The academic, sporting and residential facilities that a university can offer to its students, staff and the wider community are important ingredients in the success of that institution. Accordingly, there is a continuing pressure on higher education institutions (HEIs) to undertake projects to either update the HEI's existing facilities or build new ones.
Such projects, however, represent a significant investment in both time and money for a university and any disruption in the completion of the project, or operation of the facility, can have a detrimental impact on planned academic programmes or anticipated revenue streams.
Our specialist construction team can provide you with comprehensive legal advice at each stage of the project, from outline planning and design through to completion, to guide you through the process and manage the construction risks.
Our construction team advises a number of HEIs and draws on broad experience gained in a wide variety of roles in the construction industry, including city law firms and architectural and engineering practices. We add value to your project and provide cost effective, commercial advice which is tailored to meet the specific requirements of the higher education sector.
Our experience in advising on building and engineering contracts allows us to guide you through the range of possible procurement strategies available to you, to advise you on the advantages and disadvantages associated with each strategy and to assist you in selecting the most appropriate strategy to deliver your project.
Our detailed knowledge of the standard forms of building and engineering contracts, such as the JCT, NEC, ICE and FIDIC contracts, allows us to tailor these standard forms of contract to manage construction risks and meet your specific requirements.
We regularly advise both clients and consultants upon the meaning and effect of the standard forms of professional appointment.
Our extensive knowledge of the RIBA, RICS, ACE and other standard forms of appointment ensures that we can provide you with clear and cost effective advice on the appropriateness of proposed terms of appointment and give you guidance upon the current benchmark terms in the sector.
We can also advise if a particular clause is likely to be acceptable to any third parties, such as any party providing funding in respect of the project, and on the procurement of collateral warranties in respect of these parties.
We understand that construction disputes are expensive and can ruin critical relationships between the parties and accordingly our initial advice focuses on dispute avoidance.
We actively promote various forms of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, conciliation and expert determination and our team includes trained mediators who can use their experience to resolve disputes through negotiation before a situation becomes entrenched.
In some instances, however, despite the best efforts of the parties involved, disputes can arise. In such circumstances our team offers highly skilled commercial advice to provide the most efficient and cost effective method of resolving the dispute, whether by adjudication, arbitration or litigation.
Our team holds regular sessions with clients and professional bodies such as the RIBA, RICS and the CIOB to provide updates on developments in the law and to provide training on specific issues such as the administration of new forms of contract or dispute resolution.
VWV have a well-deserved strong reputation within HE sector. They are subject matter experts on equality and diversity and are quick to update on latest reviews and case law. But their real strength is their ability to correlate likely implications and actions needed by HEIs by their developed understanding and knowledge of Higher Education institutions.