Mr Richard Smellie > Fenwick Elliott LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Fenwick Elliott LLP

Work Department

Construction and energy


Richard is widely experienced in the resolution of disputes in the construction, energy and infrastructure sectors, both internationally and in the United Kingdom, having successfully led the resolution of numerous substantial disputes.

Richard has considerable experience of a range of standard and bespoke project documentation, including both standard and bespoke forms used regularly in construction, energy and infrastructure projects. Richard’s experience ranges from projects procured using complex turnkey/design and build project documentation with layered EPC arrangements and contracts for the operation and maintenance of facilities, to complex PFI arrangements, innovative alliance agreements (and subsidiary documentation), and standard form contracts including the FIDIC, NEC, ICE and JCT forms.

Richard is also experienced in oil and gas operations agreements, “take or pay” hydrocarbon sale and purchase agreements, and government/developer project agreements (including intergovernmental agreements, “host government” agreements and related project documentation).


Partner Fenwick Elliott 1994, joined 1991; admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales 1991; qualified 1988, trained Simpson Grierson, New Zealand.




  • member of the Society for Construction Law;
  • member of the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation.


Auckland University (BA); University of Otago (Law).


Sailing, gardening, music.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Dispute resolution > International arbitration

Fenwick Elliott LLP is best known for large-scale, high-value disputes involving international construction, infrastructure and energy projects. The practice is co-led by infrastructure disputes specialist Simon Tolson; construction expert Tony Francis; and Richard Smellie, who acts in oil and gas, power and construction sector-related disputes. Also integral to the group are ‘excellent negotiatorNicholas Gould, offshore wind and energy-from-waste project disputes expert Karen Gidwani, and Jeremy Glover, who acts in international arbitrations under ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ad hoc rules.

London > Real estate > Construction: contentious

Fenwick Elliott LLP offers advice on the full range of construction disputes as a specialist construction and energy law firm, with significant experience in international arbitration, mediation and adjudications. It represents clients at all levels of the construction supply chain, and is heavily involved in high-value infrastructure projects, as well as a range of residential and commercial projects. It has seen continued growth in the energy sector, becoming increasingly active in energy-from-waste and nuclear power-related disputes, as well as advising on matters regarding power plants in the UK and internationally. The team is led by Simon Tolson, a recognised authority on dispute resolution, and Tony Francis, who has extensive experience in dispute avoidance and resolution in large-scale construction projects. Karen Gidwani is notable for her specialist experience in offshore wind and energy-from-waste project disputes, whilst Richard Smellie has significant experience in international arbitration matters in the energy and construction sectors.