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Job Title Contentious Construction Solicitor/ Legal Executive (2-3 years PQE)
Job Location Exeter
Department Construction & Infrastructure

The role

We are seeking to recruit an experienced Solicitor or Legal Executive (2-3 years PQE), to join our busy and highly regarded Construction & Infrastructure team. The role will be based in our Exeter office but you will be expected to work closely with members of the department based in our London, Bristol and Taunton offices. You will report directly to the Partners, together with one of our Senior Associates, and play an integral part in a variety of matters, with a focus on contentious construction and infrastructure work.

Typical workload will include construction & infrastructure related dispute work involving court litigation, adjudications, arbitrations, mediations and other forms of ADR, including disputes over payment, delays and defects, claims relating to professional negligence and advice on contract management and dispute mitigation strategies. Workload will be across a wide range of construction projects and sectors, including commercial development, renewable energy, residential, operation/maintenance/service contracts and facilities management. The department has been involved in several reported cases in recent years.

The department works on a wide range of international, national and regional matters for private and public sector clients across multiple sectors, including housing, retail, transport, waste, energy and renewables. Our clients range from private individuals, owner developers, start-ups and SMEs to local authorities, national contractors, funding institutions and large multinationals. We are proud to work with prestigious clients which include household names and listed companies. In order to meet their needs and to ensure that each client receives an exemplary service, you can expect to work collaboratively with colleagues in the Construction & Infrastructure team and where appropriate with other teams such as Commercial, Planning and Insolvency.

You will be working directly with clients from the outset and we will expect you to have a good level of experience of advising on construction disputes, including experience of the court litigation process. We will provide training on any specialist areas which are new to you and will generally support and enhance your development as a construction lawyer within a supportive and experienced team with its own specialist PSL. We will expect you to be enthusiastic to expand your skills and knowledge. We pride ourselves on our ability to develop our people, and as such, you will be responsible for dealing with complex, high quality, high value work and will be afforded high levels of responsibility from the outset.

About You

An excellent communicator with proven technical and organisational skills and a cooperative team player, you will be accustomed to providing accessible, commercially-focussed and pragmatic advice to clients and working under pressure to meet deadlines. You will already have a firm grounding in contentious practice within a construction and/or infrastructure context, although we will consider candidates with clear and transferrable skills and experience gained from more general commercial dispute resolution. With an eye for detail, you are meticulous and thorough in your work and are already accustomed to assisting with larger and more complex disputes in your current role, as well as advising clients directly on lower value claims and contract interpretation. Ideally, you will have gained experience in some of the most commonly used JCT and NEC forms of contract, as well as professional appointments from a contentious perspective. You will have experience in a variety of construction based disputes or claims involving related professional services. In addition to litigation under the CPR, you may have been involved in adjudications, arbitrations and expert determinations.

Our relationship with our clients is paramount. You will be able to demonstrate your ability to build strong and lasting relationships with clients and show a genuine commitment to their business needs. Being self-motivated and ambitious, you will be keen to learn more about the construction and infrastructure sector and possess the drive to help us continue to grow and develop our business. In this dynamic market, clients will be looking to you to be up to date regarding the latest policy and legal developments affecting the construction and engineering industry and, as such, you will need to demonstrate an interest and enthusiasm for this area of the economy and its wider implications for our clients and the department's business. In return, as well as supporting your professional development through regular training, we will help you to grow your professional networks and profile and to capitalise on business development opportunities.

About Us

We are proud of being a professional and collegiate firm where we want our people to enjoy working together to achieve great results. Working for Ashfords, you can expect to be provided with excellent training and development opportunities, in order to further your career in a stimulating yet supportive, forward thinking firm. We're ambitious - for ourselves, and for our people - and want to support you to realise your full potential, whilst enjoying a positive work-life balance in a beautiful South West location.

You'll also enjoy our range of flexible benefits, which include:

  • Pension
  • Life Assurance
  • Private Health Insurance
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Discretionary bonus scheme
  • 25 days annual leave, all bank holidays plus your birthday off and an extra day at Christmas. Your holiday entitlement increases with length of service.
  • Holiday Purchase Scheme
  • Childcare Voucher Scheme
  • Enhanced Maternity & Paternity Pay
  • Free Legal Services to Staff: Including wills and conveyancing
  • Medicash: Health care cash plan for employees


During these uncertain times, we have continued to work together to ensure that our people feel safe, supported and able to achieve our usual high standards of work, for each other and for our clients. With wellbeing being our priority, we have adapted our ways of working to ensure that new and existing colleagues get the support they need, when they need it. Interviews are taking place via Microsoft Teams and induction processes are being coordinated remotely at present, to enable people to begin working for us from home until such time as it is possible to return to the office. In the meantime, we have adapted our office environments to ensure they are 'Covid secure', if people do need to attend the office.

We will continue adjusting our approach as things change, so please do feel free to ask us about our response to the Covid-19 pandemic during our recruitment process, if you would like to know more.

Find out moreā€¦

For an informal and confidential discussion about this opportunity, please contact Charlotte Ferguson, Recruitment Manager, on 01392 333854 or via email: c.ferguson@ashfords.co.uk

Or apply now, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

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