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Dan Dragovic

Partner

Dan is a senior construction disputes partner in the Perth Disputes practice.

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Experience

He has extensive experience in construction and energy related disputes, and significant related experience in land access (native title and environment) disputes and risk management. 

Dan has advised and represented primarily Owner clients including BHP Billiton, Woodside, Chevron, Wesfarmers, the State of Western Australia, local governments, Mount Gibson Iron and major power utilities, as well as Tier 1 construction contractors, including Samsung C&T Corporation and CIMIC.

Dan has practised commercial litigation for over 20 years, successfully representing clients in numerous complex commercial and, particularly, construction disputes including adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA). He has dealt extensively with project disputes in the engineering, mining and oil and gas sectors on some of the region’s largest and most high profile projects. He has extensive experience with arbitration (both international and domestic), litigation, alternative dispute resolution processes such as expert determination, mediation and specifically designed ad hoc expedited processes.

Dan is also recognised in the 2017 Doyles Guide as a Preeminent Construction & Infrastructure Litigation Lawyer in Perth and Leading in Australia.

Dan regularly presents papers at construction industry and legal learning seminars, and is called upon to host construction industry events. He is a member of the Society of Construction Law Australia, and the Australian Mining Law and Petroleum Association. He is a Fellow of Leadership WA and a member of the board of United Way West Australia.

He is the author of numerous updates for the Australian Construction Law Bulletin, and articles including Is an industry shake up inevitable following the WA Government’s Response to the Report on construction contracts? (2016), Are Time Bars Unenforceable as Penalties – The Importance of Looking at the Contract as a Whole (ACLN 2014), The impact of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods on procurement and construction for Australian mining and resources projects (ARELJ 2013), Contractual obligation to use reasonable endeavours – when does it end? (ARELJ 2010) and Dispute Resolution Clauses in Construction Contracts (B&CLJ 2009)

Dan's experience includes:

Samsung C&T Corporation

  • Dan advises and represents Samsung on significant downstream disputes with Laing O’Rourke on the $10 billion Roy Hill Iron Ore Project, including a major Singapore-seated international arbitration, various payment dispute adjudications and various Supreme Court proceedings, including successfully obtaining a mandatory interlocutory injunction for the return of critical materials and equipment.
  • Part of Dan’s work for Samsung on the Roy Hill Iron Ore Project included a high-profile and successful judicial review (by way of a prerogative writ (certiorari)) challenge to several adjudication determinations under the Construction Contracts Act 2004.

Major State Government Trading Entity in relation to collapse of major contractor

  • Dan advised and represented a major power utility in relation to two adjudication applications, and subsequent disputes relating to the ownership of major equipment supplied to the project, arising out of the collapse of the Forge Group. The adjudication applications were dismissed and a successful settlement reached on the ownership dispute.

Major State Government Trading Entity

  • Dan has advised and represented a major GTE in relation to construction and procurement disputes in relation to a major infrastructure project (which included advice on various claims from its contractor and prosecuting injunction proceedings under section 46 of the Energy Operators (Powers) Act 1979).

Major Global Mining Client

  • Dan successfully prosecuted a domestic arbitration for a global mining client to recover overpayments (essentially a debt) from a major contractor relating to the $20 million upgrade of its main commodity mine. The matter involved a forensic accounting investigation and the formulation of cost recovery claims arising from a suspension of the works. A successful settlement was achieved on the morning of the first day of the hearing.

Major diversified Mining Client

  • Dan provided advice and appeared at conciliation meetings for a major mining client concerning the $195m expansion of its main commodity mine

Mount Gibson Mining

  • Dan successfully defended Mount Gibson Mining in relation to a complex construction dispute relating to its $88m Extension Hill Project

Major Oil & Gas Client

  • Dan advised and successfully represented a major international oil and gas producer in relation to a rig dispute in connection with its $52 billion project

Major Oil & Gas Client

  • Dan acted for a major oil and gas client in relation to alleged Customs Act and quarantine breaches.

Major International Head Contractor

  • Dan advised and represented an international oil and gas head contractor on a significant payment dispute adjudication in relation to Woodside’s Pluto Project

Major Resources Innovation Client

  • Dan advised a well-known international technology provider to the resources industry in relation to claims and cross-claims totalling in excess of $100 million against its main sub-contractor on two major resources projects in the Pilbara

Water Infrastructure Client

  • Dan advised a water infrastructure utility in relation to the construction of major water storage facilities

Territory Resources Limited

  • Dan advised and represented Territory Resources in relation to a $17m dispute concerning the construction of a major crushing and screening plant 

 

Background

Having graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1992 with a Bachelor of Laws, Dan was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1993. He is also admitted to practice in the High Court and Federal Court. He was appointed a partner of Herbert Smith Freehills in 2004.