Ben Cotter


Qualifications: LLB (Hons), BComm


Ben is an experienced construction lawyer with more than ten years’ experience acting for clients in both transactions and disputes in both the public and private sectors. He acts for asset owners, developers, contractors, consultants and financiers in respect of construction, engineering and infrastructure projects.

With a grounding in property law and planning law, Ben is proactive in identifying and addressing potential issues before they become problematic. He is pragmatic, clear, and concise, and always looks to achieve commercially sound outcomes for his clients.

His experience includes drafting and negotiating a range of agreements including construction contracts, consultancy agreements, project development agreements and supply contracts (with and without installation).

Ben also regularly assists clients in administering their contracts and advises clients in relation to claims and disputes arising from their projects (including security of payment claims).

Ben was recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 for his expertise in construction.


  • Acting for AusNet Services in relation to the downstream construction and supply contracts for works connecting renewable energy and battery storage projects (including Australia’s largest wind farm, the Golden Plains Wind Farm and Neoen’s 300MW Victorian Big Battery) to the transmission network including ensuring that the downstream contracts properly aligned with the upstream project agreements (including the project construction and co-ordination deed and the connection services agreement).
  • Acting for a major subcontractor in relation to the negotiation and administration of subcontracts relating to the construction of wind farms throughout Australia including Cattle Hill, Mortlake South, Moorabool South, Bango, Coopers Gap and Clarke Creek.
  • Acting for Victorian Government agencies (including Fire Rescue Victoria, Austin Health and Bendigo Kangan Institute) in preparing and negotiating construction contracts based on the approved Victorian Public Construction Contracts.
  • Acting for public health care providers and the owners of private hospitals and healthcare facilities in preparing and negotiating construction contracts and consultancy agreements for the development of hospital and healthcare facilities.
  • Acting for a commercial property fund in preparing and negotiating consultancy agreements and construction contracts for revitalisation and refurbishment projects on major Melbourne CBD buildings including Bourke Place and Collins Place.
  • Acting for listed aged care providers in preparing and negotiating construction contracts for the development and refurbishment of aged care homes throughout Australia.
  • Acting for developers in preparing and negotiating construction contracts for residential apartment developments, mixed use developments and specialist disability accommodation projects.
  • Advising APA in relation to the ‘greenfields’ development of a 60km gas transmission pipeline from Crib Point to Pakenham in Victoria including the preparation and negotiation of a project development agreement and gas transportation agreement with the foundation shipper and the preparation of downstream design, construction and supply contracts.
  • Advising a major electricity transmission asset owner in relation to the administration of its construction contract for a new transmission line and subsequently acting for the asset owner in relation security of payment adjudications and the dispute resolution process under the same contract.
  • Advising a multinational provider of information and communication technology in relation to engaging contractors and consultants to assist with the rollout of the Australia’s largest 5G network including preparing a ‘Frame Agreement’ which is used to engage contractors and consultants of various disciplines on both general terms and discipline specific terms.
  • Acting for Corio Bay Dairy Group (and subsequently Maeil Australia) in relation to the development of an organic milk spray drying facility in Geelong, Victoria including preparing a suite of contracts to be used for the construction of the facility and the design, supply and installation of specialised equipment and then working with the client to tailor each document to the specific needs of each particular transaction
  • Acting for one of Melbourne’s largest local councils in relation to the outsourcing of its parking services.

Awards and recognition

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022
Recommended – Construction

Latest thinking

Property & Projects | 1 Aug 2023

Trends in the construction sector

Partners John O’Kane and Ben Cotter discuss the latest trends in the construction sector.