Nikki Miller
Partner, Melbourne
My focus is on assisting clients throughout all phases of the construction dispute lifecycle, from dispute avoidance and mitigation through to formal dispute resolution. I have a wealth of experience drawn from acting for principals (both public and private), contractors and consultants on large infrastructure and construction projects throughout Australia and internationally.

Having practised as a construction and infrastructure disputes specialist for more than 15 years both in Australia and the United Kingdom, I have been involved in projects across the entire infrastructure and construction space, including transport projects (road, rail and air), power (both renewable and non-renewable), mining infrastructure, commercial and residential buildings, mixed-use developments, desalination, hospitals and correctional facilities.

My initial focus is upon providing strategic advice to clients in respect of formulation of claims and defences and guidance in an effort to avoid and minimise disputes where possible. In circumstances where escalation of disputes is unavoidable I have experience in all forms of construction dispute resolution methods including mediation, dispute avoidance boards, expert determination, arbitration (international and domestic) and litigation. I also have significant experience in security of payment disputes in jurisdictions throughout Australia and in the United Kingdom.

I have a keen interest in delay and disruption issues and their impact on the completion of projects, and am able to quickly grasp technical construction concepts in order to adeptly deal with the technical aspects of construction disputes.

I am able to easily integrate within project teams and operate alongside client legal teams to ensure cost-effective and client-focussed solutions are delivered.

Career highlights

  • Acting for principals, contractors and sub-contractors involved in large road, rail, health and education infrastructure projects throughout Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom being delivered through PPP / PFI models. Familiar with the contractual and legal structures that are utilised to deliver these projects and the linked claim and dispute resolution procedures that are mandated for resolving disputes that arise during the course of such projects.
  • Acting for a global organisation in the energy industry in relation to claims for outstanding payments owed for more than 5 years in respect of provision of equipment. Devised strategy utilising statutory demand regime to reach commercial resolution and achieve payment regime in respect of outstanding debts.
  • Assisting various Government entities in respect of management of contractor insolvency events and subsequent completion and delivery of projects.
  • Acting for developers, contractors and suppliers in the renewable energy industry in respect of disputes regarding defects and delays on renewable energy projects.
  • Successfully defending against adjudication applications (for amounts in tens of millions of dollars) under security of payment legislation.
  • Acting for a contractor in both non-binding expert determination and subsequent arbitration in relation to disputes arising from a multi-billion dollar road project in Sydney.
  • Successfully defending claims made against a principal in an expert determination in respect of berthing facilities at a New South Wales port associated with defective piling works.
  • Acting for a principal in an international arbitration involving disputes associated with one of Europe's largest offshore wind farms.
  • Acting for a landlord in seven-party court proceedings in respect of claims arising from the defective design and construction of a warehouse and production plant. Claims related to piling defects, structural concrete defects and asbestos and other contamination issues.
  • Seconded to the $4 billion Victorian Desalination Project, the largest project of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.