John Moutsopoulos

Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

John Moutsopoulos

John Moutsopoulos

vCard

Biography

John Moutsopoulos is a corporate funds partner based in Sydney and is one of Australia's leading investment fund lawyers.

John advises domestic and overseas institutional investors and fund managers on:

  • structuring and execution of their investment transactions particularly in real assets (e.g. real estate, agrisector and infrastructure) through the establishment of joint ventures, capital partnerships, clubs or funds;
  • related corporate, foreign investment and regulatory requirements; and
  • the formation of on shore and off shore investment funds (both regulated and unregulated) across all asset classes and advising asset managers and GP's on general corporate, investment management and regulation matters.

John is the co-head of the agribusiness group at Norton Rose Fulbright in Australia.


Professional experience

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  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), ANU 1985
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB), ANU 1987
  • Master of Laws (LLM), Sydney University 2003

John's deal sheet includes acting on investment and fund formation transactions in the real estate, agrisector and infrastructure sectors for the following clients (acting for the limited partner/cornerstone investor or the fund manager):

Real estate sector

  • Advised the Macquarie/Logos joint venture management platform in relation to the establishment of a wholesale Cayman Island limited partnership structure investing in direct China real estate logistics assets, with global capital.
  • Advised Pamoja Capital (European private equity firm) on the structuring and establishment of its Singaporean domiciled joint venture platform (with its cornerstone investor Canadian pension fund, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation) investing directly into student accommodation assets in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Advised Perpetual Group, on their appointment as external trustee and establishment of the corporate structure in relation to Ascendas Singbridge's purchase of a 20-storey office building at 100 Arthur Street, North Sydney, for approximately AU$315 million.
  • Advised Mercer in relation to its direct real estate joint venture platform with ASX listed Charter Hall Group.
  • Advised Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA-CREF), a US based pension fund on the establishment of its Australian commercial office property alliance with the ASX listed Mirvac Group.
  • Advised Ivanhoe Cambridge (the real estate focussed subsidiary of Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot) on its joint venture with Blackstone in relation to a 25 per cent interest in the Sydney commercial office tower, Liberty Place.
  • Advised Centro Retail (ASX listed stapled property group) in relation to its merger (by stapling) with other Centro Properties Group funds to create Centro Retail Australia, a quadruple stapled ASX listed A-REIT. This transaction involved a listing of the new A-REIT, the internalisation of management, the implementation of a 'trust-scheme', the obtaining of a new AFSL and an application to the Court for judicial advice by the responsible entity of Centro Retail.
  • Advised Singaporean based Shariah compliant fund AEP on the structuring of its acquisition vehicle to acquire a commercial office building in the Brisbane, Australia, using Shariah compliant debt and FX hedging facility.

Agri-sector including Timberland

  • Advised leading agri asset manager, Growth Farms on its recently established cattle and cropping fund with global capital.
  • Advised leading Australian agri asset manager, Gunn Agri Partners on its recently established Australian cattle fund with global capital.
  • Advised a significant restructure of an existing Pastoral Fund, a closed ended wholesale fund which owns beef cattle and sheep production properties in Australia.
  • Advised a UK fund manager on the tax structuring and legal issues in the design of an Australian farmland fund promoted to international investors with physical off take rights.

Infrastructure

  • Advised The Trust Company as external trustee and responsible entity of the Asciano Finance Trust (part of the ASX listed Asciano Group, a stapled infrastructure fund) in relation to all issues concerning fund structuring, establishment and ASX listing, the AU$2.4 billion 'low doc' capital raising by the Asciano Group and the 'corporatisation' transaction for the Asciano Group via 'trust' scheme of arrangement.
  • Advised The Trust Company (Sydney Airport) Limited in its role as trustee and responsible entity of the Sydney Airport Finance Trust on the recent restructure and simplification of the Sydney Airport ASX listed stapled infrastructure fund. This transaction was implemented by 'trust' scheme of arrangement  and  included entering into replacement cross staple  arrangements.
  • Advised Mercer on its minority co-investment into a European infrastructure fund operating wind farms in Portugal.

Asset management

  • Advising a number of overseas traditional asset management firms on all issues concerning their entry into the Australian market. Recent clients include BMO and Savills Investment Management.
  • Advising Alpha Vista Financial Services Holdings, a fintech asset management start up on all issues regarding the establishment of its global quantitative asset management business.

John is consistently ranked as a 'tier 1 leading lawyer' by Chambers & Partners in investment funds and financial services regulation where John is described as 'a highly respected practitioner who is recommended for his exceptional technical skills and client-orientated approach'.

John is also consistently recognised in the Best Lawyers list for Australia in the practise areas of corporate law, funds management, financial institutions, investment funds and investment law.

  • Member, Strategic Working Groups, Financial Services Council (FSC)
  • Member, Legal and Regulatory Working Group, Asian Association for Investors in Non Listed Real Estate Vehicles (ANREV)
  • English
  • French
  • Greek