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Jean Hamilton-Smith

Jean Hamilton-Smith

Senior Associate (Australia)

Jean specialises in international contentious construction law. 



Jean’s practice involves representing owners, contractors and major equipment suppliers in a range of cross-border court proceedings and international arbitrations. Jean has a particular focus on construction claims arising during project delivery, including defect, variation, delay and disruption claims.

Jean’s experience has included advising:

  • a Ghanaian owner in ICC proceedings seated in London in a dispute against the EPC contractor concerning the construction of a combined cycle tri-fuel power station in Ghana. The claim involved parallel litigation proceedings in the Ghanaian and South African courts
  • a UAE contractor in ICC proceedings seated in London in a dispute against the employer concerning delay and defect claims during the construction of a five-star resort in Abu Dhabi
  • a Chinese subcontractor in ICC proceedings seated in Singapore in a dispute against the EPC contractor arising from delays during the construction of an aromatics plant in Saudi Arabia
  • a Luxembourg-based multinational steel manufacturer in a claim against an Indian purchaser arising in parallel RAK, Mauritian and English court proceedings
  • a Japanese supplier in US litigation proceedings in a dispute with the EPC Contractor concerning a boiler overheating incident on an EPC power station project in the United States
  • a Chinese oil and gas company in SIAC arbitral proceedings relating to its investment in a European oil company concerning assets in the North Sea

In addition, Jean has completed two client secondments. She has been seconded to a Japanese trading house in Tokyo, and to a French multinational electric utility company in the Middle East.



Jean joined the firm as a junior associate in 2016.  After spending more than five years in Tokyo and Dubai, she joined our Sydney office as a Senior Associate in August 2021.  Jean is admitted in the Supreme Court of Queensland and New York, and is a former federal court judge’s associate to the Honourable Justice O’Reilly in the FCoA. 

Jean is recognised in the Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers list as “One to Watch” in 2023 in the field of international arbitration. 

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