Construction

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Construction projects are complex, technical, and have many parties involved and various commercial and legal pressures.

Why use a construction lawyer?

Like a good quantity surveyor, a good specialist construction lawyer will add huge value to your project – providing guidance on the complex contractual structures and on procurement and ensuring that the contracts are well-drafted with all key commercial, legal and technical matters considered, in order to reduce the risk of and mitigate the effects of costly later disputes. 

Working closely when needed with fellow specialists in the commercial property, planning, corporate, business disputes and property finance teams, our team can provide a true cradle to grave service in connection with any project. Our aim is to facilitate the completion of projects most easily and cost-effectively, with the legal content providing benefit and not proving to be a barrier, all with your business pressures considered along the way. 

Key construction services

Below is a list of the key construction services we provide:

  • Advising on procurement strategy, including advice on use of industry standard forms such as JCT, NEC and NFDC, etc and bespoke forms.
  • Drafting, negotiating and advising on all common industry forms of and bespoke building contracts and related documents including amendments, warranties, bonds and guarantees.
  • Preparing, negotiating and advising on appointments for consultants and related deeds of novation collateral warranties and third party rights.
  • Assistance with letters of intent, pre-construction services agreements, frameworks, maintenance contracts, sub-contracts and supply contracts.
  • Advising on issues relating to processes and contract interpretation, including assistance with claims for extensions of time, liquidated damages, loss and expense, queries regarding payment provisions and payment or pay less notices.  
  • Conducting due diligence and audits of construction documents associated with property, property finance and development transactions and dealing with enquiries on a purchase or funding.
  • Advising on issues relating to construction insolvency, in conjunction with specialists in our other teams.
  • Providing individual tailored training and guidance to clients on construction legal matters.

Examples of construction matters we have worked on

Below are some examples of the types of construction work we have been involved in:

  • Advising a client on the conversion of a large office building into circa 100 residential apartments and on the planned development of a wider industrial site to create a large housing development.
  • Providing advice to a cladding specialist on the contracts relating to a high value cladding package in connection with the development of an iconic central London block site to create luxury office, hotel, residential and retail premises.
  • Assisting a cladding specialist with the trade contracts for a luxury high rise development in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • Advising a transport provider on various improvements works at its terminals and sites.
  • Advising marina and port operators and harbour masters on the contracts relating to a variety of marine works.
  • Advising several well-known retailers on any of their new premises in newly built properties.
  • Advised an international client on its redevelopment of 4 hotel sites in the UK, with projected total build costs of circa £50-100m.
  • Advised a well-known investment fund on the construction contracts for its phased refurbishment of a shopping centre (including some public realm works for a local authority landlord) in Dorset post-purchase. The contracts were complex, some spanning multiple phases of work and we had to take account of the requirements relevant to key retail pre-lets, the public sector landlord and an external funder. We enabled the client to put in place a suite of interlinking contracts covering all relevant commercial and legal requirements.
  • Advised a well-known investment fund on the construction contracts for its phased refurbishment of a shopping centre in Cambridge.
  • Advised a central London University on the construction contracts for its redevelopment of 4 historic buildings to create a £50+m new teaching building. 
  • Advised an East Midlands County Council on the construction aspects of a publicly procured bespoke contract with a service provider to manage and redevelop a national outdoor sports facility. 
  • Advised an East Midlands Council on the contracts for highways improvement works costing over £160m via a framework structure.

How we’ve helped our clients

“Paris Smith and partner, Claire Egerton, have been our go to commercial and contractual solicitor for a number of years now. Claire has dealt with a variety of commercial matters for us and it is the professionalism and efficiency with which she handles our cases that ensure our on-going loyalty. We’ve found that it’s not only Claire’s legal expertise but also her solid and straight talking commercial logic that really sets her and the Paris Smith team apart from the competition.”

Mark Allies, MD – DNA IC Ltd

“When we experienced contractual hurdles regarding construction, Paris Smith helped us overcome these. We were able to achieve contractual successes since working with Paris Smith. We were very pleased with their speedy and helpful responses to our questions.”

Erdal Karakus, MD – Erbay UK Ltd

Introducing your key contact

Claire Egerton
Partner – Head of Construction

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