Construction in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP is a local market leader in all areas of real estate and construction work. The practice, which provides advice spanning both disputes and procurement work, is often consulted on large-scale projects in the region, across the UK and overseas. Team head Michael Sadler handles a range of significant work; in 2020, this included advising Mace on the construction of a number of European data centres. Senior associate Mark Stubbs assists national developers and contractors with all major industry standard contracts.

Practice head(s):

Michael Sadler

Other key lawyers:

Mark Stubbs


‘Trust in their ability to engage with project teams quickly and directly whilst keeping in-house counsel informed.’

‘Michael Sadler always has a strategic outlook and is dedicated to getting the best outcome for us in the shortest time available.

‘I have been working with individuals around Michael Sadler – he and his team has been very much to the point, on-time and very precise in communication.’

‘The Browne Jacobson staff at all levels are always very friendly & approachable. The partners in particular are highly skilled, knowledgeable & come across well.’

I very much recommend Michael Sadler.’

‘Michael Sadler always makes himself available should I have need of an answer to a quick question. For more substantial work, after listening to my requirements, Michael & his team will quickly put together a fee proposal & where commissioned, provide thorough & solid advice that I trust.’

Key clients

Bowmer & Kirland Ltd

Britcon (UK) Ltd

Clegg Construction Limited and Clegg Food Limited

Elevate property group

F3 Group

J Coffey Construction Limited

J Tomlinson Limited

J McCann & Co Limited

Legendre UK Limited

Leicester Football Club PLC

Light Source Limited

Lindum Group Limited

Mace Limited

NMCN Plc (formerly North Midland Construction)

Rollalong Limited

Thurrock Council

Wildgoose Construction Limited

Willmott Dixon Construction Limited

Willmott Dixon Interiors Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Mace on the design and construction of data centres and data centre campuses in Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.
  • Advising Mansfield & Sutton Astronomical Society on the procurement of a new observatory in Sherwood.
  • Advising J Coffey Construction on the collation and presentation of a £4m claim for loss and expense under a JCT Sub-Contract arising from design delays and client changes.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's construction expertise extends beyond the local region, with the firm advising on numerous projects at a national and international level. Through its relationship with key client Tarmac, the team has advised on supply contracts relating to high-profile infrastructure projects including HS2 and the Thames Tideway Tunnel. As well as assisting suppliers, the team also works with leading businesses from a variety of sectors on the construction of business premises and headquarters. Group head Chris Holwell focuses on procurements, advising leading food retailers and airports as well as contractors, while Amy Morley and consultant Guy Berwick specialise in disputes.

Practice head(s):

Chris Holwell

Other key lawyers:

Amy Morley; Guy Berwick


‘The team has a very good mix of experience and expertise with a good balance of seniority. This produces a good value for money product.’

‘The lead partner on our account, Chris Holwell, is an absolute stand-out individual who has in-depth knowledge of our business and the construction industry generally. He is always available and always gives expert advice which we really appreciate.’

‘ They have become an integral part of the team and have become “one of the family”.’

‘Freeths Nottingham is a very professional practice that provides a very personable service. Their people provide great advice and are able to provide multiple solutions to our problems / issues to enable us to make informed decisions. Whatever our decisions, they back us 100%. They are not pushy and are very straight and concise with their advice so we know where we stand.

Key clients




Nottingham Trent University

Peveril Securities Limited/Sladen Estates Limited


Novartis Pharmaceuticals


London Luton Airport

Travis Perkins Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Tarmac on contracts relating to the supply of concrete for the HS2 high-speed rail project.
  • Advising Aldi in relation to the contracts for the construction and fitting out of its largest ever distribution centre at Bardon in Leicestershire.
  • Advising Spotify on the contracts to create its new UK headquarters within the Adelphi Building in London.

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP is ubiquitous in the Nottingham and Derby markets, regularly assisting with significant construction projects in the two cities. The team stands out for its strong roster of public authority clients (including Derby and Nottingham City Councils); it also capable of advising a broad range of clients including developers, public/private partnerships and contractors. Chris Hawrylak is well known for his expertise in regeneration projects, and also advises a number of banking clients on security requirements. Associate Della Copley's practice spans procurement and contentious issues.

Practice head(s):

Chris Hawrylak

Other key lawyers:

Della Copley


‘I have used Geldards on a number of occasions. I always find them approachable and able to make suggestions where issues arise.’

‘Chris Hawrylak’s support has been invaluable and he assisted in filling in my knowledge gaps and also helped move matters to a successful completion.’

‘Team has vast amount of experience and applies it diligently.’

‘Chris Hawrylak has a vast amount of construction law knowledge.’

‘Gosh they are good. Experienced, technically astute and always unruffled. The construction disputes team is particularly known for acting for major regional employers or contractors. They are frequently against top tier London firms, yet time and again secure fantastic results in major arbitrations and adjudications. The team’s billings are also commendably modest.

A key associate to watch out for is Della Copley: her work rate is unrivalled, and she is always a voice of calm when a dispute is in the eye of the storm.’

Key clients

Bowmer & Kirkland Group

Walgreens Boots Alliance

CWC Group / Clowes Developments (UK) Limited / Dove Valley Park Limited

Miller Birch/Cedar Investments Limited

BioCity Group

Sheffield City Council

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Nottingham City Council

Derby City Council

The Council of the City of Carlisle

Chesterfield Borough Council

South Derbyshire District Council

Warrington Borough Council

Julian Hodge Bank Limited

The Development Bank of Wales

Principality Building Society

Lloyds Bank

PPH1 Ltd & DPK East

Nottingham Regeneration Limited

Sutco UK Limited

Synergy Health Managed Services Limited

SDL Group / Wise Living Homes Limited

Nottingham City Homes

Chrysalis Supported Association Ltd

Pendragon PLC

Rushmoor Borough Council

Wheeldon Brothers Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Nottingham College on its new £58.5m state-of-the-art City Hub which opened in October 2020.
  • Advising Derby City Council on the £200m redevelopment of a large and prominent neglected site in the City Centre.
  • Advised Nottingham City Council on the renovation of Nottingham Castle.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The core of Shakespeare Martineau LLP's practice is its work with developers, which it assists with all stages of projects from initial inception through to completion. The group also handles disputes, representing clients in the Technology & Construction Court as well as mediations. In Nottingham, Alex Smith leads the team and focuses on the healthcare, commercial, build-to-rent and student accommodation sectors. Legal director Jayne Meakin, who focuses on advising developers on JCT design and build procurements, arrived from Freeths LLP in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Alex Smith

Other key lawyers:

Jayne Meakin


‘Excellent legal understanding, resulting in great advice and innovation in solutions. Great communication, efficient & effective.’

‘The Team are very approachable and are willing to go the extra mile to try and resolve / assist with problems.’

‘They are extremely helpful and always find time to try and resolve problems.’

‘The technical expertise of Alex Smith is particularly impressive; yet he always keeps a pragmatic perspective to the strategy and advice needed to tackle any challenges on our development projects. Jayne Meakin joined the team last year, and quickly got up to speed with the work we were doing and the needs of our business. Jayne has provided technically excellent, responsive advice and has great attention to detail. She also brings a personal approach which we really value. We trust the relationship with Alex and Jayne and can feel assured that we are working with lawyers who are experts in their field.’

Key clients

Shoby Properties Limited

Graystacks Radmarsh Road Limited

Hunderwood Properties Limited

6 Balfour Place Limited

Pannell House Leicester Limited

Infinity Park Derby LLP

Peter James Homes Limited

Leicester Lettings (Leicester Lettings (2016) Limited

Code Students Limited

Everards Brewery Limited

Zone Developments (Leicester) Limited

Pre (Leicester) Limited

Romo (Holdings) Limited

Rotherhill Developments Limited

Jessops Construction Limited

Maber Associates Limited

EdgePS Limited

Wilson Bowden Developments Limited

KBC Developments LLP

Rainier Developments (Tenby Street) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised developer Leicester Lettings on its £50m development of private rented sector apartments for Edmond De Rothschild REIM (UK) Limited.
  • Advised PHLL, a student accommodation owner and developer, on its 70 room development in Leicester.
  • Advising Everards Brewery on the latest phases of its high-profile flagship brewery and leisure scheme development in Leicester.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP assists with both the procurement and contentious aspects of construction work, representing building companies, funders and commercial occupiers. James Coppinger leads the team and advises on a diverse range of construction projects, spanning student accommodation, water irrigation and housing properties. 2020 saw the firm develop its expertise in the rail sector with the arrival of senior solicitor Sam Greer, who previously worked in-house at a rail company. Consultant Peter Westlake joined from Browne Jacobson LLP in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

James Coppinger

Other key lawyers:

Sam Greer; Peter Westlake


‘Buckles LLP are a great firm and having worked with them on numerous projects over the years their service is second to none. Their attention to detail and swift turnaround times on proposals, legal queries and billing are excellent.

‘James Coppinger ( Partner) has a great down to earth approach. He is always reachable and willing to work on solutions for our projects. Attention to detail on the work produced is very high and overall communication throughout the project lifecycle is very efficient. I would not hesitate to recommend him and his team to anyone needing any construction legal advice.’

Key clients

Thursdays (UK) Limited T/A TGI Friday

Longhurst Group Limited

Empiric Student Property PLC (and its SPVs)

NODE London Brixton Limited (SPV of NODE Living UK Limited)

Taylor French Developments Limited

7 Formation Limited

MAKE Consulting Limited

Evera Homes LLP

Settle Group/Rowan Homes (NHH) Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Thursdays (UK) Limited with its national expansion plan, including site acquisition and fit-out works for new restaurant openings.
  • Advising Empiric Student Property PLC on the procurement of various new student accommodation development schemes.
  • Providing public procurement advice to Settle Group in relation to two housing schemes each with construction costs in excess of £10m.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc has specialist construction expertise in its Leicester and Nottingham offices, and advises on the financing of projects, contractual arrangements and disputes. Piet van Gelder is the key name in the region and has developed a specialism in renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Piet van Gelder

Other key lawyers:

William Cursham