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Stuart is co-leader of our construction and major projects team. He advises national and international clients on how to ensure a successful project and specialises in resolving disputes.

Stuart works with clients involved in a wide range of projects, from standalone residential developments to large infrastructure projects in the civil, transport, water, electricity and telecommunications sectors. He has expert experience in resolving multi-party claims and in dealing with disputes involving leaky buildings.

Stuart co-wrote the New Zealand Law Society’s submissions to the select committees dealing with the numerous amendments to the Building Act and the CCA. Stuart identified, and with CCNZ lobbied MBIE for, the change to the Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2015 clarifying that the new retentions regime should not apply to all current contracts as at 31 March 2017.

Before he became a lawyer Stuart spent a number of years working as a registered electrician then completed a New Zealand Certificate in Engineering. His hands-on experience means he can give you practical, pragmatic advice to resolve any issues that arise during your project. If a dispute is unavoidable he can represent you at mediation, in adjudication, arbitration, or, if necessary, in court.

Stuart recently spent two years restoring a 1978 classic Mini car with his sons and drove it from Kaitaia to Invercargill in a charity event called the Pork Pie Run.

Admission date: 1996

EXPERIENCE

Stuart has advised:

  • Over 90 directional drilling contractors in 23 High Court proceedings against Ericsson. This related to the failed rollout of a cable television network in Auckland and Christchurch.
  • The Crown on identifying liable parties and negotiating innovative settlements for over 600 leaky building claims.
  • Downer NZ Ltd advising and resolving disputes on numerous state highway projects, water and wastewater treatment plants, road maintenance contracts, wharf construction, motorway widening, railway bridge construction, and piling projects.
  • UGL (NZ) Ltd on the North Island transmission line upgrade project (400KV Auckland electricity supply), involving various contractual issues.
  • HEB Construction Ltd advising on numerous contractual and technical issues including the $65 million Highbrook motorway interchange, the $200 million Hobsonville motorway extension, Kopu bridge, SH2 Mangatawhiri improvements, wastewater treatment plant upgrades, subdivision infrastructure and piling works.
  • Body corporates/owners, head contractors and subcontractors on the prosecution and defence of substantial leaky building disputes, including acting for the builder on the largest leaky building claim, at $81 million involving over 300 apartments.
  • Luxury hotel developers on the construction and renovation of 5 Star hotels in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown. Providing advice on structural steel strengthening claims, delays, unforeseen conditions and negotiating project final accounts.
  • International construction company undertaking tunnelling and ocean outfall projects. We advised on claims relating to concrete structures, delays and design defects enabling very favourable settlements to be achieved. 
  • Head contractor and the Crown successfully defending one of the largest (by number of claims – 301) adjudication claims under the CCA relating to the construction of a prison.

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