Firms To Watch: Construction

Led by partner Sam Bawden, the growing team at Holmes & Hills in Colchester receives strong client feedback for its contentious and non-contentious work.

Construction in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP‘s construction team works across the firm’s offices in Oxford, London, Southampton, and Cardiff, with clients in the private and public sectors in areas including infrastructure, retail and leisure, energy, health, banking, and education. James Bessey heads the contentious offering, and practice head Richard Wade leads on non-contentious matters. Bessey is experienced in national and international disputes, with a growing focus on issues relating to cladding. Wade, meanwhile, provides comprehensive support on matters including procurement strategies and contract drafting and negotiation. Working out of Oxford, Dominic Jones covers contentious and non-contentious matters, acting for clients including owners, developers and funders as well as contractors, professional consultants and suppliers.

Practice head(s):

Richard Wade

Other key lawyers:

James Bessey; Dominic Jones

Testimonials

‘Dominic Jones has been exemplary in fulfilling the construction legal commission. His response to issues is quick succinct and focussed. Given the issues and hurdles which have arisen he has shown endless patience. In addition clear scopes of service and fixed fees have been very welcome as a means for managing project finances.’

‘A very capable team.’

Key clients

IWG / Regus

Diamond Light Source Ltd

Premier Inns/Whitbread

New College

Oxford University Developments

Gigaclear Plc

Ogi/Spectrum

Sutton and East Surrey Water

Beard Construction

Metro Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Providing full life-cycle service on construction issues across IWG’s extensive portfolio of serviced offices.
  • Acting on a dispute in relation to the payment provisions under a £20m contract for the filter replacement and upgrade of the water treatment works.
  • Instructed to provide non-contentious support on a number of projects, including the replacement of the roof to main Synchrotron building, the construction of two new technical manufacturing facilities, and a significant four-storey extension of the existing headquarters building at the Harwell research facility.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's Guildford-based construction engineering & projects practice handles contentious and non-contentious work for a diverse client base of national and international businesses and HNW individuals in sectors including property, energy, transportation, retail, investment, government, and banking. Team head David Savage is based in Guildford, but also spends time in London and the Middle East. He is a qualified barrister, and advises on domestic and international matters ranging from drafting contracts and scoping projects to day-to-day support and dispute resolution. Andrew Keeley has a similarly broad practice, with contentious experience including professional negligence claims. Senior associate Chi Mount is another key contact, with a developing focus on data centre developments and transactions. The team was further strengthened by the September 2021 hire of associate Hannah McDonald from Blake Morgan LLP.

Practice head(s):

David Savage

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Keeley; Chi Mount; Hannah McDonald

Key clients

Maldives Airport Company Limited (100% owned by the Government of the Republic of the Maldives)

Ministry of Transport & Telecommunications, Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Church Commissioners for England

Caring Homes Group

Eton College

Kate Bingham Interior Design

The Pirbright Institute

Marlborough College

Northvale Construction Limited

Aspire Luxury Properties limited

Bewley Homes Plc

Work highlights

  • Continued to advise the Government of Bahrain in relation to procurement and construction law issues arising from the Bahrain Airport Modernisation Project, a $1b redevelopment of Bahrain Airport.
  • Advised the Pirbright Institute throughout its 14-year £0.5b redevelopment in respect of procurement strategy generally, and drafting and negotiation of all construction documentation.
  • Secured a three-year appointment from the Government of the Maldives to provide construction law services for their $1b airport redevelopment project.

Cripps

Based in Tunbridge Wells, Cripps fields a strong construction team with experience acting for clients in sectors including education, property development, and infrastructure. Nitej Davda heads the contentious practice, where he is experienced in disputes including insolvency, development litigation, and property and construction-related professional negligence. He is supported by senior associate and dispute resolution specialist Marcus Angell. Non-contentious team head James Lee acts for property developers, local authorities, and utility companies, and runs the firm’s in-house construction precedents and know-how committee. The non-contentious offering was further strengthened in 2021 by the hires of senior associate Jane Janney in October and legal director Iain Benson in November, from Howard Kennedy LLP and Galliford Try respectively.

Practice head(s):

James Lee; Nitej Davda

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Angell; Jane Janney; Iain Benson

Testimonials

‘I have been thoroughly impressed with the work that Cripps have done on a complex ongoing case with which I have been involved. They have brought together specialist construction and insolvency knowledge to prepare and manage the case efficiently and effectively. The client has been very much assisted by the clear, concise and correct advice that Cripps have given throughout.’

‘I have worked with Marcus Angell on a number of occasions. Marcus is a calm, measured and reassuring presence. He always has a detailed grasp of the matters on which he is instructed and has excellent client care skills. He is always responsive, and communicates clearly and effectively with those he is instructing and with lawyers on the other side.’

‘They offer very simple clear advice and are able to turn things around quickly.’

‘Marcus Angell is a thorough, hardworking and extremely knolwedgeable associate in the construction team. His assistance on what is fundamentally an insolvency case has been invaluable, as have his tireless efforts in pursuing relevant points. His initial advice to the client was thoughtful, well researched and clearly expressed.’

‘They are extremely responsible and have the patience to understand the clients needs and then to advice and sometimes with a commercial view .’

‘Nitej Davda has been extremely helpful in getting our construction disputes resolved without having to go to court.’

‘Friendly approachable and down-to-earth people.’

‘Marcus Angell is an excellent lawyer with a great manner with clients.’

Key clients

Cadogan

Slough Borough Council

South East Water

Federated Hermes (owner of centre:mk)

Harrow School (part of John Lyons Charity)

English National Ballet

Crossrail

M&G Real Estate (formerly PRUPIM)

Liberty Property Trust UK

Runnymede Borough Council

Kennedy Wilson

Endurance Land

Gold Property Construction Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Cadogan on its estate in relation to a mixture of development agreements, agreements for lease, building contracts, consultant appointments and collateral warranties relating to new build facilities and the refurbishment of their existing property portfolio in and around Chelsea and Knightsbridge.
  • Advisers to Slough Borough Council in relation to their massive urban regeneration project called Slough Urban Renewal with its development partner Morgan Sindall.
  • Advising South East Water on their construction documents, professional appointments and building contracts relating to the upgrade and maintenance of their water treatment works, main pipes, reservoirs, boreholes, pipework, drainage systems and other infrastructure.

IBB Law

Headed by Paul Brampton and based out of the firm's Uxbridge office, IBB Law's construction and engineering team has particular strengths in advising major developers and contractors on high-value and business-critical commercial projects. The practice also has a strong presence in the engineering sector, where it often handles work with complex multinational elements. Partner Steven Hayward is well-regarded for his dispute resolution work, while consultant Ross Humphries is renowned on the non-contentious side. Solicitors Chris Thompson, Victoria Sessions, and new arrival Samantha Beasley are all recommended. Thompson in particular adds strength in the insurance sector

Practice head(s):

Paul Brampton

Other key lawyers:

Steven Hayward; Ross Humphries; Chris Thompson; Victoria Sessions; Samantha Beasley

Testimonials

‘Very thorough knowledge of construction law, they think one step ahead and are available at all times which is very reassuring.’

‘I have been working with Steven Hayward and his team since 2014 on various construction related issues, and have found both him and his team to be are very dedicated to what they take on and deal with. I have found the attention to detail that Steven gives in each scenario is commendable.’

‘The practice have obviously selected a strong and experience team that overwhelm any competitor in providing an honest service. Very strong in communication which I have never experienced with any legal firm. Very experienced and informed ensuring a very active and prompt approach to dealing with diverse situations. Costing was very fair and appreciated.’

‘We have had a successful and positive working relationship with IBB Law LLP for over 10 plus years. We have always found the company to be extremely knowledgeable and their lawyers to be highly trained and motivated to get the best results for the client. They are also flexible and have always been able to adapt and tailor their approach to meet our needs and timelines and have always provided us with practical and effective solutions. We have also found their rates to be highly competitive and would happily recommend then to others.’

‘We primarily work with Paul Brampton. He is experienced, knowledgeable, and very helpful at dealing with any of our legal queries.’

‘I deal in the main with Steven Hayward & any staff he brings onto the team. Steven is thorough with very good attention to the small details. He understands my business and how we work and tailors his responses accordingly. He provides a level of comfort and trust that i regard as necessary in my legal team.’

‘Christopher Thompson. Approachable, knowledgeable individual with a good handle on managing the life cycle of a case in the best interest of his instructing client. Communicates well and knows his audience.’

‘Steven Hayward – we could not fault him at any way. From the start he asked all the right questions to understand the case and communicated the best approach that was very amicable. The dispute was then handled in a very timely manner and that was only due to his prompt communication. He lead the dispute throughout which was a huge relief to both the other party and ourselves. His extensive knowledge of construction law was very clear from the start to end which was reflected in the tone of the negotiation and outcome. I valued his commitment and ownership of the case and service to ourselves as a client.’

Key clients

Aviva Insurance

Bellway

O’Halloran and O’Brien

Albany Group

Teenage Cancer Trust

A M Construction

Riverdale Developments Limited

Marson Property

EAB Homes

Frontier Estates

Work highlights

  • Advising a multi-national insurance company on the acquisition and development of its global headquarters in the City of London.
  • Advising a contractor on a dispute concerning the construction of the National Theatre of Bahrain.
  • Advising O’Halloran & O’Brien Group in connection with the development of a large retirement living development.

Sheridan Gold LLP

As a boutique construction practice, Reigate-based Sheridan Gold LLP is well equipped to handle the full range of contentious and non-contentious work for a broad client base of contractors and subcontractors, consultants, employers, and developers. Peter Sheridan is especially well regarded for his work in arbitration and adjudication, where he is the author of a substantial body of published work, in addition to his practical experience. Jonathan Gold coleads the team and firm with Sheridan, and primarily works on construction, engineering, and infrastructure projects, with experience in adjudication, arbitration, litigation, and mediation alongside his non-contentious work. Jane Ryland has similarly broad experience, and is well regarded by peers and clients. Elizabeth Slattery is another key contact, for whom civil engineering is a key specialism.

Practice head(s):

Peter Sheridan; Jonathan Gold

Other key lawyers:

Jane Ryland; Elizabeth Slattery

Testimonials

‘A niche practice with excellent lawyers providing exceptional value. I would suggest their practice matches and exceeds a number of their London competitors.’

‘The two senior partners are first rate and hugely experienced lawyers, with different but complimentary skill sets.’

‘Really high-quality specialist firm. Out-punches many of its larger competitors’

‘Jonathan Gold – very bright, highly commercial and a pleasure to work with. Peter Sheridan – highly-experience and a great strategist.’

‘Sheridan Gold LLP have worked with us for many years and have prioritised service and relationship building. They have taken in to account the amounts being disputed and have reduced their billing in the past to assist us when they know the amounts being disputed are disproportionate to the fees.’

‘I have worked closely with Jonathan Gold on a few disputes and he is always willing to spend the time to explain the situation. He normally explains the various options so that we can make an informed decision.’

‘Although they are a relatively small practice their breadth of expertise and experience is perfectly and comprehensively adequate. In comparison with other and larger firms the service they offer and their friendliness and approachability makes all the difference.’

Key clients

Amey

Apex Contractors

Ballast Nedam

Cappagh Browne

Chapel Down

Ferdinand Bilstein UK

Fileturn

Morcom Construction

Our Place

Rackham Construction

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Stevens & Bolton LLP fields a strong construction team from its office in Guildford. Kimberley Eyssell leads the team, and specialises in contentious matters, with a particular specialism in dispute resolution for clients in the rail industry, alongside her work for clients including automobile manufacturers, local authorities, and public schools. The team’s non-contentious offering is headed up by Ben Willis, who brings broad experience across a range of construction and engineering projects, including manufacturing and distribution centres and shopping centres as well as rail and infrastructure projects. Stephen Rockhill has moved to a consultant role, and remains an active part of the team. Senior associate Claire Perry returned from a career break in September 2021, further strengthening the team across contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Kimberley Eyssell

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Rockhill; Ben Willis; Claire Perry

Testimonials

‘Professional and knowledgeable team, good access to partner level if required.’

‘Kimberley Eyssell has always provided us with succinct and honest accurate advice.’

Key clients

Kia Motors (UK) Ltd

Eastleigh Borough Council

Gist Limited NoVX Fiber Ltd

Maris Interiors LLP

CBRE Managed Services Ltd

Schneider (G.B) Limited

Institute of Cancer Research

Royal Albert Hall

Store Properties

BDB Pitmans

Situated within the firm's wider commercial real estate department, BDB Pitmans's construction and engineering practice is bolstered by its close links to the real estate, insolvency, and dispute resolution teams, and provides a full service contentious and non-contentious offering to a broad range of clients. Team lead Karen Kirkham, based in the London office, has experience acting for developers, funders, institutional investors, contractors, and consultants on a range of major projects. The team works across offices in London, Reading, and Southampton, with the latter enabling it to serve clients in the marine engineering sector, including ferry operators and marina owners and operators. Another key sector for the firm is hotels and leisure, where it assists clients with major high-end developments. David Gwillim is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Karen Kirkham

Other key lawyers:

David Gwillim

Testimonials

‘Honed and well-established private client links, whilst maintaining strong corporate relationships; versatility in heavy litigation and also dispute management; creativity in engineering practical solutions (litigation and disputes).’

‘David Gwillim – highly personable; high attention to detail; active case manager; widely respected by the industry; a trusted lead in complex, multi-party litigation.’

‘Excellent legal knowledge and client care.’

Key clients

Smurfit Kappa UK Limited

Cowen International Limited

The Healthcare Management Trust

German investment fund

The Royal Opera House

London Theatre

Joint Venture

Cambridgeshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Preparing and negotiating all construction contracts and appointments for a major new factory in Wales.
  • Negotiated the development agreements and all construction documentation for two new extra care residential developments in the North West.
  • Advising on various high spec office fit outs, for Cowen International, stockbrokers in London, Microsoft Research Limited in Cambridge and others.

Clarkslegal LLP

Led by experienced partner Stephen James, who splits his time between the firm's Reading and London offices, Clarkslegal LLP's construction team provides the full range of advice for clients in both purchase and supply. James is especially well regarded for his contentious construction experience, which includes bringing and defending claims at adjudication, arbitration, and court hearings. Key areas of expertise include matters relating to interim and final accounts, time extensions, defects and professional negligence. Also based in Reading, Antony Morris heads the firm's dispute resolution offering, with interests in engineering, professional negligence, and health and safety.

Practice head(s):

Stephen James

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Morris

Testimonials

‘Great construction knowledge.’

‘The construction lawyer, Stephen James, knows his stuff inside out. Very methodical and pragmatic in his working. Assimilates information very quickly and advises very well.’

Key clients

Lumen Technologies UK Limited

Vascroft Contractors Limited

Really Local Group

Optimum Group Plc

Frencon Construction Limited

Area Sq Limited

Cube Interior Solutions Limited

Stanton Williams Limited

Allenbuild Limited

BSW Building Services Limited

Westford Mechanical Limited

NCS Plumbing and Heating Services Limited

Fourfront Group Limited

PRP Architects LLP

QB Technology Limited

Crown Packaging UK Plc

Mackin Construction Limited

Future Tech SCI Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Really Local Developments, part of London-based regeneration specialist Really Local Group, on a project to transform a 14,000 sq ft space in Reading’s well-known Broad Street Mall into an independent four-screen cinema, refreshments, music and events centre.
  • Instructed by leading architects firm Stanton Williams on 100 different projects over recent years, including complex drafting, reviewing and negotiating professional appointment terms on a number of high value development projects.
  • Act for Crown Packaging UK plc, part of the Eviosys Group, which has manufacturing facilities across 17 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, on various key construction and property-related matters nationally.

Dentons

Dentons‘ Milton Keynes-based construction practice handles non-contentious work for clients including supermarkets and banks as well as property developers. The team provides advice from the beginnings of a project through to its completion, assisting with drafting and negotiating contracts, due diligence, and the day-to-day complexities of construction work. Since the departure of Jane Miles in May 2021, the team is led at the national level by Mark Macaulay, who splits his time between the firm’s London and Glasgow offices. Shaun Tame is a senior team member in the Thames Valley, where he handles a range of procurement and contract issues. Senior associate Tasmyn Brittlebank is also recommended, with experience in the construction aspects of broader real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Macaulay

Other key lawyers:

Shaun Tame; Tasmyn Brittlebank

Key clients

Realstar Group

Sports Direct

Verdion

Karlin Property

Kier Property Developments Limited

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Marks and Spencer Plc

OB Capital Limited

John Lewis

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Marks & Spencer PLC in relation to their Asset Management Programme.
  • Advised Kier Trade City LLP in relation to their portfolio of trade city site, which include a mixture of retail parks, industrial units and logistics units.
  • Advised OB Capital Limited on the redevelopment of 15 Old Bailey, which is to be converted from office space to hotel and leisure.

Irwin Mitchell

National head of construction and engineering Mark Clinton leads Irwin Mitchell‘s South East construction team from the firm’s Gatwick office. The team acts for clients predominantly based in London and the Home Counties in sectors including education, manufacturing, energy, and housing. Cladding has been a significant focus in recent years, including Clinton’s work leading a group of freeholders and managing agents in negotiations with government over the terms of the Building Safety Fund. He is assisted in this by associate Natalie Cane, also based in the Gatwick office. Cane also boasts broad experience in non-contentious work, in particular drafting contracts and advising on appointments and funder warranties. James Mapley, who works out of Southampton, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Clinton

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Cane; James Mapley

Key clients

HomeGround Management Ltd (part of Longharbour)

East Sussex College Group

Rydon Group

NG Bailey Group

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Headed by Simon Rowland at the national level, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's construction and engineering team has a strong presence in the South East, where partner Jessica Tresham is a key name in Southampton. it handles major projects from inception to completion, and can draw on experienced lawyers from other practices within the firm to build bespoke teams to provide comprehensive support. Tresham focuses on contentious work, where she has experience bringing claims to the Technology and Construction Court and advising in arbitrations, adjudications, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. On the non-contentious side, managing associate Amy Hodge is known for her work on transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

Jessica Tresham; Simon Rowland

Other key lawyers:

Amy Hodge; Hannah Gardiner

Testimonials

‘The team is a serious player in the market with an impressive client base of large corporate clients in the UK and US across a number of sectors.’

‘Jess Tresham is an excellent leader of a team, a top lawyer and huge driver of a team offering inspiration and responsibility rather than remote delegation.’

‘Jess Tresham is very sound and knowledgeable on the law; impeccable commercial judgment; effective time management; an absolute pleasure to work with. A strategic mastermind that can see the wood for the trees and plot a way through.’

‘Hannah Gardiner is a rising star; incredibly bright and efficient.’

Key clients

B&Q Limited

The Church Commissioners for England

The University of Portsmouth Higher Education Corporation

Garmin (Europe) Limited

Hutchison 3G UK Limited

New Look Retailers Limited

The Original Bowling Company Limited

The University of Plymouth

UPS SCS (UK) Limited

Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising B&Q Limited in relation to the drafting of the majority of their construction contracts, and providing updates to the suite of contracts in response to changing legal requirements.
  • Appointed by The Church Commissioners for England to provide all legal services in connection with a programme of extensive maintenance, repair and alteration works due to be carried out at Lambeth Palace.
  • Instructed by the University of Portsmouth in connection with three projects in its Estate Masterplan Framework.

Birkett Long LLP

Headed by Peter Allen in Chelmsford, Birkett Long LLP's construction practice has broad experience across both contentious and non-contentious matters, with clients including prominent developers, contractors and subcontractors, and businesses including educational establishments. Allen is equally adept in contentious and non-contentious work, with experience ranging from drafting and advising on contracts to mediations, adjudications, arbitrations, and litigation, including advising on breaches of contract, professional negligence, payment disputes, and public procurement. Senior associate Suryen Nullatamby is a key contact, with extensive adjudication experience.

Practice head(s):

Peter Allen

Other key lawyers:

Suryen Nullatamby

Testimonials

‘Birkett Long has a number of individuals with deep expertise in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious construction law. In terms of quality they are a match for the big London firms, but they outdo them in efficiency and cost-effectiveness. I have both worked with on a number of cases and have referred others to them.’

‘They have a real interest and professionalism individually and as a team always contactable and quick to respond.’

‘Peter Allen is the standout partner. He thinks strategically and guides clients through complex disputes with great skill. He is always a pleasure to deal with. Suryen Nullatamby is an experienced associate who handles a number of his own cases. He has deep knowledge of construction disputes.’

‘As an expert working with instructing solicitors, clarity and focus from the outset is key to supporting client requirements in contentious construction disputes. Working closely with Suryen Nullatamby it was refreshing from the outset that he has excellent ability to bring together the instructing client with appropriate experts to the develop pertinent technical evidence. Suryen provides significant legal intellect combined with astute commercial advice.’

‘Excellent legal knowledge and client care.’

‘Suryen Nullatamby gives straightforward advice that separates the wheat from the chaff of a case.’

‘Being a small to medium sized construction team means that clients get a personal relationship with the practice, yet feel there are sufficient resources available to deal with their requirements. Larger firms tend to create a feel that there is a lot of fee earners dealing with one matter, whereas at Birkett Long there is generally one partner/associate involved.’

‘I have worked with Suryen Nullatamby, who is a dedicated, hardworking lawyer driven to achieve the best results for his clients.’

Key clients

John F Hunt Group Ltd

DMC Contracts Ltd

Project Etopia Group

North Essex Signs Limited

Universal Stone Limited

Complete Composite Systems Limited

BPC Interiors Limited

Posh Maintenance Limited

Assessmont Group Ltd

Stomor Ltd

Yacht Havens Limited

JMA Concrete Contracts Limited

Imperial Finishes Ltd

Brittanic Properties London Limited

Maplewood Carpentry Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Project Etopia on their consultant and contractor contracts for their Eastry site including negotiating terms with the financiers of the project and the actual consultants and contractors.
  • Advising BPC Interiors on successfully defending an adjudication with a claim against them of £143,000.
  • Advising Yacht Havens in various elements of their construction claim.

EMW Law LLP

EMW Law LLP's construction team is headed by Caroline Watkins from Gatwick, and provides non-contentious construction advice to a broad range of clients. Transactional support includes advising on procurement routes and drafting and negotiating contracts, especially in engineering and energy. The team also advises developers, lenders, and consultants on risk profile, providing in-depth analysis to clients embarking on construction projects. Watkins was promoted to principal in April 2021, and handles the range of construction matters on projects including significant high-value developments, as well as assisting with due diligence and risk management. She is also increasingly active in assisting clients with insolvency claims.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Watkins

Testimonials

‘A willingness to engage at all levels of our business, to work co-operatively and persevere with a difficult client to get things done within the timescales agreed and within strict cost parameters.’

‘Caroline Watkins is effective and reliable with great communication skills. She has always provided excellent and articulate advice.’

‘Caroline Watkins on the construction team at EMW was excellent on a recent project that we instructed her on. Caroline provided clear and useful advice throughout and came up with solutions. She worked within budget and on time and we were very happy with her and her team’s work on this complex matter.’

‘Caroline Watkins was always available to discuss matters as they arose and would quickly follow up on points and speak to sub-contractors/other professionals directly to clarify what she needed and to speed matters along.’

Key clients

MHA LLP

G R Wright & Sons Limited

Hearne Holmes

Motor Insurers’ Bureau

ACO Technologies plc

Riverside Capital

Grand Union Housing Group

BFS Group Limited (Bidfood)

Hale Architecture Limited

Cognita Schools Limited

Work highlights

  • Prepared extensive construction documentation for Riverside Capital on the development of Yarnwicke Building in Cannon Street, including oversailing and rights of light documents.
  • Prepared documentation for tenant occupation of third floor of Yarnwicke Building in Cannon Street; preparing collateral warranties and supporting preparation of lease.
  • Prepared construction documentation for a sectional project for the redevelopment of Charterhouse School in central London; involving two sets of building contract and professional appointments.

HCR Hewitsons

HCR Hewitsons‘ construction and engineering team is headed at the national level by Birmingham-based Keith Blizzard. In the South East, it primarily handles development work for local and regional clients, with a particular sector specialism in education. Cambridge-based Colin Jones brings broad experience, with particular focuses on producing construction agreements and public procurement, as well as contentious dispute resolution. Solicitor Thomas Nation is also building a reputation for pragmatic and commercial advice on often complex projects.

Practice head(s):

Keith Blizzard

Other key lawyers:

Colin Jones; Thomas Nation

Key clients

Rosewood Developments (Norwich)

Fishbourne Number 3

Palmers

Essex-based Palmers' construction team boasts an especially strong reputation in contentious work, which it handles for a broad client base ranging from large contractors to small subcontractors and sole traders, as well as developers and large corporations involved in construction and engineering projects. Disputes handled by Palmers include those involving construction defects and defective materials, and the team has particular experience in specialist sectors including car manufacturing and oil and gas pipelines. Recent years have also seen an increase in work relating to high-rise cladding. Practice head Adam Davis, based in Rayleigh, handles all aspects of contentious construction law, including LAD claims, payment disputes, concurrent delay claims, and termination issues. He also provides non-contentious services to clients, including drafting standard and bespoke contracts. Associates Layna Thompson and Maisie Yau are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Adam Davis

Other key lawyers:

Layna Thompson; Maisie Yau

Testimonials

‘A practice focused on client needs, identifying what needs to be done and persisting on doing it for the client.’

‘Adam Davis, an extremely canny operator who knows how to find a way through the thickets of a dispute.’

‘I’ve worked with Palmers over the last 10 years on a number of construction matters. They are a ‘go to firm’ for construction cases and Adam Davis is an outstanding lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of construction disputes. Palmers will always go the extra mile to make sure the case is prepared and presented in the best possible way. I would highly recommend this firm.’

‘Adam Davis, partner. A really excellent lawyer with a good commercial mind, who works extremely hard and always makes sure all bases are covered. Also excellent when it comes to negotiation and finding the best commercial solution for the client in any given situation.’

‘Adam Davis is a no-nonsense lawyer who cuts to the chase of a dispute quickly.’

‘Extremely attentive and hard working team who go the extra mile for their clients.’

‘Adam Davis is an excellent construction lawyer. He is extremely hardworking and investigates all available avenues to secure the best outcome for his clients.’

‘The team has always been responsive, with attention to both detail and requirements of the client. They fully explain each stage of the brief as it progresses, are approachable and ‘user friendly’’

Key clients

LFF Glamal Limited

LFF (Scotland) Limited

The Lady Eleanor Holles School Limited

City Lifting Limited

Vertical Transportation Limited

Barnes Webster and Son Limited

Ryan and Walsh Limited

Eden Facades Limited

TPS Interiors Limited

White Post Building Services Limited

EEStairs (UK) Limited

Arti Structural Waterproofing Limited

A to Z Safe Warehouse Limited

TMT Steel Limited

J B Building Essex Limited

M.A Divane Contractors Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised and was successful in obtaining a main contractor, Barnes Webster and Son Limited a significant Extension of Time of 4 months as a result of COVID and its effects by way of Adjudication.
  • Advised and successfully recovered the sum of €103,576.80 for London Fittings and Flanges Limited against an Italian company in relation to a pipeline project in the Baltic Sea.
  • Advised and assisted Newtons Group Limited in negotiating and drafting an amended NEC 4 Construction and Engineering Contract in respect of a large contract being undertaken for a Government Department.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP‘s construction team draws on the expertise of the firm’s dispute resolution, employment, and commercial departments. Experienced dispute resolution lawyer Dan Sherlock  heads the team from the firm’s Sevenoaks office, where he specialises in construction law disputes and Construction Act claims, alongside a developing focus on non-contentious contract matters. Richard Ludlow specialises in insolvency, while Amy White handles employment-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Dan Sherlock

Other key lawyers:

Richard Ludlow; Amy Prime

Testimonials

‘Dan Sherlock provides a modern, mature and sensible approach to resolving matters.’

Key clients

Neilcott group of companies

Energys Group Limited

C J Thorne & Company Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the Neilcott group of companies (Neilcott), a £80M+ turnover business, on its sale to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT Transaction).
  • Advising Energys Group on a dispute the client has with a major NHS Trust over a refurbishment/construction contract relating to the fitting out of trust facilities during the pandemic.
  • Advising CJ Thorne & Co Limited, a major regional construction business, on all areas of employment law.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore‘s construction and engineering team provides support across the full life cycle of a project, from initial documentation to live support and, if necessary, dispute resolution. Working from the Thames Gateway office, Chris Whittington heads a multi-office offering that spans the South East. The firm’s clients range from developers and funders to contractors and subcontractors, as well as employers in sectors including education and healthcare, leisure and fitness, and chemical manufacturing. Though he has experience in dispute resolution, Whittington focuses on non-contentious work, with experience in project documentation and support, procurement methods, contracts, and appointments. Also in Thames Gateway, Chris Kirby-Turner heads up the contentious side of the practice, with litigation experience including complex professional negligence claims, claims against insurers, and claims involving insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Chris Whittington

Other key lawyers:

Chris Kirby-Turner

Testimonials

‘The team are personable, knowledgeable and excel in collaboration with clients and experts alike.’

‘The construction team (mainly Chris Whittington) is always honest upfront fair and pragmatic in his advice. I have always admired how flexible they are in the way they work and Chris is very accessible. Chris is always willing to answer any questions we might have and takes the time to really listen. Nothing is ever an issue. I have relied on Chris’s advice immensely.’

‘Chris Kirby-Turner has an expert eye for details. Chris always asks questions that we wish we had asked. Chris provides us with clear sound advice.’

‘The team have provided support following difficulties and eventually contractor insolvency on a scheme that had initially not advised on. At all times we had clear timescales for deliverables, which they always met. They were effective in working alongside our internal team and providing commercial input when required. They worked efficiently and were proactive in providing cost estimates which they were able to adhere to.’

‘Chris Kirkby-Turner (partner) was our key contact and provided most on the advice on this project. I found Chris very commercial and his advice was aimed to get us to a position that would be acceptable to all parties. Early on provided clear advice on ways forward that were easily understandable by non-lawyers.’

‘This practice has excellent team members who can provide support to our needs even at very short notice at times. We found this firm to be very helpful and willing to work late evenings and weekends to support us and the quality of service they provide is excellent. This practice has many contacts with other excellent professionals which make a formidable force.’

‘Chris Kirby-Turner we have dealt with personally and he has provided exceptional service and advice over the last two years. Chris deals with all matters in a calm and professional manner easing the stress levels when dealing with difficult situations. He is an exceptional individual and a pleasure to work with him. Chris Wittington has also provided services in relation to JCT contracts and appointments. He is also another exceptional individual who has provided us with valuable advice.’

‘Very good team to work with.’

Key clients

OFP Timber Framed Homes Ltd

Nicholas James Care Homes Ltd

Avenue Building Company Ltd

Royal British Legion Industries Ltd

North Kent College

Charles Edward Ltd

Motorline Holdings Ltd

Kentish Projects Ltd

Chatham Maritime Trust

Work highlights

  • Acting for a care home group in relation to a series of disputes relating to major care home redevelopments and associated projects.
  • Acting for a major international bakery chain on the contractual construction documents for the fit out of its first three UK outlets in the UK to be built in London.
  • Acting for a water utility company in relation to a dispute reading a major capital investment project, following a break down between the parties at the conclusion of a partnering agreement.