Partnering with clients to provide on-demand contract lawyers, giving in-house legal teams the confidence to be agile.
Demand for new infrastructure will be especially high where the two classic signs of infrastructure shortfalls — congestion and overcrowding — are evident. Australia's ports and principal airports will require major upgrades and expansion to avoid gridlocking the nation's logistics network. Urban highway and rail networks will also require priority attention in order to deliver more efficient outcomes for commercial traffic and commuters.
Our infrastructure lawyers have unparalleled experience advising governments and the private sector on all aspects of port, airport, road and rail projects. We provide tailored and cross-disciplinary teams for the project lifecycle – from strategic input through to project delivery and dispute resolution – and seamlessly integrate specialists in real estate, planning, environment, construction, tax, finance, competition and regulatory, insurance and dispute resolution to manage risk and achieve the best outcome for the project.
Advising Toll Holdings Ltd on competition aspects relating to Sea Swift's proposed acquisition of certain shares and assets relating to Toll Marine Logistics' business in the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland, including the ACCC clearance process and the successful application for merger authorisation from the Australian Competition Tribunal (one of only two applications that have resulted in authorisation being granted).
Advised on the grant of the long term lease of Port of Darwin by way of a competitive process, involving significant asset restructuring, preparation of special transaction legislation, and extensive bespoke project documents. The transaction model was the a significant asset restructure to create an operating vehicle for sale under an M&A style sale and purchase agreement, combined with the grant of a long term lease of the Port assets.
Port of Townsville Limited has commenced an expansion of the Port of Townsville to address current capacity constraints and accommodate forecast growth in trade over a planning horizon to 2040. We are assisting the Port of Townsville Limited in all matters associated with the $310 million upgrade of two major berths at the Townsville port including the project delivery method which is now proposed to be a competitive ECI. This project involves reclamation, general construction and upgrading of facilities.
Advised Railcorp and Transport for NSW (TfNSW) on rail access arrangements and related issues associated with the Railcorp Reform Program and the establishment of Sydney Trains and NSW Trains. This included reviewing and amending the standard rail access agreement to take account of the changed arrangements between RailCorp, TfNSW and Sydney Trains and the requirements of the Rail Safety National Law as well as assisting with negotiations with rail operators. We also assisted with rail access arrangements for Sydney Trains and NSW Trains to the NSW rail network and ARTC network.
Advised Port Kembla Port Corporation in relation to its project to expand the cargo handling facilities at Port Kembla. The project involved the expansion of cargo handling facilities, redevelopment of the terminal and construction of a new wharf which required dredging in the Inner Harbour. This transaction was widely considered to establish a new benchmark in transaction preparation and execution.
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.
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.
Led the $535million relinquishment of the Sydney Airport Domestic Terminal 3 to Sydney Airport Corporation for Qantas, including the negotiation of priority usage of Terminal 3 for the hosting of millions of Qantas passengers each year for the next decade. This involved the structured relinquishment of approx. 74,000 square metres, including 17 airport lounges gates, 24,000 sqm of office and other leasable space, 51 commercial outlets, three club lounges and 120 valet car parking spaces.
We advised RangeLink Consortium in relation to the procurement of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing PPP project, the RFP closed in February 2015. Funded on an 80:20 basis by the Australian and Queensland Governments, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will cost around $1.6 billion to build. The Australian Government’s funding commitment is the largest single contribution to a Queensland road project since Federation.
Acted for Golding Abigroup Joint Venture on the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal. The Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal is a key part of the development of the existing Port of Gladstone. Expected to cost over A$2.5 billion. The new facility provides the additional Gladstone export capacity needed to meet the expansion of the Surat Basin, and growth of mining in central Queensland, which is all focused on the coal demand worldwide. The Abigoup Golding Joint venture was contracted to undertake most of the bulk earthworks and civil works including the coal reclaim tunnels under a contract with final value of approximately A$400 million. We advised the Abigroup Golding JV in relation to various contract dispute issues which arose between the joint venture and the WICET SPV, a consortium of coal mining companies operating in Queensland. During the course of this project, the Principal had issued a number of variations in respect to the reclaim tunnel works. As a consequence, Abigroup Golding JV incurred additional costs in performing the works and suffered delays.
Assisted Toll in relation to its acquisition of the heavy haulage assets of Deeson Heavylift.
Acted for Transport for NSW on the Franchising Sydney Ferries project. This follows on from acting for the NSW Department of Transport & Infrastructure in the Sydney Ferries Market Review project in 2010. This was a high profile and politically sensitive project to implement the recommendations of the Walker report to franchise the iconic operation of the ferries on Sydney harbour. It involved the drafting of service contracts and the conduct of a tender process, extensive due diligence, evaluation and negotiation with three private sector consortia and, ultimately, completion of the transaction with the preferred tenderer and transition from Sydney ferries to the new private sector operator.
Acted for the NSW Department of Transport & Infrastructure in the Sydney Ferries Market Review project. This was a high profile and politically sensitive project to implement the recommendations of the Walker report into the operation of Sydney Ferries.
Advised the New South Wales Government (NSW Treasury) on the refinancing of Port Botany and Port Kembla in NSW. The project was unique, involving the contemporaneous refinancing and long term lease of two major Australian ports. Our role included extensive legal analysis of the existing assets and businesses and the regulatory landscape; recommending a transaction structure; drafting special transaction legislation; asset restructuring; preparing extensive interrelated transaction documents; tender process and negotiations; and implementation under legal project management. The project was complex and very significant for NSW, with the transaction widely considered to establish a new benchmark in transaction preparation and execution.
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. We are currently supporting BAC with the development and implementation of a procurement strategy for Stage 1 of the proposed A$1.3 billion runway.
Drafting and negotiating the Development Deed and associated documentation and issues between SPC and Patrick Stevedores for Patrick's existing terminal and part of the new Terminal 3 at Port Botany.
Advised the Thiess John Holland Joint Venture Design and Construct contractor on issues arising in the project.
Acted for Lidis Group as developer on the Lennox Bridge Carpark Redevelopment in Parramatta. The project involves the development of a riverfront precinct spanning both sides of Parramatta River, including foreshore parks and civic spaces, a discovery and convention centre, cafes and retail, and two residential towers (approximately 35,000 sqm GFA).
The sole legal adviser to NSW Treasury in relation to the $1.75 billion sale (by way of long term lease) and privatisation of Port of Newcastle, which is the world's largest coal export port. The A$1.75 billion restructure and refinancing transaction establishes a new benchmark in transaction preparation and execution, as reflected in the financial outcome which significantly exceeded market expectations. The transaction will free up much needed capital to help the NSW Government fund the revitalisation of the Newcastle CBD, and a backlog of other critical public infrastructure across New South Wales, including hospitals, schools and roads.
Advised Leighton Contractors on their shortlisted bid, as part of the Momentum Infrastructure consortium, for the operation and maintenance elements of the East West Link PPP project.
Our Ports team is the leading legal specialists in this sector, with key roles advising on all recent major national port refinancing deals. We were the sole legal advisers to NSW Treasury in relation to the A$5.07 billion restructure and refinancing of the State-owned assets of Port Botany and Port Kembla, with proceeds from the transaction to be invested in the NSW Government's infrastructure fund, Restart NSW. The transaction was completed on 31 May 2013 and considered the largest and most complex of its kind in Australia.
Advising Airservices Australia on the procurement of a replacement air traffic control system (OneSky) for the whole of Australia. Airservices Australia is working closely with the Department of Defence, with the joint objective of realising harmonisation between civilian and military air traffic control systems and operations.
Minter Ellison Rudd Watts advised Next Capital (and the other shareholders) in the sale of 100% of the shares in Carriage Holdings New Zealand Limited. This is the top company in the group which operates urban, school and charter bus services throughout New Zealand under the "Go Bus" brand. Minter Ellison Rudd Watts were advisers to Next Capital in 2012 when the private equity group acquired this business.
Assisted in its redevelopment of the Southern Precinct of Melbourne Airport and the provision of facilities at the new terminal to Jetstar and Tiger Airways.
Advised NSW Government in relation to a major restructure of the State's non-metropolitan rail system which included an investment of A$800 million+ in rail infrastructure by the Commonwealth Government. The arrangements effectively incorporated 3000kms of NSW interstate and Hunter Valley mainline railway track under the same operation and management as the interstate standard gauge mainline railway track. We also subsequently advised on commercial arrangements in relation to the take up by ARTC of the Metropolitan Freight Network and the Southern Sydney Freight Line.