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Nossaman LLP

Tristan Robinson


T 213.612.7825
F 213.612.7801
777 South Figueroa Street, 34th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Tristan Robinson focuses on a wide variety of procurement, contracting, financing and payment structures for large transportation and social infrastructure projects.  His expertise traverses design-build, design-build-operate-maintain, toll concession, availability payment, pre-development, construction manager at-risk and other types of public-private partnership (P3) contracts. 

He offers strategic and practical advice on a broad range of design, construction, public and private financing and contract administration matters.  These include the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF), Private Activity Bonds (PABs) and other innovative funding tools.  He assists clients with early project identification, screening and development, feasibility studies including value-for-money, interagency organization and collaboration and industry partnering.

Mr. Robinson provides pro bono legal advice to the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, an independent non-profit organization that seeks to spur infrastructure innovation and investment and accelerate a pipeline of projects in California, Oregon and Washington.

Representative Work

  • City of Los Angeles/Los Angeles World Airports – Landside Access Modernization Program at LAX.  Key member of the legal team advising on a $5 billion program to ease access into and out of the second largest airport in the United States by developing a massive consolidated rental car center, an elevated 2.5-mile automated people mover system, intermodal transportation facilities and a joint station with LA Metro’s Crenshaw Light Rail Line.  Nossaman is assisting the City in its procurement of multiple contracts for the program, including separate DBFOM availability payment agreements for the $2.2 billion APM and $1.1 billion CONRAC elements.  Mr. Robinson is assisting with procurement, evaluation and contracting issues related to the automated people mover project.
  • California High-Speed Rail Authority – Fresno to Bakersfield Segment.  Member of the legal team advising on key elements of the first phase of a planned 800-mile, $68 billion high-speed train system connecting the state’s major urban centers.  Among many assignments, Nossaman has assisted in drafting procurement and contract documents and overseeing the award of a nearly $1 billion design-build contract to a Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons joint venture for the first 29-mile civil works section between Madera and Fresno, as well as a $1.37 billion design-build agreement with a Dragados/Flatiron consortium to develop the next 60-mile civil works segment south of Fresno – both at prices well under engineer’s estimates.  Nossaman also has advised the Authority regarding administration of the design-build contracts and the feasibility of using a P3 approach to project delivery, as well as Surface Transportation Board approvals for the project and state and federal environmental permitting, among other issues.  Mr. Robinson is advising the Authority on projects involving civil works, trackage, rail car acquisition and related consulting services.  He is helping to structure procurements, advising on financing options (including Proposition 1A bonds and funds available under the California Cap-and-Trade Program), drafting procurement and contract documents, and developing evaluation processes for contractor selection. 
  • University of California Board of Regents – UC Merced 2020 Campus Expansion Project.  Member of the legal team advising on this high profile project to accommodate growth of the university system’s newest campus from the current 6,700 students to 10,000 students by 2020.  The $1.3 billion project, procured as an availability payment-based P3, will add approximately 790,000 assignable square feet of new facilities, including student housing, administrative and research space, classrooms and recreational centers and associated infrastructure.  As the first university campus expansion in the United States to be undertaken using the P3 availability payment model, the closely watched project is expected to serve as a template for other colleges seeking to expand or rehabilitate their campuses.  In August 2016, the project reached commercial and financial close with a Plenary-led consortium featuring Webcor Construction LP as its design-build contractor and Johnson Controls, Inc. as its lead operations and management contractor.  Mr. Robinson has assisted in structuring the procurement, drafting and finalizing procurement and contract documents, and developing the evaluation process.  Project Finance International named the UC Merced 2020 Project the 2016 “Americas P3 Deal of the Year” and IJ Global honored it as the 2016 “North American Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year.”
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – P3 Program.  Member of the legal team advising on project selection, procurement and award of P3 projects for Los Angeles Metro.  Nossaman is advising the agency on procurement of DBOM availability payment contracts for potential projects.
  • New York State Thruway Authority – Tappan Zee Bridge.  Member of the legal team that advised on a project Gov. Andrew Cuomo has described as the state’s most pressing infrastructure need – replacement of an aging three-mile-long cantilever bridge over the Hudson River with a new cable-stayed, dual-span structure designed to last a century.  To help deliver the project, Nossaman drafted procurement and contract documents and assisted with the procurement, resulting in a $3.1 billion design-build contract with a Fluor-led consortium – $800 million less than the next lowest bidder – in the first such deal undertaken by the transportation agency and the largest in the country to date.  The contractor started construction in 2013 and is scheduled to complete the entire project in 2018.  Mr. Robinson assisted with drafting procurement and contract documents, contract administration (including drafting of contract addenda), analysis of construction-related legal issues and legal compliance, project risk assessment and development of risk-allocation matrices.

Prior Experience

Before relocating to the United States and joining Nossaman in 2011, Mr. Robinson worked in the Sydney, Australia office of DLA Piper, focusing on construction law and major projects. He also served as a federal court intern for the Honorable James L. Cott, United States Court, Southern District of New York, assisting in drafting opinions and researching and participating in pre-trial motions and settlement conferences.

Awards & Honors

Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star," Los Angeles magazine, 2015 - 2016

Tristan  Robinson
Tristan  Robinson



LL.M., Columbia University School of Law, 2011, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law

LL.B., University of Sydney Law School, 2009, with First Class Honors, Sydney Law Review

B.Ec., University of Sydney, 2006



Awards & Honors

Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star," Los Angeles magazine, 2015 - 2016

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