The Perth legal market is gearing up for a period of significant litigation work on the back of major infrastructure projects being undertaken in the resource rich state.
“I think we will have a period of a lot of litigation coming up,” said Lavan Legal managing partner, Greg Gaunt. “I think a lot of the litigation will be centred on the big projects taking place in Western Australia right now.”
While a spate of international and national firms have rushed to the Perth market to pick up the lucrative front-end work associated with the mining and infrastructure in the state, Gaunt said very few firms in the market were dedicated to litigation in the same way Lavan Legal are. “We are very much back-end orientated,” said Gaunt. “We see a lot of work coming through from those large infrastructure projects taking place on the back-end.”
Just last week the firm welcomed four partners from Maxim Litigation Consultants to its team and has also recently added a new litigation senior associate, Paul Mac.
However, while Lavan is set to pick up a significant amount of work where disputes do occur, firms such as Holman Fenwick Willan are seeing work on the advisory side of projects, to limit disputes. “Given the level of activity and the size of these projects and the implications of cost over runs, there is a lot of scope for contract dispute advisory work,” said managing partner Australia, Gavin Vallely. “There will certainly be an increased opportunity in these areas for contract for advisory work because of the project work that is being undertaken.”
According to Norton Rose litigation partner and head of the Perth office, Jenni Hill, there are a number of significant projects in the West Australian market that are coming to fruition in the near future. “There are a long term projects that will go ahead regardless of what is happening; it’s hard to imagine that they will stop any time soon,” she said.