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Portrait ofLaura West

Laura West

Senior Associate

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Saltire Court
20 Castle Terrace
United Kingdom
Languages English

Laura West is a Senior Associate in the construction disputes team. Laura specialises in resolving infrastructure, construction and energy disputes.  She works closely with clients to provide operational and strategic contract advice as well as advising when disputes have become formalised through a range of dispute resolution procedures including litigation, adjudication, expert determination, mediation and arbitration.  She has experience in advising on several contract forms including JCT, NEC, FIDIC and ICE as well as bespoke drafting and PFI/PPP forms.

Laura is dual qualified in Scots and English law and holds an Advanced Certificate in International Arbitration.  She teaches construction law to post graduate students at the University of Edinburgh and is the current Chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrator’s Young Members’ Global Steering Committee.

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Relevant experience

  • A utility company on avoiding and managing claims in relation to the installation of a GBP 1 billion subsea cable transmitting renewable energy involving complex issues of delay and extension of time.
  • A Dubai based oil and gas company in a USD 120million LCIA arbitration brought by its drilling contractor on a major onshore oilfield.  The dispute involved complex points of contract interpretation and tactics with a cross claim of approximately USD 190 million.
  • The developer of a large city centre hotel in pursuing its contractor and design team for latent structural defects.  Successfully settled at mediation.
  • A contractor in successfully defencing an adjudication brought by its M&E subcontractor in relation to the adequacy of payment notices.  
  • A local authority on disputes concerning deductions arising under a PFI contract involving key points of contract interpretation through an adjudication, court proceedings and a mediation process.
  • A contractor in successfully establishing an entitlement to an extension of time in respect of works carried out to a hospital.
  • A leading contractor in defending delay, defects and termination claims in arbitration amounting to circa £200m in respect of a waste to energy plant.
  • A contractor in a claim for additional costs arising from works to a pharmaceutical plant in an arbitration under the VIAC rules and governed by Austrian law.
  • A utility company in respect of serial defects for four onshore windfarm projects all under FIDIC yellow book.
  • An offshore oilfield services provider in defending claims of USD 56 million brought by its sub-contractor for post trenching and backfilling works in the Caspian Sea under UNCITRAL rules administered by the LCIA.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) 
  • Current Chair of the CIArb Young Members’ Global Steering Committee
  • Committee Member of the CIArb Scottish Branch
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  • 2017 – Admitted as a Solicitor in England & Wales (Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme) 
  • 2016 – Advanced Certificate in International Arbitration, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • 2014 – Admitted as a Solicitor in Scotland 
  • 2012 – Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, University of Edinburgh
  • 2011 – LL.B (First Class Honours), University of Edinburgh
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ICCA 2022
The ICCA 2022 Congress, the largest arbitration conference in the world will take place in Edinburgh on 18-21 September 2022. CMS Scotland is delighted to support the conference as platinum sponsors. 
ESG in Construction - a view from the market
In June 2022, CMS hosted a Roundtable event on “The impact of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations on the construction industry” with senior representatives from stakeholders in UK and overseas construction projects.  The discussion centred on how rapid developments in the ESG space are impacting corporations and the projects they are engaged on.  
Construction Focus On: Developers
Join us for a session looking at essential construction issues for developers, employers and owners in Scotland. We’ll be discussing how building contracts are reacting to world events and current market...
Supreme Court overturns stay of ICSID award
The Supreme Court has overturned the lower courts’ stay of enforcement of the ICSID award in the long-running case of Micula v Romania [2020] UKSC 5. Background The proceedings were brought by Swedish...
A new Age of Enlightenment in International Arbitration?
We are now less than 6 months away from when the ICCA 2020 Congress, the largest arbitration conference in the world and for which CMS is the platinum sponsor, comes to Edinburgh. As we count down to...
Innovation and Technology in International Arbitration: what lies ahead?
“Innovation and technological progress [is] more important to growth than capital ac­cu­mu­la­tion”.  - Adam Ferguson Is innovation and technological progress as important to International Arbitration...
When is a Scottish arbitrator’s decision “obviously wrong”? 
Summary The Court of Session in Edinburgh has refused leave to appeal in relation to an arbitrator’s decision. Leave was sought on grounds that the arbitrator’s decision was “obviously wrong”...
Permission to challenge an award is not always conditional on providing...
The English Court recently considered whether it was appropriate to require a Respondent asking for a stay of enforcement proceedings to provide security for the award pending the outcome of the Re­spond­ent’s...
Notice in Russian is ‘proper notice’ 
The Commercial Court refused to set aside an order allowing enforcement of a Russian award under the ICAC rules on grounds that the Notice commencing the arbitration served on an English Respondent, was...