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David Hugo


David specialises in public and private sector infrastructure, energy and resources projects and land access matters.



David assists a range of clients with PPP and other infrastructure and outsourcing projects, including advising in respect of procurement strategy, construction, tenure, financing, outsourcing and speciality service aspects of large-scale transactions in the resources and public infrastructure sectors (particularly healthcare).

He also works with clients on development and transactional matters for major infrastructure, and is experienced with energy, resources and transport sector land, port and rail projects, service and off-take agreements, linear infrastructure developments, Crown land access and approvals, major infrastructure and property development and large-scale commercial acquisitions and disposals of property and assets.

David works with both private sector clients and all levels of government in relation to a range of major infrastructure matters, and is equally proficient in dealing with capital asset, project finance, land tenure and outsourced service aspects of transactions.

He has been with Herbert Smith Freehills since 1999, spending a four-year period in the interim in the UK working in-house with a multinational energy company, and in private practice focusing on healthcare PPP/PFI projects.

David is also admitted as a solicitor in the United Kingdom, sits on the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy’s Land Access Committee, is regularly named in the AFR ‘Best Lawyers’ list and Doyles Guide in the areas of infrastructure, construction and real estate, and was named Lawyers Weekly 2017 ‘Partner of the Year’ in Construction and Infrastructure, and the AFR Best Lawyers 2014 ‘WA Property Lawyer of the Year’.

David’s experience includes advising:

  • Western Australian Government on the development, expansion, private financing, land tenure and outsourced clinical and FM service aspects of the Midland, Joondalup, Fiona Stanley, Sir Charles Gairdner, Peel and other health campuses.
  • New South Wales Government in relation to the construction and full outsourcing of clinical services at the Northern Beaches Hospital and the proposed delivery of several further waves of privately constructed and outsourced hospitals, health facilities and clinical services.
  • BHP Billiton on a number of development, tenure, infrastructure and regulatory issues in respect of its operations and facilities at and around Port Hedland.
  • Rio Tinto in relation to its $2.5bn "Services Improvement Project" contract, which implemented the consolidated delivery of accommodation, facilities management and associated services across the whole of Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s Pilbara operations.
  • Town of Port Hedland in relation to the $205m sale of its international airport, including in relation to all aspects of its procurement process, vendor due diligence, regulatory issues, evaluation of and negotiation with preferred bidders and acting to contract and financial close.
  • Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority in relation to the sale and development of superlots 2 and 3 of the iconic Elizabeth Quay project for use as mixed use office, residential and retail towers.