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Our construction team has market leading expertise in tunnelling and complex groundwork related projects

Our work focusses on civil engineering projects within energy, transport, and infrastructure and we advise contractors, subcontractors, consultants and engineers, as well as employers, developers, and government agencies. This broad experience gives us a comprehensive appreciation of the environment in which our clients operate and a detailed understanding of both the commercial concerns and drivers at every level of the procurement and delivery process.

Our construction team has worked on many technically complex projects, advising on both disputes and transactional matters across a full spectrum of tunnelling related projects. These include power plants and hydropower, underground railways, road construction and airport infrastructure.

We have advised clients on tunnelling projects across Europe, South America and Southeast Asia, from procurement through to project delivery and disputes. This includes design and geotechnical issues, ground conditions, as well as major tunnel collapses and tunnel boring machine (TBM) procurement and failures. We work in conjunction with the insurance industry in relation to best practice for the management of risk for tunnelling projects.

Our partners are recognised as experts in both construction law and the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) forms of contracts, as well as the typical amendments required for the tunnelling industry. Our team is highly recommended by the independent directories that periodically review the legal market (Tier 2 in the Legal 500 UK 2021-2022 for contentious matters).

Our experience in Tunnelling

  • Acting for a South American subsidiary of a global power company in relation to a US$300million claim arising out of tunnel collapses forming part of a 120MW hydroelectric power project in South America, involving an in-depth analysis of geotechnical issues and risk allocation across the project documents.
  • Acting for one of the world's largest international contractors in relation to a US$288million dispute arising out of the collapse of a section of the headrace tunnel of a major hydropower project. The dispute involved allegations of defective design in light of the predicted and actual ground conditions encountered.
  • Acting for the main contractor in a claim concerning the refurbishment of a major road tunnel on a dispute valued at cUS$43million.
  • Advising a major contractor on claims arising under its subcontract for the signalling upgrade work which forms part of the London Underground, the largest project of its type in the world. Also advising the client on the renegotiation of its current form of subcontract (NEC3 Option A) and its conversion from a lump sum fixed price subcontract, into a price reimbursable form of subcontract (NEC3 Option E).
  • Advising an engineering consultant in relation to entitlements to payment and Compensation Events under an NEC Professional Services Contract relating to the upgrade of a metro station. Our work involved advising on adjudication and litigation under the NEC contract.
  • Acting for an international contractor in relation to delay and disruption claims on a US$800million roads construction project in Qatar. Claims were brought in the Local Courts and we acted in association with a local law firm on local law issues.
  • Advising an international civil engineering contractor concerning a dispute arising out of the construction of a new expressway in the Middle East on a dispute value equivalent of circa US$430 million.

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