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"We strategically solve
complex property funding
problems"Gary Baker

First Union Capital is a full service advisory
firm comprised of experts in all aspects of property
financing, restructuring and litigation.

About Us

First Union Capital is a provider of financial solutions and strategic advice to real estate developers and investors, of every portfolio size.

We specialise in arranging funding for a wide range of property developments and investments.

We can arrange all types of debt including takeout, bridging, senior and mezzanine finance. If appropriate, we can also introduce equity investors and JV partners.

First Union Capital arranges funds through its extensive international network of non-bank lenders, high-net worth investors and family offices.

Our team and consultant advisors have a breadth of expertise which also allows us to provide strategic advice to the property industry on:

  • default and insolvency situations;
  • financial structures; and
  • "streetwise" commercial guidance.

Our broad-ranging industry experience gives us an unrivalled ability to create savvy solutions through all stages of the property ownership life cycle.

Meet Our Advisors

Our Executive Team and Advisory Panel
represents seasoned property and legal professionals,
many whose expertise has been honed through several market cycles.
All who share the creativity that defines the firm's solution driven culture.

The Directors

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Dr Alex Chernishev

Banking & finance lawyer

Alex is a banking and finance lawyer with extensive experience in real estate and infrastructure projects and foreign investments in Australia. He has national and international legal experience at prestigious firms including Thomson Reuters and Clayton Utz in Sydney, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London. Alex is highly qualified and a director of First Union Capital.

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Mr Gary Baker

Developer, builder & strategist

Gary graduated from UTS with a Bachelor of Business and has founded or acquired and then sold 25 businesses over 40 years. Gary has extensive capital raising and property development experience. His personal portfolio was bank valued at $125M with circa $40M in debt pre GFC. Post GFC litigation was unsuccessful on appeal against bankruptcy. Gary is a director and CEO.

Advisory Panel

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Mr Jonathan Berry

Visual presentation creator

Over 30 years Jonathan has been at the forefront of cutting edge media technology, producing documentaries and commercials. As an experienced pilot he is the creator of exceptional aerial videos using an array of high-tech drones. As the principal of an accredited government contractor, he provides first-class video aimed to impress potential property investors or lenders.

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Mr Michael Dalah

Property investor & entrepreneur

Michael was born in Israel and spent 5 years in the air force, migrating to Australia in 1969. He worked in many industries before building a business in clothing and fabrics. Over decades he acquired commercial and residential properties nationally and would now be regarded as one of Australia’s largest private property owners. Michael’s strategic advice on assets is impressive.

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Mr George Hayek

Property development lawyer

George has over a decade of experience as a property lawyer, advising on large, high value projects for developers, investors and government contracts. Some of Georges’s clients have projects with a gross value of over $80 million. He is well placed to offer solutions to all property developers, particularly those with engineering and civil infrastructure litigation issues.

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Mr A J

Asset securitisation lawyer

………... is a partner at …………….. He has received numerous industry accolades from his peers for his expertise in structured finance. …………... has worked on a wide range of corporate finance transactions and his wealth of knowledge on complex funding issues makes him a valuable expert for any commercial organisation seeking a funding solution.

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Mr Ian Joye

Special Counsel, accountant & barrister

Ian was born in Bondi and had an illustrious career as an accountant and barrister. As a financier, he arranged funding for some of the largest business and property transactions in Australia’s corporate history, dealing with people such as Alan Bond and Kerry Packer to name a few. He owned two of Australia’s premier homes at the same time and is now an investor.

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Professor Steve Keen

Economist & author

Steve is an Australian Economics Professor and a leading global authority on finance. A renowned opponent of conventional economics and banking, he predicted the GFC and forecast that Australia should have had a correction in property values at that time, government spending later delayed the correction. Steve’s authors expert Court reports that critique bank conduct.

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Mr Richard Licardy

Special Counsel

At 82 Richard is one of Australia’s oldest practising lawyers, with offices in Sydney’s Double Bay precinct for the majority of his career. Richard has advised many notable families in the affluent eastern suburbs. Advantageously his age affords him valuable direct relationships with many of the senior partners in the larger international Australian law firms.

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Mr Peter Meades

Construction & infrastructure lawyer

Peter is a partner at Mills Oakley Lawyers with extensive experience in building, construction and infrastructure matters. He has advised a broad range of participants in the construction industry. Peter has dealt with significant disputes and is also sought out for his strategic advice and documentation skills for major projects.

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Mr Andrew Mills

Visual creative director

Andrew is an internationally awarded Creative Director, with decades of experience in both the disciplines of graphic design and advertising, working on global brands creating simple, clear and effective solutions. Andrew is able to visually enhance all formal documentation prior to submission to a lender or purchaser, where a professional presentation can assist the outcome.

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Mr Daniel Salim

Construction lawyer

Daniel is a highly respected among his peers as a property and construction lawyer. Prior to establishing his own firm, Daniel worked at Norton Rose Fulbright. A number of his cases have helped to re-shape construction law in Australia and have received significant commentary from learning institutions. As a tenacious litigator, his counsel brings many benefits to any dispute.

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Ms Summer Sanbar-Carovigno

Taxation lawyer

Summer specialises in taxation law. Importantly, she has invaluable experience having previously worked for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) before becoming the principal of her own firm. Summer’s insights when navigating the complex ATO bureaucracy is advantageous. Summer specializes in wills, commercial and estate law.

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Mr Hayder Shkara

Family lawyer

Hayder has specialised exclusively in family law throughout his career and is an experienced advocate in the areas of separation and property division. Hayder holds dual degrees in Law and Communications and as a past Olympian, he has mastered extreme focus. Often financial issues can put relationships under pressure, Hayder is able to offer prudent and sage advice.

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Mr Barry Spinks

Litigation lawyer

Barry is a highly experienced and fearless litigator who has a focus on property and construction law, where he consistently opposes major banks and other second tier lenders who seek to enforce mortgages or other securities. With exceptionally well honed strategic skills, he is a masterful legal tactician. He is a past university lecturer and holds a Masters Degree in law.

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Mr Alex Tassone

US funds originator

Alex is a third generation member of an Australian property development and building family, graduating with a Bachelor of Building. He is based in New York and consults to a global US financial institution. Utalising his unique skills he is well placed to offer funding opportunities to selected US investors who may have an appetite for investment in Australian property.

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Mr Adam Thompson

Security restructuring accountant

Adam is a partner at PwC with two decades of partnership experience with the big four international accounting firms operating in Australia. Adam’s key practice area and expertise is in private client services across multiple disciplines. He has important skills in guiding distressed businesses through the regulatory maze and can offer restructuring solutions where needed.

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Mr Michael Tu

Finance lawyer

Michael has dual degrees in both law and finance, he focuses on inbound investments from Asia-Pacific. His clients include ultra high net worth families and Asian state owned enterprises, his expertise as a skilled strategist is highly regarded by his Chinese clients at his Beijing & Sydney offices. Michael is legal counsel to the Global Cantonese Association of Australia.

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Mr Luke Whiffen

Corporate & insolvency lawyer

Luke is a specialist in corporate and personal insolvency law. With over 20 years’ experience in this crucial area, he is ideally placed to formulate and advise on complex strategies to defend aggressive claims from creditors, including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). A seasoned litigator in all jurisdictions, Luke is a powerful advisor for anyone in financial distress.

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Mr Maurizio Zappacosta

Taxation accountant

Maurizio is a practicing chartered accountant who caters predominantly to individual entrepreneurs, many who participate in varied facets of property activities. Maurizio specialises in compliant and tax effective corporate structures and taxation planning, which can be crucial in circumventing profit deterioration. He provides detailed hands-on experience and advice.

Our Efficiency System

Your complex and sensitive property profile

Work out what you want

Assess your options & determine the best strategy

Decision making and problem-solving

Plan and implement the strategy from the start

Personal attention, small teams, start to finish

Co-ordinated approach for best utilisation of resources

Monitor and track progress keep you in control

Best possible outcomes, minimum stress & real value

An information summary for those served with a notice, demand or writ.

Financial Solutions

Personal Insolvency


  • Assets are controlled by the trustee in bankruptcy.
  • Assets are realised by the trustee for the benefit of the creditors.
  • Numerous restrictions place on the bankrupt individual's future commercial activities.

Personal insolvency Agreement (Part X of Bankruptcy Act)

  • A formal arrangement entered into with creditors.
  • A registered trustee administers the arrangement.
  • Bankruptcy avoided with commercial life revived.

Corporate Insolvency

Voluntary Administration (Deeds of Company Arrangement)

  • Gives a company "breathing space" to determine if a restructure (a deed of company arrangement (DOCA)) can save the company.
  • Administrator may be appointed by directors, secured creditor or liquidator.
  • Administrator assesses company's financial position and reports to creditors.
  • During administration there is a moratorium on the company's debts.
  • Creditors decide company's fate.

Members' Voluntary Liquidation

  • A decision to wind up a solvent company by its members which is not subject to outside influences.
  • All liabilities of the company are discharged with surpluses distributed to shareholders.
  • The liquidator need not be a registered liquidator and some distributions to shareholders may be tax free.


  • Receiver usually appointed by secured lender to control some or all of the property of a company following a default.
  • The receiver realises that property for the benefit of the secured lender.
  • Following receivership, a company may be able to return to future trading.

Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation

  • Liquidator takes control of, winds up and distributes an insolvent company's assets similar to a Court Liquidation.
  • The liquidator often takes control after a voluntary administration comes to an end and the creditors resolve to wind up the company.

Court Liquidation

  • Liquidator takes control of and winds up an insolvent company and distributes the assets to its creditors.
  • Appointment of liquidator made by a Court on application of a creditor.
  • The liquidator also investigates the company's affairs (including the conduct of its directors) and reports to ASIC on the failure.

Why Us

Our combined experience as a group, gives us unparalleled ability to approach private, corporate and institutional lenders on a domestic and international scale that is far reaching. Irrespective of the circumstances surrounding your position (possibly as a consequence of the Royal Commission into Banking) our group's legal, financial and practical knowledge and experience is the expertise required to achieving positive outcomes at this time.

What We Do

  • We help you deal with an aggressive lender or a distressed situation
  • We mentor you with life lessons learnt from our combined experiences
  • We convene a talented group of advisors around you for your protection
  • We only receive our mandate fee if you are happy to proceed

What We Don't Do

  • We don't take a deposit for our mandate fee from you upfront
  • We don't have any retrenched ex-bankers in our team
  • We don't require you to deal exclusively with us
  • We don't collect a fee, trail or commission from any lender so you get their best deal
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Dr Alex Chernishev, Mr Michael Dalah and Mr Gary Baker

Through personal and business relationships the Directors have access to a formidable number of high-net-worth individuals and institutions who have an appetite for property investment.

For an informal obligation free initial meeting with a principal, call the Executive Assistant to the Directors on:

Thank you
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