Maria is an Associate in the Construction team.

Experienced in both contentious and non-contentious construction law, she advises clients throughout the construction process using commercial pragmatic advice. Supporting on litigation as well as drafting construction agreements and providing input across the range of industry contract suites including JCT and bespoke contracts, she has a particular focus on risk management and contracting guidance aimed at avoiding unnecessary later disputes

Her non-contentious expertise further includes drafting, negotiating and providing advice on professional team appointments, collateral warranties, letters of reliance, bonds and guarantees, NEC, JCT and bespoke forms of contracts. She also advises clients on schemes that involve banks and investment funds which often require security packages in respect of the construction documents.

Contentious experience covers construction litigation and dispute resolution. She has been involved in high value Part 7 and Part 8 claims involving structural defects and payment disputes. As well as being involved in adjudication, mediation and expert determination.

Working closely with the Residential Development and Commercial Property teams, she provides a range of support on larger transactions. This can involve advice on specific issues such as letters of reliance, as well as complex due diligence and development agreement negotiations on property acquisitions or funding arrangements.

She has a particular specialism in high-end commercial property development, which is subject to complex financing arrangements with third party investors. However, her main focus is on transactional work which include various projects involving mixed-use developments with value of the works from £5m to over £50 million.

Supporting funders, civil engineering contractors, major national developers and housebuilders (including modular housebuilder) her clients include Your Housing Group and Barratt Homes.

Examples of how Maria has supported clients include:

Non-contentious

  • negotiating and advising employers and contractors on construction procurement documentation, including a standard industry contract and bespoke form of construction contracts for a variety of single and mixed-use construction projects such as retail parks, hotel schemes, student accommodation, retail and leisure facilities, city council offices, care homes, office, residential schemes and industrial premises; and
  • providing procurement strategy advice, assessing the risk management on low and high value projects including a £50m mixed-use development.

Contentious

  • High Court and County Court proceedings including Technology and Construction Court cases which involve a successful £27m final account claim disputed by the main contractor. The sub-contract included the Structural Steelwork including associated design work and roof and wall cladding, again including associated design. The works were carried out at the Petrofac oil and gas plant, Sullom Voe, Shetland. The claim related to change order and approximately 1000 variations which increased the contract sum; and
  • various hospital disputes relating to design, erection and completion of a hospital as well as non-compliance with the Fire Strategy.