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 his practice on infrastructure procurement, contracting, financing and payment structures for large-scale transportation and social infrastructure projects including design-build, design-build-operate-maintain, toll concession, availability payment, pre-development, construction management at-risk (CMAR) and other types of public-private partnership (PPP) contracts.  He offers strategic and practical advice on a broad range of design, construction, public and private financing, and contract administration matters.  These include TIFIA, RRIF, Private Activity Bonds (PABs) and other forms of innovative finance.

Mr. Robinson provides strategic advice on the development of alternative methods to finance and facilitate infrastructure development including early project identification, screening and development; feasibility studies including value for money; inter-agency organization and collaboration; industry partnering; and public-private financing.

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 innovative projects in California, Oregon and Washington. 

Before relocating to the United States, Mr. Robinson worked in construction law and major projects at international law firm DLA Piper.  He is conversationally fluent in French.

Representative Work

  • California High-Speed Rail Authority – California High-Speed Rail.  Member of the Nossaman team advising CHSRA on institutional arrangements, procurement plan and financing options.  The $68 billion California High-Speed Rail project will connect Northern to Southern California.  It is the first high-speed rail project in North America and among the largest global infrastructure projects ever undertaken.  Nossaman serves as primary outside legal advisor to CHSRA for this 800-mile, 24-station system using a series of design-build contracts.  Mr. Robinson advises CHSRA on a broad range of projects including those for civil works, trackage, rail-car acquisition and consulting services.  He assists with structuring the procurement, 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. 
  • City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports – Landside Access Modernization Program at LAX.  Key member of the legal team advising on a $4 billion-plus DBOM PPP program to add a consolidated rental car facility, automated people mover and intermodal transportation facilities to ease traffic through the busiest airport in the greater Los Angeles region.  The project will also feature a light rail line connection, roadway improvements and related utility relocations.  The elevated, approximately 2.25-mile long people mover will run between the new rental car center and the LAX terminals, with stops at the intermodal transportation facilities and light rail station.  Nossaman is assisting the City in the procurement process, which is in the beginning stages.  Mr. Robinson is assisting with planning and feasibility issues and related legal advisory work for delivery of the project.
  • University of California Board of Regents – UC Merced 2020 Campus Expansion Project.  Member of the Nossaman team advising on procurement of a project to accommodate growth of the university system's newest campus from the current 6,200 students to 10,000 students by 2020.  The DBFOM project will create up to 1.85 million 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 PPP availability payment model, the closely watched project is expected to serve as a template for other college campuses looking to upgrade through the innovative method.  The Board of Regents announced a shortlist of three proposers in January 2015.  Nossaman's services include assisting with structuring the procurement, drafting and finalizing procurement and contract documents, and developing the evaluation process.
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – PPP Program.  Member of the legal team advising on project selection, procurement and award of PPP projects for Los Angeles Metro.  Nossaman serves as key adviser to the agency on the procurement of availability payment contracts to design, build, operate and maintain potential PPP projects, including the Accelerated Regional Transportation Improvements Project ($800 million of bundled highway improvements in Los Angeles County) and the Sepulveda Pass Project (pursuit of a pre-development agreement for an approximately 10-mile transit and managed lanes tunnel project through the Sepulveda Pass between the I-101 and I-10, with preliminary capital costs in the range of $6 to $10 billion).  Mr. Robinson assists with drafting pre-procurement documents (including value-for-money analyses), application for project approval with the California Transportation Commission, application for TIFIA credit assistance and related legal research.  He also assists in drafting procurement and contract documents.
  • New York State Thruway Authority – Tappan Zee Bridge.  Member of legal team serving as procurement and contracting counsel to replace a three-mile-long cantilever span.  The Tappan Zee Bridge project is said by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be the state's single most pressing infrastructure need.  The state awarded a $3.1 billion design-build contract to replace the Tappan Zee with a cable-stayed, dual-span bridge to last the next 100 years.  The bridge is being designed and built by consortium Tappan Zee Constructors.  The project is the first design-build project undertaken by NYSTA and that nation's largest to date.  Construction began in 2013.  The first span of the new bridge is scheduled to open in 2016.  The complete bridge will open 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, assessment of project risk and development of risk-allocation matrices.

Prior Experience

Before joining Nossaman in 2011, Mr. Robinson worked in the Sydney, Australia office of DLA Piper. He was also a federal court intern for the Honorable James L. Cott, United States Court, Southern District of New York. In this role he assisted with drafting opinions and researching and participating in pre-trial motions and settlement conferences.

Awards & Honors

Named a Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star" in 2015 by Los Angeles magazine.

Tristan  Robinson
Bio Photo



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

Named a Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star" in 2015 by Los Angeles magazine.

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