Quality and consistency through collaboration

Suzy Cairney
Suzy Cairney
Suzy Cairney Partner
t: +61 7 3016 5009
o: Brisbane

Suzy Cairney


About Suzy

With over 25 years’ experience in Australia and overseas, Suzy is a skilful major projects lawyer. She was born in Scotland, and after a few years travelling the world, she now calls Queensland home. 

Suzy is a recognised Legal Influencer for Infrastructure – Australasia (Lexology Content Marketing Awards for Q1 2019).  She also serves on the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland, the Board of the Infrastructure Association of Queensland (and past Deputy Chair) and the Queensland Committee of Redkite.

What she does

Suzy has a real depth of experience in managing and delivering major projects.  Although she has worked on almost all types of major projects from inception to operations and decommissioning, these days she focuses mainly on the ports, water, resource recovery and renewables industries.  

Suzy has also worked in several in-house counsel roles in Australia and overseas, including as European Legal Counsel for the Port of Singapore’s main non-Asian subsidiary based in Belgium, as Corporate Counsel for Sunwater, as project lawyer for Xstrata’s Wandoan coal mine and as Contracts Manager on the Legacy Way Project in Brisbane.  This gives her an outcomes-driven orientation to working with her clients.

As her clients will attest, Suzy adopts a pragmatic approach to legal matters.  She actively manages clients’ needs and expectations by providing excellent customer service and ensuring regular communication during any procurement process or deal. She is also happy to provide direct “yes/no” answers when called upon. Suzy is team-focused and loves to work with industry specialists to solve problems—always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow.

Who she works with

Suzy works mostly with site owners and developers, utilities, government entities and contractors, while she also advises consultants, financiers and operators, depending on the project.


Suzy has a First-Class Honours Degree in Law, and a Diploma in Legal Practice, both from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.  She is admitted to practice in England and Wales, New South Wales as well as Queensland.

Life before Sparkes

Suzy joined Sparke Helmore as a partner from the Construction & Infrastructure team at Holding Redlich.  Prior to that, Suzy worked in the Major Projects team at Allens.

Life outside of Sparkes

Suzy has a Scottish husband and three Australian kids, plus two dogs, and she loves spending time with all of them.  Suzy’s daughter is trying to teach her Russian, while her oldest son is trying to teach her to play drums and her youngest son keeps beating her at Battleships. In whatever time is left, Suzy enjoys walking, music, making teddy bears and trying to learn Hindi.

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