Construction 2019: Future Leaders

For the first time, we present our Future Leaders in construction law, featuring 53 partners and 43 non-partners who stand out for their excellence across the sector. Their expertise runs the gamut of construction-related matters, from contracts and regulatory issues to project development and complex commercial disputes.

Methodology

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.
 

Partners

Most Highly Regarded
1. Ben Mellors HFW, London
2. Mikal Brøndmo  Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS, Oslo
3. Dan Preston  Fieldfisher, London
4. Rupa Lakha Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, London

Leading Firms

White & Case

This full-service global law firm sees four partners highlighted as future leaders in the construction sector.
In Sydney, Brad Strahorn draws high praise from market sources in our research this year, and is highlighted for his impressive work advising on a range of infrastructure and energy-related projects.
Elizabeth Oger-Gross is “a very smart and clear-thinking lawyer” who is applauded by sources for her “exceptional writing skills”. One peer effuses: “She is very knowledgeable with respect to the legal and the strategic and technical aspects” of large-scale construction disputes.
Clare Connellan is “a very talented disputes lawyer”, say peers, one of whom adds, “She is particularly knowledgeable in the field of complex construction disputes.”
Daniel Garton is credited by market commentators for his “impressive” work across the construction sector, most notably when it comes to handling complex disputes in international arbitration proceedings. 

Pinsent Masons

This international full-service firm performs well this year with four partners listed here.
Stacey Collins is a firm favourite among clients who note, “He is quick to spot the critical issues and explain them simply.” One source imparts: “He understands contracts and their relevance to what is happening on the ground better than any other lawyer I have met."
Charles Blamire-Brown is “a determined, broad-minded young lawyer” who focuses his practice on a range of advisory and contentious matters across the construction sector, from contracts and projects to arbitration proceedings.
John​ Williams gains recognition from market sources for his first-rate work on litigation and adjudication proceedings. One client says, “He provides commercial and practical advice, delivered in a reasoned and logical way."
Sam Boyling is well thought of by interviewees for construction matters relating to project development. He is well versed in handling related disputes in litigation, arbitration and mediation.

Other Leading Individuals

Australia

At Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Airlie Fox is recognised by sources as “a technically excellent contracts lawyer” who “really knows the market” and is “super-dedicated to her projects”.
David Ulbrick at HWL Ebsworth impresses sources with his “dedicated and client-focused” approach. His practice spans a range of construction-related matters from infrastructure projects to dispute resolution.

Austria

Thomas Anderl at Wolf Theiss has “in-depth knowledge of the construction industry and FIDIC contract clauses” affirm clients. He is recognised for his “outstanding” work on real estate and construction disputes.

Brazil

At L O Baptista Advogados, Marlon Shigueru Ushiro Ieiri is “an extraordinary lawyer” say clients, one of whom adds, “His main strength is the dedication that he gives to each project.” He wins further praise for his “unflappable and rock solid” approach.

Canada

At McMillan, Jason Annibale wins widespread recognition from market sources for his first-class practice which spans construction disputes, PPPs and transactional matters.

England

At HFW, Ben Mellors is “an excellent lawyer” who regularly advises clients on infrastructure projects and disputes. He is known for his impressive knowledge of FIDIC contracts.

Dan Preston at Fieldfisher is highly sought after by clients who consider him “extremely knowledgeable and responsive, calm under pressure and commercial in his approach”. One source effuses: “Dan is one in a million.”

At CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, Robbie Leckie stands out for his work in high-profile cases in construction, particularly those related to the energy sector.

Rupa Lakha at Charles Russell Speechlys is “a rising star at partner level” who is regularly engaged in advising clients on the drafting and negotiation of construction contracts, as well as representing them in contentious proceedings.

DLA Piper’s Edward Shaw is praised by clients, one of whom describes him as “a very clear thinker and communicator with a strong understanding of the particularities that surround a construction claim”. Another adds, “He has the ability to quickly understand the client’s position, advise on options and communicate succinctly in a calm manner.”

Kwadwo Sarkodie at Mayer Brown International wins plaudits from sources as “a clever and hard-working lawyer” who stands out for his “impressive presentation and communication of the legal framework and argument”. 

France

Valentine Chessa at Castaldi Mourre & Partners gains widespread recognition from peers across the European market for her work in construction, which focuses on arbitration proceedings. 

Hong Kong

Donovan Ferguson at King & Wood Mallesons is “a very impressive lawyer” and “standout partner” who is frequently engaged in advising clients on construction and infrastructure disputes in litigation and arbitration.

Ireland

McCann Fitzgerald’s Stephen Proctor focuses his practice on a wide array of construction-related matters from projects, including adjudication and other contentious proceedings.

Norway

Mikal Brøndmo at Advokatfirmaet Haavind receives widespread plaudits from clients who “think very highly of him and regard him as one of the best” for construction issues. One respondent comments: “He is always very well prepared and delivers clear and straightforward advice.”

Romania

Dan Gorcea at Baier & Gorcea is “a very responsive and hard-working lawyer” who “explains complex laws simply”, according to peers, who commend his strong knowledge of FIDIC and its application in Romania. 

Sweden

At AG Advokat KB, Anders Skagg is “a true future leader” according to market commentators who endorse him as “great on contentious matters” relating to the construction sector.

United Arab Emirates

Stephen Burke at Baker Botts “has a growing reputation” in the construction market as a great name for disputes, thanks to his “fantastic advocacy skills”. 

USA

Maslon’s David Suchar is an impressive trial lawyer whose practice spans the spectrum of construction matters from insurance to payment claims. 

Non-Partners

Most Highly Regarded
1. Zulfikar Khayum Atkin Chambers, London
2. Eliane Fischer  Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Vienna

Leading Firms

Atkin Chambers

This set enjoys a leading reputation at the UK Bar and sees three barristers recognised here.
Zulfikar Khayum is a “really bright and hard-working counsel” who stands out for his “exceptional attention to detail”. Respondents say, “He really drives legal strategy well and towards a positive outcome.”
Mark Chennells focuses his practice on complex commercial disputes, often in the construction and engineering sectors. He wins high praise from peers, one of whom says they were “very impressed with him on the other side”.
Camille Slow is a “very commercial and bright” barrister who sources comment is “very intelligent and articulate in terms of output of written work”.

Keating Chambers

This set sees four barristers commended for their excellence in the construction sector.
William Webb is “very highly thought of” among market commentators who note he is “involved in some of the most important cases in the TCC”.
David Sheard is “absolutely brilliant” and “has a great intellect” according to respondents who endorse his impressive written and oral advocacy. One silk adds, “He is a pleasure to lead.”

White & Case

This full-service international firm sees two non-partners recognised for their impressive work across the construction industry.
Dimitar Kondev is “an extremely intelligent and diligent practitioner” who “always keeps his focus on the practical issues” and possesses “deep insight into cross-border issues”.
Rebecca Major is well known for her work on international engineering and construction projects, areas in which she is considered among peers as an up-and-coming name. 

Other Leading Individuals

Australia

At 7 Wentworth Selborne, Mark Sheldon is “the best junior construction barrister in New South Wales, if not the country”, according to one client who adds, “He often thinks outside the box to come up with very clever solutions to complex legal problems.”
Nuala Simpson is held in high regard by market commentators who laud her “excellent reputation on major projects disputes”.

Austria

Eliane Fischer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is “well versed in running multi-jurisdictional teams” applaud sources who praise her “sharp legal mind” and “strategic thinking”. One client considers her “a brilliant lawyer from any perspective”.

Brazil

Caio Gabra at Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados “has great experience in the negotiation of EPC contracts” impart sources who credit his “excellent legal argumentation” and “pragmatic approach to finding solutions”. 

Canada

At Borden Ladner Gervais, Hugh Meighen is “a diligent and hardworking lawyer” who stands out for his leading work in construction arbitration. One source describes him as “an arbitration superstar in Canada”.

England

Arwyn Jones at Pinsent Masons is well versed in handling a range of contentious and advisory construction matters, often in relation to international projects.

At 4 Pump Court, Kate Livesey is a widely recognised name in the construction space where she is held in high regard for her excellent work in related litigation and arbitration proceedings. 

Hong Kong

Calvin Cheuk at Des Voeux Chambers is “an extremely hard worker who really gets into the detail” of a case say sources, who compliment his “meticulous drafting and preparation”. They add, “He is easy to work with, grasps the complex issues quickly and distils the details down to what is really important."

Korea

At Kim & Chang, Dong-Seok Oh stands out as “a future leader” in the construction space who focuses his first-rate practice on complex litigation and arbitration proceedings across a range of sectors.

Netherlands

At Van der Feltz advocaten, Susanne van de Pest is applauded for her “ability to cope with complicated matters and remain calm during hectic situations”. Sources also highlight her “great sense of dedication towards the matter at hand”. 

Qatar

Paul Bradley at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is “an extremely good lawyer” recognised for his top-notch handling of disputes arising from major international construction projects.

Spain

At Hogan Lovells International, Silvia Martínez Sastre wins widespread praise from sources, one of whom comments, “Silvia is a very competent lawyer with significant experience in construction arbitration.”

United Arab Emirates

At Gowling WLG, Courtney Rothery is “a rising star” in construction law according to market commentators who add they are “very impressed with her handling of complex cases”. 

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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