Just back from the Society of Construction Law’s 2015 Conference in Melbourne. Brilliant.
There were some excellent papers. Everyone will have learned some really useful stuff; I certainly did. But we also had some good fun.
Yesterday evening, I participated in the dinner debate at the Fox Car Museum. Who is more useful, lawyers or experts? Never have I been involved in such a rigged event since, whilst at boarding school, I organised a hockey match against the local girls’ school (I went to an all-boys school – we were keen for some interaction). But, to be fair, the experts were very funny, and were worthy winners.
Today I moderated the You are the Adjudicator! event. Thanks to (in order of appearance) to the advocates Andrew Robertson of Piper Alderman Adelaide, Laina Chan of Nine Wentworth Chambers Sydney, John Sharkey from Melbourne, Daniel Morris from HHG Perth, Josh Singer from Clayton Utz, Julian Grant from Cornwall Stodart, Karen Wenham from Driver Trett Sydney and Donald Charrett from MTEC Melbourne; they all did a great job. It is remarkable that people from several State jurisdictions separated by thousands of kilometres should so cheerfully and effectively come together and be able so effectively to to advance argument based on another jurisdictions’ legislation; such is the Australian State system. Afterwards, a number of people were kind enough to say that session was informative (good) and fun (better). People perform best when they are having a good time, and particularly for a conference, this is really worthwhile.
This year, we did not hire external conference organisers; much of the work was done by the wonderful Kara Vague. Personally (and not having done even a small fraction as much work on it as Kara and her team) I thought it was al the better for it: more like a club event and less like something corporate. I agree with our President Basil Georgiou: the moral is to book early for next year.