Construction Disputes

Construction disputes are a significant drain on productive resources for clients so we focus on timely and cost-effective solutions at all stages of the project lifecycle. MinterEllison has successfully advised a wide range of clients on dispute prevention and resolution matters across the construction, infrastructure, energy and resources, property development and transport sectors.

Before a dispute arises, we advise on risk management and dispute prevention. We work with clients to review the position (legal and strategic) against the relevant factual and legal frameworks. Security of payment legislation in particular has been a real game changer in the construction industry – by bringing disputes to a head and resulting in the short, sharp resolution of issues, which once may have lingered for years.

Our team applies a variety of strategies, chosen in consultation with our client to meet the needs of the particular case – these may include conducting litigation, to best preserve or enforce rights, or implementing options to complement or supplement court processes, such as arbitration, negotiation and ADR procedures.

Our dispute resolution experience includes claims management and contract administration, mediation, expert determination, security of payment adjudication, arbitration including international arbitration and litigation.

If a dispute does eventuate, our comprehensive litigation, arbitration and mediation experience allows us to deliver the best commercial solution.

Port of Melbourne Channel Deepening Project

Advised Port of Melbourne Channel Deepening, one of the largest infrastructure projects conducted by the Victorian Government in recent times, seen as critical to the Port and Australia's position in global shipping. As key advisers to the Port of Melbourne Corporation, we advised on many aspects of the project, including the Supplementary Environmental Effects Statement and managed the public hearing process Federal Court litigation over the Federal Government's environmental approval for the dredging, cultural and Aboriginal heritage issues, relocation of essential infrastructure under the Yarra River, the resolution of the alliance dredging contract, and land tenure issues relating to land assets affected by the project.

$500m Raine Square development

Advising Commonwealth Bank on the A$500m Raine Square in Perth (in receivership), the proposed new headquarters for BankWest. Raine Square is a landmark Perth project comprising a major commercial building of 20 levels and will become the biggest shopping centre in the Perth central business district. The 1.2 hectare site consists of 44,000 square metres of office space over 20 levels and 13,000 square metres of retail space over three levels. We have advised on all aspects of the project since early 2009 after Commonwealth Bank of Australia acquired BankWest, including renegotiating various project documents, managing issues related to change of builder, managing disputes over the fit out arrangements, and advising CBA/BankWest on all strategic issues, and we continue to do so. We also advised Bankwest on the fit-out works undertaken to provide an exciting ABW environment for the Bank's 3000 staff, and the fit-out agreement. This A$500 million project is in the hands of receivers, appointed to the developer. Completion was to have been in April 2010.

$450m Amcor Paper Mill

Advised Amcor on a A$450m redevelopment of its paper mill in Botany, NSW. Work has involved advice and workshops on procurement strategy, drafting and negotiating the various contracts, including letters of intent, engineering contracts, supply contracts, installation contract and the design and construction agreement, acting in relation to a security of payment claim and adjudication, mediations and advising on contract administration.