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Joanna Smith QC

Call: 1990    QC: 2009

+44 (0)20 7306


Joanna’s experience in the field of construction arises primarily in the field of the professional liability of construction professionals. Over the last few years she has:

  • Advised and appeared on behalf of M&E engineers in substantial multi-party litigation concerning the design and construction of the Northern Triangle building at the Emirates Stadium (2016).
  • Advised and attended mediation in a dispute involving the alleged breach of a Joint Venture Agreement in Qatar (2016).
  • Given a joint Opinion to parties in a proposed contribution claim over the proper interpretation to be given to an earlier TCC judgment (2016).
  • Advised and appeared on behalf of M&E contractors in a £multi-million multi-party dispute concerning alleged defects in the development of Broadway Plaza in Birmingham: CIP Properties (AIPT) Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd & Others [2015] EWHC 1345; [2015] BLR 285 and [2015] 1 ALL ER (Comm) 765
  • Advised and appeared on behalf of Carillion in three related adjudications concerning the maintenance and repair of a portfolio of hundreds of properties pursuant to the terms of a Service Partner Agreement and then in a subsequent action in the TCC to enforce the adjudicator’s decision (2014/2015).
  • Advised and appeared on behalf of a specialist flooring contractor in a multi-party case worth (it is said) £170m involving the design and installation of an internal steel reinforced concrete floor slab and the piles beneath it at a substantial warehouse in Avonmouth. She successfully obtained a permanent injunction for her client in that case precluding one of the other parties from commencing adjudication proceedings on grounds of jurisdiction (Twintec Ltd v Volkerfitzpatrick Ltd [2014] EWHC 10 (TCC).
  • Advised in a substantial procurement claim against the Cabinet Office (2014).
  • Acted in a substantial claim by a property development company against its contractor and structural engineers. This case settled shortly before trial. For the judgment in the preliminary issue application see Aldersgate Estates Lt v Ham Construction [2013] CILL 3321.
  • Acted in an ICC arbitration against French and Saudi employer entities on disputes arising from the termination of a contract for the fabrication and construction of four gas treatment centres in Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised and appeared on behalf of a specialist flooring contractor in a multi-million pound dispute over the design and construction of an external concrete slab at a Sainsburys distribution centre.
  • Advised project managers in a multi-million pound claim for delay arising out of the construction of a flagship store in West London.
  • Advised and appeared on behalf of a specialist flooring contractor in a multi-million pound dispute over the design and construction of an internal concrete slab at a B&Q Distribution Centre.
  • Advised a design and build contractor on the terms of a chain of contracts pertaining to the design, construction, financing and operation of police investigation facilities, and in particular as to whether certain clauses are capable of being avoided on grounds that they are penal.
  • Advised a contractor involved in works at a major railway station on the potential for injunctive relief.
  • Advised a firm of chartered building surveyors in respect of a substantial claim in negligence arising by reason of a fire at a building owned by the claimant.
  • Advised in respect of a multi-million pound claim in negligence against engineers and specialist sub-contractors involved in the construction of wind turbines.
  • Advised a specialist contractor in respect of a substantial claim in negligence over the design and construction of an in-vessel composting facility.
  • Acted for a building contractor in respect of a claim in negligence arising out of differential settlement occurring on an industrial site.
  • Acted in a three day arbitration pursuant to the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines concerning a construction contract for a substantial residence on Mustique.
  • Advised on a £100m plus claim against numerous construction professionals in respect of the collapse of a railway tunnel at Gerrards Cross (which settled at the pre-action stage).
  • Advised and appeared on behalf of a contractor in a complex claim for damages arising by reason of negligence on the part of its engineers in choosing an innovative and untested form of surfacing for a warehouse yard.
  • Advised a charitable institution in a claim against architects arising from their negligence in project managing the construction of a synagogue.
  • Advised and appeared on behalf of electrical engineers in a substantial claim by Charterhouse School arising out of the installation of a new heating system.
  • Advised and appeared in a multi-million pound claim by the Environment Agency against a firm of hydraulic engineers in respect of a flood alleviation system.

Joanna is a member of the SCA (The Society of Construction Arbitrators – view profile)