Rachel Gwilliam handles both non-contentious and contentious matters and is regarded by sources as "very good across all elements of construction law."”
Rachel has specialised exclusively in construction and engineering law since qualification and has over 17 years post-qualification experience. Rachel has extensive experience of drafting bespoke amendments to the JCT and NEC3 forms of contract and regularly provides client training on the successful use of these contracts.
Main areas of practice
Rachel has particular expertise in the conduct and defence of adjudication proceedings.
Rachel qualified as a solicitor into the Real estate team in 2001. In 2010, Rachel successfully completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Construction Adjudication at the Centre of Construction Law and Dispute Resolution, Kings College, London.
- Member of the Society of Construction Law
- Committee Member – Forum for the Built Environment, West Wales
- Member of the Technology and Construction Solicitor's Association (TeCSA)
- Appointed to the RIBA's Professional Conduct Panel in 2016
- Advising Cardiff University on the appointment of various consultants and a contractor for the design and construction of a new £300 million research centre, known as the "Innovation Campus". The innovative new buildings will house researchers in a range of fields, including semi-conductors and chemical sciences and will provide a base for start-ups working with the Medicentre at Heath Park. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-41330480 for details of this project, which is ongoing.
- Drafting a third iteration of the South East and Mid Wales Collaborative Construction Framework ("SEWSCAP3"). SEWSCAP3 is a four year framework agreement used by a number of participating authorities and public sector organisations in Wales in order to appoint pre-qualified and suitably experienced contractors to deliver the construction of both new and refurbished schools and other public buildings. Our Role: To update the suite of call-off contracts included as part of SEWSCAP3, including updating a suite of NEC3 Contracts to NEC4 and a suite of JCT 2011 Contracts to JCT 2016. In addition, we drafted additional call-off contracts, including amendments to the JCT Standard Building Contract with Quantities 2016, JCT Intermediate Building Contract with Contractor's Design 2016, JCT Minor Works Contract 2016, JCT Pre-Construction Services Agreement 2016, NEC4 ECC Option B, NEC4 ECC Short Contract and NEC4 PSC Short Contract.
- Drafting a bespoke development agreement and ancillary construction documentation (including building contract amendments and Collateral Warranties) for the design and construction of a new archives building for six local authorities (Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Vale of Glamorgan and the City and County of Cardiff). The clients had a limited available budget and required certainty with regard to their respective financial contributions. This was achieved by means of a guaranteed maximum price contract structure. We also ensured that performance specifications were included in the contract documentation to address the clients’ concerns regarding the effective and safe storage of valuable and sensitive archive materials.
- Drafting bespoke Framework Agreements, call-off contracts based on the NEC3 form of contract and ancillary documentation (Performance Bonds, Collateral Warranties, Parent Company Guarantees and deeds of novation) for a University’s four-year consultant and contractor frameworks.
- Advising South Wales Fire and Rescue Service ("SWFRS") on the two-stage procurement of a state of the art carbonaceous Compartment Fire Behaviour Training Facility. Drafting a bespoke Pre-Construction Services Agreement between SWFRS and its preferred contractor and the underlying form of contract (based on the JCT Design and Build Contract 2016 edition) to apply at second stage.
- Advising Cardiff University on the appointment of various consultants and a contractor for the design and construction of the new "Centre for Student Life", comprising a 550 seat lecture theatre, study space and retail outlets. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-38320359 for details of this project, which is ongoing.
- Advising a University Health Board on the construction issues arising from the Health Board’s pathology procurement programme and drafting a bespoke enabling works schedule for inclusion in a service provision contract. Rachel worked with the client to identify key risks and concerns (ensuring continuity of a critical hospital service, dealing with restrictions on access, dealing with restrictions on floor loading and ensuring co-ordination between different building trades within the confines of the site) before drafting an enabling works document to secure the timely and safe delivery of a new laboratory facility without disrupting on-going critical service delivery.
- Preparing an Overarching Agreement and ancillary contract documentation (service schedules and contract terms, KPI provisions, community benefit/employment and skills provisions, warranties and collateral agreements) for an 8 Lot long-term Wales-wide contractor procurement on behalf of Wales & West Housing Association ("WWHA") for the construction of new homes. The purpose of the contractual arrangement was to establish long-term partnering and collaboration between WWHA and its retained contractors and allow the parties to move seamlessly between scheme identification and feasibility analysis, pre-construction services and early contractor involvement in design to scheme construction and handover. In addition to advising on procurement and contract drafting, we also assisted the client at "roadshow" presentations to the market in North and South Wales to encourage market interest and participation in the tender exercise.
Very professional and personable, Rachel Gwilliam has 'extensive industry knowledge' and is particularly accomplished at handling adjudication work."
She provides balanced and realistic advice, encouraging negotiated settlement of disputes and taking control of outcomes.”
Insights by Rachel
Mr Philip Freeborn, Mrs Christina Goldie v Mr Daniel Robert De Almeida Marcal (Trading as Dan Marcal Architects)  EWHC 454 (TCC)
This case offers a salutary lesson for all architects (and other professionals): not only will a failure to record your client's brief (and agreed changes to that brief) clearly and...Read More
Eighteen months after 72 people lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire, combustible cladding has been banned from use in all new high-rise residential buildings. Partner Rachel Gwilliam explains...Read More