Denise McLaughlin specialises in major construction, engineering and infrastructure projects, representing a range of project participants (funders, owners, contractors and consultants).

    Denise works within the construction and services team providing contentious and non-contentious advice to financiers, owners, contractors and subcontractors from a variety of industries involved in major infrastructure; including mining companies and major contractors to the mining sector. 

    Before joining Squire Patton Boggs, Denise worked for other major international law firms in Western Australia and the UK, where she handled complex infrastructure projects and gained considerable commercial experience during an eight month secondment to Balfour Beatty, the UK’s largest contractor.

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    Transactional – Major Infrastructure & Other Projects

    • Acting for a purchaser to draft and negotiate the terms of a sale and development agreement for 22 residential towers in Lusail City, Qatar, including community facilities and retail space (125,680 sqm / 4,000 plus units).
    • Acting for a Government authority, as owner of land in Perth’s CBD, in relation to Yagan Square (a major rail and retail hub and flagship public space within the Perth City Link) which involved the preparation of tender documentation and the construction contract; liaising throughout with the project team; and reviewing legal clarifications to bid submissions.
    • Advising a prominent investment bank in Qatar for the financing as well as the preparation and negotiation of subcontract documentation for the design build, operation and transfer of a 4,000-bed integrated workers accommodation community project in the State of Qatar
    • Preparing subcontracts on behalf of a large Western Australian contractor in relation to the QEII Carpark project, one of the first PPP projects in Western Australia for a number of years (AU$104 million).
    • Assisting New Doha International Airport with the preparation of consultant appointment agreements (FIDIC).
    • Drafting a full suite of construction and engineering contracts for large Western Australian contractor. 
    • Assisting a large UK contractor with the preparation of a supply contract for the refurbishment of social housing stock (£15 million). 
    • Reviewing tender documentation for a major mining services contractor in relation to the civil engineering package of works for the ICHTHYS Project, Western Australia. 
    • Assisting a major Australian mine owner in its negotiations to successfully secure an iron ore haulage contractor for its Western Australian operation (AU$40 million).
    • Providing high level contract reviews and advice to a major Australian mine owner on the EPC contract for a new iron ore processing plant in the Pilbara (AU$750 million).
    • Acting for the Omani Government in preparing Oman’s first PPP law.
    • Assisting a major UK-based waste contractor with its preparation of a successful bid submission to Glasgow City Council to finance, develop and operate a facility to divert household waste from landfill (PPP project) (£254 million).
    • Carrying out construction due diligence on behalf of a large international bank in relation to a cutting edge hotel being developed in anticipation of the Commonwealth Games (Glasgow) (£100 million).
    • Carrying out construction due diligence on behalf of a lender in relation to the project financing of Moly Mines (AU$500 million).
    • General contract administration (up and downstream), including preparing and responding to:
      • default/“show cause” notices; 
      • variation and extension of time claims; 
      • the exercise of takeout rights;
      • payment claims and certificates; and
      • generally providing advice and support on the administration of the underlying contract.
    • Advising on various areas of construction and contract law, including good faith; liquidated damages; parent company guarantees and bonds; proportionate liability; implied terms; and termination for convenience. 
    Disputes – Major Infrastructure & Other Projects 
    • All aspects of domestic arbitration in relation to the construction of an 85 km haul road to the Extension Hill mine site, Western Australia (acting for the contractor).
    • Supreme Court action in relation to a payment dispute between the architect and the receivers and managers of the Raine Square development, Western Australia (acting for the receivers and managers).
    • Reverse adjudication application brought under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 in relation to a luxury residential development (acting for the principal).
    • Acting for a principal in relation to a payment dispute over FIFO accommodation in the Kimberly region (expert determination).
    • Preparing extension of time and variation claims for a contractor client in relation to dredging and reclamation works at the Roy Hill Project in the Pilbara region.


    • Glasgow Graduate School of Law, Graduate Diploma, Legal Practice, 2005
    • University of Strathclyde, LL.B., 2004
    • Glasgow Caledonian University, B.A., 2002


    • Scotland, 2007

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Society of Construction Law, Gulf

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    • Contributor, “FIDIC in Arab Civil Code Jurisdictions”, Construction Law Update 2006, Wolters Kluwer, 2016.
    • Speaker, “Contract and Construction Law”, Urban Development Institute of Australia, 8 November 2015.
    • Speaker, “Contract and Construction Law”, Urban Development Institute of Australia, 8 June 2015.

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