Francis Tiernan QC
Francis Tiernan QC
LL. B., B. Juris.
01 March 1980
Signed Bar Roll:
19 November 1981
24 November 2009
Owen Dixon Chambers West
Floor 5, Room 11
525 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Admitted to Practice:
Areas of Practice:
- Commercial Law
Francis Tiernan QC specialises in large scale construction and engineering disputes and professional negligence claims.
He also acts in general contractual disputes, trade practices, product liability cases and major torts.
BHP Billiton Olympic Dam Corporation Pty Ltd v. Steuler Services GmbH & Co KG; Protec Pacific Pty Ltd v. Steuler Services GmbH & Co KG (2007-2014)Mr Tiernan was briefed to act on behalf of Steuler in relation to proceedings brought by BHP and by Protec. The primary issue in dispute was BHP’s claim that Steuler engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in contravention of the Trade Practices Act by misrepresenting that a high density polyethelyne product manufactured by Steuler was suitable as a long term containment liner for use in a solvent extraction plant at BHP’s copper and uranium mine in Roxby Downs, South Australia. The liability trial –  VSC 322. The quantum trial –  VSC 659. The Court of Appeal hearing –  VSCA 338.
O'Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd v. John Holland Pty Ltd (2007-2009)
This case concerned the South-West Metropolitan Railway Line project. The RailLink Joint Venture (RLJV) was the head contractor under a contract with the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia. O’Donnell Griffin (ODG) was a subcontractor to RLJV. Mr Tiernan was briefed to act on behalf of ODG. It made certain claims against RLJV in respect of works performed by it under the subcontract. Part of the disputation involved an adjudication determination made in ODG’s favour. RLJV sought unsuccessfully to quash the determination –  25 BCL 313.
KT Pty Ltd v. Powerco Energy Services Pty Ltd (2007-2008)
This was an arbitration before Mr Graham Easton. Mr Tiernan was briefed to act on behalf of Powerco. Disputes arose in relation to Powerco’s contract with the State of Tasmania to supply and install the reticulated natural gas piping system throughout Tasmania. The arbitration commenced in 2007 and was settled just prior to the commencement of the hearing in 2008.
Aquasure Pty Ltd v. The State of Victoria (2011-2013)
Mr Tiernan was briefed jointly with John Karkar QC to act on behalf of the State of Victoria in relation to substantial claims made by the Aquasure Consortium in respect of the Victorian Desalination Project. Between 2011 and 2013 claims totalling approximately $3 billion were made by Aquasure. It issued proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2012. The disputes were settled in or about November 2013. In 2012 during the course of the proceedings, Aquasure made an Adjudication application in the sum of $26 million. The Adjudicator dismissed Aquasure’s application.
Metropolitan Fire & Emergency Services Board v. Yarra City Council & Ors. (2010-2015)
This case concerned negligence and Environment Protection Act claims arising out of the discovery in 2005 of a submerged masonry storage tank containing coal tar. Mr Tiernan was briefed to act on behalf of the City of Yarra. It was alleged that the coal tar was placed in the tank at some time between 1916 and 1964 whilst the former Richmond City Council operated a coal tar distillery at the site –  VSC 773. The decision is currently the subject of an appeal.
John Holland Pty Ltd v. Roads Corporation (VicRoads) (2014-2016)
This was an arbitration before Sir Vivian Ramsey. Mr Tiernan was briefed to act on behalf of VicRoads. The claim made by John Holland arose out of the design and construction of roadworks and bridgeworks for the duplication of a 23.5km stretch of the Western Highway in Victoria between Ballarat and Burrumbeet.
Guidera O'Connor Pty Ltd & Leed Engineering & Construction Pty Ltd v. Lower Murray Urban & Rural Water Corporation (2016 & 2017)
This is an arbitration before Mr Toby Shnookal QC, arising out of a contract between the GOLD Joint Venture and the Lower Murray Urban & Rural Water Corporation for the design and construction of irrigation systems within the Sunraysia region of north western Victoria. The disputes arose in relation to the upgrading of the pump station, replacement of key sections of the open channel system with a piped system, and the de-commissioning of the existing channels.
From 01 July 2008:
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.