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Selwyn Black is one of Australia’s most experienced commercial law partners. He has significant business acumen, enabling him to work together with clients to achieve practical solutions.

Selwyn listens carefully to clients to get the best understanding of their business, industry and goals. This enables him to help clients succeed.

Selwyn has particular expertise in the establishment, sale and/or purchase and restructuring of companies, trusts and businesses. He has worked in the pharmaceutical, food, media, IT, engineering and transport industries.

Selwyn is also a determined advocate and strategist in any dispute.

He has also provided legal advice to a range of property developers and investors and has undertaken an extensive range of projects involving hotels, shopping centres and offices.

Selwyn closely understands the needs of not-for-profit organisations. He acts for 2 industry associations, and has carried out innovative restructures, managed acquisitions and other commercial complex arrangements. He also assists with fiduciary, disciplinary, compliance and outsourcing issues.

Selwyn is on the board of St Vincent’s Curran Foundation, and carries out significant pro bono work for charities and a sports club.

Past projects include as examples:

  • International 3 way merger with company listed on London Stock Exchange.
  • Management buyout involving over $500 million of debt and equity.
  • Formal takeover in pharmaceutical industry.
  • Many local and international licensing, distributorship, information or consulting agreements.
  • Sale, purchase or development of Harbourside, Skygarden, Airport Central, Sheraton Sydney Airport, Ritz-Carlton Double Bay, Ritz-Carlton Sydney, Caltex House (Stamford Plaza Sydney), Esso House (Highgate), 20 Loftus Street, 159 Kent Street, Tura Beach, Stuart Mall, Entertainment Centre carpark, Neeta City Shopping Centre, Newcastle Travelodge and other major properties.
  • Purchase of chain of 17 Supermarkets including business and lease issues.
  • Major leases and agreements for lease including Harbourside, new Big W store, Gloucester site from SHFA, Ritz Carlton Sydney concurrent leases.
  • Management agreements or their termination and re-branding, including with Ritz Carlton, Intercontinental, Radisson, and Ridges.
  • Hotel industry issues including as an expert to determine a dispute.
  • Strategic and pre-emptive legal management and resolution of patent, partnership, company, trusts, tenancy, employment, management, shareholder and other disputes.
  • Due diligence on businesses ranging from a Ram Stud Farm to a 5 star hotel.
  • Particular expertise in the pharmaceutical, retail, development, engineering, hotel and food industries.
  • Restructuring not-for-profit organisations.
  • Sale of majority interest in media company to offshore investors.
  • Acquisition of food company for offshore investors.
  • Joint venture fiduciary action regarding competitive tender and IP rights.
  • Acquisition of freehold for Macquarie Street property in complex transaction involving acquisition of interests from 2 separate government departments, complex easement arrangements with Historic Houses Trust, conversion of leasehold financing to freehold financing and related stamp duty and other issues.
  • Complex GST dispute on development leases including a valuation dispute in relation to property never sold.
  • International sale of trademarks for clothing identity and leaseback of Australian and New Zealand rights.
  • Successfully challenging a deed on the basis of breaches of fiduciary duties inducing its execution.
  • Negotiating exit from IT development contract after failure of developer to perform.
  • Negotiation of new IT contracts for union organisation in the face of potential threats from outgoing supplier, including considering transition issues and movement from one supplier to another.
  • Acting for a charity in restructuring its deed and integrating its activities.

Areas of Practice:

  • Conveyancing and Property Law
  • Business Lawyers
  • Public Inquiries, Royal Commissions & Special Projects


Key Professional Achievements:

  • Selwyn is a graduate of the University of New South Wales having completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Financial Management), and a Bachelor of Laws degree. He also holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Sydney, majoring in commercial and administrative law.
  • He is, along with Peter Carroll, a co-editor for Butterworths of the AEFP Chapter on trust law precedents.
  • He sits on the Business Law subcommittee of the New South Wales Law Society’s Specialist Accreditation Board.
  • He has been a speaker at several conferences including in relation to transaction due diligence, and compliance issues for unions. He has also acted as an expert witness and as an expert appointed to determine disputes. He often receives referrals from other lawyers.
  • Selwyn is accredited by the NSW Law Society as a specialist in Business Law.
  • Selwyn sits on the executive committee of the Asia Pacific Group for Primerus, a global network of firms of which Carroll & O’Dea is a proud member.