Rake

Folk law: Richard Roxburgh and Russell Dykstra during filming. Photo: ABC

There may be a few barristers about town who recognise themselves in Cleaver Greene, the self-destructive charmer at the centre of the ABC's hit legal comedy Rake.

But for those whose appeal is more bookish than rakish, there is another instantly recognisable feature of the show: Sydney.

Lawyers plying their trade in the CBD have become accustomed to seeing Richard Roxburgh's Greene strutting in and around their stomping ground, from the sandstone Darlinghurst courthouse in Taylor Square to Martin Place and the old Sydney Law School.

''We see it as a character almost in its own right because it features so prominently and that's what we love to show off - the bright side and the less salubrious side of Sydney, which is very Cleaver Greene,'' series producer Ian Collie said. The first episode of season three, which screened on Sunday, was shot in the old Parramatta jail where Greene was doing time for manslaughter.

''It had all the lovely old sandstone and it felt pretty dark and dank,'' Collie said.

''We had the jail all to ourselves.''

Collie, a former solicitor at Slater & Gordon and Cashman & Partners, says most of the court scenes are shot on Saturdays. Offices in the old Sydney law school bounded by Phillip, Elizabeth and King streets - its brutalist architecture familiar to generations of law students - were used in the previous two seasons for Greene's chambers but were unavailable this time around.

Instead, Greene will ''flit'' between other offices including character Scarlet Meagher's chambers in Kent Street.

''It's near the corner of Kent and George streets up on quite a high level, which is nice because you get quite a good overview of the CBD,'' Collie said.

Locals should look out for new locations this season, including Surry Hills restaurant Porteno, the swanky Victoria Room in Darlinghurst and the suburb's Pocket Bar ''which we used for a few fun and games and vodka shots and Cleaver getting back into his wild ways again''.

The Hollywood Hotel in Surry Hills also makes an appearance and is, Collie said, ''quite a good one for a more sleazy, hard-drinking sort of place''.

''There's quite a lot of different venues which I'm sure people will notice and probably smile in recognition,'' he said.

As for real estate, Collie says Greene's new love interest, Felicity, has a ''great place in Alexandria'' while a Gina Rinehart-esque character has an ''amazing palatial house which is in Darlinghurst''.

''Cleaver's apartment is a nice cheat because people recognise Piccolo Bar in Kings Cross, which is called Dario's in the script, and Cleaver's apartment is above it,'' Collie said. ''But we use the studio at Film Australia for the interior because a lot of filming is done in there. That was our only studio shoot. The rest is done on location.''