“The construction lawyer, Stephen James, knows his stuff inside out. Very methodical and pragmatic in his working. Assimilates information very quickly and advises very well.”
The Legal 500
Stephen is partner in the construction team, advising on a broad range of disputes.
With over 20 years’ experience and ranked band 1 in Chambers and Partners 2023, Stephen is able to minimise legal risk in a way that is cost-effective and is frequently recognised as a leading lawyer by legal guides, including Chambers and Legal 500.
Stephen is Secretary of Constructing Excellence Berkshire.
Chambers – Stephen is equally adroit at handling complex construction disputes, with a focus on back-end matters such as final account claims and defect issues.
If a problem arises on a construction project, Stephen can help you resolve it. His expertise covers a wide range of disputes from interim and final accounts to extensions of time, defects and professional negligence.
Clients include employers, developers, architects, contractors and specialist subcontractors. Stephen’s caseload spans adjudication references, arbitration, Part 7 and 8 litigation claims, mediation and expert determination.
Stephen is experienced in working with insolvency practitioners in all forms of insolvency procedures and a very wide range of applications. He also acts for individuals in bankruptcies and voluntary arrangements, as well as defending directors’ disqualification proceedings and wrongful trading claims.
Stephen has obtained and defended many injunctions, including the freezing of assets, preventing unlawful picketing, enforcing restrictive covenants and search orders.
Stephen’s wide experience allows him to offer external and in-house training to clients on many construction related issues, as well as risk avoidance, directors’ duties and product liability.
Read, listen and watch our latest insights
- 13 June 2022
Can a pay less notice apply to two applications?
The consequences of failing to serve a valid pay less notice can be severe. In the recent case Advance JV v Enisca, this led to the contractor being liable to pay its subcontractor £2.7 million more than it considered was the proper entitlement.
- 10 May 2022
Building Safety Act receives Royal Assent
The long-anticipated Building Safety Act (BSA) has completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent. The BSA, which is the culmination of reforms following the Grenfell fire tragedy, has both been described as ‘the biggest changes to building safety legislation’ and having ‘changed beyond all recognition’ from the Building Safety Bill first introduced.
- 02 March 2022
Claims for payment – when is it too late?
One of the first things you learn as a law student is that the standard limitation period for claims in contract is six years in the UK. But when do the six years start running?
- 11 June 2021
Agree terms before starting construction work
With time pressures on project delivery, getting the contract agreed before works start is a recurring issue in the construction industry. In the recent case of Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited v Van Elle Ltd EWHC 794, the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) held that works carried out by a sub-contractor before a sub-contract was executed were still subject to the terms of that sub-contract.
- 07 April 2021
Does a construction contract require a final account mechanism?
The recent case of JSM Construction Limited v Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) plc considers whether construction contracts require a final account mechanism.