Joanna Rees Partner

Photograph of Joanna Rees

Contact Details

“A strong construction lawyer who is unflappable and seeks solutions to issues.”

Chambers and Partners 2018

“The unflappable Joanna Rees has a strong reputation among UK-based clients, who appreciate her ability to put things into perspective.”

Legal 500 2017
Joanna is a partner in the Real Estate team, specialising in health and social housing; construction, development work, regeneration and issues of governance.   

Main areas of practice 

Joanna has worked closely with in- house contractor and Government and public estates teams.  A successful construction project requires a thorough understanding of the risks involved which requires collaborative team working. 

She also understands the difficulties that government and public sector estates team's face in providing a service to the end user, whilst maintaining strict compliance with the demands of accountability and transparency.

Significant experience 


  • Advising Isle of Man Government throughout the construction of the national Iris Sewage Treatment Plant.  Preparing the suite of bespoke contracts and agreeing professional appointments.  Advising on health and safety issues and the ultimate dispute with the contractor and successful defence of a claim for £9 million for loss and expense and delay and disruption.  The works attracted a significant amount of press attention due to nuisance and delay issues, all of which raised reputational issues and had to managed carefully.  This involved a presentation to Tynwald on options for dispute resolution and governance issues.  The dispute was ultimately resolved by conciliation which was a cost effective solution.


  • Working with University Estates Team over a seven year period from the initial build of a Bio Medical Research Centre including Cat 3 Labs.  Advising on design and installation defects, wrongful certification, remedial works, security issues, Final Account Settlement. 
  • Successful pursuit of claims of professional negligence and breach of contract against Architect and M&E Engineer.  Four party proceedings in the TCC resolved successfully at mediation.
  • Advising on construction issues for new campus development capital spend of £135m under NEC Suite of Contracts.  Advising on delay issues with the contractor, agreeing Deed of Variation and advising University Board on accountability and transparency issues.


  • Joanna worked with an NHS Trust estates team over a two year period on a new build of cancer care centre, including linac machines.  The works should have been straightforward however for reasons originally unknown, the contractor failed to reach the requisite standard for water quality.  This posed a threat to the safety of immuno compromised patients due to the existence of pseudomonas in the water system. 

Social Housing

  • Lead partner for construction matters on Coastal Housing's regeneration of High Street Swansea - Urban Village.


Articles by Joanna

Wales Online


Cardiff Capital Region reveals board members for its business council

The changing face of Social Housing – the big debate – CIH Torquay Conference


Members of Blake Morgan's Social Housing Team look forward to supporting CIH's South West Housing Conference in Torquay – the largest of its kind in the region.

Working for me


Growing Ambitions gives young people nominated by local social housing associations the chance to spend a week with Blake Morgan, gaining vital work experience and learning more about the world of business that will enhance their prospects of employment.

Related Knowledge & Resources

Chancellor announces changes to stamp duty land tax for first-time buyers but with no changes for the rest of the market

As had been hinted at over the weekend, in today's Autumn Budget, Phillip Hammond has announced changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax ("SDLT") to assist first time buyers to be known as "Discount Relief".

Do sleep-in shifts qualify for the minimum wage?

In HR Magazine, Holly Cudbill, considers the vexed question of whether employees who undertake sleep-in shifts are entitled to the national minimum wage (NMW) throughout the entire time they are asleep, or only when they are awake to carry out duties.

'What a load of rubbish!' - Fly-tipping on private land

With fly-tipping on the increase, private landowners are becoming more concerned about their rights and responsibilities. Our expert discusses the remedies for private land owners as well as the preventive measures that can be taken.

A Guide to Civil Penalties for Landlords

Nationwide (England) from 1 February 2016