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Building Disputes

When costly events occur on building projects, even the strongest of relationships can be tested.  We recognise that your objective is likely to be securing the best possible outcome in the shortest possible time, with the minimum of damage to key working relationships.

Building disputes can quickly become expensive and time-consuming but we aim to help you find timely and cost-effective ways of resolving your dispute which are proportionate to the amount of money involved by providing clear, balanced advice that enables you to negotiate any problems and helps prevent them from escalating.

Often, formal proceedings can be avoided by the appropriate use of pre-action protocol procedures, round-table meetings with your opponent, the commissioning of an expert report, or the use of an alternative dispute resolution procedure.  Where these do not work we are effective, tenacious litigators.

Often, claims will involve the quality of work, time overruns and the meaning and interpretation of contracts.  We have acted for clients in claims ranging from the quality of work relating to the erection of a domestic conservatory or an extension to disputes involving multiple defects with residential blocks of flats and commercial premises. Our clients have included contractors, sub-contractors, owners and developers.

We pursue and defend claims relating to building projects by way of mediation, litigation, adjudication or arbitration.

Contact one of the team today to see how we can help.

Laceys are recognised in the Legal 500, an independent guide to leading law firms in the UK, for their Property Litigation expertise.

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    Meet the Team

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    Rob Kelly

    Senior Associate — Dispute Resolution

    Direct dial: 01202 377871

    Email

    Rob Kelly
    • “I've worked with a fair few lawyers over the years and Rob Kelly is the most on the ball and efficient lawyers I've ever come across. I'm looking forward to working together for many years to come.”

      Roger Woodall CEO - Diamond Sporting Group

    • “I have had the pleasure of working with several members of the team at Laceys regularly over a period of years. I found Rob Kelly in particular, who worked on a successful litigation case for me over a period of several years to be outstanding in all aspects of the work he undertook, and the manner in which he did it. I now consider him a friend. I would not - and have not - hesitated to recommend Laceys to my family and friends, and continue to use them for all legal matters.”

      Dan Collins

    • “ I just wanted to thank you for your great work on the professional negligence case and other cases you have represented Indian Ocean and Tiien through the last few years.”

      Mehdi Vahdati, Director and Proprietor - Indian Ocean (Bournemouth) Limited

    Rob practices in two main, complimentary areas of work – contentious wills, probate and trust disputes, and property disputes.

    Contentious wills, probate and trusts

    More than half of Rob’s time is spent dealing with the contentious aspects of wills, probate and trusts, an area in which he has practiced continuously for over 20 years.  He advises and acts in disputes relating to wills and inheritance, trusts, the duties of trustees and personal representatives, and the administration of estate.

    Rob’s practice embraces:

    • Personal representative and trustee disputes (including personal representative and trustee disagreements, removals / substitutions and alleged misconduct)
    • Disappointed beneficiary claims
    • Will disputes (where the validity of a will is challenged on the grounds of undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of a will, and fraudulent calumny)
    • Financial provision claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
    • Proprietary estoppel claims
    • Disputes about the proper construction, and rectification, of wills
    • Caveats
    • Professional liability claims arising from the preparation of wills and trusts and the administration of estates

    He has mediated (either as appointed mediator or as a representative) dozens of disputes involving contentious wills and probate issues.

    Property disputes

    The other side of Rob’s practice is contentious property work.  This embraces:

    • Residential and commercial landlord and tenant disputes
    • Disrepairs
    • Repairing covenants
    • Possession claims
    • Lease termination and lease forfeiture
    • Dilapidations
    • Service charge disputes
    • Interpretation and enforcement of leasehold covenants

    Rob’s style is a mix of listening, asking (tough) questions, diplomacy and reality testing. He’s interested, flexible, and pragmatic. He offers a common sense, realistic approach to assist his clients in searching for solutions to their disputes and brings straight talking and integrity to his work.

    Rob is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.  He holds an LLB (Hons) degree in law.  He successfully completed training as a mediator under the ADR Chambers / Harvard Law Project Scheme in June 2006, was one of the first mediators to have been appointed an IMI Certified Mediation Advocate in the UK with a commercial practice, and is a member of the Civil Mediation Council.

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    Brendan Herbert

    Partner — Dispute Resolution

    Direct dial: 01202 377810

    Email

    Brendan Herbert
    • “Brendan has been really great on a whole range of professional negligence issues. I highly recommend him.”

      Cressida Granger, Perspex Pension Fund/Mathmos Ltd

    • “Brendan is an excellent support and shows empathy when dealing with difficult situations. He explains clearly costs and possible outcomes and makes me feel like I have somebody on my team.”

      Jacqueline Entwistle

    • “Always professional and prompt on a wide range of legal matters.”

      Matthew Hornsby

    Brendan has a BSc in Zoology and Psychology from the University of Liverpool, and went on to obtain his Post Graduate Diploma in Law, and Legal Practice Course at the College of Law (now the University of Law), in Chester.  Brendan completed his training with a national firm in Manchester and London, and was admitted as a solicitor in 2005.

    Brendan is part of our Dispute Resolution Team, working with both private individuals and businesses to either avoid or resolve disputes. With over 10 years experience he has helped clients deal with a wide variety of issues from professional negligence claims and breach of contract disputes, to more specialist areas including construction disputes, intellectual property work, licensing applications and inheritance claims.

    Brendan has a very approachable manner, and places great importance on client relationships. He enjoys tackling all matters directly, and always looks to provide clients with practical, cost-effective solutions. Outside of work Brendan runs a hugely successful music festival in the Cotswolds.

    When he is not knee-deep in mud at a festival, he enjoys travelling (especially in Africa, where he worked as a safari camp manager for a year),  golf, photography and getting out and about in the Dorset countryside.

    To find out more about Brendan being described in the 2021 Legal 500 as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ and what this means to him here;

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