Deborah Rowe

Special Counsel - Construction and Infrastructure

Deborah is a construction law expert who specialises in resolving construction related disputes and litigation.

Deborah advises all participants in the construction industry, including some of New Zealand’s largest contractors.  She has advised on several major project disputes including in the infrastructure, roading and energy sectors.

With over 20 years’ experience in construction law, Deborah advises on all aspects of a project life cycle, including procurement and contracting issues.  Experienced with a variety of construction contracts, such as NZS3910 and FIDIC, Deborah regularly assists clients with claims for variations, delay, and prolongation, and with payment issues.  She is an expert on the Construction Contracts Act including payment claim and payment schedule issues and has acted on many adjudications for principals and contractors.

Deborah is experienced in all forms of dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, adjudication, mediation and negotiated settlements.  She is highly regarded by clients for her calm approach to resolving difficult legal issues, her technical expertise, and her strategic advice.

Deborah has a pragmatic and commercial approach to resolving disputes.  She is skilled at managing complex claims and disputes throughout the life of a project, to allow project teams to focus on delivery.

Prior to joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Deborah worked in the construction practice at another top tier law firm.

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Professional background

Recent work


Advising on several large building and infrastructure projects.

Civil infrastructure

Advising a tier-1 contractor on disputes on a large infrastructure project.

Major projects

Advising on a variety of claims including claims for additional payment and delay / disruption.

Major contractors

Acting for a number of New Zealand’s largest contractors on project advice, claims and disputes.

Construction Contracts Act (CCA) issues

Acting on numerous adjudications and Court proceedings, including the first case concerning the CCA in the Court of Appeal.


  • 1999, New Zealand


  • BA/LLB (Hons) – The University of Auckland


  • Construction
  • Construction Disputes
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Major Projects
  • Infrastructure


  • Member of Construction and Infrastructure team, ranked Tier 1 by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Band 1 by Chambers Asia-Pacific