all aspects of their portfolios including due diligences, site subdivision and development and the acquisition, sale and leasing of industrial, commercial, retail, rural and residential sites.

Nicholas has a particular focus on the property aspects of infrastructure developments for government and semi-government authorities including advising on issues associated with valuation and resumption matters, easements, compulsory acquisition, native title/aboriginal land rights and landowner negotiations and disputes.

Nicholas has been recognised in the Best Lawyers in Australia list for Real Property Law since 2015.

As a partner of the real estate group for over 20 years Nicholas has been involved in a number of significant transactions including acting for:

  • real estate investment trusts, developers, windfarm proponents, Councils and State owned corporations on resumption and tenure matters relating to owned and leased sites and infrastructure;
  • a State owned corporation on numerous electricity transmission line and substation projects and upgrades throughout New South Wales (AUD $various);
  • a listed Singaporean company on various mixed use residential and hotel development projects situated at the Rocks (120 apartments), Macquarie Park (700 apartments), Dulwich Hill (250 apartments) and Circular Quay (AUD $various);
  • an overseas investor in the acquisition of mixed use hotel and retail precinct in Cairns (comprising hotel and retail shops) and the sale of a retail CBD site (109 retail shops, cinemas, and car parking);
  • various private investors in the acquisition and sale of retirement villages comprising over 500 existing and proposed independent living units secured under various tenure arrangements (AUD $various);
  • numerous corporate, multi-national and government organisations on corporate real estate and head office leasing transactions;
  • private companies and REITs (both as landlord and tenant) in relation to industrial and commercial leasing of industrial estates;
  • a private investor in the sale of seven hotels (incorporating liquor licences, 170 gaming machines and entitlements, plant and equipment and goodwill) (AUD $175 million);
  • high net worth companies and trusts and receivers and managers in the acquisition and  sale (by way of asset or equity transfer) of hotel sites, residential development sites, CBD commercial office buildings, luxury retirement villages and regional and suburban shopping centres; and
  • publicly listed companies (both bidder  and seller) on numerous due diligences across a range of industries including telecommunications, infrastructure, building materials, agribusiness, manufacturing and mining.

Nicholas has a solid understanding of real estate and development law and is sought out for his ability to provide prompt and commercial advice upon the diverse scenarios inherent in property as an asset class. Clients appreciate Nicholas’ commerciality and politely persuasive approach to transactions.

Professional experience

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Master of Laws (LLM), University of Sydney, 1996

Admitted, High Court of Australia, 1991

Admitted, Supreme Court of NSW, 1989

Bachelor of Laws (LLB), University of Sydney, 1989

Bachelor of Economics (BEc.), University of Sydney, 1987


Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Deacons), July 1997 – current  

Secondment to Mitsui & Co. (Australia) Ltd, 1995 - 1996

Senior Associate, Deacons (now Norton Rose Fulbright), 1994 - 1997

Solicitor, Sly & Weigall (now Norton Rose Fulbright), 1990 – 1994


Real Property Law, Best Lawyers in Australia, 2015 - 2019

Energy, Best Lawyers in Australia, 2015

Vice President, Australia Singapore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2000 – 2014 

Committee Member, Corporate Real Estate, Property Council of Australia, 2003 – 2004