The Legal 500


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Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals

Marc Hanson’s non-contentious team at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is particularly known for its domestic employer-led work acting for clients such as Land Securities and Thames Water Utilities. The team is advising Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar in relation to the mixed-use development of the Shell Centre site on London’s South Bank. The ‘outstanding’ contentious team led by ‘tough commercial litigatorBob Maynard has ‘a huge caseload of very high-value claims’ and is acting for Balfour Beatty in an arbitration against Carillion relating to the design and build of a new hospital. Terry de Souza has ‘superb commercial judgement’ and Caroline Pope is ‘an intelligent and dangerous opponent’.

Probably the leading firm for construction disputes’, Pinsent Masons LLP’s contentious practice is ‘generally appointed by contractors’ and successfully acted on the first major adjudication against Crossrail. Key players in the team include head of disputes, Neal Morris, who is a ‘real fighter’; Andrew Hibbert, who wins praise for his ‘great tactical nous’; and London office head Martin Roberts. On the non-contentious side, Michael Watson leads the projects team, while Richard Laudy, who is singled out for his ‘sound judgement and hands-on approach’, has charge of infrastructure. The team is advising Balfour Beatty as delivery partner to CH2M Hill on the Environment Agency’s £300m contract for managing flood risk across the Thames estuary.

Litigator Tim Reid heads the four-partner construction practice at Ashurst, where the workload encompasses a broad range of areas including development, energy, transport and infrastructure. Renewable energy specialist Michael Smith has been particularly active and is advising the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the development of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. Smith is also acting for Interserve Construction in relation to the design and construction of a mechanical biological treatment facility and on-site gasification plant in Derby.

Baker & McKenzie LLP’s team is known for its international work, and is also active in the UK. Energy, mining and infrastructure practice head Mike Websterproposes solutions to overcome the obstacles’ and is advising Ma’aden on a significant expansion to its phosphate operations and the development of the Northern Promise industrial city. The team is advising Southern Water on issues relating to the handover of a wastewater treatment facility. On the disputes side, Steve Abraham and Jeremy Winter are handling a number of significant international arbitrations.

CMS’ practice, led by Victoria Peckett, advises a diverse range of investor, contractor and developer clients and ‘has real global reach in the markets which really matter’. In one contentious case, the team is advising Tramlink Nottingham on claims connected with the construction of a major upgrade to Nottingham’s tram network. Adrian Bell is singled out as being ‘innovative in claim management skills and a fine negotiator’. On the non-contentious side, Karen Clarkebrings a fresh and innovative approach’ and is advising The Wellcome Trust on the ongoing development of the globally renowned Wellcome Genome Campus project.

Eversheds LLP’s three-partner practice, led by Simon Oats, is particularly strong in the energy and rail sectors and acts for clients such as Centrica, EDF Energy and Crossrail. The team is advising Telehouse International Corporation of Europe on all construction aspects of its development of a new data centre at East India Docks. Disputes specialist James Pickavance has arrived from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and is acting for Lend Lease on a range of disputes in connection with the East Village in Stratford. Richard Ward is now based in the firm’s Qatar office.

Highly skilled construction and engineering law boutiqueFenwick Elliott LLP is known to handle ‘a very impressive range of complex cases’. As well as landing key roles in UK projects such as Crossrail and London Gateway Port, the team is also undertaking an increasing amount of international work in countries such as the US, Africa and Korea. Offshore wind farms is another growth area for the practice. Key players include the highly rated senior partner Simon Tolson, Nicholas Gould, who continues to advise Merlin Group on its global expansion programme, and Jeremy Glover, who shows ‘superb attention to detail’.

Practice head Jane Jenkins at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP leads a team that handles both contentious and non-contentious work and is ‘probably in the top five for construction and design appointments’. Highlights included advising the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the procurement aspects of the Thames Tideway Tunnel and acting for Urenco on the development of a legacy cylinder facility plant at Capenhurst. Sally Roe is ‘frighteningly good at working through very complex disputes’, while senior associate Kim Rosenberg is ‘very bright and enthusiastic’.

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Nicholas Downing leads on non-contentious matters and wins praise for his ‘great depth of knowledge’. As well as continuing to advise on a number of substantial projects in the UK real estate sector, Downing has also been active in the nuclear sector, and acted for longstanding client NNB Generation Company on the reactor contract for Hinkley Point. On the disputes side, the ‘very hands-on’ Mark Lloyd-Williams and newly made-up partner David Nitek have a focus on international disputes.

The ‘unflappable and personable’ Gillian Thomas has charge of non-contentious work at Hogan Lovells International LLP, where the practice continues to focus on high-value domestic and international projects. Thomas advised Paradise Circus on the initial phase of development for the Paradise Circus development in Birmingham. On the contentious side, John Gerszt’s team includes Tony Marshall and Rupert Sydenham, who win praise for their ‘good analytical skills’, and solicitor-advocate Roberta Downey.

Although probably best known for representing insurers and insureds in defending professional negligence claims, Mayer Brown International LLP’s contentious team is also active on behalf of a range of contractors and employers: the team acted for Costain in High Court proceedings against URS. Department head Michael Regan is ‘measured, controlled and practical to deal with’, while Sally Davies stands out ‘when it comes to the tactics of achieving a favourable settlement’. Key players in the non-contentious team include former quantity surveyor Christopher Fellowes and Jonathan Hosie.

Singled out as being ‘one of the top firms in the country for construction and engineering disputes’, Nabarro LLP’s practice is headed by the ‘shrewd and commercially minded’ Steven Williams and includes Kevin Joyce, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP, and Alistair McGrigor, who focuses on non-contentious work. The team has been acting for Greenland on the redevelopment of the RAM brewery site in Wandsworth and is also handling significant contentious work for a diverse range of clients including Ove Arup and Partners, FCC Environment (Berkshire) and Lend Lease.

White & Case LLP’s practice, which is led by FIDIC specialist Ellis Baker, exclusively focuses on high-value international work: the team is advising Qatar Rail on the construction of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project and is also advising Star Capital on the development of a 1,000MW DC power interconnector project between the UK and France. On the contentious side, Phillip Capper acted for GUPC and its shareholders in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority relating to the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project.

Praised as being ‘advisers and problem-solvers rather than simply technicians’, Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s practice is led by Andrew McVeigh on the non-contentious side and Jonathan Tattersall, who has charge of disputes. The team has been particularly active in the residential sector on behalf of clients such as CCURV, Mount Anvil and the University Partnerships Programme. Paul Hirst joined from DLA Piper UK LLP to become the firm’s new head of transport infrastructure.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s practice is led by David Savage and includes the highly rated Tim Raper and newly promoted partner Fiona Edmond. The team’s varied client base spans contractors, employers and consultants, while highlight work included advising Countryside Properties on all construction aspects of its joint venture for the regeneration of the South Acton Estate. Meriel Bennett has left the firm to work in-house.

Singled out as being ‘first preference for complex construction contractsClifford Chance’s non-contentious practice is co-led by Tim Steadman and the ‘practical and sharp-minded’ David Metzger. The team continued to advise Battersea Project Land Company on all construction aspects of the Battersea Power Station site and also assisted Astaldi Terkerler with the construction and maintenance contracts for the Ankara Etlik hospital campus. Alex Panayides leads on disputes for the oil and gas sector and is the main contentious contact.

Under John Morris’ leadership Clyde & Co LLPmakes great use of their truly international network of construction lawyers’ to support clients such as AIG, Carillion and Kimberly-Clark. Standout non-contentious work included advising Wates Group on a range of commercial development and housing projects, while on the contentious side the practice has particular strength in professional indemnity work, and recently hired insurance litigator Jonathan Brown from DWF.

DLA Piper’s substantial UK practice has increased in size with the hire of non-contentious specialist Stephen Malley and his team from RPC. Malley is advising Access Self Storage and Montcalm Hotels on all of their UK self-storage and hotel developments. On the contentious side Mark Hilton’s four-partner team includes the ‘diligent and reliable’ Edward Shaw. Jim Pinsent heads the department.

At Dentons, Alastair Young leads on contentious matters and wins praise for his ‘outstanding client relationship management skills’. Young is advising Sainsbury’s Supermarkets on a claim against four parties relating to the defective design and construction of a modular car park. John Woolley heads the non-contentious team and acts for new clients such as Canadian Solar UK Projects, Ensign Highways and Gulf Energy.

The ‘go-to firm for large-scale, international construction disputes’, Jones Day’s rapidly growing team is led by Hamish Lal*, who is ‘especially good on delay analysis and disputes’. As well as handling a number of high-value arbitrations, the team also advised Aviva Investors on a series of contractors’ claims relating to the Fitzroy Place Development in London. Lal also handles non-contentious work. *Hamish Lal joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in 2016.

Practice head Kevin Greene at K&L Gates LLP, handles contentious and non-contentious work including advising Vanquish Properties UK in relation to its development of the Gotham City development at 40 Leadenhall Street. Other key players in the team include disputes specialist Mike Stewart and Matthew Smith, who, with senior associate Inga Hall, have been advising on the Angola LNG project.

The highly regarded Ann Minogue is in charge of the non-contentious team at Macfarlanes LLP and focuses on major development projects for clients such as British Land, Stanhope and BS Stanford. Contentious work is led by the ‘responsiveDoug Wass, who is representing Weston Homes in High Court proceedings against the BDL Group relating to the alleged defective design and construction of cladding.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, head of disputes Donald Warnock is praised for his ‘well thought through advice that is reflective of the commercial issues’. Warnock’s team, which includes newly made-up partner Simon Ramsden, continues to be involved in a number of arbitrations in the power and utilities sectors. On the non-contentious side, Mark Berry and Peter Hall lead the team and focus on international energy, mining and infrastructure projects.

Director Mark Lynch now heads the non-contentious practice at RPC, following the departure of Stephen Malley to DLA Piper. Lynch ‘understands the big picture’ and advised Hachette UK on the design and fit-out of its new office headquarters at Victoria Embankment. ‘DoyenRobert Hogarth leads the contentious practice and acts for clients such as Carillion, while Alexandra Anderson handles construction insurance work. Daniel Preston is now a partner.

Reed Smith LLP’s non-contentious team includes Richard Ceeney, while on the contentious side Peter Cassidy is singled out for his experience in handling ‘claims on large EPC projects’. One example of the team’s strongly international caseload is its advice to Karabatan Utility Solutions on the design and construction of a 310MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power plant in Kazakhstan. Gordon Bell, Vincent Rowan and Nick Speed are the other names to note.

Praised for his ‘exceptional knowledge’ Matthew Jones heads the five-partner team at Taylor Wessing LLP, where highlights included advising on all construction aspects for Brentford Football Club’s new community stadium. While the practice has a non-contentious focus, it also handles disputes work: Joanne Kelly acted for Nordex and its subsidiaries in respect of claims arising from delays to the delivery of a wind farm project in South Asia.

Known as the ‘go-to firm in its traditional core area of social housing and social enterprise’, Trowers & Hamlins LLP also acts for a wide range of commercial clients. Anthony Yates heads the contentious team and wins praise for his ‘oversight of tactics and nose for how to progress a case’. On the non-contentious side, Stephanie Canham’s team acted as sole construction legal advisers to The Berkeley Group. Newly promoted partner Theresa Mohammed is also recommended, but Digby Hebbard left the firm for Fladgate LLP, and Robert Horne joined Simmons & Simmons.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP practice is led by the highly regarded Nick Henchie, who is handling a number of high-value ICC arbitrations, including acting for the Panama Canal Authority in its dispute with GUPC. On the non-contentious side, Andrew Nealon has been active on behalf of the state oil companies of Iraq and Azerbaijan. The practice was boosted by the arrival of Amir Ghaffari from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Former quantity surveyor Michael O’Shea leads on contentious matters at Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP, where highlights included acting for E.ON Climate & Renewables in a Court of Appeal hearing relating to a technical dispute with its foundation contractor. On the non-contentious side, practice head Richard Green is ‘particularly good on the negotiation of EPC contracts’ and acts for clients such as HSBC and Vinci St Modwen.

At Allen & Overy LLP, Nigel Pritchard’s team is ‘very good at pitching their service at the level that the client wants at a particular time’. Besides acting for clients in significant UK projects such as Hinkley Point C, the team also has a strong international presence. Charles Lindsay and Troy Edwards advised Trans Adriatic Pipeline in relation to the design, build and operation of a major cross-border gas pipeline. Mark Levy specialises in disputes in the energy sector.

The highly rated Simon Delves leads the team at specialist construction and engineering firm Beale & Company Solicitors LLP, where key players include ‘strategic plannerAntony Smith and John Henderson. In addition to its constant workflow defending construction professionals and design and build contractors, the practice has a growing non-contentious aspect.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s practice focuses on public services construction projects and acts for employers, such as London Borough of Hackney, and contractors such as Wates. Andrew Tobin’s team includes Louise Robling on the contentious side, and Jonathan Turner, who handles non-contentious work.

Construction and engineering boutique Corbett & Co International Construction Lawyers Ltd focuses on international disputes work: in one example the team successfully acted for the Government of Gibraltar in a dispute with OHL relating to the design and construction of the Gibraltar Airport Tunnel. Key contacts include the ‘strategicEdward Corbett and ‘excellent researcherAndrew Tweeddale.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s growing contentious practice is led by Michael Blackburne, who wins praise for his ‘incisive advice and common-sense attitude’. The team is particularly active on behalf of the major construction insurers, but also handles disputes for developers and contractors. Nicholas Taylor leads on non-contentious matters.

Gillian Birkby heads the fast-growing practice at Fladgate LLP, which was joined by Barry Hembling from Fenwick Elliott LLP in February 2015 and litigator Digby Hebbard from Trowers & Hamlins LLP in May 2015. Highlights for the team included advising Chorus Group on the £35m fit-out works for the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard.

Lauded for its ‘flexibility and business acumen’, Holman Fenwick Willan’s practice is led by Max Wieliczko and includes Michael Sergeant and Robert Blundell. Although best known for handling international projects, the team is also active domestically: it advised J Reddington on a £14m Technology and Construction Court dispute relating to two plots of land at the Athletes Village in the Olympic Park.

Kennedys’ practice is particularly known for its expertise in advising construction consultants and the surety market on litigious matters. Practice head Mark Tiggeman is recommended for his ‘professionalism and advocacy experience’ and secured an extraterritorial freezing injunction on behalf of Lakesmere to prevent the call on an on-demand bond.

At King & Wood Mallesons, Julia Court and Stuart Jordan co-head a practice that ‘stands out for its commercial acumen and awareness.’ As well as seeing an upturn in work relating to projects in the Middle East, the team has also enjoyed an increase in instructions from Chinese clients, such as Guangdong Power Engineering and SEPCO.

Richard Dyton is head of Simmons & Simmons’ practice, which has a focus on energy projects: the team is advising NextEnergy Capital on the development of around 100MW in UK solar photovoltaic assets. Navneet Juty and insurance litigator James Pollock are recommended on the contentious side. Robert Horne joined from Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Stephenson Harwood’s growing practice includes contentious specialists Paul Thwaite and Ron Nobbs, who have been active on behalf of a range of domestic and international clients. Thwaite is acting for Accolade Wines in a £170m dispute relating to the defective design and construction of the largest wine production, storage and distribution facility in the UK. Senior associate Graeme Barton leads on non-contentious matters.

Under the leadership of Michael Salau – who has an ‘excellent technical grasp’ – and Keith Lonsdale – who shows ‘great commercial judgement’ – BLM’s practice has a strong contentious focus and is particularly known for advising insurers and their insured. Robert Stevenson handles non-contentious matters.

Bird & Bird stands out ‘where there is construction work with technology or IT issues involved.’ Ed Cooke focuses on non-contentious matters, and has been active on behalf of a number of data centre, healthcare and renewable energy clients.

Practice head David Johnson handles both contentious and non-contentious matters at Boodle Hatfield LLP, and has been particularly active in the residential and hotel and leisure sectors acting for clients such as Grosvenor, Marriott International and Bedford Estate.

Emily Monastiriotis heads the department at Bond Dickinson LLP and handles a range of litigious matters, including international arbitrations and professional indemnity disputes. On the transactional side, Alex Hirom advised ATCO Power UK on the construction aspects of two major energy-from-waste schemes.

Bracewell & Giuliani’s practice focuses exclusively on non-contentious work in the energy sector. The team is led by Tracy London. Matthew Mulqueen left for Squire Patton Boggs.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Bristol-based team is a ‘powerhouse in the South West’ and continues to expand under the leadership of the ‘practical and knowledgeableMarcus Harling. The practice has been particularly busy in the nuclear, renewables and transport sectors and is advising MeyGen on the procurement aspects of the world’s largest tidal energy project.

DWF’s practice, headed by Manchester-based Paul O’Kane, mainly handles professional indemnity work for clients such as Amlin and QBE International Insurance. Key players in the London office include Peter Sewell, Peter Campion and Adam Nell. Nell advised Babcock International on the procurement process for the construction of a new nuclear chemistry facility in Plymouth.

Best known for its work in the social housing sector, the team at Devonshires Solicitors LLP is led by Mark London and includes Susannah Davis and ‘excellent communicatorKathryn Kligerman. The practice has a contentious focus.

Consistently good, no matter what the situation calls forFarrer & Co’s team mainly handles non-contentious matters for developers and high-net-worth individuals. The team is advising Highbridge Properties on the largest office park development in the UK. Practice head Clive Lovatt and Edward Banyard Smith are both recommended.

Cecily Davis is ‘efficient and a tough negotiator’ at Fieldfisher, where highlights included advising Dominvs Group on the construction of hotels in Aberdeen and Manchester. Hotel and leisure, technology and public sector are all key sectors for the team. Colin Gibson handles disputes.

Forsters LLP’s team, headed by non-contentious specialist Sarah Cook, is particularly experienced in handling real estate development work for clients such as Knight Dragon Investments and LXB Retail Properties. Andrew Parker leads on contentious matters and has a ‘very good eye for the key issues in cases’.

At Irwin Mitchell non-contentious specialist David Parton* has been busy on a number of sizeable real estate development projects, including advising Mercer Real Estate on the redevelopment of 160 Aldersgate. *In 2016, David Parton joined Nabarro LLP.

Non-contentious specialist Clare Reddy heads the team at Lewis Silkin LLP, which acts for a range of developers and registered providers of social housing projects such as Peabody, Havas UK and Metropolitan Housing Trust. On the contentious side, managing associate Owen Williams ‘has a very good manner with clients and opponents’.

Former quantity surveyor Simon Hunter is in charge at Mishcon de Reya, where the team is praised for its ‘first-class brains’. Hunter handles development projects for commercial and residential developers, and high-net-worth individuals. On the contentious side, Nick Lane* attracted a number of new clients, including Beastall Construction and C&C Alpha Group. *Nick Lane joined Decimus Fearon LLP in October 2015.

Olswang LLP’s team under Francis Ho is singled out as being ‘extremely quick to respond, with strategy and assertive actions to bring forth desired results’. In addition to Ho’s non-contentious expertise, the practice has been enhanced by the arrival of contentious specialist Ben Worthington from Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Osborne Clarke’s Bristol-based practice includes Jonathan Brooks, who leads on contentious work and divides his time between London and Bristol. Philip Davies, who heads the non-contentious team, has been advising Development Securities on the Abbey Wood and 399 Edgware Road developments in London.

Wealthy private clients are well served’ by the team at Payne Hicks Beach, which includes arbitrator Julian Critchlow and non-contentious specialist Carl Asser. In addition to high-net-worth individuals, the practice also services a range of developer clients including Mears Group, Marriott Hotels and Hyde Housing Association.

The ‘pragmatic and easy to work with’ practice at Sharpe Pritchard is led by Justin Mendelle, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and gives excellent presentations at board level’. Mendelle’s team handles contentious and non-contentious work for public sector clients such as the London Borough of Brent and Wakefield Council.

At Slaughter and May, Steven Edwards handles non-contentious work for a range of developer and energy clients including Arsenal FC, Dong Energy and Lincs Wind Farm.

Solicitor-advocate Jonathan Raynes handles mainly contentious work at Steptoe & Johnson and impresses with his ‘ability to understand a business and the factors at stake quickly and thoroughly’.

Practice head Kofi Atta ‘provides hard-nosed advice and is a tough negotiator’ at Travers Smith LLP, where the team mainly handles non-contentious matters relating to commercial and residential development projects.

Suzanne Reeves’ three-partner practice at Wedlake Bell LLP includes Helen Garthwaite, who wins praise for her ‘excellent technical know-how, industry insight and commercial acumen’. The team covers both contentious and non-contentious work and has a domestic focus: it advised Ronson Capital Partners on high-specification residential developments at Millbank and Chiltern Street.

Singled out as being ‘able to offer alternative approaches to problem-solvingWinckworth Sherwood LLP’s growing practice is co-led by Eleanor Kilminster and Colin Hall. Though particularly known for its social housing work, the team also acts for house builders, infrastructure organisations and renewable energy providers.

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Legal Developments in London for Construction

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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