Norton Rose Fulbright

Projects Department

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What the team is known for Engaged by top-end construction and engineering clients seeking assistance on the design, construction and operational aspects of major transportation projects, including roads, railways and ports. Also covers disputes including international arbitrations and has won appointments on government, bank and corporate panels. Fields project finance expertise, representing lenders and sponsors with regards to large projects in the transport, energy and resources sectors.

Strengths Clients note that the team has a focus on achieving commercial solutions, one saying: "They've been very good, they've been very collaborative and hands-on and mindful of the goals that we have in mind."

Another client comments: "They have good client care, provide commercial advice and the litigation practice is strategic."

Work highlights Acted for the D&C joint venture, composed of John Holland, Lendlease Engineering and Bouygues Construction, with regards to the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel and Stations PPP. The team's role on this matter included advise on key risks arising from the project, reviewing, commenting and advising on project deed and D&C subcontract, and assisting on the negotiation and completion of those documents.

Represented NAB and SMBC as the financiers on all aspects of the development and the AUD400 million financing of the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility project.

Notable practitioners

Emanuel Confos is described by one source as "a very good practitioner and litigator." He enjoys a strong reputation for his work on contentious construction matters and is also active in the front end where he often acts for owners.

Grant Ahearn is a highly experienced practitioner who has established a reputation as a leading construction lawyer covering both front-end and litigious matters.  He operates on the construction of infrastructure projects as well as private developments and a client notes: "He's a very senior, experienced and capable lawyer and a very safe pair of hands for tricky disputes."

Joanne Crew has a strong reputation in the market for her practice in the project finance space where she acts for lenders, sponsors and borrowers on the financing and refinancing arrangements of large infrastructure projects. She also demonstrates the ability to advise infrastructure clients, one client commenting: "She's special in that she has the unique ability to easily move from the finance documents to the project documents; she's a classic all-rounder."

Kevin Arkwright is identified by market commentators as "a very well-regarded lawyer" who is praised for his "recent strong performances." He represents public bodies and construction contractors in relation to the design and construction of infrastructure projects and developments.