Robert Holt QC

Robert Holt QC specialises in major construction and mining infrastructure litigation, both at first instance and on Appeal.  He also appears in major arbitrations.  Robert practises Australia-wide and has Chambers in both Sydney and Brisbane.

He was appointed Senior Counsel in 1995 and has been briefed in major construction disputes in Queensland as Junior Counsel and then Senior Counsel for some thirty-six years. 

Robert is a Chartered Arbitrator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Grade 1 Arbitrator with the Resolution Institute and a Fellow of ACICA.

He has been listed by Doyle’s Guide as pre-eminent Senior Counsel in Construction Law from since its inception to 2019 and in Best Lawyers in Australia from 2009 to 2019. 

Robert’s areas of expertise are:

  • A specialist practice in major construction, engineering and mining infrastructure litigation including large and complex arbitrations.  These disputes have covered all aspects of the construction industry and relate to civil engineering, the construction of high rise buildings, dams, bridges, tunnels, earth works, wash plants and other mining plant and infrastructure.

    While the disputes in which Robert has appeared are too numerous to mention specifically some of those disputes have concerned the Queensland Museum, the Ipswich Hospital, Southbank Parklands, the Burdekin Falls Dam, the construction of a Coal Wash Plant at Blackwater, coal mining water supply agreements, irrigation pipeline contracts, natural gas pipeline construction, the construction of a coffer dam for coal mining in Queensland, the Townsville Hospital, the redevelopment of the Treasury Building, the Brisbane Busway, dredging disputes in Queensland and the Northern Territory, the construction of the Abbott Point Coal Terminal, a tailings dam at Goonyella and an ICC arbitration in Hong Kong concerning the dredging of Port Phillip Bay.

  • Acting in professional negligence actions in the context of construction and engineering including major disputes relating to mining infrastructure design.

  • In addition to trials and arbitrations, acting in numerous disputes concerning the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act (Qld).

  • In recent years, Robert has focused his practice on arbitration and expert determination.  He has:

    • acted as an arbitrator and mediator in many construction disputes. Current and past arbitrations relate to claims in respect of mining infrastructure development, design of machinery, damage to pipelines in transit, the quality of materials used in construction, defective machinery, extensions of time, defects and variations.

    • acted as an expert in numerous large and complex expert determinations both binding and non-binding in construction disputes related to the construction of high rise buildings in Brisbane, a major sewer tunnel, a major shopping centre development in Sydney, a Coal Handling Preparation Plant, a major tunneling infrastructure project in Sydney, gas pipeline works in Queensland, rail infrastructure disputes in the coal mining industry and motorway upgrades.

Robert has presented papers for various organizations including the Queensland Bar Association, the Society of Construction Lawyers Australia and the Building Dispute Practitioners Association.  He has also presented at conferences convened by the Resolution Institute and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

He is the Chair of the Construction Law Committee of the Bar Association of Queensland.

Areas of Practice

> Building & Construction
> Commercial
> Infrastructure & Projects
> International 
> Mediation


1995  Appointed Senior Counsel
1978  Admitted as Barrister
1973  Admitted as Solicitor


IAMA - Grade 1 Arbitrator
Chartered Arbitrator
Fellow - ACICA

Contact Details

P: (07) 3221 9561
F: (07) 3229 6628

Sydney Chambers 

5 Wentworth Chambers