Our people

700 professionals at Knights service 10,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.

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Joe Bellhouse

Partner
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Joe Bellhouse

Partner

Joe is a Partner in the Construction team.

Joe advises on the procurement and structuring of  construction and engineering projects.  He negotiates and drafts agreements to cover all aspects including development, construction and engineering works, professional appointments, project security, supply arrangements, operation and maintenance, utility supply.

Joe works regularly with JCT building contracts in connection with commercial property projects and other standard form agreements, including NEC, FIDIC and MF/1 contracts for the supply and installation of electrical and mechanical plant and civil engineering projects.

With a background in dispute resolution, Joe is able to steer clients around potential problems and suggest strategies for early management of contract problems and disputes before they throw a project off-track.  He can also provide support in connection with formal proceedings including adjudication and arbitration .

Joe’s focus is on (i) commercial property projects including offices, hotels, sports stadia, business parks, distribution facilities and warehouses, data centres and mixed-use developments, and (ii) engineering projects including civil works, infrastructure and process plants in renewable energy generation projects involving solar and hydropower.

Joe works for a range of clients, including McDonald’s Restaurants, Arcadia Group, Body Shop International, SMEG (UK) Ltd, Frasers Property UK, MEPC, Topland, 3M, London & Argyll Group Nuffield College Oxford and Christ Church College Oxford.

Recent examples of how Joe has helped clients include:

  • drafting and negotiating the main works contract for a real estate investment company in the development of a 15 megawatt solar park near Aylesbury;
  • advising on procurement and drafting and negotiating a number of works and maintenance contracts and professional appointments for building works and the installation of an advanced garment handling plant for a fashion retailer at a large warehousing facility in the Midlands;
  • drafting and negotiating professional appointments and design & build works contracts and security documents in relation to a complex major refurbishment of Cheltenham House in Cheltenham with multiple existing and new tenants.;
  • drafting and negotiating professional appointments and design & build works contracts and security documents on a large number of commercial developments on Milton Park Oxfordshire for MEPC including a development to be occupied by cancer immunotherapy specialists, Immunocore; and
  • negotiating utility infrastructure agreements with  independent distribution network operators in respect of gas and electricity upgrades and supply to land at Silverstone Park Northamptonshire and also electricity upgrade and supply at Milton Park Oxfordshire, in each case for MEPC.
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Deborah Ritchie

Partner
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Deborah Ritchie

Partner

Deborah is a Partner in the Construction team.

Deborah advises property developers and occupiers, investors, construction contractors and professionals in negotiating and drafting development agreements, standard and bespoke building contracts (JCT, NEC3, MF/1, IMechE, GC/Works), professional appointments, collateral warranties and construction finance documents.

Deborah also advises on the resolution of disputes over construction projects, by mediation and adjudication or litigation.  She is an experienced advocate before the Technology and Construction Court and Arbitrators.

Deborah has been involved in projects as diverse as residential housing, primary health care, and green energies.

Recent examples of how Deborah has helped clients include:

• ensuring that a construction company in dispute over defective work did not have to pay for testing costs, limiting their resources and funding their opponents case, by obtaining an injunction to prevent adjudication proceedings on the testing costs -Twintec Ltd v Volkerfitzpatrick Limited [2014] EWHC 10 (TCC);

• settling a dispute for a contractor with a university over construction delays and disruption; and

• ensuring a Derbyshire house builder could proceed confidently with a large development by creating a suite of agreements covering construction management, collaboration and infrastructure, consultant appointments and collateral warranties.

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Mike Waring

Partner
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Mike Waring

Partner

Mike is a Partner in the Construction team.

In addition to advising on a wide range of transactional issues in construction, Mike specialises in cost-effective strategies for managing, negotiating and settling construction disputes, with experience across all aspects of dispute resolution, including negotiating settlements, pursuing and defending adjudications and arbitrations on behalf of clients, or through proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court.  Mike's background as an engineer gives him an acute understanding of the pressures and challenges experienced throughout the supply chain.

Mike advises employers, developers and other professionals, but he has particular experience of acting for contractors and sub-contractors involved in complex heavy infrastructure, power generation, rail and renewable energy projects.  Clients include ISG, Npower, Enterprise Managed Services, Amey and Alstom.

Recent examples of how Mike has helped clients include:

• achieving a successful outcome for a national infrastructure contractor in a high-value dispute concerning civil engineering services provided by a subcontractor, in the process avoiding substantial liabilities by providing strategic and practical advice on technical aspects of the NEC3 contract;

• securing the revenue stream of a start-up energy company selling waste-to-energy power by negotiating and amending an EPC contract based on the IChemE red book form of contract and other ancillary documents; and

• defeating claims of up to £30 million against a major energy supplier, preventing further claims and exposure regarding a high value power station environmental upgrade by strategically employing court proceedings based on the correct interpretation of an EPC contract.

Recent reported cases include:

• Dawnus Construction Holdings v Amey LG Ltd [2017] EWHC B13 (TCC)
• ISG Retail Ltd v Castletech Construction Ltd [2015] EWHC 1443 (TCC)

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Ben Denton

Senior Associate
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Ben Denton

Senior Associate

Ben is a Senior Associate in the Construction team.

Ben advises on the procurement and structuring of large construction and engineering projects, dealing with contract terms, professional appointments, security documentation, insurance and warranty obligations, supply arrangements, operation and maintenance, infrastructure, power purchase and estate management.

Ben works with JCT standard form agreements, MF/1 contracts for the supply and installation of electrical, electronic and mechanical plant, development agreements and bespoke arrangements for large developers and construction companies, renewable energy generation through wind farm development and solar power plant construction.

Ben also advises commercial occupiers on lease and licence terms, ensuring appropriate warranties are in place to mitigate exposure for design faults under repairing obligations.  He provides in-house training on the legal consideration that arise in the context of major projects, including interpretation of construction documents.

Ben’s experience of major projects includes the construction of the Walkie Talkie building and Canary Wharf Crossrail Station and the redevelopment of the Shell Centre on the South Bank.

Ben’s clients include McDonald’s, Arcadia Group, Mothercare, Moss Bros, business and science parks specialists MEPC, property development and business parks owner Frasers Property UK and global real estate investment company Patrizia Immobilien.

Recent examples of how Ben has helped clients include:

  • supporting Orange in the development of their new headquarters in Slough by advising the project team during negotiations for the build contract and explaining the new JCT insurance provisions;
  • guiding Frasers Property UK through the development and refurbishment of their portfolio of business parks in the South of England;
  • supporting MEPC in the construction of a purpose built multi-use building for cancer immunotherapy specialists, Immunocore, on their flagship science and business hub at Milton Park in Oxfordshire; and
  • supporting major retailers in the negotiation of lease terms to include appropriate warranties to cover design faults requiring repair which would otherwise fall on them to rectify.
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Steve Webb

Senior Associate
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Steve Webb

Senior Associate

Steve is a Senior Associate in the Construction team.

Steve acts for employers, contractors, developers and professionals in both non-contentious and contentious matters.

As a member of the non-contentious construction team, Steve has experience drafting, negotiating and advising clients upon all forms of construction contracts and ancillary documents, building contracts and professional appointments; and regularly reviews and advises upon construction contracts as part of Knights’ contract review service. Steve’s experience includes advising and assisting clients on potential claims and different forms of dispute resolution including adjudication.

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Bethan Brewer

Solicitor
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Bethan Brewer

Solicitor

Bethan is a Solicitor in the Construction team.