Andrew Hales
Partner, Sydney
As an experienced construction lawyer, I advise national and international clients on a range of issues in the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors. I have extensive experience in all forms of dispute resolution, which allows me to identify potential areas of risk early on in a project. In doing so, I am able to proactively manage these risks with clients to avoid them escalating to disputes.

I enjoy the technical aspects of construction projects and working with clients to understand the commercial drivers behind the way in which they deliver projects. I regularly advise on live project issues in order to assist with effective contract administration, the implementation of dispute resolution strategies and the resolution of disputes through adjudication, executive negotiation, mediation, expert determination, arbitration and litigation.

I have advised clients in litigation to Court of Appeal level in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and acted on domestic and international arbitrations seated in Sydney, Paris, London and Geneva spanning a number of industry sectors under the ACICA, ICC, LCIA, ICSID and Resolution Institute rules.

I have gained significant experience in construction and infrastructure disputes by acting on matters arising from the design, construction, operation or facilities management of commercial and residential buildings, mixed-use developments, residential aged care facilities, hospitals, correctional facilities, offshore wind farms, solar farms, oil and gas pipelines, combined cycle power plants, gas-fired power and desalination plants, natural gas processing plants, iron ore mining infrastructure, hydroelectric dams, roads, tunnels, bridges and railways in diverse project locations such as Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy, United Kingdom, Dubai, Oman, Kuwait, Nepal, Afghanistan and Ethiopia.

Career highlights

  • Acting for Icon Co (NSW) Pty Ltd and Kajima Australia in class action proceedings brought by the apartment owners, separate proceedings brought by the Owners Corporation, and further proceedings brought by the developer of a residential building complex Opal Tower.
  • Acting on numerous matters for the D&C joint venture in connection with the construction of the WestConnex New M5 motorway.
  • Acting on the defence of a cross-claim for damages arising from alleged mechanical defects in the ventilation system of a motorway tunnel in multi-party litigation in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
  • Advising on solar projects throughout Australia in respect of variation and extension of time claims, issues arising during commissioning including network connection and integration with a neighbouring wind farm, advising on rights and obligations arising from network curtailments in the West Murray region and AEMO requirements for updated generator performance standards and R2 validation testing, and advising on PvSyst modelling and achievement of performance guarantees.
  • Advising developers and building contractors on compliance with the Design and Building Practitioners Act and Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act, including in respect of Building Work Rectification Orders and negotiating undertakings with the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service.
  • Providing advice to a managing contractor on procurement, contract administration and dispute avoidance strategies during the construction of a high-end mixed-use commercial and residential development in Sydney.
  • Acting for a power and automation company in respect of disputes arising from its contract for the provision of equipment for a combined cycle power plant in the Northern Territory, including in respect of adjudication, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal proceedings.
  • Successfully setting aside an adjudication determination in the NSW Supreme Court in relation to the NorthConnex road and tunnelling project on the grounds that there was no 'contract or other arrangement' between the parties (Lendlease Engineering Pty Ltd & Anor v Timecon Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 685).
  • Successfully defending an application to set aside an adjudication determination concerning the applicability of the 'mining exception' in NSW security of payment legislation (Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd v Downer EDI Mining Pty Ltd). This was the first time the 'mining exception' had been judicially considered in NSW.
  • Acting in the leading case (MT Højgaard v E.ON [2014] EWHC 1088 (TCC); [2017] UKSC 59) on interpretation of contractual warranties regarding fitness for purpose, design life, service life and errors in an international design standard.
  • Acting for a Danish contractor in English High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings regarding the interpretation of variation provisions in a bespoke contract for the design, construction and installation of wind turbine generator (WTG) foundations for an offshore wind farm (MT Højgaard v E.ON [2014] EWCA Civ 710).
  • Acting on several large-scale complex international arbitrations arising out of major energy and infrastructure projects, including two consolidated ICC arbitrations which led to the successful resolution of disputes worth several billions of dollars for the state-owned operator of a major crude oil pipeline in the Caspian region, two ICC arbitrations for a South Korean EPC contractor regarding delay and disruption to the construction of power and desalination plants in Dubai and Kuwait, two ICC arbitrations for a state-owned EPC contractor arising out of the construction of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline and an LCIA arbitration in connection with the design and installation of offshore WTG foundations.
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https://www.minterellison.com/people/andrew-hales