Fenwick Elliott LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Fenwick Elliott LLP

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 1

The ‘widely respected‘ contentious team at Fenwick Elliott LLP is experienced in the full range of construction disputes, with particular experience in international arbitration, mediation and adjudications. Internationally, the team has been increasingly active in the energy sector, particularly in matters regarding power plants in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Domestically, the team has been involved in projects in the high-value infrastructure, residential and commercial development sectors, as well as waste-from-energy and offshore renewable projects. Simon Tolson and Tony Francis lead the team, both offering significant experience in dispute resolution in large-scale construction matters. Also noteworthy are Richard Smellie, who is known for his work in international arbitration matters in the energy sector, and Karen Gidwani, who has a growing practice advising domestic clients on renewable energy matters.

Practice head(s):

Simon Tolson; Tony Francis

Other key lawyers:


‘As they specialise in construction law, mainly disputes, they are not merely a jack of all trades but really are a master of this one complex area of of the law. They are also incredibly good value for money and when dealing with them, one is given an allocated partner who really is working on the matter on a day-to-day basis and not merely overseeing more junior staff. On that point, they also use resources well, and work with and bring counsel into the mix at very early stage.’

‘Karen Gidwani is incredibly diligent, commercially savvy and a good strategic thinker. It really feels as if you are in a safe pair of hands when dealing with her. Tony Francis is a good strategic thinker and understands the commercial subtleties of what the client is seeking to achieve.’

‘The firm is a niche firm and its focus is exclusively on construction-related matters in the UK and overseas – a key distinction from the large firms for whom construction is one of many sectors serviced. The firm is widely respected.’

‘Simon Tolson is one of the most highly regarded solicitors in construction. He is enthusiastic and works tirelessly for his clients. Unlike some senior lawyers, he is at the coal face when it matters.’

‘This is the number one construction practice in the UK – really easy to work with, knowledgeable, and imaginative in pushing us to be appropriately forceful. They use counsel appropriately and are really user friendly.’

‘Tony Francis knows just the right level of detail and keeps personally involved. He is so experienced he is instinctive in his advice.’

‘Very experienced, knowledgeable and always available.’

‘Good team organisation and ethos. Focus on the matters in hand and delivering an end result to the satisfaction of the client. Flexible and understanding of clients’ concerns and circumstances.’

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 4

The construction team at Fenwick Elliott LLP has significant experience advising on prime residential, engineering and civil projects. David Bebb and Jatinder Garcha lead the team. Bebb heads the domestic arm, advising on procurement strategies and a variety of bespoke contract forms. Garcha, meanwhile, handles international matters, with a growing focus on renewable energy work including nuclear, wind and solar projects.

Practice head(s):

David Bebb; Jatinder Garcha


‘The construction team we work with we find to be proactive and commercial.’

‘Great team, very knowledgeable, know the market, hands-on advice.’

‘Down to earth, practical and commercial. They take time to understand the project work specific to the job and our commercial risk, and support us proactively.’

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 6

Fielding specialists in the ICA, LCIA and ICSID rules, Fenwick Elliott LLP's international arbitration work covers disputes relating to global construction, infrastructure and energy projects. Among the firm's experienced partners are senior partner Simon TolsonRichard Smellie, Nicholas Gould, Karen Gidwani, Thomas Young and Claire King.

Other key lawyers:


Always client oriented in rendering its professional and efficient services.

Compared with other firms, its uniqueness is thoughtfulness, apart from its obvious strengths in construction disputes management and resolution.

Fenwick Elliott has a team of construction lawyers that are well versed in construction practice as well as the law. We recently obtained favourable decisions on a very complex claim, which amounted to sums beyond the client’s expectations.

I am impressed by the total dedication of the FE team to its client’s cause.

The people I have worked with have a very good understanding of the different cultures with which they work.

Richard Smellie is great for his ability to plan and co-ordinate, as well as his insight into the dispute’s points of issue.

Simon Tolson is impressive for the breadth of his knowledge and his willingness, while being a senior partner, to get into and understand the technical detail of the arbitration and make a hands-on contribution.

Thomas Young has the ability to present a case efficiently.

Dispute resolution > Mediators

Fenwick Elliott is the largest specialist construction and energy law firm in the UK, serving international clients in the building, engineering and energy sectors. Since their formation in 1982 Fenwick Elliott has always advised solely on construction matters; making them a true construction law specialist firm.

The firm: Fenwick Elliott provides a comprehensive range of legal services on every aspect of the construction process. Their expertise includes procurement strategy; contract documentation and negotiation; risk management and dispute avoidance; project support; and decisive dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, mediation and adjudication.

The firm acts nationally and internationally for public and private sector clients, including state corporations, owners/developers, main contractors, specialist subcontractors, consultants, institutional investors, universities, local authorities and utilities.

Fenwick Elliott have acted on a wide range of major infrastructure construction projects worldwide, including power stations, refineries, pipelines, process plants, dams, bridges, roads, airports, stadia, hospitals, universities and schools. The firm also advises on issues involving public/private finance.

The firm has extensive experience advising on major construction, infrastructure and energy projects in the Middle East. In 2015 Fenwick Elliott opened their first office in Dubai, UAE – reflecting the importance of the Middle East market for the firm and the increasing demand for their services in the region. Having gone from strength-to-strength, the Dubai office has since become Fenwick Elliott’s international hub, serving a wide range of clients across the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia.

Fenwick Elliott has a well-earned reputation for advising clients on large-scale energy projects including oil, gas, nuclear and renewables. Oil and gas projects range from refineries to crude oil and natural gas pipelines, process plants, floating production, storage and off-loading vessels, and the firm has been involved in some of the world’s most important oil and gas developments. The firm is also actively involved in many major wind farm projects, both on and offshore in the UK and Europe, for significant clients. The firm also advises on various nuclear projects in the UK and overseas.

Types of work undertaken
Dispute avoidance and dispute resolution:
 Fenwick Elliott is highly experienced in this field, from mediation to adjudication to arbitration and litigation. The firm is an acknowledged leader in the use of alternative dispute resolution. Many of its partners are trained mediators and accredited adjudicators on several nominating bodies’ panels, while others serve on key industry panels and are practising arbitrators. The firm regularly advises upon and conducts complex international arbitrations. Fenwick Elliott have experience of arbitrations under the DIAC, ICC, DIFC/LCIA, SIAC, UNCITRAL and ICSID arbitration rules, as well as under ad hoc and bespoke arbitration rules. The firm is used to working closely with in-house counsel and local counsel. The team is also well versed in FIDIC and other dispute resolution boards procedures.

While the firm takes whatever steps are necessary to resolve disputes, including arbitration, their primary focus is to avoid disputes and much of its work is in the form of day-to-day project support, including strategic advice, and review of project correspondence/notices to enable its clients to manage and effectively address problems as they arise, thereby, where possible, avoiding formal procedures.

The majority of the firm’s work in this field concerns disputes up to $2bn arising out of major international construction, infrastructure and energy projects. The geographical spread of the firm’s work is worldwide. Fenwick Elliott have developed a close relationship with a number of major international contractors whom they are advising on a number of disputes and strategic matters throughout the Middle East, Africa and the South East Asia. The firm also traces assets and seeks enforcement around the world in respect of international arbitration awards and makes calls on bonds or guarantees in many jurisdictions.

Procurement strategy, project, contract and documentation advice: Fenwick Elliott advises clients internationally on procurement options; contract preparation and negotiation; document appraisal and risk analysis; partnering and framework agreements; and facilities management. Fenwick Elliott’s expertise covers the full spectrum of construction projects documentation including standard form and bespoke contracts; design and build; engineer, procure and construct/turnkey (EPC); joint venture agreements; partnering; alliancing and framework agreements; and service/supply contracts. The firm also advises on bonds, warranties and guarantees on the procurement of services under the EU Public Procurement Directives.

Managing partner Tony Francis
Dispute avoidance/dispute resolution Simon Tolson
Dispute avoidance/dispute resolution Tony Francis
Dispute avoidance/dispute resolution Richard Smellie
Dispute avoidance/dispute resolution Victoria Russell
Dispute avoidance/dispute resolution Jeremy Glover
Dispute avoidance/dispute resolution Nicholas Gould
Procurement strategy project, contract and documentation advice Simon Tolson
Procurement strategy project, contract and documentation advice Victoria Russell
International Richard Smellie
International Nicholas Gould
David Bebb  photo David Bebb David is a partner at the firm and specialises in domestic and…
Andrew Davies  photo Andrew Davies Andrew is a partner who specialises in dispute avoidance and dispute resolution…
Tony Francis  photo Tony Francis Tony specialises exclusively in construction, engineering and energy law and related matters…
Jatinder Garcha  photo Jatinder Garcha Jatinder has  20 years’ experience in non-contentious domestic and international construction and…
Karen Gidwani  photo Karen Gidwani Partner specialising in construction and engineering law. Karen advises and represents clients…
Jeremy Glover  photo Jeremy Glover Partner: specialising in all aspects of construction, energy and infrastructure projects, with…
Nicholas Gould  photo Nicholas Gould Nicholas conducts a mix of contract drafting, strategic project advice and dispute…
Claire King  photo Claire King Claire specialises in the resolution of both domestic and international construction, engineering…
Ted Lowery  photo Ted Lowery A partner at Fenwick Elliott, Ted deals with a wide range of…
Jon Miller  photo Jon Miller Solicitor and Partner specialising in construction and engineering law since 1989..  Involved…
Toby Randle  photo Toby Randle A partner at Fenwick Elliott, Toby has over 25 years’ experience in…
Victoria Russell  photo Victoria Russell Consultant with over 30 years’ experience; Victoria specialises in construction and engineering…
Richard Smellie  photo Richard Smellie Richard is widely experienced in the resolution of disputes in the construction,…
Lyndon Smith photo Lyndon SmithLyndon is a Partner specialising in the resolution of construction, engineering and…
Simon Tolson photo Simon TolsonSince 1986 Simon has specialised in construction and engineering law and the…
Thomas Young  photo Thomas Young Thomas is a partner at Fenwick Elliott and specialises in the resolution…
Partners : 23
Senior Associates, associates, paralegals and trainees : 31
Business support, personal assistants and administrative staff : 33