Civil & Construction

We provide specialist advice to civil and construction companies in the New Zealand construction market.


The construction industry is a complex legal environment with a high risk profile.

We are very aware of the pressures of construction projects and provide pragmatic and no-nonsense advice that cuts through the noise to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.

We regularly review and draft all forms of civil and construction contracts to ensure they are fit for the project and that the conditions of contract and risk allocations are aligned. We are experts in the Construction Contracts Act, the Building Act and the Building Code.

We provide advice and support at all stages of a project to identify risks, provide appropriate contractual frameworks and resolve disputes.

We believe in the “do it once do it right” philosophy. We offer our set of specialised construction contracts, which have been refined over years of experience and are tried and tested in the industry, so you have a strong set of legal documents to fall back on if anything goes wrong. We also recommend our 360-degree risk analysis programme, which we offer civil and head construction companies. This programme runs the ruler over your role in the project to ensure your legal and material risks have been appropriately dealt with and planned for and it is clear what risks you are responsible for. This allows you to get on and do what you do best.

We understand that unforeseen issues arise in the civil and construction phases of projects and can assist you to efficiently resolve any disputes as they arise. We have a vast amount of expertise advising on variations, delays in completion, and extension of time claims, as well as post-construction disputes including defective work and weathertightness issues.

We work with leading experts in the construction field, including surveyors, fire, acoustic, engineers and programming experts to professionally resolve disagreements through negotiated settlements, court proceedings or alternative dispute resolution.

We know construction and speak your language. We have provided guidance on some of New Zealand’s largest civil and construction projects and pride ourselves on our specialist knowledge. When it comes to construction law, we are the experts.

Our clients return to us because of our practical commercial advice, deep knowledge of the construction industry, and our focus on achieving the best possible results.

Experience Sector/Expertise

  • 360-degree risk analysis at the outset of your project
  • Reviewing and drafting construction contracts
  • Reviewing and drafting sub-contracting agreements
  • Liaising and dealing with the Engineer to the contract
  • Advising on variations to the contract scope of works
  • Resolving construction disputes (e.g., price, delay claims and extension of time for completion)
  • Resolving claims arising from breach of contract (e.g., performance or defective work, non-payment by owners or head contractors)
  • Advising on retentions, remedies, & defects liability
  • Weathertightness issues
  • Claims and issues arising under the Construction Contracts Act (including adjudication)
  • Claims and issues arising under relevant building legislation
  • Claims in negligence
  • Arbitration or court proceedings

Talk to our Building Owner experts

Axis - Main Team Image Roll Overs Scott 1

Scott Russell Managing Director

Scott started his career at Bell Gully, where his first job was working on the longest running construction litigation case in New Zealand...

Axis - Main Team Image Roll Overs David 1

David van Hout Director

David has almost 15 years’ experience as a litigator and has appeared in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court...


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