Construction & Engineering

United Kingdom

Whether you are an employer/owner, contractor, funder/investor or you are buying an interest in a project that is under construction or has recently been completed, you need documents that reflect your risk profile, protect your interests and promote collaborative working and optimum project delivery.

Drafting those agreements and implementing the rights and obligations that flow from them becomes key to avoiding, managing and resolving disputes successfully.

Understanding where, how and why problems arise enables us to devise winning strategies to protect our clients and to craft agreements that facilitate project delivery. Preventing and managing disputes is given top priority. We advise on the full range of domestic and international disputes procedures.

One of the first firms to recognise construction law as a specialist area and create a dedicated team, our global practice focuses on understanding each client’s business and delivering advice in this context.

Through close relationships with our clients and the sectors in which they operate, we help deliver construction, engineering, infrastructure and energy projects. We advise on every aspect from inception and procurement through funding and building to commissioning and operation.

Working closely with colleagues specialising in real estate development and project finance, insurance, tax, procurement law, planning, energy and environmental law, our full service Construction Team has a market-leading track record of advising on a diverse range of transactions and disputes concerning some of the largest, most complex and high profile projects in the world.

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"It is difficult to identify a better firm at the moment than' CMS, which is 'incredibly capable and also very well resourced."

Legal 500, 2018

"It is a confident and user-friendly team which roundly produces top-quality, commercial advice in tune with the business timescales we are working to."

Chambers, 2018

‘above all, strong lawyers with a first-class nose for the correct answer to a case’.

Legal 500, 2017

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    Development Work

    Whether your development is commercial, residential, mixed use or of a regeneration nature, we are involved in some of the most significant projects across the world. We act for the full range of clients including owners, developers, funders, institutional investors, forward funding purchasers and tenants as well as the full array of construction industry players.

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    Energy & Mining

    Whether you are in the public sector, a utility, energy company, investor or contractor, we act for participants worldwide across the energy industries and mining sector.

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    Facilities Management

    In managing their assets, businesses face an uphill battle as they weigh the growing demand for a high quality built environment (with the requisite services) against cost and operational flexibility.

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    Infrastructure assets require special attention. Key to their operational success is the design, performance specification, completion and commissioning of each part. Understanding how engineering projects are structured and work is valued, measured, executed and delivered becomes critical.

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    How a com­pany signs an Eng­lish Law Deed
    Law-Now: Con­struc­tion & En­gin­eer­ing
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary


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    They’ll be watch­ing you: High Court finds that Tate vis­it­ors are not...
    No Pri­vacy, No nuis­ance A claim un­der the Hu­man Rights Act 1988 (‘HRA 1988’) and in nuis­ance was brought by five flat own­ers against the Tate Mod­ern for in­va­sion of pri­vacy in their homes. The claimants owned newly de­veloped flats with large glass win­dows.
    Pav­ing on open land can be enough for ad­verse pos­ses­sion
    In a re­cent judg­ment, the Court of Ap­peal (the “CA”) cla­ri­fied the law about what it means to es­tab­lish fac­tu­al pos­ses­sion of an­oth­er’s land in the con­text of ad­verse pos­ses­sion claims (Shir­ley Ann Thorpe v.
    Clear suc­cess for rates mit­ig­a­tion scheme for un­oc­cu­pied prop­er­ties...
    The Court of Ap­peal struck out the loc­al au­thor­ity’s claim to re­cov­er Non-Do­mest­ic Busi­ness Rates (“NDR”) from the de­fend­ant com­pan­ies, who were us­ing rates mit­ig­a­tion schemes. It held that it was not pos­sible to “pierce the cor­por­ate veil” in the cir­cum­stances,.
    Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment lowers Pro­ject Bank Ac­count thresholds from 19...
    Pro­ject Bank Ac­counts (PBAs) are ring-fenced ac­counts that see pay­ments made dir­ectly and sim­ul­tan­eously by pub­lic sec­tor cli­ents to mem­bers of the con­struc­tion sup­ply chain. They were in­tro­duced as Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment policy in 2016 to fa­cil­it­ate prompt con­tract.
    Court of Ap­peal re­solves post-ter­min­a­tion li­quid­ated dam­ages de­bate
    A Court of Ap­peal de­cision earli­er this week has provided au­thor­it­at­ive guid­ance as to the ef­fect of ter­min­a­tion on li­quid­ated dam­ages pro­vi­sions in re­la­tion to delay. The de­cision re­solves con­flict­ing au­thor­it­ies on this is­sue stretch­ing back more than a cen­tury.
    “Smash and grab” and “true value” ad­ju­dic­a­tions: the de­bate con­tin­ues
    A TCC de­cision last month has con­sidered the cir­cum­stances in which “true value” ad­ju­dic­a­tions can be used to over­come “smash and grab” ad­ju­dic­a­tion de­cisions. The case con­firms that “true value” de­cisions can­not be re­lied upon un­til the “smash and grab” de­cision.
    Time’s al­most up – have you pub­lished your mod­ern slavery state­ment?
    In 2015 the Mod­ern Slavery Act in­tro­duced the ob­lig­a­tion on cer­tain busi­nesses to pub­lish an an­nu­al mod­ern slavery and hu­man traf­fick­ing state­ment.   The aim of the state­ment was to en­cour­age busi­nesses to tackle is­sues of forced la­bour and hu­man traf­fick­ing.
    Res­id­en­tial prop­erty: Gov­ern­ment’s Right to Rent scheme is in­com­pat­ible...
    Land­lords, their agents and ten­ants will be di­gest­ing the news that the High Court has ruled that the Gov­ern­ment’s right to rent scheme is in breach of the Hu­man Rights Act (see Joint Coun­cil for the Wel­fare of Im­mig­rants v Sec of State for the Home De­part­ment).
    Double Fig­ures! Happy 10th Birth­day to EPCs
    In Janu­ary we wished a happy 10th an­niversary to the En­ergy Per­form­ance Cer­ti­fic­ate (“EPC”) in Scot­land.  In­tro­duced through the En­ergy Per­form­ance of Build­ings (Scot­land) Reg­u­la­tions 2008 (the “Reg­u­la­tions”), the EPC was de­signed to provide a source of in­form­a­tion.
    Wa­ter re­sources in­fra­struc­ture - Draft NPS
    On 29 Novem­ber 2018, the De­part­ment for En­vir­on­ment, Food and Rur­al Af­fairs (“DE­FRA”) re­leased a con­sulta­tion on its draft Na­tion­al Policy State­ment (“NPS”) for Wa­ter Re­sources In­fra­struc­ture. The draft NPS sets out a frame­work for DE­FRA and the Plan­ning In­spect­or­ate.
    Tele­coms: First com­pens­a­tion case un­der the New Code
    The Up­per Tribunal held that con­sid­er­a­tion pay­able by an op­er­at­or for the grant of a rooftop lease for a term of 10 years should be just £1,000 per an­num (EE Ltd and Hutchis­on 3G UK Ltd v The May­or and Bur­gesses of the Lon­don Bor­ough of Is­ling­ton ([2019] UKUT.
    Court of Ap­peal guid­ance on jur­is­dic­tion­al re­ser­va­tions in ad­ju­dic­a­tions
    We have re­cently re­por­ted on a Court of Ap­peal de­cision rul­ing on the abil­ity of com­pan­ies in li­quid­a­tion or sub­ject to CVAs to pur­sue ad­ju­dic­a­tion pro­ceed­ings against their cred­it­ors (see our earli­er Law-Now here).