Peter Pether

Peter Pether is the field leader in dispute resolution in the construction, engineering, resources and infrastructure project sectors.

Peter conducts litigation and arbitration where necessary.  His primary strength, however, is in resolving major disputes quickly and cost effectively, avoiding litigation and arbitration where he can and utilising mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation and direct negotiation.

In recent feedback, the General Counsel of a major Australian Public Company said "Peter Pether is the best dispute resolution lawyer I have ever come across" and "He provides extraordinary results, which I have never seen in 35 years of practice".

Peter is the practice head for Australia of the King & Wood Mallesons Dispute Resolution Practice.


Peter is one of only five Australian solicitors to receive a "star" ranking in Chambers 2011 guide, one of 10 in 2012, one of 7 in 2013 and one of 9 in 2014.  Chambers Asia Pacific 2013 said "Peter Pether's pre-eminence in construction litigation is widely acknowledged by his peers and one client called him "the best litigator I've ever worked with; he's a master at work and a joy to watch."

Chambers Global Guide 2009 said Peter "... 'one of the best lawyers in Australia' and 'a no-nonsense litigator who does not mess around'."  He was also nominated as a leading lawyer in ALB's Guide to Construction Law 2009, where he was named as an "exceptional lawyer and a top strategist".

Chambers Global Guide 2010 said Peter "... drew high acclaim from both clients and peers. One peer hailed him as 'the pre-eminent back-end lawyer' while a client highlighted his superb expertise." Who's Who Legal Construction 2010 described Peter as a "doyen of construction disputes".

Peter is listed as a leading lawyer in three categories - construction, alternative dispute resolution and litigation by Best Lawyer? 2012 and 2013 and APL 500 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.

The Asia Pacific Legal 500 2010/2011 said "Mallesons Stephen Jaques 'consistently gives a very high level of service' and 'is exceptional when it comes to strategic thinking in construction related litigation'. The 'outstanding' Peter Pether is adept at complex, high-value construction disputes".

Doyle's Guide for 2011 described Peter as "the market's most strategic litigator".


Peter works on major disputes in all of the Australian States and Territories.

He has also worked extensively in the resolution of disputes outside Australia, including major project work involving projects or disputes in England, Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Mozambique, Indonesia, Malaysia and Dubai.

Peter has successfully resolved disputes about road, rail, stadium, energy, mining, airport, port, pipeline, dredging, power, telecommunications, defence, process plant, tunnelling, ticketing, water, waste, commercial, industrial and residential projects.

Peter works with a wonderful team of dedicated lawyers.


  • 1984 - 1989: Solicitor, Westgarth Middletons, Sydney
  • 1989 - 1990: Solicitor, Lovell White Durrant, London
  • 1991 - 2001: Solicitor and Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Sydney
  • January 2002 - present : Partner, King & Wood Mallesons, Sydney

Recent Matters

In the period 2005-2012 Peter has acted on the public record in major matters for:

  • Australand Corporation (NSW) Pty Ltd
  • Barclay Mowlem Construction Limited/Laing O'Rourke (BMC) Limited
  • Brookfield Multiplex
  • Conneq Infrastructure (Australia) Pty. Ltd.
  • Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd
  • Lend Lease
  • Sydney Airport Corporation Limited
  • He has acted for significant other contractors, financiers and owners in many private matters.


Legal insights

On 13 November 2019, the New South Wales Parliament’s Legislative Council Public Accountability Committee released an interim report into its Parliamentary Inquiry into the regulation of building...

21 November 2019

In the recent decision of Sandvik Mining and Construction Australia Pty Ltd v Fisher [2019] WASC 352, the Supreme Court of Western Australia considered an application to prevent the enforcement of an...

17 October 2019

A recent NSWSC decision has considered whether a Contractor had reasonable cause to suspend works for the failure by the Principal to pay $177.20 in interest on a late progress payment under a $66...

10 October 2019

A recent NSWSC decision in White Constructions Pty Ltd v PBS Holdings Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 1166 has revisited the practical application of the “common sense” causation test when considering...

23 September 2019

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