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Who Represents Who

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The 'responsive, knowledgeable and experienced' two-partner team at Blake Morgan LLP provides contentious and non-contentious expertise to public and private sector clients across a broad range of construction mandates including retail and leisure, energy, health and education projects. The 'very professional and personable' Rachel Gwilliam  has 'extensive industry knowledge' and is particularly accomplished at handling adjudication work. Gwilliam recently secured a notable victory at adjudication for United Welsh Housing Association in a claim brought against the contractor regarding latent defects to the Association's office headquarters in Caerphilly. 'Very knowledgeable in her field', Joanna Rees  handles both contentious and non-contentious matters and is appreciated by clients for her 'clear and precise advice' and 'ability to work well under pressure'. Aided by the 'responsive and knowledgeable' Simon McCann on the procurement front, Rees is advising Transport for Wales on the production of a bespoke suite of construction contracts for use in connection with the extensive rail infrastructure improvements that will be central to the new Wales and Borders rail franchise, which is due to be awarded later in 2018, and the South Wales Metro programme. Associate Kate Howell is also recommended.

Led by Rob McNabb , Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's two-partner construction team is particularly focused on non-contentious matters and provides 'commercial advice' on large-scale energy and infrastructure projects for clients including Stena Line, RWE Generation UK and EDF Energies Nouvelles. Specialising in work within the renewables sector, much of McNabb's work is of an international nature, with many of his current and past projects taking place in the Middle East and Africa. He is currently involved in numerous renewables projects in Egypt, including advising Swicorp and Acciona Consortium on three 50MW solar projects in the country. Alison Short  is particularly accomplished at handling energy and infrastructure-related work; she continues to represent EDF Energy on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project and also acts for Welsh Water in respect of contracts relating to its £1.7bn water and wastewater services investment programme. At the non-partner level, senior associate Madi Dacey , who specialises in advising on engineering and construction contracts within the renewables sector, and associate Claire Laviers , who provides 'a sound and sensible approach', are also recommended.

'Very competent and proactive in the field of construction', the 'first-class and responsive' team at  Acuity Legal Limited provides 'clear, succinct and sensible advice' to a varied mix of stakeholders including developers, lenders and contractors. 'First-class' team head James Williams 'has his finger on the pulse of each deal' including his ongoing work for leading developer Rightacres on the development of Cardiff Central Square; recent work on this project has included the construction of a new Wales headquarters for HMRC at 6 and 7 Central Square. Williams also regularly handles work outside of Wales including his recent representation of Mears on an agreement for a long-term lease with developer JR Pickstock for two blocks of student accommodation in Plymouth totalling some 350 student rooms with other units and external parking and landscaping. Other clients include LifeCare Residencies, Principality Building Society, Associated British Ports and Wolverhampton City Council.

The 'experienced' six-partner team at Hugh James provides a 'responsive and value-for-money service' to a varied array of stakeholders including contractors (Mabey Group), public sector entities (Welsh government), developers (Ely Mill Development Company) and lenders (Metro Bank and Hodge Bank) in many of the most significant construction projects in Wales. Iwan Jenkins has a focus on non-contentious matters and as well as his work for Tidal Lagoon Power on the gestated Swansea tidal lagoon, is also involved in other landmark domestic projects including advising the International Convention Centre Wales on the construction of an £80m convention centre at the Celtic Manor Resort site in Newport. 'Knowledgeable and helpful' team head Ioan Prydderch handles both contentious and non-contentious work and as well as handling local Welsh work has also begun to pick up an increased flow of external work including his representation of Celsa UK on the £120m contract for the supply of steel for the construction of the new nuclear facility at Hinckley Point. 'Calm, considered and professional' senior associate Matthew Stevens has a particularly strong following for construction work within the social housing sector.

Capital Law LLP has a 'good understanding and appreciation of the construction industry' and handles work for developers, contractors, utility providers and local/national government bodies on matters throughout the life-cycle of a construction project. 'Unflappable and solid' associate Stuart Pearson is developing a strong reputation across both contentious and non-contentious construction matters, and as well as assisting Williams on many of his matters he has also regularly leads on transactions. On the contentious front, Pearson is appreciated for his 'very pragmatic approach and willingness to explore all possibilities to achieve a good result'. Associate Sam O'Callaghan is also praised for his 'good working knowledge of the construction industry' and is particularly accomplished at handling adjudication work. Other clients include Arup, The Royal Mint, Dragon LNG and Welsh Power.

Led by 'highly rated construction litigation lawyer' Philip Graham  and also recently strengthened by the arrival of commercial litigator Christian Edwards from JCP Solicitors, Douglas-Jones Mercer is particularly noted for its construction litigation expertise. Graham has significant visibility in the market (he has been involved in numerous reported cases over the years) and is currently representing Rowecord Engineering in various claims arising from a £64m development in Camden, London. Other highlights include Edwards' representation of Swansea Stadium Management Company (the company responsible for operating and managing the Liberty Stadium) in a £1.2m claim for defects arising out of the stadium's construction. Other clients include Dawnus Construction, WRW Construction, Pobl Group and Dragon Engineering.

Led by the 'professional and effective' Tony Norris, Geldards LLP 's multi-disciplinary infrastructure practice draws upon the expertise of construction lawyers and practitioners within the real estate, banking and public law teams from across the firm's Cardiff and Derby offices. Following on from his advice to the Welsh government on the construction aspects of the agreement with Aston Martin, Norris continues to provide ongoing construction advice in relation to the new Aston Martin DBX crossover vehicle plant on a 90-acre site at RAF Athan. Senior associate Suriya Edwards has a 'comprehensive knowledge of construction law', particularly on infrastructure projects, and is a key member of the team that also includes 'knowledgeable and very thorough' associate Joanne Maclean. Other clients include Cardiff Council, Arcadis Consulting and Admiral.

At Berry Smith, senior associate Gavin Hoccom is the principal construction practitioner within the firm and is focused on handling contentious matters for contractors. Hoccum is defending Crossman Homes, a regional main contractor, in an adjudication brought by a developer in a claim for breach of contract allegedly arising from a failure of the contractor to construct properties to the correct size. The 'exceptionally talented' Iwan Doull also handles construction disputes as part of his broad-ranging litigation prowess. Clients include Boon Building Services, LCB Construction and Arag plc.

Tapping into expertise from within the firm's litigation, real estate, social housing and corporate/commercial groups, Darwin Gray LLP handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters for main and sub-contractors, employers and construction professionals. Although he is now more focused on corporate and commercial work - a department which he heads - Stephen Thompson also has longstanding contentious construction expertise, whether it be in the form of formal litigation, arbitration or adjudication proceedings. Praised for his 'very detailed and effective advice', Thompson regularly receives referrals from a south Wales-based construction consultancy firm, Blueprint Consultancy, including recently advising on a claim against a firm of joiners in respect of double glazed windows and advice on a jurisdictional challenge to an adjudicator’s decision. Commercial property head Donald Gray has a particular focus on security issues in construction and on mixed use schemes.

At Morgan LaRoche, team head Steve Mundy is well-regarded across a range of construction matters, particularly in relation to the aviation sector where he has a niche advising airport operators on construction matters. Solicitor Eleanor Griffiths handles both non-contentious and contentious matters and has been particularly active of late advising on student accommodation developments.

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Legal Developments in Wales for Construction

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