Hamish Macpherson

Hamish is a partner in KWM’s Dispute Resolution team, acting for clients in disputes before the Australian courts as well as advising on major international infrastructure projects across such industries as transportation (road, rail and runways), energy (particularly renewables), building, mining, and oil and gas. He is a market-leading disputes lawyer who advises clients on conflicts that may emerge throughout a project’s life cycle including strategic advice on how to manage construction claims.

Hamish is highly regarded for his work handling complex construction disputes, with clients stating he is “incisive and tests the merits rigorously to manage the client’s expectations when this is a fundamental need”. Another commentator highlights his “always prompt advice, consideration of the commercial parameters and understanding of the business and its needs” Chambers Asia Pacific (Construction).

Recent matters

  • Transurban: acting for Transurban regarding a Stage of the largest toll road project currently being constructed in Australia.
  • INPEX: representing INPEX on multiple substantial security of payment claims from the EPC contractor on the Ichthys project.
  • Confidential client: acting on construction claims arising from an intermodal terminal project.
  • Transurban: acting for Transurban in relation to a Disputes Review Board process for major defects on a major toll road.
  • Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal: acting for MMM, a joint venture between Monadelphous Engineering Pty Ltd and Muhibbah Construction Pty Ltd, in respect of its $388m dispute with Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd. Hamish led a team to defend proceedings in the Supreme Court, as well as assisting with a complex mediation and settlement negotiation process. This matter involved complex delay and disruption issues, as well as significant quantum analysis.
  • AGL: acting for AGL in defence of interlocutory proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland to injunct a call on a subcontractor’s bank guarantee. The matter included successfully resisting the first instance urgent injunction application, successful defence of the subsequent appeal, and defending the ‘run off’ litigation and defects claims.
  • Sunwater/SRG: acting for a claimant in security of payment applications in respect of construction works at the Paradise and Sunset Dams, and subsequent settlement of those claims.
  • Lendlease: acting for Lendlease in an important claim arising from installation of non-compliant building products by a subcontractor.
  • Brookfield Multiplex:  acting on a claim for suspension damages on a multi-story building project, related security of payment adjudication and subsequent Supreme Court injunctive proceedings, and mediation and final resolution.
  • AGL: acting for AGL in New South Wales Supreme Court proceedings arising out of a put and call option to acquire land as part of a power station project.
  • BMA: acting for BMA as respondent in a $40m Security of Payment claim under the Building & Construction Industry Payments Act QLD, and subsequent Supreme Court appeal.
  • Thiess John Holland: acting got Thiess John Holland in Supreme Court proceedings and domestic arbitrations arising from alliancing contracts on the A$5 billion Brisbane Airport Link tunnel toll road project.

Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers Global as one of the leading Construction lawyers in Australia (Band 2)
  • Legal 500 as a Leading individual in Construction in Australia
  • Doyles Guide as a Leading Construction & Infrastructure Litigation Lawyer


  • 1994: Solicitor, then Senior Associate, Norton Smith
  • 2000 – 2001: Solicitor, Freehills
  • 2001 – 2005: Senior Associate, Freehills
  • 2005 – 2018: Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills (formerly Freehills)
  • 2018 – 2019: Partner, White & Case


  • LLB (Honours), Australian National University
  • BA, Australian National University


Legal insights

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