Firms To Watch: Construction

Aaron & Partners LLP‘s Chester-based construction practice is led by Phil Caton who has been building the team since his 2020 arrival from Taylor Wessing LLP and was notably promoted to partner in August 2022.

Construction in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

The Manchester-based team at Addleshaw Goddard has a strong reputation for its ability to advise on a broad range of clients on complex construction matters, namely involving major multi-use development and redevelopment projects in the region, a key example being its acting for Hermes in the high-profile £200m Wellington Place development. Nancy McGuire, who specialises in delivering such complex projects, and contentious specialist, Andrew Greaves, are at the helm of the practice. The growing construction litigation offering ably handles issues ranging from PFI and PPP to international arbitration, which is Paul O’Kane‘s specialism. Noteworthy team changes include the October 2022 arrival of dispute specialist Katherine Sneddon from Pinsent Masons LLP and the February 2023 arrival of dispute avoidance and resolution partner Anthony Willis from Brabners LLPSusan Bennett is a name to note, while managing associate Sarah Wilson is described as ‘the queen of PFI work in the north’.

Practice head(s):

Nancy McGuire; Andrew Greaves

Other key lawyers:

Paul O’Kane; Andrew Greaves; Susan Bennett; Anthony Willis; Katharine Sneddon; Charlotte Higham; Sarah Wilson


‘The firm has a good regional knowledge and presence in the construction disputes market.’

‘Sarah Wilson has good regional knowledge and presence in the construction disputes market and works hard for her clients.’

‘Sarah Wilson is the queen of PFI work in the north.’

Key clients



West Midland Combined Authority

Moda Living/Caddick Developments

Allied London

Tritax Symmetry group companies

Alumno Group

Vita Group


Westrock / Platform

UK Parliament

Falkland Islands Government (FIG)

Liverpool John Moores University

Select Property Group / Vita


Far East Consortium

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manhattan Loft Corporation

Watkin Jones Plc

Manchester NHS Trust

JD Sport



Work highlights

  • Advised Bruntwood and Bruntwood SciTech Developments in relation to The Alderley Park site,  the UK’s largest single site life science campus containing 2000 innovators, 200 businesses, 1m sq. ft., 400 acres and 275 new homes.
  • Acting on the Victoria Riverside, Addington St and and Collyhurst Village developments for the Far East Corporation.
  • Acting in relation to Allied London’s re-development of the London Road Fire Station in Manchester, which is a major city landmark building adjacent to Manchester Piccadilly Station.


Head of energy, projects and construction for the north, Chris Hallam, co-leads CMS‘s Manchester-based construction team alongside head of infrastructure, construction and energy disputes in Manchester, Nigel Lewis. The team is handling some of the region’s most complex, significant and high-value construction projects, a notable example being its advising on the £1.4bn regeneration of the 22-acre city centre Mayfield railway station and depot; the refurbishment of Manchester Town Hall; and work on the HS2 project. It is also renowned for its abilities in handling PFI and PPP disputes. The group was bolstered in February 2022 by the addition to the team of Chris Henshaw (of counsel) from Addleshaw Goddard, who is vastly experienced advising on complex matters in the local market, and of Sheffield and Manchester-based partner Helen Johnson in October 2022 from Kennedys. Senior associate Charlotte Eccles is one to watch for her growing specialism in sustainable construction work, as is ‘star of the future’ senior associate, Nick Case.

Practice head(s):

Chris Hallam; Nigel Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Helen Johnson; Chris Henshaw; Nick Case; Charlotte Eccles; Lucy Bailey


‘A rapidly growing team who undertake high-end work in their own right. They collaborate across the firm’s construction teams and have a collegiate approach.’

‘Nigel Lewis is efficient, pleasant and commercially astute. Nick Case is a star of the future and likewise Lucy Bailey is an up-and-coming superstar!’

‘The CMS team are extremely talented, professional and competent. Their approach is to quickly understand issues and opportunities, thereby developing cohesive strategies to achieve the best client result.’

Key clients


Muse Developments

Lendlease Construction

Mace Construction

Galliford Try Construction

The UK Health Security Agency

Dragados Construction

Goldman Sachs

The MEH SZC Alliance (a JV comprising Balfour Beatty, NG Bailey, Altrad Babcock, Cavendish Nuclear, Bilfinger and Altrad SA)

Moorfields NHS Trust

University College London

Manchester Airport Group

Arc Group

Ipsen Pharma

Equinor New Energy



GRS Roadstone Group

Lodha Group


Work highlights

  • Advising the Mace Limited/Dragados S.A. joint venture on the transformation of Euston Station and the construction of the new Birmingham Curzon Street Station as part of the UK’s new HS2 railway development.
  • Advised Lendlease on a £140m+ multi-party dispute concerning the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital – the largest dispute to have been heard by the Technology and Construction Court in the last 15 years.
  • Advising the MEH Joint Venture on a multi-billion pound alliance contract for the new Sizewell C nuclear power station.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP‘s Manchester projects team is co-led by transactional work-focused, Mark Job, and advisory and disputes specialist, Michael Hopkins, who is noted as ‘a fantastic person to have in your corner’. The practice is experienced working for its broad range of clients, being some of the UK’s foremost contractors and developers, on work involving such high-profile developments as the HS2. Anthony Bradley stands out for his work on major UK-wide matters, while The team’s’ oversight of the multi-billion pound Dublin Metrolink project is a significant example of its international capabilities. Graham Alty leads the on complex and high-value construction work across the EMEA region, Siân Hughes‘ expertise in disputes involving large-scale projects is noteworthy, as is Arwyn Jones‘ specialism in PFI disputes in particular. Construction dispute expert Katherine Sneddon departed to Addleshaw Goddard in October 2022. Laura Tetlow is a senior associate to watch in the team, as is ‘flexible thinker’, Simon Stubbs.

Practice head(s):

Mark Job; Michael Hopkins

Other key lawyers:

Graham Alty; Siân Hughes; Anthony Bradley; Arwyn Jones; Joanne Falencka; Simon Stubbs; Laura Tetlow


‘Strength-in-depth and unparalleled quality.’

‘Simon Stubbs is a truly flexible thinker with an ability to work within shades of grey quite unlike anyone else that I have worked with. It means he finds solutions that are often creative and not very obvious.’

‘Michael Hopkins is incredibly personable and conscientious – just a fantastic person to have in your corner.’

Key clients

Sellafield Limited

Eiffage Génie Civil, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited, Ferrovial Construction Limited and BAM Nuttall Limited

Ministry of Justice

Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Southern Water

ISG Group

The Silvertown Partnership

Heathrow Airport Limited

United Utilities

Morgan Sindall

Work highlights

  • Assisting numerous clients on work involving the HS2 Programme, a complex project of national significance.
  • Acting for Transport Infrastructure Ireland on a muti-billion-pound infrastructure project outside of the UK.
  • Advising Morgan Sindall in relation to a Technology and Construction Court litigation arising from claims brought by Prudential (freehold owner) and Pets at Home (tenant) in relation to the main Pets at Home Distribution Centre in Stoke on Trent.

Brabners LLP

The Liverpool-based practice at Brabners LLP, which is experienced in handling all aspects of transactional as well as contentious work, has Barry Goodall at its helm. Its work frequently involves high-value development and refurbishment projects, a notable example being its work for Airport City Ltd. Partnership on a large-scale mixed-use office development at Manchester airport, a matter which Eleanor Stirrett is co-leading. Elspeth Christie specialises in transactional matters of this nature, while the ‘superb’ Jennie Jones  is a name to note in the team. Partner Anthony Willis departed to Addleshaw Goddard in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Barry Goodall

Other key lawyers:

Eleanor Stirrett; Elspeth Christie; Jennie Jones


‘Strong ability to work on specific legal issues in relation to specific businesses and their and risk profiles. Brabners are able to get under the skin of issues to enable businesses to make the right decisions and enhance their negotiated position in the circumstances.’

‘The team shows an ability to keep pace with multi-faceted projects and see the bigger picture of the needs of businesses very quickly, even in matters where timescales are challenging. Without the diligence of the associates and partners in this team we would have struggled with our issues.’

‘The team deliver key training to businesses on the finance considerations of the construction act, taking time to understand its relevance to various businesses. We are confident they keep up with changes in legislation.’

Key clients

Mersey Docks and Harbour Limited

Peel Media Limited

Carefoot plc

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Maritime Transport Limited

Peel L&P Investments and Property Limited



Downing Group

TJ Morris (Home Bargains)

Cityheart Developments


Liverpool FC

Sofology Limited


Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool

Peel Ports Limited/The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company Limited

Leach Rhodes Walker

Work highlights

  • Advising Downing on a 2,224 bedroom scheme spread over four separate buildings which range in height from ten to forty-five storeys and have a secured funding of £227m.
  • Advising Leach Rhodes Walker Limited on a multi-dispute project relating to LRW’s engagement as a professional consultant in the construction of a mixed-use London development with claims totalling approximately £147m.
  • Providing detailed construction law advice in relation to the refurbishment and redevelopment of the Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre in Oldham Town Centre, which is part of a regeneration programme.

Clyde & Co

‘Trusted advisor’ Steven Cannon, who specialises in energy, renewables, oil and gas, and the ‘extremely efficient’ Lucy Frith, who has notable expertise in energy and infrastructure as well as PFI and PPP projects, are at the helm of Clyde & Co‘s Manchester practice. The team handles work for such key clients as TotalEnergies and a number of the major northern Universities, with an example of the calibre of work the team handles is its high-profile assisting of the University of Manchester on the £13.7m dispute involving allegedly defective buildings. The team is also well-equipped to advise on procurement and development projects of significant scale. Julie Morrissy specialises in contract-related advisory work in particular, while ‘dedicated and pragmatic’ senior associate Lindsay Quinney is one to watch.

Practice head(s):

Steven Cannon; Lucy Frith

Other key lawyers:

Julie Morrissy; Lindsay Quinney


‘Clyde & Co have a very strong construction and engineering disputes practice. The team has a vast amount of experience, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors. They are very client- focused and have a good understanding of businesses so deliver tailored, robust advice. A high quality service at competitive rates.’

‘Steven Cannon is a clear, strategic thinker who has been our trusted adviser for many years now. I am always impressed by Steve’s ability to achieve successful outcomes in even the most difficult and complex disputes.’

‘Very responsive and agile enough to react to needs expeditiously. A small enough team that client relationship management does not become too remote.’   

Key clients





Galliford Try

Kajima Partnerships


InfraRed Capital Partners

University of Manchester

John Sisk & Son

University of Leeds

University of Sheffield

Work highlights

  • Acting for Hadfield Healthcare Partnerships in multi-party TCC proceedings concerning the Hadfield PFI Project.
  • Acting for the University of Manchester on the well-publicised and long running multi-party TCC case concerning defects at a flagship University building.

DLA Piper

Paul Giles, who has noteworthy experience handling complex contentious construction matters, leads DLA Piper‘s Manchester practice, which is adept at advising its portfolio of clients on PPP and PFI disputes arising from high-profile infrastructure projects. A standout example of such work is its acting for Transform Schools (Knowsley) Limited on disputes surrounding its £5.2bn infrastructure fund. Alison Fagan has a strong reputation for her abilities in advising on PPP and PFI projects and disputes, while David Moss is renowned for his work advising contractors across industry sectors on projects in the UAE and Middle East in particular. Senior associate Abigail Holmes is noted as going ‘above and beyond’ for clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Giles

Other key lawyers:

Alison Fagan; David Moss; Clare Rushton; Abigail Holmes


‘An outstanding construction dispute resolution team with exceptional industry knowledge. Work is handled by lawyers with the right level of experience with appropriate partner support. Attention-to-detail is also first rate.’

‘Paul Giles runs a tight, effective and client-focused ship, which delivers results.’

‘The team is ideally placed to handle construction disputes in particular. It is well-resourced at all levels to handle work at appropriate levels of seniority. They can handle every aspect of a claim.’

Key clients

Brunel University London

Transform Schools (Knowsley) Limited

Watkin Jones & Son Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Transform in relation to disputes in the Technology and Construction Court against Balfour Beatty in excess of £20m, relating to defects in the design and construction of schools.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP‘s construction team, based out of Manchester and Liverpool, is led by Alan Pugh and has an increasingly international presence in addition to its impressive regional capabilities. It handles complex and high-profile development and refurbishment projects and related disputes for its clients, who span a variety of industry sectors. Such disputes involve issues including outstanding fees, unreasonable extension of time, and defective developments. David Oram has strong experience working on the full spectrum of matters in this field, while legal director David Banks is a key name to note at the Manchester office as leader on many multi-million pound matters, both contentious and transactional.

Practice head(s):

Alan Pugh

Other key lawyers:

David Chinn; David Oram; David Banks


‘The team are pragmatic and seek to resolve issues rather than let them run on for their own gain. I have enjoyed working alongside them – they give sensible advice and assess risks appropriately.’

‘Legal director David Banks provides no-nonsense, robust and pragmatic advice in a timely manner. He is approachable and accommodating when it comes to arranging meetings. He is very pleasant to work with.’

‘They provide sound legal advice and have a strong understanding of our particular situation.’

Key clients

Peel L&P Holdings (UK) Limited

Bilfinger Piping Technology UK Ltd

First Group Plc

Rochdale Borough Council

FI Real Estate Management Ltd

Seddon Construction Limited

Edmundson Electrical Ltd

Ibstock Bricks

Lancashire County Cricket Club

Liverpool City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising a UK contractor in relation to numerous contractual matters involving the construction of a Nuclear Power Station.
  • Advising a UK residential developer in relation to a £120m city centre scheme.
  • Advising a Spanish contractor in relation to contractual issues arising from the construction of railway works.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs‘s Manchester offering is headed by Julian Scott, who has particular experience in handling ESG-related work, including energy storage, solar and wind-farm matters, alongside his property development workload which regularly involves residential and housing projects. Amy Scott regularly acts on such significant non-contentious residential development schemes, including a recent project for Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Practice head(s):

Julian Scott

Other key lawyers:

Amy Scott; Mark Gaffney


‘Considerate to all involved.’

‘The team offers an outside the box approach.’

‘The strength of the practice is undoubtedly in its people, and the combination of the team’s professional capabilities delivered with a personal touch is what really sets them apart. Within that, their ability to develop relationships allows them to establish themselves as valued members of the wider client team rather than an external consultant. They always provide solid and professional advice and bring challenges where it’s needed to keep us on the right path.’

‘Julian Scott and Mark Gaffney provide excellent professional advice whilst developing solid relationships with our team. They understand us, our drivers and our red flags. This understanding oils the wheels of the working relationship.’

‘The team has skill, knowledge and experience alongside a pragmatic approach. It works with the client to get the best outcome.’

‘Friendly and professional. They guide and support the client to the best outcome.’

Key clients

Capital & Centric

HBV Villages

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Manchester Life


Work highlights

  • Advised heat pump specialist Rendesco on its agreement with Last Mile Infrastructure (Last Mile), one of the UK’s largest Independent Network Owners.
  • Advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority on forms of building contract, performance security, professional team appointments and collateral warranties for housing development projects.
  • Advised Oregon who design, manufacture and erect structural timber frame packages in relation to contracts for supply, manufacture and assembly of equipment for the manufacture of modular construction.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Stephanie Canham and the experienced Katie Saunders, who heads the firm’s national team advising housing providers and local authorities on housing stock, co-lead the practice at Trowers & Hamlins LLP. The team is notably on the Places For People Group panel and advises on the full scope of related work. It offers the full-service to its clients, with expertise extending to construction-related insolvency, and regularly acts on significant multi-use regeneration projects. An expert in waste-related matters, Tom Holroyd is the team’s lead on contentious construction matters, and also has a niche specialism in cladding work.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Canham; Katie Saunders

Other key lawyers:

Tom Holroyd; John Garland; Andy Waite; Andrea Leigh; Tom Wrigley


‘Tom Wrigley is a very good communicator; approachable and calm under deadline pressures. Very astute.’

‘They explain things really clearly, providing different points of view in a way which cuts through some of the complexities and puts it all in layperson terms.’

Key clients

Legal and General Affordable Homes

Clarion Housing Group

Places for People Group

Godwin Developments

Great Places Housing Group

Gloucester Council

Gravesham Council

London Borough of Hillingdon

Watkins Jones Plc

Lovell Partnerships

Dudley Council

Communities and Housing Investment Consortium (CHIC)

Work highlights

  • Advised L&G on the property, tax, environmental and construction aspects of the development with Vistry Partnership for 136 units at Tovil, Maidstone.
  • Advised Clarion on a complex and high-value scheme for the establishment of a Joint Venture LLP between Clarion and Hadley Property Group Holdings Limited for the delivery of 568 homes.
  • Advising in our position on the Places for People legal services pane on procurement, construction and regulatory matters.


Chester and Liverpool-based Jim Morris, a contentious construction specialist, leads the practice at DTM Legal LLP. The team is well-equipped to advise and negotiate on documents for sizable and high-value construction portfolios for its notable client list and related contentious issues of this nature. Specialist in contentious and non-contentious construction and engineering work, Guy Thomas is a key member of the north west offering.

Practice head(s):

Jim Morris

Other key lawyers:

Guy Thomas


‘Jim Morris is a high-calibre solicitor who gives absolute confidence from the outset and obtains fantastic results in difficult and high-value matters. He keeps clients up-to-date on the progression of claims and costs whilst providing outstanding advice. He clearly cares about obtaining the best result for us, didn’t delegate and no-nonsense commercial advice. I have already recommended to other businesses.’

‘DTM Legal’s hugely experienced construction team have excellent sector and specialist legal knowledge and consistently provide straight-talking, commercial and pragmatic advice. They really understand our business, our goals and requirements and help us to facilitate exceptional legal solutions.’

‘They are really personable and work as one of our own team. At every stage of the matter they keep in touch, respond quickly and accurately and are always clear, concise and easy to understand. They are our trusted advisers.’

Work highlights

  • Advising and negotiating on numerous property portfolios for a retail developer.
  • Advising and negotiating construction documents in respect of a new distribution warehouse.
  • Advised and negotiated in an adjudication and claim relating to piling works.

Myerson Solicitors LLP

Myerson Solicitors LLP‘s team. Jack Duncanson, noted as providing ‘very good support, advice and action’, is one to watch in the team for his abilities to advise key clients on both contentious and non-contentious work. Neil Armstrong has since left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Jack Duncanson


‘The service was prompt and efficient, and the advice given was clear and concise, enabling clients to make quick decisions. Actions were carried out on our behalf quickly and efficiently with a positive result. There was good interaction with the team throughout the process.’

‘Jack Duncanson provides very good advice, support and action. He listened to our problems and set out clear options and his advice led to a successful conclusion for us. We thoroughly recommend Jack and will continue to advise him.’

Key clients

One Heritage

Urban Splash

Renaker Build

Gladman / Adlington Retirement Homes

Akzo Nobel

Pozzoni Architects


Maple Sunscreening

Vauxhall Industrial Estate

Hallmark Developments

Spatial Initiative Limited

Extra Space Solutions


Llama Group

Austin Broady

Lindhill Property

Foreman Roberts Consulting

McFour Limited

Bracewell LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Renaker Build Limited on the building contract for the design and construction of the One Port Street development in Manchester for Select Property comprised of 477 apartments with gross development value of £154m.
  • Advised Urban Splash on the redevelopment of the Plymouth Civic Centre into apartments with creative commercial and events space.
  • Advised Gladman Retirement Homes on the construction documentation for a number of their developments across the country.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP‘s ‘approachable and knowledgeable’ Manchester-based construction offering is led by John Cleaveley. The team has strong capabilities in advising its client base on regeneration and development projects, particularly in the retail and residential sectors, wherein it regularly works on high-value matters in the city. ‘Standout construction lawyer’ Ian Hardman is vastly experienced in the provision of advice on such work, and has expertise of the relevant contracts.

Practice head(s):

John Cleaveley

Other key lawyers:

Ian Hardman; Stephanie Macpherson; Katie O’Leary


‘John Cleaveley and team are efficient, clear and deal with all individuals in a calm and non-adversarial way. I enjoy working with them.’

‘I have known John Cleaveley for several years now; I thoroughly trust his judgement and advice, he has a great reputation within the industry whereby his appointment is popular on both sides. Katie O’Leary is one of the most efficient and personable associate solicitors I have ever dealt with.’

‘A really approachable and knowledgeable team who strive to understand the needs of the business and advise accordingly.’

‘They provide clear and easy to understand advice, even when technical points are made.’

‘Shoosmiths has delivered good strength-in-depth on a number of very large projects for us.’

‘Ian Hardman is a standout construction lawyer whose ability to exercise commercial judgement to identify the key issues on large projects and avoid delays in both agreement of documents/conclusion of contracts and also in project management of the development, is exceptional.’

Key clients

Vita Group

Ask Real Estate

Lendlease Construction (Europe)

Jungheinrich UK

Robertson CE Limited

The National Trust

Revolution Bars

Wirral Growth Company/Muse

HE Simm

Nikal Developments

Work highlights

  • Advised Vita on the drafting and negotiation of the construction documents for the £154m development of a 33-storey, 477 apartment residential development on Port Street, Manchester.
  • Acting for T J Morris Limited (Home Bargains) in relation to the development of a new £125m distribution centre in the North West.
  • Instructed by Ask Real Estate to draft and negotiate the construction documents for the development of a 9 storey Grade A BREEAM Excellent, net-zero carbon office space at Plot 9, First Street, Manchester.


Sean McCay, noted as providing ‘unbelievable legal service’ is at the helm of TLT‘s ‘unique’ Manchester practice, which is well-equipped to advise its client portfolio on the development and regeneration of major residential developments in particular. A recent key example of such work saw it support on the transformation of the former Manchester racecourse at Castle Irwell into such. Transactional specialist Jahanara Hussain regularly advises public and private bodies on multi-million pound matters.

Practice head(s):

Sean McCay

Other key lawyers:

Jahanara Hussain


‘The TLT team is unique – not only do they provide an exceptional legal service with second-to-none subject knowledge and experience, they provide this with a fantastic customer support, creating a warm, friendly environment, guiding their clients through litigation in a caring and understanding way.’ 

‘Sean McCay’s unbelievable legal service this year has, yet again, exceeded my expectations. Fantastic client care and understanding are areas not praised enough. Sean’s professional manner and conduct have been brilliant. It’s a real pleasure to work with someone who is not only an expert in his field, but someone who provides his services with great care and thoughtfulness.’

‘The team is well-versed on construction matters with a wide-range of experience across multiple sectors of the construction industry.’   

‘Sean McCay has an excellent understanding of how to get to the key issues quickly and cost-effectively. He is a superb strategist and is able to move matters to a speedy resolution when appropriate.’

Key clients

Dandara Group

Excalon Limited

O’Callaghan Limited

Douglas West Wind Farm Limited


Wolverhampton City Council

Capital & Centric

JD Sports


Work highlights

  • Advising Dandara, one of the UK’s largest private housebuilders, on a major residential development.
  • Advising Excalon Limited, a leading infrastructure contractor, on a range of issues arising out of various long-term framework agreements in the Utilities Sector.
  • Advising Salboy, a property developer, in the transformation of a well-known North West site, the former Manchester racecourse at Castle Irwell, into a new residential neighbourhood.

Weightmans LLP

The team at Weightmans LLP is co-led by Colette Morgan-Ford from the Manchester office, and dispute specialist Tom Collins from Liverpool. The team is experienced in advising its clients at all stages of construction-related contracts and agreements, from inception to completion, regularly acting on such multi-million pound projects as the redevelopment of a Grade II listed building at Queen Mary University, London.

Practice head(s):

Tom Collins; Colette Morgan-Ford

Other key lawyers:

Richard Vaughan; Wynter O’Connor


‘Weightmans provide a great service. Their social housing and registered practitioner focus is strong and they ably provide quality, tailored advice.’

‘Tom Collins is very pro-active and always delivers. He has good grounding in construction law and applies a measured and common sense approach to matters.’

‘The team has impressive abilities, good responsiveness and exceptional communication. It quickly gets to grips with challenging technical issues and gains a detailed understanding which enables them to formulate a very robust case.’

‘The team calculates risk throughout key stages, allowing them to make informed decisions at all times. All team members are always professional in their approach and responsive to client needs. The team delivered a very successful outcome for us and this is due to the individuals involved. A truly exceptional team.’

‘Tom Collins and Wynter O’Connor are both excellent communicators who always go out of their way to respond in a timely manner, despite other demands. Both have an innate ability to analyses complex technical and legal issues and identify the key issues to be considered and presented. They ably identify risk and are resilient at all times.’

‘Tom Collins and Wynter O’Connor were able to interpret highly technical issues throughout our case and present them in a clear and logical format, which aided understanding of the key matters under consideration in the dispute. I would have no hesitation in engaging the team in any further legal challenges.’

Key clients

Jacobs (Halcrow Group Limited)

Watkin Jones & Son Limited

One Vision Housing Limited

Clarion Housing Group Limited / Latimer Developments Limited

Liverpool City Council

Sefton MBC

University of Cumbria

Populo Living

Fanatics (International) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the successful Council in the reported case of The Metropolitan Borough Council on the enforceability of adjudication decisions where there is an arbitration clause.
  • Acting for Queen Mary University of London in respect of their £70m development of their new school of business management.
  • Acting for Cordia Blackswan in their development of 366 residential units in Digbeth in Birmingham.


Belfast-based partner David McNeice is the overall head of construction at DWF, while senior associate Gemma Wilson is the lead contact for the Manchester team, which ably assists its clients in the provision of services involved in the construction of notable designs.

Practice head(s):

David McNeice; Gemma Wilson

Key clients

Whitbread Group PLC

South Caernarfon Creameries Ltd

Premier Inn Hotels

NatWest Bank


Liverpool John Moores University

Blackpool Council

Assura PLC

Costa Limited

National Museums Liverpool

Work highlights

  • Advised Whitbread Group PLC on its acquisition of number 5 the Strand London, with an investment value of over £200m.
  • Advised Liverpool John Moores University in relation to a project for the world’s largest robotic telescope located in the Canary Islands.
  • Acting for National Museums Liverpool in respect of their “Waterfront Transformation”- a 10-year multi-million pound plan to redevelop and regenerate Liverpool’s waterfront.


Primas‘s Cheshire, Manchester and Liverpool-spanning team has construction specialist David Vayro at its helm. The team frequently works on multi-million pound development matters and ably assists in the documentation and logistics of key projects in the region from inception to completion. The practice acts for such noteworthy regional clients as Didsbury Park Investments Limited.

Practice head(s):

David Vayro

Key clients

Collaborate Living Limited

Didsbury Park Investments Limited

SEP Construction Limited

Integrum Limited

Conquip Engineering Group

Collaborate Living Limited

SEP Construction Limited

SEDA Pharmaceutical Developments Limited

Westshield Limited

Wilkins Property Holdings Limited

V10 Homes Limited

Marco 2 Living Limited

Peelers Yard Limited

Cityside UK LTD

Lomondo Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Collaborate Living Limited on a Development Services Agreement within affordable housing Land and Building package development worth £3.3m for Affordable Housing Provider.
  • Advised Marco 2 Limited in relation to Development Management Agreements with its JV partner in two separate but linked projects worth £52.4m.
  • Advised V10 Homes Limited in relation to bespoke contractual arrangements to provide temporary security alongside Building Contractor Retention and in the absence of a Performance Bond involving escrow arrangements for holding and release of funds.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Specialist in both English and Spanish construction and engineering-related dispute resolution, James Driver, is at the helm of Clarke Willmott LLP‘s Manchester practice. Senior associate in the team Mark Christie also handles disputes as well as transactional matters, with cross-jurisdictional reach.

Practice head(s):

James Driver

Key clients

Abri (formerly Yarlington)

B Price Limited

Treforest Property Company Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised MDL Marinas Group Limited in relation to its dispute with Dartmouth Contractors Limited regarding two adjudications arising out of a disputed account involving issues regarding defects and delays.
  • Represented a number of Employers and Contractors in a series of technical payment adjudications.
  • Advising and representing a number of national Housing Associations in cladding/EWS claims against various national contractors and design teams.

JMW Solicitors LLP

The cohort at JMW Solicitors LLP is headed by Andrew Rimmer from the firm’s Manchester office, supported by Helen Daley. The team is best known for its abilities handling the remit of construction disputes for its clients, including the likes of Urban Splash Construct. Its transactional work often involves advising on residential projects. Neil Armstrong joined the group from Myerson Solicitors LLP in January 2024, contributing his deep knowledge of waste to energy initiatives and residential projects.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Rimmer

Other key lawyers:

Helen Daley; Neil Armstrong


‘Helen Daley is very responsive, knowledgeable, and keen to deliver a positive result.’

Key clients

Domis Construction Ltd

Urban Splash Construct

EJ Parker Technical Services (Central Ltd)

Work highlights

  • Advising Domis Construction on design and construction by our contractor client of a significant mixed use scheme in the centre of a huge regeneration of a moribund part of Salford.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Manchester-based Matthew Grellier, described as ‘exceptional’, has led Kuit Steinart Levy LLP‘s practice since his November 2022 appointment to the team from Slater Heelis. The team runs as part of the firm’s larger commercial property team and its work predominantly involves providing advice on a range of non-contentious matters relating to development and infrastructure projects. Specialist counsel Steven Finney departed to construction company RSK Group Limited in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Grellier


‘Good breadth of experience across a range of construction sectors and of acting for those procuring as well as carrying out works.’

‘Matthew Grellier has wide sector and party experience in both contentious and non-contentious constructions matters. He knows his way around building and engineering contract forms and provides careful and focused advice.’

‘Kuits’ construction team provides key support to the firm’s very strong commercial property offering. The team at Kuits demystifies the highly technical construction field with its specialist input, keeping tightly-aligned with our overall commercial objectives.’

‘Matthew Grellier has been a very strong acquisition to the team. His breadth of knowledge and experience in this highly technical area is exceptional.’

Key clients

PIN Property

Property Alliance Group Limited

Danish Crown UK Limited

Surefire Management Services Limited

CubicWorks Ltd

David Samuel Properties

The Prime Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Danish Crown in relation to the construction of a 30,500 sqm. meat processing facility in Rochdale.
  • Advising Property Alliance Group on construction documentation relating to the development known as Renaissance in Manchester.
  • Advising Surefire Management Services Limited on construction contracts for numerous projects across the UK

Mills & Reeve LLP

Catherine Kay, who has particular experience advising on construction matters in arts and entertainment spaces, leads the Manchester-based cohort at Mills & Reeve LLP, alongside Birmingham-based Martino Giaquinto. The team has experience advising on the development of multi-million pound development projects for such well-known establishments as the University of Salford and Bury College.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Kay; Martino Giaquinto


‘The team has specific wealth of knowledge in construction-related disciplines. It shows a strong understanding of the client’s requirements, aims and objectives.’

‘The individuals in the team are unique and each one of them has specific knowledge, skills and expertise in different areas of our work in terms of construction contracts, title deeds, and other legal agreements.’

Key clients

University of Salford

University of Salford – Project Z

Bury College

Contact Theatre (Manchester)

Booth Asset Management Limited


Royal Northern College of Music

Work highlights

  • Advised University of Salford on the appointment of a development partner masterplan fulfilment project.
  • Acting for University of Salford on the new build Barratt house at the University.