Matthew Bliem

Matthew Bliem

Special Counsel
Baker & McKenzie


Matthew is a special counsel in the construction team in Melbourne (and was previously in the Dispute Resolution team in London). He advises and acts for clients in litigation, arbitration and other construction disputes. He has acted on large disputes relating to infrastructure, environment, government and commercial matters.

His experience includes arbitrations (both domestic and international), Supreme Court trials, other litigations (including working on a large representative proceedings or class action in the Federal Courts) and other alternative forms of dispute resolution. He has been involved in disputes in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania. Matthew also assists on front-end contract preparation and advisory work.

Practice Focus

Matthew's practice focuses on contentious matters. He has experience in arbitrations involving the ICC, LCIA and ACICA Rules (amongst others).  His matters include acting for and against contractors on large construction projects, including manufacturing, waste and chemical plants, power infrastructure, rail infrastructure, oil and gas infrastructure, pipelines, buildings and other government projects.  He also deals with insurance issues resulting from large projects.

Matthew has advised and assisted principals and contractors on claims and liabilities arising during works on major projects and infrastructure works. These included claims that arose due to the need for continued infrastructure operation and public access to sites, from representations made by the principal during tender processes and from defects being identified after construction.

Matthew has also prepared suites of contracts for large high-rise residential construction works, consultants' arrangements, contaminated waste disposal contracts, contracts for education facilities and contracts for other large infrastructure projects.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Acting for the owner of a large chemical plant in the Middle East against the design and construction consortium in a USD billion dollar dispute
  • Acting on an ICC arbitration in relation to a large commercial building project in Eastern Europe
  • Acting for the development manager on a large-scale commercial and residential development with all associated infrastructure in the Middle East against the project owner
  • Acting in the ongoing Supreme Court of Victoria dispute McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) v Santam which set precedent on electronic discovery procedures 
  • Acting for a large construction contractor in an international arbitration on infrastructure for a SE Asia power station 
  • Acting in Supreme Court of Victoria dispute BioVision 2020 and SITA Australia v Conporec, RCR Tomlinson and Ors on large waste disposal plant
  • Acting for the design joint venture in a dispute relating to a large desalination plant project

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Society of Construction Law - Member
  • International Law Section, Law Institute of Victoria - Committee member
  • International Chamber of Commerce – Young Arbitrator's Forum - Member
  • Law Institute of Victoria - Member


  • Victoria~Australia (2012)


  • Monash University (LL.B., B.Com.)


  • English

Previous Offices

  • London
  • Contributor to the Baker McKenzie Asia Pacific Regional Construction Guide, listing jurisdiction-specific issues for 11 key jurisdictions in Asia Pacific
  • Expert Determination – The Peter Pan of ADR? Challenges to the Expert Determination Process and Practical Insights for Its Use
  • Comparative Australian Federal and State Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Laws