Ever considered specialising in… Construction?

Posted on 11/12/2019 by Joseph Shenton

All you have to do is try to count the cranes in Manchester city centre to know that it is all systems go as far as major construction projects are concerned. It ought not to be a big surprise then that professional indemnity work on this front has boomed in the North West and along with it, so too have construction-related contractual disputes.

Currently, the amount of work outweighs the number of construction solicitors working within this area of the profession. Like a lot of practice areas, demand is outweighing supply.

However, firms are increasingly considering taking on solicitors with wider experience to join their construction teams. At Realm, we’ve noticed that there appears to be an emerging trend of commercial insurance lawyers with professional indemnity experience making the move into construction.

Types of work

For construction solicitors, their work is both interesting and varied. Representing both private and public sector clients, they deal with a range of contracts, including JCT, FIDIC and NEC contracts.

In addition, alternative dispute resolution is a growing trend within this space, with arbitrations increasingly common. There are often opportunities for solicitors to get involved in larger-scale international matters.

Major players within construction law

For construction solicitors in the North, Manchester is undoubtedly the place to be, with several leading firms having offices in the city centre. Addleshaw Goddard and Pinsent Masons head up the Legal 500 listings in Tier 1.

Jonathan Tattersall heads Addleshaw’s contentious construction team, with Paul O’Kane and Paul Marge active on contentious and non-contentious matters. Meanwhile at Pinsent Masons, Michael Hopkins leads on construction advisory and disputes work, while Katherine Sneddon handles the firms’ contentious construction work. 

In tier 2, DLA Piper are not far behind. DLA’s UK ‘centre for excellence’ for construction, engineering and infrastructure disputes is based in Manchester, with Paul Giles at the helm and highly experienced David Moss and Alison Fagan also part of the team. Nathan Penny Larter, who is from a professional indemnity background, joined the team in October.

Tier 3 is also made up of a number of leading firms, including CMS, Gatley and Hill Dickinson.

Want to learn more?

For a confidential conversation about your career or to learn more about the trends within the commercial insurance space, contact our specialist consultant Joseph Shenton on 03300 245 606 or email joseph.shenton@realmrecruit.com

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