Partner - Construction
Stephen is a highly-regarded and experienced construction lawyer, with particular expertise in advising on delivery of large scale construction projects and the strategic issues that may arise. He has extensive experience in resolving strategically sensitive contractual disputes that often involve claims for variations, delays/disruption, and non-compliant works. Stephen frequently works with all parties across the construction sector, including principals, contractors, consultants, as well as central and local government agencies.
Stephen has specific experience in major horizontal and vertical infrastructure projects, such as public private partnerships (PPPs), power stations and roading projects. His approach often involves working alongside clients at an early stage to avoid disputes escalating. His primary focus is successful project delivery and Stephen seeks to maximise client interests as the projects progress.
Most recently, Stephen was part of the core team involved in the delivery of Transmission Gully for the Wellington Gateway Partnership. Since 2016, Stephen and the team have been providing strategic advice on fundamental project matters, and at project management level, providing day-to-day project delivery advice. He has acted as lead counsel for the board and his advice has been widely sought, not only for his legal insights but importantly for managing project relationships, identifying and helping minimise risk. Stephen has provided acute commercial insights garnered from decades of experience in assisting parties to deliver complex projects.
In terms of advocacy, Stephen is very experienced in bringing and defending adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2002. He appears regularly in the New Zealand Courts at all levels (including the appellate Courts) and arbitrations, as well as in dispute resolution processes such as mediation and Dispute Resolution Boards.
Stephen is a highly regarded and sought after thought leader in the construction industry. He has lectured on Construction Law for the AUT Masters of Construction Management degree and is currently lecturing at the University of Auckland Engineering and Law schools. Since 2014, Stephen has been recognised by the Chambers and Partners Directory as a Band One ranked lawyer in the New Zealand construction field. The Asia Pacific Legal 500 Directory has recognised Stephen for several consecutive years and in 2019 named him as a Leading Individual in the Real Estate and Construction practice areas.
Wellington Gateway Partnership
Advising WGP on the delivery of the $850 million Transmission Gully motorway PPP project.
A lead provider of Auckland Council’s defences to large scale, multi-party, defective building claims.
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Represented DPMC on a lengthy and complex infrastructure arbitration regarding the rebuild of Christchurch post earthquakes.
Leighton Works (a joint venture between Leighton Contractors and Downer EDI)
Represented Leighton Works regarding disputes arising out the construction of State Highway 20, including successfully defending claims brought by H&H Contractors in the High Court.
Represented Bostik in the Nautilus (2014) and Victopia (2016) High Court litigations, securing a total abandonment of all claims against Bostik mid-High Court trial.
Acted on the delivery to Transpower of the HVDC Pole 3 Project, including large scale disputes between Siemens and Mainzeal regarding variation, cost and delay claims.
- 1995, New Zealand
- LLB, BCom, University of Auckland
- Member, New Zealand Society of Construction Law
- Construction Litigation
- Contractual Disputes
- Defective Buildings
- Ranked Band 1 for Construction, Chambers Asia Pacific
- Ranked as a Leading Individual – Real Estate and Construction, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
- Winner – Construction Disputes Law Firm of the Year New Zealand, Global Law Experts Awards (2016)
- Recognised for Construction Law, Best Lawyers