My focus is on helping clients throughout the life of their project, from finding the right people, through ensuring minimal risk to them and helping them to avoid disputes, to finally dealing with disputes which cannot be avoided.
I have advised on construction and engineering projects of all kinds, from university developments and NHS projects, to football stadia and residential or mixed-use developments.
My experience means that I can not only link clients to useful contacts but also offer both business and legal advice, as part of their trusted team. My advice always takes the desired outcome into account, and if I need to deliver bad news, I will, but I also offer solutions.
Outside work, I love travelling and exploring new cultures and I have to admit to being a bit of an IT geek.
It’s never too early or too late to speak to your lawyer. Many disputes can be avoided if lawyers are contacted early.
Give all the facts. Something that seems inconsequential might have huge implications.
Be honest with your lawyers. Client-lawyer relationships are a two-way street and improving the relationship comes from frank and constructive feedback.
Explore alternative pricing with your lawyers, such as target pricing, fixed/capped fees, retainers, premiums for speed or discounts for deferred delivery, etc. Good lawyers deliver value, which is often not directly measurable by an hourly rate.
Why should I use a schedule of amendments to the JCT Design & Build Contract?
Whilst the JCT D&B Contract has been drafted by a collection of construction industry bodies and seeks to balance risks between employer and contractor, it does not make the contractor fully responsible for all design (i.e. single point responsibility), project-specific issues and all institutional funder requirements. Schedules of amendments can also reduce the scope of employer risks for claims for additional time and money.
Can I avoid being drawn into an adjudication?
You cannot unilaterally prevent adjudication. Any party to a construction contract can refer any dispute to adjudication at any time. Unless the contract is excluded from the Construction Act (which is rather limited) or the dispute has not ‘crystallised’ (i.e. the issue to be referred is not yet disputed), a client is unlikely to be able to stop an adjudication. However, there is nothing stopping the parties from engaging in commercial discussions. After all, legal costs are irrecoverable in adjudication and therefore there is often some scope for negotiation.