We have extensive experience advising on contentious and non-contentious construction matters covering the whole built environment sector, acting for building owners, developers, funders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and consultants.
Our specialist team provides expert advice through all phases of a project life cycle including:
We advise on all aspects of procurement law and strategy. Specifically, we advise clients on appropriate procurement strategies for both new build and refurbishment works, all with the aim of helping clients to identify and minimise project risks and ensure projects are delivered on time and budget.
We have extensive experience drafting, negotiating and advising on the terms of contracts for a range of clients across the industry in sectors including transport, infrastructure, healthcare, retail, housing, hotels and leisure as well as on education projects.
We advise on a wide range of construction contracts including all main industry standard form contracts (JCT, NEC, FIDIC, GC/Works, IChemE) in addition to drafting and negotiating bespoke main and sub-contracts in order to serve our clients commercial requirements and ensure our clients’ interests are protected.
Our expertise covers major capital works right through to repairs and refurbishment and asset management from project inception through to the end of a building’s lifecycle.
We are experienced at drafting, negotiating and reviewing consultancy appointments (both bespoke and standard form such as RIBA, JCT, NEC) for a variety of consultants including architects, surveyors and engineers.
When acting for professional consultants we seek to achieve a fair balance of risk with the client whilst providing practical advice tailored to the requirements of each consultant. When negotiating and advising consultancy appointments we pay particular attention to the core standard of care, limitations on liability, the fee payment mechanism, insurance levels and protection of intellectual property rights.
We have extensive experience of acting for professional indemnity insurers, brokers and their insureds. We provide front end advice on the terms of the insured’s building contracts, professional appointments, collateral warranties and other security documents. We also specialise in insurance dispute resolution, in particular the defence of construction professionals in complex, high value disputes. We advise on PI and D&C policy wordings and have provided numerous seminars and workshops on insurance law topics for PI insurers and brokers.
Because of the relationships that we develop with our clients we believe we become integral to their project team. As a result we are able to assist in project managing solutions and identify and manage risks associated with complex projects. In addition, because the majority of key members of the team have contentious experience they are well placed to manage risks in projects and advise and draft to minimise or avoid such risks.
In addition to the construction contract or consultancy appointment collateral warranties, third party rights, bonds and guarantees are often entered into by way of security.
We regularly advise all sectors of the industry on the form and content of collateral warranties and schedules of third party rights, from drafting suites of documents for developers to ensure that purchasers, tenants and funders receive protection that is in line with market practice, through to negotiating limitations of liability on behalf of consultant, contractor and sub-contractor warrantors.
Our team advise on and draft all forms of bond (both bespoke and standard form such as the ABI form of guarantee bond) including advance payment bonds, performance bonds, advance payment bonds and retention bonds in favour of an employer or to be provided by the contractor.
In addition, we routinely advise on and draft guarantees to be given by a superior company within a contractors corporate group from the perspective of both the guarantor and guarantee.
We also regularly advise on the advantages and disadvantages of the various security options (bonds and/or guarantees) available, considering the financial and commercial implications involved and evaluating security bid submissions.
Effective provision for novation is a key contractual tool for clients in planning, progressing and dealing with issues arising on construction projects. As design and build procurement is one of the most popular forms of procurement within the industry, our team has considerable experience of incorporating novation into the structure of design and build procured projects. We regularly advise on novation policy in terms of project structuring and risk profiling and drafting and negotiating novation agreements on behalf of employers and end user clients.
We also have experience of advising design and build contractors on and drafting amendments to proposed deeds of novation and negotiating with employers and consultants. We also advise on novation of consultants and others down the supply chain on framework arrangements following insolvency of a design and build contractor.
During the course of a project, the parties to a contract will often need to transfer the benefit or burden of that contract to a third party. We regularly advise on assignments, assignment agreements and any issues about how the parties (the assignor, the assignee and the affected third party) relate to one another following an assignment.
We act for land owners, developer, authorities and housing associations, advising on a range of regeneration and development projects. Our advice covers site acquisition, planning and procurement, including drafting and negotiation of development agreements and construction documents to create cost-efficient, sustainable projects.
We work alongside our Commercial Real Estate and Corporate teams providing due diligence on construction documents for funders, purchasers, and tenants to identify any potential pitfalls in the construction documents and ensuring that our clients’ interests are protected.
We understand that our clients do not plan to have disputes and we recognise the benefits of being able to resolve disputes decisively and effectively. We provide expert advice to clients from across the industry with expertise in all forms alternative dispute resolution (ADR) guiding the client through to successful resolution of their dispute.
We regularly advise clients in relation to statutory adjudication under the Construction Acts, as well as contractual adjudication. An adjudicator’s decision on an important point of principle can help clients, during or after completion of a project, to resolve either an entire dispute or discrete elements of a dispute, sometimes in conjunction with other ongoing negotiations.
Where legal proceedings are necessary, we have the specialist experience necessary to carry out all the work required to bring and defend of claims in the specialist Technology and Construction Court.
Head of department Stephen James has more than twenty years’ experience of all forms of personal and corporate insolvency and regularly advises on a wide range of insolvency issues affecting the construction issues. Recent examples include winding up petitions (including injunctions to restrain), wrongful trading, directors disqualification and s.216 applications.
We are highly experienced in providing innovative and flexible training at all levels and our courses range from short workshops to tailor-made conferences.
We make our courses practical, case study based and interactive, offering off-the-shelf packages, as well as in-house bespoke training. We are CPD accredited, and our courses carry CPD points for in-house lawyers.
‘In my experience, the Clarkslegal construction team are extremely professional, knowledgeable and friendly.‘
Chambers and Partners
"The firm provides a very good and thorough service."
"They're very useful for property construction matters."