Laurie James AM

Laurie James AM

Alternative Dispute Resolution, Corporate & Commercial, Government, Building & Construction

Commencement Date:
Bachelor of Laws, University of Western Australia (1963)
Admission Details:
Supreme Court of Western Australia (1965), Supreme Court of South Australia (1997)
Areas of Expertise:
Contract Law, Real Property, Statutory Interpretation, Building and Construction Law, Occupational Health and Safety, Planning and Development Law, Litigation, Administrative Law and General Legal Services

Laurie James AM started with Kott Gunning as an Articled Clerk in 1963 and has been a partner at Kott Gunning since 1967.  Laurie is a Senior In-House Counsel and Senior Partner in the Local Government Practice Group.  Laurie’s clients include local governments and participants in the building and construction industry.  Laurie is a graded arbitrator and accredited mediator and conciliator with the Resolution Institute (LEADR/IAMA).  He is also accredited as an arbitrator and mediator with the Law Society of Western Australia and registered under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 as Adjudicator No 11.

Laurie was twice the National President of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (IAMA) and twice WA Chapter Chairman. He is acknowledged in Doyles Guide as a Leading Western Australian Construction Lawyer.

Laurie’s experience includes:

  • Compliance with construction law/legislation and codes – Laurie regularly advises local governments and private clients (both owners and contractors) in relation to compliance with construction law generally, relevant legislation (in particular the Building Act 2011) and relevant Codes, particularly the Building Code of Australia.
  • Construction Procurement Matters – advises local governments and private clients on construction procurement from tendering right through to resolution of disputes.
  • Construction Industry Standard Form Building Contracts – advises on a range of standard form building contracts including AS4122, AS4000 and AS4902.
  • Drafting the wide range of legal instruments involved in this area of law
  • Management/negotiation of contractual and commercial building disputes – Laurie is involved in management and negotiation of a range of contractual and commercial building disputes. This includes acting on behalf of applicants and respondents in adjudication proceedings under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 and proceedings in the Supreme Court for enforcement of determinations under that Act.
  • Local Government Law (recent advice ranging from drafting local laws to the setting of fees and also the setting of rates under the Local Government Act 1995).
  • Representation in Courts and Tribunals (recent representation includes, the Supreme Court, the District Court and the State Administrative Tribunal).
  • Town Planning (for example a recent matter in the State Administrative Tribunal when an application was rejected upon inadequate grounds, despite officer advice, and the implications for the local government under the Planning and Development Act 2005).
  • Governance (recent matters include advising on Local Government reporting requirements to the Corruption and Crime Commission and assisting local governments in improving governance problems).
  • Tender, Probity and Compliance (recent matters range from advice on calling for expressions of interest; the preparation of tender documents through to problems associated with tenders received).
  • Major Project documentation (including recent advice on the requirements surrounding major land transactions and major trading undertaking requirements).
  • Heritage Law – advises local government and other clients on heritage issues and proceedings relating to heritage issues.
  • Environmental Law and mediated an environmental dispute resolution involving government entities and considered residents.
  • All aspects of construction law including adjudication.
Memberships and Affiliations:
  • A Past President of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia
  • Member of the Western Australian Chapter of the Resolution Institute (LEADR/IAMA)
  • Convenor of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Law Society of Western Australia
  • Convenor of Western Australian Dispute Resolution (WADRA) Inc
  • Member of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration
  • Member of the Construction and Infrastructure Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia and a Past National Chair and Deputy Chair for Western Australia of that Committee
  • Western Australian Energy Disputes Arbitrator, under the Energy Arbitration and Review Act 1998 (WA)
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