Hamish Macpherson

As a pre-eminent partner in KWM’s Dispute Resolution team, Hamish acts for clients in construction and infrastructure disputes of national significance before the Australian courts and in private arbitrations and expert determinations, arising from projects across multiple industries such as transportation (road, rail and runways), energy (particularly solar renewables), building, mining, and oil and gas.

He is a market-leading construction disputes lawyer, with a ‘mixed’ practice acting for leading Principals (Sydney Motorway Corporation, Glencore, AGL, Transurban), the premier NSW Govt departments involved in infrastructure delivery (Infrastructure NSW, TfNSW) and also Tier 1 Contractors (Lendlease, Multiplex, CIMIC). Hamish works on conflicts that may emerge throughout a project’s life cycle, including strategic advice on how to manage construction claims. He regularly acts on the opposing side of other Band 1 ranked construction lawyers in NSW.

Over the last year, Hamish secured new instructions to act in the following ‘signature project’ matters:

  • Infrastructure NSW re Sydney Fish Market – Acting for Infrastructure NSW in defence of claims brought by Sydney Fish Markets as to the scope and price of the new facility to be constructed in Blackwattle Bay, Sydney.
  • WestConnex Stage 3A –Acting for the Principal Sydney Motorway Corporation in both upstream disputes (against TfNSW) and downstream disputes (against the head contractor Acciona Samsung Bouygues JV) in relation to the under construction M4-M5 Link tunnel tollroad in Sydney 
  • TfNSW re Parramatta Light Rail project – Assisting TfNSW in a confidential role on a high profile and publicly contentious aspect of the ongoing Paramatta Light Rail project.
  • NorthConnex tunnel tollroad in Sydney – Acting for the head contractor Lendlease Bouygues JV in claims against subcontractors for defects, delay and non-consequential loss following opening completion of the project.
  • AGL Energy Limited –Acting for the plaintiff AGL in a high value dispute with Peabody for the mining and supply of coal to the Bayswater power station in NSW. 

Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers Global as one of the leading Construction lawyers in Australia (Band 2)
  • Legal 500 "Hall of Fame" for construction in Australia

Client Quotes

  • Hamish Macpherson enjoys a reputation as a "well known and highly regarded"construction litigator. He has handled significant disputes arising from projects in the transportation, energy and mining sectors.
  • Hamish is highly regarded for his work handling complex construction disputes, with clients declaring him a “great addition to the KWM team” and someone who is “happy to roll his sleeves up and jump right into the roughest of street brawls. He runs his disputes hard, but sensibly, keeping the opposition nervously on their toes, carefully analysing all alternatives and possible developments and keeping his client a number of moves ahead.” - Legal 500, 2020.

Bars and Courts

  • Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • Supreme Court of Queensland
  • High Court of Australia
  • Practice Experience

Practising certificate

  • 2020: New South Wales, Australia, (current to 30 June 2021)


  • LLB (Honours), Australian National University
  • BA, Australian National University

Career History

  • 1994: Solicitor, then Senior Associate, Norton Smith
  • 2000 – 2001: Solicitor, Freehills
  • 2001 – 2005: Senior Associate, Freehills
  • 2005 – 2018: Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills (formerly Freehills)
  • 2018 – 2019: Partner, White & Case
  • 2019: Partner, King & Wood Mallesons


Legal insights

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19 June 2020

This article was written by Isolde Daniell, Lucinda Ower, Chris Seaman and Jock Hamilton. The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) As foreshadowed in our previous update on building...

19 June 2020

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21 November 2019

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