When you’re building something substantial

We’re your legal partners

Kott Gunning’s Building and Construction team is one of Western Australia’s most experienced. We’ve dealt with some of the state’s biggest, most complex construction law issues over the past five decades. We know the construction industry, and we understand the legal and commercial landscape that surrounds it. We offer strategic and pre-contractual advice, and can ably and effectively manage disputes both in and out of the courts.


Our team is distinguished by its thorough understanding of the building and construction industry, and of business in general. Commercial advice is generally provided at the planning stage of projects and prior to commencement of construction. Disputes are resolved proactively and outside courts where possible.

Senior partner Laurie James AM is highly sought after as a Grade 1 Arbitrator, an adjudicator and mediator. A previous Chair of the WA Chapter of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia, he’s been advising clients on construction and procurement matters since starting with Kott Gunning in 1963. He has extensive knowledge of the Construction Contracts Act 2004, the Building Act 2011 and the Planning and Development Act 2005.

The team including strata partner John Park is experienced in the management and negotiation of construction contract disputes, and has represented clients in all courts. Where input from other areas of the law is required, Kott Gunning offers the advantage of a diverse Commercial and Dispute Resolution practice plus a strong international network as a member of ADVOC.


Kott Gunning’s Building and Construction team works with local government, business and individual clients. We have extensive experience in civil engineering and infrastructure projects and regularly represent clients from the mining industry.

Some recent examples of our work and results for clients include

  • John Park has acted for developers and builders in various matters in relation to building and construction and strata disputes with a combined worth of over $300 million.
  • Advising 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.
  • Assisted with the drafting and advised on the joint venture contract document for a nickel ore mine for a major infrastructure company.
  • Acted for a Scottish oil and gas company in relation to the acquisition of a Western Australian infrastructure company and its subsequent sale in conjunction with other international lawyers.
  • Advised numerous principal contractors and sub-contractors on issues arising from failed companies in the construction industry where corporate failure is a significant risk.
  • Acted for parties in mediations, expert determinations, adjudications and arbitrations arising out of construction disputes.
  • Acted for a construction firm on instructions from the insurance company in defending a professional negligence claim.
  • Acted for owners in a major arbitration arising out of a terminated building contract.
  • Acted for a major subcontractor in adjudications and consequent Supreme Court litigation in regards to the Perth Mandurah Railway Line.

What we do

  • Preferred project structure
  • Contract negotiation and interpretation
  • Special conditions for standard form building contracts
  • Tender negotiations and documentation
  • Security provisions such as bank guarantees
  • Restructuring projects in the event of insolvency
  • Pre-contractual advice
  • Drafting of contracts and project documentation
  • Risk management including project insurance
  • Statutory interpretation of construction related legislation
  • Compliance with government policies and guidelines
  • Drafting of legal instruments
  • Construction dispute resolution
  • Strata negotiations