Fulton Hogan, Taramakau Bridge Greymouth Juno Legal
Taramakau Bridge, Greymouth. Construction: Fulton Hogan. Client: NZTA

Can you give us an overview of the legal function at Fulton Hogan and how it supports the work of the organisation?

As a contracting business, contracts are at the heart of Fulton Hogan. It follows, then, that the legal function is central to ensuring the business facilitates its agreements and meets its contractual obligations with commensurate accuracy and timeliness.

Fulton Hogan’s legal team comprises three highly experienced lawyers – General Counsel Reece Poutawera and Senior Legal Counsels Helen Brown and Lucy Glausiuss.

What does the team do to build and enhance the influence of the in-house legal function across the organisation?

Fulton Hogan’s legal team’s work is wide and varied and includes advising on construction contracts, land and equipment acquisitions and dispositions, commercial contracts, company matters, employment matters, consenting matters, terms of trade, and supply agreements. The legal team works closely and collaboratively with the wider Fulton Hogan team to ensure that legal matters are dealt with in a considered and timely manner which helps make the boat go faster.

What are some of the ways the team keeps energised?

A benefit of being in-house is that the legal team has an intimate knowledge of the business and its people—a proximity that also helps energise team members.

They often visit sites, for example, to better appreciate the physical assets they are involved with legally.

The team is also closely involved with the health & safety function, and with health & safety incidents of significant scale.

Where specialist advice is necessary on any legal work, the company values the insights and input of external legal providers.

Foremost is the sheer amount and variety of work that flows across their desks, given Fulton Hogan is a 10,000 person business (across New Zealand and Australia) that is vertically integrated through the supply chain, from the quarry to the quality sign-off of projects. This creates multiple touchpoints with other businesses, joint ventures, customers, and government (local and central).

The legal challenges the team face are many and varied, which is the way they like it. It is something they thrive on.