Engineering process & power case study

A project manager client, acting in effect as the construction manager on a large pharmaceutical project, faced a multi-million pound time and money claim from a mechanical subcontractor on the pipework subcontract. The pipework package was a substantial element of the works.

We were well aware that the subcontractor was busy preparing to launch an adjudication that would inevitably put our client on the back foot, and having to face a huge amount of new information on short notice. We therefore advised our client to launch its own pre-emptive adjudication on the extension of time claim alone. This took the other side by surprise. They chose not to put in any new evidence, over and above their existing delay expert’s report. The adjudicator, a well-known QC, found entirely in our client’s favour, and ordered the other side to pay his costs.

We followed this up with a second pre-emptive adjudication on quantum issues, where we had a large measure of success. Soon after this, the subcontractor proposed a compromise of the whole claim. The matter was negotiated to a satisfactory settlement.

Our client was thus able to show its own client, the plant owner, that it had protected their position. That enabled our client to maintain its reputation for sound project management.

Our experience and how we can help

We have acted on a wide variety of engineering, process & power projects, in both non-contentious and contentious matters, including in relation to pharmaceuticals, power plants and the food sector.

On the non-contentious side, the team has been involved in the drafting and negotiating both standard form contracts (such as IChemE, FIDIC and MF/1) and bespoke contracts, together with ancillary documentation, such as agreements on harbour usage, joint venture agreements and consortium arrangements.

Our experience in this field includes numerous biofuels projects and wind energy projects (on and offshore) both in the UK and abroad.

Visit our construction and engineering page to learn more, or contact our real estate team today.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.


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