John O’Kane


Qualifications: LLB (Hons), DipHSci



John has front and back end construction and development law expertise.

John advises principals in relation to the appropriate joint venture and development arrangements and regarding the appropriate delivery mechanism for construction projects. He prepares all types of agreements and documentation required for building and development projects, including joint venture agreements, development agreements, project delivery agreements, consultancy agreements and construction contracts. John acts for proprietors, contractors and financiers. Projects current and concluded include major apartment developments, industrial developments, commercial buildings, hospital and health construction, aged care residences and retirement villages.

John maintains a diverse construction litigation practice. He advises in relation to complex delay, disruption and variation claims and a variety of defects, bank guarantee recovery, liquidated damages, contract based and trade practices claims. John’s construction litigation experience is preceded by experience in general commercial property litigation.

John communicates clearly and is efficient and pragmatic. He values getting the best result for clients with a minimum of fuss.


  • Advised Nostra Property Group on its agreement to acquire Porter Davis’s multiple dwelling business.
  • Preparing construction documentation for aged care projects in all states ranging from minor works contracts to major works contracts for 100+ bed facilities.
  • Acting for hospital owners in relation to the development of Frankston Private, St John of God Berwick and Austin Health – Olivia Newton John Cancer Centre.
  • Preparing construction, procurement and service contracts for a utility company. This ranges from preparing fit-out contracts for each CBD office to a supply and installation contract for a $300M gas pipeline.
  • Preparing suite of services documentation for commercial and industrial clients Australia-wide.
  • Acting for a land-owner against a builder in an arbitration related to defective works arising out of a design and construction contract.
  • Providing security of payment advice for contractor and subcontractor clients.

Awards and recognition

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020-2024
Recommended – Infrastructure projects and construction and Real estate
Doyle's Guide 2022-2023 & 2024
Recognised – Construction & Infrastructure Litigation

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.