King & Wood Mallesons

Construction, Infrastructure & Project Finance Department

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What the team is known for A market-leading group that is able to support the delivery of projects from inception and financing to delivery. Particularly notable for its project finance practice and its representation of banks, sponsors and borrowers. Instructed on headline transport and energy infrastructure programmes including major road and gas pipeline building as well as the privatisation of government assets. Demonstrates further capability advising on construction disputes in addition to the preparation and negotiation of D&C contracts.

Strengths A client identifies the team's expertise in the project finance market as a key strength, saying: "They really know the market and they have the ability to understand complexities and just work through issues in a commercial sense."

Another client comments: "They're excellent for construction disputes, we use them for the much larger matters where we need a real depth of experience and there's a lot more partner focus and teams of associates where required."

Work highlights Acted for the financiers, including as Australian counsel for the USPP noteholders, on the financial close of the Victorian government’s AUD1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade project.

Acted for Transport for NSW with regards to the delivery of the AUD3.5 billion Parramatta Light Rail Project. This included advice around the business case and delivery plan, procurement agreements for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of stage 1 of the project, and strategic procurement and delivery advice.

Notable practitioners

Chris Mitchell is a highly experienced practitioner in the infrastructure space. He's active advising government and public corporations in relation to the planning and implementation of transport infrastructure projects.

Claire Rogers is a prominent project finance practitioner described by one client as "very impressive." Her clients include financiers, bidders and borrowers whom she advises on financings and refinancings relating to infrastructure, energy and PPP projects. Clients appreciate her focused and pragmatic approach, one commenting: "She's someone who's willing to be pretty practical and pragmatic in understanding that there's only so much that we can do and she's pretty good at ensuring that at the end of the day we only focus on the key issues."

Hamish Macpherson has a very strong reputation in the market as a contentious practitioner who operates on major construction disputes. He joined King & Wood Mallesons from White & Case in April 2019, and is experienced acting on cases relating to road, rail, energy and resources.

James Forrest is an established practitioner who focuses on non-contentious construction matters. His clients include public and private bodies that he advises on project structuring, procurement systems and the drafting of contract documents. He is active on the construction of both infrastructure and development projects.

Jeff Clark is well regarded for his work advising on the financings and refinancings of large projects in a number of sectors, including transport, energy and utilities. He acts for financiers and borrowers, and one client comments: "He's got a lot of experience behind him and he particularly shines if you're dealing with more structured transactions."

Mark Upfold is noted as a practitioner who advises clients with regards to both infrastructure and project finance matters. He acts for financiers on the financing of major projects as well as representing various industry participants on a range of infrastructure projects.

Peter Pether is a standout construction litigator, described by one interviewee as "by far and away the best litigator in this space." He represents contractors as well as public bodies on a range of disputes relating to infrastructure construction projects. He is identified as a problem-solver, one client noting that "he's a very strategic thinker in terms of disputes, he always has an eye on avoiding or resolving the dispute rather than running the dispute."

Scott Budd is a well-established practitioner with experience acting for a wide variety of clients, including contractors, government and private sector proponents, with regards to construction matters. He advises on the preparation, negotiation and finalisation of construction contracts as well as disputes relating to construction projects.