workplacesI am not at all sure that I like Google following me around like this.

Not that it is a huge secret that my work takes me all around Australasia.  And there is nothing special abount these trips.

But, even so… suppose my work took me somewhere that my clients wouild prefer the world Continue reading

Goodbye to All That

socla logoAfter several years, I have today[1] stood down as a director of the Society of Construction Law Australia. We have decided to streamline the board, and as part of that process, the directors due to retire by rotation have advanced our departure by a couple of months.

It is a mistake to stay on the board of this sort of organisation for too long, but I will miss that regular contact with friends in the construction law world in the other Australian States.

I notice that my old friend Sir Peter Coulson is also leaving the Technology and Construction Court in London. But he is not going far: he replaces Sir Rupert Jackson as the construction specialist in the English Court of Appeal. He wound up his last judgment in Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd[2] thus Continue reading

Vicarious Achievement

Chambers award 2017I am pleased to say that Keating Chambers  won “Construction Set of the Year” at the Chambers Bar Awards this week.

Marie Sparkes of Keating Chambers said:

We also found out on the night that we had been shortlisted for Set of the Year which is rare for a specialist set and a great achievement. The other nominees included Essex Court, Fountain Court, Matrix and Brick Court (who won on this occasion).

Keating Chambers is also recommended in Continue reading



Dr Donald Charrett, Prof Doug Jones, Jaime Gray and yours truly

While I was in Sydney last week, I was asked to contribute to a Melbourne Law School session for LLM students.

Topics were international perspectives on FIDIC contracts, a comparative study of Canadian and Australian approaches to adjudication, dispute adjudication boards (as DABs become DAABs in the latest round of FIDIC editions) and international arbitration.

They are a smart Continue reading

IBA Sydney 2017 II


The International Bar Association event in Sydney turns out to be very good. I contributed to the session on Common and Civil Law approaches to various issues earlier today – a good session, I thought, and the feedback was very supportive.

The purpose of the session was to consider the reception in various jurisdictions of a number of sample clauses, pay-when-paid, Queen of Hearts clauses, force majeure clauses etc, and different use of good faith principles. There was contributions from USA, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, and Finland. I was batting for England. With some differences of emphasis, it was remarkable how, in their different ways, how common law and civil get to much the same outcome, albeit by rather different Continue reading

Spoiled for Choice

Doyle’s Guide is, it seems, the most reliable of the guides to lawyers in Australia, and their 2017 Construction Law rankings are due out tomorrow, they tell me.

They also tell me that I am now free to any of the following ranking recognition banners:

Now, which  of these, I wonder, should I choose? Not all of them, obviously, or one will end up looking like a North Korean General:



SoCLA End of Year Event

soclaeoy2016SoCLA’s end of year event in Adelaide will be held on 20 December at Minter Ellison’s offices.

I have been asked to say a few words. That might be a bit of tough gig?  I suspect that most people there will getting into the party spirit for Christmas.

Those who know me will not be expecting anything too lengthy.  Besides, it has been a busy year for me: I might well be warming up for Continue reading