Construction

Our team has extensive experience in the construction sector in New Zealand.

  • Summary
  • Work highlights
  • People
  • Publications

​​​​We offer a comprehensive range of legal services to the construction industry. We routinely advise on all aspects of construction and development projects, including commercial structuring, procurement, risk identification and mitigation, preparation and negotiation of documentation, contract administration and dispute resolution. We are familiar with all the usual forms of construction contracts and consultancy agreements and have expert understanding of the role, purpose and effect of special conditions. We frequently draft and negotiate bespoke project agreements and are adept at finding the best contractual solution to suit our client’s requirements.

We act for principals, contractors, consultants, suppliers and funders in transactional and contentious work on some of New Zealand’s most significant construction, development and infrastructure projects. We are acutely aware of the broader dynamics and cycles of the New Zealand construction industry and pride ourselves on delivering pragmatic, “best for project” advice which protects the interests of our clients and also facilitates project delivery.

Our knowledge and approach is based on years of experience working on a wide variety of major projects in both New Zealand and internationally across various different sectors.

The success of our offering is evident in the calibre of clients that we represent, in our selection as legal service provider to significant projects and in our success rate in legal services tenders for the most significant infrastructure projects in New Zealand. Bell Gully remains the law firm of choice for public sector entities commissioning major projects. 

Read our article series A critical review of risk in the New Zealand construction market here​ or in the document below.​​​

Recognition of our construction expertise

"Provides a comprehensive offering across the full spectrum of construction matters in the public and private sectors."

Chambers Asia Pacific 2019​​

"I've been impressed with the way they carry themselves and their level of understanding of particular issues."​

"Excellent calibre of people in both Auckland and Wellington."​

Chambers Asia Pacific 2018​​

Non-contentious construction advice

Downtown Infrastructure Development Programme
Advising Auckland Transport on the Downtown Infrastructure Development Programme, a multi-stage contract procurement involving an ECI Agreement, Enabling Works Agreement and Main Works Contract. It is expected that the final capital value of the Main Works Contract will result in it being the highest value single infrastructure contract executed by AT.

Wellington City Council
Advising Wellington City Council on a number of construction contracts relating to the ongoing transformation of Wellington, including the new Convention and Exhibition Centre and the redevelopment and seismic strengthening of the Wellington Town Hall.

Government Accommodation Project (WAP2)
Advising Precinct Properties on all of the construction contracts for the WAP2 project, a series of office redevelopment projects in the Central Government precinct in Wellington. WAP2 has been reported as the largest commercial office development project in New Zealand to date.

Hydro generation power scheme
Advised Genesis Energy on the construction contract for the installation of a new intake gate at the Tekapo A power scheme. This procurement was made challenging due to the operational status of the power scheme and the commercial consequences of disrupting power generation.

Wakefield hospital redevelopment
Advised Vital Healthcare on all stages of the redevelopment of Wakefield hospital in its capacity as the principal funder and landowner, including in respect of the ECI agreement, main works construction contract and associated third party agreements.

Central Interceptor project
Advised Fletcher Construction on its joint venture bid to build Watercare's NZD$1.2 billion Central Interceptor project, including advising on the construction contract terms.

Tauranga City redevelopment programme
Advised Tauranga City Council on its Heart of the City programme – a comprehensive project to redevelop the centre of Tauranga. The overall project involves a number of mini-projects, including a planned new Civic Administration Building and public open spaces.

Department of Corrections
Advised Department of Corrections on the procurement of facilities and asset management services for the Department of Corrections and Ministry of Justice's national property and asset portfolios throughout New Zealand. The contract value was reported as NZD$500 million.

Horizons Regional Council new office building
Advised Horizons Regional Council on the development agreement and construction contract for a new build office building in Palmerston North. The building will be the first in Palmerston North to achieve one hundred per cent New Building Standards for an importance level 4 (IL4) building.

Department of Corrections
Advised Department of Corrections on a construction contract for a new 245 prisoner accommodation block within the operational Mt Eden Corrections Facility.

Contentious construction advice

Downer High Court construction disputes 
Acting for Downer in multi party construction litigation in the High Court, including acting on the resolution of the Sylvia Park shopping centre proceedings.

Power plants dispute
Acted for a major electricity supplier and for a head contractor on disputes arising out of the construction of three new power stations and generation facilities, including variation, delay and prolongation, breach of warranty and defect claims.

Commercial office development claim
Assisted a commercial property developer resolve multi-million dollar claims by a contractor for variations and delay and disruption on the construction of a new office tower.

Building defect
Acted for owners, developers, builders, subcontractors, suppliers and guarantors on leaky building and other building defect claims (e.g. structural issues, subsidence) for a variety of buildings, including tower blocks, office developments, a stadium, large residential apartment and townhouse developments, and standalone residential homes.​​

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  • David Chisnall

    Partner Wellington
  • Simon Ladd

    Partner Auckland
  • Ian Becke

    Partner Auckland