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John Gallagher


John is a prominent expert in project structuring solutions for infrastructure and engineering projects. He is renowned in Australasia for his leadership in alliance contracting and collaborative project delivery strategies. Being a senior member of DLA Piper’s Finance and Projects team in Australia, he also leads the rapidly expanding Melbourne team. 

John excels in collaborative and relationship contracting, serving both government agencies like the Victorian and Queensland Governments and private sector clients, such as Kapsch, Thales, and Australian Football League. He's also collaborates with our international colleagues advising government agencies on alternative delivery project models. 

With a strong foundation in construction and project development law, as well as a background in architecture and a building certificate, John continues to be a pivotal figure in infrastructure and engineering projects.

Throughout his career, John has received numerous accolades, including "Best Lawyer" for Construction/Infrastructure Law, Water Law, and Project Finance and Development. He was inducted into The Legal 500 Hall of Fame for Construction.

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, 1998Solicitor of the High Court of Australia, 1996Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, 1996


  • Advising Sydney Water on the: structuring, procurement and negotiation of collaborative delivery (services and framework) agreements to implement a program management office, project management function and panels of delivery contractors to deliver is circa $1.7 billion capital investment program for 2013 - 2018; maintenance services agreement for the operational maintenance (mechanical and electrical) and facilities maintenance needs across Sydney Water's network assets program for 2013 - 2018 and alliance contracting structure for the delivery of the Malabar Process and Reliability/Renewal Program at Malabar WWTP
  • Advising Sydney Water and Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Ltd on all aspects of the structuring, procurement, tendering negotiation and delivery of the Sydney Desalination Plant, including advising on all operations and maintenance issues during the $2.3 Billion Re-Financing Transaction and advising Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Ltd on the operations and maintenance contracts for the plant and pipeline
  • Advising Melbourne Water develop and execute framework agreements (3 civil delivery agreements and 2 operational maintenance agreements) to implement a panel of service providers to deliver the circa $1.7 Billion capital investment program and all maintenance and low risk capital works across Melbourne Water's network on a term contract basis for Water Plan 3 (2013 - 2017)
  • Advising the Victorian Department of Transport (Regional Rail Link Authority) on strategic advice on procurement options, delivery models and project packaging solutions for the $4.2 Billion Regional Rail Link Project and all aspects of the structuring, procurement, tendering negotiation and delivery the two large (circa $1 billion) track and civil alliances through brownfield rail environments and provided the overall structure and commercial framework for the smaller (circa $150 million signalling and communications package)
  • Advising VicRoads (Roads Corporation) and Victorian Department of Transport to structure, develop, negotiate and implement two parallel road/rail grade separation project alliances (Springvale Rail Crossing Removal Project and Mitcham Rookes Road Rail Separation Project) as part of the Victorian Government's Rail/Grade Separation Project adopting the legal and commercial frameworks and the lessons learned from the Regional Rail Link Project incorporating and adopting the requirements of the National Alliance Contracting Policy and Guidance Materials. We have also advised the VicRoads on all 4 earlier road/rail grade separation project alliances and 8 road project alliances (including the $1.3 Billion M1 Upgrade Program incorporating the West Gate Bridge Strengthening Project) and Road Maintenance Program Alliance


    • John has been recognised as one of Australia's leading construction and project development lawyers by The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific (2007-2022) and as one of Australia’s leading construction lawyers by Chambers Asia-Pacific (2009-2022). As published by The Australian Financial Review, Best Lawyers also recognises John as one of Australia’s leading lawyers in the areas of construction/infrastructure, project finance and development practice, and water law.

    • From June 2020, John was confirmed as one of Australia's leading construction lawyers in The Global "Who's Who Legal – Construction", published by Law Business Research of London. In January 2021, John was recognised by Chambers Asia-Pacific and inducted into its Hall of Fame.

    • In May 2021, John was recognised as the 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” for his Government Practice in Melbourne at the Best Lawyers in Australia 2022 Awards.

    Memberships And Affiliations

    • AMPLA: The Resources and Energy Law Association
    • Alliancing Association of Australasia
    • Australian Society of Construction Law
    • Law Institute of Victoria