Lucas Shipway is regularly briefed in major infrastructure and engineering disputes, including in the road, rail and mining sectors, for government and private-sector clients. He also acts in international arbitrations and in commercial matters generally, especially insurance, product-liability and professional-negligence disputes.

He has been described in Chambers Asia-Pacific as an “absolutely superb” barrister who is “always deeply informed on his brief and has a very good manner on his feet in court." He is ranked as a leading barrister in Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession - Construction and is recognised in Construction/Infrastructure Law in Best Lawyers. 

A precise advocate with particular skills in problem-solving and dealing with technical issues, Lucas is always happy to ‘roll up his sleeves’ and work closely with experts and his instructing solicitors.

Lucas welcomes direct briefs from in-house counsel. He respects the knowledge and understanding of his clients and treats their insights as pivotal to a successful outcome.

Prior to the Bar, Lucas practised in litigation at Allens in Sydney, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London. He is known by solicitors for his accessibility, responsiveness and commitment to teamwork. His experience as a solicitor gives him a useful familiarity with the challenges and priorities for instructors, and a ability to identify quickly how he can best be of assistance.

Lucas is co-author of updates to Commercial Arbitration Law & Practice, published by Thomson Reuters, and a regular contributor to the Building & Construction Law Journal.

Outside chambers, Lucas enjoys music and long-distance running. He has participated in marathons in Australia and overseas, and trail-running events including the North Face 100 (100km), the Oxfam Trailwalker (100km) and the Tasmanian Overland Track (80km).

Focus Areas + Select Cases

Acting for Transport for New South Wales in relation to a dispute arising from the Sydney Metro Northwest Project.

The Owners Strata Plan No 66375 v King [2018] NSWCA 170: A significant decision of the Court of Appeal regarding the liability of contractors for design defects under ‘construct-only’ contracts.

Harris v Morabito Holdings  [2018] NSWSC 912: Principles applicable to the adoption of referee reports where claimant only partially successful.

Hakea Holdings Pty Limited v Denham Constructions Pty Ltd  [2016] NSWSC 1120: A decision that considered whether enforcement of an adjudication determination under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) should be restrained on the ground that the beneficiary of the determination is insolvent or at substantial risk of becoming insolvent.

ICC arbitration (Singapore): Acting for Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (Japan) in a dispute with Laing O’Rourke arising from the $50 billion Ichthys gas project in the Northern Territory.

ACICA arbitration (Australia): Acting for the principal in a dispute relating to WestConnex, currently the largest infrastructure project in Australia.

UNCITRAL arbitration (Singapore): Acted for contractor responsible for civil works at major iron-ore project in Western Australia.

UNCITRAL arbitration (Australia): Acted for a manufacturer of consumer goods based in the United States in defending a claim for $17-million.

Pratap v Permanent Custodians Limited [2013] NSWSC 1918. In this case, Young AJ confirmed that a party that has signed, sealed and unconditionally delivered a deed is bound by it even if another party fails to do so.

Samsung Electronics Australia Pty Ltd v LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd [2011] FCA 664 (18 May 2011): Successful application for an injunction to restrain the broadcast throughout Australia of advertisements for 3D televisions.