Pinsent Masons acts on $135m hospital expansion

Projects show that significant extensions in PPP deals are possible despite long-term contracts, says firm’s partner

Pinsent Masons acts on $135m hospital expansion
Pinsent Masons has acted on the design and construction contract for the $135m expansion project of Casey Hospital in southeast Melbourne.

The firm advised construction firm Watpac on several legal documents, including the project agreement, the design and construct contract, the interface agreement, and the funding and tripartite deeds.

The 273-bed hospital was completed in 2004 under a PPP contract. The expansion project is funded by the Victorian government and takes place within the existing PPP framework.

“With PPP contracts typically lasting two to three decades, we have long predicted that there will be an increase in the number of major extensions or upgrades to existing projects under PPP contracts, required as a result of projects needing significant increases in capacity and other upgrades,” said Pinsent Masons partner Greg Campbell, who led the team that advised Watpac. “The negotiation of the Casey Hospital Expansion Project within the pre-existing contractual framework is the latest in a growing number of PPPs undergoing augmentation to cater to technological and societal changes.”

According to the law firm, the 13,000-square-metre expansion will include 160 new beds, six new operating theatres, its first intensive care unit, additional recovery capacity, an upgraded pharmacy, pathology and back-of-house spaces, a day surgery division, more than 300 new car spaces, and a front entry building that includes education and training areas for Monash University.

Campbell was supported by senior associate James Moor, and lawyer Julian Grant. Financial Close was achieved on 8 September.

“This project, among others, demonstrates that significant extensions to existing projects are possible despite PPPs often being locked into 25-year contracts. We expect to see this trend continue, especially considering large-scale infrastructure projects will demand ongoing modification in the face of rapid change,” Campbell said.

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