Practice Areas

Construction & Building Litigation

We specialise in this area of law, having both legal and technical expertise.

Our solicitors have advised on major contentious and non-contentious matters in the UK and internationally. UK based projects include hotels, offices, hospitals, residential buildings, oil platforms, motorways, heavy lifting platforms and tunnels. International matters have concerned ports and dry docks in the Middle East, transportation infrastructure in Malaysia and oil transportation and loading facilities in the Sudan.

We have extensive experience in the Technology and Construction Courts, both at High Court and County Court level.

Recent disputes include:

  • Debt recovery
  • Professional negligence in design and management, residential and commercial
  • Wrongful termination
  • Loss and expense
  • Variations
  • Changes (NEC)
  • Liquidated Damages
  • Extensions of Time
  • Payment Notices and Pay Less Notices
  • Enforcement of Adjudicators’ Decisions
  • Final account disputes (JCT/NEC)
  • Scaffolding
  • Pre-cast concrete units
  • Brickwork
  • Directional drilling
  • Piling

Adjudication

Adjudication as of right became available in 1998. Originally it was intended to assist with cashflow. Over the years it has developed to be the favourite route to resolving any type of construction dispute.

A party to a construction contract generally has the right to refer a dispute to adjudication at any time. The Adjudicator’s decision, reached in 4 to 6 weeks, is binding on both parties, and can rapidly be enforced through the courts.

Adjudication therefore provides a quick and inexpensive solution to avoid the problem of long expensive court litigation, which many contractors are unable to afford. In most cases the parties bear their own legal costs in the adjudication thereby reducing risk.

We have extensive experience in adjudication in representing parties, enforcing decisions and acting as the Adjudicator. Since adjudication became available in 1998, we have assisted in resolving many hundreds of disputes this way.

Please contact us today for a free no-obligation telephone discussion or email us: reception@hqlaw.co.uk

More information is available at www.adjudication.co.uk.

Arbitration
 

Arbitration is a contract-based form of binding dispute resolution. In other words, a party’s right to refer a dispute to arbitration depends on the existence of an agreement between them and the other parties to the dispute that the dispute may be referred to arbitration.

Commercial contracts will commonly include provision for how disputes relating to that contract are to be resolved. If the parties choose arbitration, the arbitration agreement will generally be part of the document recording the terms of the commercial transaction. Parties can also enter into an arbitration agreement after a dispute has arisen.

Most standard JCT contracts include an option for arbitration.  

We have a wealth of expertise with resolving arbitration disputes and have advised on local and international arbitration disputes up to more than £100 million in value. 

Commercial Litigation

Commercial disputes around the world are becoming more difficult to navigate. Expanding international businesses, changing regulatory requirements, increasing corporate scrutiny and complex cross-border transactions are among the drivers. Regardless of origin, the stakes can be high, with a potential global impact. Organisations and individuals look to proactively reduce their risk. When matters arise, bringing them to a close in a cost-effective and efficient manner is the goal.

In reaching this goal, experience is paramount. Our commercial solicitors will give your business the expertise and advice it needs day-to-day. We can help you protect the value generated by your business dealings, while managing your legal risks.

Debt Recovery And Enforcement

We have extensive experience in the use of adjudication, statutory demands and winding up petitions to recover debts.

A fast track adjudication followed by enforcement proceedings is usually successful if a construction debt is disputed. In other commercial matters or if there is no genuine dispute then the threat of insolvency proceedings alone is often successful. If necessary, we can issue a petition.

However, in all cases the aim is to succeed in recovering money and we are careful not to simply waste costs if recovery is not possible. For our clients, success in not just winning, it is getting paid.

We act for a number of insolvency practitioners and are happy to consider conditional fee arrangements (no-win-no-fee).

Insolvency

We specialise in construction disputes and minimal-risk solutions for recovery on behalf of insolvent construction companies.

Through a combination of our expertise in construction law, our willingness to act under conditional fee agreements, our access to funding and our access to After the Event Insurance we can succeed in recovery where others have given up and valued recovery at zero.

For example:

1. We recovered £1.3m plus costs of £1m in arbitration for the Administrators of a mechanical and electrical services company in a claim against a major UK contractor – insured and funded.  

2. We are acting in a claim for Administrators against a major UK contractor, now in a CVA, where we anticipate recovery in excess of £200,000 (depending on final dividend) following an arbitration – insured and funded.

3. We recovered £1.9m for an electrical contractor in administration – funded and indemnified. 

4. We are finalising an agreement with liquidators for a £3.5m claim against a major UK contractor – funded and indemnified.

Please contact us if you would like to know more or if there is anything we can help with.
Contract Drafting

We are well experienced in drafting commercial contracts, in particular based on standard forms such as JCT and NEC. We have drafted contracts for multi-million-pound contracts including major hotels in London.

In addition to standard form construction contracts we can advise on bespoke contracts, professional appointments, purchase agreements and most form of commercial contract.

Our services are tailored to suit our client’s needs. We can provide a general overview of a contract, identifying clauses of significant concern, or a detailed review of every provision.

We also advice on ancillary agreements such as bonds and guarantees, assignments, novation agreements, vesting certificates etc.

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