Profile of David Donnelly

David Donnelly

Partner, Practice Group Leader, Projects & Development, BBus LLB (Hons)

About David Donnelly

David leads the Projects & Development practice group at Allens and sits on the firm's Executive Committee.

He is widely recognised as a leading infrastructure and project development lawyer, including in the major directories.

His practice includes:

  • advising on the origination of new infrastructure (including competitive bid processes, unsolicited or market-led proposals, private developments and other forms of procurement)
  • advising on the delivery and operational aspects of major projects;
  • advising on the financing of major infrastructure assets; and
  • advising on secondary market investments, divestments and acquisitions.

Some highlights of David's practice are set out below.


David is one of Australia's most experienced infrastructure advisers, having advised across all major asset classes and across the development lifecycle (including secondary market transactions). Examples of David's experience include:  

  • successful sponsors on the North East Link, Sydney Metro, New Generation Rollingstock, Ravenhall Prison, Project Single LEAP 1 & 2, Agribio, SA Courts, Emergency Alerting Sydney, Queensland Schools 2, Gold Coast Light Rail 1, 2, & 3A and Casey Hospital among others;
  • financiers on the Geelong Convention Centre, Melbourne Metro PPP, Inland Rail PPP, Hills M2, M5, CLEM 7, Logan Enhancement Project and others;
  • contractors on Melton Hospital, Footscray Hospital, VCCC, Thomas Embling, Eastern Goldfields Prison, Puhoi to Warkworth, New Calvary Hospital, Port Phillip Prison, Fulham Prison, and Midland Hospital among others; and
  • government on Westconnex, Melbourne Airport Rail, Rail Franchising, Regional Rollingstock Maintenance and Procurement, Myki Ticketing and the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction.

David also has unique experience on end-of-life arrangements (Emergency Alerting System, County Court, Fulham Prison, Port Phillip Prison), augmentations (Gold Coast Light Rail, Sydney Metro, Casey Hospital) and major project resets (Melbourne Metro, Suburban Roads, Sydney Metro).

Renewable Energy

David has significant experience advising across the energy development lifecycle (including secondary market transactions).  His experience includes:  

  • Solar Plants – including Hamilton, Whitsunday, Gannawarra, Forsayth, Corowa, Junee, Wagga Wagga Beryl, Manildra, Darlington Point and Greenough River;
  • Wind Farms – including, MacIntyre, Karara, Cathedral Rocks, Bald Hills, Salt Creek, Mt Gellibrand, Flyers Creek, Hepburn, Sebastopol, Moorabool and Gunning;
  • Transmission – including APA on its bid for Central West Orana REZ and Transgrid on its proposal to develop the KerangLink transmission project;
  • Hybrids – including Carmody's Hill and Port Augusta Renewable Energy;
  • Pumped Hydro – including Central West Pumped Hydro;
  • Batteries – including Gin Gin, Smithfield, Hume, Winton, Mornington, Hazelwood, Vinci’s bid for the Moorabool Battery Facility and others;
  • Waste-to-Energy – including East Rockingham, NAWMA, Dandenong South, Cleanaway’s Melbourne Biogas and others; and
  • EV Charging – including on charging roll-outs for Evie and BP.

David also advised advising the Victorian government on the development of the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction.


David has a broad development practice which includes advising property and resource development projects in a range of contexts, including:

  • Public Spaces – including Geelong Convention Centre, National Resilience Centres (Vic, Qld, WA), Latrobe Agribio, Sydney Fishmarkets, Christchurch Convention Centre, Sydney Convention Centre, Melbourne Markets, County Court, Perth CBD Courts, SA Police Stations and Courts
  • Stadiums – including Punt Road, Marvel Stadium, Kai Tak Sports Precinct
  • Shopping Centres – Pacific Werribee, Karingal, Midland Gate, Jam Factory, Supermal Kawawachi
  • Purpose Built Student Accommodation – including Griffith University Expansion, Herston Quarter, Greater Curtin Stage 1, Arncliffe Project, Wollongong,
  • Social and Affordable Housing – including NSW SAHF 2, Vic Ground Lease Model 1 & 2.
  • Build-to-Rent – including 'Sky Square' in Box Hill, Grattan Street, and others.
  • Buildings - 664 Collins, 477 Bourke, Quay Quarter Tower, Queens Wharf, Central Barangaroo, Hawke & King, 118 Mount Street, Botanical Brighton, Embassy Brighton, Aloft Sydney,
  • Industrial Assets – including Waitsia, Dampier to Bunbury, Amazon warehouse facility in Craigieburn;
  • Water Assets – including Western Treatment Plant, Hobson Bay Main River Crossing, Sydney Desalination Plant Expansion, Rookwood Weir, Adelaide Desalination Plant