John has over 20 years’ experience handling complex building and construction, insurance and professional negligence litigation in Australia and overseas.
John is listed in Band 1 and one of only nine ranked junior barristers in Australia for Construction & Infrastructure by Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific 2018, having been previously listed as one of only eight junior construction barristers in 2017 (and one of only five in 2016). He has also been listed by the Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 for Construction & Infrastructure and also recognised as a leading junior barrister for Construction by Doyle’s Guide 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 (Queensland and National).
Whilst practicing predominantly in the building and construction field, John also appears in a broad range of commercial disputes, including contract law, insurance, professional negligence, insolvency, and trade practices. He is listed as a ‘leading’ junior for Commercial Litigation & Disputes in Doyle’s Guide 2015 and 2016, and for Commercial Law by Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers 2017, 2018 and 2019.
He appears in all courts, arbitrations and commissions of inquiry and represents clients in mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
John was called to the Bar in 2010 and prior to this he was a partner of a national, now international, law firm, where he was in charge of the firm’s Australian Projects Litigation stream. John also lectures at the University of Melbourne in the Construction Law Masters of Law Program and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Melbourne Law Masters Construction Law Program.
John Baartz has appeared in a wide range of disputes in all sectors of industry relating to, for example: mines, ports, roads, bridges, pipelines, tunnels, industrial complexes, shopping centres and residential developments.
Examples of litigation, arbitrations and disputes in which John is currently, or has recently been, involved include:
- Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd ats Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd: (QLD Supreme Court) a major dispute concerning civil and infrastructure works carried out on Wiggins Island in the Port of Gladstone; the claim involves disputed variations and EOT claims, alleged loss of productivity and delay damages;
- Owners Corporation for Silverstone v Villa World Ltd: a major dispute in the Federal Court of Australia (Sydney Registry) concerning the breakdown of the internal and external walls and metal reinforcement in a high rise residential tower in Tweed Heads the breakdown of the internal and external walls and metal reinforcement in a high rise residential tower in Tweed Heads;
- Bradley Duncan & Ors v Villa World Ltd: a class action in the Federal Court of Australia (Sydney Registry) brought by the lot owners in Silverstone for their loss arising from the breakdown of the internal and external walls and metal reinforcement in a high rise residential tower in Tweed Heads;
- Body Corporate for Brighton on Broadwater v Karimbla: a major dispute in the Supreme Court of Queensland concerning major defects in the Brighton on Broadwater high rise development on the Gold Coast;
- Fluor Australia Pty Ltd Ex Parte: Santos Ltd re GLNG Project: a half billion dollar pipeline dispute;
- Allways Resources Holdings Pty Ltd & Anor v Samgris Resources Pty Ltd and Anor: an oppression action concerning Queensland mining tenements.
- Siemens Limited v Forge Construction Pty Ltd: A major dispute in the Supreme Court of Queensland concerning the engineering, procurement and construction of the Diamantina Power Gas Fired Power Station;
- University of Queensland ex parte Lend Lease –disputation concerning the construction by Lend Lease of the new Oral Health Centre at the Royal Brisbane Hospital;
- Fraser Coast Regional Council and Wide By Water Corporation v GHD Pty Ltd and Sunwater Limited: a dispute concerning the alleged negligent design of the raising of the Lenthall’s Dam;
- Sunshine Coast Regional Council v Earthpro Pty Ltd and Ors: an injunction proceeding (and subsequent action) to have set aside an adjudication determination under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act;
- Shovlin Plant Hire (Australia) Pty Ltd v John Holland Pty Ltd: breach of contract claim concerning ballast undercutting services;
- LCR Lindores Group Pty Ltd v Lampson (Australia) Pty Ltd, Wesfarmers Curragh Pty Ltd and G&S Engineering Services Pty Ltd: a major dispute concerning the collapse of a dragline boom at Curragh Mine;
- Industry Funds Management (Nominees 2) Pty Limited v McGee Isles Love Pty Limited: a substantial negligent valuation case;
- Equititrust Limited (In Liquidation) (Receivers and Managers Appointed) v KCRAM Pty Ltd (In Liquidation), Christopher Glen Kogler and Michael William Cook (8109/12 and 8110/12): a negligent valuation case concerning allegedly defective valuations in excess of $80 million;
- “Certain Underwriters At Lloyd’s” Subscribing To Policy Of Insurance No. 51747v07a V CB Richard Ellis (C) Pty Ltd: negligent valuation claim;
- Oakland Investments (Aus) Limited v Certain Underwriters at Lloyds’ subscribing to a policy of insurance: policy indemnity dispute;
- Supabrook Pty Ltd v Kadixon Pty Ltd & Kenneth James Dixon: misuse of confidential information case;
- Calliden Insurance Limited & Innovation Group (Claims Services) Pty Ltd ats Equititrust Limited (Receivers and Managers Appointed) (in liquidation): policy indemnity dispute in respect of a fire claim.
In addition to trial and appeal work, John regularly provides advice and drafts documents for use in building and construction disputes, including payment schedules and adjudication applications and responses under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 1999. He also lectures widely on matters of building and construction law.
Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers
- 2016 – Recommended for Construction & Infrastructure
- 2017 – Recommended for Construction & Infrastructure
- 2018 – Recommended for Commercial Law and Construction & Infrastructure
- 2019 – Recommended for Commercial Law and Construction & Infrastructure
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific 2016-2018 – Ranked junior barrister (Band 1) for Construction & Infrastructure
- 2016 “excellent reputation in construction work“, “extremely commercial and very strategic”
- 2017 “knowledgeable and pragmatic”
- 2018 “bright, personable lawyer with a strong construction skill set and good client relationship skills” and “he is very hard-working, is good on analysing issues, and thinks very tactically and strategically.”
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2017 – Construction & Infrastructure Barristers (National) – Recommended Junior Counsel
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 – Construction & Infrastructure Barristers (Queensland) – Leading Junior Counsel
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2016 – Commercial Litigation & Disputes Barristers (Queensland) – Leading Junior Counsel
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2015 – Commercial Litigation & Disputes Barristers (Queensland) – Recommended Junior Counsel
2017 Bar Association of Queensland, Committee Member, Building & Construction Committee
2014 Bar Association of Queensland, Committee Member, Business & Consumer Law Committee
2007-date Lecturer and Senior Fellow, Melbourne Law Masters Construction Law Programme, University of Melbourne
2007-date Member of the Advisory Board, Melbourne Law Masters Construction Law Program, University of Melbourne
1991 Solicitor High Court of Judicature
Bar Association of Queensland
2010 Barrister, Queensland
1998 Partner, Allen Allen & Hemsley (now Allens Linklaters)
1990 Solicitor of High Court of Judicature (England and Wales)
1989 Solicitor of Supreme Court of Queensland
2007 LLM, University of Melbourne
1987 LLB (Hons), University of Queensland