Jeanie Elliott

Jeanie is a specialist construction lawyer.

She was a partner in the London firm Fenwick Elliott, one of the Commonwealth’s leading construction and energy law firms, from 1997 to 2002 and a partner with Johnson Winter & Slattery in South Australia and head of its Construction Practice Group. In 2006, she established Fenwick Elliott Grace with Tom Grace to provide similar specialist services to the Australian market.

Principal areas of practice

Construction & Engineering, Infrastructure, Dispute Resolution, Energy and Resources.


Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Arts
TeCSA (Technology & Construction Court Solicitor’s Association) accredited Adjudicator


Practitioner in South Australia (2003)
Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales (1991)
Barrister and Solicitor of the New Zealand High Court (1988)

Boards and Committees

Access 2 Place Board Member (June 2019 ongoing)

Audit, Risk and Compliance Subcommittee Access 2 Place (October 2015 ongoing)

Construction Industry Forum (November 2018 ongoing)

Architectural Practice Board of South Australia (January 2011 to December 2014) (Ministerial Appointment)

Master Builders Association of South Australia:

  • 2003 ongoing – Contracts Committee
  • 2018 ongoing – Subcontractors Committee

Australian Institute of Building Committee (2019 ongoing)

Alliancing Association of Australasia (2006 to 2011) – Member and participant in national committee formed to draft a reference model project alliancing agreement

Examples of professional experience

Jeanie is rated by Doyle’s Guide as “pre-eminent” in front end construction and infrastructure law in South Australia and featured as “recommended” in the Australia–wide rankings in 2020.

The following is a cross-section of Jeanie’s experience:

  • Acted for GE in a major ICC arbitration and associated court proceedings in WA and NSW arising out of the design, procurement and construction of onshore facilities for the INPEX Ichthys project;
  • Drafted suites of standard contract documentation for Flinders University for procurement of major and minor building and maintenance works and supply of goods and services and provided advice, documentation and assistance with negotiations for a South Australian university.
  • Provided advice for two large scale battery manufacturers wishing to enter the South Australian market and drafted contract documentation for use by one of them;
  • Provided advice for a State/Territory Government including:
    • comprehensive advice, recommendations and training for executive infrastructure team in relation to WHS legislation;
    • advised in relation to the procurement of upgrade works to a major arterial road;
    • advised in relation to the marine supply base project.
  • Prepared procurement supply chain contracts for use by the Pacifico joint venture (Acciona Infrastructure Australia Pty Ltd and Ferrovial Agroman (Australia) Pty Ltd) on a project to upgrade a 20 km stretch of the Pacific Highway in NSW with a projected value of $950M and for the Gateway South Joint Venture (Laing O’Rourke and Fulton Hogan) on the Darlington Upgrade project. Delivered a commercial and legal contract training workshop for the site team.
  • Acted for two major aged care providers:
    • handled disputes including major structural engineering defects discovered during construction of an aged care facility which necessitated demolition and rebuilding of the facility;
    • drafted and negotiated an inhouse suite of D&C, construct only and ECI contracts, consultancy agreements, novation agreements and allied documentation for use on numerous projects.
  • Prepared and negotiated EPC bid and contract documentation for Origin Energy for the construction and maintenance of a wind farm at Troubridge Point in SA including interviewing tenderers and reviewing bids.
  • Drafted contract documentation and gave trouble shooting advice during the decommissioning of the Port Stanvac refinery.
  • Acted for principal and contractor parties in numerous projects for:
    • the design, construction, commissioning and maintenance of infrastructure, process and manufacturing facilities and plants including waste water treatment plants, combined cycle power stations and CNG facilities;
    • commercial office, residential, shopping, hotel, hospital, laboratory, medical and biological research facilities;
    • pipeline projects – SESA and SEA Gas;
    • rail projects – acting for a major rail operator – drafting and negotiating a wide range of contracts including rail works EPC contracts, rail haulage agreements, major equipment supply and rollingstock leasing and maintenance agreements.
  • Acted for the contractor party in reviewing and negotiating a number of contracts with the University of Adelaide, including the contract for its ongoing capital works program.
  • Acted for the joint venture D&C contractor parties in one of the bidding consortia to assist with negotiation and preparation of the consortium bid for the Super Schools PPP.
  • Advised the constructor party for the D&C alliance in relation to project documentation for the Adelaide Desalination Plant. Assisted with negotiations for the construction alliance and the issues that arose out of an alliance arrangement operating under a lump sum head contract.
  • Advised a German glider fabrication company in relation to its bid for supply of gliders to Australian Defence Force.
  • Drafted and negotiated turnkey construction, consultancy, major equipment supply and laboratory services for Oceana Gold for mining projects in the Philippines and NZ.
  • Drafted a series of subcontracts to match amended Defence head contract documents (including MCC1) for head contractor use at construction projects at various Australian army bases;
  • ICC arbitration concerning the construction of pumping stations and SCADA for an oil pipeline in Sudan.

Publications and Presentations

  • Regularly provides inhouse workshops and seminars for clients and external providers on construction law and Australian Consumer Law issues.
  • Lecturer for the Contracts Management Course, Master Builders Association of South Australia – 2003 to date.
  • Small Business Commissioner – assisting with security of payment training – 2017 ongoing.
  • Law Society of South Australia Construction Law Conference – 2009 and 2012.
  • Tonkins Tender Management Roadshow 2012 – “Minimising Legal Risk”.
  • IES Conferences 2006 – 2010 – “Project Delivery Through Alliance Contracting”.