Litigation & arbitration in the UK

Whatever your claim, be it a claim under a collateral warranty, a dispute about defects, problems concerning final accounts and variations or a claim for an extension of time or for delay and disruption and loss and/or expense, our wealth of experience in every form of dispute resolution means that we can advise you at every step of the way.

In the UK, many standard form construction contracts now require that disputes be resolved through the courts, rather than in arbitration. Given the multi disciplinary nature of projects, construction and energy claims frequently involve many parties which, typically, means that they can only be resolved through the courts.

We have conducted some of the most detailed and significant claims to be heard in the Technology and Construction Courts in recent years. At Fenwick Elliott, we understand the court rules and procedures and through our close association with TeCSA (the Technology and Construction Solicitor’s Association) have been instrumental in advising on their drafting.

We are ready to seek injunctions to prevent the call on a bond or seek freezing orders to prevent a party from transferring its assets beyond the reach of the courts.

When it comes to questions of enforcing adjudicator’s decisions through the courts or seeking an early view from the court about an adjudicator’s jurisdiction, the wealth of reported court decisions we have been involved in from Herschel v Breen to Cubbitt v Fleetglade to Yuanda v Gear speak for themselves.

That said, when your contract calls for arbitration, we are equally familiar with the relevant rules and procedures. Indeed, some of our partners sit as arbitrators. Whether a dispute is before the courts or an arbitral panel, we never forget the need to remember our client’s objectives and we always look to agree a strategy with our clients with those objectives to the fore.

We are always keenly aware of the potential costs of court and arbitration proceedings and keep our client fully informed at each and every step of the process. We headed the research programme that led to the publication of a report entitled Mediating Construction Disputes: An Evaluation of Existing Practice which was used by Lord Justice Jackson in his Review of Civil Litigation Costs.

Acting for a specialist engineering company in connection with disputes arising out of the design, supply and installation of electrical, control and instrumentation works for a waste to energy plant.

The provision of advice following the termination of the SPV management services concession contract concerning the SPV management of 11 hospitals leading to the preparation of a formal claim. Having prosecuted the action through interlocutory stages, the client was able to obtain a full and final compromise without the need for a full hearing.

Acting on behalf of a major hotel in a dispute with the construction manager related to the £35million refurbishment. The project was beset by difficulty and delay: the hotel reopening almost a year late and costing more than 50% over budget.

Good blood-and-guts litigators.
Chambers and Partners UK