Fabio is an experienced and client-focused commercial projects lawyer. He specialises in major projects, with extensive experience advising on a wide range of property, construction and commercial agreements for both private and government clients. 

Fabio leads the development of our Infrastructure team in Darwin, focussing on property, construction and government work. As a former partner of a national top tier firm, Fabio was the practice group head for that firm’s projects group in its Canberra office. Fabio’s practice covered a broad range of transactional and advisory work, as well as managing major projects and high-volume transactional matters that require efficient coordination of multiple resources and work streams.

Especially competent in complex design and construct projects often associated with major commercial leasing on a pre-commitment basis, Fabio specialises in the development of joint venture agreements and other diverse agreements and contracts to deliver bespoke outcomes, manage risk and deliver assets.

Fabio undertook significant leasing work for both Commonwealth and private sector organisations gaining extensive experience in commercial drafting, leases, agreements to lease and agreements to design, construct and lease, various construction agreements. Fabio understands the special additional requirements faced by Government entities in property and procurement matters.

Fabio also has considerable experience undertaking substantial government procurements, banking and finance matters for the major banks and a wide variety of general commercial matters such as consultancy agreements, goods and service agreements, acquisitions and sales, service agreements, project management agreements, funding agreements, as well as providing strategic commercial advice.

His interest and practical experience in finance and business arrangements enables Fabio to understand and deliver practical solutions for clients’ commercial transactions.

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Major Projects

  • Advising the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations on the Department's National Office Relocation Project, which involved the consolidation of the Department's current tenancies throughout Canberra to a single site within Civic. The NLA of the required accommodation is in excess of 40,000 square meters and includes several hundred car parking bays. Fabio was the principal lawyer advising the Department and has involved the preparation and negotiation of the Request for Proposal; Agreement to Design, Construct and Lease (ADCL), which has been structured as an option to lease; Lease; various other documents for the transaction (such as Guarantees and Indemnities, Certifier Deed, and Bank Undertaking); and requests for tenders for various consultancy contracts associated with the project. The ADCL is a complex building contract, engaging the successful respondent developer to construct a building to meet DEEWR's requirements. The ADCL also allows flexibility for DEEWR to require the developer to construct the fitout works in an integrated manner.
  • Advising DHS on the National Support Office Project at the Tuggeranong (now the Caroline Chisholm Centre), a greenfield site that now houses a five star 45,000 square meter NAL building. Fabio advised on all aspects of the procurement of the building fitout works contract, the workstations supply contract and the access control contract. Fabio worked closely with the project team on the preparation of the various RFT's and contracts, with the Head Fitout Contractor arrangement structured along the lines of the Defence Managing Contractor Contract, with project specific variations. Specifically, the Head Fitout Contractor contract incorporates design and cost planning responsibility in Stage 1, and contract management and construction obligations in Stage 2. Fabio developed an incentive arrangement for the Head Fitout Contractor to ensure that the final cost of the works comes within budget, without compromising quality. As a result of work on this project, Fabio undertook the further development of the Departments next two National Support Office Projects in Canberra.
  • Acting for the Department of Defence on the ADFA Redevelopment Project, which is a AU$100 million upgrade project for ADFA and involves the use of the Defence Managing Contractor Contract. Extensive risk assessment and Tender and Contract review and development was undertaken to ensure the documents achieved Defence's objectives for clarity and certainty surrounding a complex series of discrete works over a four year timeframe. Issues of sequencing site access and responsibility, the adequacy of the Defence Project Brief, handover and approvals requirements for the works, which includes NCA and PWC approvals, were critical areas where Fabio provided advice and practical assistance to the Defence project team.
  • Acting for the Department of Defence on negotiating a lease and service agreement for critical data centre space in NSW for housing the Department’s most sensitive data. This was the first such agreement entered into by Defence, and at more than AU$120 million in expenditure, is the largest single leasing transaction entered into by Defence. It involved extensive negotiations with the preferred supplier to ensure suitability of the centre and to address the customised security requirements of the Department, and involved additional negotiations with the Department of Finance and Deregulation to seek an exemption from the Whole of Commonwealth data centre panel.
  • Acting for the Department of Defence on the CSI – ACT/NSW Regional Accommodation Project, which involved negotiations with the Canberra International Airport for the procurement and delivery of five purpose built buildings with a combined NLA of more than 45,000 square meters of NLA, complete with Defence fitout, to be constructed to meet Defence's requirements. This matter involved negotiating, drafting and providing strategic advice on issues identified in the documentation and ensuring Defence achieved a commercially acceptable outcome while working to very tight timeframes.

Construction

  • Acted for the National Museum of Australia (NMA) on its Administration Building Annex Project, which involved the development of a new administration building to be annexed to existing buildings on the National Museum site in Canberra. Fabio provided advice to the NMA project team on the appropriate form of contract for use on the project, provide advice on the terms and conditions needed to meet the planned delivery date and prepared the form of construction contract and tender documents. Fabio advised the NMA on the tender responses, assisted with contract negotiation with the preferred builder and completed the contract. During the course of the early earth works, asbestos was discovered on site, and Fabio assisted the NMA with implementing consultancy arrangements and measures to minimise the impact of the anticipated delay, provided detailed advice on the strategic options available to the NMA under the building contract, including in particular on whether there was a latent condition or whether the builder failed to adequately test the site conditions prior to work, as required by the Contract.
  • Acted for the Department of Health and Ageing on its agreement with the State of NSW to provide AU$170 million in funding to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for the construction of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA. Fabio was the lead partner on extensive negotiations with NSW, RPA and Lifehouse following the breakdown in negotiations between the parties at officer level resulting in a potential loss of substantial funds for the Commonwealth. Fabio advised on, negotiated and then implemented more stringent terms and conditions through multi-party agreements to ensure that the funds would be appropriately spent and acquitted throughout the delivery of the project. Appropriate security arrangements were established for the Commonwealth’s funds, including step-in rights and a builders side deed, in the event of default or non-performance of the agreements by the parties.

Property

  • Acting for ACTEW Corporation and ActewAGL on their purchases of several parcels of rural land for the future proposed developments of Canberra's second power station and a solar energy farm. Fabio was the principal lawyer leading the matters, and developing associated transaction documents and providing advice on issues potentially impacting on the acquisition and future development of the land.
  • Acting for Investa Property Group on the preparation of an agreement to lease and lease of the whole of 62 Northbourne Avenue to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. This matter involved the negotiation of upgrade works and incentive arrangements between Investa and the Department, as well as assisting Investa with varying the Crown lease to enable better use of the ground floor of the building; and various commercial and retail leasing matters at 64 Northbourne Avenue.

Transactional

  • Advising Datapod on establishment and transactional matters for the company’s product development and distribution throughout Australia and Asia. Worked with the founder in the initial stages of the company’s formation to advise on corporate structuring, setting up shareholders’ agreements and constitution documents, leasing of premises and subsequent additional manufacturing floor space. Provided advice on major commercial agreements, reviewing subcontract terms, undertakings, milestones and payment cycles. Also reviewing and providing advice on ad hoc legal questions and issues as they arise from day to day activities, such as letters of undertaking, MOUs, third party purchaser terms, trade compliance questions and managing disputes.

Procurements

Many of the major projects, construction projects and leasing transactions Fabio has been involved with included preparing and advising on the procurement aspects of the project or transaction. The advice and assistance he provided covered all aspects of the procurement process such as:

  • Advising on the form of procurement documentation
  • Reviewing and ensuring the scope or technical specifications are clear so as to facilitate appropriate responses
  • ŸPreparing associated documentation or materials, such as guidance notes for larger procurements, to ensure the procurement outcomes are delivered
  • Providing industry briefings for relevant projects
  • Reviewing and providing advice on tender responses, as well as drafting and advising on issuing addenda
  • For Commonwealth Government procurements, advising on compliance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules

Speaking Engagements

  • “Construction Contracts Management Training”, two-day training seminar for DOI, June and July 2014.
  • "Construction Contracts and Complying with Commonwealth Policy".
  • "Occupiers Liability – Behind Closed Doors", Property Council of Australia (ACT Division) Professional Development Program.
  • "Property Leasing Fundamentals", Property Council of Australia (ACT Division) Professional Development Program.
  • "Legal Aspects of Owning and Transacting Property", Property Council of Australia (ACT Division) Professional Development Program.
  • "Leasing Fundamentals", presentation to Department of Defence Property Branch.
  • "Project Delivery Models and Risk Management Tools in Construction Projects", presentation to the Department of Parliamentary Services.
  • "Insurance and Indemnities", Property Council of Australia (ACT Division) Professional Development Program on Advanced Commercial Property Asset Management.
  • "Leasing Disputes Updates Series", various workshop presentations in conjunction with Dispute Resolution Practice Group, throughout 2009.
  • "Legal Aspects of Owning and Transacting Property", Property Council of Australia (ACT Division) Professional Development Program.
  • "Commonwealth Leasing Process", Property Council of Australia (ACT Division) Professional Development Program.
  • "Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and the Property Sector", Property Council of Australia (ACT Division) Green Building Blitz II Workshop.

Education

  • Australian National University, LL.M., 2003
  • Financial Services Institute of Australasia, Graduate Diploma, Applied Finance and Investment, 2000
  • Charles Darwin University, B.Ec., 1997
  • Charles Darwin University, LL.B., 1999

Admissions

  • Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court
  • Recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 in Construction, Australia, and Real estate, Australia
  • Recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 in Construction, Australia.
  • Ranked by Best Lawyers 2015 - Construction/Infrastructure Law, Government Practice, Real Property Law.

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