An accomplished lawyer and strategist, Adam is a leading advisor to senior management and executive teams of some of Australia’s largest corporations.
Adam has developed expertise from well over a decade of top-tier legal practice providing legal and commercial support to major capital and infrastructure projects. In addition to his depth of major capital projects experience, Adam has amassed vast experience advising clients in relation to the management of corporate risk, business strategy and governance issues and is frequently sought after to develop and lead strategies for the resolution of corporate disputes and to solve business issues for clients.
Recognised for his pragmatic, forthright advice, client service focus, and depth of understanding of his clients’ businesses, Adam is sought after by industry.
Adam has led legal and commercial support to many multi-billion dollar infrastructure and energy projects in Australia, and he and his team regularly support the delivery of built assets across most sectors in Australia, as well as the resolution of disputes or issues that threaten project success.
In a distinguished career to date, Adam was appointed equity partner of Asia Pacific’s largest tier one international law firm before retiring from partnership to form Merlehan Group in pursuit of his desire to offer a multi-disciplinary top tier legal and commercial advisory service to clients. Adam brings together highly talented people who are passionate about seeing our clients succeed and enables clients to access this talent on demand through Merlehan Group’s holistic and deep understanding of their business and needs.
In addition to leading Merlehan Group, Adam regularly contributes to philanthropic causes including co-founding charity, Save Lives Donate Organs Inc, which raises awareness of the benefits of organ donation throughout the country and provides support and a financial lifeline for those who, through no fault of their own, are suffering from organ failure, awaiting an organ transplant and experiencing financial duress.
- Major capital and infrastructure project delivery
- Legal, commercial and corporate risk management
- Dispute resolution
- Business strategy and executive advisory
- Led legal and strategic response on behalf of a state-owned-enterprise and key actor involved in the design and construction of Paradise Dam’s response to the Commission of Inquiry in alleged stability issues with Paradise Dam. Engagement involved legal and strategic counsel to executive management team, leadership of legal team, briefing and instructing Queens Counsel, review of more than 75,000 documents of potential relevance, preparation of lay witness evidence and engagement with expert witnesses, attendance at Commission hearings and procurement of public relations expertise.
- Led investigation into failure of water storage dam for ASX20 listed mining corporation. Engagement involved review of 5,500 project records, interview of lay witnesses, briefing and written report to chief legal counsel and executive.
- Execution and tender strategy development, documentation preparation, commercial negotiations and evaluation of bids for major contracts to deliver a $2bn brownfields underground mine expansion project for one of Australia’s largest mining corporations.
- Legal and commercial defence of $35m delay, disruption claim on a new mine development project for one of the world’s largest mining corporations. Strategy development and executive coaching; review of evidence involving >20,000 project documents. Successfully resolved for less than 10% of the claim value within 3 months.
- Strategic legal defence of $90m delay, disruption and acceleration claim on major multi-billion dollar infrastructure project for project owner
- Execution and contracting strategy, drafting and negotiation of all construction and procurement contracts, provision of legal advice, issues management and dispute resolution for end-to-end delivery of a $3bn new mine development project for one of the world’s largest mining corporations (feasibility study to project close-out). Project ultimately delivered on time, and under budget, standing as the most recent mega-project in Australia to achieve these outcomes.
- Led response to the insolvency of a key civil contractor part way through completion of a $2bn infrastructure project. Strategic counsel, litigation and front-end contract drafting and strategy advice to see recovery of schedule and minimise project costs. Mitigation of resulting delay and disruption to project and separate contractors. Novel conversion of cost models under distressed existing lump sum contracts part way through execution to alliance contracts yielding alignment and extracting value for the project. Successful defence of ambit liquidator claims in contested litigation across multiple jurisdictions in Australia. Conduct of associated disputes including injunctions in Federal Court of Australia to advance project recovery.
- Commercial advisory, strategy, commercial and legal bid support for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped-hydro renewable project – Australia’s largest renewable energy project
- Led legal function and provided commercial decision making support end to end to project leadership team for a new $2.6bn mine development project.
- Defence of claims against major developer and led strategy for recommencement of distressed project following insolvency of head contractor. Strategic defence of liquidator claims. Strategic advice and representation for developer at resulting public examination in Federal Court of Australia.
- Risk management, drafting and negotiation of managing contractor delivery model for $300m redevelopment of an operating international airport in Australia
- Advice to Executive Chairman in relation to $300m private equity transaction in a major sporting organisation in Australia
- Led multi-disciplinary team conducting business strategy review for APAC region of an international high-end product supplier, including: marketing function reset, business optimisation, cost rationalisation, executive leadership team reset, coaching, and financial turnaround initiatives