This is Allens

Eugene Tan

Eugene Tan is a partner in our Real Estate & Development practice who specialises in large-scale property developments, urban renewal and infrastructure projects.

One of the things I enjoy most about being a real estate and development lawyer is that you genuinely get to partner with clients on projects that transform our cities and communities in a lasting way. With the scale of projects we work on, it's typical for us to act on developments which will be delivered over a lifespan of 10 years or more. So you really get to understand your client's business and their long-term goals, working together to tackle the challenges facing them today, and in the future.

There are some major trends impacting the property sector, with the common theme that our urban environment needs to be more responsive to community needs, more resilient to disruptions and more sustainable during construction and operation.

This focus on ESG and the growing need for flexibility in property assets makes it a particularly exciting time to be a real estate and development lawyer. We are regularly innovating with clients to help bring new asset classes to market and designing new contractual structures to enable future flexibility in buildings and broader mixed-use precincts.

There is a growing need for property to be used flexibly, and we're seeing that come to life through build-to-rent, integrated logistics hubs, mixed-use precincts with embedded infrastructure, and large-scale electricity storage and generation projects which will help power the energy transition.

Critical to meeting this need for flexibility is having future-focused ownership, usage and management rights which enable assets to take full advantage of new opportunities as they become available over time. In all of this, our goal is always to deliver the best outcomes for owners, occupiers and visitors to our cities and communities, to build ongoing value and sustainable growth.

A year in my career

Without a doubt, the most pivotal year in my career so far has been 2021 – the year that I joined Allens.

Joining Real Estate & Development at Allens
Joining the Real Estate & Development team at Allens was an easy decision. The team has a great reputation in the market, with a CV that includes acting on some of Australia's most significant property developments and real estate deals. From the nation's earliest estate subdivisions in the 1800s through to the largest city‑defining urban renewal projects of today, Allens has consistently advised on the deals which have literally shaped our cityscapes.

Lockdown and a new baby
What wasn't as easy was the rollercoaster ride of events that followed shortly after I collected my security pass and laptop. Just a few weeks into my new role, Sydney was plunged into lockdown, throwing all sense of normality out the window.

Then what seemed like moments later our second son, Anders, was born. (Admittedly unlike lockdowns, I did have several months' forewarning that Anders was coming, but was nonetheless equally as underprepared for the impact of a newborn as I was for the arrival of the novel coronavirus.)

So just a couple of months into the job, I found that life was a blur of Teams calls, nappies, new introductions and nasal swabs. Toilet paper and sleep were both in precariously short supply.

Unwavering support from new colleagues
It's in the difficult times that true character really comes through. And the unwavering character of my newfound colleagues was one of tremendous support, trust and encouragement.

With that support, I quickly found myself back on my feet and back into the swing of helping our clients on the complex deals that I love – unsolicited proposals to deliver the most ambitious developments in the market, critical State-significant infrastructure projects to power the transition to renewable energy, and major urban renewal precincts which will reshape our skylines.