BA; LLB (Monash)
Andrew Laird is a commercial litigator with some 30 years’ experience and one of the founding members of Melbourne TEC Chambers (MTECC). He specialises in technology, construction and engineering disputes and related litigation (including professional indemnity claims) in State and Federal jurisdictions.
Mr Laird has embraced the move to paperless litigation in order to service instructing solicitors and clients cost effectively, efficiently and quickly. Needless to say, this is particularly important in the current COVID-19 impacted environment.
In 2019 Mr Laird appeared in the important High Court case of Mann v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd  HCA 32, which significantly changed the common law in relation to the availability of a quantum meruit in circumstances where a contract has been terminated by the acceptance of an act of repudiation.
While he is committed to providing instructing solicitors and clients with an excellent level of service in all cases in which he is briefed, Mr Laird is often briefed in more complex cases. Some of the more significant technology, construction and engineering disputes that he has been involved in include litigation concerning:
- the tunnels of the multi-billion-dollar Melbourne CityLink Project, which involved highly specialised geotechnical and structural engineering issues in the context of a major build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) project (Supreme Court);
- the design and construction of a large private oceangoing catamaran, which involved marine coating technology and finite element analysis
- the establishment of a major food processing facility, which involved mechanical engineering, industrial and Trade Practices issues
- the remediation of contaminated land in the Melbourne Docklands precinct (Commercial Arbitration);
- the design and construction of waste water treatment plants in regional Victoria (Supreme Court);
- the Concession Deed of the Melbourne CityLink Project, which involved highly complex road and traffic engineering and financial modelling issues (Commercial Arbitration);
- the Mechanical and Electrical subcontract for the multi-billion-dollar Melbourne EastLink road and tunnel infrastructure project (Commercial Arbitration);
- the alleged failure of a double girder gantry crane, which involved mechanical, electrical and materials engineering and analysis (Supreme Court); and
- the refurbishment and upgrade of a major float glass manufacturing plant (Supreme Court).
Before joining the Victorian Bar in 1992 Mr Laird was articled to the firm Minter Ellison and worked as a solicitor in the firm’s insurance and construction practices. He read with Peter Vickery (as he then was) subsequently the Honourable Justice Vickery, for many years the Judge in charge of the Victorian Supreme Court Technology Engineering and Construction (TEC) List.
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