Artboard 1Icon/UI/CalendarIcons/Ionic/Social/social-pinterestIcon/UI/Video-outline

Kirsty Smith


Kirsty Smith has been a key member of the firm’s Building and Construction practice for 14 years, and is an experienced construction dispute lawyer and front-end lawyer. 

Kirsty has been recognised as a thought leader in the Autumn 2021 Mondaq Thought Leadership Awards for Australia in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution.


Kirsty Smith is a partner in Holding Redlich’s Construction, Infrastructure and Projects Team, specialising in the resolution of disputes.  She is experienced in litigation, expert determination, mediation and arbitration concerning a wide range of issues on construction projects that often lead to complex negotiations, disputes and settlements.

Kirsty works as part of a specialised team to successfully achieve objectives set by clients, including coordinating high pressure adjudication proceedings. Her understanding and interest in her client’s business and projects helps her to achieve the best result possible for her clients. Those successful outcomes are founded on her dedication to her clients as well as her pragmatic approach to advising on strategies to overcome obstacles. She operates across all jurisdictions in Australia for contractors, consultants and principals, including government.

Examples of Kirsty’s construction dispute experience include the following:

  • Road infrastructure - advising the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) on various design and construction disputes, and acting on TMR’s behalf in adjudication proceedings
  • Solar farms - acting for the head contractor in relation to a dispute concerning an aborted solar farm project, including in relation to a dispute with an international supplier of solar panels
  • Building product liability disputes – acted for an ASX listed company regarding the performance of building products
  • Civil infrastructure – acted for various principals and contractors in civil construction disputes (Supreme Court and adjudications)
  • Brisbane Airport — acted in relation to 2 significant disputes (between $10 million and $30 million+) in relation to design works and Supreme Court Proceedings
  • Western Corridor Recycled Water Project – acted for the civil engineering contractor in an arbitration concerning the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project
  • 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
  • Long Bay Prison Hospital Facilities – acted for the Facilities Matter in proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in relation to a dispute concerning the hydraulic system
  • 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
  • acted in various applications for prohibitory injunctions to restrain Principals on construction projects from having recourse to the security (bank guarantees) (acting both for Principals and against Principals)
  • acted in proceedings for mandatory injunctions seeking delivery up of goods.

Debt recovery

  • 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).


17 June 2024 - Knowledge

Queensland Government Bulletin: Managing defective design or building work in government projects

#Government, #Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Construction defects can significantly impact a project’s safety, integrity and budget. This edition covers key concepts including defects liability period, a contractor’s right to remedy defects and maintaining privilege during defect investigations.

14 January 2024 - Knowledge

Engineers’ professional conduct that could trigger investigations

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Following the outcome of a recent disciplinary proceeding against an engineer in Queensland, we discuss the types of conduct that could lead to an investigation and potential disciplinary proceedings.

28 November 2023 - Knowledge

Arbitration – the right to arbitrate

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects, #Arbitration

Arbitration is an increasingly common form of dispute resolution in the Australian construction industry. In this article, we consider who is bound to arbitrate, as it is not always limited only to the parties to the contract

22 November 2023 - Knowledge

Waiver of sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of the Australian Courts


In this article, we consider two recent decisions and what they mean for the recognition and enforcement of international arbitration awards in Australia.

08 November 2023 - Knowledge

Recovering security in construction contracts: Learnings from Western Australia

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

We consider the challenges associated with recovering performance security under construction contracts, and how Western Australia has legislated to overcome these challenges.

03 November 2023 - Knowledge

Queensland Government Bulletin: Extra diligence required in responding to a contractor’s payment claim

#Government, #Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

The NSW Supreme Court decision of Turnkey v Witron has raised concerns on the validity of payment schedules where only part of the payment claim is addressed.

17 April 2023 - Knowledge

Decoding design and construct contracts: Defects (Part 6)

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

In the sixth instalment of this series on the AS4902 standard form design and construct contract, we discuss how contracts deal with defective work and rectification.

01 November 2022 - Knowledge

Latent conditions in civil construction: What constitutes ‘forthwith’ notification? (Part 2)

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

In this instalment, we discuss the obligation to give notice of a latent condition by revisiting the trial and appeal decisions of a dispute between BMD Major Projects Pty Ltd and Victorian Urban Development Authority.

18 September 2022 - Knowledge

Latent conditions in civil construction: Does a latent condition exist? (Part 1)

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

In this two-part series, we consider some of the guiding principles as to how a latent condition clause applies by revisiting a case between a construction company and an urban development authority.

17 August 2022 - Knowledge

Luxury developments: Delivering the vision (Part 3)

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects, #Property, Planning & Development

In the last installment of this series, we discuss the issues associated with managing works during and after the construction stage, and what can be done when the luxury design intent is not achieved.

17 August 2022 - Knowledge

Contracting for civil construction works – are you getting the deal you bargained for?

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

We consider two key areas of risk associated with contracting to perform civil construction works – latent conditions and construction methodology.

08 August 2022 - Knowledge

Defects, experts and maintaining privilege – the importance of engaging early

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

We consider the importance of investigating defects, engaging experts early when a defect is identified, and maintaining privilege.