Ella Simmons

Special Counsel

Qualifications: Juris Doctor, BA


Ella has broad experience acting for a variety of clients in both the private and public sectors across all disciplines of property, planning and construction, with a particular focus on social infrastructure assets. Ella delivers skilled advice and documentation in relation to due diligence, sales and acquisitions, commercial and retail leasing, land use and development, construction contracts and disputes, compulsory acquisition and compensation and dispute resolution.

Proactive in getting deals done for her clients, they also benefit from Ella’s ability to think laterally and strategically which facilitates the delivery of successful outcomes.

Ella works across all states and territories and across a range of industry sectors. She is familiar with various state-specific legislation relating to acquisition, leasing and development of land, including sale of land legislation, retail leasing legislation, child care legislation and planning and development legislation.


  • Advised NewCold on its acquisition of the Karras Group.
  • Advising Arena REIT Management Limited, working on all acquisitions and developments, recently including the acquisition of 3 specialist disability facilities in South Australia, the acquisition of primary healthcare facilities in Western Australia and the portfolio acquisition of 11 new early learning centres and further development sites in Queensland. Ella manages the legal aspects of Arena’s current development pipeline comprising more than 16 projects, with an estimated value of over A$86 million.
  • Working with the Commercial team in the sale of Liberty Oil, 50% owned by our client New World Holdings Pty Ltd. The Real Estate team worked under strict deadlines to successfully achieve the transfer of approximately 10 real property assets and to negotiate and settle approximately 50 complex subleases of Liberty Oil branded service stations and other premises located across several Australian jurisdictions.
  • Acting for the landlord in a broad leasing portfolio restructure including changes to capital expenditure arrangements and maintenance regimes under the leasing portfolio and drafting and negotiation an umbrella maintenance and repair deed governing the portfolio.
  • Acting for both landlords and tenants in drafting rent relief and restructuring deeds in relation to COVID-19, as well as advising on the new COVID-19 regulations in all states and territories.
  • Acting for the vendor in a disposition of over 30 real property and leasehold commercial and industrial assets across all states and territories.
  • Undertaking detailed property due diligence and assisting with the subsequent acquisition of multiple industrial businesses across Australia.
  • Responding to and defending Clean-Up Notices and Environment Protection Authority prosecutions.
  • Acting for Wyndham City Council in the preparation and negotiation of project delivery agreements.
  • Acting for the Department of Treasury and Finance in relation to an agreement for lease and lease for new premises for a Justice Accommodation Expansion Program run by the Victorian Government.


Awards and recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia 2023-2025
Recognised – Construction/Infrastructure Law ('Ones to Watch')
Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2021-2022 & 2024
Property & Real Estate Law Rising Star

Professional Membership

  • Member, Property Funds Association
  • Member, Planning and Environmental Women’s Association (PEWA)

Latest thinking

Property & Projects | 13 May 2020

Commercial Leases and Rent Relief in the time of COVID – the Victorian position

Victorians finally have some certainty about how the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct will be implemented in this State, with the COVID-19 Regulations enacted on 1 May 2020 (but operating with effect from 29 March 2020)[1]. The Regulations create legally binding obligations which are generally, but not entirely, consistent with the Code. Our Property and Projects team explain.