Construction Disputes

Disputes are unfortunately only too common in the construction industry. We work alongside our non-contentious construction colleagues to try to avoid disputes when problems arise, but even with the best efforts, there are times when a dispute cannot be avoided.

Brecher’s construction disputes team has considerable experience and understanding of all forms of dispute resolution processes, including adjudication, High Court litigation and arbitration, both domestic and international. We often act for developers, contractors, construction professionals and others in a wide range of disputes involving issues such as delay/extensions of time, defects, loss and expense, interim and final account payments, contract variations and professional negligence.  We also advise on the termination of building contracts and professional appointments and in relation to the implications of insolvency.

We appreciate that our clients require commercial outcomes, and to achieve their desired result at the earliest possible opportunity. We therefore aim to resolve claims at the pre-action stage where possible, without the need for formal proceedings to be issued. We are experienced in using negotiation, alternative dispute resolution and mediation to achieve optimal outcomes, as cost-efficiently as possible.

We have experience with the various standard forms of building and engineering contracts including JCT, NEC, and FIDIC, and also with bespoke contracts, often complex in nature.

Examples of experience

We have significant experience within the team in acting for a range of clients on construction disputes of varying degrees of complexity. The experience of our team includes:

  • Representing high net worth individuals in disputes regarding high-end residential properties.
  • Successfully acting for the main contractor in the important Court of Appeal case of Bennett (Construction) Limited v CIMC MBS Limited (formerly Verbus Systems Ltd) [2019] EWCA Civ 1515, regarding milestone payments and the importance of the contractual payment regime.
  • Representing a local authority in disputes with the contractor and the architect on the refurbishment of a leisure centre.
  • Representing the investor in a hotel construction project involving the insolvency of a fraudulent contractor.

The team’s international experience includes:

  • Representing a major sub-contractor in an arbitration with the EPC contractor concerning an LNG terminal in South America.
  • Representing a German hydro-engineering company in an ICC arbitration with the Czech employer.
  • Representing a drilling contractor in an ICC arbitration with the employer concerning the drilling of geothermal heat source pipes for a university campus in Asia.

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