Robbie McCrea Senior Associate

Robbie is experienced in all aspects of construction projects and he specialises predominantly in contentious areas.

Prior to his move to the UK in 2014, Robbie practised in a specialist construction law team in New Zealand where he was heavily involved in both contentious and non-contentious elements of the rebuild of Christchurch city following the 2010/2011 earthquakes. He is enrolled as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Robbie has acted for various parties on a wide range of construction and engineering issues, and represented clients in adjudication, mediation, litigation, and arbitration. Robbie has also acted for contractors in several international disputes involving dispute board adjudication and international arbitration.

Specialist expertise

Examples of Robbie’s expertise include:

  • acting for a contractor in a dispute in relation to the rehabilitation, design and construction of a road of national significance in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, using the FIDIC Multilateral Development Bank Harmonised Edition March 2006 (the Pink Book) as amended, involving several dispute board referrals, the SIAC Rules of Arbitration, and advance payment issues;

  • acting for a contractor in relation to a road of national significance in Romania, using the FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Plant and Design Build (the Gold Book) as amended, involving several dispute adjudication board referrals and an ICC arbitration;

  • advising a contractor on an investment treaty claim in relation to a wind farm development in Romania;

  • acting for a contractor in relation to several disputes involving the contractor’s employer (the primary contractor) and its subcontractors, in relation to the construction of a significant infrastructure project in the United Arab Emirates, under a bespoke contract and including a DIAC arbitration;

  • acting for a contractor in relation to defending an Attachment Order before the Abu Dhabi courts, including progressing a Grievance through to the Court of Appeal, a potential criminal claim, and relief via partial awards in a DIAC arbitration;

  • acting for a contractor in a court-appointed expert procedure in the Abu Dhabi courts;

  • acting for a contractor in relation to the construction of an iconic hotel in Abu Dhabi in an ICC arbitration;

  • acting for a contractor in relation to a claim for breach of contract in the manufacture and supply of armoured vehicles in Iraq;

  • acting for a contractor in relation to a dispute with the employer involving the construction of oilfield development works in Iraq, under a bespoke contract;

  • acting for a contractor in relation to a dispute with the employer involving a bespoke EPC contract for production infrastructure in an oilfield in Iraq, including in relation to an investment treaty claim against the state of Iraq;

  • acting for a Turkish electrical cable manufacturer in a dispute in the UK Technology and Construction Court;

  • acting for a state-owned enterprise in a significant mining dispute under bespoke arbitration rules;

  • appearing for a contractor in proceedings before the High Court of New Zealand in relation to rock-stabilisation works, including obtaining a Mareva injunction, leave to proceed against a company in liquidation and a successful court judgment;

  • acting for a contractor in a dispute with a Crown entity in relation to a large number of contracts under a framework agreement, and a criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office;

  • acting for a large number of commercial and residential parties in disputes involving the reinstatement of buildings after earthquake, including negotiation of construction contracts, dispute negotiation, mediation and litigation;

  • advising the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in relation to high-profile High Court and Court of Appeal cases concerning earthquake reinstatement works (culminating in University of Canterbury v The Insurance Council of New Zealand Incorporated (ICNZ) – [2013] NZCA 471);

  • advising a Crown entity in relation to risk and delivery of a key infrastructure (“Anchor Project”) development in Christchurch, New Zealand. This involved drafting requests for tenders and construction contracts for the various stages of the project, and facilitating execution;

  • drafting the head contract and side agreements in respect of the reinstatement (repair and rebuild) of an iconic art gallery. This involved negotiation with the various parties prior to execution and during construction;

  • drafting submissions on behalf of the New Zealand Law Society in relation to proposed legislation on the seismic performance of buildings in New Zealand.

Other activities and memberships

Robbie regularly writes articles and contributes to Fenwick Elliott publications and seminars. He is also a member of the Society of Construction Law.