Kirsty Smith has been a key member of the firm’s Building and Construction practice for 10 years, and is an experienced construction dispute lawyer and front-end lawyer.
Kirsty’s experience includes advising on risk and drafting agreements for developers and contractors, and advising, negotiating, and acting in court proceedings, adjudications and alternative dispute resolution proceedings on construction disputes involving multi-national companies, mining companies, engineers, property developers and contractors.
Kirsty works as part of a focussed team to successfully achieve objectives set by clients, including coordinating high pressure adjudication proceedings and instructing junior and senior counsel in both the State and Federal System. Her understanding and interest in our client’s business and projects helps her to achieve the best result possible for our clients.
Kirsty’s contribution to the successful outcomes obtained by our clients in major construction and infrastructure disputes is founded on her dedication to our clients as well as her pragmatic approach to advising on strategies to overcome obstacles.
Examples of Kirsty’s construction dispute experience include the following:
Brisbane Airport — acted in relation to 2 significant disputes (between $10 million and $30 million+) in relation to design works and Supreme Court Proceedings.
GIS Substation project in New South Wales (Holroyd and Rookwood Road Project) — acted for a professional service consultancy company in relation to the design works and involving adjudications and advice on substantive proceedings, and resulting in a commercial settlement
Northern Territory Secure Facilities Project — acted for an Australian subsidiary of a Fortune 100 company in relation to a security systems subcontract involving a maximum security prison in the Northern Territory, resulting in complex adjudication proceedings and successfully defending an appeal of the adjudication decision in the Northern Territory Supreme Court
Sino Iron Ore Project — acted for a civil contractor in relation to major civil pipeline construction projects in Western Australia involving adjudications, mediations, a commercial arbitration and substantive Federal Court proceedings. In addition to contributing the all aspects of the proceedings, Kirsty was responsible for implementing an electronic disclosure regime which resulted in review of over 100,000 documents
Legacy Way Tunnel, Project Connection — acted for a joint venture in defending a claim brought by Energex Limited under the security of payment legislation in Queensland, resulting in a commercial settlement
“The Sands” at Yamba — acted for a commercial building company in relation to a residential building claim by a body corporate concluding to a successful determination by the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal in New South Wales
Clem Jones Tunnel in Queensland — acted in alternative dispute resolution proceedings and Court of Appeal proceedings in relation to signage works on the Clem Jones Tunnel in Queensland, which resulted in a commercial settlement.
acted in various Originating Applications seeking urgent injunctive relief in the Supreme and Federal Courts
prohibitory injunctions to restrain Principals on construction projects from having recourse to the security (bank guarantees) (acting both for Principals and against Principals)
mandatory injunctions seeking delivery up of goods.
Adjudication proceedings, advice and associated court proceedings
acted for various contractors in relation to the Gladstone LNG Project on Curtis Island.
advising clients of options for enforcing judgment debts
enforcement of judgment debts in the Supreme and District Court of Queensland, including
acting in proceedings for the enforcement of a judgment debt against a Director of a company liable for the judgment debt pursuant to a personal guarantee
applying for enforcement warrants for the seizure and sale of property
applying for, and instructing Counsel at, an enforcement hearing
applying for the appointment of a receiver to call up informal loans made by the debtor company to interrelated companies payable on demand
enforcement of a judgment debt in the small claims division of the Local Court of New South Wales, by way of a Notice of Motion for the issue of a writ for the levy of property against the judgment debtor
lodging/removing caveats over property
recovery of debts under the Subcontractors’ Charges Act 1974 (Qld), including instructing Counsel in associated proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland
issuing statutory demands under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
Providing security under a construction contract is an important risk allocation mechanism that can give rise to disputes between parties. Although bank guarantees are a popular way of providing security, when misused under a contract, they can have large implications for a party’s reputation and future borrowing ability.