Gilbert + Tobin is heavily involved in the water reform agenda, providing innovative, commercial legal solutions to prospective entrants and current participants on the steps required to take advantage of opportunities in the water and wastewater sector.

Our team has demonstrated expertise in providing specialised legal advice in key areas for the water sector including infrastructure projects and industry regulation and reform.

We have a proven track record in achieving commercial results through creative solutions and perseverance where necessary. We are uncompromising in our standards of service and the practicality of our advice.

Water Projects

Gilbert + Tobin advises on the development, regulation and operation of complex, large-scale infrastructure projects, including water and wastewater, energy (conventional and renewable), transport (rail, roads and ports), health and telecommunications projects.

In tandem with our commercial and dispute resolution practices, we offer a strategic, practical and commercially-orientated approach to planning and environmental issues, always with an eye on the end game: a prompt and favourable outcome. This involves providing advice on statutory and policy compliance requirements for major projects, working to obtain all necessary approvals and devising strategies for obtaining these approvals including through negotiation, mediation and where appropriate, litigation.

We understand the requirements, approaches and expectations of both public and private sector participants and help clients optimise commercial returns and minimise project risk, whilst mitigating financial and legal exposure and protecting stakeholder or member interests. We offer an innovative approach to project structuring, working closely with our tax and stamp duty team and endeavouring to maximise gains for our clients.

We advise in relation to:

  • Infrastructure project planning and environmental impact assessment.
  • Development consent, approvals and appeals, mediation, negotiation and litigation options.
  • Environmental due diligence and risk management including liability for land contamination and remediation. 
  • Project finance, including structuring, document preparation and negotiation.
  • Project construction, contracting, environment and planning, operation and maintenance.
  • Contracting for procurement transactions and infrastructure services, including tendering, supply and maintenance agreements.
  • Privately Financed Projects (PFPs) and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
  • Conducting litigation for private sector clients and the government in relation to the above services.

Water regulation and infrastructure reform

Gilbert + Tobin is a leading competition and regulatory specialist, with deep expertise and experience in the provision of legal, policy and strategic advice on infrastructure regulation and reform.

This experience is founded on our involvement in every major regulatory reform process in Australia over the last 15 years, including in the telecommunications, electricity, gas and transport sectors and the current reform process in the water and wastewater sector. From this experience, we have developed a strong understanding of the regulatory, economic and competition issues likely to arise in the context of reform of monopoly infrastructure and the development of regulatory and pricing frameworks to support the introduction of competition.

Our lawyers have extensive experience in regulatory reform, including within government, and are recognised as leading practitioners in this area. We advise regulated businesses, regulators and governments on the design, development and operation of regulatory frameworks including:

  • Designing and assisting in the implementation of industry restructuring and the operation of regulatory frameworks and regulatory decision making processes.
  • The application of pricing models and frameworks.
  • The application of existing and proposed access frameworks to monopoly infrastructure assets.
  • Assisting businesses to identify opportunities for infrastructure-based competition.
  • Advising in relation to disputes concerning infrastructure access and regulatory decisions.
Awards and Recognition
  • Gilbert + Tobin advised on the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant PPP which was awarded the Government Partnership Excellence Award at the 2012 National Infrastructure Awards and Asia Pacific Water Deal of the Year at the 2012 Project Finance Magazine Deals