Stewart Nankervis
Partner, Melbourne
Working with some of Australia’s largest public and private organisations, Stewart plays a leading role in many of the nation’s most significant road, rail, transport, energy and resources, and health care infrastructure projects.

Stewart specialises in drafting and negotiating complex engineering, infrastructure, transport and energy projects for the government and private sectors.

Stewart is known for his simple, pragmatic and decisive approach to drafting and negotiating.

Career highlights

  • Working with major contractors such as John Holland, CIMIC, State and federal government agencies, and numerous other participants operating in the projects and infrastructure sector.
  • Acting on both private and public side roles for major infrastructure projects such as Melbourne Metro, West Gate Tunnel, Sydney Metro, OSARs and the New Grafton Correctional Centre.
  • Delivering procurement and franchising projects such as the Region 6 Buses, Newcastle Integrated Services Project, Vlocity Trains procurement and Melbourne Bus Franchising.

Industry recognition

  • Awarded 'Construction and Infrastructure Partner of the Year' by Lawyers Weekly in its 'Partner of the Year Awards' in 2018.
  • Ranked by Chambers and Partners - Asia Pacific (2023) as one of only two Band 1 lawyers in Australia for Infrastructure, and also ranked as a Band 1 lawyer for Construction.
  • Named by Doyle's Guide 2023 as the 'Market Leader' in Victoria for 'Front End Construction, Infrastructure and Projects lawyers'.
  • Named by Doyle's Guide 2020 as the 'Preeminent' lawyer in Victoria for 'Front End Construction, Infrastructure and Project lawyers'.
  • Named by Doyle's Guide 2019 as the 'Market Leader' in Australia for 'Front End Construction & Infrastructure lawyers'.
  • Named by peers as 'Lawyer of the Year' (Transportation) in Best Lawyers Australia (2019).
  • Named by peers in Best Lawyers Australia for Construction/Infrastructure Law and Transportation Law in the 2009 – 2023 editions.
  • Named by Legal 500 in the Hall of Fame for construction lawyers and as a Leading Individual for Project Development (2020).
  • Named by peers as 'Lawyer of the Year' (Construction, Melbourne) in Best Lawyers Australia (2013).
  • Recognised in Who's Who Legal Government 2018 as well as listed in Who's Who Legal Construction 2018, as one of the world's leading infrastructure practitioners in this field.
  • Named by clients as winner of the Client Choice Awards – Projects and Procurement (2014).
  • Named in Best Lawyers International: Australia (Construction) (2009-2018) as published in The Australian Financial Review.

Stewart has been consistently ranked by Chambers and Partners as a market leading lawyer (Band 1) in Construction and in Infrastructure with the following commentaries:

  • "Stewart impressed us with his ability to land at commercial positions, satisfying the requirements of both parties without the need for protracted discussion or negotiation" (2023)
  • "An outstanding PPP projects lawyer who brings a wealth of experience to bear." (2022)
  • "Intimate knowledge of the risk profiles adopted across all the major government infrastructure sectors." (2022)
  • "Stewart is fantastic at cutting through complex legal and commercial problems and finding solutions." (2022)
  • "A PPP specialist who is very client-focused and has strong commercial skills." (2021)
  • "He's particularly good with the other side of the table, he develops a very good rapport and he really finds solutions." (2020)
  • "He's magnificent. He handles negotiations with very sophisticated parties." (2020)
  • "He's really astute, gets his head around issues and provides concise advice very quickly, but doesn't try to impose a view and is open to discussion; we find it's a genuine partnership with him." (2019)
  • "He's able to synthesise complex issues very quickly into simple, bite-size decisions to be made. He's a super communicator and because of that he's an excellent adviser; he has no ego and that enables him to find areas of compromise very quickly and solve problems." (2019)
  • "In terms of a lawyer who understands the construction market and government he's absolutely number one, he's outstanding." (2019)
  • "I can't speak more highly of him. He is brilliant, someone who cuts to the chase and is very practical."(2018)
  • "You absolutely know where you are. He is very clear with his advice and doesn't beat around the bush." (2017)
  • 'Regard for Nankervis is summed up by one source with the words: "He is a class act".' (2017)
  • "He is my most preferred infrastructure lawyer in the market. He can cut through the rubbish and focus on important points. He explains legal and commercial concepts in a way that is easy to understand and he is a good negotiator." (2016)
  • According to one client "he is just a genius and really knows the market." He is also praised for combining "the very technical with being highly commercial" and for his proven ability to handle the very largest transactions.' (2015)