Services | Projects and Construction

By: Philip Lee Solicitors  05/12/2011
Keywords: law, Public Procurement

In this area, Philip Lee offers ‘tactical and strategic advice’, with managing partner Philip Lee singled out as ‘extremely experienced and affable, but able to display steel and tenacity’, while Damien Young is an ‘excellent motivator and quick thinker’.” – Legal 500

Our Projects and Construction team has worked on some of the largest infrastructure projects in Ireland, including the East-West Electricity Interconnector, the Dublin Bay Sewerage Project, the Dublin Port Tunnel, Greystones harbour and marina ppp, Dublin Port Tunnel, the M50, and the James Joyce Bridge. Our comprehensive service covers all facets of a construction project life cycle ranging from environmental assessment, planning and procurement, through project documentation, advice in the context of project administration and finally dispute resolution. The firm advises clients at all levels of infrastructure and development work including consultants, contractors, sponsors and procuring bodies and has a particular expertise in advising public sector clients on large, medium and small scale public infrastructure projects.

For large scale projects, the firm is particularly experienced with the FIDIC form of contract and development in the context of Ireland’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) program. Partners Philip Lee and Damien Young are regularly invited to lecture and write articles in this area.

Public Procurement Law

The firm is well renowned and widely respected as a leading Irish specialist on public procurement. This team is lead by Sarah Johnson, who is particularly highly regarded in public procurement, and is known for assisting public bodies in designing and implementing innovative but compliant procurement strategies. The firm have advised on the tender procedures for works, supplies and services contracts in a wide range of sectors, including local authority, health, waste, education, marine and tourism. On a number of occasions, we have argued the interpretation of the relevant EU Directives in the European Court of Justice as well as in the Irish courts. Our expertise and depth of experience enables us to design robust and innovative competitive tendering procedures that are resistant to challenge.

Our broad experience of acting for private sector sponsors, project lenders and the public sector means we understand what is required to balance the needs of the public and private sectors, allowing us to develop contracts that keep PPP projects moving forward.

Our firm regularly publishes and presents at conferences and lecture on procurement matters. In the last 12 months, Philip Lee presented a paper at the 1st Interdisciplinary procurement Symposium on Public Procurement in Rome on 6 and 7 June 2011 which was hosted by the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen, and the Faculty of Economics of the University of Rome. On 8 April 2011 Philip chaired, by invitation, a Whitepaper Conference on Awarding Public Contracts Lawfully and Skilfully within the Procurement Rules. Sarah Johnson has lectured on procurement issues in Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Public Affairs Ireland, and the Forum for Public Procurement and the Construction Industry Federation. In April 2011 she delivered a paper to the Irish Society of European Law Public Procurement Forum entitled “Secondary policies: social and environmental considerations”.

Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Development

The firm’s market leading Planning and Environmental team, led by Alice Whittaker, has advised on the planning and environmental assessments and consents required for many complex, novel, large scale and strategic infrastructure investment projects in the State, applying both EU and domestic law requirements.

PPP and Project Finance

The key to successful project work in this area is an understanding of what risks can and cannot be transferred and knowing whether that risk transfer is bankable. Our extensive experience has given the team a clear insight into these issues, having advised on over 400 major projects. As a result our clients find that project negotiations become efficient, concise and non-adversarial. Our advice is friendly, accessible and has the benefit of a long history of success and specialist experience.

Energy Projects

The firm’s energy practice is led by three partners, Philip Lee, Andreas McConnell and Alice Whittaker, all of whom bring different areas of expertise to the practice.

Philip’s considerable EU energy, regulatory and construction law experience means our energy clients like SEAI, marine and wind energy developers and associations benefit from his knowledge of developments in energy policy and regulations. He is passionate about sustainable energy policy and is chairman of the Irish Green Building Council (

). Andreas McConnell brings considerable transactional expertise to the team, advising on the trade sale and project finance of wind farms and other renewable energy projects.

Alice Whittaker, a planning and environmental specialist who is ranked Tier 1 in the Environmental Law category within Legal 500 (2011), and is noted in Chambers Europe 2011 for her

“impressive knowledge of energy, environmental and planning issues.”

, feeds into the team on any matter touching her area of specialisation. She advised the National Offshore Wind Association, NOW Ireland, on the proposed designation of offshore sand banks as candidate Special Areas of Conservation and the likely impact that such designation would have on offshore wind farm projects. Alice has also advised on geothermal development, district heating and bio energy production facilities, as well as waste to energy, biomass and bio-waste projects.


The firm’s project and energy work has been underpinned by its construction practice, which is at the core of most of the projects in which the firm has participated in this sector.

On the non-contentious side, the team’s experience covers drafting and advising on contracts for building and engineering works at all tiers, contracts for design consultancy services, project/construction management services, FM/OM services, collateral warranty documentation and agreements for all facets of PPP project work, property development, energy and infrastructure provision.

On the contentious side, the firm has advised in a variety large scale and complex disputes arising out of some of the most significant construction projects in the country’s history, representing both public and private sector clients in construction disputes of a diverse nature. We have successfully acted as advocates in conciliation and arbitration proceedings arising from construction and civil engineering contracts, and provide strategic and commercial advice to drive an expeditious resolution of conflict and minimise the impact on projects.

Keywords: law, Public Procurement

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