Nossaman LLP

CA: Nossaman LLP Adds Australian Public-Private Partnerships Attorney Elizabeth Cousins

Nossaman LLP has enhanced its internationally recognized public infrastructure law practice with the hiring of Australian public-private partnership (P3) attorney Elizabeth (Liz) Cousins.

A native of Perth who has spent the majority of her legal career in Melbourne, Cousins brings extensive experience on complex and cutting-edge transactions in an array of infrastructure sectors including road, rail, health, justice and water. Before joining Nossaman, she worked at Clayton Utz Lawyers, one of Australia’s most respected law firms, on some of that nation's largest and most significant infrastructure projects.

Nossaman seeks to leverage Cousins’ Australian P3 knowledge to further enhance the work they are doing for the Firm’s clients in the US P3 space. The addition of Cousins comes on the heels of the recent hiring of Canadian Andrée Blais, demonstrating Nossaman’s commitment to growing their Infrastructure practice to respond to clients’ expanding needs and the increase in P3 opportunities in the US.

“We have been actively increasing the breadth and depth of our P3 practice by learning from other countries that have much longer histories than the US does on innovative P3 transactions,” explains Patrick Harder, chair of Nossaman's Infrastructure Practice Group. “Australia and Canada serve as perfect examples. Those countries have robust and demonstrated experience, legal wisdom, and a tradition of exemplary legal practice in the P3 space.  Liz fits in perfectly with our strategy of expanding our knowledge base by welcoming distinguished P3 practitioners from other jurisdictions.

“While working at one of the finest firms in Australia for P3s, Liz has demonstrated superior skill and knowledge on major P3 transactions in transportation, water and social infrastructure. She has also worked for both the public and private sectors. That alone affords us great advantage. But because of her maturity and experience, we can and will place her on a major transaction at a very high level.”

Cousins combines strategic procurement and business-case preparation advice with strong front-end contract drafting and negotiating skills to assist clients in all aspects of project delivery — from feasibility study, tender processes, and contract drafting through to operation, maintenance, and contract management.

Some of her more notable projects include the AS$6-$8 billion East-West Link - one of the largest P3 infrastructure projects to be procured in Australia; A$5 billion Airport Link and Northern Busway project—Australia’s largest toll road at the time of procurement; the A$670 million Peninsula Link project—Australia’s first availability P3 road project; the A$232 million Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison project; the A$1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital project; and the A$5.7 billion Victorian Desalination Project—the largest Australian water P3 ever delivered.

Cousins looks to put her extensive P3 experience to work in the US.

“I had wanted to gain international experience and upon looking in the US, I discovered Nossaman. As the leading firm for public sector P3s and other innovative financing procurements, there really was no other choice for me. Their practice fits perfectly with my experience and I look forward to helping them expand their portfolio in the P3 domain.”

Cousins has relocated to California and recently became licensed to practice law in California. Admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in March 2006, Cousins earned a Bachelor of Laws from Murdoch University in Western Australia, as well as her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in 2004.

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