Your Legal Team at Ryan Commercial Lawyers

Paul Ryan is the founding partner of Ryan Commercial Lawyers. Paul has for a number of years acted for property and hospitality clients in a wide range of matters.

Until the end of 2002, Paul was the National Practice Group Leader of the Property and Infrastructure Group and head of the National Liquor Group at national firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Paul was later a Partner of Ryan Maloney Anderson before Ryan Commercial Lawyers was established.

Paul is officially accredited as an AFL Player Manager by the AFL Players Association. Paul is a former owner of the George Public Bar in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.

Paul is experienced in all aspects of liquor licensing law. He represents and has represented major hotel groups, hoteliers, brewers, resort operators, packaged liquor outlets, clubs, supermarkets, wineries, nightclub owners, restaurateurs and industry bodies.  

Paul has experience in all States and Territories through his role as a National Licensing Lawyer for National clients including Compass Group, AMF Bowling Centres, Accor Asia Pacific (including the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis brands) and Fosters Brewing Group.

Paul also handles residential and commercial property and contractual matters, retail and commercial leasing, town planning and sports law.

Major Transactions 

  • Ryan Commercial Lawyers acted for over 50 Licensees which successfully obtained a stay of the 2am lockout Declaration at VCAT.
  • Liquor licence applications for major hotel developments including the ALH Tavern at the Queen Victoria Development, Stamford Plaza Melbourne, the Novotel at Glen Waverley and the Duxton Hotel (now Rendezvous), Melbourne.
  • Pelican Waters development at Caloundra.
  • Obtaining Liquor Licence at Sydney Airport for Compass Group.
  • Obtaining Liquor Licence at Melbourne Airport, International Terminal for Accor Asia Pacific at the Qantas First Class Lounge.
  • Representing ALH/CUB/Foster’s in relation to liquor licensing and gaming matters generally and sales and purchases of hotels by ALH Group Pty Ltd and the drafting of the Liquor Licensing and Gaming aspects of the Fosters Compliance Manual.
  • Regularly involved in hearings before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) relating to applications for new liquor licences and variations to existing licences.
  • Liquor Licensing, Property and Management Agreements for Accor Asia Pacific.
  • Major contested proceedings and disciplinary proceedings before the Liquor Licensing Authority, VCAT and the Supreme Court.
  • Negotiation and drafting of the Memorandums of Understanding between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association.

Stephen Curtain is a Partner with Ryan Commercial Lawyers.

Stephen's practice reflects a career that has its foundations in property and business, including hotels. He acts for property developers, property owners, business owners including hoteliers and operators of aged care facilities and major retail chains/franchisors.

A personable and experienced team leader, Stephen places a high value on building empathetic and lasting business relationships with his clients. You will appreciate his approach and agreeable personal style.

His combination of good communication and clear sighted commercial focus fosters a high degree of loyalty from his clients.

Career Highlights

Springthorpe - acted in the tender, bidding, acquisition or development rights, structuring, development and sale of the former Mont Park Psychiatric Hospital on more than 600 residential and other lots over a 13 year period. Issues relating to heritage, the protection of native flora and fauna, planning, subdivision, commercial partnering agreements with neighbours and business risk minimisation were encountered and overcome.

Kensington Banks - acted for Urban Pacific in its joint venture development of Kensington Banks with the State Government's Office of Major Projects, including joint venture documentation, subdivision and planning advice.

Lion (formerly Lion Nathan) - acted in the restructure and the day to day issues arising out of Lion's fifty strong Victorian Hotel portfolio including liquor licensing advice and applications, leases, sub-leases, tenancy disputes and supply agreements. Also acted in the sale by share transfer of Lion's Victorian hotel portfolio which necessitated the management of due diligence and tender processes, preparation of sale documentation, the drafting of a beer rights agreement and devising and implementing strategies to minimise any ongoing liability under the leases.

Liberty Oil - acted in the property aspects of Liberty Oil's deal with Woolworths for the agreement to lease 80 petrol stations around Australia and the subsequent sale of some of those then tenanted service stations to various property investment syndicates.

KFC/Pizza Hut - acted in the management of the day to day property law requirements for Pizza Hut and KFC for 20 years including acquisitions and sales of properties, agreements for lease, renewals for lease, commercial disputes, occupational health and safety issues and development of documentation for franchise arrangements including step-in deeds.

Boost Juice - acted for Boost Juice in its property needs as it established 120 retail outlets throughout Australia, including acting in the acquisition of the Viva Juice chain through a share acquisition.

Goodman International (previously Macquarie Goodman) - acted in various acquisitions, development and restructuring of dozens of big ticket properties around Australia.

Macquarie Bank - acted for Macquarie Bank in its acquisition, restructuring and sale of Orica House in Nicholson Street, Carlton. Also acted in the acquisition, development and sale of Vue Apartments in Kensington, which is a 182 unit residential development.

Grand Hotel Group - acted in its property requirements across all States of Australia including restructuring its portfolio, various purchases, sales, leases and other proprty related matters.

Cornerstone Hotels - acted in its acquisition of 17 hotels and its day to day issues faced by Cornerstone as it built its portfolio incluing liquor licensing issues and miscellaneous property issues and commencement disputes.

Aged Care Facilities - acted in the sale of a number of private groups of aged care facilities over its years including sales to listed providers.

Melbourne Racing Club- acted generally for Melbourne Racing Club and in its competitive tender for the right to develop surplus land at Caulfield as a $1 billion project to be known as Caulfield village.



Tim O'Meara is a Senior Associate at Ryan Commercial Lawyers having been admitted to practice in April 2008.

Tim commenced his Articles of Clerkship with the firm in March 2007 after successfully completing his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in 2006.

Tim is also a keen sportsman and currently plays football for the Old Xaverians Football Club.  


Melanie Harper  is a Senior Associate at Ryan Commercial Lawyers.

Melanie graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University in 2005, and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria as a Barrister and Solicitor in 2006.

Melanie completed her Articles with a suburban law firm located in Chelsea, where she gained experience in numerous areas of law including Wills and Estates, Property, Commercial and Family Law.

Prior to joining Ryan Commercial Lawyers, Melanie worked for Oakley Thompson & Co. Solicitors in the CBD, where she specialised in the area of Wills and Estates.


Diana Ting is a Solicitor at Ryan Commercial Lawyers having joined the firm in January 2012.

Diana completed her Bachelor of Laws at Monash University. Diana was awarded a Monash Achievement Award by the Faculty of Law and the Clayton Utz Prize for Torts (outstanding achievement).

Diana also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree at La Trobe University. Before joining Ryan Commercial Lawyers, Diana worked in private practice in Melbourne where she acted in a wide range of proprety, commercial and leasing transactions.

Diana has extensive experience in all commercial transactions, property transactions and retail leasing.

Diana's expertise allows her to understand and respond to the needs and expectations of any business.

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