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Portrait ofSteven Williams

Steven Williams

Partner
Co-head of the Infrastructure, Construction and Energy Disputes Group
Lawyer

Contact
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
London
EC4N 6AF
United Kingdom
Languages English

Steven is a Partner and Co-head of the Infrastructure, Construction and Energy (ICE) Disputes Group. He has over 25 years’ experience of resolving some of the most high-profile construction and engineering disputes in the UK and internationally.  

His wide experience covers all forms of dispute resolution including: project advisory and forensic investigations, ADR processes, litigation and international arbitration.  He works for clients from all sides of the construction and engineering industry. His sector expertise includes hospitals; sports stadia; highways; rail; power; oil & gas; offshore windfarms; waste to energy; marine installations and commercial buildings (office, retail and residential).

Ranked by the latest edition of Legal 500 and Chambers as a Leading Individual and named in the Legal Expert Guides and Who's Who Legal: Thoughts Leaders Construction. Recognised as a leading practitioner in "The Legal 500 International Arbitration Powerlist" 2019.

Steven is a regular speaker and writer on construction related topics including speaker at the International Bar Association Conference.
 

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"adept in handling high-value disputes, both in the UK and internationally."

Legal 500, 2024

"Steven Williams has huge experience in complex and international dispute resolution within construction."

Chambers, 2024

"Steven provides excellent client service and is one of the best strategists I've seen in action."

Chambers, 2024

"Steven is very thoughtful in considering all aspects of a case and developing strategy from all angles. He's very responsive and well versed in international arbitration."

Chambers, 2023

"Steve is a commercial and pragmatic lawyer. He's transparent and open, recommending the best advice and ensuring there's always a consistent service."

Chambers, 2023

"A 'top-drawer lawyer who really understands the commercial realities clients face,' and also praise him for being 'great on litigation strategy'."

Legal 500, 2020

"benefits from a 'wealth of experience."

Legal 500, 2020

"First-class lawyer" Steven Williams maintains his excellent reputation for handling high-value construction disputes, especially those relating to the infrastructure and energy sectors. He is sought out by both purchaser and supplier-side clients for his “wealth of experience in the area.” Market sources also compliment his “sensible and firm style.”

Chambers, 2019

"excellent, proactive, sensible and pragmatic lawyer who is skilled at delving into the detail quickly and converting complicated issues to business-friendly and easily understood advice."

Chambers, 2018

"excellent strategist"

Legal 500, 2018

"He is very strategic, very considerate of cost and has a very keen commercial sense".

Chambers and Partners 2017

'excellent strategist'.

Legal 500, 2017

"Practice head Steven Williams has very good client skills"

Legal 500 2016

Relevant experience

  • AECOM in TCC litigation and forthcoming Supreme Court Hearing arising from allegations of negligent design and interpretation of new Building Safety Act.
  • Advising international data centre developer on project risk and claims in relation to development of its Amsterdam and Paris data centres.
  • Babcock & Wilcox on multiple DIA arbitrations seated in Copenhagen in relation to series of distressed UK energy from waste projects.
  • Lendlease in multi-party TCC litigation in relation to Cramlington hospital.
  • Acting for an international design consultant in relation to ICC arbitration proceedings arising out of Riyadh Metro project.
  • Arup in TCC litigation and in the Court of Appeal in relation to allegations of professional negligence arising from a regeneration site in Barry, South Wales.
  • Laing O'Rourke on claims relating to Willesden Junction upgrade rail project and resolution of final account dispute with Severn Trent Water of framework agreement.
  • Morzine Limited (JV between Shell, Greenergy and Vopak) on resolution of disputes relating to the reconfiguration of the Thames Oil Port refinery.
  • Willows (Waste Management Inc / Cory Environmental) on resolution of claims resulting from termination of energy from Waste PFI project.
  • Greenland (Chinese state-owned developer) on disputes relating to the Spire tower project.
  • BNP Real Estate on disputes arising from completion of development at Kings Cross Central.
  • Multiplex on project advisory and disputes advice on Principal Place and One Blackfriars developments.
  • Scottish and Southern Energy/RWE NPower – on LCIA arbitration proceedings arising out of Greater Gabbard Offshore wind farm.
  • Tristan Capital on warranty and indemnity insurance claim relating to defects in Stadlau shopping centre in Vienna.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Former Chair TECSA sub-committee on civil litigation.  
  • CEDR mediator and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • Member of the IBA and its International Projects Committee.
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Lectures list

  • A regular attendee of the annual IBA Conference and has spoken on international construction procurement issues.
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Education

  • LL.B, Southampton University, London
  • MSc, Construction Law and Arbitration, King's College, London
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Feed

13/03/2024
Supreme Court grants permission for URS appeal in landmark construction...
The Supreme Court has granted permission for URS Corporation Ltd to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of URS Corporation Ltd v BDW Trading Ltd [2023] EWCA Civ 772. The Supreme Court...
31/07/2023
Court of Appeal rules on Building Safety Act issues
A Court of Appeal decision handed down recently has considered a number of issues regarding who should pay for the remediation of historic defects, including issues arising under the Building Safety Act...
14/09/2022
Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments: An International...
We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2022 edition of our internationally focused Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments. Now in its twelfth year, the Annual Review summarises key developments in English construction law over the previous calendar year including developments in related common law jurisdictions. The publication has been prepared with our international clients in mind and aims to provide a greater degree of background and analysis than our regular Law-Now alert service. This year’s edition continues to be influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic and includes articles on frustration and force majeure claims, on-demand bonds and intentional breaches of contract. We also report on developments in relation to the law on liquidated damages, another topic of special interest in light of the delays to many projects occasioned by the pandemic. You can download a PDF version of the 2022 annual review below at the bottom of the page. Some of the previous annual reviews are included belowAnnual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2021Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2020Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2019Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2018Other Law Now construction content can be accessed on the Con­struc­tion portal of our Law-Now website found here. You can also find out more about CM­S' ex­pert­ise in construction and en­gin­eer­ing and in­fra­struc­ture.
17/09/2021
Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2021
We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2021 edition of our Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments: An International Perspective. Now in its eleventh year, the Annual Review summarises key developments in English construction law over the previous calendar year. The publication has been prepared with our international clients in mind and aims to provide a greater degree of background and analysis than our regular Law-Now alert service. This year’s publication contains a strong emphasis on pandemic-related issues, including challenges to calls under on-demand bonds, termination scenarios and cancelled projects. Also included are developments in the law as to design liability and indirect and consequential loss exclusions, continuing themes from previous years. You can download a PDF version of the 2021 annual review below at the bottom of the page. Some of the previous annual reviews are included belowAnnual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2020Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2019Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2018Other Law Now construction content can be accessed on the Construction portal of our Law-Now website found here. You can also find out more about CMS' expertise in construction and engineering and infrastructure.
17/09/2021
CMS Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments: An International...
We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2021 edition of our Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments: An International Perspective. Now in its eleventh year, the Annual Review...
21/07/2021
Post-termination liquidated damages: orthodoxy restored 
In a much-anticipated decision last week, the Supreme Court has overturned a Court of Appeal ruling on the application of liquidated damages for delay in termination scenarios. While ultimately the question...
11/08/2020
Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2020
CMS are pleased to announce the publication of the 2020 edition of our Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments: An International Perspective. Now in its tenth year, the Annual Review summarises...
11/08/2020
CMS Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments: An International...
We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2020 edition of our Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments: An International Perspective. Now in its tenth year, the Annual Review summarises...
18/06/2020
Supreme Court rules on insolvency adjudication debate
A Supreme Court judgment issued yesterday has overturned a Court of Appeal decision heavily limiting the ability of insolvency practitioners to commence and enforce adjudication proceedings against their...
28/04/2020
Indirect and consequential loss exclusions: English law holds the line...
A Technology and Construction Court decision last week has considered a direct attack on the traditionally narrow interpretation given by the English courts to indirect and consequential loss exclusion...
12/08/2019
UK Construction 2019 – What next? London 2019
CMS and Guy Shone of Explain the Market hosted a round table discussion on "What next for UK Construction?" with senior representatives from the UK construction industry in London. Participants noted...
31/07/2019
Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments 2019
The 2019 edition of our internationally focused Annual Review of English Construction Law Developments summarises the key developments of English construction law over the last 12 months. This edition...