Whatever the nature of the project, owners, developers, contractors, funders and the professional team need specialist advice on contracts, warranties, appointments and related documentation. In today’s climate, ensuring that risk is clearly understood and projects are completed on time and to budget has never been more essential.
From the technical knowledge to advice on contracts from inception to completion, with a robust approach to the resolution of disputes, Keystone’s lawyers have all the skills and experience to offer pragmatic, cost effective, and sensible legal solutions on all construction projects. We work with all stakeholders in any construction project, across a broad range of interests within the industry. We therefore have a panoramic view, which saves clients time and money. The team has in-depth experience in dispute resolution and can also offer expert advice if litigation becomes a necessity.
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We understand the importance of collateral warranties in providing rights to those who would otherwise not be party to underlying contracts such as professional appointments, building contracts and sub-contracts. We regularly advise on the need for these warranties, their drafting and on the potential alternative use of third party rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.
Our dedicated lawyers have unrivalled expertise in relation to all the standard forms of construction and engineering contracts and have provided in-house training and seminars on their interpretation and use for clients. The team has been called upon to draft the existing standard form construction documents including the MOD’s “Defcon 2000”, the construction related documentation for NHS Lift and Building Schools for the Future, the JCT – Constructing Excellence Contract and the Term Maintenance Contract for the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme.
Working closely with our experts in the real estate department, we have accumulated substantial expertise in all aspects of property development and its funding. We have a full understanding of the construction aspects of any development and the link between the development obligations in a Development Agreement and the relevant professional appointments and building contract documentation.
Our in depth construction sector knowledge allows us to effectively advise clients on how best to deal with any dispute. We are able to give timely advice on how best to prevent a dispute and the legal merits to enable clients to negotiate a commercial settlement. Failing these, our team has significant experience in successfully guiding clients through the plethora of other options available to them including mediation, adjudication, arbitration or litigation. We have substantial experience in representing clients in the courts, including at the Technology and Construction Court.
We understand that disputes can lead to expensive court fees; we work with a number of trusted providers of both before and after the event legal cover solutions and are ourselves open to both contingency and conditionally based fee arrangements.
Our lawyers have a wide range of experience in setting up facilities maintenance arrangements both in relation to “hard” FM (repair and maintenance) and “soft” FM (cleaning, catering and so on). We regularly advise clients in the setting up term maintenance arrangements, which are often linked to some form of on-going performance monitoring and incentivisation arrangements. We understand that with such arrangements, it is vital to reality test how they may work in practice as that the law of unintended consequences has a habit of undermining such arrangements.
Our experience is setting up framework agreements has taught us of their usefulness in enabling serial employers to engage organisations quickly and without undue formality, whilst offering the chance to develop a greater understanding and ease of working with repeat organisations. We regularly advise on the structuring, drafting and operation of such agreements, with particular insight in the context of public procurement.
The very nature of the construction industry makes it highly susceptible to health and safety issues. Recent changes also mean increasingly demanding restrictions. We can assist construction businesses in understanding their responsibilities and how to prepare themselves as well as navigate potential problems between employer and contractor. If things do go wrong, our health and safety experts can advise on all workplace health and safety-related issues and spring in to action to protect your business.
Working closely with our commercial colleagues in relation to the setting up of incorporated joint ventures, our advice spans informal arrangements to work together through to formal agreements setting out the approach to joint decision making and resolving deadlock.
Our team of experts has significant experience in drafting and negotiation novation agreements. We understand the complexities of such agreements that enable both the benefit and burden of legal agreements to be passed from one contracting organisation to another. We advise our clients on the importance of considering the possibility that such an agreement might at some stage need to be reversed and that the original employer may require direct rights against the novated party by way of a collateral warranty.
Our legal team has substantial experience of setting up long term operation and maintenance arrangements. Besides documenting the services that are to be provided, we advise on the importance of setting out the measures that will be applied to monitor the performance of the service provider to ensure that it is improving over time.
Our experts regularly see the provision of performance bonds and parent company guarantees on construction projects. We have a good understanding of what is both necessary and practical in the sector at any given time and can provide the necessary documentation and accompanying advice to ensure that documentation is realistic and provides the intended protection without being unnecessarily onerous.
Our team has excellent knowledge and experience in setting up, drafting and negotiating PFI and PPP arrangements. We regularly advise public authorities as well as special purpose vehicles, investors, contractors and subcontractors.
Our leading experts understand the fundamental differences in advising public and private sector organisations in relation to their procurement needs. Public sector organisations must comply with stringent EU procurement requirements and we guide them through these requirements, at the same time advising them on the appropriate form and content of all procurement documentation. Our private sector clients, although free from EU procurement requirements, benefit from our understanding of their industry sector and the guidance that we support in considering their goals, working hand in hand with them to achieve and frame their individual procurement requirements accordingly.
Our team works closely with clients to ensure that the terms of engagement in relation to hiring a consultant are fall proof. We understand the importance of this in order to avoid any unnecessary negotiation about these terms and these allow all consultants to be engaged on the same basis, without differences in duties of care, dispute resolution and primary duties.
Deborah specialises in transactional construction, with a particular focus on collaborative working in both the contract negotiation phase and setting up provisions for collaboration between the client and the construction team during the project itself using both bespoke contracts and common industry standard forms such as JCT, NEC, ICE, and FIDIC contracts.
Jon is a Construction and Engineering specialist, handling both contentious and non-contentious legal work. His practice focuses, largely, on acting for employers and their design teams, as well as contractors and engineers.
Ben deals predominantly with construction law but also advises on commercial, property and dispute matters. He has many years’ experience in the construction industry, both within his own building business and advising subcontractors, contractors, developers and employers who operate in a variety of different construction sectors in a legal capacity. He also advises freeholders, leaseholders, landlords and tenants across a wide range of property law matters.
Nigel is a skilled commercial litigator with an impressive career spanning three decades. He works across a variety of sectors but focuses his practice on the construction industry, with a client base largely consisting of major plant hire, and scaffolding and crane companies.
Louise is a consultant in the property and construction team. She is a knowledgeable and respected specialist adviser with over 20 years’ experience of contentious construction and engineering disputes acquired in the road and rail sectors, in PFI, on tunnelling and dredging projects, and in the residential, retail, hotel, education, and health and leisure sectors
Leigh is an experienced international lawyer. Having spent many years as a leader and partner in leading international law firms, as well as in-house, his client portfolio comprises governments, companies and high-net-worth individuals on matters involving international development and project finance, production supply ventures, and commercial and compliance issues.
Martin is a consultant in the Construction team with particular expertise in the interpretation and drafting of construction and related contracts for clients in both public and private sectors.
Peter has over 30 years’ experience dealing with all aspects of construction law. His extensive practice encompasses contract drafting, development projects, PFI, public procurement, and dispute resolution (including adjudication).
Jason is a consultant in the Litigation team specialising in construction, product liability, and property litigation. He has acted for blue chip construction and property companies, insurance companies, high-net-worth individuals, retailers and estate managers.
Andrew is a commercial litigator who over the past two decades has carved out a reputation for his work within the construction industry. His practice consists largely of legal work for major plant hire, scaffolding and crane companies.
Alex is a construction and engineering law specialist. He has been involved in UK and international construction and engineering projects for over 25 years, having spent a decade in the construction industry working as a civil engineer and project manager, prior to becoming a lawyer.
Tom is an experienced lawyer who specialises in the non-contentious aspects of construction, development and finance law.
Ronan specialises in construction law and has impressive international experience in both contentious and non-contentious construction matters.
Jeremy is a solicitor advocate with 20 years’ experience in advising on all aspects of regulatory law including risk, compliance and enforcement matters. With expertise in health and safety, trading standards, food and fire safety, environmental, road transport, licensing, betting and gaming, he has worked extensively in the leisure and entertainment industry.