Michael is a Partner in the Construction team specialising in contentious construction covering adjudication, arbitration, court proceedings and ADR (conciliation, mediation and expert determination). He qualified in 1991 and has since specialised in construction law.
Michael’s expertise includes working with clients, contractors, sub-contractors and consultants, particularly in the health, education (including R&D) and energy (renewables) sectors. He has advised in respect of domestic and international construction projects having worked abroad in the 1990s.
Michael joined Clarke Willmott in 2015 after working at SGH Martineau LLP (formerly Martineau Johnson) Birmingham and the SRA.
Michael is ranked as a recognised expert in construction law in Chambers Legal Directory and has lectured widely on construction law.
Michael advised a public authority in connection with the resolution of a long running dispute over the design and construction of a landfill repository. The local authority had inherited the repository (and a suite of contracts based on the ICE forms for engineering contracts) following the dissolution of an urban development company and, soon afterwards, discovered serious defects in the repository’s design and construction. Michael’s work extended to assisting the authority in managing the legitimate concerns of the local community that boarded the repository particularly following an earlier accident at the site. The case was resolved by the payment of damages to the local authority that were used to remediate the problems so as to avoid continuing risk to the local population. The site is now run successfully as a wildlife sanctuary in an otherwise urban area.
He acted for a multinational construction company in resolving its claim against and defending a cross-claim by a sub-contractor over the design and installation of works at an R&D facility in Oxfordshire. The dispute was, following a number of references to adjudication, resolved finally by way of arbitration proceedings. Those proceedings involved a series of multi-million pound claims and cross-claims but nevertheless were completed within the 6 month period for arbitration as provided for in the parties’ sub-contract. Michael lead a team of solicitors, barristers and expert witnesses to achieve a positive outcome for the client within the contractual timeframe.
Michael acted for a specialist sub-contractor in connection with its dispute with an overseas main contractor. The dispute arose following the collapse of the property market in Eire and involved, at the time, the single biggest property development in Dublin. Michael lead a small team of lawyers who, with the client’s own senior management, achieved a settlement following a conciliation and prior to the start of arbitration proceedings.
Michael has advised a high net worth individuals in respect of disputes arising out of domestic building projects. In each case he provided a hands-on approach, leading a small team of lawyers and experts to ensure that his clients were not put to even more discomfort and stress. His approach was warmly welcomed by his clients because, in many cases, the dispute had the potential to ruin their dreams of building their ultimate home.
His 20 plus years of specialising in construction law has also given Michael extensive experience of all forms of construction procurement. In this regard, he has drafted construction contract documentation for new campus projects in the FE & HE sectors, for renewable energy projects (wind, solar and geothermal), and PFI/PPP projects (education and health sectors). He is known as a ‘hands-on’ lawyer which, on one occasion, included him having to sit on the office floor with a Government adviser to collate (post financial close) the PFI contract documentation whilst everyone else drank champagne.