Nick Crennan

Nick Crennan is a partner in the construction and engineering team. He advises and acts for businesses and professionals involved in construction, infrastructure and resources projects. His expertise is in helping clients prevent or manage obstacles, disputes and other challenges which arise in projects, and in developing and executing strategies to resolve them.

Nick acts on and uses a wide range of resolution methods, including structured negotiation, conciliation, mediation, adjudication, expert appraisal or determination and commercial arbitration. He leads an energetic, enthusiastic and highly-skilled team of professionals on complex projects and disputes in Australia, as well as overseas.

Some recent examples of successful consensual resolution include:

  • Defending and resolving a multimillion dollar termination and defect claim on a storage and processing facility at Olympic Dam.
  • Resolving a major product liability and safety issue in NSW coal mines arising out of product substitution in exports from China.
  • Prosecuting an insurance claim arising out of product substitution of joinery materials causing multimillion dollar defects claims on government housing projects.
  • Resolving and recovering a multimillion dollar disruption claim arising out of a major civil works project at a major international airport.
  • Acting on behalf of a contractor pursuing compensation for breach of mandate by a bank, including defence of significant cross claims.
  • Advising a major signalling and traction power subcontractor on the resolution of a dispute on the Perth Southern Suburbs Railway.
  • Resolving a dispute over performance, payment and ultimately termination of the agreement prior to formal proceedings for a coal mine owner against a major mining services provider.

Where resolution has been elusive, Nick has significant experience of litigating to judgement. Recent examples of litigation and arbitration include:

  • Leading a large team in the arbitration of a dispute between an EPC contractor and an international principal.
  • Acting on behalf of a foreign government for international arbitration of a dispute about the construction of a bridge. Successfully defended nine of the 11 claims.
  • Acting on numerous adjudications under the Qld, NSW and WA systems including obtaining determinations in excess of $35 million on behalf of AEE against Sino Iron Pty Ltd, as well as a number of multimillion dollar adjudications against both private and public enterprises. Successfully obtained an injunction against a claimant proceeding with an adjudication which sought to reagitate previously adjudicated claims.

In 2015, Doyle's Guide listed Nick as a recommended construction lawyer NSW. Nick was also named in Doyle's Guide 2016 as a recommended construction and infrastructure lawyer in Sydney. 

Nick was admitted as a solicitor in NSW in 1987. He is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW and High Court of Australia. He became partner at Colin Biggers & Paisley in 1999.

Area of expertise
  • Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia
  • Dispute Resolution Board Foundation
  • AMPLA - The Resources and Energy Law Association
  • Society of Construction Law
  • Facilities Management Association
  • Australian Corporate Lawyers Association