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Marie-Louise Scarf

Bachelor of Arts and Law – University of New South Wales

Special Counsel - Sydney

Areas of Expertise

Construction, Infrastructure & Projects


Marie-Louise is a Special Counsel in our Construction, Infrastructure & Projects group and has over 15 years’ experience in construction and commercial disputes and providing advice on early dispute resolution options. Marie-Louise is admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW, the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of England and Wales and has experience working in most other states and territories.

Marie-Louise specialises in resolving large and multiparty residential, commercial and infrastructure claims through direct negotiation and in litigation and tribunal proceedings. Clients include corporate and government owners (including owners corporations), builders, engineers, architects, certifiers and their insurers. She is focused on early dispute resolution and cost minimisation, in particular for parties with ongoing relationships.

Marie-Louise had particular experience in the areas of negligence, breach of contract, breach of statutory warranties under the Home Building Act, breach of statutory duty under the Strata Schemes Management Act and Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, misleading and deceptive conduct under the Australian Consumer Law and product liability claims.


Marie-Louise’s experience includes:

  • residential and commercial strata, warehouses and factories
  • waste to energy facilities, tunnels and electricity substations
  • immigration and police detention centres
  • bus and train stations, rail, roads and bridges
  • social housing, schools, hospitals and aged care facilities
  • transport, cleaning and maintenance contracts
  • soil remediation and water treatment plants
  • joint venture mining agreements.


10 August 2022 - Knowledge

Residential Focus: DBP Act update – what is ‘substantive control’ of construction work?

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

The court is beginning to grapple with the Design and Building Practitioners Act and in this latest decision looks further at what is ‘substantive control’ as a trigger for owing the statutory duty of care.

01 June 2022 - Knowledge

Residential Focus

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

In the first decision considering the application of the statutory duty of care in section 37 of the Design and Building Practitioners Act, the NSW Supreme Court has ruled that the duty is not only limited to Class 2 buildings.

13 April 2022 - Knowledge

When are discretionary powers subject to the obligation of good faith?

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

We consider two recent decisions that determine whether the obligation to act in good faith applies to contract terms that give one party a power exercisable at their 'sole discretion'.

13 April 2022 - Knowledge

NCAT terminates oppressive building management contract

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

A recent tribunal decision has shown how a building management agreement may be terminated under section 72 of the Strata Schemes Management Amendment Act 2002 (NSW).

01 December 2021 - Knowledge

Residential Focus

#Property, Planning & Development

In this edition, we look at a recent decision that clarifies what evidence you need when making a claim for breach of the statutory duty of care under the Design and Building Practitioners Act.

03 November 2021 - Knowledge

Residential Focus

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

In this edition, we look at the recent Biowood appeal that sheds light on how Australian courts and tribunals are likely to determine the compliance of combustible cladding products.

06 October 2021 - Knowledge

Residential Focus

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

In this edition, we examine a recent decision that confirms whether termination of a contract means completion of works in warranty claims under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).

22 September 2021 - Knowledge

Residential Focus

#Property, Planning & Development

In this edition, we review some of the cases which have considered the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) and Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2020 (NSW) in the past 12 months.

01 September 2021 - Knowledge

Court of Appeal reallocates liability in Lacrosse case – has the dust finally settled?

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

We review the Victorian Court of Appeal's 2021 decision on the allocation of liability between the building surveyor and the fire engineering consultant in the landmark cladding litigation arising from the 2014 Lacrosse Tower fire.