Perth + 61.8.6214.5710

Stephen McComish's practice is focused on construction and engineering law, major projects, resources, and commercial dispute resolution in Western Australia and Southeast Asia.

Stephen has more than 25 years experience acting for large mining, oil and gas, contracting, and engineering corporations as well as government agencies on a wide range of high-profile and complex construction or project-related disputes and negotiations for construction contracts. He has acted for clients in domestic and international arbitrations, expert determinations, litigation, mediations, coronial inquiries, prosecutions arising from serious injuries or fatalities in the workplace, and adjudications.

Some of Stephen's recent projects prior to joining Jones Day in 2014 include acting for: the operator of a gas pipeline in Western Australian Supreme Court proceedings in a construction dispute with an international piping contractor; a principal in significant disputes involving variations, claims for extensions of time and delay damages, and liquidated damages with a consortia of contractors over the construction of an oil refinery in Vietnam; and a number of mine owners in disputes with several different contractors connected with the supply of modular buildings and/or construction of camp accommodations at different sites. He also has advised state government authorities in disputes with contractors on various major rail, road, and port infrastructure projects and contractors in disputes on road projects, including acting in Supreme Court proceedings, mediations, arbitrations, and adjudications.

Stephen regularly facilitates workshops and presents at third-party arranged events on topics within his areas of practice.

Stephen was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Australia (2016) in the fields of construction and infrastructure.


ICWA and JN Taylor Finance (in liquidation) challenge liquidator's decision to review or re-adjudicate a proof of claim admitted over 20 years ago
Jones Day is acting for the Insurance Commission of Western Australia ("ICWA") in proceedings commenced by JN Taylor Finance Pty Ltd (in liquidation) and ICWA in the Supreme Court of Western Australia seeking to reverse a liquidator's decision to review or re-adjudicate a proof of claim that was admitted in the liquidation of The Bell Group Limited in the amount of approximately $291 million over 20 years ago.

U.S.-based international construction contractor defends claims of misleading conduct
Jones Day acted for a U.S.-based international construction contractor in respect of allegations made against it arising from a contract where the U.S.-based international construction contractor was also engaged to perform consulting engineering services.

Duro Felguera files claim against head contractor relating to Roy Hill Iron Ore Project
Jones Day is acting for Duro Felguera Australia Pty Ltd (DFA), a Spanish mining and construction contractor, in relation to the following disputes arising in respect of the US$10 billion Roy Hill Iron Ore Project in Western Australia.

Monadelphous litigates in Supreme Court of Western Australia
Jones Day acted for Monadelphous KT Pty Ltd. in proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia (and two adjudications) concerning the construction of the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline Project, a 270km pipeline connecting the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline to Fortescue Metal’s Solomon Hub mine.

The following represents experience acquired prior to joining Jones Day.

Acted for a member of a joint venture that owns oil and gas processing facilities on an island off the coast of Western Australia. The matter concerned an explosion at the facilities impacting the supply of gas across the state. This included two separate Western Australia Supreme Court proceedings commenced by two of the joint venture's customers.

Acted for an owner of nickel and cobalt processing facilities in disputes with an EPCM contractor and a piping contractor arising out of the design and construction of the processing plant, including various Supreme Court and federal court proceedings, and a domestic arbitration hearing lasting more than 60 days.

Acted for an owner of salt harvesting and processing facilities in disputes with contractors engaged to carry out concrete works, piping and mechanical works, and design and fabrication of a stacker/reclaimer machine.

Acted for a contractor engaged to carry out open cut gold mining work in disputes with the principal that involved a trial of more than 55 days, an appeal to the Full Court of the Western Australian Supreme Court, and an appeal to the High Court of Australia.

Acted for an Australian developer in international arbitral proceedings administered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre arising out of a dispute with a foreign state-owned entity regarding a joint venture agreement.

Acted for a Vietnamese entity in international arbitral proceedings regarding a major infrastructure project and a dispute with its EPCM contractor.

Acted for an EPCM contractor in negotiations with an Indian entity for the design and construction of a materials handling vessel.

Acted for principals in the establishment of various raw materials processing plants in Indonesia, including cement plants.

Advised principals and contractors in open cut and underground mining projects (including iron ore, gold, and nickel) with various construction issues and disputes, including variation claims, extension of time claims, defective work claims, performance bonds, drafting deeds of variation, and deeds of settlement and release.

Advised principals and contractors in various construction contracts and disputes, including disputes arising out of structural, civil, mechanical, and geotechnical engineering, and project management-related issues.

Advised principals in disputes with contractors over defective roadwork and other claims.

Additional Publications

  • March 2018Australia: Adjudicators’ Security of Payment Determinations Not Reviewable for Errors of Law
  • March 2018The End of the "Deemed Liability" Adjudication in Western Australia
  • October 2017Construction Contracts: When Is Industry Best Practice Not Good Enough?
  • October 2017Court Limits Australia's Jurisdiction to Assist International Arbitrations
  • October 2017Disputing a Final Certificate: Does the Contractor Still Need to Pay?
  • October 2017The Importance of Strictly Complying with Notice Requirements on Australian Projects
  • August 2017Tanzania Overhauls Mining Laws, Fines Investor US$190 Billion: Is Your Investment Protected?
  • June 2017Projects Disputes in Australia: Recent Cases
  • December 2016Projects Disputes Cases in Australia: Recent Cases
  • September 2016A Greater Role for Australian Courts in Foreign Arbitral Proceedings?
  • August 2016Key Changes to Security of Payment Regime in Western Australia
  • June 2016Projects Disputes in Australia: Recent Cases
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