Construction National

Magazine, Online Directory and Web Design Service


Last updateWed, 24 Apr 2019 12pm

Free advice to redress balance of power from construction giants

UK commercial law firm, Al Bawardi Critchlow, today launched a range of legal services specifically designed to enable smaller contractors and subcontractors in the construction sector to negotiate fairer contract terms with their larger employers. These services include free-of-charge, half-day workshops to educate subcontractors in the clauses commonly included in construction giants’ contracts, which could – if enforced – impact their cash flow, endanger their business operations, or even threaten their solvency. 

Construction industry contracts typically follow a standard form to ensure there is balanced allocation of risk between parties. In the UK, the most commonly used standard form contracts are issued by the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT). While large constructors issue these standard contracts, they are accompanied by a ‘schedule of amendments’ which tilts the balance of risk in their own favour. Such clauses include disproportionate penalties for project delays, fitness for purpose clauses, unreasonable payment terms, the right to change the scope of the work at any time, and inflexible terms around the build specification. Al Bawardi Critchlow’s workshops and associated services will help small contractors and subcontractors identify the clauses that present a particular risk to their operations, and help them negotiate fairer, more proportionate terms.

Led by Dr Julian Critchlow, founder and senior partner, Al Bawardi Critchlow’s team of construction law experts also comprises Arianne King, managing partner, Carl Asser, head of non-contentious construction, Diana Hird, senior consultant specialising in construction law, and Josh Kemp, senior associate. Between them, they have vast experience of advising and acting for construction clients of all sizes, operating both in the UK and globally.

“The giants of the construction industry have armies of in-house lawyers focused on reducing their contractual risk. For smaller subcontractors, with far fewer resources, this isn’t a fair playing field. Many end up agreeing to contracts that imperil their own businesses, just because they’re eager to remain of good terms with the firms that dominate the industry,” said Arianne King, managing partner, Al Bawardi Critchlow. “We’re offering these free workshops to redress this imbalance, giving smaller players the legal knowhow to negotiate deals that are reasonable to all parties and safeguard their own futures.”

Contractors and subcontractors with annual revenues of up to £50 million are eligible for a free-of-charge, half day workshop with the Al Bawardi Critchlow team. To register interest – or to find out more about Al Bawardi Critchlow’s forthcoming breakfast seminars for subcontractors – click here.

About Al Bawardi Critchlow:

Al Bawardi Critchlow is a full service commercial law firm headquartered in the City of London. Founded in 2016 by Dr Julian Critchlow, the firm provides legal services across a wide range of practice areas, with particular expertise in banking & finance, construction & energy and the public sector.

Its team, which encompasses personnel from a diverse range of backgrounds and is assisted by an established network of experienced international partner firms and consultants, offers clients access to ‘magic circle’ calibre expertise, all with a level of personal service associated with smaller, specialist law firms. Its international partners include Costigan Critchlow in New York as well as Dubai-based firms, Al Dahbashi Gray and Al Bawardi Advocates. 

Al Bawardi Critchlow’s experience spans commercial litigation, corporate & commercial transactions, alternative dispute resolution, foreign investment, fraud & white-collar crime, cross-border disputes, insurance, international & domestic arbitration, and restructuring & insolvency. For more information please visit