Jordan Schutz

Jordan worked as a communications engineer before taking up practice as a specialist construction lawyer.  As such, he brings a high level of technical understanding and a practical approach to the legal problems faced by the industry.  Jordan has extensive construction law experience at the front end and in dispute resolution, security of payment and commercial debt recovery.  He provides advice and assistance to a range of industry participants on projects ranging from complex infrastructure projects, commercial developments and residential projects.

Principal areas of practice

  • Building
  • Construction and engineering (domestic and commercial);
  • Commercial dispute resolution;
  • Planning


  • Bachelor of Laws (with Honours)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Systems) (First Class Honours)


Admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia

Admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales

Admitted to the High Court of Australia

Member of the Society of Construction Law Australia

Examples of professional experience

Construction & Engineering

  • Provided advice and assistance to a tender process for procurement of significant transport infrastructure
  • Advised on development and preparation of a construct-only contract for re-development of the Langley Precinct, including demolition works, development of a process for benchmarking of residential units, and strict monitoring of time frames taking into consideration the restricted working periods.
  • Provided advice on the management of claims for the North West Rail Link), including as to strategy given the overall status of the project, relating to extensions of time, alleged variations and directions, and general claims relating to contamination and alleged authority issues.
  • Preparation of a construct-only contract for prototype signalling infrastructure, including the review and provision of advice on the commercial risk profile, development of interface requirements between multiple systems designers.
  • Preparation of consultant design contract for signalling data design packages, including review of the commercial risk profile, and provision of advice on the contract process for issuing the principal’s design in a staged-manner after contract award, as well as providing for the development of final design packages suitable for construction.
  • Advised a large property trust on the redevelopment of an existing retail site into a mixed-use residential and retail property (<$100M), including the development of the design and construct contract which incorporated significant early works packages and complicated ‘conditions precedent’ structure, and adopting requirements from other client agreements / leases with existing retail tenants.
  • Prepared contractual documentation (based on amended Australia Standards) for various new construction projects and refurbishments for a large private hospital / health organisation, including development of a new hospital, learning centres and theatre upgrades, and negotiation with selected tenderers.
  • Advised hospital and aged care clients on complex ECI contracts, including implementation of a process of re-tendering and trade package negotiation after initial design completion and provisions for early works packages and conditions precedent to binding contracts, share of savings provisions, cascading liquidated damages provisions and equivalent delay damages provisions.
  • Advised on and developed a project management agreement for a client taking over a network of employment services’ offices (approximately 30 offices), each office requiring redevelopment on a tight timeframe by a contractor who was to be engaged by the project manager.
  • Advised a contractor client on the implementation and use of the NSW GC-21 contract, including development of a set of amendments to their standard subcontract to enable the contractor to meet their obligations to the Government department principal.
  • Advised various mixed-use developer clients on contract structures including preparation of managing contractor, trade contractor and ECI contracts, and incorporation of various tenant / lease requirements.
  • Reviewed RFT contracts and advising and negotiating various amendments to contracts provided to contractor clients for commercial and infrastructure projects.
  • Provided advice on variation and extension of time options for a developer dealing with a contractor and a problematic DA, with specific limited works programming options.
  • Advised an Electricity Transmission Network Operator on a general review and update of their standard general conditions for their construction contracts, including drafting of revisions and amendments, including development of a KPI-based approach for contractors tendering for future work.  This work also included a review of their standard tender documentation and contract execution process, and provision of advice on a restructure of their approach and methodology of transitioning from tender issuance and submissions to final contract execution.
  • Development of tender documentation, construction contract and construction access deed for a Malaysian hotel owner/developer on the redevelopment of an existing office tower into a new hotel, including negotiating with the developer’s preferred tenderer and preparing agreed contract amendments.
  • Provided advice to subcontractors and suppliers and drafting a range of contracts (values ranging from $200,000 to $5M), including amended Australian Standard and principal’s bespoke contracts, preparing subcontractor bespoke contract suites, and advising on contract negotiations.
  • Assisting various subcontractors and suppliers on the introduction of the PPSA and PPS Register, including preparation of revised plant hire agreements and supply / purchase order conditions and schedules.

Dispute Resolution

  • Advising a developer on four consecutive SOP Act payment claims and adjudication applications made by the contractor within six months of project commencement, provision of subsequent advice on termination rights and guidance through the termination for convenience process, and liaising / negotiating with the developer’s financier for forbearance under the tripartite deed.
  • Acting for a data centre owner/operator against the data centre distributor and manufacturer in a claim in the NSW District Court for defective construction and various misrepresentations as to future matters relating to the future customer base and strategic importance of the data centre to the manufacturer.
  • Acting for a developer in NSW Supreme Court proceedings regarding defence of a contractor’s claim for breach of contract (regarding payment, variation and latent condition claims), and making a cross-claim for breach of contract (regarding licencing, pyramid / sham subcontracting, payment and various other claims) and misrepresentations, including claims against the sole director of the contractor. Both the claim and cross-claim are multi-million claims.
  • Acting for a developer in NSW Supreme Court proceedings regarding the interpretation of competing statutory rights and obligations under the SOP Act and the Contractors Debts Act, and the ability under the Debts Act for a subcontractor to make claims up the contractual chain (including appearing and seeking urgent interlocutory relief over a judgement entered on the basis of a SOP Act determination).
  • Acting for a developer in NSW Supreme Court proceedings in overturning an adjudication determination where the adjudication application was not properly served, including advice as to the impact of the Electronic Transactions Act, and negotiating a successful settlement for the developer.
  • Acting for a contractor in professional negligence proceedings against their previous solicitors regarding the solicitors failing to properly proceed with a defective works claim, and successfully negotiating a settlement for the contractor.
  • Acting for a contractor against a university, on preparation of a negotiated binding expert determination deed, for an auditable independent valuation of a significant variation claim. In that same matter, when negotiations failed, provided advice on and drafted an SOP Act adjudication application.
  • Acting for a subcontractor in defending a contractor’s application to set aside an SOP Act adjudication, including an interlocutory injunction in the Supreme Court of Victoria. In the same matter, advising the subcontractor on negotiating a resolution to outstanding variation claims and alleged defective works.
  • Acting for a contractor in defending against a security of payments debt claim and breach of contract claim from a subcontractor, and making a cross-claim for breach of contract and conversion.
  • Advising a developer on options for termination of a building contract (for mixed residential / commercial works) via the ‘show cause’ process, and negotiating a settlement resolving the multiple claims (including defective works, failure to make payment and unauthorised use of an easement).
  • Advising a contractor on resisting a principal’s proposed significant negative variation (approximately 20% of the contract value) on a design and construction contract for a large university electronic security upgrade.
  • Advising multiple subcontractors on making payment claims / adjudication applications and resisting statutory demands for offsetting payment claims from principals / head contractors.