Firms To Watch: Construction: contentious

Spencer West LLP  has seen a rapid expansion of its contentious construction practice, with Jonathan More   and Sarah Evans  , who joined from Fenwick Elliott LLP and Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in November 2020 and March 2021, respectively, the most recent arrivals.

Construction: contentious in London


CMS' 'commercial and capable' disputes team has continued its development as a trusted adviser in high-value infrastructure, construction and energy disputes. It boasts a number of household-name clients including investors, contractors and consultants, as well as serving on litigation panels for a number of groups. This is due to the team's extremely varied specialist abilities, which cover payment disputes relating to private finance, infrastructure disputes and cladding-related disputes. Adrian Bell and Steven Williams lead the team. Bell focuses on dispute avoidance and resolution, with a particular emphasis on international arbitration. Williams, on the other hand, focuses on waste-to-energy project disputes in addition to a broader infrastructure practice. They are supported by Matthew Taylor, who handles complex claims relating to time extensions and loss and expense, and Catherine Gelder, who focuses on matters concerning large developments. The team's partnership ranks were further strengthened with the arrival of Emma Schaafsma from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in January 2021 and the promotion of Mark Breslin in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Bell; Steven Williams

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Taylor; Catherine Gelder; Emma Schaafsma; Mark Breslin


‘CMS are considered one of the leading contentious construction departments, and rightly so. They have amazing depth and good lawyers, are good at the technical detail and have very good management skills.’

‘Adrian Bell is excellent and at the top of his game.’

‘Good all-round expertise in infrastructure and large team to suit.’

‘Great strength in depth.’

‘Adrian Bell manages the team well and is very responsive.’

‘Very commercial and capable disputes team. Get to grips with the technical and business issues and help find pragmatic solutions.’

‘Adrian Bell is an outstanding strategist and very client and business friendly. The team is well resourced.’

‘Given the size of the team now and how well resourced it is, it is difficult to understand why anyone would go anywhere else for large-scale, complex construction litigation.’

Key clients

Lendlease Construction (Europe) Limited and Lendlease Construction Holdings (Europe) Limited

Voith Hydro GmbH & Co


M&G Real Estate

Babcock and Wilcox

Balfour Beatty






National Grid



Mott Macdonald



Tecnicas Reunidas


Work highlights

  • Advised Voith Hydro in TCC proceedings relating to the refurbishment of Ffestiniog Power Station involving the replacement of two 90MW generating units.
  • Advised Prudential, instructed by M&G Real Estate, on a circa £30m matter concerning defects at a large distribution centre constructed over a former colliery owned by the client.
  • Acting for Tecnicas Reunidas in relation to proceedings for the enforcement of a bond in the English courts concerning the construction of a Saudi power plant.

Fenwick Elliott LLP

The ‘widely respected‘ contentious team at Fenwick Elliott LLP is experienced in the full range of construction disputes, with particular experience in international arbitration, mediation and adjudications. Internationally, the team has been increasingly active in the energy sector, particularly in matters regarding power plants in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Domestically, the team has been involved in projects in the high-value infrastructure, residential and commercial development sectors, as well as waste-from-energy and offshore renewable projects. Simon Tolson and Tony Francis lead the team, both offering significant experience in dispute resolution in large-scale construction matters. Also noteworthy are Richard Smellie, who is known for his work in international arbitration matters in the energy sector, and Karen Gidwani, who has a growing practice advising domestic clients on renewable energy matters.

Practice head(s):

Simon Tolson; Tony Francis

Other key lawyers:

Richard Smellie; Karen Gidwani


‘As they specialise in construction law, mainly disputes, they are not merely a jack of all trades but really are a master of this one complex area of of the law. They are also incredibly good value for money and when dealing with them, one is given an allocated partner who really is working on the matter on a day-to-day basis and not merely overseeing more junior staff. On that point, they also use resources well, and work with and bring counsel into the mix at very early stage.’

‘Karen Gidwani is incredibly diligent, commercially savvy and a good strategic thinker. It really feels as if you are in a safe pair of hands when dealing with her. Tony Francis is a good strategic thinker and understands the commercial subtleties of what the client is seeking to achieve.’

‘The firm is a niche firm and its focus is exclusively on construction-related matters in the UK and overseas – a key distinction from the large firms for whom construction is one of many sectors serviced. The firm is widely respected.’

‘Simon Tolson is one of the most highly regarded solicitors in construction. He is enthusiastic and works tirelessly for his clients. Unlike some senior lawyers, he is at the coal face when it matters.’

‘This is the number one construction practice in the UK – really easy to work with, knowledgeable, and imaginative in pushing us to be appropriately forceful. They use counsel appropriately and are really user friendly.’

‘Tony Francis knows just the right level of detail and keeps personally involved. He is so experienced he is instinctive in his advice.’

‘Very experienced, knowledgeable and always available.’

‘Good team organisation and ethos. Focus on the matters in hand and delivering an end result to the satisfaction of the client. Flexible and understanding of clients’ concerns and circumstances.’

Mayer Brown International LLP

Second to none in UK construction law‘, Mayer Brown International LLP offers its range of global clients, which includes purchasers, governments and a number of key contractors and suppliers, significant expertise with international arbitration. It also is known for acting in professional negligence-related matters on behalf of both insurers and the insured. Michael Regan leads the London construction group and is known for his work in arbitrations involving large energy and infrastructure projects. Sally Davies is also well regarded, leading the firm’s professional indemnity team and acting on many insurance-related cases. Jonathan Stone, Jonathan Hosie and Kwadwo Sarkodie are experienced in professional indemnity matters, high-value arbitration and matters based in Africa, respectively. James Morris is also a key contact at partner level.

Practice head(s):

Michael Regan

Other key lawyers:

Sally Davies; Jonathan Stone; Jonathan Hosie; Kwadwo Sarkodie; James Morris


‘The team’s communication has been timely and upfront. The team has stayed objective in giving its opinion and is not afraid to give an opinion that may not align with what the client wishes to hear. Such objectivity is precisely what I need as a client in seeking legal opinion from a law firm.’

‘The breadth of knowledge, experience and quality is second to none in UK construction law.’

‘Sally Davies is an amazing leader of her team, and her experience and strategic thinking shine out.’

‘They are very good at dealing with multi-party disputes.’

‘I really valued Jonathan Stone’s clear and strategic thinking on complex issues; overall I felt that we were being guided and helped by a very safe pair of hands.’

‘Jonathan Hosie has a wealth of experience and is able to give strategic and helpfully practical advice.’

‘Kwadwo Sarkodie has been an invaluable support and has great clarity of thought and legal precision.’

Key clients

Alghanim International General Trading & Contracting LLC

Alstom Transport

British Land


Gardiner & Theobald

GS Corporation


Nesma & Partners Contracting Company Limited

QBE, Zurich and many other members of the London insurance market

Ridge & Partners

SSE and joint venture partners

St George

Shepherd Construction

United Living

Wates Construction Limited (and following its acquisition, Shepherd Engineering Services)

Work highlights

  • Advising on all of Wates Construction’s main contract dispute work across the portfolio of its business sectors.
  • Advising Standard Life on pursuing a substantial claim against a professional team following delays during the construction of a retail park.
  • Acting as external litigation counsel to United Living, advising on the defence of high-profile litigation following the Grenfell tragedy.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's 'proactive' contentious team supports its client in a number of disputes, with experience in adjudications, arbitrations and standard litigation. It also offers broad sectoral expertise, with particular strength in arbitrations and High Court cases involving a growing number of international renewable energy projects. 'Excellent lawyer and tactician' Neal Morris heads the global construction group and is known for his work on many of the UK's largest infrastructure disputes. Helen Waddell co-leads the group's contentious construction arm and Jason Hambury co-leads the international arbitration practice. Waddell offers strong risk avoidance experience, while Hambury typically advises on international energy projects. Richard Laudy and Mark Roe are also noteworthy for their respective experience in dispute resolution and high-value international arbitration matters.

Practice head(s):

Neal Morris; Helen Waddell; Jason Hambury

Other key lawyers:

Mark Roe; Richard Laudy


‘One of the standout features has been the seamlessness of service, even when staff were on leave. In addition, they turn around work on time and give a definitive opinion. They also come up with suggestions that are really novel and ingenious to help with the case even when not being asked. The supporting departments which have also given advice have also been top quality.’

‘A construction and engineering practice with breadth and depth of experience that virtually no other firm can match.’

‘They stand out for their responsiveness to our needs and the experienced insights they bring.’

‘An excellently managed and proactive litigation team. The team members are all very capable lawyers and provide robust and wide-ranging opinions on the pitfalls and opportunities of construction contracts and support this with practical and tactical advice. They manage the complexities of litigation excellently and appreciate that the intricacies and multi-party nature of our industry requires a well-resourced team to handle these effectively. Importantly for our business (and, in our experience, unusually for lawyers) they are willing to be debated on their advice which, as clients, provides comfort that this is correct we are following the right path.’

‘Neal Matthews is an excellent lawyer and tactician who also identifies and explores the risk-reward results of any decision. He is a proven manager who welcomes engagement and sees the benefits of a unified client-lawyer team.’

Key clients

Balfour Beatty

BMB Joint Venture


EDF Renewables

FCC Construction


McLaren Construction Group

Morgan Sindall


Mulalley & Co Ltd

Laxmanbhai Construction UK Ltd

Legendre UK Limited

Lifestory Group

Sherrygreen Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the BMB joint venture as contractor on the £416m contract to build the West section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel in London.
  • Advising Mulalley & Co in relation to cladding disputes concerning five of its high-rise residential tower blocks.
  • Advised McLaren Construction Group on multiple adjudications relating to a large-scale UK energy infrastructure project.

White & Case LLP

The ‘world-leading construction dispute practice‘ at White & Case LLP is known for advising its clients on the full lifecycle of a project’s disputes, both before and after the dispute resolution phase. It acts on matters involving large-scale builds, including energy, infrastructure, mining and resource extraction projects. Most notable is its international clientele, and it has particular strength in advising Middle Eastern and African clients. Ellis Baker leads the practice, with experience in advising developers, contractors, consultants and lenders on a wide variety of matters. The ‘highly experiencedDavid Robertson is known for representing leading EPC contractors in Asia. Daniel Garton acts on noteworthy arbitration and ADR cases, while Phillip Capper is known for his work on critical, high-value infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Ellis Baker

Other key lawyers:

David Robertson; Daniel Garton; Philip Capper


‘The team provides a highly tailored service able to deal with unique commercial and legal circumstances, rather than a generic template to try to force into all situations. The key strength is that you will receive a lot of partner attention and all the processes will be genuinely partner-led.’

‘David Robertson is a highly exprienced construction specialist who gives high-quality, practical advice. He is compassionate and understands what is important.’

‘W&C has a world-leading construction dispute practice that is able to mobilise large teams for complex construction dispute matters. The lawyers are first class.’

‘Daniel Garton in London is a standout, with the ability and depth of experience to understand the client’s perspective and clearly communicate complex legal issues to clients.’

‘White & Case is highly knowledgeable in diverse international projects and practices and sympathetic to business needs. It has a wealth of back-room experience and has never failed to respond to our needs in a timely manner. The service has been outstanding.’

‘I find the White & Case team unique insofar as this team is able to collaborate easily and effectively with its clients and is composed of highly qualified professionals.’

‘W&C are, as you would expect, a very competent and professional outfit that support our dispute resolution with solid advice.’

Key clients

Webuild, Jan De Nul N.V., Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A.


Work highlights

  • Representing Grupo Unidos por el Canal S.A. and its shareholders, WeBuild and Jan De Nul N.V., in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority.
  • Representing INPEX in disputes regarding the pricing of works for an onshore LNG processing facility that is part of a mega LNG project.

Addleshaw Goddard

'Technically excellent' and 'tactically savvy', Addleshaw Goddard is known for its work on high-value infrastructure and energy project disputes, with a particular emphasis on international arbitration. It is also well regarded for its strength in PFI/PPP-related matters, advising on a number of hospital construction disputes both domestically and abroad. Its clients include top-flight contractors and developers. The experienced Jonathan Tattersall leads the team, with particular expertise in acting for health sector clients. Gerlando Butera acts in international arbitration cases concerning large infrastructure projects, leveraging his experience in Singapore and Hong Kong. Julia Court is also recommended for her work in the transport and commercial real estate sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Tattersall

Other key lawyers:

Gerlando Butera; Julia Court


‘Jonathan Tattersall offers very good client relationships but is also a strong lawyer and, despite seniority, invariably across the detail.’

‘Strong, tight teams. Partners on top of the detail as much as the associates.’

‘This is a well led and well structured team with the right mix of skills and levels of qualification being deployed according to the demands of the matter. Technically excellent, approachable, flexible and tactically savvy.’

‘The practice has strength in depth and is able to meet and exceed expectations in relation to a wide range of disputes. The construction team is well resourced at every level which enables the right team to be assembled for the matter in hand. Teamwork is excellent. Early in the pandemic and in a period of about six weeks the practice put in place the infrastructure needed for a heavy international arbitration to be run fully remotely at the same time as preparing for the hearing.’

‘Jonathan Tattersall leads the team impeccably. He is calm under pressure and always keeps the client’s objectives and how to achieve them in mind. He is an excellent communicator.’

‘Gerlando Butera has expertise in international arbitration and a keen eye for detail.’

Key clients

Kajima Europe Limited

Bam Nuttall Limited

Suez Recycling and Recovery Surrey Limited

Newcastle NHS Hospitals Trust

Work highlights

  • Acting for an international contractor, which is a global leader in construction and development projects, in relation to a healthcare PFI dispute valued in excess of £38 million.
  • Acting for an Italian contractor with extensive experience in global infrastructure projects in relation to a dispute valued at approximately $136 million regarding refurbishment of a motorway in Eastern Europe.
  • Advising a global contractor with a turnover of several billion on the ongoing complex and high-value dispute relating to a transport project in the East of England.


Ashurst's contentious practice acts for domestic sponsors, funders and contractors in a range of cases, particularly those related to distressed projects. It is known for supporting clients in disputes concerning infrastructure and commercial real estate matters, including high-value PFI  projects. Beyond that, it offers experience with international arbitrations, with an emphasis on those involving complex projects. Tom Duncan leads the team, with recent experience including disputes regarding energy-from-waste projects. Dyfan Owen and Simon Bromwich are also highly regarded. The 'knowledgeable and very personable' Owen advises energy and engineering clients, while Bromwich is known for his expertise in the resources and infrastructure sector. The 'commercially mindedMadeleine Pope was promoted to partner in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Tom Duncan

Other key lawyers:

Dyfan Owen; Simon Bromwich; Madeleine Pope


‘The Ashurst team has huge experience and knowledge of PFI and renewable energy construction disputes. The contentious team works very well with the non-contentious team to provide high-value advice.’

‘Madeleine Pope stands out. She is very commercially minded and gives very sensible advice.’

‘Dyfan Owen is very knowledgeable and very personable.’

‘Ashurst stands out for the consistently high quality of its solicitors. They have been of an incredibly high level across the board, both in terms of quality of output, but also providing sensible and perceptive advice.’

‘The quality of lawyering is superb. Deadlines are always met. The use of counsel is minimal and only where appropriate. They work very closely with us – there isn’t the usual excuse that certain matters are commercial issues that they won’t concern themselves with. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘The team at Ashurst that I have been engaged with are diligent, accurate and thorough. They collaborate effectively in understand what I and our clients are seeking to achieve and turn around actions and tasks quickly. They are also effective in developing strategic plans for dispute management and are honest in their responses and advice regarding strengths and weaknesses of cases and points of argument.’

‘Highly responsive. They provide good general advice as well as in relation to specific legal and contractual advice.’

‘Simon Bromwich is highly experienced and knowledgable.’

Key clients

Balfour Beatty

British Land

Covanta Energy

Interserve Construction

Lendlease Construction

Stagecoach Group

Transport for London


Brockwell Energy

Worcestershire County Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lendlease and Lendlease Holdings in two pieces of High Court litigation in relation to the £400m Manchester Joint Hospitals Project.
  • Acted for Lendlease Construction  Limited in High Court TCC proceedings concerning allegations of defects in relation to a flagship government office building.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP's contentious team acts in a full range of disputes, with expertise in litigation, adjudication and international arbitration. It offers solid expertise in large-scale disputes, primarily relating to infrastructure and energy projects, acting on behalf of suppliers and purchasers. It has also been expanding its international footprint, with a particular focus on South America. John Morris leads the firm's overall construction team, with significant experience serving as an adjudicator. Anthony Albertini is another key partner, known for his TCC litigation and dispute avoidance work. Mary Anne Roff and legal director Christopher Leadbetter are also well regarded for their work on energy and power project disputes.

Practice head(s):

John Morris

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Albertini; Mary Anne Roff; Christopher Leadbetter


‘The team we work with are very approachable and user-friendly and make themselves available at short notice where there is urgency. We have been able to develop a personal relationship, which helps to make the process more efficient and gives us comfort that the advice we are receiving is of high quality. ‘

‘I have worked with the construction team under John Morris for many years and there is consistency in who I deal with. They are very clear on billing and manage their advice tightly within budgets that we agree at the outset.’

‘Good strength in depth, appropriate use of more junior staff, very knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Hawkins Brown

PLP Architecture

Bouygues S.A, BY Development Limited and QBE Insurance Europe Ltd

Pan East General Contracting Co.

Bouygues (U.K.) Limited


Arabtec Consolidated Contractors Limited

BUA Ports and Terminals Limited

Galliford Try

Vistry Partnerships

Welput Trust (instructed by BentallGreenOak)

Grainger Residential Limited

Premcor (through its SPV Wyngrove Limited)

Clan (Regent Property) LLP

Connected Living London

Multiplex Construction Europe Limited

Thameswey Energy Limited

Biggin Hill


DLA Piper

DLA Piper's 'extremely able' and 'very experienced' contentious construction practice offers its clients support in large-scale infrastructure disputes both domestically and internationally. The team is known for its expertise in acting for contractors, investors and procurers in PFI and PPP disputes. Beyond that, the firm offers a strong energy practice to assist with matters concerning both petrochemical and renewable projects. Paul Giles leads the practice from Manchester, while Bob Maynard and Caroline Pope, both of whom offer experience in utilities, PFI and nuclear related disputes, further strengthen the team. Edward Shaw and Anna Mills are also recommended for their respective expertise in infrastructure and energy disputes.

Practice head(s):

Paul Giles

Other key lawyers:

Bob Maynard; Caroline Pope; Edward Shaw; Anna Mills


‘The team is responsive and attentive to the client’s needs, and experienced in dealing with a diverse range of domestic and international clientele. They have depth of experience so are one of the few firms that are excellent at litigation, arbitration and appellate work.’

‘Edward Shaw has the ability to identify the key issues and gets straight to the point.’

‘The DLA Piper team is highly integrated, extremely able, immensely hardworking, pragmatic and very experienced.’

‘A team that demonstrates good knowledge and understanding at all levels of engagement.’

‘Strong team with proactive members.’

‘Anna Mills is absolutely excellent. She is immensely hardworking, very bright, dedicated to her clients, pragmatic and very easy to work with – a first-rate solicitor.’

‘DLA are the best at cost control and matter management that I’ve seen.’

‘Excellent leadership, understanding of the wider project dynamics.’

Key clients

Erith Contractors Limited

Carilion Construction

Work highlights

  • Representing Erith Contractors in a dispute relating to landscaping works on the Olympic Park in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is known for its work in large-scale infrastructure disputes, both domestically and internationally. The team is experienced in adjudications, litigation and a number of ADR methods, and members are also particularly well known for serving as their own advocates in international arbitration matters. James Doe leads the UK construction disputes team, and was appointed to co-head of the firm's global construction disputes team. Doe, who is 'great with clients and very dedicated', is particularly highly regarded for his work with Asian and Middle Eastern clients. The 'outstanding' David Nitek is also recommended, with expertise in advising employers and contractors globally.

Practice head(s):

James Doe

Other key lawyers:

David Nitek


‘Excellent legal and technical knowledge combined with outstanding commercial acumen.’

“David Nitek is outstanding and provides a first-class service to his clients.’

‘The team are very good at challenging experts with facts; their familiarity with the detail in the factual matrix ensures robust evidence is presented.’

‘David Nitek is very calm and considered. He continually reassesses the facts and the best strategy for his client with an expert analysis of the case.’

‘Superb industry knowledge and excellent dispute resolution expertise.’

‘James Doe is great with clients, very dedicated and has a lovely manner as counsel.’

Key clients

Transport for London

Work highlights

  • Advising on an ICC arbitration regarding claims arising from the construction of an oil refinery in Egypt.
  • Advising on ICC proceedings arising out of a project in the Middle East.
  • Advising on disputes arising out of a construction contract for work on a major nuclear point project.


HFW is highly regarded for its contentious construction work, and is particularly strong in international arbitrations. It handles EPC contract disputes for a number of clients in the Middle East, South America and Korea. Due to its roots as a shipping firm, it also acts on a number of offshore project disputes, increasingly in relation to UK offshore windfarms. Max Wieliczko leads the team of 'true experts', and is well regarded for his advice on high-value energy and infrastructure matters. Michael Sergeant and Richard Booth are also notable contacts, with expertise in non-European infrastructure disputes and offshore work respectively.

Practice head(s):

Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:

Michael Sergeant; Richard Booth


‘I was very impressed by Richard Booth’s ability to quickly pick up the key aspects of a very technically challenging dispute, to draw out the key issues and to direct the compilation of the necessary technical evidence to support our case.’

‘Intelligent and considered advice. Strategically very astute. They get involved in the detail but can see the bigger picture.’

‘Michael Sergeant provides realistic expectations and keep you on track.’

‘We really enjoy working with HFW. The team are always quick to respond and provide concise, well-thought-out advice. HFW have taken the time to understand our business and we have built a strong relationship over many years.’

‘Michael Sergeant and Richard Booth have both supported us over recent years. We would highly recommend both as they offer sound practical advice, having invested time and energy in understanding our business.’

‘HFW know and understand construction. They specialise in resolving construction disputes and adopt a proactive attitude.’

‘The HFW team are true experts in this area and their depth of knowledge is readily apparent.’

‘Michael Sergeant gives clear and practical advice in a timely manner.’

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group (including VolkerFitzpatrick; VolkerInfra; Volker CI; VolkerHighways; VolkerStevin; VolkerRail)

J Reddington Group

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Hochtief Solutions AG

Belectric Gulf Limited

Posco Plantec

Robert Bird Group

Kuwait Oil Company

Al Gihaz Contracting Co

Work highlights

  • Acting for an international joint venture contractor in a £600m ICC arbitration in relation to a high-profile transport project in the Middle East.
  • Acting for a contractor in a £120m adjudication claim against a wind farm developer.
  • Acting for the contractor dealing with a series of disputes with a subcontractor relating to the £185m Grade I–listed Regents Crescent redevelopment.

Baker McKenzie

The contentious construction team at Baker McKenzie has experience acting on a range of disputes, from those involving local real estate to significant, high-value governmental projects. It has particular expertise in acting for owners of large and complex heavy engineering projects and in cases involving high-profile commercial and residential asset developments, with a particular focus on the UK market. Mike Webster and Steve Abraham co-head the team, with Abraham frequently acting on disputes in the Middle East. Kate Corby is also recommended for her litigation and arbitration experience.

Practice head(s):

Mike Webster; Steve Abraham

Other key lawyers:

Kate Corby

Key clients

CIMB Bank and a consortium of lenders


Itochu Corporation

Marguerite Fund

Edwardian Group


Global Ports Holding Plc

Korea Electric Power Corporation KEPCO

PepsiCo International Limited

Amut S.p.A.

CLDN Cobelfret

Anaklia Development Consortium

Bank Hapoalim

Work highlights

  • Advising Anaklia Development Consortium and a key investor in ICC and ICSID arbitration proceedings.
  • Representing the state of Kuwait in its defence against a prominent Egyptian family in ICSID proceedings concerning the development of a heritage site in Kuwait City centre.
  • Acting for the Edwardian Group on all aspects of the planning, procurement and construction of a hotel in Leicester Square, including handling disputes.

Beale & Co

Sheena Sood and Antony Smith lead the contentious construction practice at Beale & Co and are highlighted for their 'real understanding of the construction industry', acting for employers, contractors, architects and other key professionals in a range of disputes. The team offers a particular strength in international arbitration matters, often led by Smith, who also has significant expertise in health and safety-related matters, frequently acting for insurers. James Vernon is also recommended for his domestic work, which often involves High Court litigation.

Practice head(s):

Sheena Sood; Antony Smith

Other key lawyers:

James Vernon


‘Beale & Co were very friendly and approachable from the very first contact. They were very knowledgeable about the processes involved and told us what to expect at all times. At the same time they have managed our expectations accordingly, making sure that we know that any outcome could be possible, be it positive or negative.’

‘The team were quickly immersed in the case, understood it down to the details and were working with us from the off. It made us feel as though we had been working together for a long time as we felt as we were truly one team. This was only after few days. This was achieved through good communication that enabled us to collaborate on a level as colleagues and not as a client/solicitor relationship.’

‘Antony Smith is a great strategist, who is very highly respected inside the firm and externally. Antony is extremely professional, experienced, knowledgeable and very personable. Great to work with.’

‘James Vernon has good attention to detail, a good work ethic and provides good advice on strategy, which has enabled us to obtain a successful outcome. I appreciated his advice, intelligence and the effort levels.’

‘The partners at Beale & Co have a real understanding of the construction industry and are able to draw on their experience to provide expert help in resolving disputes. They are a smaller practice which enables them to build a better network of knowledge. They are extremely good at providing reassurance and care of clients who are the subject of construction litigation and therefore able to draw out a stronger position for their clients as they de-stress the process.’

‘Antony Smith has brilliant negotiating skills and has demonstrated his ability to reach a successful settlement position on every occasion when I have worked with him. His calmness with his clients is tempered with his resolute approach towards frivolous claimants; he is joy to watch in mediations. Sheena Sood is similarly gifted and gets right across her brief to ensure she is completely conversant with the dispute. She brings a highly rational brain to the table that helps clients understand their position clearly.’

‘Competitive rates, high partner-level engagement in matters and strong expertise.’

‘James Vernon has very sound construction industry knowledge and works closely with the team against any deadlines required. He has an easy manner and has a habit of winning adjudications due to his clear insights and reasonable approach to matters. He is also good in mediations.’

Key clients

Arup Group Limited


Broadway Malyan



Association for Consultancy and Engineering

BHM Construction


BAM Nuttall


Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP offers support in contentious construction matters across a full range of sectors. Within the UK, it advises on real estate and infrastructure construction disputes, and it also has a growing focus internationally. The team was bolstered in January 2021 with the arrival of Shy Jackson, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP as the new head of construction disputes. Jackson, who is also well regarded as a lecturer and academic, is experienced in the full range of dispute resolution, including mediation and international arbitration. Richard Davies heads the global construction team, while Alexandra Clough and James Clarke are also well regarded.

Practice head(s):

Richard Davies; Shy Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Clough; James Clarke


‘Specialist industry knowledge but with the requisite skill to handle big disputes.’

‘Alexandra Clough was very good to work with – pragmatic and sensible.’

‘An excellent construction practice, in both arbitration and court. They have a very large international practice.’

‘Shy Jackson’s experience, technical skillset, broader industry knowledge and his commercial focus make it very easy to work with him.’

‘Excellent drive and problem-solving skills. Clear at explaining legal options. Good at legal strategy.’

‘James Clarke is diligent, has a very good mind, and is extremely approachable.’

Key clients

McLaren Construction Ltd



Heathrow Airport

The Crown Estate

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is known for its 'good communication, clear advice and no-nonsense approach' to its contentious construction work. It has experience acting on behalf of employers, contractors, specialists and consultants, and offers business services for its construction clients. Steven Carey leads the team, advising his clients on the full range of contentious construction matters. James Worthington offers expertise in acting for housebuilders working on regeneration projects, and Rupa Lakha has the full range of dispute resolution experience. Michael O’Connor is also recommended for work related to the new Fire Safety Act.

Practice head(s):

Steven Carey

Other key lawyers:

James Worthington; Rupa Lakha; Michael O’Connor


‘Collaborative and supportive advisers, always on hand.’

‘Michael O’Connor is a reliable pair of hands who can cut through the issues and advise through a clear commercial lens.’

‘There is strength and depth of knowledge and experience within the team and an excellent speed of response and availability when needed. Problem-solving in difficult situations has been first class.’

‘Good communication, clear advice and a no-nonsense approach in dealing with the issues and their resolution.’

‘They want to work with you rather than for you. They want to understand your business, what the real issues are and how those issues really impact it. A unique blend of legal expertise, working knowledge of the industry, a hands-on and can-do attitude, great drafting skills, sheer hard work when required, approachability and charisma.’

‘Steven Carey manages and motivates a great team but is always there himself to provide that extra experience and expertise just when needed. His legal skills and problem-solving abilities are special but, just as importantly, he listens and works with you and is never too proud to consider and adopt your suggestions. He is great to work with.’

‘James Worthington is very reliable, knowledgeable, extremely thorough and a great drafter. You disagree with his legal interpretation and advice at your peril!’

‘The team are very thorough with their advice. Their attention to detail is next to none.’

Key clients


Ferrovial Aggroman

Mace Group

Permasteelisa Group


Salamanca Group

Siemens Postal, Parcel and Airport Logistics Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the United Living Group of companies, one of the UK’s leading contractors.

Corbett & Co International Construction Lawyers Ltd

A firm of construction specialists, Corbett & Co International Construction Lawyers Ltd is known for acting on behalf of employers and contractors in disputes involving international projects. The team's core expertise lies in resolving disputes arising from FIDIC contracts, through international arbitrations, advocacy in front of international disputes boards and arbitration in the TCC. Edward Corbett co-leads the team, advising on high-profile or otherwise sensitive infrastructure matters, alongside Andrew Tweeddale. Taner Dedezade, a trained barrister, is highly regarded for his advocacy work.

Practice head(s):

Edward Corbett; Andrew Tweeddale

Other key lawyers:

Taner Dedezade


‘All members of the team have a very good command of the details of the dispute as well as a well-coordinated system between themselves to tackle the problem at hand. Even though we are going through a complicated arbitration procedure in times of pandemic while everyone is working remotely, we have never had a problem.’

‘Edward Corbett is a very good leader who manages and motivates the whole team, including independent experts who in our case are from all over the world. He has a very good understanding of engineering problems.’

‘The Corbett & Co team understand construction and get to the heart of the issues very quickly and are great in coming up with and contributing to strategic approaches to dispute avoidance or resolution.’

‘A specialist firm with excellent experience with international construction disputes focusing on the FIDIC standard form contracts.’

‘Andrew Tweeddale is honest and hardworking and provides great value for money.’

‘The team at Corbett & Co is made up of outstanding individuals with a broad set of skills, who are able to uncover potential solutions for resolving complex disputes from difficult circumstances.’

‘I had the pleasure of working with Taner Dedezade. His depth of knowledge and experience has led to a good result for his client on each occasion that I have worked with him.’


Dentons advises a number of clients, including developers, contractors, retailers and PPP stakeholders, on construction dispute avoidance and resolution. Internationally, it provides arbitration support in key international matters, while domestically, its work is diverse, covering litigation and a number of ADR methods. It also has expertise in advising on distressed PFI projects. Akin Akinbode and Gurbinder Grewal lead the team, advising on a number of construction and engineering matters including PFI and energy-from-waste disputes. Esther McDermott is also known for her work in the TCC.

Practice head(s):

Akin Akinbode; Gurbinder Grewal

Other key lawyers:

Esther McDermott


‘The team has real strength across all areas of construction dispute practice – international arbitration, domestic litigation and arbitration, and adjudication. They have strong personnel in every area.’

‘Akin Akinbode has a superb client base and quality of instructions for international arbitration work and is a careful thinker and strategist.’

‘Gurbinder Grewal offers fantastic client care, great energy in his work, and is a really persuasive writer and thinker.’

‘The Dentons team has depth gained from a team which has worked together for a long time. Regardless of which partner or associate you are working with, you can count on them to be well prepared.’

‘Gurbinder Grewal has exceptional intellect which allows him a keen grasp of the technical details of a dispute. Not only will he provide a capable analysis of the legal points, he will also have a firm understanding of the expert and factual evidence.’

‘Tenacity in seeking good results. All the staff are results focused.’

 ‘Esther McDermott is very sharp and well organised.’

‘The team has extensive experience, strength in depth and is great to work with.’

Key clients

G.E. C.I.F. Trustees Ltd

Galliford Try Building

Leonardo S.p.A.

Morgan Sindall Infrastructure Limited

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing an Italian multinational company responsible for the construction of an installation in Qatar in a €14.6m dispute heard in the Qatar Financial Court.
  • Advising Morgan Sindall in relation to a multi-party dispute arising in relation to the redevelopment of Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester.
  • Acting for Galliford Try Building in respect of its dispute with its lead consultant, an architect and steelwork subcontractor.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The contentious team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a particularly strong purchaser client base, and extensive experience in international arbitration. It currently does significant work in Europe and the Middle East, with an expanding focus on the US market. Jonathan Douglas heads the UK team and has broad expertise, but with a particular emphasis on renewables matters. Meanwhile, Simon Oats heads the global team. Nick Pinder is 'meticulous in his approach' and has a well-regarded energy practice. Jessica Neuberger is also known for her strength in built environment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Douglas; Simon Oats

Other key lawyers:

Jessica Neuberger; Nick Pinder


‘The people I deal with at Eversheds have true expertise when it comes to certain energy projects and I think that genuine expertise is hard to find amongst a lot of generalists.’

‘Nick Pinder loves getting to grips with the complex engineering issues which are critical to our energy projects. This is a unique skill and this means he can get the best out of the wider project team. He is meticulous in his approach and always seems to be one step ahead of the other side.’

‘Great legal insight on dealing with some pretty tough issues.’

‘Nick Pinder has a fantastic legal mind and never ceases to amaze with his original thought.’

‘Strong leadership from Jonathan Douglas.’

‘Jonathan Douglas is innovative and commercial as well as highly knowledgeable about the law.’

Key clients


EP Langage Limited



Legal & General



Thames Water



Work highlights

  • Acting for St. Modwen Properties in a dispute concerning defects and related damage to a distribution centre.
  • Acting for LendLease in High Court litigation proceedings alleging defects under a cooperation agreement on a student accommodation project.
  • Representing EP Langage Limited in court proceedings commenced by Langage Energy Park Limited in relation to the supply of services from a power plant to a neighbouring business/industrial park.


Fieldfisher is highly experienced in adjudications, arbitration, litigation and dispute resolution methods across a number of key infrastructure and commercial real estate matters. It offers particular expertise in the health and education sectors, acting in major PFI disputes. Dan Preston leads the team and is known for acting on behalf of major suppliers. David Thorne, meanwhile, is known for his work in the TCC, with additional adjudication and ADR experience. Jamie Key is also noteworthy for his work with engineering firms. Samantha Thompson was promoted to director.

Practice head(s):

Dan Preston

Other key lawyers:

David Thorne; Jamie Key; Samantha Thompson


‘They are young, dynamic and utterly brilliant lawyers. I am almost nervous to say how good they are for fear of the rest of the market discovering them and making them so busy they won’t have time for me.’

‘Dan Preston has a level of industry knowledge which is unparalleled and an eye for a commercial deal which is rare in private practice lawyers. He knows the law, but he also knows the industry and our business.’

‘I believe most of the team have worked together for some time which is a strength.’

‘I particularly like their accessibility and down-to-earth style. Dan Preston is a natural when it comes to providing expert legal advice in a way which is readily understandable to non legal practitioners.’

‘The team offers excellent claim management and strategy solutions and their senior team members are always available and visible. The knowledge and experience of the team is second to none. They have offered innovative billing based around the successful defence or prosecution of claims which helps make decisions within our business.’

‘Dan Preston is highly rated by our team and offers pragmatic and considered advice on all matters due to his knowledge and experience. Jamie Key is another standout member of the team who offers calm and considered advice on all matters.’

‘Dan Preston is a creative problem solver, and someone you want in your corner.’

‘They have good sector knowledge and are very personable. David Thorne is knowledgeable and deep thinker. Jamie Key has a great attitude, and is flexible, great with clients and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Morgan Sindall Group

VolkerWessels Group

Sir Robert McAlpine

AstraZeneca plc

ISG plc

Imperial College

DAFA Properties Group

Rocket Properties

M Group



Tilbury Douglas

NMCN plc

McDermott Marine Construction Limited


NMS Infrastructure Limited

Winch Energy


Bouygues UK



Kennedy Wilson

United Living

McLaren Construction

Stoke City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised SPIE Limited on three adjudications relating to the redevelopment of Regent’s Crescent in London.
  • Acted for VolkerFitzpatrick in the defence of claims valued at £7m brought by Blackpool Borough Council arising from defects in a new tram depot in Blackpool.
  • Advising AstraZeneca on the procurement, design and construction of its new £1bn global R&D centre and corporate headquarters on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, including advising on potential disputes.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s construction practice acts for employers, contractors and consultants in a range of project disputes. It advises across asset classes but has particular expertise in matters in the energy, transport and process plant sectors. Rupert Sydenham is well regarded for his expertise in procurement-related matters, and in conducting formal and informal disputes. Former practice head Roberta Downey and fellow partner Angus Rankin left to join Vinson & Elkins RLLP in mid-2021.

Practice head(s):

Rupert Sydenham

Other key lawyers:

Tom Smith


‘Rupert Sydenham is absolutely first class, very experienced and knowledgeable about procurement litigation, immensely thorough and has great tactical expertise.’

‘Rupert Sydenham is a genius, especially in public procurement disputes. Gigantic brain. Calm, measured approach but deadly – and a true fighter (think James Bond but with a legal brain instead of a gun).’

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP acts on behalf of a number of key construction entities, advising contractors, consultants and employers on their contentious matters. The team has experience in the full range of dispute resolution methods, with particular expertise in adjudications and international arbitrations. Kevin Greene and Matthew Smith co-lead the team, advising on major domestic real estate and large-scale infrastructure projects, respectively. Matthew Walker is also notable for his work in Qatar, which includes key transport and infrastructure-related disputes. The team was further strengthened by the March 2021 arrival of Ben Holland from Squire Patton Boggs.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Greene; Matthew Smith

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Walker; Ben Holland


‘An excellent team of conscientious and committed lawyers. On top of recent developments in the law and very good at managing client needs.’

‘Matthew Smith and his team deliver a first-class service. When Matthew is instructed, his client will know that he will have a complete grip on all aspects of the dispute.’

‘The team gives the utmost attention to the needs of the client and works in a very organised and professional manner. They always manage efficient and timely communication with all parties involved.’

‘The individuals I work with are experienced, resourceful, and dedicated. I would like to mention specifically Mathew Walker, who is an asset to the company.’

‘The communication and collaboration between team members is really good. Everyone knows what they need to do and gets it done.’

‘Very knowledgeable in the area and prepared to form a view and advise accordingly.’

Key clients

Nuveen Real Estate

Hitachi Ltd

Transport for London

Crossrail Ltd

Qatar Rail

Laing O’Rourke Group

Grupo Pacadar



Mass Rapid Transit Malaysia

Crown Commercial Services

Angola LNG




Ministry of Municipality and the Environment, Doha

Corinth Pipeworks Holdings S.A


ENEL Green Power

Aboitiz Energy


Kennedys' contentious practice is known for acting in both litigation and international arbitration cases. Its main focus is on acting for insurers in high-value claims relating to construction projects, and it has a growing practice involving modular construction cases. Iain Corbett leads the practice, handling a number of large-scale infrastructure disputes. Michael Hogg is notable for his advice to insurers and contractors, while associate Caitlin Gallagher provides 'unfailingly sound, relevant and comprehensible' advice.

Practice head(s):

Iain Corbett

Other key lawyers:

Michael Hogg; Caitlin Gallagher


‘The team at Kennedys have been exceptionally efficient and proficient in dealing with our matters since their appointment.  Partners and barristers are only brought in when actually required to actively contribute and the team are unfailingly helpful and proactive in dealing with our requests and in giving advice. The team have demonstrated a very thorough knowledge of the sector and the ability to call on specific expertise when required.’

‘Easy access to partners and associates, willingness to engage with all concerned and to discuss openly and professionally the views expressed by others.’

‘Caitlin Gallagher has dealt with all of our matters in a very efficient and friendly manner. She appears always to be available – whether via email or telephone – and her advice is unfailingly sound, relevant and comprehensible.’

‘This team have great diversity and strength throughout, which is why we use them so regularly. They stand out for their experience and knowledge, and the relationships that they have built up over years.’

Key clients

Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP


Bam Construct UK

Protector Forsikring ASA

Willmott Partnership Homes Limited

Zurich Insurance

Donald Insall Associates

Munich Re

Kier Group

Fletcher Priest

Work highlights

  • Advising Protector Forskirig, the insurer of Grenfell Tower, on matters relating to the tragic events of 14 June 2017.
  • Acted for the main contractor and its insurers following the discovery, close to practical completion, that a care facility in Basingstoke was structurally unsound.
  • Acted for AIG, other market insurers and Keadby Generation Limited in relation to a subrogated recovery for losses due to a fire at a power station.

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP has experience in construction litigation, adjudications and arbitration. It is particularly strong in commercial real estate disputes, including those involving office, residential and leisure properties, as well as disputes regarding infrastructure projects. Douglas Wass leads the team, often acting on PFI disputes relating to hospitals, university projects and waste-to-energy facilities. Mark Lawrence, who acts on behalf of developers and builders both domestically and internationally, and Andy Mather, who has broad experience in High Court litigation, are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Wass

Other key lawyers:

Andy Mather; Mark Lawrence


‘An exemplary team that fosters collaboration to the benefit of its clients. The construction team has renowned expertise that is in high demand in complex construction-related disputes. They have a great reputation in the High Court.’

‘Doug Wass leaves no stone unturned to support his clients. He is extremely sharp and knowledgeable about the law and the legal strategy. Mark Lawrence is a user-friendly advocate who has an impressive ability to get a handle on the case and understand the critical issues to deal with. He is highly recommended. Andy Mather thinks laterally and has a great vision as to the strategy and how to advance complex legal arguments, and has intricate legal knowledge.’

‘The team has excellent litigation experience, particularly in the infrastructure space. Key personnel are excellent communicators to us as a client, and importantly in discussion with other dispute parties.’

‘Doug Wass has excellent experience and knowledge matched with the ability to communicate well to all parties and explain the options to us as a client.’

‘Top-drawer legal advice and case management. Extremely pragmatic.’

‘They are a very efficient team and they tend to approach issues slightly differently to many other firms, which gives them an innovative advantage. It is a small team, which ensures consistency of staffing on each matter and good continuity of knowledge.’

‘Both Andy Mather and Doug Wass are quietly confident and very skilled at what they do. They are easy to communicate with (even for difficult messages) and communication goes two ways so I am kept informed of what’s going on.’

‘Mark Lawrence and the team clearly have expertise and experience in managing contentious construction matters. However, where Mark stands out is his ability to provide a calming influence in a time of commercial crisis, and then to deliver careful, articulate and pragmatic advice which allows us as a client to make considered and effective decisions. Above all of Mark’s other qualities and expertise, it is this that makes him stand out from the competition.’

Key clients

Catalyst Healthcare (Manchester) Limited

Grove Developments Limited

Aggregate Industries

Legal & General


Weston Homes



European Land

St James’s Oncology SPC Ltd

Global Switch

Lancashire Schools SPC Phase 1 Ltd

Argan, Inc/Atlantic Projects Company

Work highlights

  • Acting in High Court proceedings in relation to defects in the design and construction of oncology facilities at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds.
  • Acting for the owner, operator and developer of data centres in Europe and Asia Pacific in a series of complex adjudications and High Court proceedings.
  • Acting for the project company responsible, under a complex PFI structure, for Central Manchester University Hospital in a substantial High Court claim.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is known for its work in disputes involving commercial and industrial real estate, transport infrastructure, energy and logistics projects. It is particularly well regarded for its strength in cases concerning distressed PFI/PPP projects, acting for developers, contractors and other stakeholders. Donald Warnock heads the construction and energy practice for the firm, leading in disputes, and particularly arbitrations, in those areas. Simon Ramsden and James Rogers are also noted for their respective experience advising on PFI disputes and international arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Donald Warnock

Other key lawyers:

Simon Ramsden; James Rogers


‘Simon Ramsden can simplify a complex situation, and bring genuine and alternative pragmatic and commercial options to the table, whilst being robust on the legal solutions also available.’

‘Happy to work dynamically and efficient in their collaboration with the client as the situation changes.’

‘Norton selects the best lawyers that they have around the world to create the best team to defend your interests.’

‘The partners and associates at Norton are good lawyers: they know the law that they are applying, they think very much in the interest of the client, and they are a very good advocates in defending the client.’

Key clients

BAM Nuttall


Ferrovial Agroman UK Limited

First Generation Limited

UBB Waste Limited


Sumitomo Mitsubishi Banking Corporation Europe Limited

Husky Energy


Work highlights

  • Acting for Hyde Housing Association in claims arising out of the design and installation of cladding systems on high-rise buildings in the UK.

Simmons & Simmons

The 'well-organised, very responsive' construction disputes team at Simmons & Simmons offers support to clients in both domestic and international matters. The practice handles disputes involving project defects, supplier and contractor issues, delays and force majeure, with experience in all major dispute resolution methods. Emily Monastiriotis heads the dispute resolution team, and is particularly experienced in pure construction contractor disputes. Leading the broad construction team is James Pollock, who works across the UK and Irish high courts. Jonathan Spencer is known for being 'measured, sensible and commercial'.

Practice head(s):

Emily Monastiriotis; James Pollock

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Spencer


‘Emily Monastiriotis is decidedly shrewd, very impressive and seriously focused and driven. Special mention also to James Pollock, whose reputation precedes him, specifically in the insurance PI market. Jonathan Spencer is measured, sensible and commercial – a pleasure to work with.’

‘Specialists in complex and high-value international construction disputes in relation to large infrastructure projects. Very experienced in cross-border work with matters often including multiple parties, contracts, jurisdictions and governing law. ‘

‘They are well organised, very responsive and we were very fortunate to be able to rely on their professional and extremely helpful support.’

‘Emily Monastiriotis has been extremely valuable to the overall strategic management of the case. Her impressive experience in construction litigation has proven invaluable and we have significantly benefited from her insight. Emily has a real talent to distil the key issues and identify a clear commercial strategy. She is also extremely hardworking and responsive at all times and a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Emily Monastiriotis is all over the detail and willing to roll up her sleeves and get on with it.’

‘A great, well-rounded team, very easy to deal with and very approachable with any issues or concerns that may arise.’

‘Incredibly responsive.’

‘Emily Monastiriotis provides incredible perception and practical advice. James Pollock is a titan. I would trust him with my life.’

Key clients

MPB Structures Limited

EuroCape Ukraine I LLC

Work highlights

  • Defending MPB Structures Limited in a £65m dispute arising from the construction of the first purpose-built hospital in England, especially for providing emergency care.
  • Advising EuroCape in relation to the design, construction and commission of the biggest onshore wind farm in Europe and related disputes.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood's contentious construction team acts on behalf of public bodies, developers, contractors and occupiers in major disputes. It acts across sectors, with particular expertise in disputes concerning public projects, such as rail and energy infrastructure, and real estate developments. Ron Nobbs and Paul Thwaite co-lead the practice, with Nobbs primarily focusing on supplier and purchaser matters, while Thwaite acts on behalf of contractors in delay and disruption cases. Charlotte Heywood is also recommended for her experience in rail disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ron Nobbs; Paul Thwaite

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Heywood


‘Stephenson Harwood has shown the ability to work flexibly, to react quickly when needed and to draw in experts on particular issues, as and when required.’

‘An experienced team from the partners to the associates who know and understand the rail industry and apply that knowledge in a balanced, pragmatic and commercial way.’

‘The team work collaboratively and we have appreciated their willingness to set aside personal egos to achieve client objectives.’

‘Open-minded, straightforward, able to translate into simple language, diligent and highly competent.’

‘Stephenson Harwood has provided us with commercial litigation support which has been second to none. Rates have been extremely reasonable for a City business and they have even discounted some fees as a gesture of goodwill.’

‘Charlotte Heywood has remained a legal lifeline. She has made herself available around the clock to work with different time zones and turns around matters very quickly.’

‘The team has a great depth of knowledge in the area of dispute resolution.’

‘A firm that offers all the capabilities you need as a business.’

Key clients





Equipe Regeneration

Mala Engineering

The Royal College of Art

University of Greenwich

LaSalle Investment Management

Thornsett Developments

Work highlights

  • Acted for ENGIE in relation to a dispute with LendLease Construction arising out of multiple claims brought by Exchequer Partnership.
  • Acted for Multiplex in relation to a claim arising out of the design and construction of 100 Bishopsgate.
  • Avising Equipe in relation to its High Court claim arising from the Brockley PFI project, which expires in 2027.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for all key construction parties in cases involving a variety of domestic projects, including commercial and residential developments as well as major projects. It offers particular expertise in the education and care sectors, as well as in new methods such as modular construction. Anthony Yates leads the team, providing significant experience in cases involving cladding and fire safety. Theresa Mohammed is also noteworthy for her work on technical hotel and residential disputes.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Yates

Other key lawyers:

Theresa Mohammed


‘My experiences of dealing with the firm has been excellent. They are positive and commercial in their advice. The advice has been assured and user-friendly. I was also impressed by their availability and responsiveness even though our demands for legal advice have been quite sporadic but urgent when they arose.’

‘The firm gives wide-ranging advice, which is vital to a large organization that needs a variety of services.’


Key clients

London Borough of Camden

London Borough of Hillingdon

Work highlights

  • Advising Camden Council in relation to a dispute concerning the Chalcots Estate housing PFI project.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP

Vinson & Elkins RLLP is known for its experience in high-value, high-profile and complex construction disputes, often in ‘bet the company’ scenarios. It primarily focuses on international arbitrations surrounding large-scale engineering matters, with key clients including the Panama Canal Authority. Nick Henchie leads the team, with particular expertise in the engineering aspects of energy and infrastructure projects around the world. He is supported by Scott Stiegler, who provides key tactical support and guidance when advising on long-running disputes. The team recently secured a major boost with the addition of Roberta Downey, the global head of construction and engineering at Hogan Lovells International LLP, along with fellow partner Angus Rankin.

Practice head(s):

Nick Henchie

Other key lawyers:

Scott Stiegler; Roberta Downey; Angus Rankin; Ben Grunberger-Kirsh


‘I have been thoroughly impressed by the V&E team. From top to bottom, they have shown great attention to detail, while at the same time having a keen eye for the points which will really matter before a tribunal. I have always felt completely supported by them, and Nick Henchie has engendered a very good spirit within his team.’

‘Nick Henchie is a first-class partner. He is very good with the client, always alive to what matters to them and thinking about how best to achieve it. He has excellent rapport with the counsel team and provides unstinting support. Ben Grunberger-Kirsh is excellent. He is always on top of the detail – he displays creativity in terms of working out what the best points are and how to get them across. Very easy to work with.’

‘Nick Henchie and Scott Stiegler are great lawyers who care immensely about their clients and are eminently qualified to delver top results.’

‘The team at V&E is incredibly impressive and has vast experience in the construction industry. Nick and Scott have developed a team of highly qualified and exceptionally capable lawyers who are all true construction and engineering specialists. Attention to detail and a passion for excellence sets the team apart from other firms. They are focused on delivering top-quality service, committed to finding the best solution for their clients and will all give absolutely everything to a case.’

‘Having worked with Nick Henchie for many years, he is truly an exceptionally knowledgeable and astute lawyer. As the head of the practice, he is the guiding mind. Nick has a depth of experience across many aspects of construction and engineering disputes which is second to none. He is a strategic thinker and focuses on the commercial realities of construction disputes when assessing and advising on the best course of action for his clients. He is a world-class construction lawyer, and the outstanding choice for construction and engineering disputes. He is also, happily, thoroughly nice company and a pleasure to spend time with (no matter the situation).’

‘Scott Stiegler is a true lawyer’s lawyer. He has a sophisticated understanding of construction and engineering disputes and can quickly reduce complex issues to their key components by cutting through the noise. He is ferociously dedicated and is an exceptionally capable problem solver. Scott is the lawyer you turn to when you need a safe pair of hands to handle challenging situations. He too is a delightful human being – a rare trait in someone so brilliant.’

‘The contentious team are client focused with excellent skills, knowledge and tactical astuteness. They create a formidable team with a focus on client results. Scott Stiegler and Nick Henchie are easy to work with – the focus is the result and working with the team to achieve that.’

‘Roberta Downey is London’s queen of construction disputes. Clients and counsel love working with her. One of the all-time greats. She may actually be without compare – the leading light of her generation perhaps. Angus Rankin is very user-friendly. Puts clients at their ease. Deep knowledge of power sector. Connects well with in-house lawyers having been on their side of the fence. Definitely one to watch.’

Key clients

Panama Canal Authority

Work highlights

  • Handling a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority arising out of complex and technical construction disputes valued in excess of $4.5bn.

Akin Gump LLP

Akin Gump LLP offers ‘a high-calibre international practice‘ focused on advocacy in high-value, high-stakes international arbitrations. It is led by the experienced and well-regarded Hamish Lal, who is experienced in infrastructure project disputes. Energy and infrastructure specialist Josephine Kaiding left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Hamish Lal


‘A high-calibre international practice combined with a genuine construction law specialism.’

‘Hamish Lal has the ability to see construction law issues differently and therefore resolve disputes more efficiently.’

‘The Akin Gump team are strong across the disputes field but the contentious construction practice stands out in the market.’

‘Hamish Lal is a top lawyer with an unfailing commitment to his client and is one of just two or three go-to lawyers for high-value, complex disputes with a focus on infrastructure and capital projects. He is supported by a strong team behind him.’

‘Hamish Lal has many years of experience dealing with significant and complex multi-jurisdictional construction disputes. He has a range of international experience which surpasses many other generally comparable top-tier construction and arbitration lawyers. He is technically excellent in construction and arbitration law and manages to put clients, members of his team and lawyers for the counterparties, arbitrators and judges at ease by his calm and relaxed manner. He brings tremendous energy to whatever he does, which includes a surprisingly large amount of speaking at lectures, webinars and also legal writing.’

Key clients


Heerema Marine Contractors

First Abu Dhabi Bank


Work highlights

  • Acting for an international construction developer in disputes against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as respondent in international arbitration, with $2.8bn in dispute.
  • Acting for First Abu Dhabi Bank in the Qatar Financial Centre Courts at the Court of First Instance and in the Court of Appeal.
  • Handling all disputes arising out of a production sharing contract between an upstream oil and gas company and a CIS country.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP

Baker Botts (UK) LLP is known for handling some of the largest international contentious mandates within the energy industry. It acts on behalf of top-flight developers and contractors, and has a particular speciality in cases involving LNG projects. Stuart Jordan leads the team, advising on a number of high-value, cross-border matters, with a particular focus on projects in the Middle East.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Jordan


‘Stuart Jordan is an excellent construction lawyer. He is efficient, knowledgeable and demonstrates willingness to discuss matters without the clock running.’

‘Stuart Jordan is strong in all aspects of construction law, both front end advice and disputes.’

Key clients

National Petroleum Construction Company.

Steelhead LNG.

Jazan Energy & Development Company.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP is known for its experience in acting for both insurers and public bodies on contentious matters relating to their construction projects. It also offers a private sector practice covering contractor work and private residences. Tim Claremont leads the team, advising on a number of cases involving high-value public sector projects. Matthew Jones is also notable for his work with contractors.

Practice head(s):

Tim Claremont

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Jones


‘Great people, very responsive, good fees.’

‘We have sought Browne Jacobson on a number of legal issues where we have required advice and support. Their contribution has covered a wide spectrum of subjects and we have dealt through several different staff within the practice. In all our involvements, we have found the staff to be friendly, knowledgeable, professional, reliable and efficient.’

Key clients

Mace Limited

Zurich Insurance plc

Yara International ASA

Golder Associates


Tokio Marine HCC

LVMH Group


Alpha Real Capital

Aspen Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acting for a major façade designer and its professional indemnity insurer in the defence of claims brought by a contractor concerning a multi-storey development in Birmingham.
  • Advising Biomass Energy Renewables LLP on delay, design and workmanship claims relating to a biomass plant in Scotland.
  • Advising the University of Leicester in relation to its long-term energy contract with Leicester District Energy Company Limited, including on dispute resolution issues.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP's contentious construction team is experienced in cases involving large-scale infrastructure and construction matters, covering the full range of dispute resolution methods, including dispute resolution boards. It often acts on behalf of energy providers across their traditional, nuclear and renewable projects. The team also works closely with its real estate and project finance teams to offer a full set of support for its key clients. Alex Panayides heads up the practice, serving as an advocate in a number of multi-jurisdictional arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Alex Panayides


‘Clifford Chance has a great construction team comprising not only knowledgeable lawyers, but lawyers with deep understanding of the industry  and our needs as the client.’

‘They are swift, available and ready to provide high class legal advice within a short period of time.’

‘They are transparent, willing to engage, and are not frightened to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.’

Key clients





Work highlights

  • Representing a multinational power generation company in an ICC arbitration concerning disputes with its consortium partner in respect of an EPC contract.
  • Representing a multinational power generation company in an ad hoc arbitration concerning a contract for a combined cycle gas power plant in Asia.
  • Advising a multinational power generation company on claims from a contract to supply equipment to a combined cycle gas power plant in the Middle East.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Led by 'fine legal mindTony Dymond, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP offers support on top-flight international disputes. It covers the full range of major projects, including energy, transport and social infrastructure developments, on behalf of owners, contractors and lenders. Robert Hoose, recently promoted to international counsel, is experienced in disputes related to major engineering projects, and 'hugely committed and determined' associate Raeesa Rawal is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC; Tony Dymond

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hoose; Raeesa Rawal


‘The team has wide and in-depth knowledge that covers complex legal issues which are well communicated to everyone involved. The team offers flexibility and when needed works to get the job done in the required timescales.’

‘Way more over the detail than their competitors and always with an eye on overall strategy.’

‘Tony Dymond has a fine legal mind and an outstanding ability to communicate complex matters in a succinct and intelligent manner. He is a team player who gets the best out of those around him.’

‘Real, in-depth knowledge of the industry and the commercial drivers of large corporates. Pragmatic application of legal skills to drive best results for clients’ businesses. All done with an extremely engaging approach.’

‘Tony Dymond is approachable and accessible. He listens, responds, and strategises to best support business objectives. Rob Hoose is indefatigable, energetic, enthusiastic and understands construction and engineering. He is a fine lawyer.’

‘Raeesa Rawal is hugely committed and determined to do best possible job for her clients.’

‘Each member of the team is a strong performer. There are no weak links. The team, though large and geographically diverse, communicate well and are coordinated in their approach.’

‘The team is exceptionally well led and motivated. The lawyers work cohesively as a team and are evidently outcome focused.’

Devonshires Solicitors LLP

Known for its strength in disputes involving social housing, residential and mixed-use developments, Devonshires Solicitors LLP acts on behalf of private developers and local authorities. The team is led by Mark London, who has been heavily involved in fire safety and building defect claims in the wake of the Grenfell Tower inquiry. Matthew Cocklin and Michael Wharfe are also recommended for their experience in tall building-related claims.

Practice head(s):

Mark London

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cocklin; Michael Wharfe


‘Devonshire’s contentious construction team are led well by the partners. They are all knowledgeable, commercial and focused on achieving the right outcome for their clients. They are also very client friendly and good to work with, irrespective of the subject matter.’

‘Matthew Cocklin is always well briefed and prepared for any discussion or meeting. I have found him to be receptive and effective in discussing and setting strategies for some complex issues.’

‘Mark London is excellent. He has a clear idea of the strategic direction for a case and is plainly on top of the regulatory framework in place which enables him to give advise confidently.’

‘Mark London is an experienced and expert construction lawyer, who is very ably supported by Matthew Cocklin. The team are very strong on (and well known for) working for housing associations, but that often masks their strength across the board, doing work on projects of all sizes from PFI, energy and infrastructure cases down.’

‘Mark London is vastly experienced, very knowledgeable and very commercial. Clients really appreciate the way that he cuts through to the main issues and formulates the best strategy for their cases.’

‘Matthew Cocklin has it all: great academic knowledge of the law, experienced across multiple sectors of the construction industry, immensely commercial, and a real fighter, but someone who offers practical solutions to problems. I always recommend him to people who ask for a construction lawyer.’

‘Always available. Always advise on matters both legally and commercially. Give appropriate advice at the right time and at the right level.’

‘A highly capable, very user-friendly team, with an especially good (and deserved) reputation in the social housing construction sector and PFI housing schemes.’

‘They deal with high-profile and high-value social housing contentious construction matters.’

‘I would single out Mark London, Matthew Cocklin and Michael Wharfe as being standout partners. They have good judgement, are sensibly pragmatic and provide high levels of service – they are all excellent lawyers.’

Key clients

MW High Tech Projects UK Limited

Guinness Partnership

Catalyst Housing

Peabody Construction Limited


One Housing Group

Metropolitan Thames Valley

Your Housing Group

Swan Housing

Octavia Housing

Orbit Housing

Hastoe Housing

Work highlights

  • Acting for Hastoe Housing Association in TCC proceedings in relation to fire safety defects in a block of flats.
  • Acting for MW High Tech Projects Limited in subcontractor claims relating to two state-of-the-art energy-from-waste plants.

Fladgate LLP

Fladgate LLP provides support to a wide range of clients, including funders, suppliers and specialist contractors, in contentious matters. It has a notable practice acting in PFI disputes, a growing focus on cultural sector projects, and offers expertise in leisure and hotel-related matters. David Weare leads the practice and is supported by Digby Hebbard, who supports healthcare and heritage sector clients. The team's partnership ranks were strengthened by the promotion of Christian Charles in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

David Weare

Other key lawyers:

Digby Hebbard; Christian Charles


‘David Weare combines first-class, no-nonsense advice with a likeable approach and a sense of humour. Christian Charles deals with complex issues with confidence.’

‘David Weare has a vast knowledge of construction disputes but is always there to listen and to be challenged. He gives real consideration to alternative arguments advanced to him and takes time to explain the merits of such an argument. He embraces you as part of the team and delivers a very collaborative approach to finding the most appropriate solution for the client.’

‘A really strong team of commercially pragmatic problem-solvers.’

‘The practice is led by David Weare, who has a wealth of experience dealing with construction disputes. Under his leadership and guidance, the advice provided is clear, unambiguous and realistic. The team are straight talkers and put the interests of their client first.’

Key clients

Bailey Acquisitions Limited

Michael J Lonsdale Ltd

Quintain Limited


National Portrait Gallery

Science Museum Group

Wembley Park Limited


4C Hotels Group

Otis Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted in a Supreme Court case concerning the rights of insolvent companies to refer disputes arising under construction contracts to adjudication.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG has experience in a wide array of contentious issues, acting for developers, contractors and investors alike. Its sector expertise is equally broad, with experience in PFI disputes, energy cases, cladding-related matters and infrastructure projects. Michael O’Shea leads the team from Birmingham, while Sue Ryan heads up the London practice, advising on complex, multi-party matters often involving design defect, professional negligence or ground conditions claims. The team was bolstered at senior level by the arrival of Mike Stewart from Wikborg Rein in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Michael O’Shea

Other key lawyers:

Sue Ryan; Mike Stewart


‘They listen to clients, action matters quickly and provide an excellent all-round service.’

Key clients

BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited

iQ Student Accommodation

Willmott Dixon Holdings Limited

Battersea Power Station Development Company

Cathedral (Bromley) Limited


Work highlights

  • Advising on various issues relating to the different phases of the Battersea Power Station development, including adjudications and claims under package contractor performance bonds.
  • Advising BAE’s fund manager, LaSalle, on the legal recovery strategy for cladding and fire safety defects at a central London hotel with a residential tower.
  • Advising IQ Student Accommodation on and undertaking legal recovery on 11 of the assets in its portfolio which have cladding and fire safety defects.

Hamlins LLP

Acting for clients including developers, investors, occupiers and contractors, Hamlins LLP provides solid experience in contentious construction matters. It handles disputes relating to overspend, negligent design, delay and loss, and offers these services to both an industry and private clientele. Amanda Burge heads the team, handling matters relating to construction IT and software issues in addition to projects. Sarah Finch is also recommended for her expertise in adjudications.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Burge

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Finch


‘Response times are excellent.’

‘We always receive a quick, sensible and commercial response on matters that we raise whether they proceed to litigation or not. The team is very responsive and deals with claims quickly for us if required. They are also sensible in their advice as to whether matters are worth proceeding with or not when considering the likely costs or chances of success.’

‘Hands-on partner involvement throughout the matter. Very clear and firm advice which facilitated an easier path to resolution.’

‘The team has an excellent breadth of expertise and experience across all areas of construction disputes, from adjudication to arbitration and litigation. They work well together, getting the balance right between partner involvement and associate time.’

‘Amanda Burge is a particular stand out in the Hamlins team. She is razor sharp with a great commercial sense. She always engages well with clients, from private individuals to big corporates.’

‘A boutique practice which is very well placed to support developers with their contentious and non-contentious needs. Amanda Burge is just a powerhouse of enthusiasm.’

‘The team’s industry knowledge is second to none and clients rely heavily on it to deliver results. Amanda Burge is the pre-eminent partner.’

Key clients

India Buildings Development Limited

The William Pears Group

Palace Capital

Dobler Metallbau GmbH

Volker Fitzpatrick


Fruition Properties

Work highlights

  • Advising on the merits of potential claims against contractors and a quantity surveyor regarding works undertaken at a luxury property of a celebrity.
  • Acting on behalf of a UK developer in respect of their role in the development of an iconic building, and its various disputes.
  • Acting on behalf of a UK football club in a claim against contractors for substandard design and installation of a football pitch.

Jones Day

The team at Jones Day offers a 'deep knowledge of construction matters', with substantial experience in all forms of dispute resolution. While it has sector expertise in a broad range of matters, it is particularly strong in infrastructure, energy and student accommodation matters. Team head James Pickavance is known as a 'ferocious litigator' and also has notable strength in international arbitration. The 'excellentAnnabel Treadgold is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

James Pickavance

Other key lawyers:

John Crowley; Annabel Treadgold


‘A first-rate choice for any large client looking for Premier League representation. You can see why the big institutional clients, in particular, use them across the board. A firm that makes the other side nervous when they see the letterhead – and rightly so.’

‘James Pickavance is a ferocious litigator and strikes the right balance between running his team with precision and efficiency whilst on the other hand being capable of switching things up to focus on the detail when required. Someone you want in your corner when the case is a difficult one.’

‘The team has a very strong practice. Unlike a lot of other firms, with the set-up at Jones Day seems to me that the partners work just as hard as the associates, which means that the partners are into the detail of their cases. The integration of the London office with other offices seemed to me to be effortless and meant that the right people were on the case. It is clear that they have very deep relationships with their clients.’

James Pickavance is a standout partner. His passion for the cases that he works on is unrivalled. He takes his work seriously but at the same time he builds a hugely motivating environment for the whole team. Annabel Treadgold is another excellent partner. She dealt with a factually and legally difficult case with seemingly no trouble. Her organisation on that file was most impressive. Very popular with the team.’

‘Excellent response times and deep knowledge of construction matters. Partners understand the need to build relationships with clients and others in the industry.’

‘James Pickavance knows how to work with and get the best out of his experts. His light touch encourages creativity.’

‘There is an intensity to construction litigation which demands breadth and depth of knowledge, which Jones Day have in spades. Getting the balance between strategy and spend is important and can be difficult. Jones Day get it.’

‘James Pickavance puts a lot of time and effort into maintaining strong client relationships and stands out from many others in the industry in this respect.’

Key clients

Windoor AS

Work highlights

  • Representing one of the world’s largest construction companies in parallel arbitrations relating to a power project in the Middle East.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP acts for clients on both the supplier and purchaser side, including developers, contractors, government entities and rail operators. Its sector specialisms include energy, residential and social infrastructure projects. Rob Horne, who has 30 years of experience in contentious work, including acting as a chartered arbitrator, heads up the team. Daniel Cashmore, who focuses on renewables matters, is also noteworthy.

Practice head(s):

Rob Horne

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Cashmore


‘They are friendly and have a very good client focus.’

‘The team is dynamic, responsive, commercial and has the essence of what distinguishes professionals from one another – quality. They are a quality operation. The team is results rather than process driven, with deep knowledge of how construction disputes can materialise, what to do to prevent it and what to do when it can’t be avoided. True professionals who offer a quality service and excellent representation, and are well respected.’

Key clients

BDW Trading Limited

Midas Construction Limited

Octopus Renewables


Balfour Beatty

Western Power Distribution

UK Power Networks

Eversholt Rail Leasing Limited


Trant Engineering Limited

Downing LLP


Babcock Marine (Clyde) Limited


Work highlights

  • Acting on a final account dispute in connection with the first phase of a retirement village built by Midas, collectively worth circa £12m.

Reed Smith LLP

A key part of the firm's international construction team, Reed Smith LLP's London office acts for clients in contentious energy and infrastructure matters, and its lawyers are known for performing their own advocacy in arbitrations. Richard Ceeney heads the broad construction practice, while Liam Hart took over on the disputes side following the departure of Vincent Rowan and Shareena Edmonds to King & Spalding LLP in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ceeney

Other key lawyers:

Liam Hart


‘They have deep experience in complex international construction projects. They have a diverse team and partners are friendly with the clients and associates. They provide a good value to the clients.’

‘They stand out for their technical knowledge of oil and gas projects and disputes.’

‘The team has been involved in very high-profile cases in Asia and brings valuable expertise to the client in international disputes. They have the ability to retain the difficult clients with their confidence and availability for support.’


Offering 'particular expertise in insured matters', RPC acts for both insurers and insureds, and is also well regarded for representing international contractors in high-value domestic cases. It has been heavily involved in matters relating to the Grenfell Tower inquiry, acting most frequently for architects. Alan Stone and Ben Goodier lead the practice, providing broad dispute resolution experience. The recently promoted Tom Green is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Alan Stone; Ben Goodier

Other key lawyers:

Tom Green


‘A very strong construction practice led by Alan Stone and Tom Green, with particular expertise in insured matters and taking joint instructions from insureds and insurers.’

‘Tom Green and Alan Stone are excellent. Both are very incisive and detail focused, and have participated in some very high-profile industry cases.’

‘RPC is a high-quality contentious construction practice. Their advice is always timely, accurate and extremely good value.’

‘Alan Stone is extremely astute and a fierce negotiator.’

Key clients

Studio E Architects


Clague Architects




White Ink Architects Limited

Broadway Malyan Limited

Urban Innovations Limited

EPR Architects Limited

Ridge & Partners


Work highlights

  • Advising Studio E Architects with regard to events post-Grenfell concerning potentially systemic issues with building regulations and the regulation of building products.
  • Defending Clague Architects against claims concerning the defective design and installation of fire stopping measures on a housing development.
  • Defending Gleeds Costs Management against claims that its fire protection system malfunctioned and caused damage to Ministry of Defence property.

King & Spalding LLP

Buoyed by the hiring of Shareena Edmonds and Vincent Rowan from Reed Smith LLP in January 2021, King & Spalding LLP offers significant international arbitration expertise. It represents a large number of household-name construction clients, using its international office base to connect across jurisdictions. Edmonds and Rowan have brought extensive experience in acting in energy and infrastructure disputes to the team, while Andrea Stauber is also recommended for her dispute avoidance work.

Practice head(s):

Shareena Edmonds; Vincent Rowan

Other key lawyers:

Andrea Stauber


‘King and Spalding are particularly well organised and professional. The dispute process is very well orchestrated with very efficient meetings and work product focused on getting the best result in the most cost-efficient manner. They are not afraid of telling a client what they need to tell them.’

‘Shareena Edmonds is professional and results-driven and she orchestrates her client’s case to perfection. She is a top-class talent.’

‘It is great to work with the K&S team as they are all very capable and specifically well informed in construction issues, even if the issues are technical.’

‘I have worked closely with Shareena Edmonds and she is an excellent lawyer. She is technically very capable and has in-depth knowledge of construction. She is always very close to the case, and aware of the details and the subtle issues which would make a difference in the long term even if the client is not aware of it. She also manages the case and expectations really well throughout. She is very articulate and capable when presenting the case.’

‘Vincent Rowan is an exceptionally experienced team builder and litigator for complex infrastructure disputes. He provides clear and practical advice, instilling confidence in the management of the case, and is a valued partner for our in-house litigation team. We have had successful results.’

Key clients

Obrascón Huarte Lain S.A

Work highlights

  • Acting for Obrascón Huarte Lain S.A in an investor-state dispute against the State of Kuwait related to an elevated highway in Kuwait City.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

The 'competent, engaging, hardworking' team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP acts for a number of blue-chip clients, with a particular emphasis on the energy and leisure sectors. The well-regarded Rebecca Williams leads the team, acting for engineering, energy and petrochemical clients in the full range of disputes. Ryland Ash, who joined the firm from his position as managing partner of Silver Shemmings Ash LLP in November 2020, and senior associate Alexander Creswick are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Williams

Other key lawyers:

Ryland Ash; Barry Hembling; Alexander Creswick


‘The team benefits from the blend of experience that its members have gained from having worked in other locations with WFW and in other firms. This allows for the sharing of ideas and approaches.’

‘Rebecca Williams stands out for her work in energy and construction disputes. Her tenacity, emotional intelligence and attention to detail are second to none. Alex Creswick is an exceptional lawyer with judgement well beyond his years in practice.’

‘Rebecca and her team are very responsive and capable.’

‘From my experience of the construction team, it is led by the dynamic Rebecca Williams, who gives both responsibility and opportunity to young, keen lawyers. Gender diversity is not a campaign, but a culture. The team is pragmatic and results orientated.’

‘Alex Creswick is great with detail and has a wide range of experience.’

‘Rebecca Williams is very focused on results and proportionality. She is creative and intelligent, with a great sense of purpose and objectivity, and is unafraid to give unpopular advice and dish out tough love. She is driven by a desire to grow the team by attracting quality professionals who wish to be part of a success story built on positive results and successful outcomes for its clients.’

‘The team at Watson Farley & Williams comprises a highly professional set of competent, engaging, hardworking and personable lawyers.’

‘Ryland Ash is a personable and skilled litigator, with a strong commitment to serving his clients’ interests. He is approachable and engaging, a true collaborator, and a real pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Bester Generacion UK Ltd

Ladbrokes Coral

Millennium Hotels & Resorts


PTT Public Company Limited

Zaha Hadid Architects

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Bester Generacion in the  Technology & Construction Court (TCC) case of PBS Energo AS v Bester Generacion UK Ltd.
  • Representing PTT Public Company Limited in a Supreme Court hearing relating to a multimillion-dollar dispute between PTT and Triple Point Technology.
  • Successfully representing and defending landlord Plymouth (Notte Street) Ltd in a dispute in the High Court and later in the Court of Appeal, on the issue of practical completion under the building contract and agreement for lease, in respect of a £35m student accommodation project.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP's contentious construction team is known for its high-value work, often handling megaproject disputes. It frequently acts for purchasers and suppliers in relation to transport, energy and infrastructure projects. Steven James leads the team and is supported by 'standout partner' Richard Adams, who is known for his full range of disputes advice.

Practice head(s):

Steven James

Other key lawyers:

Richard Adams


‘An excellent and responsive team who are a pleasure work with. Make the complicated clear and simple as it can be, giving clear direction and focusing on the end game. Great thinkers and strategists.’

‘Richard Adams is outstanding and fantastic to work with. He brings clarity to complexity, knows what to do and how to get there. An incredibly safe pair of hands and an exceptionally clear thinker. He represents the pinnacle of excellence.’

‘They are a very vibrant team with loads of energy. They are great to work with and deal with everything with a smile.’

‘Richard Adams is a standout partner. Extremely switched-on and picks up complex technical issues with ease.’

‘There is a high quality of solicitor across the team. Junior solicitors take responsibility at an early stage and conduct litigation effectively.’

‘Richard Adams is a great leader.’

Key clients


Highways England

Crown Commercial Service

Transport for London



National Trust


Transport for Wales and Welsh Government

Eden Geothermal

UK Atomic Energy Authority

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP provides support to a range of real estate clients, with a particular emphasis on the hotel sector. It also has experience acting for clients in disputes in other key sectors, including sport, retail and logistics. Andrew Parker leads the practice, handling disputes including delay and defect claims, and is supported at partner level by the newly promoted Emily Holdstock.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Parker

Other key lawyers:

Emily Holdstock


‘A boutique firm with immense experience of the domestic construction industry. Their knowledge and eye for adjudication and litigation work is very strong. They work as well as any Magic Circle construction firm.’

‘Andrew Parker is very experienced in construction matters. Calm under pressure. Exceptionally attentive to the client’s needs. Sees the bigger picture. A top choice for High Court and adjudication work.’

‘Forsters have understood each issue we have brought to them and resourced appropriately with the right level of seniority and experience. We feel know we can bring a range of issues to them. They have nurtured the relationship well and provided considered opinions on a range of matters.’

Key clients

Warner Bros.

British Airways Pension Fund

LaSalle Investment Management

Aberdeen Standard Investments

The Crown Estate

Reignwood Group

Mayfair Capital


Sony Pictures Entertainment

Fiera Real Estate UK/Wrenbridge Land/Wrenbridge Sport

The Mercers’ Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Southrop Estates Limited, a prominent landed estate, in respect of delay, defects and an oil spill caused by a contractor.

Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP

Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP is well known for its expertise in international arbitrations concerning construction, engineering and infrastructure projects. The team is led by Melanie Willems, who heads the international arbitration practice and has particular strength in contractual disputes relating to energy, projects and engineering matters, and head of litigation William Cecil. Other notable team members are Markus Esly and counsel Robert Blackett.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Willems; William Cecil

Other key lawyers:

Markus Esly; Robert Blackett


‘Melanie Willems and Robert Blackett are both highly competent and knowledgeable in the (international) arbitration field doing construction cases, and I would have no hesitation recommending them to potential clients for this type of work.’

‘The team at Hayes and Bone is outstanding: extremely bright, superb lawyers, immensely hardworking and dedicated to achieving the best results for their clients. They are also delightful people who are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Melanie Willems is an outstanding team leader: she is a brilliant manager of a team and brilliant with clients, and excels at getting the best out of those with whom she is working. She is also exceptionally hardworking and dedicated to her clients, and is outstanding at devising legal strategies to achieve their commercial aims.’

‘Rob Blackett is an extremely able lawyer: very clever, immensely hardworking and dedicated.’

‘Markus Esly is exceptionally bright and a brilliant strategist. Calm, measured, and an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘Melanie Willems and her team are outstanding when it comes to international arbitration. This practice delivers at a very high level indeed.’

‘Melanie Willems and her team are excellent.’

‘The practice is at the cutting edge of both subject matter expertise and advocacy skills. Melanie Willems is the stand out leader of the practice.’

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP represents clients in a variety of project disputes, from cases concerning large-scale critical infrastructure to smaller, more technical cases. Though most of its work is domestic, it has a growing international presence, acting on behalf of key international employers. David Rintoul leads the London team, advising on TCC cases and adjudications.

Practice head(s):

David Rintoul; Alan Pugh

Other key lawyers:

Ruth Wilkinson

Key clients


Liverpool City Council

Peel L&P Property

Legacie Developments

Geomet S.R.O.

Ion Projects

Gericke Ltd (part of Gericke Group)

FI Facilities Management Limited

First Greater Western Limited

Vascroft Contractors Limited

Area Sq Limited

Motacus Constructions Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising GP Strategies on a highly contentious dispute involving the construction of a processing facility.
  • Acting for construction giant Bilfinger in both Germany and the UK in relation to a number of contentious matters.
  • Advising Vascroft Contractors on a range of contentious matters in connection with its major projects across the UK.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP's contentious construction team offers advice to a mix of developers, investors, funders and private clients. Its particular strength lies in adjudications, with a growing focus on defect claims relating to cladding issues and build-to-rent schemes. Richard Gerstein leads the team, offering additional expertise in professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Richard Gerstein

Other key lawyers:

Alex Barker; Alex Pattihis


‘The blend between Richard Gerstein’s excellent commercial legal ability and the calm and talented support provided by Alex Barker and Alex Pattihis makes Mishcon a really good firm to work with, particularly when faced with a matter requiring a bit more of an experienced approach.’

‘Richard Gerstein is supremely knowledgable and sensible, pragmatic and commercial in his approach – a really good guy to have on your side. Alex Barker is a careful and skilful drafter.’

Key clients

The Residents of Morea Mews development


Delancey, Qatari Diar, APG and Oxford Properties

Capital & Counties Properties PLC

Student Cribs

The Office Group

Fizzy Living

Mears Group PLC



Work highlights

  • Acting for the long leaseholders of the Morea Mews development in their claim against Taylor Wimpey, Ardmore and the designers in relation to defective cladding.
  • Acted for Mears Group PLC in claims in the TCC and the Court of Appeal against Plymouth (Notte Street) Ltd and two other companies.
  • Acting for the Lower Mill Estate Ltd in a claim arising from the planning, landscaping design, development and construction of a holiday village in Weymouth.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has an exceptional reputation in to top-value international arbitration. Most of its work is based in the Middle East, with particularly strong links to Qatar and Saudi Arabia. James Bremen leads the practice and is 'peerless in his knowledge and tactical awareness'.

Practice head(s):

James Bremen

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Sinclair; Stephen Jagusch; Mark Grasso


‘James Bremen is peerless in his knowledge and tactical awareness.’

‘Their strength from partner level down is exceptional. James has built a devoted team who are a delight to be supported by in contentious matters. They work exceptionally hard, and work is allocated at the appropriate level in a very supportive atmosphere.’

Key clients

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development

Port Clarence Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development in relation to two ICC arbitrations concerning the Sidra Hospital in Doha, Qatar.
  • Representing Port Clarence Energy Limited in a claim against six insurers in the English Commercial Court.

RWK Goodman

RWK Goodman provides support in construction-related litigation, arbitration and adjudication to a broad roster of clients. International arbitration has been a notable area of growth for the practice, thanks in part to its connection with German firm TopJus. Domestically, it focuses on residential development. Richard Bailey leads the team and is known for his work in developing construction law internationally.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bailey

Other key lawyers:

Kieran Fano; Nick Cook


‘I believe the biggest draw for this practice is the quality of the contentious team and their tenacious yet dignified way of dealing with matters. It is simply top-notch.’

‘I work with Richard Bailey and his team, all of whom are excellent in that they are experts in construction matters and really care about their clients and each matter they handle, and are always available and attentive to all details.’

Key clients

BN Rendering Limited

West Country Renovations Limited

Essex Services Group Limited

Bedford House Limited

London Affordable Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on the successful defence of a claim from an employer involving thousands of properties across Scotland relating to complex contract formation issues.
  • Advising on highly complex claims for extensions of time and loss and expense received from a contractor of large London development.
  • Acting as co-counsel in an ICC arbitration regarding works at a port in the Middle East.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP

Sharpe Pritchard LLP's contentious construction practice provides 'unparalleled experience of acting for local authorities and government institutions', and as a result it is has particular strength in disputes related to PFI projects. The 'immensely capable' Justin Mendelle leads the team, advising on high-value adjudications for central government bodies. David Owens provides health sector experience and is building the firm's mediation unit.

Practice head(s):

Justin Mendelle

Other key lawyers:

David Owens


‘Excellent advice provided by exceptionally capable individuals. Always available and able to work to tight timescales whilst maintaining top-quality output and submissions.’

‘Justin Mendelle is an immensely capable lawyer, with excellent knowledge of the various standard form contracts. He is able to quickly get to grips with the terms and implications of bespoke contracts and amendments. He has always been seen to provide sound practical and strategic advice to clients.’

‘Sharpe Pritchard have unparalleled experience of acting for local authorities and government institutions. My experience of them is in construction disputes and PFI-type matters, and at every turn their detailed knowledge and experience of these specialist areas is apparent.’

‘Justin Mendelle is truly exceptional. He is a great pleasure to work with and is a people person. But he is also exceptionally hardworking and knowledgeable about his subject, and has excellent judgement.’

‘I have found the team to be responsive and committed to the work. We have had clear, considered feedback and they have ensured we have met some difficult deadlines. They have also displayed tact and consideration when managing stakeholders.’

‘They work very well as a team, are clearly well prepared and I like that they are willing to listen to and consider other ideas even when a point has been worked through.’

Key clients

Kings College London

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP‘s contentious construction team offers support to a mix of contractors and employers, often acting for international clients with operations in the UK. Matthew Jones leads the team and has significant domestic and global construction experience. Jonathan Hutt leads on contentious matters, with experience in the TCC, as well as in arbitrations and adjudications.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Jones

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Hutt


‘A good team who have worked together for a long time. They have also been able to adapt well to our altering resource demands.’

‘The team offers broad knowledge and experience and has an ability to give correct and professional advice.’

‘They have an eagerness to find solutions and to come up with different scenarios, showing a high level of competence in giving advice on all the different aspects related to our contract and bringing a lot of clarity.’

‘The team are flexible and able to get familiar with the case and the company in very little time. They stand out for their openness and willingness to share all possible information, as well as their out-of-the-box thinking.’

Key clients

Lionel Road Development Limited (Brentford Football Club)

Charnwood General Trust

Carillion Construction Limited (in liquidation)

Morgen Sindall Property Services

McLaren Construction

Burtisland Fabrication Limited (in administration)

Bonatti S.p.A

Wikborg Rein

Wikborg Rein's London team offers its energy, projects and infrastructure clients support across all major forms of dispute resolution. While it primarily works internationally, it is also involved in a number of English High Court cases. Rob Jardine-Brown heads the team following Mike Stewart's departure to Gowling WLG in January 2021, and brings significant offshore projects experience to the table.

Practice head(s):

Rob Jardine-Brown

Other key lawyers:

Shawn Kirby; Mary Lindsay


‘They have provided a tailored response to a number of different scenarios, all met with good sound advice and results.’

Key clients

BW Gas

GSP Offshore

Mitsui OSK


Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is led by the 'impressive' Jessica Tresham, who joined the firm from Blake Morgan LLP in May 2020. Her practice focuses on high-value, technical disputes, and she is experienced in all forms of dispute resolution. The team also offers a unique construction insurance practice, led by Hannah Cane. Associates Emily Leonard and Hannah Gardiner are also well regarded, with 'a good, practical approach to meeting client needs'.

Practice head(s):

Simon Rowland; Jessica Tresham; Hannah Cane

Other key lawyers:

Emily Leonard; Hannah Gardiner


‘Able, engaged and cleverly strategic. Jessica Tresham is a powerful and impressive operator and guides her team admirably.’

‘Jessica Tresham demonstrated great commercial nous in the dispute we worked on. She gets to grips with issues quickly and provides succinct and practical advice. She is very relatable and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Good strength and depth. Responsive. Commercial and practical – they do not give hands-off, academic opinions.’

The team is packed full of bright and commercially minded lawyers. They are knowledgeable and client-focused. In my experience, they always get the balance of partner and associate involvement right, meaning that clients get excellent, effective service.’

‘Jessica Tresham gives practical, commercial advice based on a sound understanding of the law and critical market nous. She is hardworking, a savvy negotiator and always has her eye on the bigger picture.’

‘I have been very impressed with Emily Leonard and Hannah Gardiner. They are both astute and clever, with a good practical approach to meeting client needs and obtaining the best result possible.’

Key clients

Stepnell Limited

Life Story Group Limited

Grainger PLC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Stepnell Limited in a series of connected adjudications concerning a high-end project on the coast of Poole Harbour.
  • Advising Bouygues in relation to the successful resolution of a complex claim concerning performance bonds and insolvency of the subcontractor.
  • Advising on a complex dispute concerning multiple defects and design faults at a high-end later living development, as well as navigating through delay claims.