Associate - Contentious Construction - Birmingham

Location: Birmingham
Office:Birmingham
Discipline: Projects & Construction
Contact name: Aimee Kelly

Contact email: Aimee.Kelly@Mills-Reeve.com
Contact phone: 01612348727 (5727)
Vacancy reference: 016369
Published: about 2 months ago
Duration: Permanent
Closing date: 22 July 2022
Startdate: ASAP

What does the role involve?

We are looking for a specialist construction and engineering disputes lawyer to join our commercial construction and energy disputes team within the Birmingham office of Mills & Reeve LLP. As a member of our team, you’ll have the ability to assimilate large amounts of information, with a high technical content, and then with the support of others in the team, work out what is critical to success and how you are going to achieve it.

The role with us is a varied one as you’ll be working across a range of client industries and locations, and with a variety of different people helping them to contain and/or resolve their construction related disputes, which are often high value, factually and technically heavy and complex.   Typically, the role will involve, amongst other things:

  • providing written opinions and giving oral advice to our clients about the resolution of their matters.  This can involve advising on the merits and evidence as well as helping to formulate the appropriate strategy and tactics needed to achieve the client’s objectives;
  • advising our clients in relation to pursuing and defending claims brought under or in relation to the standard form contracts and bespoke forms of contract on the issues that habitually arise on construction, infrastructure and energy projects e.g. contract formation and interpretation, loss and expense, extension of time/delay claims, defects, payment, design liability and professional negligence;
  • representing our clients, whether as claiming or defending party in the various techniques of dispute resolution like adjudication, arbitration, litigation and forms of ADR, including where appropriate, representing clients at hearings, tribunals and court, providing the written and oral advocacy;
  • participation in client seminars/presentations/webinars, writing articles/blogs and involvement in client business development activities;
  • assisting with, and contributing to, the strategic direction of the practice and being part of a genuine high-performing team that values the culture of team and teammates 

You will be acting for a wide range of clients including owners/occupiers of assets/structures, employers, contractors, suppliers and consultants across a number of sectors.

 Why should I apply?

This is an ideal opportunity to develop your career with a highly ranked and award winning law firm, working within a small but effective team structure under recognised and leading construction disputes partners.  The work is varied and interesting and you will work on some high value claims.  The team are committed to providing clients with the best legal advice in conjunction with having a practical strategic understanding of the commercial risks and pressures specific to them.  As part of that team, you’ll have the opportunity to take on a leading role in practice and grow and develop your career accordingly. 

What experience is required?

You will be an associate at NQ level and above with experience gained in a City or regional firm. You will have a good background in construction dispute work and be able to demonstrate working as part of a team on cases. You will also be able to show an understanding of, and an interest in, helping to grow a team and a practice.

What skills and attributes would I need?

The role of a commercial construction disputes lawyer is a challenging one, but also very rewarding.  The necessary skills and traits needed to be an exceptional practitioner include the following:

  • Good academics – 2.1 degree or equivalent with good A levels or equivalents
  • Excellent written English for drafting purposes
  • Good technical legal skills with a sound understanding of contract, tort and statute law
  • Good IT and social media skills so as to operate as a modern, innovative and effective legal practitioner
  • Numeric with an ability to understand quantum claims
  • Precision and attention to detail
  • Capacity to work hard, with commitment and enthusiasm
  • Thoroughness and conscientious approach to work and career
  • Enthusiasm to participate in marketing and client development
  • Excellent interpersonal and team skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with others, influence and persuade
  • The ability to build good working relationships with clients and potential clients
  • Good research skills, including an ability to use online information sources
  • Presentational and advocacy skills
  • Enjoyment of the law, of solving legal commercial problems and working with a sense of humour.

Who will I be working with?

Whilst you will be based in our Birmingham office, working closely with the head of disputes practice,  Martino Giaquinto, and the wider disputes team, you would be part of our cross office Commercial Construction NSL, with lawyers based in Cambridge, Oxford, London and Manchester.  The NSL is headed up by  Kevin Lowe Kevin Lowe .

Pre-employment screening

Please note that, in the event that we make an offer of employment, we will conduct pre-employment screening that includes checks relating to your professional and academic qualifications, references from previous employers, your eligibility to work in the UK and any disciplinary history recorded with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). You will also be required to complete a self-declaration to assess your character and suitability. 

Disclosure and barring service check and security clearance

This post is also subject to a satisfactory response from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (to check for any previous criminal convictions) and, given the nature of the work-type, you may also be required to undergo national security vetting to SC level – the latter can be undertaken following commencement of employment. 

And finally

Mills & Reeve is committed to building a diverse workforce and fostering an inclusive environment in which all our people can thrive. We hire people from a wide variety of backgrounds because it makes our firm stronger, and we have a collaborative culture that celebrates different perspectives and values respect for one another, working together, and openness and integrity. Our approach to flexible working means that we work in a way that achieves the right balance for our people, our clients and for our business.