Stephen is recognised as one of the top construction lawyers in New Zealand. He is an expert in managing the delivery of large-scale construction projects. A senior trial and appellate advocate, he is sought after for his ability to resolve the most complicated and critical construction disputes.
Stephen works with all parties across the construction sector. He has specific experience in major horizontal and vertical infrastructure projects, such as public private partnerships (PPPs), power stations and roading projects.
Often partnering with clients from the outset of a project, Stephen works proactively to maximise their interests. He is part of the core team involved in the delivery of Transmission Gully for the Wellington Gateway Partnership. He acts as lead counsel for the board and is regularly consulted on legal, project relationship, and risk issues.
As a distinguished construction litigator, Stephen is called upon when the stakes are high. He advises on strategically sensitive contractual disputes involving claims for variations, delays/disruption, and non-compliant works. He has extensive advocacy experience at all court levels, in arbitrations, and other dispute resolution processes.
Stephen’s construction expertise is consistently recognised in leading legal directories, such as Chambers Asia-Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific. His clients highlight the wealth of his experience and industry knowledge. He is described as a “highly skilled litigator” with an “excellent understanding of the construction industry” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022. As another client says, he “is the most up to speed with developments in the market and he thinks incredibly laterally, explaining the issues back and interrogating them” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020.
Stephen is a thought leader in the construction industry. He has lectured on Construction Law for the Auckland University of Technology (Master of Construction Management degree), and the University of Auckland Engineering and Law schools.
Lead legal provider to Wellington Gateway Partnership on the delivery of the $850 million Transmission Gully motorway PPP project.
Lead legal provider to Siemens regarding disputes arising out of the delivery of the HVDC Pole 3 Project. This included large scale disputes between Siemens and Mainzeal regarding variation, cost, and delay claims.
A lead provider and counsel on numerous large-scale, multi-party, defective building claims including for Auckland Council, Bostik and CSR. Cumulative claims values exceeding $1 billion.
Counsel/adviser on numerous complex variations/extensions of time and traditional construction disputes. Clients include government bodies - the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Rau Paenga (formerly Ōtākaro), the Department of Internal Affairs and other significant industry participants.
- Member, Society of Construction Law New Zealand
- Member, Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand Inc (AMINZ)
Achievements and recognition
- Band 1, Construction, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Band 1 team, Construction, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Leading Individual, Construction, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
- Tier 1 team, Construction, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
- Recognised, Construction Law, Best Lawyers
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