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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Construction: contentious
  2. Construction: non-contentious
  3. Leading individuals

Construction law is a particularly strong area of specialism’ at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, where the practice is a favourite with clients such as Great Portland Estates, Balfour Beatty and Thames Water Utilities. On the non-contentious side, the highly rated Marc Hanson was active in a number of real estate projects, including advising Hermes Real Estate Management on the Paradise Circus regeneration project in Birmingham. Of the various ‘top-drawer litigators’, key figures include the ‘experienced and toughBob Maynard, the ‘clear-sightedCaroline Pope and Terry de Souza, who has ‘impeccable judgement’. The team is acting for Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a substantial PFI dispute with Healthcare Support (Newcastle).

Excellent niche construction and energy firmFenwick Elliott LLP is well known for its contentious expertise; as well as handling various disputes in the offshore wind farm sector, the team is also acting for Galliford Try Construction in multi-party High Court proceedings relating to allegations of defective mechanical and electrical installations. Senior partner Simon Tolson and managing partner Tony Francis are recommended, as is ‘outstanding strategistRichard Smellie. On the non-contentious side, David Bebb and newly promoted partner Jatinder Garcha have particular expertise in infrastructure projects.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Fisher Scoggins Waters LLP

Fisher Scoggins Waters has a strong hands-on partner focus and offers a tailor-made approach to meet its clients’ specific needs. Its lawyers are experts in their field and provide an excellent service, with flexibility that means it is able to combine high quality with value for money. The team has fought and won many high-profile cases for clients in the construction and engineering sectors, including utility and manufacturing companies, architects, surveyors, insurance companies, fire services, police forces, local authorities, and schools and colleges.

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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s non-contentious practice is led by Nicholas Downing, whose impressive caseload ranges across the most significant real estate, infrastructure and energy projects; for example Downing is advising Capital & Counties Properties on the redevelopment of Earls Court and Olympia. On the contentious side, Mark Lloyd-Williams’ team mainly handles international cases, although in the UK Ann Levin is active in a number of PFI disputes, including representing Prospect Healthcare (Hairmyres) in an £11m litigation concerning the water pipework installed throughout the Hairmyres Hospital in Scotland.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘top-notch’ practice ‘never misses a trick in the most complicated litigation or arbitration’; Martin Roberts, Jonathan French, Rob Wilkins and Neal Morris are all recommended for contentious work. On the non-contentious side, Michael Watson and Richard Laudy’s projects team is involved in various major infrastructure and energy projects and also advised a Carillion and Equitix joint venture on its successful bid for the Midlands priority schools building programme. The practice has seen some reorganisation, with the promotion to partnership of Helen Waddell and Alexander Grant and the transfer to Dubai and Sydney of Andrew Hibbert and Andrew Denton, respectively.

CMS’ strong mix of UK and international mandates takes in acting for Wates on the redevelopment of Wembley Park and advising International Power and Engie on the construction of assets for Chile’s Sistema Interconectado Central power grid. Practice head Victoria Peckett is ‘able to set out a clear strategic vision’ and handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work for clients such as Shell. Other key figures are international disputes specialist Adrian Bell, who ‘successfully combines a magic mix of legal, strategic and commercial acumen’, and non-contentious specialist Karen Clarke, who has particular expertise in facilities management framework contracts.

Clifford Chance LLP wins plaudits on the non-contentious side, with key mandates ranging from acting for Battersea Project Land Company on the Battersea Power Station development to advising RWE and Galloper Wind Farm on the 340MW Galloper offshore wind project. Head of practice David Metzger ‘combines intellectual mastery of his subject with commercial acumen’ and Tim Steadman is ‘world-class when it comes to EPC matters’. On the contentious side, Alex Panayides and Audley Sheppard QC lead the litigation and international arbitration teams respectively. The practice was boosted by the return of Sandy Hall from the UAE.

Eversheds LLP’s three-partner team retained its focus on the energy, transport and real estate sectors, acting for clients such as Centrica, Crossrail and Lend Lease. Practice head Simon Oats and the ‘very pragmaticJonathan Bowley focus on non-contentious work; disputes specialist James Pickavance leads in international arbitrations.

Practice head Jane Jenkins and Sally Roe at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handle contentious and non-contentious mandates across a wide range of sectors, including transport, real estate, natural resources and power generation. In 2015, highlights included advising Almacantar on the construction of Centrepoint and the Marble Arch Tower and acting for various lenders on the building of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Jenkins shows ‘a remarkable grasp of even the smallest detail’ and Roe ‘makes sure all risks are identified before decisions are made’. Also of note is senior associate Elizabeth Wilson, who ‘reads everything and comes up with useful angles’.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has a ‘good depth of team and ability to understand the client’s commercial objectives’. The ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ Gillian Thomas continued to advise on a number of major real estate projects including acting for King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership regarding the King’s Cross Central development. The contentious team, headed by John Gerszt, focuses on international work for a broad range of clients including employers, contractors, project managers and funders. Key figures include Tony Marshall and Roberta Downey, who has particular expertise in offshore wind farm disputes.

At Mayer Brown International LLP, Michael Regan’s team is ‘very good at contentious and insurance-related matters’, and the team has been busy handling disputes for a number of contractors including Hyundai E&C, Wates and Costain. In one highlight, Regan is representing Kier in a High Court claim to recover costs associated with extensive damage to a car park at the Castlepoint Centre. Sally Daviesfights the corner well but not at the expense of the relationship’ and Tom Duncan is ‘very knowledgeable and on the ball’. Chris Fellowes is the main contact on the non-contentious side.

Nabarro LLP’s practice continued to experience rapid growth, with the hire of David Parton from Irwin Mitchell and Lucy Plowright from White & Case LLP. Parton and Alistair McGrigor provided non-contentious advice on various substantial real estate projects to developers such as Segro, Delancey and Great Portland Estates. In the contentious space, Matthew Taylor and practice head Steven Williams, who has ‘very good client skills’, successfully defended McGee against an adjudication claim from a forward funder in relation to the construction of a multi-storey car park in Liverpool. Kevin Joyce is ‘a strong addition on the infrastructure side’.

White & Case LLP’s international caseload continues to impress, particularly for infrastructure and energy work, with recent highlights including advising Qatar Rail on the $37bn construction of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project and acting for Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and Al Nowais Investments in connection with the construction of a 2,640MW coal-fired power generation plant in Egypt. On the disputes side, highway and airport projects have provided a strong work stream. Practice head Ellis Baker and Phillip Capper give ‘to-the-point advice’ and are well-regarded experts on FIDIC contracts.

Addleshaw Goddard LLPcombines sector expertise with commercial focus’, and has been particularly active in real estate development, such as acting for Mount Anvil on the development of Keybridge House in Vauxhall and advising Croydon Council Urban Regeneration Vehicle on a scheme at Lion Green Road in Coulsdon. On the contentious side, Jonathan Tattersall is defending Progress Health against a claim relating to widespread defects in fire-stopping measures at a major PFI hospital. Andy McVeigh heads the practice.

At Allen & Overy LLP, Nigel Pritchard and Troy Edwards provide non-contentious advice on a range of high-profile energy and infrastructure projects. Recent examples include advising Hitachi and Horizon Nuclear Power on the development of a new-build nuclear power plant in north Wales and, at an international level, acting for Biwater International on the construction arrangements for the Erbil and Sulaimani water and wastewater projects.

Ashurst’s ‘very committed team’ was active in a range of matters for key client Interserve, including Matthew Bool advising it on a joint venture with China State Construction Engineering Corporation to build the £550m One Nine Elms residential scheme in Battersea. On the infrastructure side, Michael Smith is acting for the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the development of the Swansea Tidal Bay Lagoon Project. Litigator Tim Reid heads the practice and specialises in energy disputes.

Mike Webster heads Baker & McKenzie LLP’s team, which is particularly strong in EPC and EPCM agreements in the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors. He is advising Southern Water on the procurement arrangements for its asset management plan. Steve Abraham and senior associate Kate Corby focus on international disputes. Jeremy Winter left the firm and is now an independent arbitrator.

The ‘exceptionally tenaciousSteven Carey heads the practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, which attracts ‘quality work and does a quality job’. Key figures include Tim Raper, who has ‘bags of experience’, and non-contentious specialist Duncan Salmon, who is advising Greenwich Millennium Village on the latest phase of its regeneration scheme. Derwent London and Mace are also active clients.

Clyde & Co LLP shows ‘expertise across the entire spectrum of construction matters’ and handles a strong contentious caseload for contractors and consultants, including Hawkins Brown Architects and Carillion. The team is also known for its professional indemnity work through Richard Moody, who is ‘cool in a crisis’. The ‘knowledgeable and calm’ John Morris leads the practice and handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work for employers such as Grainger and Native Land.

Non-contentious specialist Stephen Malley now heads DLA Piper’s practice following the retirement of Jim Pinsent. Malley, who ‘provides solutions to complex construction matters’, was active in a range of real estate and infrastructure projects, such as advising Hibernia on the infrastructure contract to construct fibre ducting, cabling and repeater huts in the UK. Mark Hilton is ‘excellent in putting together strong teams for international arbitrations’.

Kevin Greene’s team at K&L Gates LLP is ‘easily accessible and doesn’t forget the client’s overall objectives when negotiating tricky contract or appointment terms’. The practice experienced an increase in international infrastructure work, and its successes were reflected in Inga Hall and Nicola Ellis being promoted to special counsel. Other names to note are litigator Mike Stewart and global practice co-head Matthew Smith.

Following the retirement of Ann Minogue, ‘good communicatorAngus Dawson leads non-contentious work at Macfarlanes LLP and acts for a strong developer client base that includes Stanhope and Brookfield Property Partners. On the contentious side, Doug Wass’ team, which includes four solicitor advocates, is defending Grove Developments against a substantial claim for payment by the contractor relating to the construction of the Intercontinental hotel and ballroom in Greenwich.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s non-contentious team is co-led by Mark Berry and Peter Hall, who focus on infrastructure and energy respectively; Hall is advising Ofwat in relation to the Thames tideway Tunnel project. Donald Warnock has particular expertise in transport disputes, while Simon Ramsden has been active in a range of energy matters, including acting for Magnetar Capital in disputes arising from the buildout of its solar energy project portfolio. Matthew Hardwick was promoted to partner.

RPC’s substantial contentious practice spans insurance-related and standalone construction law work, and is singled out as being ‘notably strong in large multi-party disputes’; the team acted for VolkerFitzpatrick in a High Court dispute relating to defective piles at Accolade Park in Bristol. Robert Hogarth is ‘an exceptional operator’ and newly promoted partner Dan Preston gives ‘practical advice’. On the non-contentious side, director Mark Lynch has ‘an innovative streak’ and acts for clients such as AstraZeneca and Imperial College, London.

Reed Smith LLP wins praise for its ‘very impressive response times and customer care’. Richard Ceeney produces ‘very clear arguments’ when dealing with non-contentious issues – he advised Commercial Estates Group on a £400m mixed-use development in the outskirts of Leeds. The firm’s strong contentious practice – which includes Peter Cassidy, Nick Speed, Vincent Rowan and Shareena Edmonds – acts for clients such as Siemens AG and Doosan Lentjes UK. Lynne Freeman sadly passed away in 2015.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s varied practice has social housing, real estate and institutional clients such as Newlon Housing Trust, The Berkeley Group and BT. Charles Morrish’s non-contentious team can draw on national head of construction Stephanie Canham and, as well as handling a strong caseload of real estate mandates, advised Amey on construction issues relating to an energy-from-waste project in the Isle of Wight. Contentious team head Anthony Yates is ‘a great hand at the tiller in marshalling large cases’.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s growing practice is particularly well known in the international energy sector, where it acts for clients such as Saipem and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). Non-contentious specialist Andrew Nealon was active in a number of high-value projects in the CIS, including advising SOCAR Polymer on the construction of a polypropylene plant in Azerbaijan. On the contentious side, ‘very client-focused’ practice head Nick Henchie and Amir Ghaffari continued to represent Panama Canal Authority in various adjudication board and ICC arbitration proceedings.

Sheena Sood now leads the insurance and construction boutique Beale & Company Solicitors LLP, which has strong contentious expertise and is complemented by some impressive non-contentious instructions. Will Buckby advised WSP on its successful bid to be appointed to the Highways Agency’s collaborative delivery framework. Other names to note are ‘excellent tacticianAntony Smith, who specialises in construction negligence claims, and Ben Mellors, who is ‘going places’.

Edward Corbett heads the team at specialist construction and engineering firm Corbett & Co International Construction Lawyers Ltd, which remained active in international disputes relating to major power, road and rail projects. Andrew Tweeddale in particular stands out for his ‘exceptional written work and advocacy skills’. Martin Bridgewater specialises in wind projects. The practice attracted a number of new international funder clients.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is led by Michael Blackburne, who handles contentious matters for insurers, contractors and residential developers. Nicholas Taylor advised Crest Nicholson on its acquisition of Valentine Place in London.

Dentons’ non-contentious practice is led by John Woolley, who focuses on energy and infrastructure projects, and is advising Canadian Solar on the acquisition and financing of a number of solar energy projects in the UK. The practice handles contentious matters from its Milton Keynes office, where Alastair Young is the main contact.

Fladgate LLP’s ‘cerebral and dedicated’ practice includes ‘incisive adviserBarry Hembling, who has been busy on behalf of Merlin Entertainments, advising on a portfolio of leisure-related construction projects globally. The team also has expertise in renewable energy and is acting for BTS Biogas on the construction of an anaerobic digestion plant in south Yorkshire. Gillian Birkby and Alan Woolston head the practice and handle a mix of contentious and non-contentious work.

Birmingham-based Michael O’Shea and Richard Green lead Gowling WLG’s practice, respectively handling contentious and non-contentious work. In the London office, Philip Baker focuses on real estate mandates and advised two financial services companies on the construction aspects of their letting of office space in 20 Fenchurch Street. Litigator Sue Ryan divides her time between Birmingham and London.

Holman Fenwick Willan is ‘very thorough, well organised and well represented in key locations’. The team specialises in energy and infrastructure disputes and continues to act for Hochtief Solutions and Hochtief (UK) Construction in a case arising from the collapse of a water tunnel at a hydro-electric scheme in Scotland. The non-contentious practice serves a range of international and domestic contractors and consultants. Practice head Max Wieliczkoshows unparalleled knowledge of a case’ and Michael Sergeant is ‘a great communicator’.

Outstanding solicitor advocate’ Mark Tiggeman leads the team at Kennedys, where the practice focuses on handling contentious matters for a range of insurers and contractors. Although many of the mandates relate to infrastructure projects, the team also handles real estate and energy disputes. Michael Hogg is defending Volkerfitzpatrick against a defects claim relating to a Holiday Inn in north London. On the non-contentious side, James Shaw has ‘considerable breadth of knowledge of contract law’.

At King & Wood Mallesons, practice head Julia Court is particularly strong in real estate projects, where it handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients such as the Crown Estate, AXA and Lagos State. The practice’s international work has continued to develop, especially with regard to the Middle East and China, and, in one key mandate, the team has been advising China Nuclear 23 on the EPC contracts for the RAPID oil refinery in Malaysia. Stuart Jordan moved to Baker Botts (UK) LLP.

Osborne Clarke’s ‘highly experienced and user-friendly practice’ was enhanced on the contentious side by a number of hires, including Matthew Heywood and senior associate Daniel Cashmore, both of whom joined from Pinsent Masons LLP. Heywood has ‘exceptional knowledge of Middle East culture and contracts’. On the non-contentious side, the Bristol-based team led by Phil Davies was particularly active in the solar energy space for clients such as First Solar and Foresight. Litigator Jonathan Brooks ‘provides good strategic advice’ and divides his time between London and Bristol.

Simmons & Simmons’ contentious practice was recently augmented by counsel Mark Grasso’s recruitment from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Other key figures are chartered arbitrator and adjudicator Rob Horne, who is ‘a market leader on the NEC contract’, and Navneet Juty, who is ‘very bright and has a lot of railway industry experience’. On the non-contentious side, the team focuses on energy and infrastructure projects and is particularly known for its expertise in the UK solar market. The ‘extremely experiencedRichard Dyton heads the practice.

Stephenson Harwood’s practice continued to develop on the non-contentious side, with newly promoted partner Graeme Barton advising on a range of key infrastructure and real estate mandates such as assisting 4C Hotels with its developments at Queensbridge House and the Minories Estate. On the contentious side, where the practice is best known, Ron Nobbs has ‘superb judgement and tactical skills’ and Paul Thwaite is ‘excellent on technical legal issues’. Nobbs and Thwaite, who jointly head the team, attracted a number of new contractor clients.

At Taylor Wessing LLP, Matthew Jones’ team focuses on non-contentious work for clients such as Infinity and Conergy. As well as handling various energy mandates, the team was also active in the real estate sector and advised Blackstone on the redevelopment of the St Katharine’s Dock precinct. David Quinlan is ‘confident and knowledgeable’.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s practice is now led by Hamish Lal, who joined the firm from Jones Day; Lal ‘provides a level of intellectual and factual rigour that is unmatched in the contentious construction market’. The team focuses on international disputes, particularly in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

BLM’s strong contentious practice is led by ‘seasoned construction litigatorMichael Salau and Keith Lonsdale, who is ‘highly regarded by insurers in finding solutions to claims against a wide range of construction and property professionals’. Key clients include Griffiths & Armour, Aviva and Arup.

Bevan Brittan LLP recruited contentious specialist Marie-Claire O’Hara, who joined from Nabarro LLP. Practice head Andrew Tobin specialises in education construction projects and is advising the Department for Education on its Priority School Building Programme. Aside from its substantial public sector client base, the team also handles work for contractors such as Wates and Kajima.

Very strong tacticianEmily Monastiriotis leads on contentious matters at Bond Dickinson LLP and successfully defended Starstone and Beltec in the Technology and Construction Court in a case relating to the collapse of a residential property during a basement conversion. On the non-contentious side, Alex Hirom has particular expertise in power generation projects.

At Boodle Hatfield LLP, practice head David Johnson has ‘great technical experience’ and acts for clients such as Grosvenor and Bedford Estate on a range of real estate projects.

Bracewell (UK) LLP’s practice is led by Tracy London, who is considered by some to be ‘the best construction and O&M lawyer in the market’. London provides non-contentious advice on major energy projects and acts for clients such as Vestas Wind Systems and Ophir Energy. Matthew Mulqueen moved to Squire Patton Boggs.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Bristol-based team represents clients such as Costain, the Crown Estate and Greater London Authority in a range of sophisticated matters. Department head Marcus Harling handles contentious and non-contentious mandates and is acting for London Underground on the delivery of the Metropolitan line extension. William Gard provides ‘informed and pragmatic advice’ on contentious matters.

DWF is particularly known for handling professional negligence disputes on behalf of clients such as Emcor and Amlin. Energy projects are a core focus on the non-contentious side. Key figures include Peter Sewell, Peter Campion and Adam Nell.

Mark London is recommended at Devonshires Solicitors LLP and is handling a range of disputes on behalf of social housing providers and local authorities. Susannah Davis is the name to note on the advisory side.

At Farrer & Co, practice head Clive Lovatt and Edward Banyard Smith have been busy with a number of unusual real estate mandates for private individuals and entities such as Royal College of Surgeons of England. The practice mainly handles non-contentious matters, but draws on the expertise of Adrian Parkhouse for disputes.

Fieldfisher’s ‘well established non-contentious’ practice is led by Cecily Davis, who has recently been successful in attracting a number of high-profile real estate and infrastructure mandates. The contentious practice was enhanced by the hire of ‘heavy hitter’ Louise Elmes, who was formerly at the Bar. Interconnector and St Thomas Street Development Company are active clients.

At Forsters LLP, litigator Andrew Parkercombines genuine circumspection with boldness when he is sure his client is in the right’; he successfully defended LXB Retail Properties in an adjudication relating to the redevelopment of a former gasworks in Sutton. Sarah Cook has been handling a number of significant real estate projects.

Goodman Derrick LLP enhanced its practice with the hire of Tim Mould from Weightmans LLP; Mould represented IPCO in the Court of Appeal in relation to the enforcement of an arbitral award. Other key figures are Richard Bailey, who handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work, and practice head John Wright, who sits as an arbitrator and has ‘a good reputation as a third party neutral’.

At Howard Kennedy LLP, practice head Ian Reid is ‘very good with clients and insurers’ and has been busy with a range of contentious and non-contentious real estate mandates. For key client Ballymore Properties, Reid advised on the construction of Providence Tower, close to Canary Wharf.

Irwin Mitchell’s team is now led by Gordon Anderson, who arrived from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP to take charge of the team following David Parton’s move to Nabarro LLP. Anderson provides non-contentious advice on real estate projects and is acting for Redevco on the redevelopment of the former Hanningtons department store estate in Brighton.

Non-contentious specialist Clare Reddy is in charge at Lewis Silkin LLP and handles real estate mandates for a range of employers and consultants, including Rio Tinto Group and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Managing associate Owen Williams deals with contentious matters.

Maples Teesdale LLP’s non-contentious practice wins praise for its ‘detailed recommendations and commercial viewpoints’. Practice head Sam Nicholsgets on with things’ and handles a range of real estate mandates for clients such as Arcadia Developments and London Properties. Consultant Claire Egerton has ‘good building contract and procurement skills’.

At Mishcon de Reya LLP, non-contentious specialist Simon Hunter has particular expertise in mixed-used development projects and continues to advise Consolidated Developments on the St Giles Circus development in London. Hunter wins praise for his ‘knowledge and common-sense approach’. Professional negligence specialist Richard Gerstein now leads the contentious practice following the departure of Nick Lane to Decimus Fearon LLP.

Olswang LLP provides ‘efficient service’ under the leadership of Francis Ho, who is commended for his ‘breadth of knowledge of JCT contracts’. The team has secured a number of new clients in the hotels and leisure sector and advised Great Eagle Hotels Group on the refurbishment of the Langham Hotel. Senior associate Ben Worthington handles disputes.

Identified as ‘an excellent alternative to the big firms’, Payne Hicks Beach’s team focuses on real estate mandates for private individuals and developers. Julian Critchlow left the firm to start his own practice, and Carl Asser left the firm in 2016.

First-class negotiator’ Justin Mendelle heads the practice at Sharpe Pritchard, where the team continued to handle a range of contentious and non-contentious matters for the firm’s public sector clients. Among other work, Mendelle is advising London Borough of Southwark on its primary school expansion programme.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s ‘commercially savvy’ team focuses on providing non-contentious advice to clients such as Spire Healthcare and Heron International. Key figures include Sarah Elliott, Helen Garthwaite and practice head Suzanne Reeves, who shows ‘a preparedness to listen and respond with appropriate advice’.

The ‘professional and competent’ team at Winckworth Sherwood LLP is led by Colin Hall and Eleanor Kilminster, who were busy with a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Highlights in 2015 included advising Barratt London on its Sugar Quay development of luxury flats and acting for Notting Hill Housing Trust on the regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark.

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