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Construction/Infrastructure Law Definition
Construction and Infrastructure Law in Australia is the specialist practice area servicing all aspects of the Construction industry and construction projects from inception to completion. It encapsulates all the legal issues which arise during the tender, construction, delivery, and operation and maintenance phases of construction and infrastructure projects such as:
• residential and mixed use developments;
• commercial and industrial developments;
• essential hard infrastructure assets such as transport, water and energy facilities; and
• essential soft or social infrastructure assets such as schools, hospitals etc.
Practitioners in this area assist clients at all stages of a project’s life cycle from inception through to commission, subsequent regulatory compliance, and litigation. This includes:
• advice in relation to initial concept design documentation;
• guidance in relation to construction tender documentation;
• drafting construction contracts, consultancy agreements, supply agreements, operation and maintenance agreements, and advising on same (to name but a few);
• advising in relation to Security of Payment legislation; and
• representing clients in construction disputes and litigation, whether that be court litigation, arbitration, or expert determination.
Large scale projects may require the practitioner to provide advice in relation to strategy and structuring, project management, joint ventures, land use, and local planning or zoning issues. Construction and Infrastructure practitioners frequently act for large institutional investors, individual land owners, commercial developers, building contractors, government departments, and infrastructure services entities.
As the Security of Payment framework is highly regulated in all Australian jurisdictions, Construction and Infrastructure lawyers must have a sound knowledge of the area given the particularly severe consequences for clients of non-compliance with the relevant statute. This usually entails advising clients in relation to:
• the proper form and timing for payment claims;
• responding to payment claims;
• drafting Adjudication applications and responding to such applications;
• enforcement of adjudicator’s determinations (recovering payment) and appeals from same.
In addition to their core practice areas, construction and infrastructure lawyers are also regularly called upon to advise in relation to complementary areas of practice. Given Australia’s recent period of sustained investment in residential construction, their practice often crosses into other areas such as planning and environment law, property law, and finance/foreign investment law.
These practice areas are open for nominations but are not yet included in our publications.
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