As leader of Cooper Grace Ward’s construction and infrastructure practice, Sean brings over 18 years’ experience advising clients on a full spectrum of issues relating to major infrastructure projects.
He has acted for financiers, government, contractors and developers on projects in a variety of sectors, including energy and resources, health, education, transport, telecommunications and property.
In addition to expertise in construction, engineering and service provisions in infrastructure, Sean also has experience in a broad range of issues and procurement processes and structures in both public and private sectors, including extensive experience on PFI/PPP projects since 1997.
Sean has been listed in Best Lawyers Australia for Construction/Infrastructure Law each year since 2012. He and his team have also earned Cooper Grace Ward a ‘recommended’ listing in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific in 2014 and 2015 under Projects and Infrastructure, as well as recognition in Doyle’s Guide in its listings of leading construction firms in Queensland each year since 2012.
- Listed in Best Lawyers Australia, Construction/Infrastructure (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015)
- Recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific for Projects and Infrastructure (2014 and 2015)
- Recommended in Doyle’s Guide for construction (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015)
- Bachelor of Laws – University of Queensland
- Bachelor of Arts – University of Queensland
- Solicitor – Supreme Court of Queensland
- Also admitted to practice in New South Wales and England and Wales
General construction and other infrastructure work
- Advising CAF SA on its successful tender and negotiating its contracts for the Pyrmont Light Rail Project Sydney.
- Advising developers including QIC and Leighton Properties on various Brisbane developments such as 400 George St, Green Square and Central Plaza 3.
- Advising the Northern Direct Consortium (comprising Laing O’Rourke, Bouygues and Transfield Services) in relation to its bid for the Northern Link/Legacy Way.
- Acting for the Bouygues/MacMahon consortium on its bid for the Brisbane Gateway Upgrade Project, which included attending government engagement meetings and advising on risk allocation.
- Advising the developer on EPC procurement and technology and design contracts for the Dalby Bio-refinery.
- Advising Bovis Lend Lease on its two stage managing contract and associated downstream documents of the Brisbane International Airport upgrade.
- Advising Guinea Alumina Corporation SA on its suite of EPC, trade supply and other related contracts for the Sangaredi aluminium project in Guinea.
- Advising Queensland Treasury on construction aspects of the restructure of the SEQ water assets.
- Advising, drafting and negotiating project agreements, construction contracts, licence agreements and service level and facilities management contracts for British Airways for its baggage handling systems for Terminal 1, Terminal 4 and the TBS Tunnel at Heathrow Airport.
- Retained by the Infrastructure Association of Queensland to formulate a joint submission with Deloitte to Infrastructure Australia on the National PPP Guidelines.
Claims and contract advice
- Advising on a range of contract interpretation issues and pre-litigation claims including:
- a tier one contractor on time and cost claims associated with a Department of Defence installation in Queensland;
- a listed logistics company on defects, payment claims and contractor insolvency issues arising from a Sydney airport precinct industrial development;
- mid-tier builders and developers on practical completion, time and cost, defects and related claims;
- a bank on the restructure of the distressed Southport Central mixed use development;
- the Queensland Government on contentious probity and process issues on two PPPs; and
- a bidder on probity and process disputes on a major Queensland infrastructure project.
PPP / PFI
- Advising a bidding consortium on its bid for Queensland’s New Generation Rollingstock PPP Project, including on market practice in Australia, regulatory and risk allocation issues, negotiation with the state and consortium issues.
- Advising AEG Ogden, a member of the Darling Harbour Live Consortium on its successful bid on the Sydney International Convention Entertainment and Exhibition Centre PPP.
- Acting for Macquarie/Thiess/John Holland consortium on its successful bid for the Brisbane Airport Link toll road PPP project.
- Advising the Queensland Government on the Gold Coast Rapid Transit Light Rail PPP Project, which involved structuring initial risk allocation, working with project team on output specifications, managing early works process, negotiating third party interface deeds, and bid evaluation.
- Acting for Queensland Government on its Southbank Education and Training PPP redevelopment project.
- Acting for the builder for the first Queensland Schools PPP project.
- Advising the Macquarie John Holland consortium on the Peninsula Link PPP road project.
- Advising Babcock & Brown in relation to its successful Long Bay Prison Hospital PPP bid.
- Advising on, drafting and negotiating facilities management, service level agreement, construction and concession documents for the UCLH PFI hospital project in London and in other PFI health projects including Carlisle and Calderdale.
- Acting for the ABN AMRO in its financing of the Lane Cove Toll Road Project, an ABN AMRO debt syndicate in the Transfield led bid for the Cross City Tunnel project, and ABN AMRO in its capacity as financier in the Thiess/Transfield/ABN AMRO bid for the Western Sydney Orbital Project.
- Advising Leighton on its bid for the Royal Woman’s Hospital PPP in Melbourne. Advising on concession issues and documenting D&C and O&M arrangements for the bid.
Procurement and probity
- Advising a state government agency on a PPP project on a contentious internal probity and process issue. The issue involved the leakage of commercial information and the position of a key project consultant. There were also impacts for the integrity of the process.
- Training state government project team members on a PPP in relation to the project’s process and probity requirements. Explaining the law and translating this into practical guidance as well as providing a review of the probity and process plan.
- Advising a regional council on a potential tender dispute relating to a construction project and the exclusion of a bidder from the process, enabling the client to exclude the bidder, supported by legal advice that its actions were defendable.
- Advising a bidder for a Queensland government agency infrastructure project on bid strategy, and contentious probity and process issues during the tender process.
- Advising a state government on consultant procurement options for a major project where, due to industry constraints, there were multiple conflicts of interest and probity issues.
- Advising a state government on probity and process issues arising from the change in constitution of a bidding consortium.
- Advising a bidder for a New South Wales transport project on contentious probity and process issues, including liaising with the probity officer in respect of disclosure of information.