image of Claire McKenzieClaire McKenzie

Clayton Utz Special Counsel , Melbourne T +61 3 9286 6567

Claire specialises in contract administration, claims management and dispute resolution on major construction and infrastructure projects.

She has broad experience acting for principals, sponsors and contractors across a wide range of sectors and in a variety of dispute resolution forums including mediation, expert determination, adjudication, arbitration and litigation.

Claire has over 10 years of experience advising clients, preparing evidence and legal submissions for delay claims, assessing variations and investigating defective work. She is well versed in briefing technical, quantum and programming experts and has spent periods of time working from client offices on part time secondments.

Claire often helps her clients to advantageously resolve potential disputes during the construction and operations phase by assisting them in appropriate contract administration and claims management.

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Construction and Major Projects


  • West Gate Tunnel Project: Claire acted for a State Government client on disputes arising during the delivery stage of a tunnel and road project.
  • VicRoads: Claire acted for VicRoads during a part-time three-month secondment, dealing with a variety of contractor claims.


  • Department of Defence: Claire acted for the Department of Defence in relation to contentious aspects of numerous projects, including defects, variation and extension of time claims and general contract administration issues. Her matters include:
    • RAAF Base Amberley: acting in a series of disputes including an arbitration in relation to defective work in a physical fitness centre.
    • Base Security Improvement Program: acting in a series of contractual and security of payment disputes with the contract administrator, designer and head contractor
    • Campbell Barracks: defending an expert determination of time and money claims brought by the contractor.
  • Hydro Tasmania: Claire acted for Hydro Tasmania in relation to disputes associated with the failure of the Basslink Interconnector electricity cable in late 2015.
  • Sunshine Coast University Hospital: Claire advised Project Co on numerous abatement issues and disputes in respect of this $1.5bn Hospital PPP Project.
  • Australian Federal Police: Claire acted for the AFP in relation to variation and extension of time claims brought by the contractor in relation to its new Forensics Facility.
  • Adelaide Desalination Plant: Claire acted for the main construction contractor in litigation with its design consultant, and associated insurance claims, arising out of the $1.8bn Adelaide Desalination Plant project.
  • Melbourne Airport: Claire advised Melbourne Airport in relation to numerous delay and variation claims by the D&C Contractor and provided the strategic advice to ensure efficient completion of the new domestic terminal, carpark and associated road and other infrastructure.


  • VicTrack: Claire acted for VicTrack in relation to a series of claims made by the D&C contractor in relation to a track signalling upgrade.

Oil and gas

  • Nexus Energy: Claire defended a $70m Federal Court claim brought in contract and under the Trade Practices Act alleging failure to perform a drilling rig contract.
  • INPEX Operations – Ichthys Project: Claire advised INPEX in relation to large extension of time and variation claims made by the contractor for an onshore LNG processing facility.

See Construction and Major Projects


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