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Shani Gunawardana LLB, BA

Senior Associate

Shani Gunawardana's practice focuses on construction, engineering and infrastructure dispute resolution in the context of the PPP/PFI regime.

Shani provides advice to clients across the spectrum of PPP/PFI projects including Central Government, the Public Sector, Private Sector Entities (including secondary market investment entities) and Contractors.

Shani has experience in all forms of dispute resolution including litigation, mediation, adjudication and arbitration.

She provides clear, pragmatic, real world advice which focuses on strategically and cost effectively achieving client objectives.

Professional QualificationsBarrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand


  • Representing a Body Corporate on a multiparty claim in respect of defective fire doors installed in an apartment building
  • Representing a number of construction companies to recover debts under the Constructions Contracts Act 2002
  • Acting as lead counsel to successfully defend several summary judgments for recovery of progress claims/final accounts
  • Representing one of New Zealand's largest banks in mortgage sale shortfall recovery work
  • Assisting with a High Court action to defend a breach of contract claim
  • English
  • Sinhala
  • Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand, Bachelor of Laws, 2014

  • Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand, Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Political Science and International Relations,) 2014

  • College of Law New Zealand, Professional Legal Studies, 2014                                                                                                                                          

Prior Experience

  • Advising an FM Contractor through the operational phase of the PFI in the on-going rectification of defects. As well as
  • Acting for a multi-investor Project Co in respect of multiple disputes arising from a hospital project. This matter was resolved through a complex range of dispute avoidance and resolution strategies put in place to limit the Project Co's exposure to deductions and effective stabilise the Project when it was at the risk of termination.
  • Advising Project Co in respect of defects identified in a social housing project. The issuing arising include contractual interpretation of the notification provisions, and limitations of liability under the contract, defect issues (fire compartmentation and fire stopping) and the on-going rectification of defects.

Memberships And Affiliations

Member of the Society of Construction Law



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