Skip to content
Freeths - Law firm

Construction & Engineering

Advice built on strong foundations

Specialist Construction and Engineering lawyers

Freeths has a team of around 30 construction and engineering law specialists. Our team covers both the “front end” of projects, drafting and negotiating the documents, and dealing with the disputes which sometimes arise on construction projects, whether via negotiation and settlement or some more formal dispute resolution procedure.

The many issues the construction and engineering sector has had to deal with since Brexit and COVID and the invasion of Ukraine (cost inflation, labour shortages, particularly skilled labour, recession, political uncertainties, to name but a few) have created stresses within the sector. The rising number of contractor insolvencies being one obvious symptom of this.

Construction and engineering projects are still going ahead and are benefitting both the UK as a whole and the companies involved in the projects. Both customers for new projects and those delivering new projects have opportunities to seize, but the levels of risk are higher than in more normal times. To avoid the worst of the risks and maximise the opportunities, you need to focus on:

  • careful set-up of projects, including well thought out advice on the procurement structure, well drafted and negotiated contracts, and clear focus on payment profile, payment security (bonds, guarantees, retentions, etc); and
  • prompt responses to any signs of stress – using the contractual machinery properly, early engagement with a client or supplier who seems to be struggling, and adopting creative solutions to deal with problems before they become critical.

Our Construction & Engineering team cover all aspects of the built environment and process plant, from infrastructure to commercial and residential buildings, via offices, retail, logistics and production facilities. Every building, engineering and process plant project has its unique challenges and risks, and you will benefit from a large and specialised legal team that knows exactly what it’s doing.

Our expertise in Construction & Engineering

  • A proactive and commercially-focussed team, with a pragmatic approach to problem solving
  • Our nationally-acclaimed specialist team of construction lawyers work exclusively in this field
  • We pride ourselves on being honest and building a long-term business relationship with you
  • You can rely on our in-depth and wide-ranging knowledge to add value to your projects and to resolve your disputes cost-effectively
  • We understand the sector, with clients on the employer, funder and supply sides of the industry
  • We can advise you on how to avoid risks, in a way which the other parties to the project will be able to accept. We can then produce a clear cost/benefit analysis of any dispute and the potential resolution of it.

Our team of construction & engineering lawyers are renowned for their no-nonsense approach; quickly tackling difficulties head on and using their experience of the market to anticipate issues – not “processing” things.

Who we work with

Our clients are some of the best-known names in the construction & engineering industry and have an excellent reputation across the UK.

We have clients, experience and expertise on all sides of the construction & engineering industry, acting for public and private sector employers, contractors, funds, consultants and sub-contractors, therefore we can produce solutions which all parties can live with. We don’t take unsustainable entrenched positions which slow or kill a project, or delay cost-effective resolution of a dispute. Call us to see how we can help.

top tier 2023

You may also be interested in:

Key contacts

Chris Holwell

Chris Holwell
Partner & National Head of Construction & Engineering

0345 050 3667

Alternatively complete the form below:

Contact Us

Meet the team

Construction & Engineering Lawyers


National Head of Team

Chris Holwell

Chris Holwell
Partner

0345 050 3667

John May

John May
Managing Partner

0345 634 2542

Perveen Ahkter

Perveen Akhter
Partner

0345 030 5747

Chris Holwell

Chris Holwell
Partner

0345 050 3667

Alex Johnson
Partner

0345 077 9643

John Kelly

John Kelly
Partner

0345 050 3687

Amy Morley

Amy Morley
Partner

0345 050 3669

Rachael Yates

Rachael Yates
Partner

0345 077 9578

Construction & Engineering

Guy Berwick
Consultant

0345 050 3661

Raymond Joyce

Raymond Joyce
Consultant

0345 634 2578

Anna Rabin
Consultant

0345 077 9636

Dominic Canning

Dominic Canning
Managing Associate

0345 126 4379

Stephen Evans
Managing Associate

0121 233 5996

Nichola Faith

Nichola Faith
Managing Associate

0345 404 1756

Alison Heathcote

Alison Heathcote
Managing Associate

0345 404 1718

Ben Jones

Ben Jones
Managing Associate

0345 077 9660

Lim Li Yen

Li Yen Lim
Managing Associate

0345 050 3668

Marie Mulligan

Marie Mulligan
Managing Associate

0345 128 7974

Manda Banerji

Manda Banerji
Senior Associate

0345 404 4121

Calum Groom
Senior Associate

0345 009 2091

Construction & Engineering

Uzma Raja
Senior Associate

0345 404 4194

John Ridehalgh
Associate

0345 126 3756

Ryan Simpson
Associate

0345 404 1721

Related news
More related news, articles and events for Construction & Engineering
Testimonials

"Freeths take a pragmatic approach, delivering strong legal support balanced with the technical and commercial considerations of our industry. The team are very personable and are always available on short notice. All deliverables and support are of high quality and performed efficiently."

(The Legal 500, 2023)

"Freeths always adopt a proactive approach to problem-solving. They have a strong and knowledgeable construction team and always respond timeously."

(The Legal 500, 2023)

"We’ve found the team at Freeths to have a lot of general understanding of market standard practices, but to also have an ability to remain flexible in achieving the protections we require to make our contracts bankable while not being unduly restrictive on our counterparts."

(The Legal 500, 2023)

“Freeths quickly grasped the technical details and were able to present them in a clear and concise way.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2023)

“In terms of service levels, we've found that Freeths will consistently go over and above the support levels we would typically expect and offer an excellent service...”

(Chambers & Partners, 2023)

"...consistently demonstrates commercial nous, industry understanding and determination to secure the best outcome for the client."

(The Legal 500, 2022)

"Freeths is a “one-stop-shop” providing legal advice and support in all fields: they employ a panel of lawyers with the knowledge and tenacity sufficient to tackle any challenge."

(The Legal 500, 2023)

"Freeth provides unique strategic advice and legal know-how to our team to assist us to meet the challenges of our projects. Committed to providing excellence service through a solution-oriented approach."

(The Legal 500, 2023)

"The advice provided to us is always well considered and supported by experience, ensuring that complex matters are addressed in a holistic manner...”

(Chambers & Partners. 2023)

"The Freeths team has a broad range of experience and expertise, and delivers a prompt and efficient service," reports an interviewee. Another was impressed by the team's "accessibility, attention to detail and professionalism."

(Chambers & Partners. 2022)

Notable Work
  • Advising an Indian iron ore mining company in a US$45 million ICC arbitration with a Dubai trading company, including defending a challenge to jurisdiction in the High Court (Emirates Trading Agency LLC. V. Prime Mineral Exports Private Limited [2014] EWHC 2014 (comm)).
  • Drafting a bespoke funding agreement between the Department for Transport and the County Council, in connection with the delivery by the County Council of the multi million pound project for the A50 growth corridor at Uttoxeter, on behalf of Highways England.
  • Acting for London Luton Airport in relation to construction and engineering contracts for their expansion project (published value £150 million). The project included a major expansion to the terminal building; including a significant extension with fit-out and refurbishment of the existing building with work both airside and landside, building a new aircraft access pier to accommodate additional aircraft arrival and departure gates, and new roads, car parks (including multi-storey) and accessways to increase the airport’s capacity from 12 million passengers a year to 18 million.
  • Representing a claimant in a £6 million basement defects dispute. This included multi-party action, including claims of negligence against two of the professional team and claims in respect of workmanship and materials against the contractor. The claim was settled in mediation on acceptable terms to client.
  • Acting for a city council in a dispute on payment notice under the Construction Act. Worked with the client to present a merits-based defence and successfully defended the claimant’s application for summary judgment, recovered costs and claim discontinued by the claimant. Volkerlaser Ltd v Nottingham City Council [2016] EWHC 1501.
  • Acting for the Employer on a £2.5 million claim arising from a failure to serve Construction Act Payment Notices. The Technology and Construction Court judgment in this case was widely reported as of relevance to many construction industry professionals. The claim was resolved in favour of the Employer and within the agreed legal cost budget.
  • Acting for an engineering company in relation to claims brought by a sub-contractor for works carried out on a submarine rescue vehicle which required analysis of complex design issues. The claim was settled at mediation within the parameters identified in our risk report to the client.
  • Acting for a Developer threatened with suspension and termination by Design & Build Contractor in works relating to the refurbishment of office premises to residential use. Contractor in delay, fire safety issues to be resolved. Contractor claimed £2 million+. Developer client could not afford to terminate Contractor, however strong the case, because of the longstop date exposure to funders. Dispute resolved by contract variation on “nuisance” terms within 26 days of instruction.

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our values

arrow

Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 12 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

Choose an office:

Portfolio close
People CV Email

Remove All


Click here to email this list of people to a colleague.



Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /srv/users/freethsdev/apps/freethsdev/releases/b129a281955b2c3eecaef3af9faf90a8b33f7fb7_2023-12-18_14-11-10/wp-content/themes/freeths_green/assets/php/functions-schema.php on line 377