Construction & Engineering

Our construction lawyers provide a comprehensive service to clients throughout the construction and engineering industries.

Our lawyers cover all aspects of construction and engineering law, including:

  • Commercial contracts and warranties
  • Dispute resolution and litigation
  • Health and safety
  • PFI/PPP projects
  • Energy
  • Technology
  • Intellectual property

The scale and duration of the projects in this sector call for specialist expertise in drafting and negotiating contracts and our team has deep experience in contracts for supply, installation, construction and facilities management, appointments, collateral warranties, bonds and parent company guarantees.

We are able to advise on early stage issues, including procurement, public procurement, competition law and State Aid matters.

When problems arise, we are there to support clients with troubleshooting, mediation, adjudication, litigation and arbitration, both domestic and international. We are experienced in handling all kinds of construction-related disputes, from professional negligence to fee claims, final account claims and extensions of time. We also advise on health and safety issues and defend health and safety prosecutions.

The breadth of our practice means that we can use our construction expertise to support our clients across a wide range of corporate activities. Our understanding of construction issues has been particularly valuable to clients undertaking M&A transactions in the construction and engineering sectors. Our construction lawyers advise overseas companies that export engineering and process plant into the UK, particularly from the German-speaking countries, and we have helped a number of UK and overseas clients on substantial PPP/PFI projects. We have also drawn on our IP and technology specialists to advise on the IP aspects of construction products and services.

If you have any questions or queries please call Digby on +44 (0)20 3036 7209 or email

Advises on engineering, building and development projects, alongside disputes. Significant and expanding focus on renewable energy projects, including issues relating to wind, solar and waste-to-energy. “They compare very favourably against other firms in regard to value for money and level of service.”

Chambers UK
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Well-regarded practice with a purchaser-side focus. Advises on high-value transactional and contentious matters and often deals with leisure, infrastructure, energy and property development matters.

“The team provides a quality service and understands the importance of timely advice, pragmatic solutions and cost certainty.”  “With Fladgate we can rest assured that each area of legal and contractual exposure has been methodically reasoned with appropriate advice and implementation.”  Advised Merlin Entertainments on its ongoing expansion work and portfolio of construction projects across the globe, worth hundreds of millions of pounds in total.   Acted for the University of London on its estate-wide energy-efficient lighting upgrade scheme using a two-stage approach to the tender for the project.

Chambers UK

Alan Woolston engages in both contentious and non-contentious work, with particular specialisms in PFI/PPP schemes and offshore energy projects. One client is “impressed with his focused attention to detail and ability to understand every potential trajectory of decisions that he has considered and created a strategy around.”

Alan Erwin has a broad non-contentious practice that sees him advise on commercial developments and renewables projects. He has experience advising on domestic construction projects and overseas matters.

Gillian Birkby advises clients from across the construction market on non-contentious matters including procurement, contracts and appointments. One client says: “She provides insightful and cutting-edge advice with fantastic support.”

Chambers UK

Fladgate LLP’s ‘cerebral and dedicated’ practice includes ‘incisive adviser’ Barry Hembling, who has been busy on behalf of Merlin Entertainments, advising on a portfolio of leisure-related construction projects globally. The team also has expertise in renewable energy and is acting for BTS Biogas on the construction of an anaerobic digestion plant in south Yorkshire. Gillian Birkby and Alan Woolston head the practice and handle a mix of contentious and non-contentious work.

Legal 500

The “practical” department at Fladgate LLP, led by Gillian Birkby, handles complex disputes and building, engineering and development projects. Alan Erwin gives “straightforward advice”, and is recommended alongside David Weare. Alan Woolston joined from Fieldfisher.

Legal 500

A wide practice particularly active in waste-to-energy projects, property development for retail, hotels and student accommodation, and construction-related health and safety issues. “We’re very pleased. They worked very hard – they worked all hours to make it happen, and were very on top of it.” “Good solid team, quite specialist, and they know what they’re doing.”

Chambers UK

Practice head Gillian Birkby advises a range of clients on the drafting of contracts and contract-related disputes. She has recently been instructed by a number of high-profile clients in arbitrations and projects work. Alan Erwin specialises in transactional matters, specifically acting for clients on the negotiation and drafting of construction and engineering contracts. He is “one of the most methodical lawyers I’ve come across”, notes an observer. Alan Woolston handles both non-contentious and dispute avoidance work. He is well versed in advising on high-value projects work.

Chambers UK

Well-regarded practice with a purchaser-side focus. Advises on high-value transactional and contentious matters and often deals with leisure, infrastructure, energy and property development matters. Also has experience of disputes arising from PFI and PPP projects, particularly in the health, education and defence sectors. “The whole team is a well-oiled machine, slick and efficient. I know I can call any of the team and all of them will be excellent,” a commentator enthuses. Another source notes that “their client service is good and they seek to go the extra mile to assist with getting the right results.”

Chambers UK

Represented Forest Whitmore (Haringey) in a termination of contract dispute with One Housing Group relating to the construction of a £10 million mixed-use development in East London. Provided support to Equitix on the construction elements of its portfolio of over 90 PFI or PPP-procured infrastructure projects. The team’s work included due diligence and drafting bespoke contract arrangements.

Chambers UK

‘Response times and value-for-money are very good’ at Fladgate LLP, where the team continues to undertake a range of instructions in key sectors such as hotels and leisure, renewable energy, and museums and exhibitions. Digby Hebbard advised the Science Museum Group on the construction of its new interactive and maths galleries, and David Weare assisted Hitachi Zosen Inova with an EPC contract to deliver an energy-from-waste facility on the outskirts of Edinburgh. In other non-contentious highlights, practice head Alan Woolston and senior associate Chris Farrell, who are ‘commercially astute, technically excellent lawyers’, advised Go-Ahead Group on a range of construction works as well as professional appointments related to the infrastructure for various well-known Go-Ahead brands, including Southeastern trains and Brighton & Hove buses.

Legal 500

Hebbard and Weare were also active in contentious matters, where work included representing contractors on various energy-from-waste project disputes, and acting for John Laing Investments on potential claims relating to the design and upgrade of Aylesbury Park railway station. International construction specialist Barry Hembling is another key contact.

Legal 500

  • BBC Worldwide – terms of appointment of the FM provider for a range of hard and soft FM services across its estate including detailed transitional arrangements between the old and new providers.
  • Shangri–La Hotel – contract to complete the remaining fit–out works for the hotel at The Shard, London Bridge.
  • Londonewcastle – drafting and negotiating construction contracts and consultants’ appointments for high end residential and social housing developments with office and retail spaces.
  • Balfour Beatty and Carillion – advising the contractor (a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Carillion) on its supply chain contracts and giving advice on the operation of its main contract with Transport for London in relation to the East London Line, the UK’s second largest rail infrastructure project to date, valued at £1.4bn.
  • Brighton i360 – procurement strategy and drafting contract terms for Britain’s tallest observation tower, to be positioned on the beach end of the site of the former West Pier.
  • Cathedral Group Plc – mixed–use public private partnership regeneration projects including: the award–winning Clapham One development, which comprised a leisure centre, a new public library, a medical centre and residential apartments; Bromley South Central, a £90m mixed–use PPP development which will include cafes, restaurants, a 130 room hotel and a new 400 space underground car parking facility; and the mixed–use development of The Movement, Greenwich, including a Travelodge hotel, community centre and incubator units, and student accommodation and private residential accommodation by others.
  • Contractor – £53m claim against a public authority.
  • Hitachi Zosen Inova AG – various projects for this Zurich based client with a combined contract value of over £3bn, including a recent contract to construct a new 34 MW energy recovery facility in South Gloucestershire, as part of a public private partnership contract between the West London Waste Authority and a consortium led by SITA UK. The overall project value is £244m.
  • Employer client – defending a firm in an HSE prosecution following injury sustained by an employee whose work involved the use of cutting machinery.
  • Substantial multinational Korean–based corporation – £50m LCIA arbitration arising out of oil refinery upgrade works in North Africa.