Gemma Whittaker > Gowling WLG > Birmingham, England > Lawyer Profile

Gowling WLG
B4 6WR
Gemma Whittaker photo

Work Department

Construction & Engineering; Construction; Public Sector; Retail & Leisure; Real Estate


Principal Associate


Gemma Whittaker is a principal associate who advises developers, funders, institutional investors and public sector organisations on all aspects of non-contentious constrction and engineering law.

Gemma aims to ‘get beneath the skin’ of her clients’ business to understand her their key objectives and priorities, and ensures that advice is always provided with those in mind. She has been a key member of the team advising St Modwen Developments on its £450 million science and innovation campus for Swansea University, a project that has been ongoing for several years.

She also acts for a number of UK retailers on automation projects for key distribution centres, utilising the MF/1 form of contract.

She is familiar with all major standard forms, including JCT, NEC and MF/1 as well as having experience in drafting and negotiating bespoke contracts and appointments.


Acting for regeneration specialist St Modwen Developments on construction and regeneration projects nation-wide, including the delivery of a £450 million science and innovation campus for Swansea University. Other projects for St Modwen include the regeneration of Hednesford town centre, delivery of pre-let office and industrial space and major mixed used developments such as Wembley Central.

Advising a range of retailers on automation projects at key distribution warehouses, including advising Marks & Spencer on its business-critical project to convert a major regional distribution centre in Bradford into an automated facility. This involved the drafting and negotiation of a complex multi-million pound contract for the design and supply of mechanical handling equipment, related professional appointments and fit-out contracts.

Advising on the construction documentation for a £110 million shopping centre development in Newport, Wales, which was one of the first new shopping centre developments to be built since the 2008 recession. A large-scale development, it involved numerous third party agreements and a complex development agreement with the council. The client wanted to get into contract quickly to achieve its intended centre opening date and required the contract and professional team appointments for a £60 million works contract to be drafted and negotiated inside eight weeks. Gemma has since been managing the provision of warranties to numerous tenants and third parties.

Leading the legal advice to a London Borough in respect of its procurement of a succession of partnering contracts for the delivery of responsive maintenance and planned investment to its entire housing stock. This involved the drawing together of construction, public procurement, employment and pensions expertise.

Advising a major transport infrastructure body on the construction aspects of infrastructure protection and development agreements for new assets, including several high-profile projects.

Advising The Girls’ Day School Trust on construction documentation and issues arising from refurbishment, extension and new-build works across its estate.



Lawyer Rankings

West Midlands > Real estate > Construction

(Rising stars)

Gemma WhittakerGowling WLG

Gowling WLG‘s sizeable construction and engineering practice is widely acclaimed for the depth of its capabilities in both public and private-sector driven mandates. Jointly steered by Michael O’Shea and Richard Green , who respectively head up the team’s contentious and non-contentious offerings, the firm is routinely engaged on big-ticket PFI handback disputes, regeneration project procurements, and breach of contract claims. Seasoned construction disputes specialist Ashley Pigott regularly helms multi-million pound disputes in the residential, education, and utilities sectors, while PFI handback expert Sarah Dyer concentrates on cases in the transport and energy sector. Ruth Griffin is a key port of call for a varied roster of retailers and infrastructure providers seeking assistance in high-profile projects. Principal associate Gemma Whittaker is recommended for her capabilities in major developments and automation projects. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.