Construction in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP deals with all aspects of construction work for mainstream commercial lenders, developers, contractors, professionals, suppliers and sub-contractors. The practice is led by Andrew Rush who works in both the Ipswich and Chelmsford offices, but the key partner in Ipswich is Ruth Sunaway who handles contentious construction matters for employers, main contractors, sub-contractors and professionals. Stefan Harris-Wright in Cambridge handles non-contentious matters for both public and private sector clients, and real estate finance transactions up to £150m in value for both for borrowers and lenders. Senior associates Katrina Bretten and Oli Worth  in Cambridge and Josh Ripman in Ipswich play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Rush

Key clients

Inspired Clapham Limited

Kilnbridge Construction Services

Grove Business Park Limited

Future Biogas Systems

McGee Civil Engineering Limited

Balicrest Limited

Wharfside Regeneration (In Adminstration) Ipswich Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Inspired on funding, property and construction work with a gross development value of £20m.
  • Application for an order for strike out of the Particulars of Claim following the service of a Request for Further Information by the First and Second Defendants.
  • Advice on industry specific terms of contracts, bonds, warranties and guarantees for a multimillion-pound nuclear power project.
  • Advising on construction documents for the £40m redevelopment of a 32-acre business park.
  • We acted for this Anaerobic Digestion (AD) developer in relation to the suite of contracts for a significant upgrade to an existing AD plant in Doncaster.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The construction and engineering practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in Cambridge is led by Dominic Lacey, who is also head of the firm's international transport group. In 2018, leading a firm-wide team, he acted for the Government of Rwanda in the funding and construction of New Bugesara Airport. Alongside his international work, he also handles UK matters, which recently included a £125m portfolio of senior living development. The firm has a deep bench of rising star associates handling high-value matters, including Tom Douglas, Catherine Andrews, Ed Freeman and Patrick Cooney.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Lacey

Key clients

Brunel University London

Signature Senior Lifestyle Limited

Legal & General

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

Department for Transport

Transport for London

Highways England

Audley Court Limited

Lancaster plc Limited

Dacorum Borough Council

Work highlights

  • In additional to working on circa 7 live developments sites, we worked with Audley on the re-financing of 15 multi-phase sites to bring them within a new £125m revolving credit facility.
  • Having previously acted for the Government of Rwanda to conclude the un-funded project agreements for an unsolicited bid by Mota Engil for the New Bugesara Airport, we were retained again to participate in the negotiation of funding arrangements and conditions with incoming banks and equity investors, led by the African Development Bank.
  • Working with new client Peabody to rationalise its existing multi-contract housing stock maintenance contracts.
  • Leading on negotiation of ARM contracts appointing Contractors and Professional Team for new ARM offices in Tokyo, South Korea, France and UK.
  • Developing new suite of construction contracts for Jardine Motors Group adapted to reflect specialist needs of the business.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The projects and construction practice at Mills & Reeve LLP in Cambridge is the largest in the region and handles a diverse range of large projects in sectors such as education, waste-to-energy, infrastructure, healthcare, food and agri-business. Among its clients are major contractors, local authorities and leading developers. The group handles the full range of procurement and state aid matters, contract negotiation and drafting, review of technical documents, project management and dispute resolution. Stuart Thompson leads the practice, in which principal associates Alison Garrett for disputes and Alexandra Pike and Robert Weatherley for  non-contentious matters stand out.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Pike; Alison Garrett; Robert Weatherley; Gary Rushworth; Emma Nash


‘Mills & Reeve are currently assisting us with a complex construction matter. They have been innovative in their ideas to problem-solving and also persistent in resolving matters.’

‘Stuart Thompson is innovative with his ideas and is able to communicate complex matters in a simplistic form to assist client understanding. He is engaging and keen to ensure matters are progressed.’

Key clients

University of Cambridge

Urban & Civic

Knapp Limited


North West Cambridge

Howard Group


Marshall Group



Work highlights

  • We were the lead legal adviser for the University and worked with it on the procurement of a number of its new developments within the Region.
  • We are lead adviser on significant projects across the region including: 5,000 new homes, commercial space and four schools at Alconbury Weald; 6,200 new homes, 4 schools and 8 GP surgeries at RadioStation Rugby; 6,500 new homes and 600 new units of care home use at Waterbeach.
  • We are the sole provider of legal advice to Knapp UK Limited, which designs, installs and commissions automation systems for the food, pharmaceutical and clothing industry.
  • Injunction issued against the issue of Practical Completion of the development pending a decision on whether room sizes within the development were smaller than anticipated and if so, whether this would amount to a breach of contract capable of preventing practical completion.
  • Acting on Phase II of the Eddington development in Cambridge, which will result in the construction of over 1000 homes and new academic and commercial facilities.

Greenwoods GRM

'The service I received was absolutely first-class and, in my experience, almost without equal', remarks a client of Greenwoods GRM. The construction practice is led by leading light Howard Crossman who is mainly based in London but also works from the Peterborough office. Crossman frequently works on large international projects. The firm recruited standout construction partner Lorna Carter from Hewitsons to take the lead on both contentious and non-contentious matters in the Cambridge office. Solicitor Sarah Lidgett in Peterborough handles construction disputes and has a niche focus on construction health and safety matters.

Practice head(s):

Howard Crossman

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Carter; Sarah Lidgett


“The construction team is led by Howard Crossman who provides hands-on, value-added services to all of his clients. He is friendly, prompt and courteous. He is also meticulous and pays great attention to detail.”

“Sarah Lidgett is very organised and efficient. The day I went to court for the injunction, Sarah and the barrister made sure I was fully aware of proceedings. I found Sarah to be very capable and easy to approach.”

“I had a dedicated partner who is available, responsive and exceptionally able, and who discusses matters on a level that is capable of being understood by foreign nationals.”

“The firm is a truly exceptional service provider. The responses are well thought out, very timely and in some cases almost instantaneous.”

“Sarah Lidgett is friendly, has a positive approach and provides quick responses.”

“I would commend this firm for its speed in dealing with issues. Many solicitors I have encountered before seem to take ages to action letters and report back. Greenwoods is very efficient.”

“We have been working with Howard Crossman, who we have found very efficient and easy to deal with. We feel confident with the advice he gives and comfortable that he understands our predicament and gives careful consideration before embarking on that advice.”

Key clients

Morrison Utility Services Ltd

Woods Hardwick Ltd

Jackson Coles Ltd

Cladding UK Ltd

D Brown Building Contractors

Leverton Brothers Ltd

Work highlights

  • A major post-Grenfell cladding dispute.
  • Providing support for a multi-billion dollar international construction and engineering consulting group, comprised of over 18,500 staff members through various subsidiaries assisting clients in over 100 countries around the world.
  • Complex Technology and Construction High Court litigation matter.
  • Drafting and negotiating construction documents for the College on substantial project.
  • Supporting a joint venture alliance of the largest Utility and Maintenance Contractors in the UK.


Hewitsons has a highly experienced construction group that works across its London, Milton Keynes and Cambridge offices. In Cambridge, managing partner Colin Jones is the standout practitioner who frequently handles complex and high-value matters for developers, contractors, design and construction professionals, construction product manufacturers, funders and occupiers. He is supported by solicitor Sardeep Gill who handles both contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm has a long-standing reputation for work on UK-wide construction projects, and its recent work includes projects for Oxbridge colleges and Homes England.

JG Poole & Co. LLP

JG Poole & Co. LLP in Ely provides 'clear and concise advice that is delivered in a timely manner'. Clients also praise lead partner Katherine Souter as 'very hands-on and reactive - she shows attention to detail and understanding the client's needs'. The construction, public procurement and state aid practice is key part of the firm's niche offering to higher education clients, and it acts for developers, contractors and their clients in high-value projects across the UK. Consultant Christopher Coveney, who was previously at Norton Rose Fulbright, joined the firm in 2018.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Souter

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Coveney


“JG Poole is willing to work with us collaboratively to find the solution which best fits our needs.”

“Katherine Souter is excellent, she has real in-depth knowledge of construction legal frameworks, contract law and good practice, giving very good advice and how to ensure value for money options are implemented.”

“Nothing has been too much trouble and it is a real pleasure to work with Katherine Souter, who is a n asset to the firm.”

Key clients

University of East Anglia

University of Hertfordshire

Canterbury Christ Church University

Buckinghamshire New University

London Metropolitan University

Colchester Institute

Paragon Land & Estates Ltd

University of Essex

Harper Adams University

University of Brighton

Varsity Consulting Ltd

University of Brighton

Work highlights

  • Advised Canterbury Christ Church University on the public procurement exercise and construction procurement of its new £47m teaching and social learning space.
  • Preparing and negotiating a JCT standard building contract for a new University building in Canterbury.
  • Advising the UEA on the procurement of a new consultant register starting 2019.
  • Construction procurement advice and strategy in relation to a new £50m capital project for new University teaching building.
  • Construction advice on a JCT based design & build procurement of two new office development sites with a combined value of £20m.

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal focuses on non-contentious construction work, supporting the property team with their development and finance work, as well as drafting building contracts and other professional team documents for large-scale projects involving. The firm has particular expertise in the education and charity sectors. Senior associate Sarah Duncan leads the practice and has significant experience in drafting and advising on procurement, building and development contracts.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Duncan

Buckles Solicitors LLP

'The firm works with us ensuring they push deals through, and they keep us up-to-date and informed', remarks a client of Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough. The construction and engineering practice is led from Nottingham by James Coppinger but the Peterborough office plays a key role through litigator James Maxey, who handles contentious matters for clients in the firm's key sectors of social housing, student accommodation, engineering and renewable energy. The firm continues to deal with the national student accommodation development programme for the Empiric group of companies, which involves numerous sites throughout the UK.

Practice head(s):

James Coppinger

Other key lawyers:

James Maxey

Key clients

Empiric Student Property Limited

Longhurst Group Limited (and the Blue Skies Consortium)

Keystone Developments (LG) Limited (and the Keystone Alliance)

Hill Partnerships Limited

Settle Group and Rowan Homes (NHH) Limited

Work highlights

  • We have advised on the procurement of new schemes in Manchester, Bristol, Falmouth and Canterbury, together with refurbishment schemes in Cardiff, Exeter and Bristol in relation to (a) consultant appointments, (b) the building contract, (c) guarantees and (d) collateral warranties.
  • Advising on the OJEU compliant procurement of a four-year framework agreement for the appointment of contractors for the Consortium’s ongoing housing development programme covering the East and West Midlands, South Yorkshire and East Anglia.
  • Advising on the OJEU compliant procurement of a four-year framework agreement for the appointment of consultants for the Consortium’s ongoing housing development programme covering the East and West Midlands, South Yorkshire and East Anglia.
  • Advising on the OJEU compliant procurement of a four-year framework agreement for responsive repairs to existing housing stock amounting to over 10,000 units across the East Midlands.

Greene & Greene

The construction and engineering practice at Greene & Greene is led by litigators Rob Adam and Michael Batty, who frequently handle contentious matters for main contractors and sub-contractors as part of their broad dispute resolution practices. In 2018, the firm hired solicitor Sarah Western from Birketts LLP who has a background in litigation but is now working as a specialist in both contentious and non-contentious construction matters for developers, main contractors and sub-contractors. Real estate partner Neil Grigg also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Rob Adam; Michael Batty

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Western; Neil Grigg


“The solicitors at Greene & Greene are all exceptional and I would not contemplate using any other firm. They are always well informed, technically excellent, commercially minded and have consistently given me excellent advice.”

“Sarah Western is great to work with – she is very professional, personable and knows her stuff.”

“Sarah Western was extremely helpful when she assisted me with a dispute. The action taken resulted in us getting an outcome that surpassed our expectations.”

“Sarah Western advised us on all of the outcomes, so we were able to weigh up our options, which meant we were able to make an informed decision when it came to taking action.”

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a project manager in an action for specific performance.
  • Acting on behalf of a client regarding substantial structural defects to factory premises.
  • Advising client in respect of potential obligations and liabilities under construction contracts.
  • Acting for a sub-contractor in several adjudications against a main contractor in respect of disputed Final Accounts.
  • Acting for a developer in respect of a claim for defective soil contamination works undertaken by a main contractor.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP joins the rankings having hired two construction specialists. Director Simon Franklin in Cambridge joined from Teacher Stern LLP and he handle all aspects of non-contentious construction law including strategic procurement. He has extensive experience in working with developers and housebuilders on projects including student accommodation, hospitals, retail developments and urban regeneration schemes. Solicitor Emma Raspin in Norwich joined from Cozens-Hardy LLP and her recent work includes dealing with all construction issues relating to the sale of a multimillion-pound property portfolio.

Practice head(s):

Simon Franklin

Other key lawyers:

Emma Raspin

Key clients

Ford Retail Limited (Trust Ford)

Fleur Developments Limited

Carislease Limited

Alaris Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for a property development company in respect of its £11m portfolio sale to a registered provider.
  • The Firm is the main supplier to Ford Retail Limited of property and construction legal work and we have advised and continue to advise the Group Property Manager on a number of projects, including the construction/refurbishment of showroom/service facilities at Bristol, Staines and Weston Super Mare.
  • The team acted for this award winning house builder in preparing a bespoke suite of construction documents, consisting of professional appointments, sub-contracts and collateral warranties.
  • Advising a developer client on the termination of a contractor and the engagement of a replacement as well as ongoing strategic contractual management advice.
  • Represented leading medical research and development company in connection with the construction of new laboratory building.

Leathes Prior

Leathes Prior in Norwich joins the ranking thanks to the growing workload of specialist partner David Richards, who has taken the lead on construction matters now that senior litigator Mike Barlow is focusing purely on commercial litigation. Richards handles construction projects around Norwich, across East Anglia and in London. The firm predominantly acts for builders and developers of residential developments, and provides a subscription-based retainer scheme for contractors. Clients praise the firm's 'diversity, commitment to deliver, communication, speed of response and ability to converse in a manner the layman can understand'.

Practice head(s):

David Richards


“Every member of the team at Leathes Prior is extremely professional and helpful. It would be very hard to seek criticism.”

“David Richards, in particular, has helped enormously with several projects.”

Work highlights

  • Leathes Prior represented a construction company in a dispute over the final account for a £1m project.
  • Leathes Prior represented a construction company in a claim against a developer based in the Isle of Man.
  • Leathes Prior represented a regional housing developer on claims against it on an estate of 19 houses.
  • Leathes Prior represented another regional housing developer a claim brought by a high value property-owner.
  • Leathes Prior acts for several contractors on an innovative retainer basis, dealing with contract review and early resolution of disputes

Prettys Solicitors LLP

The construction practice at Prettys Solicitors LLP is led by experienced litigator Peter Blake who handles contentious matters for large contractors. Non-contentious matters are handled by rising star senior associate Rebecca Palmer, who advises clients from all sectors of the industry on procurement strategy and implementation, project management, contract administration and the drafting and negotiation of standard form and bespoke construction contracts.

Practice head(s):

Peter Blake

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Palmer