Team leader of the specialist Non-Contentious Construction team. I specialise in drafting, negotiating and advising upon construction and engineering contracts, collateral warranties, professional appointments and securities.
Tel: +44 (0)121 685 2805
Best brains in ...
Always a difficult question to answer about yourself! I therefore asked the team which said drafting, spotting key issues, coaching and supervision.
Highlight of your career so far?
Spotting an error in a published amendment to one of the standard Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) forms of contract which could have lead to employers being obliged to pay contractors earlier than otherwise would be expected. The error was corrected in a re-publication of the contract.
Most challenging job you've ever done?
Simultaneously negotiating a £65 million turnkey contract for a new flue desulphurisation plant with three foreign contractors so that at the end of a four-week period the client could choose which contract to enter into. This involved successive trips to Germany, Denmark and then Germany again followed by a final week of intense negotiations and meetings finishing in the early hours of the morning.
What about outside the UK?
International work includes advising a major international supplier of telecommunications accommodation on contract documentation (including procurement strategies and choice of contracts) for the construction of facilities in Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid and Sydney. Also, advising a consortium member in relation to a £130 million elevated road and rail system in Thailand.
What's your definition of going the extra mile?
I think going the extra mile encompasses doing something that the client would not have expected or indeed even thought about. We were instructed by a major international logistics and freight handling company in respect of the proposed construction of a new hangar at an international airport for its aircraft. The client had no real experience of procuring facilities of this type and accepted my invitation to attend the interviews of the three project managers it was considering appointing so that I could use my construction knowledge and assist the client in making the right appointment.
Best example of a creative legal solution?
Not so much a legal solution, but an example of innovation and creativity around drafting. When acting for a major UK telecommunications company I devised a contract structure for the procurement of new telecommunication masts on the top high rise buildings. This contract allowed the works to be instructed using the client's existing purchase order forms, but protected by the contract terms we drafted. The contract allowed the works to be called off by the client's own procurement team using a method which was familiar and with no necessary changes to its systems or software.
How do you get under the skin of a client's business?
I get under the skin of a client's business by understanding why they are doing projects and what they are trying to achieve from them - and very often challenging their thinking! When advising a London borough on the outsourcing of its responsive repairs, I ascertained that the council was concerned about new rising annual costs for this service. I devised an innovative contract structure which transferred the risk to the contractor on the volume of responsive repairs, but incentivised the contractor by splitting any costs savings between the contractor and the council.
What's been written or said about you that you're most proud of?
Praised by clients as having 'a commercial understanding and an impeccable knowledge of construction contracts'. (Legal 500)