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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South West > Real estate > Construction > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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The team at Burges Salmon LLP¬†can ‚Äėstand up to any national practice‚Äô. Headed by William Gard, the construction department is involved in many of the UK‚Äôs largest transport and energy infrastructure projects, and also has an experienced contentious practice. Indeed, Gard represented a household name UK retailer in long-running arbitration proceedings, which recently settled. On the non-contentious side, Gard advised Costain on the design and construction contracts for the Greater Manchester Waste Project, which comprises 42 waste facilities across 27 sites. The ‚Äėpragmatic and collegiate‚Äô Marcus Harling¬†advises The Crown Estate and various joint venture partners on the construction aspects of numerous London projects, including the 260,000¬†ft2 St. James‚Äôs Market mixed-use development. Lloyd James¬†is assisting Highways England with the procurement of construction contracts for its A303 Stonehenge expressway. The team is also engaged in a momentous national energy project. Senior associate Matthew Crossley¬†joined the team from TLT. Other key clients include Babcock, Hochtief and Engie.

Osborne Clarke‚Äôs construction department is ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô. The non-contentious group advises suppliers and purchasers on a range of projects including renewable energy and student accommodation developments, but the group is perhaps best known as ‚Äėthe go-to construction disputes team in the region‚Äô. Associate director¬†David Kirkpatrick¬†regularly represents some of the largest national and European construction companies in high-value construction disputes. In the non-contentious space, Philip Davies¬†assisted Brighton and Hove City Council with the construction procurement for the ¬£500m redevelopment of the Brighton Conference Centre. Davies is also advising U and I Group on the construction aspects of a number of commercial developments and mixed-use regeneration projects in the Greater London environs. Additional contacts include Carl Thompson, associate director¬†Sarah McCool¬†and legal director Alexandra Gower.

The construction group at Ashfords LLP has extensive experience in utilities, waste and renewable energy projects, and also has an active construction disputes practice. Patrick Blake, who leads the non-contentious practice, advised a UK construction company on contractual issues regarding a London hotel regeneration. Blake is also acting for an engineering company in a headline national energy project. Senior associate Catherine Welch was instructed by Torbay Council to handle the construction due diligence for three potential project acquisitions, and Mark Manning advised Cornwall Council on the establishment of a framework for its entire capital works projects. On the contentious side, Stephen Homer represented Riva Properties in claims against Foster + Partners regarding the design of the first five-star hotel at Heathrow Airport. Homer also acted for Exeter City Council in a professional negligence claim against Allies & Morrison concerning the refurbishment of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter.

Bevan Brittan LLP has particular expertise in public sector construction procurement and development projects in the healthcare, education, and residential and social housing sectors. Department head Louise Robling is representing North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust in a number of disputes arising from the defective design and construction of the Peterborough City Hospital. Jonathan Turner advised JV North on the procurement of consultant and contractor frameworks for various newbuild housing developments totalling £180m. Turner has also assisted Places for People Homes with the procurement for a number of residential and mixed-use developments. Additional clients include North Bristol NHS Trust, Creagh Concrete Products and Plymouth City Council. Senior associate Jessica Evans is also recommended.

With particular expertise in the social housing, waste and infrastructure sectors, Clarke Willmott LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėefficient and effective‚Äô construction department leverages ‚Äėa high level of industry knowledge‚Äô across a wide range of contentious and non-contentious construction mandates. The ‚Äėfortitudinous‚Äô Zoe Stollard¬†heads the non-contentious construction practice and is instructed by funders such as Secure Trust Bank, commercial developers such as Ashville Group, and development joint ventures. On the contentious side, Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden¬†defended M+H High Tech Projects UK in a ¬£20m claim by Biffa West Sussex concerning the termination of an EPC contract. Additional clients include Sutton Harbour Services and Stonewater Housing Association. Kate Lister¬†was promoted to senior associate, and Michael Craik¬†left for a consulting position at Maples Teesdale LLP.

Michelmores LLP  has developed a formidable construction department, which handles contentious and non-contentious matters for developers, public sector authorities, contractors, project managers and funders. Chris Hoar is acting for Chilworth Construction Management in relation to its involvement in the development of £100m energy recovery facility in Scotland. Having advised Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust on the construction procurement for its £420m 3Ts Hospital Redevelopment Programme, the team is representing the client in a substantial dispute with a contractor for the project. Gerald Offen specialises in construction disputes and is representing Midas Construction in a £12m dispute with Pendennis Shipyard concerning the completion of a super yacht manufacturing facility in Falmouth. Alan Tate joined the team in 2017, having previously headed the construction group at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, and Catherine Davis joined as a consultant from Foot Anstey.

TLT‚Äôs construction team provides ‚Äėconsistently high-quality service, on time and at a competitive rate‚Äô. Headed by Simon Goss, the team has strength in contentious and non-contentious work in a number of areas including energy, residential development and public sector mandates. Neel Mehta¬†is advising Wates Construction on various capital projects operated by Birmingham City Council, and is also assisting Galliford Try with the design and construction of a university building in Greater London. In the contentious space, Tom Wrzesien¬†is acting for a wind farm developer in connection with disputes arising out of the construction of several wind turbines. Wrzesien has also been instructed by a national housing association concenring alleged defects in a residential development block. Additional clients include Anesco, Midas Construction, Integral UK and the Mayor‚Äôs Office for Policing and Crime.

VWV handles public sector procurement, construction transactional due diligence and disputes, and has particular experience in the education and healthcare sectors. Of note, Jason Prosser is leading a team that is advising Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on the construction aspects of its £50m five-year capital development programme. In the contentious space, Prosser represented a property development group in a number of adjudication proceedings against a contractor regarding a luxury housing development. Department head Huw Morgan assisted Imagination Technologies with the construction due diligence of a £32.5m property transaction. The team also acts for a variety of universities and local authorities. Other key contacts include senior associate Alice Lang and solicitor David Arnold, who has experience in construction disputes.

A well-known name in the insurance space, DAC Beachcroft LLP¬†handles insurance-related disputes arising from negligent design and construction, and also advises on construction due diligence and public sector contracts. Ben Thornycroft¬†is advising Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on the construction procurement for the redevelopment of its civic offices and the construction of a new commercial space. Thornycroft has also assisted Lendy with the construction due diligence in relation to a series of development loan transactions. Similarly, the team including senior associate Benjamin Thomas¬†advised Shore Capital on the construction aspects of the funding contracts for the development of an IVF Clinic. The ‚Äėstand-out‚Äô Phillip Roberts¬†has experience in indemnity claims against construction professionals. Additional clients include Bristol Water, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Wates Construction.

Royds Withy King¬†regularly handles design and construction procurement for large regional residential and commercial development projects, and is particularly noted for its contentious construction practice. ‚ÄėA very good alternative to any London-based construction lawyer‚Äô, department head Andrew Ash¬†represented a civil contractor in claims against a residential developer regarding concerning the cost of certain engineering works. Ash and Terry McDermott¬†advised the University of Bath on the appointment of an architect for a ¬£70m campus development, including new premises for the School of Management. Similarly, Graham Street¬†assisted a developer with the design and construction procurement for a residential development. The team, including associate Abigail Garty, also advises lenders and corporate occupiers on construction due diligence in connection with real estate and funding transactions. Philip Banks-Welsh¬†also has experience in construction disputes.

Thrings LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters for a range of project participants, including student accommodation developers, utilities providers, and constructors and sub-contractors. Steve McCombe is acting for a commercial property group  in a £1m dispute arising from defective works in a mixed-use development in central London. McCombe is also defending a sub-contractor in a dispute with a major house builder concerning alleged defects in various completed houses. Associate Natalia Sokolov advises Fusion Student on a host of construction matters in relation to its ongoing student accommodation developments. Eric Livingston is another key figure in the department. Additional clients include Truespeed Communications, AFL Services Europe and Braintree Properties.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP¬†handles a range of non-contentious matters in connection with energy developments and investment and funding transactions, and has acted for insurers and major contractors in ‚Äėsubstantial construction-related disputes‚Äô. Department head David Skelton¬†is advising Plymouth Community Homes on the construction aspects of the North Prospect residential development. Additionally, Skelton is assisting Network Rail Infrastructure with the restructuring of a number of engineering contracts in relation to the Crossrail project. In the contentious space, the team represented Renewable Energy Systems in a series of LCIA arbitrations with a Spanish EPC contractor. Associate¬†Matthew Phipps¬†, who has expeirience in construction and engineering disputes, joined the team from Clarke Willmott LLP¬†in 2018.

Foot Anstey acts for sub-contractors and property groups in construction-related disputes and regularly handles contractor agreements and construction due diligence in relation to funding and development transactions. Department head Ian Stubbs is advising Acorn Property Group in relation to a £6m dispute with the contractor of a residential development. Stubbs also led a team that advised Green Frog Connect on the EPC contracts and framework agreements for the delivery of gas peak power plants in the UK. The team, which includes senior associate Tris Tucker, also handles certain construction and fit out works for firm clients such as Screfix and B&Q. Legal director Brian Hitchcock joined from Michelmores LLP, and Zac Spyrou left for an in-house role.

Keystone Law has built a strong construction practice in its Bristol office, which provides comprehensive contentious and non-contentious construction advice to educational institutions and sub-contractors. Martin Howe advises University of Southampton on all of its major ongoing construction projects, including a £33m development on the Bolderewood Campus and the £30m development of a new teaching centre on the Highfield Campus. Similarly, the team advised University of Bristol on the construction aspects of the re-tendering of its consultant frameworks. Additionally, a team including Louise Garcia assists Geoffrey Osborne Limited with all of its ongoing contentious and non-contentious contract and tendering matters. Additional clients include Interserve, Forcia, Kingston Building Contractors and The University of West England.

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