Victoria is an extremely experienced construction law specialist and is highly regarded within the construction industry. Chambers UK notes that “she has her fingers on the pulse”, she is “an acknowledged expert” and “a forceful and effective lawyer for high profile contentious work”, whilst clients comment that she has “great interpersonal and mediative skills, alongside the ability to dissect the finer points of a case without losing sight of the bigger picture” and is “a real champion of construction lawyers – she’s good to have in your corner”. Victoria is listed as a leader in her field in Who’s Who Legal: Construction 2016. Victoria received The Society of Construction Law’s President’s Medal 2018 for her outstanding contribution to construction law; becoming the first solicitor and first female recipient of the medal.
Victoria’s dispute resolution work focuses on litigation, arbitration and adjudication claims for a wide range of clients, including developers, universities, schools, main contractors and local authorities. She has dealt with issues on projects ranging from offices and motorways to hospitals, laboratories, housing developments, airports, factories, waste-to-energy plants and power stations in the United Kingdom and overseas. A number of her cases in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal have been reported.
Victoria is experienced in all principal building and engineering contracts including JCT, ICE, NEC, GC/Works and FIDIC; she also drafts and negotiates professional appointments and bespoke forms of domestic and international construction contracts, including facilities management and service agreements.
Victoria has strong experience in the higher education sector and provides advice to numerous universities on contractual and dispute issues relating to their capital and campus projects. She is a Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association-registered adjudicator and a member of several adjudicator panels. She is a practising arbitrator and is also a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution accredited mediator with extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution.
Examples of Victoria’s expertise include:
- acting for a main contractor in myriad disputes relating to the design and construction of an iconic and award-winning building in Central London. Amount in dispute £6m;
- acting for a major university in a successful series of adjudications against its main contractor in connection with the development of a new medical research institute. Amount in dispute £5.5m;
- acting for a major university in the drafting and negotiating of separate seven-year contracts to outsource its catering and facilities management services to external providers;
- acting for a housing association in disputes with its contractor and the professional team under the PPC2000 Partnering Contract. Amount in dispute £3.5m;
- acting for a main contractor in pursuing its entitlements to extensions of time, loss and expense, and payment for its measured work in connection with the construction of a leisure centre. Amount in dispute £6.5m;
- acting for an employer in disputes with its service provider arising under a 20-year CHP Contract. Amount in dispute £5.75m.
Victoria has written numerous articles on construction, arbitration, adjudication and alternative dispute resolution. She lectures at conferences in the UK and overseas, and has contributed to various training aides.
Victoria's memberships/positions include:
- fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators;
- fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building;
- fellow of the Forum of the Built Environment;
- past chairman of the Society of Construction Law;
- past president of the European Society of Construction Law;
- first female master of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators;
- past master of the Worshipful Company of Constructors;
- member of the International Bar Association;
- member of the London Court of International Arbitration;
- member of the Law Society’s panel of arbitrators;
- non-executive director of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
News & events
Victoria has been ranked in Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2017. According to the publication, experienced practitioner Victoria Russell has a noteworthy contentious and non-contentious practice and has experience advising clients on projects in the education sector. She counts prominent educational institutions, contractors and local authorities among her clients. In the 2016 edition, Victoria was known for her practice in the education sector, advising contractors on disputes over schools and universities. She also acted for educational establishments, developers and local authorities.
Victoria has been listed as a recommended construction lawyer (particularly within the realm of education: institutions) in The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2013's guide to recommended lawyers nationwide.
Victoria is listed as a leader in her field in The Who’s Who Legal: Construction 2016. Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent research with both general counsel and private lawyers. Only specialists who have met independent research criteria are listed. To view the listing of Fenwick Elliott lawyers, please click here.
In October 2014, Victoria was installed as the new Master of the Worshipful Company of Constructors and is only the third female Master of the Company since its formation in 1976.