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level 16, 324 queen st,
brisbane qld 4000
+61 7 3235 0400


40-42 scott st,
dandenong vic 3175
+61 3 9794 2600


level 7, 600 bourke st,
melbourne vic 3000
+61 3 8615 9900


level 21, 20 bond st,
sydney nsw 2000
+61 2 8298 9533

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Cathy Russo

principal lawyer, property and construction

meet Cathy

about Cathy

Cathy has earned a reputation for being relentless and seeing a matter through, no matter what. Whether Cathy is working with a large private lending group on a multi-million dollar commercial building project or a joint venture with developers, she never loses sight of what’s most important and keeps the client’s best interests top of mind.

“I don’t want to be known just for my technical skills and for providing great service. My goal is also to become a vital part of my client’s business and to support them as they grow.”

Cathy provides a full range of property and associated commercial services including leasing, disposals and acquisitions of residential and commercial development sites, shopping centres, rural properties, hotels/motels and transport operations.

Areas of Expertise

asset protection
body corporates
joint ventures including development agreements and profit share agreements
private/mezzanine lending
property and projects including due diligence
property leasing
property structuring advice
shareholders agreements
succession planning


property development
real estate

recent experience

  • large property development

    Cathy worked on a 200 lot community title scheme (CTS) for a high rise in Brisbane’s CBD. Cathy worked on the project from initial project planning (including related project agreements and funding certifications) through to successful completion of ‘off the plan’ contracts, managing the registration process involving a volumetric subdivision and drafting the related community management and building management statements. She also negotiated and successfully completed the associated sale of management and letting rights for the building. The development reached completion at a time of downturn in Brisbane CBD apartment market values and tightening of lending by the banks. Despite this, through careful management of the settlement process, completion of all lots was ultimately achieved.

  • property structuring and lending

    Cathy acted for a large private lending group in its funding of two high rise development buildings including a complex lending structure and undertaking lender due diligence on development structure and agreements. As is frequently the case, time was of the essence and settlement had to be achieved in a very short period just a couple of weeks before Christmas, but Cathy ensured these deadlines were met.

  • shopping centre sale

    Cathy successfully completed the circa $16 million sale of a large shopping centre involving a range of unresolved tenancy issues the buyer insisted be addressed as part of the sale. These included completion of a tenant expansion that required a seller related entity to carry out the associated building works. Cathy ensured these issues were addressed by structuring the transaction as both a sale and building contract, with appropriate payments included to cover the consideration under both contracts at settlement and suitable retentions held. This ensured settlement was not delayed while the works were finalised.

  • body corporate

    Cathy acted in the purchase of $3 million Brisbane CBD management rights business involving modified Building Units and Group Titles Act (BUGTA) legislation. A range of challenging issues arose that needed to be addressed in order to protect the client’s investments. Cathy used a range of strategies that achieved a balanced outcome for all stakeholders.