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Helena is a partner in our Construction and Infrastructure group. With over 15 years’ experience in large scale construction and commercial disputes throughout Australia, she provides dispute resolution, transaction and advisory services. She has particular expertise in complex negotiations and contract structuring, including drafting and negotiating development agreements, design and construction contracts, project delivery agreements, early contractor involvement agreements and consultancy agreements.

Helena works closely with her clients to ensure they understand the risks they face in their projects and how to address those risks.

Apart from construction industry clients, Helena has extensive experience providing advice to insurers and insureds in respect of professional indemnity, contractor’s all risks and other project policies and business related insurance.

Helena’s expertise also extends to advising education institutions in relation to development, facilities and other operational matters.


Helena's experience includes:

  • acting on behalf of an aged care provider in Supreme Court action to successfully avoid enforcement of a determination under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 NSW
  •  acting for a large building consultancy firm in a claim in the Supreme Court of NSW in relation to negligent mechanical ventilation design for large multi-dwelling residential building
  • acting for large international environmental consultants in relation to commercial claims 
  • acting for a major mining and energy contractor in Supreme Court of NSW proceedings concerning substantial variation and delay claims arising from a mine expansion project
  • acting for various insurers concerning policy disputes under a Project All Risks policies concerning major energy and mining projects (amongst others)
  • acting for both home owners and builders in relation to claims arising from residential building works
  • acting for claimants and respondents in connection with adjudications under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) 
  • negotiating development agreements across a range of sectors including health care facilities and commercial developments
  • preparing project contract documentation for various participants in a range of projects including educational facilities, health care facilities, large refurbishments, tenancy fit-outs, commercial premises, large and medium scale residential developments and aged care facilities. Project highlights include: 
    •  major new facilities for a number of independent schools including aquatic centres, sporting facilities, student centres, GLAs and performance spaces 
    •  health care facilities including major medical centres and specialist facilities 
    • aged care facilities including redevelopment and expansion of existing facilities and new developments providing all forms of aged care accommodation 
    • redevelopment and upgrade of major sporting, hospitality and entertainment facilities including playing fields, race courses (including associated structures) and hotels. 


04 December 2020 - Knowledge

New Practice Standard for registered certifiers in NSW – what will it achieve?

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

In September 2020, the NSW Government released a Practice Standard for registered certifiers to assist certifiers to achieve compliance with recent certifier legislation. We take a look at the Practice Standard and its key suggestions.

18 November 2020 - Knowledge

Mine-d the gap: NSW Court construes the Mining Exemption in the Security of Payment Act for the first time

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

A NSW Court has for the first time construed the Mining Exception in the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 in the decision of Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd v Downer EDI Mining Pty Ltd [2020] NSWSC 1588 released on 11 November 2020.

24 June 2020 - Knowledge

NSW Court of Appeal confirms that Security of Payment Act benefit flows one way

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

We examine a recent case where the NSW Court of Appeal denies a developer a “Grosvenor Stay” based upon the developer's own financial distress on second attempt.

03 April 2020 - Knowledge

Weekend work authorised by COVID-19 Planning Response Order: What the change means for existing construction contracts

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

In order to give project participants the ability to mitigate the delays inherent in enforcing social distancing on construction sites, the NSW government has removed any constraint on working days in existing and future consents. We look at what the new order may mean for existing construction contracts.

11 March 2020 - Knowledge

Residential Focus

#Property, Planning & Development

The Building and Development Certifiers Regulation is due to come into effect on 1 July 2020. We summarise the key provisions and discuss the implications for private certifiers.

13 November 2019 - Knowledge

Ignore the contract at your peril: Developer estopped from relying on contract

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of NSW held that the Developer was estopped from relying on the strict interpretation of the contract due to its contract management with the result that the Builder was entitled to payment for additional works.

10 October 2019 - Knowledge

Are you ready for the NSW Security of Payment Act changes?

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

In less than two weeks important changes in the Security of Payment legislation will come into force in New South Wales. The changes introduced by the Amendment Act will significantly impact the administration of construction contracts entered into after 21 October 2019, particularly during the project delivery phase.

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