Tom Silvester is a director in the International Dispute Resolution Practice Group, based in the Darwin office.

    Primarily a commercial disputes lawyer with a strong focus in construction and infrastructure, Tom also advises clients on aspects of the delivery of projects, including front-end contract drafting, negotiation and administration, along with having in-house day-to-day commercial, procurement, risk and advisory experience.

    Tom has experience in a broad range of areas, including:

    • Building, construction and development disputes
    • Commercial and property disputes
    • Security of payments
    • Administrative law
    • Negligence
    • Professional indemnity
    • Disciplinary proceedings
    • Insolvency
    • Debt recovery
    • Policy
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    Construction and Infrastructure

    Front End

    • Preparing a construction head contract and joint venture suite in respect of civil upgrades in remote Northern Territory.
    • Assisting with drafting and negotiating a subcontract in respect of civil works on the Barneson Boulevard project.
    • Preparing a period subcontract suite for civil works.
    • Advising on negotiating a remedial works program, addressing defects identified on water tanks in remote locations across the Northern Territory.
    • Advising both a principal and a contractor in respect of claims management, security of payment, contract administration and dispute avoidance and resolution in respect of numerous civil, building and construction projects.

    Back-end Dispute Avoidance and Resolution

    • Acting for the Northern Territory of Australia in the defence of defect claims brought in respect of multiple residential affordable housing developments.
    • Acting for a utility in the defence of delay and disruption claims in respect of civil works in remote areas of the Northern Territory across multiple projects.
    • Acting for the Northern Territory in respect of a large-scale development dispute in the Supreme Court. Interlocutory decision recorded as Northern Territory of Australia v Dover Investments Pty Ltd and Ors [2020] NTSC 3.
    • Acting for a developer in the defence of multiple Supreme Court building defect and negligence claims.

    Oil and Gas

    • Acting for a contractor to advise on contract administration and to pursue delay and disruption claims in respect of mechanical installation and civil packages as part of the Ichthys LNG project.
    • Acting for a contractor to pursue delay, disruption and variation claims in respect of module and mechanical equipment installation, piping and structural steel erection as part of the Pluto LNG project in Western Australia.
    • Acting for a contractor to pursue delay and disruption claims in respect of structural, mechanical and piping works as part of the Macedon Gas Project in Western Australia.

    In-house Experience

    • In-house day-to-day commercial, procurement, risk and advisory experience while on secondment with a government-owned utility corporation for more than 12 months.

    Major Projects/Other

    • Acting for Power and Water Corporation as the defendant in Risk Management and Safety Systems Pty Ltd v Power Generation Corporations and Anor (No. 112 of 2016) in the Northern Territory Supreme Court.
    • Acting for a foreign Chinese investment group performing due diligence on a proposed acquisition of a national construction and engineering group.
    • Acting for a contractor in the defence of the multiple security of payment adjudications and a related court litigation against a dredging subcontractor, relating to the construction of the Darwin Marine Supply Base in the Northern Territory.

    Administrative law

    • Acting on behalf of the Minister for Lands, Planning and the Environment and the Attorney General of the Northern Territory in respect of a judicial review application to quash the Minister’s decision to issue an exceptional development permit for the development of the Gateway Shopping Centre. Decision recorded as Joondanna Investments Pty Ltd v the Minister for Lands Planning and the Environment & Anor [2014] NTSC 58.
    • Acting on behalf of Norblast Industrial Solutions Pty Ltd in the defence of a judicial review application arising out of a security of payment adjudication relating to blasting and painting works on the RAAF Darwin Air Traffic Control Tower. Decision recorded as M & P Builders Pty Limited v Norblast Industrial Solutions Pty Ltd & Anor [2014] NTSC 25.
    • Acting on behalf of MacMahon Contractors in the defence of a judicial review application arising out of a security of payment adjudication. Decision recorded as Hall Contracting Pty Ltd v Macmahon Contractors Pty Ltd & Anor [2014] NTSC 20.

    Negligence

    • Represented a client in the defence of a complaint of professional misconduct made under the Legal Profession Act (NT).
    • Acting for the Plaintiff in Northern Territory of Australia v Cridlands Pty Ltd 53/2008 (20813419).
    • Acting for Patten in Patten v Lend Lease Fund Management Ltd & Vai Queensland Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) 16/2008 (20804544).
    • Investigation, case management and settlement of medical negligence claims.
    • Acting for the Plaintiff in Dogangun v NTA, Porter and Fautsmann No. 21209782 in a police tort claim.

    Work Health and Safety

    • Acting for the Northern Territory government in a Supreme Court Litigation relating to a contractor’s alleged breach of contract and statutory duties due to the incorrect and unsafe storage of asbestos-containing materials.
    • Acting on behalf of Sunbuild Pty Ltd in Taylor & anor v Sunbuild Pty ltd (NTD48/2014) in its defence of alleged right of entry contraventions under the Fair Work Act (Cth) in the Federal Court of Australia.
    • Acting on behalf of Sunbuild Pty Ltd in Sunbuild Pty Ltd ats Ramsay & Ors (NTD 9 of 2013) in its defence of alleged right of entry contraventions under the Fair Work Act (Cth) in the Federal Court of Australia.

    Policy

    • Advising on a review of the Northern Territory Building Industry Regulatory Framework.
    • Advising an insurer on a policy in respect of upwards and sideways indemnity regimes in major projects in the construction industry as it relates to the Northern Territory statutory workers compensation scheme.

    Insolvency

    • Advising and acting for various insolvency practitioners in relation to voluntary administrations, liquidations, unfair preference claims and proceedings, the examinations of company directors, contentious proofs of debt, employee entitlements, administrator’s liabilities, competing priority claims and the drafting of deeds of company arrangements.
    • Acting for creditors and debtors in winding up applications and applications to set aside statutory demands.

    Education

    • Australian National University, Graduate Diploma, Legal Practice, 2010
    • Charles Darwin University, Bachelor of Laws, 2010

    Admissions

    • Northern Territory, 2010
    • High Court of Australia, 2010

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