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Anna Laney

Call 1998

"Her advocacy is first rate and her paperwork excellent. She manages complicated, intense disputes very easily and highly commendably."
(Chambers UK 2020)

Construction & Engineering

Anna has wide experience of acting in construction and engineer disputes both within the UK and overseas.

She acts for employers, contractors, sub-contractors and professionals, representing both claimants and defendants. Anna has dealt with claims for additional and defective work, extensions of time and prolongation, as well as allegations of negligence against construction professionals including architects, quantity surveyors, structural and process engineers.

Examples of recent work include:

  • Acting for tenant in relation to a multi-party dispute arising out of the construction of new “HQ” premises where project overrun was circa 2.5 years and where the budget overrun represented 50% increase.  Multi-faceted arguments concerning defects in the base build works that resulted in extensive remedial works that pushed out the completion date; consequences of a number of significant flood events; causation issues as regards nature and scope of remedial works to be undertaken; contractual obligations as between base build and fit-out works; allegations of default on part of Contract Administrator acting on behalf of the Landlord; issues concerning entitlement to rent pursuant to the agreement for lease.
  • Acting for contractor in relation to the construction of a new hotel in Abu Dhabi  Issues concerning scope of contractual obligations under the FIDIC Red Book Rules, instruction of additional works, independence of the Engineer as regards his decisions, causes of delay and disruption and valuation issues.
  • Acting on behalf of contractor in relation to a new development in Dubai where the employer alleged that the piling works were defective, preventing the development from being undertaken.  Arguments concerning the adequacy of the pile construction and responsibility for project delay.
  • Acting on behalf of contractor against novated architect where it is alleged the defective roof design resulted in water ingress necessitating wholesale replacement of the roofs to four office blocks.
  • Acting on behalf of contractor in relation to allegations of undervaluation of works in relation to the redevelopment of a railway station, where employer alleged it was entitled to withhold sums by way of liquidated damages in circumstances where the cause of delay was in dispute.
  • Acting on behalf of a contractor in relation to a dispute with a sub-contractor where allegations of fraudulently inflated applications for payment.
  • Acting for insurer in relation to collapse of a residential development built in a crescent arrangement. Insured was a labour only sub-contractor where competing causes of failure advanced. In addition, allegations about site management and bullying as regards instructions that were given (but not recorded) which were said to be causative of collapse. Claimant sought substantial damages for delay, which were not related to original collapse but need for substantial redesign and/or betterment.
  • Acting for insurer in relation to collapse of a listed facade at a prestigious development. Detailed arguments about cause and mode of failure, contributory negligence of Employer’s professional team, and policy coverage issues.
  • Acting for consortium in relation to defective design of earthworks by civil engineers resulting in delay and claims for costs of additional works and loss of profits.
  • Acting for earthworks contractor in relation to final account claim in respect of a new holiday park; main contractor counterclaiming over £1million for defective works and consequential losses.
  • Instructed as junior on a £10million claim for delay and disruption. Acting for piling contractor where main contractor alleged that the secant pile installation and associated ground works were defective.
  • Acting for developer against allegedly negligent architect who had failed to convert accurately planning drawings into working drawings: claims for losses arising out of differences between two layouts.
  • Acting for contractor where architect’s soundproofing design within blocks of flats was alleged to be negligent; issues about remoteness of damage and disputes about the appropriate remedial scheme.
  • Acting for process engineer in a claim relating to the design and construction of a fertilizer process plant in the Philippines, in particular the plant’s performance in certain weather conditions.
  • Acting for homeowner in a dispute concerning contracting parties involving allegations of deceit as builder / defendant asserted that he acted as agent for third party.

Selected Cases

  • Lulu Construction Limited v Mullaley [2016] EWHC 1852 (TCC) – Enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision finding that he had jurisdiction to award costs claimed under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
  • Jockey Club Racecourse Ltd v Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd [2016] 4 W.L.R. 43 [2016] 1 Costs L.R. 123 – Considers the requirements of a valid Part 36 Offer as to liability where quantum uncertain / in dispute.
  • Mul v Hutton Construction Ltd [2014] EWHC 1797 (TCC); [2014] All ER (D) 58 (Jun) – Interpretation of “appropriate deduction” for defects under cl 2.30 of JCT Intermediate Form of Contract (2005).
  • Glendalough Associated SA v Harris Calnan Construction Co Ltd [2013] EWHC 3142 (TCC); [2014] 1WLR 1751 – Concerns seeking injunctions in construction adjudications.
  • Pioneer Cladding v John Graham Construction PLC [2013] EWHC 2954 (TCC) [2014] CILL 3445 – Concerns circumstances in which a stay of execution may be granted as regards enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision where a sub-contractor had misled contractor as to its financial health.
  • SCI Azure Estates Ltd v Mullen [2007] EWHC 263 (QB) – Examines mechanism of contractual formation, intention to create legal relations and retrospective application of agreement.
  • Skanska Construction UK Ltd v Egger Barony Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 1914, (2003) CILL 1969 (Thorpe LJ, Latham LJ, Lawrence Collins J); [2005] EWCA Civ 501 (Buxton LJ, Dyson LJ, Maurice Kay LJ); [2005] EWHC 284 (TCC), (2005) CILL 2210 (HHJ Wilcox) – Claims and counterclaims arising out of the construction of a wood processing factory in Scotland, including arguments concerning extent of insuring obligations.
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Recommendations


“She is incredibly knowledgeable in construction disputes. I have been very impressed with both Anna’s technical knowledge and legal advice.”; “She is outstanding with clients and really puts them at their ease, giving a firm impression that she is on their side.”

Chambers UK Bar 2020

“A highly regarded junior.”

Legal 500 2020

“In court she was superb: in control and very attentive to the judge’s requirements.”

Chambers UK Bar 2019

“Enthusiastic, hard-working and a tremendous team player. She rolls up her sleeves and gets involved. She’s a very effective advocate…Proactive, commercial, clever and resourceful.”

Chambers UK Bar 2018

“A fabulous lawyer, who is great with clients and very responsive…Great at cutting out the waffle and putting matters in the right order to achieve results in hopeless cases.”

Legal 500 2017

“She’s quick to identify the commercial issues”; “as well as being a robust advocate she often finds the small point of detail which turns the case.”

Chambers UK Bar 2016

“Her swift focus is unsettling for opponents and commands confidence in her submissions”; “she tailors her approach to the specific case with a view to achieve the best outcome for the client.”

Legal 500 2016

“She is a team player who is robust and decisive and who provides very clear in advice.”

Chambers UK Bar 2015

“Expert across a range of fields, from ground works to engineering”; “a very good communicator who gives clear and straightforward legal advice.”

Legal 500 2015

“Tremendously enthusiastic, she is an energetic, hard-working and effective advocate.”

Chambers UK Bar 2014

“Sharp, authoritative and robust on her feet”; “a tremendous asset”; “a popular choice for construction related arbitrations.”

Legal 500 2014

“An absolutely excellent senior junior. She is always on top of things, has very good tactical sense, and if you see her name on the pleadings you know you’re in for a fight.”

Chambers UK Bar 2013


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