Contract Administration

Effective contract administration is critical to the successful implementation of construction projects. Minter Ellison’s lawyers work with clients to develop a standard suite of documents across the whole project, including head contracts, sub contracts, consultancy agreements and FEED (Front End Engineering Design). We also help with the standard forms that integrate into the suite of documents including contract manuals, contract administration manuals and contract notices.

When contract claims are received our role can be as simple as determining format and compliance with the contract, but it may develop into a complete dispute resolution strategy. We identify the requisite insurance and advise on the appropriateness of the cover for the project.

Our advice takes into account the regulatory framework in each state, and we have written security of payment manuals for our contractor clients to assist them in dealing with a pre-claim and in establishing frameworks to meet tight statutory timelines.

Dawson and Lake Lindsay projects

Advised on the expansion of Anglo American's Dawson and Lake Lindsay projects involved capital expenditure in excess of $1b and required a contracting strategy that would ensure the procurement of coal preparation plants, long conveyors, crushing plants, and associated building and civil infrastructure. We helped Anglo establish several alliances, several EPCM contracts and a multitude of equipment and services procurement contracts.

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.

Roads & Maritime Services pro-forma design and construction project deed

Acted for Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) on preparing the new design and construction project deed for use on major projects. Work involved participating in workshops to discuss risk allocation and drafting the new form of contract in close consultation with the RMS legal and commercial teams.

Development of a suite of procurement contracts

Assisted Peabody Energy Australia with development of a suite of procurement contracts (including construction contracts) for use across multiple mine sites in Queensland and New South Wales. We currently assisting Peabody in the negotiation of deals based on those templates, with those deals ranging in complexity and value from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Brisbane Airport parallel runway

The cornerstone of the Brisbane Airport Corporation's infrastructure program for Australia's third-busiest airport is a new Parallel Runway, expected to be completed by 2020. The new runway will be 3.3km long, 60m wide and will have over 12km of taxiways, navigational aids and other airfield infrastructure. This is a multidisciplinary engineering project that requires a variety of technical and construction skills to complete. As the new runway will be built on what is currently swamp land, dredging and ground treatment work is required before construction of the runway can begin.

Minter Ellison is currently supporting BAC with the development and implementation of a procurement strategy for Stage 1 of the proposed A$1.3 billion runway.