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Freeths - Law firm

Construction & Engineering Disputes

Advice built on strong foundations

What is involved?

Within our construction and engineering practice, we have a highly regarded team able to handle the largest and most complex disputes. We are called in to handle issues of the highest strategic importance.

We provide earliest possible judgment calls by:

  • Intelligent and effective use of electronic platforms to assess, interrogate and utilise dispute evidence and data
  • Adopting an incisive approach which does not require all evidence to be available before making liability calls
  • Effective use of instinct and common sense gained from extensive industry experience which allows our lawyers to make robust assumptions which join the dots or fill the blanks

Why choose Freeths?

  • Our team works exclusively on construction, engineering and infrastructure projects
  • We offer supply chain expertise and a proven record of reducing legal spend and delivering results
  • Our focus is your bottom line – we own our disputes and are accountable for your balance sheet
  • We advise on all stages, from procurement to completion and operation of projects

Freeths deliver results-driven dispute management. We build and deliver merit-based results by knowing what evidence is needed and where and how to get it. Our team will assess, predict and deliver successful outcomes which can be measured in terms of results, time and costs.

Our litigators and arbitration specialists aim to provide intellectual and robust action, whilst remaining pragmatic and relationship-orientated. Whether acting for claimant or defendant, our focus and primary driver is to achieve the earliest possible closure, which delivers the result that our client deserves.

We have achieved national recognition for our work on projects throughout the UK. We also have a unique offering combining an English and Spanish specialism in construction and engineering law, with a particular focus on energy and infrastructure projects. Our team understands the cultural issues our Spanish clients face when dealing with projects in the UK, as well as commercial issues associated with NAECI.

Call our Construction & Engineering Dispute Resolution team now to see how we can help you.

Freeths x Kingsfield Academy: The Engineering Construction Podcast

Freeths Construction and Engineering Partner Alex Johnson hosts this engaging podcast series alongside Kingsfield Academy Partner, John Fotherby, to uncover the complexities of international engineering construction projects by answering the question of what causes disputes and which solutions can pave the way to success. Check back regularly for new episodes.

Episode 1: The Claims Territory – Ever wondered why there are so many disputes & claims in global engineering and construction projects? Dive deep into the claims territory with the first episode of our enlightening podcast series hosted by John Fotherby & Alex Johnson.

Episode 2: Delay and Time Extension – John Fotherby & Alex Johnson continue their enlightening discussion, addressing the complications and disputes revolving around delays and time extensions in engineering and construction projects.

Episode 3: Liquidated Damages & Penalties – This time, we delve deep into the world of Liquidated Damages and Penalties. These are recurring features of engineering construction disputes and are often misunderstood.

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Key contacts

James Hartley

James Hartley
Partner & National Head of Dispute Resolution

0345 077 9581

Alternatively complete the form below:

Contact Us

Meet the team

Construction & Engineering Disputes Lawyers

National Head of Team

James Hartley

James Hartley

0345 077 9581

James Hartley

James Hartley

0345 077 9581

Image of Chris Holwell

Chris Holwell

0345 050 3667

Alex Johnson

0345 077 9643

John Kelly

0345 050 3687

Amy Morley

Amy Morley

0345 050 3669

Nick Sutton

0345 077 9567

Rachael Yates

0345 077 9578

Nichola Faith

Nichola Faith

0345 404 1756

Construction & Engineering Disputes

Guy Berwick

0345 050 3661

Raymond Joyce

Raymond Joyce

0345 634 2578

Dominic Canning

Dominic Canning
Managing Associate

0345 126 4379

Stephen Evans
Managing Associate

0121 233 5996

Lim Li Yen

Li Yen Lim
Managing Associate

0345 050 3668

Image of Nic Davies

Nic Davies

0345 404 4176

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

"Highly effective, strategic advice based upon a thorough understanding of organisational missions and needs."

(Chambers 2016)

"The really deliver a first class service. You can call them at any stage."

(Chambers 2016)

"I have always found him to provide exceptional commercial advice, with the ultimate aim of providing cost effective dispute resolution. I have no hesitation in recommending him."

(Managing Director, SGI Group)

"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)

"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)

"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)

"He has a way of getting to the nub of a problem that I find quite refreshing. He can turn problems over and debate the issues on a commercial basis in a way which is second to none."

Notable Work
  • Acted for a large Spanish contractor in connection with all legal matters and numerous disputes arising out of the construction of the new gas fired power station at Carrington, Manchester (£300 million).
  • The Board of Trustees of National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside v AEW Architects and Designers Limited & PIHL UK Limited and Galliford Try Construction Limited (trading together in partnership as a joint venture “PIHL GALLIFORD TRY JV”) (Third Party) [2013] EWHC 3025 (TCC).
  • Acting for an engineering company in relation to claims brought by the main contractor for liquidated damages and performance related damages. The claims arose pursuant to a contract for the design, procurement and commissioning of a compressor. The claims were successfully settled with the client paying £0 to the main contractor.
  • Acted for a multinational company in a dispute in respect of contractor’s default in payment on a turnkey sub-contract for the construction of a photovoltaic plant. The matter involved advising the client swiftly on the complex contract provisions and developing a legal strategy during a live project, to provide the client with a quick resolution. Payment was received in full by the client within 3 weeks from instruction, avoiding any formal dispute process.
  • 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 the employer in a valuation dispute arising out of the re-development of a shopping centre in Greater Manchester.
  • Acting for various subsidiaries part of a global engineering company on various projects including: the negotiation of an EPC contract for a process facility and the re-negotiation of the contract from a lump sum to a target cost pricing model, ongoing “project management” advice on live projects, defending a claim and pursuing a counterclaim relating to the design and commissioning of a process plant, and a final account dispute relating to an energy from waste plant including 3 adjudications and an arbitration.
  • Acted for the Board of Trustees of National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside in a claim against AEW Architects in respect of the defective design of the new Museum of Liverpool.
  • Acted for the Engineer and its Professional Indemnity Insurer on a claim arising from the design and construction of an offshore wind farm. Dealt with defence arguments and advocacy at an all-party mediation.
  • Acted for 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 over £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


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

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