Stefan Fenk

Partner

Qualifications: LLB, DipLaw

Practices

Stefan has over 10 years’ experience in construction, engineering and infrastructure law and previously acted in commercial litigation cases including, amongst other things, international litigation cases with aspects of European Union competition law for clients in Australia and Germany.

Prior to joining Hall & Wilcox in 2022, Stefan worked for top-tier and leading legal practices in Australia specialising in construction dispute resolution. Stefan has acted in an array of large-scale project disputes, arbitrations, expert determinations, adjudications, mediations and facilitated negotiations.

Stefan is admitted as a solicitor of the High Court of Australia and Supreme Court of NSW.

Stefan has been recognised by his clients for his drive to quickly understand the commercial aspects, the construction issues and the legal framework to enable his clients to focus on the successful delivery of a project and enabling his clients to avoid or mitigate disputes and lengthy litigation.

Also, acting regularly for major contractors and developers, Stefan has an astute understanding of the legal and commercial framework in which his clients operate and has a track record of providing advice and dispute resolution strategies which assist project teams to successfully deliver projects within budget and on time.

Experience

Stefan has acted for private and government clients assisting with and managing disputes in relation to the delivery of residential developments, industrial facilities, transport and other public infrastructure projects.

He has acted for clients in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Supreme Court of Canberra including:

  • acting in Supreme Court proceedings Watpac Constructions (NSW) Pty Ltd v Charter Hall Funds Management Limited [2017] NSWSC 865 on a challenge of a statutory debt under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) in connection with the construction of the commercial tower at 333 George Street, Sydney.
  • acting at first instance and on appeal in Probuild Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd v DDI Group Pty Ltd [2016] NSWSC 462 and Probuild Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd v DDI Group Pty Ltd [2017] NSWCA 151 on a challenge of an adjudication determination under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) in relation to the renovation of the Tank Stream Hotel in Hunter Street, Sydney.
  • acting in the first ever Supreme Court proceedings Fulton Hogan Construction Pty Ltd v Brady Marine & Civil Pty Ltd [2015] ACTSC 384 in relation to a challenge of an adjudication determination under the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment Act) 2009 (ACT) in connection with the construction of the Majura Parkway in the ACT.
  • acting in various proceedings for head contractors and developers in relation to alleged breaches of the statutory warranties under section 18 of the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).

He has acted for clients under the dispute resolution processes under the relevant contracts (eg GC21 and AS contracts) including:

  • assisting with an expert determination in relation to a dispute regarding defective works, delay and liquidated damages in relation to the design and construction of a Waste Water Treatment Plant located in the Northern River Region of NSW.
  • assisting with an arbitration under the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 in relation to a petroleum import and distribution terminal and pipeline at Port Botany.
  • assisting and advising on disputes relating to the Wynyard Walk infrastructure connecting Wynyard Station to the Barangaroo commercial district.
  • assisting and advising on disputes relating to the design and construction and maintenance of various stations of the Sydney Trains network.
  • assisting and advising on disputes relating to the construction and maintenance of electricity distribution networks in NSW.

Security of Payments

Stefan is particularly experienced in acting for applicants and respondents in the preparation of payment claims, payment schedules and the adjudication process under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (the Act).

Stefan has also acted for applicants and respondents in interlocutory proceedings to stay and/or challenge adjudication determinations made under the Act.

Stefan has assisted clients in managing the processes under the Act including drafting the adjudication application which subsequently formed the subject matter of the High Court landmark judgment in Southern Han Breakfast Point Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) v Lewence Construction Pty Ltd [2016] HCA 52.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Stefan has acted and assisted clients with the preparation and conduct of mediations, facilitated commercial negotiations and other without prejudice processed aimed at resolving issues on a commercial basis and avoiding legal proceedings.

Advisory

Stefan has advised private and government organisations in relation to the administration of construction contracts and has provided advice on the interpretation of contractual terms, contractual issues and state and federal legislation. Stefan has been recognised by his clients for quickly understanding the commercial drivers, the construction issues and the legal framework to develop an approach with a view to resolving issues and to enable his clients to focus on the successful delivery of a project.

Training and Staff development

Stefan understands the key risk factors and contract administration issues in delivering construction projects. In his experience, engaging with clients to develop a deeper understanding of these risks and issues has enabled many project teams to improve productivity and minimise disputes and litigation. Therefore, Stefan also provides seminars and workshops to clients to ensure that clients understand their rights especially in relation to the security of payments legislation and contract administration.