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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 > Wales > Real estate > Construction > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP's multi-office team deploys 'comprehensive business acumen' to contentious and transactional construction matters, ranging from large infrastructure projects through to ad-hoc disputes. Led by the 'very responsive' Joanna Rees, the Cardiff team advises private and public sector purchasers and contractors across a diverse array of industry sectors including residential and commercial development, retail and leisure, energy, banking and education. The 'very professional and personable' Rachel Gwilliam specialises in construction and engineering matters, dealing with contentious, non-contentious and professional negligence issues.

Practice head(s):Joanna Rees

Other key lawyers:Rachel Gwilliam; Simon McCann

Testimonials

The team's knowledge and experience on construction contract law is second to none.

Provides a high-quality and efficient service

The team acts with total professionalism at all times and are very clear with their reporting and advice.

Rachel Gwilliam inspires confidence when suggesting a suitable response to any given scenario.

Rachel Gwilliam has extensive industry knowledge, and is very attentive to detail.

Rachel Gwilliam's legal skills combined with her detailed knowledge of all aspects of construction and standard forms of contract make her a force to be reckoned with in all aspects of construction contract dispute resolution.

Joanna Rees is leading in her field

Key Clients

City of Cardiff Council

Wales & West Housing Association

Ledwood Mechanical Engineering

Igloo Regeneration (General Partner)

Transport for Wales

Eastbourne Council

Balliol College, Oxford

Work highlights

  • Drafting a third iteration of the South East and Mid-Wales Collaborative Construction Framework for the City of Cardiff Council.
  • Prepared an overarching agreement and ancillary contract documentation for Wales & West Housing Association, for an eight-lot long-term Wales-wide contractor procurement for the construction of new homes.
  • Conducting an arbitration on behalf of Ledwood Mechanical Engineering concerning a dispute between two parties in a chain of contracts regarding work carried out at a site of an ethane import and cryogenic storage facility in Middlesbrough.
  • Advising on all issues arising out of the Porth Teigr regeneration scheme for Igloo Regeneration (General Partner) Ltd, including the construction of BBC studios, Gloworks, roads, lock crossings and all associated infrastructure.
  • Working with the procurement team on the preparation of construction contracts for Transport for Wales, for the Infrastructure Delivery Partners of the Wales and Borders Rail Service and South Wales Metro.

Best-known for its transactional expertise, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP 's 13-strong Cardiff team either takes the lead on its own or in collaboration with offices from across the firm's network, on large-scale energy and infrastructure projects. Rob McNabb excels in handling the construction aspects of big-ticket international energy projects, including advising the developers engaged in solar projects in Egypt. Focusing more on UK-based matters, Alison Short is the other partner in the team and has developed specialist expertise and many years’ experience in the nuclear, water and transport sectors.

Practice head(s):Rob McNabb; Alison Short

Other key lawyers:Madi Dacey

Testimonials

'The team has a strong grasp of the technical issues and the legal implications - good practical advice on the likelihood of success rather than exploiting client desire to win a case with low chance of success; excellent handling of litigation process; selection of barristers and expert witnesses and managing their needs and availability; excellent instruction of barrister and expert witnesses and guidance on preparation of detailed documents.

'Eversheds has the ability to address complex commercial needs at both strategic and detail levels - excellent understanding of construction risk management. Excellent, detailed work.'

'Alison Short's ability to respond to complicated client needs was impressive - she has strong understanding of construction risks at a detailed level; excellent drafting skills; good response times; and is open to innovation, making positive modifications to industry standards, without failing to point out potential drawbacks. She also has the ability to communicate complicated legal nuances to clients.'

Key Clients

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Acciona and Swicorp

NNB Generation Company (HPC)

Greencoat

Stena Line

Annington Homes

TATA Chemicals Europe

Centrica

Work highlights

  • Acted for Welsh Water in the development of its Water Network Alliance, which will support Welsh Water to deliver leading water company services to its customers throughout most of Wales and Herefordshire and parts of Deeside and Cheshire and to build a resilient water network that eliminates interruption of water supply and enhances water quality.
  • Advised Acciona and Swicorp on the construction aspects of three solar projects in Egypt, financed by IFC (the World Bank).
  • Advising EDF’s subsidiary company NNB in respect of its £20bn development of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, Somerset.
  • Advising in relation to Greencoat Solar Assets II Ltd's acquisition of two portfolios of solar plants, totalling eight projects with a combined size of approximately 35MW.
  • Advising Stena Line in relation to its Holyhead Port redevelopment project.

Acuity Law's construction capability forms a key part of the firm's capacity to handle major commercial property projects for leading developers, including Rightacres which continues to be extremely active in many of the most significant developments in Cardiff. 'Very knowledgeable' team head James Williams has been spearheading the firm's construction advice to Rightacres and provides a 'very commercial approach' as a result of his broad-ranging knowledge gleaned nationally and internationally, having spent time in Australia and the Middle East.

Practice head(s):James Williams

Other key lawyers:Mark Summers

Testimonials

The practice is proactive when negotiating commercial deals

Exceptionally well-versed in building construction matters and eager to go that extra mile

James Williams and Mark Summers are efficient and a pleasure to work with, and always strive to find solutions

 

 

 

Key Clients

Rightacres Property

Principality Building Society

WRW Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Rightacres on the new Wales headquarters for HMRC at Cardiff’s £400m Central Square project.
  • Advising Rightacres on the development of a School of Technologies for the Cardiff Metropolitan University at Central Quay, Cardiff.
  • Advised Rightacres on the successful delivery of Two Central Square – a £56m office development in the heart of central Cardiff.
  • Assisted the Principality Building Society with its investment in Ely Mill, a major residential redevelopment in Cardiff.
  • Assisting Rightacres on the Interchange, Cardiff’s high-profile new transportation hub which will link a new bus station to the capital’s existing central rail station.

Regularly working alongside complementary teams including commercial property and planning, Geldards LLP excels in providing construction input to central and local government in complex and often politically sensitive infrastructure and regeneration projects. 'Fantastic' team head Tony Norris  'understands the industry, the region and players within it very well'.  Norris also handles contentious matters and has recently undertaken adjudications on a prestigious project for a Welsh local authority and for a large regional house developer.

Practice head(s):Tony Norris

Other key lawyers:Joanne Maclean; Emma Ashby; Celine Jones

Testimonials

Pragmatic and cost-effective service

The team has great communication skills

Tony Norris is very pragmatic and focuses on the big picture and getting the right commercial result for us.

Tony Norris is always positive and willing to get involved with all types of construction legal matters regardless of the time/day.

Emma Ashby worked tirelessly to ensure that a clear plan was in place and that everything was happening on time.

 

Key Clients

Cardiff Council

Carmarthenshire County Council

Welsh Government

Admiral

Western Power Distribution

Newydd Housing Association

National Museum of Wales

Arts Council of Wales

Bonna Sabla

Ceredigion County Council

Pembrokeshire College

Evans Electrical

J W Bowkett (Electrical Installations)

Cheshire East Council

Leekes

Work highlights

  • Advising Admiral Insurance on a new office development at Capital Quarter, Cardiff, with the developer J R Smart Limited.
  • Continuing to represent Western Power on construction matters related to its infrastructure network including the construction of warehouses, depots, garages, offices and other supporting buildings across Wales, the South West of England and the Midlands.
  • Successfully resolved two adjudications for Ceredigion County Borough Council involving the Aberystwyth Bandstand works and subsequently dealt with a Freedom of Information request from local journalists.
  • Successfully defeated two adjudications brought by the contractor Morganstone in relation to the extension to the Pembrokeshire College building.

Active on local and UK-wide mandates, Hugh James provides a balanced offering across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters for developers, contractors and lenders. Instructed by both private sector and public sector entities, the team has witnessed significant growth in relation to social housing-related work, as well as work generated by local authorities. Team head Ioan Prydderch is particularly strong on public sector work and is regularly instructed by the Welsh Government to advise on the most politically sensitive, high-value construction and transport projects. Senior associate Matthew Stevens  has a flourishing reputation on the claimant and defendant side of adjudications/disputes on behalf of developers and contractors.

Practice head(s):Ioan Prydderch

Other key lawyers:Iwan Jenkins; Alun Tobias; Matthew Stevens

Key Clients

Pobl

Coastal

Systems Pipework

Ely Mill

SA Brain & Co

Cenin Renewables

The International Convention Centre Wales

Celsa

Work highlights

  • Advised Pobl Group on all construction aspects of the construction of 250 houses at Herbert Road in Newport.
  • Drafted a Memorandum of Understanding between seven social housing partners, including Coastal Housing Group, for their co-working on the investigation and research on a modular manufacturing base in South/West Wales.
  • Acted for Systems Pipework on its final account dispute with Rotary Buildings.
  • The tender and contract drafting of a building contract for the Welsh Government for the construction of a new multimillion-pound training facility for Airbus in north Wales.
  • The firm continues to act for Ely Mill Development Company Ltd on a £100m project to remediate and develop the 53-acre brownfield ‘The Mill’ site in Cardiff.

Now headed by Stuart Pearson following the departure of Jeremy Williams in April 2018 to establish his own consultancy firm, Capital Law Limited continues to develop a strong practice, particularly in relation to the construction aspects of energy and infrastructure projects. This particular area of focus was also recently enhanced following the arrival in November 2018 of associate Kate Evans  from Stephens Scown LLP, who herself has a niche focus on renewables-related construction matters. The team typically represents either the central government or a local authority in such matters, although it is by no means absent on the private sector front, with clients including contractors and developers.

Practice head(s):Stuart Pearson

Other key lawyers:Kate Evans

Testimonials

A relatively new player into the market who punch above their weight and are getting instructions which other larger more established firms are envious of

Stuart Pearson is a real gentle giant, who just gets his head down and gets the work done.

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Caerphilly County Borough Council

The Royal Mint

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Bridgend College

University of South Wales

Howard Tenens

Intelle Construction

Development Bank of Wales

Hodge Limited

Work highlights

  • Retained by the Welsh Government to provide construction advice surrounding the M4 Corridor – the largest infrastructure project in Wales in recent years.
  • Advised Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council on the procurement and contractual documentation of a £10m Dry-Mixed Recyclate Facility in Bryn Pica.
  • Represented Royal Mint in the construction of a wind turbine, as part of a sustainable energy project.
  • Advising Bridgend College on the development of its £30m STEAM Academy based on the NEC3 forms of contract.
  • Advised the University of South Wales on the procurement of a cleaning contractor using the Crown Commercial Service procurement framework, as well as modifying an NEC3 Term of Service Contract.

One of the leading construction offerings outside of Cardiff, led by the 'calm and objective' Philip Graham, Swansea-based firm Douglas-Jones Mercer has a very strong reputation in the market for handling contentious work, which has seen it pick up not only local mandates but also work emanating from South West England, London and the Midlands. Final account disputes and extension of time claims continue to be a fertile source of litigation for Graham, as does work on behalf of insolvency practitioners in relation to construction contract recoveries.

Practice head(s):Philip Graham

Other key lawyers:Laura Alliss

Testimonials

The team has a thorough knowledge of the different forms of construction contracts and takes a pragmatic view of prospects for success in any given dispute.

Philip Graham is a rational advocate who is always accessible (even on holidays) and prepared to offer an initial view without financial commitment

 

Key Clients

John Weaver (Contractors)

WRW Construction

Dawnus Construction (Holdings)

Swansea Stadium Management Company;

Stones & Co

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending Dawnus Southern Limited in a claim in professional negligence and running a counterclaim for breach of contract against an SPV following damage caused as a result of a flood
  • Successfully pursuing adjudication enforcement on behalf of John Weaver (Contractors) Limited arising out of the failed payment for works post practical completion in relation to the construction of a student accommodation block in Cardiff.
  • Represented Swansea Stadium Management Company, the company responsible for managing and operating the Liberty Stadium, in a ten-day trial for a claim for defects

At Berry Smith, senior associate Gavin Hoccom  handles a considerable amount of contentious mandates for high-net-worth individuals, as well as an increasing amount of adjudications for contractors and sub-contractors, both locally and UK-wide.

Practice head(s):Iwan Doull

Other key lawyers:Gavin Hoccom

Key Clients

Arag Plc

Welsh Government

Federation of Master Builders Cymru

Dawnus Construction Holdings

CADW

Carmarthenshire County Council

Blaenau Gwent County Council

LCB Construction

M Delacey & Sons

French Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing an ultra-high-net-worth individual based in London in a claim against the architect and contract administrator for breach of contract and negligence arising from the refurbishment of a property in St John’s Wood
  • Representing Dawnus Construction Holdings in the defence of a claim brought by an employer for the cost of materials worth in excess of £125,000
  • Representing Infuse Construction in an adjudication against a multimillion-pound investment fund regarding the unlawful termination of a contract and non-payment of an interim account in excess of £500,000 arising from construction works in London.
  • The team represents Blaenau Gwent County Council in a claim against a national provider of asbestos surveying services arising from the failure of the proposed defendant to provide its services with reasonable care and skill

Morgan LaRoche remains one of the leading firms in west Wales for handling contentious and non-contentious construction matters for developers and contractors. Team head Steve Mundy  has a niche expertise in relation to aviation-related construction matters, work which regularly sees him instructed on projects outside of Wales.

Practice head(s):Steve Mundy

Other key lawyers:Eleanor Griffiths

Key Clients

Bristol Airport Limited

CKC D&B Limited

Liberty Property (G.P.) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Bristol Airport Limited in relation to the construction of the new southside apron and taxiway and all associated works located at Bristol Airport
  • Advising Bristol Airport Limited in relation to the construction of a new car park on the former radar site together with all associated works.  
  • Advice and assistance to CKC D&B Limited in relation to the design and construction of 49 units consisting of 39 private and 10 affordable homes in London.
  • Commencing a claim by Liberty Property (G.P) Limited against Bombay Palace Restaurant Limited in relation to variations to the contract sum.

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