Associate/Senior Associate

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PQE: 8 years +
Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Reports to: Eleanor Kilminster
Team: Construction
Location: London
The firm

Winckworth Sherwood is an exciting, diverse and growing business. Joining our team will see you work with some of the UK’s most interesting clients.

In the last year alone we have:

  • Worked on corporate transactions valued at over £3 billion
  • Advised our developer and social housing clients on over £1.6 billion of residential sales and over £1 billion of refinancings
  • Advised on HS2 which will see the development of over 330 miles of railway network with an expected £59 billion benefit to the wider economy
  • As if that wasn’t enough, we are also involved in the transformation of Battersea Power Station and act for the majority of London’s major Housing Associations who together own assets of over £17.3 billion.

However it’s not all about big numbers and high-profile projects; the real success of our business comes from the ability of our teams to provide fantastic service and create long-lasting relationships.

 

The team

The department currently has 2 Partners, 2 Senior Associates, 2 Associates, 1 Trainee and 2 Legal Secretaries.

This structure, as well as our in-depth understanding of the development market, enables us to provide a flexible approach to our clients’ requirements. Partners maintain close involvement with the team but all legal staff deal with clients directly, enabling them to continue to develop their skills and experience.

Client base and type of work

We specialise in both contentious and non-contentious construction. Our clients include residential and commercial developers and National House builders, investment funds, entrepreneurs and Housing Associations undertaking large high profile developments, urban regeneration projects.

The team works closely with other departments of the firm and forms part of the significant real-estate offering to clients. In addition to development projects, we also work on large infrastructure projects and have a particular specialism in renewable energy.

Our contentious practice covers the full variety of dispute resolution procedures including litigation, arbitration, adjudication and expert determination, on issues ranging from delay and final account claims to defects and professional negligence claims.

Aims of the department

To be the best in its field of expertise and provide good value for money.

Candidate specification

The successful candidate will have a strong academic background, be commercial and intelligent in their approach with sound drafting and presentation skills, a team player and ability to make the complex understandable. Previous experience in construction and in particular, construction in property development generally, with a respected firm is essential as is the ability to cope with an intellectually stimulating and varied workload. We are looking for a key member of the team who is enthusiastic and self-motivated.

Although a number of the team carry out a range of contentious and non-contentious work, we are willing to consider candidates that specialise in either contentious or non-contentious construction law provided that they otherwise meet the specification. Examples of the specific areas of expertise/ability we require are detailed below:

Non-Contentious

  1. Experienced in negotiating and drafting bespoke construction documentation, including performance bonds, parent company guarantees, collateral warranties and third party rights schedules.
  2. Experienced in negotiating and drafting bespoke amendments to standard forms such as JCT, NEC and others.
  3. Familiar with non-traditional construction procurement including construction management, management contracting and others.
  4. Understanding of insurance in a construction context.
  5. Effective project manager.
  6. Ability to advise and report effectively.

Contentious

  1. Confident dispute manager.
  2. Experienced in adjudication processes and advising on issues such as jurisdiction, the slip rule and enforcement.
  3. Experienced in conducting pre-action and TCC litigation and has a good understanding procedural steps and costs regime.
  4. Good understanding of construction law including related to delays, payment, and defects.

Career opportunities:

The department has an expanding, quality client base with significant opportunity for further development.  Winckworth Sherwood is committed to developing its lawyers through exposure to interesting and varied work combined with ongoing and supportive training programmes.

 

Recent work highlights

Non-contentious construction

  1. Advising Redrow Homes in relation to the design and construction of 2,900 homes in Colindale, North London over a 10-year period.  We were delighted to be appointed on this huge scheme by Redrow.  We have advised on the procurement structure, appointments of key designers and ensuring compliance with wider project agreements.  We have also advised on performance issues with designers, including negotiating fee reductions and additional fees where appropriate.
  2. Advising a developer on 4 projects for the conversion of office accommodation into residential accommodation to be used for private rental. The construction team, as part of the much larger real estate practice at WS, has an established name in the “PRS sector” and we are at the forefront of some of the major developments taking place in this sector.
  3. Advising Notting Hill Housing Trust on its role as lead developer in regenerating the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark.  We have advised on the overall development strategy, including amended terms to the development partnering agreement between Notting Hill Housing Trust and LB Southwark, to enable substantial works to commence on the first development site prior to the satisfaction of all pre-conditions.  The proposed regeneration of this notorious housing estate in Zone One has generated much public and political interest and the implementation of each phase of the project has had to be managed particularly carefully.  This is exactly the kind of high-profile, high-sensitivity construction project our team is well used to handling.
  4. Advising Barratt London on its large regeneration project with London Borough of Enfield for the development of 10,000 new homes (as well as a new school, new train station and other community facilities) on a former industrial site at Meridian Water.

Contentious construction

  1. Advising Fusion Lifestyle (which operates leisure centres in city and regional centres) on litigation (following successful defence of the claim in adjudication by the WS team) relating to claims arising out of the contractor’s delay and claims by the contractor for additional payment for allegedly extra work.
  2. Advising a contractor (providing engineering and demolition services) in high court litigation for disruption costs of approximately £1.5m resulting from the main contractor’s re-sequencing of phases of the project. We ultimately settled the claim at mediation. This involved forensic examination of the multiple causes of delay.
  3. Advising a UK-based billionaire on a significant financial dispute arising out of the £12 million fit-out contract of a penthouse owned on a long-lease.  Significant delays were caused to the fit-out works due substantial discrepancies between the design development drawings prepared by the landlord’s teams and the as-built shell and core works which were handed-over by the landlord.  Our client’s design team (led by interior designer Remi Tessier) was forced to re-design large areas of the penthouse.  Our construction law team advised in the preparation and submission of a detailed claim for an extension of time and associated damages flowing from the breaches of an agreement for lease by the landlord.
  4. Advising an employer developer on its high court claim against an asbestos consultant. The claim is linked to the consultant’s failure to identify asbestos during its pre-construction survey, which resulted in significant health & safety issues and delays to the construction programme.