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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
David Clee

David Clee


David Clee

David Clee focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions, complex corporate restructuring and equity capital markets transactions. His broad practice extends to all aspects of corporate law and he has advised on transactions concerning most industry sectors, with particular experience in the real estate and financial services sectors.

David’s clients include ASX-listed companies and stapled vehicles, cross-border conglomerates and trading houses, leading global alternative investment management firms, sovereign wealth funds and large institutional investors, investment banks and financial advisory firms.

Takeover bids and schemes of arrangement

  • Boardriders, Inc. on its acquisition of Billabong International Limited by way of scheme of arrangement.*
  • GrainCorp Limited in relation to the takeover offer from Archer Daniels Midland Company, which valued GrainCorp at $3.4 billion.*
  • Pacific Equity Partners on its $1.1 billion acquisition of Spotless Group Limited by scheme of arrangement.*
  • Coal & Allied Limited in relation to a scheme of arrangement under which Coal & Allied was privatised by Rio Tinto and Mitsubishi Development. The transaction valued Coal & Allied at $10.8 billion.*
  • Telstra Corporation Limited, in its capacity as a partner in the FOXTEL partnership, in relation to FOXTEL’s $2 billion acquisition of AUSTAR.*

Cross-border private M&A transactions

  • Coty Inc. in relation to the sale of a majority stake in its Professional and Retail Hair business to KKR for net cash proceeds of US$2.5 billion.*
  • KKR in relation to its agreement to acquire a 55% interest in Colonial First State with an implied total valuation for Colonial First State of A$3.3 billion.*
  • Westpac Banking Corporation in relation to a number of significant corporate transactions, including its $8 billion acquisition of Lloyd’s Australian assets and its agreement to sell its Vendor Finance business to a portfolio company of Cerberus Capital Management,L.P.*
  • Vitol on its A$2.9 billion acquisition of Shell’s Australian downstream assets, including the Geelong Refinery and 870 retail sites across the country.*
  • Holcim Ltd on its $2.02 billion purchase of the Australian operations of CEMEX SAB de CV.*

PIPEs and complex corporate restructurings

  • An ad hoc group of creditors in relation to a debt for equity swap transaction concerning ASX-listed BoartLongyearLimited under which those creditors are expected to be issued equity securities representing a majority of the issued share capital of BoartLongyearLimited and pursuant to which the company will be redomiciled to North America, in each case via scheme of arrangement.*
  • An ad hoc group of creditors in relation to a restructuring of the secured indebtedness of ASX-listed Wollongong Coal Limited via creditors' scheme of arrangement under which US$347 million was restructured into new secured facilities.*
  • An affiliate of Oaktree Capital Management, LP in relation to its shareholder approved convertible debt investment in ASX-listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited and subsequent restructuring and receivership processes.*
  • Anchorage Capital Group and certain other secured creditors in relation to a creditors’ scheme of arrangement pursuant to which those creditors exchanged a portion of their secured claims for control of Slater + Gordon Limited.*
  • Bis Industries Limited in relation to a series of complex deleveraging transactions implemented by way of creditors’ schemes of arrangement.*
  • KordaMentha, in their capacity as administrators of Arrium Limited (In Administration), in relation to a dual-track IPO and trade sale process in respect of Arrium Limited’s mining consumables business (Moly-Cop) which culminated in funds advised by American Industrial Partners acquiring Moly-Cop for an enterprise value of US$1.23 billion.*
  • Ad Hoc Committees of lenders to EmecoHoldings Limited, Atlas Iron Limited and MirabelaNickel Limited in relation to the debt for equity exchange transactions proposed and/or effectuated in relation to those ASX-listed companies.*
  • Nine Entertainment Co. on its $3.4 billion deleveraging transaction implemented by creditors scheme of arrangement.*
  • Affiliates of CenterbridgePartners and Oaktree Capital Management, LP on their debt and equity recapitalisationof Billabong International Limited and related Takeovers Panel proceedings.*

Equity capital markets

  • DDH1 Limited, an investee company of an affiliate of Oaktree Capital Management Limited, in relation to its successful initial public offering and listing on the ASX.*
  • Viva Energy Group Limited on its successful $2.65 billion initial public offering and listing on the ASX.*
  • Viva Energy Australia and Viva Energy REIT in relation to the establishment and ASX-listing of Viva Energy REIT, a multi-billion dollar stapled real estate investment trust structure now known as Waypoint REIT.*
  • The administrators of MirabelaNickel Limited in relation to an offer of equity securities while the company remained subject to a deed of company arrangement.*

Real estate transactions

  • GIC Private Limited in relation to a series of significant Australian real estate transactions, including the acquisition of a 25.1% interest in Lendlease International Towers Sydney Trust from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Lendlease.*
  • An Asian institutional investor in relation to the acquisition of interests in certain prominent real estate assets in the Sydney CBD, which assets have a combined value of approximately A$4 billion.*
  • An affiliate of KKR in relation to the sale of a 60% interest in The Oasis Centre, Broadbeach QLD for total consideration of $103.5 million.*

* Indicates this transaction was completed prior to David's joining Clifford Chance in 2021.

News and client work

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Contact details

Career and qualifications

  • Admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales 2002
  • Joined Clifford Chance 2021

Awards and citations

  • David is listed in the areas of Mergers and Acquisitions Law and Distressed Investing & Debt Trading.
    Best Lawyers Australia 2022
  • Finalist, Australian Dealmaker of the Year
    Lawyers Weekly Law Award 2019
  • Finalist, Corporate Partner of the Year and Mergers and Acquisitions Partner of the Year
    Lawyers Weekly Law Award 2020