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Special counsel at Kreisson Legal, a specialist construction firm, 2018

Seconded to JKC JV (onsite at the Ichthys onshore LNG plant in the NT), 2017

Consultant, 2017

Executive Counsel, ITC Law, 2016 to 2017

Business Partner, Westconnex Delivery Authority 2015

Corporate Solicitor, Transgrid,  2010  to 2011

General Counsel, United Petroleum,  2008 to 2009

Special Counsel, ClarkeKann Lawyers, 2005 to 2008

Senior Associate, Deacons, 1999 to 2004

Senior Associate, Carter Newell, 1994 to 1999

Principal, John Hodgkinson Lawyer, 1985  to 1994

Solicitor,  Patrick Ebert Lawyers, 1983 to 1985

Articled law clerk, Smith and Smith, 1981 to 1983


JKC joint venture

I was seconded by Lawyers on Demand to the head contractor for the Ichthys onshore LNG plant near Darwin to investigate a delay and disruption claim and to advise about contract administration.

Executive Counsel, ITC Law

I helped businesses displaced by major infrastructure projects like Westconnex and the Sydney Metro obtain fair compensation.

ITC Law has deep expertise at the front and back end of construction projects and provides  a range of other legal services.  It has a fresh approach to service delivery and legal pricing that surprises and delights clients.

Business Partner, Westconnex Delivery Authority

Westconnex is Australia’s biggest urban road project. John managed contentious property acquisitions in the NSW Supreme Court and Land and Environment Court  He also provided advice about stakeholder engagement and crisis management involving a range of issues about legislative interpretation, government policy, administrative law, litigation, property tenure, procurement, construction, governance, information access and privacy.

Corporate Solicitor, TransGrid, Sydney

John was accountable for:

  • strategic legislative compliance and review;
  • legal oversight of commercial agreements and regulatory risk;
  • negotiating engineering, procurement and construction, IT and other commercial contracts
  • managing litigation, especially about construction contracts, security of payment adjudications, compensation for compulsory acquisition and other commercial issues.
  • interpretation of and management of disputes under  the National Electricity law and Rules;
  • advising directors and executive management about their regulatory risks;
  • management of an external legal panel of first- and mid-tier law firms;
  • mentoring and supervision of the inhouse legal team
  • advising and training staff about legislative compliance, especially about the National Electricity Rules, WHS, environmental, privacy and planning laws
  • providing submissions to government reviews of legislation

Transgrid owns, operates and manages the  high voltage electrical network in New South Wales.  It is a state owned corporation that is closely regulated under the National Electricity Law.  Its $4 billion worth of assets comprise:

  • 12,500 kilometres of high voltage transmission lines and underground cables,
  • 85 substations and switching stations;
  • 65 connection points to generators;
  • 354 distributor and direct customer connection points; and
  • 6 interconnectors  to other electricity transmission networks.

General Counsel, United Petroleum, Melbourne

John successfully established the in-house legal function, including:

  • recruitment and supervision of professional & paralegal staff
  • supervision and cost-management of external legal advisers
  • document management and security for enterprise-critical records
  • internal customer service standards and risk mitigation strategies

He reported directly to the managing directors and worked closely with the Financial Manager, the General Manager and other senior staff.  John assisted the Financial Manager with the company secretarial task in the context of an unlisted large proprietary company, including:

  • advising directors on standards of corporate governance
  • advocating the compliance framework
  • responding to regulatory investigations

John was accountable for risk prevention and dispute resolution services to operating units, including:

  • commercial disputes with suppliers, customers and regulators
  • secured and unsecured debt recovery & insolvency
  • trade practices compliance in a regulated industry
  • planning and environment appeals in Qld and NSW
  • retail lease compliance and disputes in all States
  • building and construction disputes in all States
  • product liability, OHS and public risk litigation
  • employment law compliance and litigation
  • loss prevention, investigation and recovery
  • compliance advice and training

John was also accountable for commercial advice and transactions, including the review, negotiation and closure of:

  • franchise, distribution and commission agency agreements
  • tenders, standing offers and supply agreements
  • share and business asset purchase agreements
  • IT/IP licensing and deployment agreements
  • confidentiality and process agreements
  • retail and industrial leasing in all states
  • standard terms and conditions of sale
  • other commercial arrangements
  • pastoral estate aggregation

Special Counsel, ClarkeKann Lawyers Sydney 2007 to 2008

Highlights of John’s professional experience were:

  • Skins – private equity placement in sports apparel business
  • Cement Australia – acquisition and leasing of industrial sites
  • Coomera Town Centre – litigation about compulsory acquisition
  • structuring, site acquisition, development and pre-leasing of a community shopping centre
  • 2nd mortgage lending for private clients

Special Counsel, ClarkeKann Lawyers, Brisbane 2005 to 2007

His role included:

  • Qld Department of Housing – Nambour Hospital greenfield site
  • Queensland Department of Housing  – emergency housing
  • Cement Australia –  resumption of cement manufacturing plant
  • Ruby Group – statutory valuation appeal for CBD retail shopping centre
  • Urban Pacific – negotiated resolution of resumption for water pipeline
  • Rico Pipes – realignment of recycled water infrastructure corridor
  • Mirvac Hotels – re-structuring of Quay West Brisbane
  • Mirvac Hotels – advice about operations of Sebel, Brisbane
  • Mirvac Hotels – structuring Sebel Maroochydore
  • Mirvac Hotels – purchase of Cairns International Hotel
  • MREEF v DNR 2007 QLC 13 (land bank is ‘farm land” for tax purposes)
  • Mirvac Funds – litigation about valuation of regional shopping centre
  • Mirvac Funds – nominee in land aggregation for shopping centre expansion
  • Mirvac Qld – joint venture negotiations, acquisition and development of
  • Townsville seabed leases for $300M residential development
  • re-organisation of corporate occupancies for Wilson HTM Ltd IPO
  • Springfield Land Corporation – commercial and industrial development

Senior Associate, Deacons, Brisbane 1999 to 2004

Amongst John’s responsibilities were:

  • Qld Dep’t of Housing –  tender for sale of Townsville Hospital
  • Qld Dep’t of Housing –  tenders for Kelvin Grove Urban Village
  • Devine Ltd – site acquisition for Festival Towers and Charlotte Towers
  • Devine Ltd – development of broadacre residential developments.
  • Devine Ltd – value management in construction of Casino Towers
  • Interstar – mortgage realisations and litigation
  • Petrac Pty Ltd – acquisition and development of Noosa North Shore
  • Consolidated Pastoral Holdings  – rural portfolio management
  • real estate advice to the underbidder for Stanbroke Pastoral Company
  • Australian Estates Woolstores Pty Ltd – acquisition, capital structuring, development and commercial leasing of mixed use redevelopment.
  • Cameron v Brisbane Fleet Sales 2000 QSC 15 – litigation about mortgagee’s duty of care in fixing reserve price

Senior Associate, Carter Newell, Brisbane 1994 to 1999

  • CSR Ltd corporate real estate
  • corporate property practice
  • general property practice

Principal, John Hodgkinson Lawyer, Brisbane 1985  to 1994

  • property development for builders
  • general small business practice

Solicitor,  Patrick Ebert Lawyers, Brisbane 1983 to 1985

  • general practice