image of James KendalJames Kendal

Clayton Utz Partner , Canberra T +61 2 6279 4088

As a member of our national Transport Logistics and Construction and Major Projects Practices, James Kendal advises both public and private sector organisations on their rights and responsibilities under contract, legislation and on regulatory issues across major infrastructure projects, government procurement and commercial projects around Australia.

James works for organisations across a broad range of industries, including aviation and airports, government, statutory corporations and construction, with a focus on the front-end of major projects & construction for light rail, major road and rail projects.

James has an in-depth understanding of the many commercial, policy, regulatory, financial and technical issues faced by government and the private sector in complex transactions and he excels at taking complex technical issues and applying them to the client’s strategic and commercial objectives on projects and undertakings. James combines understanding with a strong project management capability to ensure project and client objectives are achieved.

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Construction and Major Projects

Australian Capital Territory Government Agency: James is a key member of the team advising the ACT Government on the $1 billion Light Rail Stage 1 PPP Project involving the design, construction finance and operation of a light rail through Canberra and on its “stage 2” extension. James has advised on all aspects of this multi-stage project since 2014, including undertaking a legislative due diligence on behalf of the Territory in relation to the introduction of light rail into the ACT, providing legal input into the development commercial principles for both the stage 1 and stage 2 contracts, preparation of RFP and contractual documentation, advising throughout procurement and leading the legal evaluation team for both projects.

In respect of stage 2 of the light rail, James is advising the ACT Government on the complex range of technical matters, including planning approvals and arrangements that apply those parts of the project that pass through the Parliamentary triangle, including on how these impact proposed contracting structures.

Commonwealth Government Agency: James has acted for the Commonwealth in relation to the development and operation of a new airport in Western Sydney, including advising on commercial, regulatory and strategic issues, preparing all relevant documentation, developing a legislative and regulatory approach and assisting in project negotiations.

NSW Roads and Maritime Services and Transport for NSW: James has advised RMS (nor TfNSW) on various major road infrastructure projects on and around Sydney Airport, including the Sydney Gateway Project, Airport East upgrade and Mascot Tunnel refurbishment. James was a key part of the team in advising on a land tenure strategy for all three of these projects and drafting and negotiating project development agreements, interface agreements and land acquisition documents. James has also advised TfNSW on the airports approvals regime and developing its approvals strategy, interfaces with Sydney Airport and the Commonwealth, and on the D&C procurement for the Sydney Gateway project.

Confidential client: James acted one of the largest disputes in the Technology and Construction List in the Supreme Court of NSW. The dispute covered various issues such as breach of contract, termination rights and events and extension of time, variation and defects claims. James' role involved interpreting the project contract and associated documents to determine the client's rights and obligations and preparing evidence to assist in the litigation.

Australian National Botanical Gardens: James is part of the team advising the Director of National Parks in respect of the tender for a building contractor to undertake construction for the Ian Potter National Conservatory. This has included preparing all RFT drafting a construction contract for release to the market that specific operational features for working within the Australian National Botanical Gardens and unique requirements for this iconic project.

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Transport and Logistics

Virgin Australia: James was part of the team advising Deloitte, as voluntary administrators of Virgin and its subsidiaries, in relation to the voluntary administration and sale process of Australian's second largest airline. James provided aviation specific expertise and support through the administration process, given the highly regulated environment in which Virgin and its subsidiaries operate.

Airline Pricing: James acts for a number of airport clients in a variety of agreements that are essential to the commercial operations of airports. He has advises multiple airport on agreements including terminal services agreements, airline pricing agreements, airside indemnity agreements, ridesharing and taxi access agreements, agreements with utilities and telecommunications providers, airport conditions of use, ground handling agreements, alternate agreements, corporate structuring of property on airports; airport management agreements and common user agreements.

Avalon Airport: James advised Avalon Airport on the introduction of international services to the airport and the development of its new international terminal, including drafting airline pricing agreements with multiple international airlines and preparing a development agreement with the Australian Border Force to integrate their requirements into the new internal terminal.

Various clients: James is advising various airports in relation to a number of aviation, commercial and retail developments including preparation of Master Plans and Major Development Plans for terminal redevelopments and retail and commercial developments and providing advice in relation to compliance with the Airports Act the Airport (Environment Protection) Regulations 1997 and Airport (Building Control) Regulations 1996.

Airports Act: James has advised a number of airports on a range of issues relating to compliance with the Airports Act and associated regulations including in relation to airspace approvals, safety and security, foreign ownership, restructures and SAIF Declarations.

International Air Operator: James has advised a number of international air operators in relation to their operations in Australia and their relationship with Australian industry participants, including in relation to regulatory compliance for foreign aircraft operators and certification in Australia, regulatory compliance generally and in relation to “wet leasing” arrangements.

Aviation Services: James has advised an Australian company in relation to aviation matters associated with remote operations, including preparing conditions of use for airstrips, advising on the standards and regulatory approvals for airstrips and aerodromes, and preparing contract and tender documentation for aviation "FIFO" service providers.

Drones: James has advised a number of entities in relation to the regulation of drones around Australia, including in relation to safety and security matters.

See Transport and Logistics

Government Services

Commonwealth Government Agency: James has advised with respect to the procurement of service providers and delivery agents in relation to a number of Commonwealth Government procurement processes, including reviewing and advising on tender documentation and preparing draft contracts for release to the market. Documents reviewed and prepared have included requests for tender, deeds of standing offer and template services contracts.

Commonwealth Government Agency: during a secondment James advised on the development of the new contracts for a complex government programme. This involved reviewing and advising with respect to the new services model, developing draft terms of the agreements and advising on legal risks and compliance with Commonwealth policies.

Private client: James has advised a private company contracting on behalf of the Commonwealth in relation to its compliance with the Australian Commonwealth Procurement Rules and its contracting practices. This has involved preparing template RFTs and draft contracts for facilities management services and upgrade works for a broad portfolio of Commonwealth properties.

Commonwealth Grants: James has advised a range of public and private sector entities on obtaining Commonwealth grant funds for infrastructure development, including preparing grant documentation and advising on compliance and reporting requirements.

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Governance and Compliance

Territory Owned Corporation: James has advised a Territory Owned Corporation in relation to a range of governance and compliance issues arising from a strategic review of the entity's structure and role and in relation to a rebranding.

Commonwealth Government Agency: James prepared a draft Services Agreement for an on-ground Delivery Agent to be released with the Agency's Tender. This included advising on compliance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and Department of Finance guidance on use of grant funds. 

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Corporate / M&A

Commercial Contracts: James has advised various Australian airports on a number of contractual issues relating to the provision of rental car services, car park operator services and security screening services, including preparing all documents for release to tender and advising on the tender process, advising during contract negotiations and preparing final contracts.

Aviation M&A: James has worked with the firm’s M&A teams advising two international entities in respect of their purchase of Australian air operators, including advising on aviation regulatory matters and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements through the transactions. 

See Corporate / M&A


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