Andrew Orford
Partner, Brisbane
I work with my clients in the infrastructure, construction, engineering, energy and resources sectors to devise and implement strategies to resolve large and complex disputes, quickly and commercially. My experience canvasses all dispute resolution mechanisms across Australia, including, where necessary, litigation, arbitration and expert determination.

As a specialist construction dispute resolution lawyer, the insights I am able to bring from my previous senior commercial roles at BHP Billiton means a dedicated focus on completing projects on time, on budget, while minimising the risk of disputes. This is reflected in the breadth of my client base – I act for Government, owners / principals and tier 1 contractors on their major projects anywhere in Australia. Clients appreciate my strong leadership, valuable input, and clear communication of an effective strategy from the outset.

Career highlights

  • Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal – advised WICET in relation to the disputes arising out of the construction of its $2.6 billion port facility. Disputes of ~$1 billion in the aggregate arose out of several of the project's major construction and equipment supply packages, including the construction of the wharf, jetty and shiploader components. A key part of the resolution of those disputes involved successfully defending the 2 largest adjudication applications ever submitted under the security of payment legislation in Australia, including one claim for ~$430m.
  • Gateway Upgrade Project - currently acting for a joint venture of CPB Contractors and Lendlease (LAJV) on claims circa $600m relating to the design and construction of the Gateway Bridge duplication. Having been through several decisions of a DRB, and prior to the completion of the 10 year maintenance phase, Transurban commenced proceedings in the Qld Supreme Court - this is the largest construction claim currently in the Qld Courts. The alleged claims relate to defects (circa 8000), the residual design life of key aspects of the project, a demand on the parent company guarantees as well as a unique claim that relates to the impacts and costs of lane closures and reduced speed limits.
  • Queensland Rail New Generation Rollingstock Commission of Inquiry advised Queensland Rail and its Board regarding the substantive issues which arose in relation to various non-compliances of the NGR (both to functional requirements and the relevant disability legislation) in the context of a PPP project structure.
  • Westconnex – advising the Joint Venture's responsible for the design and construction of the M4 East and M5 packages of the $19 billion Westconnex project.
  • ConocoPhillips – advised ConocoPhillips in relation to the construction of the processing facilities for the $24 billion Australia Pacific LNG project.
  • INPEX – advised INPEX regarding one of the major EPC contracts in respect of its Ichthys Project.
  • Infrastructure – acting for a number of tier 1 contractors on numerous infrastructure projects in Australia and internationally, including Gateway Upgrade North, Kingsford Smith Drive, Logan Enhancement Project, Westconnex, Port Vila Urban Development Project, RAAF Base Tindal, Palmerston Hospital.
  • Resources – acted for various principals, contractors and suppliers, including Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, INPEX, ConocoPhillips, Stanmore Coal, Bowen Coking Coal, CPB Contractors, Downer, McConnell Dowell, Bouyges, Sedgman, UGL, Hastings Deering, Joy Global, Sandvik, the Queensland Government, Stanwell Corporation, GAWB and UGL.
  • The Butterfly Foundation – advised on a pro bono basis regarding the development and construction of Wandi Nerida, Australia’s first specialist residential eating disorder recovery centre.
  • Lecturer at the University of Queensland - Construction Law.

Awards and recognition

  • Awarded the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Award (Asia Pacific) in 2018 for Innovation in Legal Expertise for my role and approach to resolving the large and complex disputes associated the construction of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.
  • Ranked as a leading individual in Chambers Asia Pacific for Construction.
  • Ranked as one of Australia's leading lawyers in Construction and Infrastructure, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution by Best Lawyers.
  • Ranked as one of Queensland's 'pre-eminent' construction and infrastructure litigation lawyers in Doyle's Guide.
  • Ranked as one of Australia's 'recommended' construction and infrastructure litigation lawyers in Doyle's Guide.
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https://www.minterellison.com/people/andrew_orford