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Construction Law

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Construction & Engineering Legal Advice

If you have experience of managing legal disputes or procurement contracts in the construction and engineering sector, you’ll know how complicated these can be. It is not an overstatement to say that construction disputes, both large and small, can disrupt your building projects, costing significant sums of money.

It might interest you to know that according to research by ARCADIS, the global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm, the average global construction dispute in 2013 was £19,801,233.62. However, you will be pleased to know that the right legal advice can help prevent such disputes arising or resolve those disputes.

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How our Construction Solicitors can help you:

Acting for owners, occupiers, developers and investors, as well as contractors, subcontractors and consultants, our aim is to achieve the result that works best for you using a swift and cost effective solution.

Sector experience:

Our experience spans local authority, education, commercial and residential development, infrastructure projects and redevelopment projects.

Click on the below to read our construction legal services:

Adjudication

We have extensive experience of this rapid 28-day process unique to the construction industry and have given legal advice to both referring parties and respondents. We are experienced in drafting complex submissions across all areas of dispute and appearing at hearings with or without the assistance of counsel as required.

Our experience includes:

  • One of the first reported decisions (PCG -v- Trustees of the Gray Trust) which assisted in defining the early scope of the Construction Act;
  • A multimillion-pound dispute in relation to highway compliance works arising under a £50million school PFI contract for a South East local authority;
  • A complex high-value dispute concerning penalty clauses and notice periods for a London local authority under a schools PFI contract;
  • A series of adjudications seeking £Multi Million compensation arising under long term maintenance contracts in the rail industry;
  • Defending a complex extension of time claim for an educational institution;
  • Numerous adjudications resisting and seeking payment for national contractors; and
  • We are familiar with enforcement of Awards having successfully enforced adjudications won, and successfully resisted the enforcement of adjudications lost (including PCG -v- Trustees of the Gray Trust).
Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”)

We can help you with all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, often referred to as ‘ADR’.

Our team has experience of mediation and negotiation on cases ranging from consultant negligence to complex multi-party engineering disputes involving values from £20,000 to over £30million. We have also represented one of the region’s major commercial property developers in the defence of a complex multimillion pound Expert Determination brought by a tenant under a Development Agreement.

Appointment Documents

Our team can prepare all of the professional appointments necessary for the successful design, tendering, procurement, construction and completion of your construction project. Alternatively, we are commonly requested to provide advice on industry standard or bespoke forms which you have received in order for you to understand your company’s risk exposure.

The corner stone of our approach is to be pragmatic and commercial, focusing only on those issues that are unreasonable for you in any given circumstance. We have extensive experience of negotiating all forms of professional consultant appointments with market leading professionals and as a result, have a clear understanding of what is achievable.

Arbitration

We can assist with domestic and international Arbitration (pursuant to the ICC Rules) and experience includes:-

  • Advising several regional contractors on small to medium disputes (£50,000 to £100,000) concerning final account valuations (involving issues of variations, delay and loss and expense);
  • Advising engineering sub-contractor on a £3million dispute concerning the design supply and installation of industrial boilers as part of a CHP power generation system; and
  • Advising Greek sub-contractor on £5million (Sterling equivalent) dispute with Turkish main contractor in relation to a joint venture for filters works on coal fired power stations.
Building Contracts

Our construction and engineering solicitors are familiar with all the common standard forms of construction and engineering contracts including the JCT, NEC and MF/1 suite of documents.

We are experienced in negotiating complex schedules of amendments to the standard form contracts (which is commonplace in the industry) from the mindset of a funder, tenant, employer or contractor, including tracking obligations from third party agreements into building contracts (i.e. back-to-back contracts).

Our experience includes:-

  • Settling back-to-back construction contracts for various PFI projects, including schools contracts, PCT healthcare units, and capital developments/other public bodies such as Fire and Police authorities;
  • Preparing JCT Design and Build and MF/1 forms in relation to the construction of a new milk and cheese processing facility;
  • Preparing an MF/1 contract for a glockenspiel clock for a UK company contracting with its Swiss contractors;
  • Advising on and settling construction documents as required for several regional education institutions in relation to their major campus redevelopment projects;
  • Preparing bespoke terms and conditions for the installation of freestanding units for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London;
  • Advising on and preparing terms and conditions for the installation of counter-terrorism measures for a number of high-profile shopping centres in the UK; and
  • Preparing building contracts for new build commercial and residential developments, and redevelopments.
Dispute Management

We pride ourselves on the early and proactive management of disputes with a view to minimising the cost and disruption to your project and business.

Our focus is to ensure that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your position from the earliest stage possible to settle on an agreed strategy and, if appropriate, provide you with the necessary guidance to resolve the dispute yourselves.

We have held training sessions for clients about to embark upon major projects, utilising unfamiliar forms to ensure their project team understands the peculiar issues and risks arising from the procurement route adopted.

Litigation

We have acted for employers, contractors, sub-contractors and sub-subcontractors in major Technology and Construction court litigation. We are familiar with the relevant protocol, TCC guidelines, and have strong relationships with some of the country’s leading construction counsel who can be called upon to assist in the most complex matters as required. Our team’s experience includes:-

  • Acting for UK subsidiary of German company on a major dispute arising out of the design and installation of car body and related mechanical and electrical engineering issues relating to conveyor equipment in Vauxhall motor plant at Luton;
  • Acting for the UK subsidiary of German Parent Company on a major dispute arising out of the installation of paint shop car conveyor systems at the Ford Motor Plant in Ghenk;
  • Acting on disputes for the full range of stakeholders, involving developers, and regional contractors and sub-contractors on a variety of medium level disputes concerning issues relating to defects, delays, variations and valuations ranging in value from £100,000 to £2,000,000;
  • Acting for claimants and defendants in proceedings relating to the enforcement of adjudication awards;
  • Acting for developer in challenging Expert Determination on the grounds of manifest error;
  • Acting for sub-contractor in successfully resisting Part 8 proceedings brought by contractor seeking a declaration that the Construction Act did not apply to that part of a site used for generating power (Abb Zantingh –v- Zedal Building Services Ltd); and
  • Acting for a leading residential developer defending a site-wide foundation defect claim brought by homeowners individually and a group action.
Security Documentation

We act for both developers and those investing or acquiring stakes in major projects on the use and risks posed by various forms of security documentation such as: Parent Company Guarantees, bonds, and warranties, and the application of the Third Party Rights Act.

Document Management Service

We provide a document management service with a view to removing the essential but time and labour intensive task of controlling the completion of your construction documentation.

Our team manages the preparation, engrossment, circulation and completion of each construction document in relation to your project, including the preparation and circulation of collateral warranties, to ensure that the documents have been completed correctly and your rights and obligations are as you intended.

 

Do you want to talk a construction specialist now?

Contact Andrew Perry on 01332 226 488 or 07733 367 597
Alternatively you can also email any questions you have to Andrew Perry.

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Derby Head Office:
St. Michael’s Court
St. Michael’s Lane
Derby
DE1 3HQ
Tel: 01332 340 211
Fax: 01332 207 601
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