Background

Declan accepts briefs in all areas of commercial law, and has particular expertise and experience in construction and property law.

Declan is regularly briefed to appear in the Local, District and Supreme Courts (both led and unled) as well as in NCAT.

While his practice includes matters that concern all aspects of modern building projects, he has particular experience with disputes concerning residential building works and the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). He is a current contributing editor to the Security of Payment component of Thomson Reuters’ Commercial Arbitration Law & Practice.

Declan is also interested in the property law components of infrastructure projects such as disputes concerning strata law and easements. He has also acted for liquidators of construction companies in recouping outstanding debts including running public examinations under ss 596A and 596B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Declan has been listed in the Doyle’s Guide over a number of years including, in 2017 as an Emerging Junior Counsel; in 2018, 2019 and 2020 as a Recommended Construction & Infrastructure Junior Counsel within NSW; and in 2020 as Recommended Construction & Infrastructure Junior Counsel within Australia.

Before being called to the Bar, Declan spent six years working in the construction litigation teams at Herbert Geer and HWL Ebsworth which included an eight-month secondment to John Holland. Prior to moving to Sydney, Declan spent three years working in Brisbane as a contracts advisor for the ASX-listed engineering practice, Cardno Ltd.

Declan holds Bachelors of Arts and Laws from the University of Queensland (2009) and a Masters of Construction Law from the University of Melbourne (2016). As part of his Masters, Declan was awarded the Corrs Chambers Westgarth Prize for Remedies in the Construction Context.



Focus Areas + Select Cases

TFM Epping Land Pty Ltd v Decon Australia Pty Ltd – Acting for a builder to defend against an appeal brought by a developer against a summary judgment obtained in respect of a statutory debt under the security of payment legislation. The decision resolved conflicting authorities on whether a failure to provide a supporting statement invalidated a payment claim: [2020] NSWCA 93 (led by IG Roberts SC).

SP85338 v Maygood - Acting for an owners corporation in NCAT proceedings against a developer for breach of statutory warranties (unled against senior and junior counsel).

Unique Living Australia Pty Ltd ats Europlex Pty Ltd - Acting for a developer in Supreme Court proceedings concerning payment dispute under alleged joint venture agreement concerning a residential development at first instance and on appeal: [2018] NSWSC 1291 (led by IG Roberts SC).

Skyworks NSW Pty Ltd v QY & Lynn Pty Ltd - Acting for a developer in Supreme Court proceedings including interlocutory applications for a separate question and a freezing order: [2017] NSWSC 343 (led by IG Roberts SC).

Electrical Energy Pty Ltd ats Quickway Constructions Pty Ltd - Acting for contractor in Supreme Court proceedings resisting challenges to adjudication determinations: [2017] NSWSC 1140 (led by F Hicks SC).

PPK Willoughby Pty Ltd ats Midson Construction (NSW) Pty Ltd - Acting for a developer in Supreme Court proceedings including appearing at a contested reference hearing (led by F Hicks SC).

Spoto ats Ma – Acting for vendors in Supreme Court proceedings resisting claim by subsequent purchases seeking recovery of forfeited deposit (led by S Goodman SC).

352 Bourke Street Pty Ltd v Rhall - Acting for a developer in Supreme Court proceedings relating to an application for permission to rescind off the plan sales contracts under s66ZL of the Conveyancing Act 1919 (led by IG Roberts SC).

Denning Real Estate Pty Ltd ats XR Property Development Pty Ltd - Acting for a developer in an application for stay of enforcement of judgment in the Supreme Court (unled).


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