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Gowling WLG’s eight-partner team is jointly led by Michael O’Shea and Richard Green, who handle contentious and non-contentious work respectively. The team handles disputes at the highest level, and recently represented E.ON in the Supreme Court in a €26.2m defects claim relating to an offshore wind farm development. It also handles a range of project delivery and procurement matters; in one example, Philip Baker assisted the Crown Estate on the construction aspects of the purchase of a site in Leicester from Everards Brewery. Ashley Pigott is ‘outstanding for construction disputes’.

Eversheds LLP’s non-contentious practice is headed by energy specialist Peter Scurlock, who has a ‘lovely touch in negotiations’. Scurlock continues to advise NNB Generation Company on the construction of the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. Other key players in the ‘level-headed and approachable’ team are former chartered civil engineer David Jones, who focuses on major infrastructure and utilities projects, and Amrik Kandola, who leads the contentious side of the practice.

Gateley Plc’s practice is ‘strong on expertise, pragmatic with advice and speedy with responses’ and draws on its strong housebuilding client base to advise on a wide variety of construction issues. Non-contentious specialist David Lloyd Jones is assisting Barberry Developments with the delivery of a £54m accommodation block for Coventry University, while on the disputes side Peter Davies has been active for clients such as Taylor Wimpey and Industrial Coating Services.

Very good technical lawyerStuart Pemble is in charge at Mills & Reeve LLP, where the team provides a ‘very consistent level of service’. Pemble’s non-contentious expertise was in evidence on a variety of education sector projects and London-based development projects. On the contentious side, Martino Giaquinto is ‘not shy of difficult legal issues and not intimidated by difficult opponents’; Giaquinto was very active in the energy and offshore arena.

Shoosmiths LLP’s practice is led by non-contentious specialist Patrick Garner, whose impressive client list includes IM Properties and St Modwen Developments. Garner acted for the former on the redevelopment of 55 Colmore Row, Birmingham. On the disputes side, Stephen Belshaw is a ‘good choice for high-level litigation and adjudication work, particularly in the education sector’, and Simon Wain has ‘great tactical nous for construction insurance issues’.

Squire Patton Boggs’ practice has a ‘good understanding of how specific contracts work in conjunction with other requirements, such as specifications and programming’. Group head Graeme Bradley and Robert Norris handle a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters, with highlights including advising Blackpool Borough Council on a series of adjudications arising out of the development of a £100m light rail system, and assisting Sumitomo with the project negotiation for the third power interconnector between the UK and Europe.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP’s team focuses on the social housing, local government, education and active leisure sectors, and acts for clients such as Affinity Sutton Group and Derwent Living. The practice leadership includes disputes specialist Andrew Lancaster, as well as Andrew Millross and Richard Brooks, who handle procurement and project development matters.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s NHS and government-focused practice is led by Martin Cannon, whose non-contentious work included advising Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust on various construction and PFI related issues. On the contentious side, insurance specialist Daniel Abbeygoes the extra mile to get the job done’.

Andrew James is ‘cool under pressure’ and heads the team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, which has been increasingly active in the renewables and energy-to-waste areas. James handles a mixed caseload that ranges from tender stage advice to disputes regarding defects.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, transactional specialist Nigel Blundell continued to act on a number of collaborative contracts in the rail sector. Other strong sectors for the team are retail and higher education, while key clients include Morgan Sindall and VolkerRail.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s practice benefits from the surveying backgrounds of Keith Blizzard and Ruth Phillips. Blizzard was active on a number of arbitrations and adjudications for both developers and contractors, while Phillips assisted key client Lloyds with the construction security for various development projects.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s practice has seen substantial growth, with the relocations to Birmingham of Vijay Bange and Andrew Vickery and the hire of consultants Tim Willis and Paul Mountain, who joined from Harrison Clark Rickerbys and mfg Solicitors LLP respectively. Seven Capital is a newly won client.

Practice head Ian Yule is a ‘tremendous asset as an adviser and litigator’ at Weightmans LLP, where the team was involved in a number of significant arbitrations. On the non-contentious side, Simon Colegate has a ‘huge knowledge of contract forms’.

At Wright Hassall LLP, practice head Philip Harris’ ‘depth of experience’ includes service as arbitrator, adjudicator and mediator. On the non-contentious side, newly appointed partner Michael Hiscock is advising Brinklow Biogas on the development of a £10m anaerobic digestion facility.

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Legal Developments in West Midlands 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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