Advice built on strong foundations
What is involved?
The construction and engineering sectors, having been hugely busy and in some respects over-stretched for a period, saw a slight slowdown in the final quarter of 2019, generally attributed to uncertainty over Brexit and the paralysis of the hung Parliament. The impact of the General Election may well be seen to have changed this in the first quarter of 2020. We have also seen a number of contractor insolvencies, generally attributed to cashflow issues rather than lack of work. This is therefore a time when high quality advice from an expert construction lawyer can play a key role. Whether you are dealing with construction documentation, procurement questions or a dispute – a commercially-focussed approach will save you money as well as time.
Construction covers all aspects of the built environment, from infrastructure to commercial and residential buildings, via offices, retail and manufacturing facilities. Every building and engineering project has its unique challenges and risks, so you will benefit from a legal team that knows exactly what it’s doing.
Why choose Freeths?
- A proactive and commercially-focussed team, with a pragmatic approach to problem solving
- Our nationally-acclaimed specialist team of 23 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 solicitors 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.
We work with some of the best-known names in the construction industry and have an excellent reputation across the UK. With clients, experience and expertise on all sides of the industry, acting for public and private sector employers, contractors, funds, consultants and sub-contractors, 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.
0845 030 5747
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0845 073 8550
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Li Yen Lim
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Construction Update: The end of smash and grab culture in Adjudication?Articles 5th Mar 2018
Construction Alert: Carillion Insolvency – 12 Top Tips to Limit Your ExposureArticles 16th Jan 2018
Freeths enjoy new entries and improved rankings in the Legal 500News 19th Oct 2017
"Joseph Hale of Freeths LLP is noted for his representation of contractors, subcontractors and employers in a range of contentious matters. Sources describe him as 'diligent, thorough and knowledgeable'. Identified as 'Up and Coming'."
(Chambers & Partners, 2017)
"A joined-up approach is taken across the various specialisms to give a co-ordinated solution. This is powerful as all specialisms and their associated nuances are considered in a process to give a good commercial outcome."
(The Legal 500, 2020)
"His commercial awareness and detailed knowledge in the field of quantity surveying are second to none."
(Managing Director, Rayden Engineering)
"For people like me a court case is a traumatic experience. Fortunately I was lucky to have Li Yen Lim as my solicitor. She gave me great support and always had the patience to explain complex legal issues very clearly and simply which I greatly appreciated. Her tenacity, focus and sheer hard work on my case was extremely impressive. This was always coupled with her sense of humour which lit dark moments."
(Huw Thomas, Huw Thomas Architects)
"Amy Morley is well regarded for her handling of complex construction disputes on behalf of clients such as insurers and contractors. Interviewees appreciate that she is 'very approachable'."
(Chambers & Partners, 2018)
"Rachael Yates has consistently provided good value, technically sound, fantastically responsive, commercially focused dispute resolution advice to a number of our project companies."
(Paul Andrews, Amber Infrastructure)
Acts for a broad client base, including consultants, contractors, corporations and government bodies, on transactional and dispute-based matters. Frequently works with large, national clients as well as local businesses. One source reports: "They absolutely impressed me with their client service, their knowledge and ability to apply it," highlighting the "culture of excellence within the group - they are a firm that pushes themselves to understand what the client wants." A commentator reports: "They deal with quite complex funding arrangements for high-value schemes."
(Chambers & Partners, 2019)
"Freeths' team of specialists gives thorough and sound advice. The small size of the team means clients have regular personal contact with partners, and everyone is willing to get stuck in to get things done. The team values personal relationships with clients and goes above and beyond to ensure that client expectations are met and provides a first-class service along the way."
(The Legal 500, 2020)
"The team understands the building contracts and regulations extremely well," says an interviewee, adding: "They give straightforward, good advice." A client commented that the Construction team are "pleasant to deal with and always keen to help."
(Chambers & Partners, 2020)
- 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  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  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.
‘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.
Talk to us
Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 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