Christian Ainslie – GC Powerlist
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Australia 2022

Commercial and professional services

Christian Ainslie

Group general counsel and company secretary | Clough

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    Australia 2022

    legal500.com/gc-powerlist/

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    Christian Ainslie

    Group general counsel and company secretary | Clough

    Team size: 10

    What are the most significant cases and/or transactions that your legal team has recently been involved in?

    The Clough legal team have recently been involved in the negotiation of a major EPC (Energy Performance Contract) contract (circa AUD1.5b) for Transgrid’s EnergyConnect project. EnergyConnect will build the critical electricity transmission infrastructure which will save NSW customers AUD 180m a year and create 1,500 new construction jobs in regional NSW.

    The negotiation of a major EPC contract (circa $2.4b) for the development of Perdaman Industries’ urea plant on the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia, subject to a full notice to proceed. We also negotiated a major EPC contract (circa AUD5.1b) for the civil and electro-mechanical works for the Snowy 2.0 Project which will link two existing dams through underground tunnels and construct an underground power station with pumping capabilities.

    We also successfully negotiated a major EPC contract for the Lombrum Infrastructure Project, a joint initiative of the Australian and PNG Governments to redevelop the Lombrum Naval Base and acquired JJ White, a general construction contractor based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the US.

    Also, we resolved significant and complex project related claims and were the successful recipient of an award in an UNCITRAL arbitration, seated in London.

    How do you feel the pandemic has changed the world of work for in-house counsel and the function of the general counsel?

    The most obvious change has been the shift to working remotely. Initially this was an adjustment for a team who by their nature tend to be extroverts, however working remotely allowed greater flexibility and resulted in higher productivity. On the converse, as we are a global business with most of the team working from Australia, this has had to be carefully managed to ensure the team were not working all hours. The view on what can be successfully achieved remotely without travel has changed forever, for instance in the middle of the pandemic we conducted a complex mediation virtually involving five counterparties involving more than 15 people in six different time zones, which impacted sleep patterns!

    From the role as general counsel, the pandemic required me to think differently, as decisions had to be made quickly, executive meetings became a daily occurrence and I had to ensure the team checked in on one another regularly to ensure everyone was coping through a stressful time. Whilst Western Australia has been incredibly lucky throughout the pandemic, this was vastly different in our East Coast, US, and UK operations.

    Christian Ainslie - Australia 2018

    Group general counsel and company secretary | Clough

    Having joined the company in 2010, Christian Ainslie has served as group general counsel and company secretary for engineering and construction firm Clough for four years. He brings 15 years...

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