Australia: Construction 2018

This year’s research shines a spotlight on 61 leading construction lawyers. The individuals listed here have been highly recommended by peers and clients alike for their expertise in project development, transactions and disputes.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Douglas Jones AO Independent Arbitrator, Sydney
2. Andrew Stephenson Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Melbourne
3. Phillip Greenham JBM Advisory, Melbourne
4. Peter Pether King & Wood Mallesons, Sydney
5. Peter Megens Outlook Legal Consulting Pty Ltd, Melbourne
6. John Cooper Jones Day, Sydney

Clayton Utz achieves eight listings from its top-tier construction practice.
With decades of experience, Dale Brackin is well versed in handling a wide range of contractual negotiations and disputes across the construction sector. Peers say, “He brings a calming influence to proceedings.”
Sergio Capelli boasts strong experience across a broad range of infrastructure and construction projects and is well known for his deep expertise in procurement matters.
Marko Misko is a seasoned commercial lawyer with broad experience advising on construction projects spanning the public and private sectors.
Joanna Pugsley is highlighted as “an excellent projects and project finance lawyer” who is known for her experience in construction contracts and transactions.
Frank Bannon wins endorsement from a range of international sources who consider him “a first-class lawyer” in the construction industry.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth sees six lawyers listed here.
Andrew Stephenson is a prominent figure who is “always at the top” of the construction market. He is one of the most highly nominated individuals in this year’s research and is known for his outstanding expertise in dispute resolution and investment matters.
Andrew Chew stands out for his expert handling of complex transactions and major projects and is well known for his intricate knowledge of PPP projects. 
Chris Ryder is a seasoned projects and disputes lawyer in Australia who “is widely regarded as a leader in the field in Western Australia”. 

Clyde & Co Australia achieves three listings in this year’s research.  
Beth Cubitt enjoys an excellent reputation for her strong litigation practice and experience in cross-border commercial arbitrations. She is regularly engaged by large industry players to provide advice on large-scale construction projects.
David McElveney leads the firm’s domestic construction practice and receives wide-ranging endorsements for his expertise in cross-border transactions and large-scale infrastructure disputes.
Kon Nakousis draws praise as “a bright and hard-working” lawyer whose experience encompasses providing strategic project advice to clients as well as dispute resolution.

Pinsent Masons sees three esteemed lawyers listed here.
The “excellent” Fraser McMillan has a strong dispute resolution practice and is highlighted for his strategic counsel and intricate knowledge of the construction sector.
Matthew Croagh is endorsed as “a strategically brilliant lawyer with fantastic communication skills” and, according to one peer, “is the leading construction lawyer in Australia”.
Rob Buchanan draws praise for his large-scale projects experience. Market sources speak highly of his excellent client service and say, “He connects well with clients and ensures all involved have what they need to make progress.”

King & Wood Mallesons is home to three highly regarded lawyers in the space.
Peter Pether is “an acknowledged leader in the field” of construction law. He has experience spanning construction, engineering and infrastructure projects and is “very highly regarded for disputes work”, where his practice encompasses litigation, arbitration and mediation.
James Forrest is a prominent figure in the firm’s Melbourne office. He is an expert in contractual negotiations and procurement and boasts experience in projects spanning the Asia-Pacific region.
With almost 20 years’ experience, Scott Budd is held in high esteem for his experience advising on PPP projects across the infrastructure and construction sector.

MinterEllison boasts a strong construction practice and three listings in this chapter.
Stewart Nankervis is a well-regarded figure and stands out as a “highly regarded” practitioner who is “very strong in the social infrastructure PPP space”.
Peter Wood boasts a strong advisory and dispute resolution practice. He frequently advises large private and public sector clients and is a go-to lawyer for contractors in the industry.
With over 30 years’ experience, Pamela Jack is endorsed as “a long-standing expert in construction with an excellent reputation” for the top-quality counsel she provides to major players in the construction industry.

At Baker McKenzie, three lawyers are highlighted for their excellence in the field.
Geoff Wood leads the firm’s construction practice in Sydney. He is “a senior figure” in the Australian market who is highly respected for his vast experience handling construction, infrastructure and government contracts matters.
Leigh Duthie is well-recognised name in the construction space and wins high praise from sources for his superb work on major construction disputes and claims.
Alex Hartmann also gains recognition for his construction practice which encompasses contracts, regulatory issues and projects.

Allens achieves two listings in this chapter.
Leighton O'Brien is endorsed as “a first-class lawyer and strategist” with a strong reputation in the PPP space. He acts for public and private sector clients and has extensive experience in transport, energy and infrastructure projects and disputes.
Peers say Nick Rudge “is a highly recommended leader in the field”. He is regularly engaged to advise on construction projects in the energy and transport sectors and enjoys an excellent reputation in the Australian market.

This year’s research highlights MolinoCahill Lawyers’ two named partners.
The “excellent” Meghan Cahill is a highly regarded construction lawyer with vast experience advising on high-value PPP projects in the infrastructure sector.
Tony Molino is a prominent figure in the market who impresses peers with his sophisticated advice on high-value construction projects in Australia.

Independent arbitrator Douglas Jones AO is a leading figure in the Australian market. Peers say, “He is one of the best construction arbitration lawyers around,” and speak highly of his “vast international experience”.  

JBM Advisory’s Phillip Greenham enjoys an excellent reputation among peers. With over 30 years’ experience, he boasts exceptional knowledge of the construction sector and PPP projects.

Peter Megens of Outlook Legal Consulting is highlighted as “an outstanding disputes lawyer” with arbitration experience spanning the Asia-Pacific region. He is widely regarded to be “a leader in the field”.

The “excellent” John Cooper is a leading name at Jones Day. He is regularly engaged to advise contractors and owners on large-scale projects and is described by one peer as “one of the best construction lawyers in Australia”.

At Sharkey Consulting, “elder statesman” John Sharkey AM is held in high esteem as “an excellent arbitrator” with outstanding knowledge of the construction sector.

Fielding Robinson’s Mal Fielding draws praise as “a top lawyer” in the construction market and is regularly engaged to advise public and private sector clients.

The “excellent” Owen Hayford is a leading name at PwC Legal Australia. He is highly visible in the industry and enjoys an excellent reputation for his work in the space. 

Expert Determination Chambers’ Donald Charrett is a highly regarded arbitrator and mediator. With decades of experience, he is extremely knowledgeable across a broad range of construction and infrastructure disputes involving contractual matters, quantum claims and insurance matters.

Georgia Quick at Ashurst is “a very good and very experienced lawyer” who is highly recommended for her expert handling of complex construction disputes. 

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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