Ed has been great to work with. He is knowledgeable and the level of service has been high.
Edward specialises in construction and engineering transactions – advising on risk and procurement issues at the non-contentious, front end of projects. He was shortlisted as ‘Solicitor of the Year – Private Practice’ (2015) by The Law Society, the independent profession body for solicitors in England and Wales.
Main areas of practice
Edward leads the transactional construction team in our Southampton office. He has extensive experience in dealing with commercial developments, funding agreements, different types of building contracts, consultant appointments, warranties and other security instruments encountered in construction.
Edward acts for a broad spectrum of clients from across the industry, including owners (public, private or charitable), developers, contractors, institutional funders, and consultants. He covers many sectors including cladding remediation, commercial development; retail & leisure; charities & education; banking & finance; plus central, devolved and local government. He brings a ‘can-do’ attitude to aligning the different interest groups involved on a project by understanding and respecting their needs and objectives.
Edward often advises owners and managers of high risk buildings, with an extensive portfolio of cladding remediation projects across England. He has acted for a range of retail and development clients (including Metro Bank, Lidl (UK) GmbH, Dover District Council, Test Valley Borough Council, University of Winchester and Rangeford) and he is seen as the natural choice for construction project work by many of these clients.
He has advised on large infrastructure and construction projects, including the $12bn Las Vegas Sands development in Macau; or the procurement of new contractor frameworks for a water utility provider in Southern England. Domestically, much of his recent work comprises freeholder (and leaseholder ManCo) defect rectification projects; leisure centres; commercial, residential or mixed-use development in the UK. Edward advises on procurement/delivery strategy and how to appropriately set risk allocation appropriate to a specific project. Examples of his experience include:
Procurement of cladding remediation to HRBs
Following the Grenfell tragedy freeholders and leaseholder management companies have acute awareness of the risks of defective cladding. They have been able to use Govt. funding from the BSF, the new Building Safety Act and traditional contract law principles to procure remediation work themselves, or increasingly from the original (‘Pledge’) developers who constructed the building(s). Edward assists directors and their professional team to put the necessary contracts in place, to consider ongoing risk issues, and to negotiate the terms of access and other duties required from developers. Where necessary, he works closely with dispute resolution, planning, property and property litigation specialist solicitors.
Assisting a UK devolved government with the creation and implementation of a contractual regime to encourage and enable developers to remediate local HRBs.
Public Sector and Leisure
- Advising Westminster City Council on the procurement of extensive refurbishment works to the Seymour Leisure Centre, Marylebone.
- Advising Dover District Council and its consultant team on the two-stage design-and-build procurement of a major new community leisure centre in Kent. He prepared the tender pack, including pre-construction services agreement, and negotiated with the preferred main contractor and proposed design team to deliver the D&B building contract, PCG, performance bond and collateral warranties.
- Working with the Local Government sector procurement team on a broad refurbishment and new build leisure strategy for Test Valley BC. Edward was deeply involved in preparing the DBOM construction elements of the bid pack and assessing modifications submitted by different bidders.
- Review and improvement of the fit-out procurement frameworks used by a prestigious sports and leisure club network. Understanding the client / contractor relationships and finding a commercial blend of risk sharing, mitigation and management.
- Advising local UK government on aspects of pre-let and speculative developments and mixed use regeneration projects at Bath Western Riverside and the Liverpool city centre Paradise Street Project. Taking a wider perspective and can-do attitude to harmonise the many different interest groups and bargaining positions.
Commercial development and infrastructure
- Advising on flagship city centre regeneration projects for the National Regional Property Group; first transforming Southampton’s old Fruit & Veg Market area and now the disused Lower East Street shopping area into much-needed B2R housing. Edward helped broker agreement between institutional funders, the developer client and the construction delivery team – including consultant and sub-contractors. These are excellent examples of introducing the private rental sector model to invigorate certain areas of the city.
- Advising scheme owners (and new owners) on the development of land in Wiltshire, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire in a series of high-end retirement community developments of 150 – 250 units. Finance and site acquisition, planning and construction needed to dovetail neatly.
- Major office projects such as the redevelopment of London’s Mondial House into the 50,000 sq/m Watermark Place; the redevelopment or construction of UK regional business parks (at Reading, Coventry, Guildford and Sevenoaks) as well as landmark buildings and specialist arts projects (such as the refurbishment of the Almeida Theatre, London and the construction of The Turner Centre, Margate).
- Assisting in delivery of premium car dealership showrooms in multiple locations for a well-known client. Negotiating the suites of construction contracts to satisfy forward funding investors and landlords.
- Advising on the construction aspects of Lidl’s purchase of a newly built £15m distribution centre at the Gateway development in Peterborough. Working together with our Property team, Edward reviewed and advised Lidl on the suite of construction documents, including an NEC3 Building Contract and the development agreement. We have since been instructed on several similar transactions for this client.
- Preparing procurement documents and NEC contract completion for the refurbishment works to the Wightlink ferry terminals in Portsmouth and Fishbourne. The complex nature of the engineering solution plus challenging environmental constraints meant appropriate risk assessment and allocation in the contract structure was critical.
- Advising the University of Winchester on several landmark project procurements to deliver new facilities of outstanding quality and innovative, sustainable design. We demonstrated our expertise at using the Southern Construction Framework and helped the client achieve outcomes that fit the University’s enhanced status as an important civic institution in the city.
- Advising an academy trust on the construction obligations in its lease with the local authority, and working with all parties to see that the FRI obligation could be safely passed by the council to the education institution without undue risk being taken by the charitable institution.
- Advising on purpose-built student accommodation developments near Bath and Oxford. Framework agreements and group-company involvement required careful alignment for potential investors.
Banking and finance
- Fast-track expansion of the new Metro Bank branch network, with complex projects sited all across the south of England and beyond. Edward often helps procure structural alterations to existing commercial buildings whilst maintaining good relations with the landlords and neighbouring tenants. Friendly efficiency is the hallmark of our client’s drive in this rapid roll-out of store openings.
- Advising a half dozen leading UK banks and lending institutions concerning multiple property development loans, site purchases and sales. Rapid, cost-effective due diligence analysis of construction documents and helping borrowers to satisfy funding conditions to drawdown.
- Advising on several construction final account disagreements and latent defect complaints; drafting appropriate settlement agreements.
- Advising the Hong Kong Government in an arbitration concerning piling problems and extensive delay at a school redevelopment in the New Territories, Hong Kong.
- Advising Las Vegas Sands on major construction arbitration in relation to cladding work delay and disruption. Heavily involved as the parties exchanged pleadings, undertook discovery and processed witness statements. We advised the respondent how best to issue a Calderbank letter and successfully concluded a settlement agreement shortly afterwards.
- Advising Las Vegas Sands on major construction arbitration in relation to disputed reinforcement steel order. Preparation of witness statements and the statement of defence. Issues included impossibility of fulfilling order and consequential loss under the governing law of the contract.
- Advising Las Vegas Sands on construction arbitration in relation to non-delivery of landscaping materials and disagreement over valuation of plants. Handling case correspondence, preparing draft directions and leading the discovery process.
- Advising UK property developer in connection with air-conditioning defects, subsidence issues and cladding failures at a commercial business park in Coventry. Drafting the dispute notice and successfully concluded a settlement agreement shortly thereafter.
- Assisting as a junior lawyer throughout a £34m adjudication arising out of the delayed construction of a PFI-procured detention centre.
Edward qualified in 2002 working in London (first for Linklaters and then for Berwin Leighton Paisner) before moving to Hong Kong (to join Minter Ellison). He joined our firm in April 2013 and was promoted to Partner in April 2017 – a reflection of his success in growing the non-contentious practice in Blake Morgan’s Southampton office.
- The Law Society (England & Wales) (qualified in 2002)
- The Law Society of Hong Kong (qualified in 2009)
- The Hampshire Law Society
- The Society of Construction Law
- The Southampton Property Association
- Committee Secretary, Constructing Excellence (Hampshire)
Edward is also qualified as a Hong Kong solicitor (non-practising) and spent 4.5 years working on major construction projects in that region. He has a master’s degree from King’s College, London in Construction Law & Arbitration. In 2018-19 Edward spent six months as part-time secondee for a regional UK water utility.
Edward’s paper won the 2008 Society of Construction Law Hong Kong Prize, with: ‘Love My Tender?’ The risk of Non-Reciprocation Remains, But Do Submitted Tenders Need To Be Considered Fairly?’ He regularly contributes to articles and thought leadership pieces put out by the firm on specialist construction topics.
"He is always very helpful; he makes time for my never-ending questions. He always answers his phone and emails, and attends meetings with clients on short notice. He is definitely making my job easier."
Edward won the 2015 'Solicitor Of The Year' award.
Insights by Edward
The issue of defective RAAC in schools and universities has been widely publicised since the beginning of the academic year in September 2023, but Local Authorities have been aware of...Read More
The redevelopment of one part of a building poses obvious construction risks to the remaining parts. For example, basement excavations in expensive London enclaves, fancy penthouse conversions to the top...Read More
When a person lacks the mental capacity to make important decisions, the Court of Protection can step in and appoint a "Deputy", to take decisions on their behalf. A Deputy...Read More