Vicarious Achievement

Chambers award 2017I am pleased to say that Keating Chambers  won “Construction Set of the Year” at the Chambers Bar Awards this week.

Marie Sparkes of Keating Chambers said:

We also found out on the night that we had been shortlisted for Set of the Year which is rare for a specialist set and a great achievement. The other nominees included Essex Court, Fountain Court, Matrix and Brick Court (who won on this occasion).

Keating Chambers is also recommended in Continue reading



Dr Donald Charrett, Prof Doug Jones, Jaime Gray and yours truly

While I was in Sydney last week, I was asked to contribute to a Melbourne Law School session for LLM students.

Topics were international perspectives on FIDIC contracts, a comparative study of Canadian and Australian approaches to adjudication, dispute adjudication boards (as DABs become DAABs in the latest round of FIDIC editions) and international arbitration.

They are a smart Continue reading

IBA Sydney 2017 III

Also speaking at this conference was Allan Myers, who has just joined Keating Chambers as an International Member, and it was a pleasure to catch up with him.


Allan Myers AC QC, Holly Gavaghan and yours truly at Darling Harbour

Allan is one of those people who is not only rather well-known, but is startlingly bright, with a very broad range of interests. I have suggested that chambers should put a clause into his terms requiring him to regularly travel to South Australia so that we can work our way through lunches at the better restaurants in McLaren Vale.

IBA Sydney 2017 II


The International Bar Association event in Sydney turns out to be very good. I contributed to the session on Common and Civil Law approaches to various issues earlier today – a good session, I thought, and the feedback was very supportive.

The purpose of the session was to consider the reception in various jurisdictions of a number of sample clauses, pay-when-paid, Queen of Hearts clauses, force majeure clauses etc, and different use of good faith principles. There was contributions from USA, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, and Finland. I was batting for England. With some differences of emphasis, it was remarkable how, in their different ways, how common law and civil get to much the same outcome, albeit by rather different Continue reading

The South Australian Security of Payment (Summer Holiday) Bill

Well, it is not called that. It is called the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment (Review) Amendment Bill 2017.

It is a less radical amendment that those introduced in New South Wales or Queensland in recent years, and less radical also that last year’s amendment Bill (which would have followed Queensland’s lead in abolishing privateer ANAs). Instead, it proposes to clarify the presently murky water of just what is a business day over the Christmas holidays (it will provide that 22 December in any year to 10 January in the following year inclusive are not business days. There is also a proposal to publish determinations and a clear-out of the the present crop of ANAs, with some oversight powers for the Commissioner for Small Business. A more remarkable proposal is to make it a criminal offence to ” directly or indirectly assault, threaten or intimidate, or attempt to assault, threaten or intimidate, a person in relation to an entitlement to, or claim for, a progress payment under this Act.”

It is a government Bill, and so is unlikely to fall by the wayside.  It was tabled last week. The Bill reads as follows Continue reading