Construction Disputes Associate/Senior Associate (3+ PQE)
Join a team that makes real changes
Bevan Brittan is a UK-Top 100 commercial law firm providing a comprehensive range of legal services from offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and London.
The firm advises businesses across construction, energy & resource management, higher education and financial services, complementing the firm's market leadership within housing, local government and health & social care.
We currently employ over 500 people, including over 80 Partners, and our award-winning teams provide construction, commercial, corporate, property, regulatory, employment and litigation (commercial and clinical negligence) legal advice.
Bevan Brittan is named among 'The Times Best Law Firms 2023' and has recently either won or been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards.
We are driven by our 4 values: Relationships, Results, Reputation and Responsible. These give us a sense of purpose and ensure we always work collaboratively with clients and colleagues, continually improve, make the right choices and act with integrity.
Bevan Brittan is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applicants from all backgrounds.
The partners leading the contentious construction team are:
- Louise Robling, who heads the team and is based in Bristol. Louise is recognised as a "Leading Individual" in Legal 500 (where our Bristol construction practice is ranked in Band One);
- Judith Hopper, who is based in our Leeds office and specialises in PFI/ PPP and projects disputes. Judith is a recommended lawyer in Legal 500 (where our Leeds construction practice is ranked in Band Three);
- Sarah Wilson, who is also based in our Leeds office and works on a range of construction disputes, including a number of adjudications primarily on behalf of contractors. Sarah is also a recommended lawyer in Legal 500.
Our contentious team is based in Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds; our transactional colleagues work across all four of our offices. We routinely work across different offices and truly operate as a national team.
Bevan Brittan has strong recognition in the independent legal directories - Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. In both guides we are consistently ranked in the top tier for our practices across the UK, with multiple individuals recognised as leading lawyers.
"They are a great team to work with and have superb knowledge and experience in this market" Chambers 2023
"Excellent team led by Louise Robling, well known PFI practice and known for being instructed for the big disputes in this specialist area of law" Legal 500
"Judith Hopper is an extremely hands on partner, who gets fully involved with all her cases. Clients love her as she is highly organised and intelligent" Legal 500
"Sarah Wilson and her team were fantastic. I have worked with Sarah for over ten years. She is polite, professional and a great communicator" Legal 500
As our construction team continues to grow we are looking to recruit a new Associate or Senior Associate, based in our Birmingham, Bristol or Leeds office, to be part of the team working on contentious construction dispute resolution and advisory work.
The national construction team currently has 5 partners and has ambitious plans for future growth at all levels. You will be part of a team that advises a wide range of construction dispute matters, ranging from traditional final account/loss and expense type claims, to significant defect issues and PFI/projects disputes (PFI experience is desirable but not essential for the role).
Our panel appointments mean that you will have the opportunity to work on high value, complex instructions including local authorities, NHS Trusts and housing associations. The wider relationships within the construction team will also expose you to working within the wider construction industry, including developers, funders and contractors. Some recent examples include:
- A significant Court of Appeal win in relation PFI dispute resolution procedures
- A £30 million plus dispute for an NHS Trust arising from late completion, significant compensation event claims and defects on the construction of a high profile mental health facility;
- Multiple high-value claims arising from non-compliant cladding replacement at at 65 building high rise development in East London;
- A successful £23 million PFI highways adjudication for a local authority arising from previously certified milestones;
- A multi-million pound adjudication for a global engineering company in respect of a dispute over payments;
- Acting for a subcontractor in a contract adjudication under NEC 3, dispute resolution clause W1 for claim value of over £1m relating to additional time and cost
- Acting for an authority in examining the impact of the change in environmental legislation on the construction of an energy from waste PFI project, and the contractual responsibility for the capital costs to be incurred as a consequences, which are estimated at £30m.
What we are looking for from you
The successful candidate will have the ability to manage their own time efficiently, possess excellent drafting and legal analysis skills and have an ability to liaise effectively with clients. Most importantly we are looking for ambitious lawyers who want to take on challenging work in the development of their careers, and we are happy to consider candidates who are looking to work flexibly.
We are keen for our new recruit to actively engage in business development. The partners have ambitious plans for growth and so career prospects are excellent for the right candidates.
We welcome applications from candidates who are seeking a part-time rather than full-time position. There are no requirements in relation to a particular number of days in the office. We prefer our teams to have a high degree of flexibility to determine where they will work from based on client and team needs.
We offer a substantial benefits package to all employees, which includes 25 days holiday (plus the option to buy up to an additional 5 days), a generous pension scheme and private medical insurance through Vitality (including "phone a GP service", discounted gym membership and 'Vitality' Partner discounts).
All of our people are entitled to a biennial private health assessment through Nuffield Health and are included in the group life assurance scheme. We also have an Employee Assistance Programme (free telephone support and counselling service) and a cycle scheme (Save Tax & NI on a bike for cycling to work).
Where possible, we want to offer all Bevan Brittan people flexibility to work their week in a way that suits them - we operate a hybrid working model based on the needs of our clients, teams and that of the individual. Our core business hours are 9am - 5:15pm Monday to Friday, however we are open to individuals working more flexibly around those times and would welcome a conversation with you if you have any questions.
To us, being a responsible business is second nature; a core part of Bevan Brittan's identity, running through our culture and embodied by the clients we serve.
Bevan Brittan seeks to play an active role within its local office communities. Through regular fundraising events, support for local initiatives and annual charity donations at Christmas, we have established a culture of giving within the firm. In December 2021 we donated a total of £60,000 to our four regional office charities, with each charity receiving £15,000 to help fund their vital services.
Our current selected office charities are 1625 Independent People (Bristol), InUnity (Birmingham), and Maggie's Cancer Care (Leeds).
We want to demonstrate our commitment to these causes through actions rather than words; colleagues from across the firm are already heavily involved, living and breathing the four pillars of our Responsible Business strategy:
- Community Engagement
- Environmental Sustainability
- Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
Collectively, these four pillars ensure we look after our colleagues' wellbeing; offer an environment in which all can progress on merit, regardless of personal circumstances or background; give something back to the communities in which we work; and protect the environment.
Bevan Brittan is proudly a carbon neutral firm. We have achieved the UN's Climate Neutral Now accreditation and our environmental sustainability plan is focussed on achieving our net zero carbon target.
Each lawyer has the opportunity to undertake pro bono legal work for local charities and not-for-profit organisations. This has seen colleagues support the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (Bristol), Moseley Road Swimming Baths (Birmingham), Yorkshire Cat Rescue (Leeds), Great Western Credit Union (London), and several others.