Construction in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP's profile in the construction arena is reflected by its heavy involvement in high-profile national and cross-border projects. Equally strong in contentious and non-contentious work, its market-leading practice generates mandates from domestic (local and national) and international contractors, as well as funders and developers, among others. The main partner in Nottingham is Michael Sadler, who works alongside associate Mark Stubbs; both are part of a larger national team, which is led by Tim Claremont in London. Peter Westlake has retired from the partnership, but has retained a role as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Tim Claremont (London)

Other key lawyers:

Michael Sadler; Mark Stubbs


The team demonstrates depth of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of its field, coupled with common sense advice and the ability to talk the client’s language

Michael Sadler is wise to all the tricks of the trade and has a clear focus on finding solutions. Mark Stubbs provides great support, and quickly gets to grips with complex issues

The construction team has a broad depth of experience in both contentious and non contentious issues. The team listen to our issues and give very practical advice in a clear manner both verbal and written

The advice provided by Browne Jacobson is always proactively managed and delivered with a consideration of the client’s objective and ultimate project delivery. Browne Jacobson is able to expertly manage legal challenges and issues that arise from time to time on construction projects with complete ease, and with a guiding and supportive approach. The team combines expert advice with a personal and professional touch (even in the face of challenging matters), which is wholly refreshing

Mark Stubbs always makes himself available, always delivering on time and within the estimate of fees

Key clients

Mace Limited

BAM Construction Limited

North Midland Construction

CBRE Corporate Outsourcing Limited

Ilke Homes Limited

Willmott Dixon Construction Limited

Clegg Construction Group

Bowmer & Kirkland Limited

Light Source Design Limited

Lindum Group

Work highlights

  • Advising J Coffey Construction on the negotiation of a £50m trade contract package on the Battersea Power Station project to carry out work on the four main iconic towers.
  • Advising J Coffey Construction on the negotiation of a building contract for a significant scheme in London.
  • Acting for one of F3Group’s subsidiary companies on a £45m student accommodation project in the Recliffe area of Bristol.
  • The firm advises Homes England as part of its panel of lawyers on a number of national construction projects funded through loans from the Home Building Fund, orchestrated by the investment arm of Homes England.
  • The firm is advising YHA on site acquisition, land contingencies and the progress and negotiation of construction contracts for its flagship new hostel at Stratford in London.

Freeths LLP

Operating on a cross-office, national basis, Freeths LLP's construction team is a first port of call for many clients with high-stakes projects; it generates work from global construction consultants, end-users, developers, contractors and sub-contractors. 'Outstanding' national construction head Chris Holwell leads on a large number of complex construction projects; the scope of his team's non-contentious work includes hotel and sports developments, commercial/residential/mixed-use schemes and various other types of projects. On the contentious side, Amy Morley has vast expertise in all areas of construction and engineering law, and handles high-value, technically complex claims progressed by adjudication, arbitration or in the Technology and Construction Court. Guy Berwick, who was a partner for 30 years, is now a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Chris Holwell

Other key lawyers:

Amy Morley


Director John Kelly has a calm, considered approach and provides helpful strategic advice

A joined-up approach is taken across the various specialisms to give a co-ordinated solution. This is powerful as all specialisms and their associated nuances are considered in a process to give a good commercial outcome

Chris Holwell has an ability to address contentious issues within a negotiation in a straightforward and conciliatory manner. This is a key strength and has a big impact on the opposing party in a negotiation situation’

Key clients




North Midland Construction

GF Tomlinson Group

Martifer UK

Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Blueprint Regeneration

Travis Perkins

Scape Group

Work highlights

  • Drafted and advised Aldi on the circa 60 construction framework contracts related to ‘Project Fresh’ – the ongoing programme of works to refresh its current network of 775 UK stores.
  • Advised University Hospital North Durham on existing PFI Hospital Schemes and additions.
  • Acting for Siglion Developments on the development of the 14-acre former Vaux brewery site in Sunderland.
  • Acted for Wadham College, Oxford on the construction within the historic college grounds of two new, linked buildings.
  • Acting for Blueprint, the enabling developer, on the development documentation for a residential development of circa 42 properties in an inner city location adjacent to the former Fruit Market, Sneinton, Nottingham.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Complementing its legal resources, Shakespeare Martineau LLP also has an in-house team of construction professionals, putting it on a strong footing to provide legal and industry support on all the major contentious and non-contentious issues arising at every stage of a construction project; the practice covers projects in areas such as healthcare, industrial and student accommodation, among many others. Alex Smith heads up the practice, which generates work from local and national developers, banks, contractors, housing and infrastructure providers and healthcare providers. Smith and associate Romy Wood (a recent hire from CMS) specialise in all manner of construction documentation, including; standard or bespoke forms of contract, consultants’ appointments, collateral warranties, parent company guarantees and performance bonds.

Practice head(s):

Alex Smith (Nottingham)

Other key lawyers:

Romy Wood


The team has a fantastic work ethic, is very pragmatic and extremely commercial. It refuses to let any deal fail and will get the job done to perfection

Key clients

Leicester Lettings (Leicester Lettings (2016) Limited)

Pre (Leicester) Limited

Graystacks Castle Boulevard Limited

Code Students Limited

Everards Brewery Limited

Zone Developments (Leicester) Limited

Brackley Property Developments Limited

Calthorpe Estates

Lloyds Bank Plc

Paragon Property Development Company Limited

Maber Associates Limited

Romo (Holdings) Limited

Rotherhill Developments Limited

Jessops Construction Limited

Garner Holdings Limited

Wilson Bowden Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised developer Leicester Lettings on its £50m development of private rented sector apartments for Cording Real Estate.
  • Advised Code Students, a student accommodation owner and developer, on its 1,192-room development in Coventry, ensuring the first completed units could be occupied.
  • Advising developer Pre (Leicester) Limited on the development of 91 high-end modern student units in Leicester.
  • Advising Everards Brewery on the latest phases of its high-profile flagship brewery and leisure scheme development in Leicester.
  • Advising Graystacks on the development of 48 high-end modern student units in Nottingham.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP reinforced its credentials in the construction arena in early 2019 with the hire of senior associate Charles Jakeman from Browne Jacobson LLP; Jakeman is experienced in acting for clients on a regional, national and international basis. His expertise in construction projects spans areas such as education, health, leisure, housing and energy, among various others. The team was also strengthened by the arrival of Karen Sandhu, following the firm's acquisition of DCH Law in 2018. Practice head James Coppinger undertakes a mix of procurement and contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

James Coppinger

Other key lawyers:

Charles Jakeman


The team at Buckles Solicitors keeps things nice and simple, and keeps us informed; it chases the deal as much as we do, which is unusual


Key clients

Empiric Student Property Limited

Longhurst Group Limited (and the Blue Skies Consortium)

Keystone Developments (LG) (and the Keystone Alliance)

Hill Partnerships Limited

Settle Group and Rowan Homes (NHH) Limited

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice on the rollout of Empiric Student Property’s national student accommodation development plans. The firm has advised on the procurement of new schemes in Manchester, Bristol, Falmouth and Canterbury, together with refurbishment schemes in Cardiff, Exeter and Bristol.
  • Advising a consortium of 13 registered providers, led by Longhurst Group and Nottingham Community Housing Association, on the procurement of a four-year framework agreement for the appointment of contractors for the consortium’s housing development programme covering the East and West Midlands, South Yorkshire and East Anglia.
  • Advising Keystone Alliance (a consortium of nine registered providers led by Keystone Developments (LG) Limited) on the procurement of a four-year framework agreement for the appointment of consultants for the consortium’s housing development programme covering the East and West Midlands, South Yorkshire and East Anglia.
  • Advising a consortium of eight registered providers operating across the East Midlands on the procurement of a four-year framework agreement for responsive repairs to existing housing stock amounting to over 10,000 units across the East Midlands.

Gateley Plc

In a high-profile move, Piet van Gelder joined Gateley Plc from Knights PLC in late 2018 to head up the firm's construction practice in the East Midlands. Van Gelder has specialised in advising construction and engineering clients since qualifying in 1999. The firm has a particularly strong reputation in the housebuilder sector, where it acts for 17 of the top 20 national housebuilders in contentious and non-contentious matters. The development sector is another notable strong suit for the firm, which also demonstrates strong capabilities in other areas, such as marine and infrastructure. The firm's contentious work typically involves issues such as professional negligence, defective design, poor workmanship, payment disputes and delay/loss. Employers, developers, contractors and end-users turn to the firm for advice. van Gelder is supported by senior associate William Cursham.

Practice head(s):

Piet van Gelder

Other key lawyers:

William Cursham


Piet van Gelder is very knowledgeable and amenable in his field

Key clients

Jaguar Land Rover

Crest Nicholson PLC

Universal Piling and Construction Limited

Amos Group Limited

Bovis Homes Limited

Leicester Bakery Limited

Aimrok Limited

Flexidig Limited

Greyrock Properties Limited

LCT Properties Limited

Pavillion Estates Limited

UK Rail Leasing Limited

Minerva Fire Safety Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Manor Crest Group (which manages luxury hotels) on the construction of Double Tree Hotel by Hilton at Ferensway in Hull.
  • Acted for Leicester Bakery Limited as the employer in in two adjudications over numerous issues with the contractor’s final account and delays which had occurred whilst building their new headquarters and bakery units
  • Represented a sub-contractor in a final account dispute arising from the installation of Virgin Media underground infrastructure.
  • Acted for Car Shops Limited on drafting and negotiating building contract and associated appointments and warranties for a Bristol show room.
  • Represented sub-contractor Minerva Fire Limited in successfully settling a claim regarding installation of fire alarm system at Toys R Us distribution centre.

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP acts for a number of the largest developers and contractors in projects across the East Midlands, and also generates work from retail, motor retail and education sector clients. It also has significant involvement in large-scale regeneration projects in the region, where it advises public sector bodies. Elsewhere, the practice has experienced a notable uptick in mandates connected with private rented sector developments and commercial warehouse and distribution centre developments. Chris Hawrylak, who made partner in 2018, leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Chris Hawrylak


‘Heather Dixon and Chris Hawrylak are easy to work with, thorough and diligent’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Plc


Julian Hodge Bank


Principality Building Society

Welsh Government

Development Bank of Wales

Arts Council of Wales

Kingdom Bank


RBS (Natwest)

The Cooperative Bank


East Midlands LawShare

North West Legal Consortium

West Yorkshire Law Framework

National Procurement Service

Wales European Funding Office

Boots Walgreen Alliance

Western Power Distribution

Electricity North West

Wales Audit Office

UK Power Networks

Energy Assets Network

ESP Electricity

Bowmer and Kirkland

ES Pipelines

Harlaxton Energy Networks

UK Power Distribution

Work highlights

  • Advising regional developer Clowes Developments to meet expansion plans for Walgreens Boots Alliance member, Alloga UK, with a new 249,500 sq ft warehouse unit, and the subsequent sale of investment.
  • Advising Nottingham College on the construction of its £58m landmark college development ‘City Hub’ which will cater for up to 4,000 students in Nottingham City Centre.
  • Advising Nottingham City Council on the £30m redevelopment of Nottingham Castle.
  • Advising project manager client Nottingham Regeneration on its appointment on the Boots Enterprise Zone – a £100m regeneration of a 40-hectare site in Nottingham to create a centre of health, wellbeing and beauty.
  • Advising Sheffield City Council on the redevelopment of Europe’s largest listed building: Park Hill, Sheffield.