Firm Profile > Fenwick Elliott LLP > London, England

Fenwick Elliott LLP

Construction: contentious Tier 1

Specialist construction firm Fenwick Elliott LLP offers the full range of contentious and non-contentious services, advising on a broad range of contentious matters relating to hospitals, offices, power stations, transport and energy. The 'excellent' Simon Tolson who has an 'incredible understanding of the technical issues' co-leads the team and is recognised for his track record in the Technology and Construction Court. Fellow co-head Tony Francis is considered to be a 'great strategist, advising on PFI disputes and a variety of engineering projects. Francis and Karen Gidwani have a strong track record of work for offshore wind farm clients. Richard Smellie, who is 'unflappable and excellent with clients' and Nicholas Gould are also recommended.


‘The team at Fenwick Elliott are both knowledgeable and experienced.’

‘Real construction specialists. They really understand the industry and have a wide variety of clients.’

‘Tony Francis is a top construction legal mind and has many years of experience. He is prepared to roll up his sleeves and take the lead.’

‘Andrew Davies is a very capable construction lawyer who has assisted me and my clients on some complex and challenging matters.’

‘Tony Francis is a great strategist, never hides from giving frank advice and is excellent at organising a team for major disputes.’

‘Richard Smellie has experience of running huge cases, with large teams. Unflappable, excellent with clients, a very good strategist and very good at managing large teams of solicitors and barristers.’

‘Simon Tolson is excellent – he has incredible understanding of technical issues and really gets into the detail.’

‘Very experienced and committed specialist team with a keen eye on the commercial aspects of matters.’

‘Fenwick Elliott has grown from being a boutique construction firm into a very substantial practice specializing in all aspects of construction and engineering litigation and arbitration. At its core remains real sector expertise, combined with huge experience within the partnership.’

Key clients

Briggs and Forrester Engineering Services

McLaughlin & Harvey

Bilfinger Engineering & Technologies

Contruction: non-contentious Tier 3

Specialist construction and energy firm Fenwick Elliott LLP fields a bench of partners handling non-contentious work, including Jatinder Garcha, who has a track record in waste to energy matters and renewables work, and David Bebb, who acts for contractors and developers. The firm represents clients at all levels of the supply chain including architects, employers, investors, governments and contractors, and is the primary legal service provider to King's College and UCL.


‘Ed Colclough is a capable construction lawyer who has assisted me and my clients on some complex and challenging matters.’

‘David Bebb is always available; he is knowledgeable.’

‘Fenwick Elliott have worked hard over the years and have not felt the need to work with another practice.’

‘The Fenwick Elliott team are always on hand to offer expert advice.’

Key clients

London Square Developments

Bilfinger Engineering & Technologies

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 3

Specialist construction firm Fenwick Elliott LLP has strong credentials for its work on energy projects and international arbitration relating to such matters. The firm's client roster includes entities at all levels of the construction supply chain, including employers, contractors, architects, institutional investors, governments and consultants in the UK and worldwide. Key partners include international arbitration specialist Richard Smellie, while the firm significantly boosted its ranks during 2018 with the addition of eight associates and senior associates.


‘Quick, hands-on, and practical advice. An excellent knowledge of construction law. Can handle all kinds of involvement from front row to back office. Excellent value for money.’


Mediators Tier 4

Fenwick Elliott LLP's Nicholas Gould conducts multi-party, high-value mediations; he has particular expertise in construction and engineering mediations, and is experienced in matters involving the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

International arbitration Tier 5

Fenwick Elliott LLP 'covers the broad range of skill sets required in arbitration proceedings'. The practice is best known for its international arbitration work involving large-scale, high-value and high-profile international construction, infrastructure and energy projects. In 2018, it advised on arbitrations surrounding projects throughout the Middle East, as well as eastern and central Europe and South America. Richard Smellie, Nicholas Gould, Tony FrancisSimon Tolson and Jeremy Glover are experienced advisers; other key contacts are Thomas Young and Lyndon Smith.


The firm’s specialist lawyers are highly skilled, very knowledgeable and understand clients’ needs‘.

Richard Smellie is an incredibly diligent and hardworking partner, who really takes charge of big cases‘.

Nicholas Gould is appreciated for his calmness in assessing other parties’ strengths and weaknesses, and for developing the appropriate strategy at the right time‘.

Jeremy Glover is highly dedicated‘.

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.





Department Name Email Telephone
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
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr David Bebb  photo Mr David Bebb
Mr Andrew Davies  photo Mr Andrew Davies
Mr Tony Francis  photo Mr Tony Francis
Mr Jatinder Garcha  photo Mr Jatinder Garcha
Ms Karen Gidwani  photo Ms Karen Gidwani
Mr Jeremy Glover  photo Mr Jeremy Glover
Mr Nicholas Gould  photo Mr Nicholas Gould
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim  photo Mr Ahmed Ibrahim
 Claire King  photo Claire King
Mr Ted Lowery  photo Mr Ted Lowery
Mr Jon Miller  photo Mr Jon Miller
Mr Toby Randle  photo Mr Toby Randle
Miss Victoria Russell  photo Miss Victoria Russell
Mr Richard Smellie  photo Mr Richard Smellie
 Lyndon Smith photo Lyndon Smith
Ms Simon J A Tolson photo Ms Simon J A Tolson
Mr Thomas Young  photo Mr Thomas Young
Partners : 19
Senior Associates, associates, paralegals and trainees : 35
Business support, personal assistants and administrative staff : 30