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James Pickavance, Partner

James Pickavance


Practice areas

  • Commercial litigation
  • Construction and engineering
  • Energy and infrastructure
  • Industrial engineering
  • Infrastructure
  • International arbitration
  • Transport

Practice notes

James is a partner in our construction and engineering practice, specialising in dispute resolution. He leads Eversheds construction international arbitration practice.

He has experience of all forms of dispute resolution, in particular contractual and statutory adjudication (under the rules of the Scheme, TeCSA, CIC, NEC and bespoke rules), domestic and international arbitration (administered under the rules of the LCIA, ICC, DIS and SIAC), expert determination, mediation and litigation.

He advises public bodies, governments, international corporations and private clients on domestic and international, single or multi-jurisdictional disputes across a range of industry sectors including aerospace, defence, developments, energy, healthcare, hotels, transport and super-yachts. His country experience includes Azerbaijan, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Turkey, Tanzania, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.

James is a member of the Society of Construction Law and the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators. He is a committee member of the Adjudication Society. He is registered as a foreign lawyer in Scotland. He is a visiting lecturer at Kings College London University on the Construction Law & Dispute Resolution MSc. James is ranked as a leading individual for construction international arbitration in Chambers & Partners 2017 and 2018 legal directory. He is described therein as “exceptionally gifted and talented” and as someone "very thoughtful who likes to know all the detail to enable him to see the big picture."

James’s recent work includes acting for a:

  • Global manufacturing and industrial equipment supplier in relation to litigation concerning the construction of a processing plant in Saudi Arabia.
  • Chinese based oil and gas company, the world’s second biggest company, in relation to a dispute on a $11 billion oil and gas refinery project in Abu Dhabi, arising out of an EPC contract. The dispute is being resolved through ICC arbitration.
  • Multinational contractor in relation to an ICC arbitration arising out of a contract for the construction of the 'Chernobyl Arch'.
  • France based multinational energy company against a German manufacturer in relation to a €100 million dispute arising out of the design and construction of four biomass plants in Brazil. The dispute was resolved via DIS arbitration.
  • US based global testing company in relation to a £40 million dispute arising out of a wind turbine testing facility in North England.
  • Multinational design company against an international contractor in relation to a £15 million dispute arising out of alleged defects to a waste recycling plant.
  • Global design and consultancy construction and engineering company in relation to a dispute arising out of the termination of a FIDIC White Book contract for the design and construction of a multi-billion dollar development in Azerbaijan. The dispute is being resolved through ICC arbitration.
  • Developer client in respect of a £40 million adjudication arising out of a contract for the construction of 90 unit high-end apartment block in super-prime London.
  • Middle eastern developer in relation to a £2 million adjudication arising out of a contract for the refurbishment of a tower block in Mayfair, London.
  • Private client in a half a million pound adjudication concerning a claim for additional money for the refurbishment of a private dwelling.
  • Listed global property group in relation to a multi-million pound adjudication arising out of the design and construction of the Olympic Village in East London.
  • London public rail authority in relation to potential disputes on a £15 billion project for the design and construction of a new railway line across Greater London.
  • London public rail authority in relation to a £300m dispute arising from the construction and refurbishment of an East London railway line.
  • London public rail authority in relation to a £1.2 billion project to upgrade the telecommunications systems on the underground network. The dispute was resolved through an LCIA arbitration.

James has authored over 30 articles in various publications including the Society of Construction Law, the International Construction Law Review, Construction Law Journal and Building Magazine. Topics include concurrency, the prevention principle, nuisance, experts’ conduct, gross negligence, FIDIC, NEC, JCT, foreign investment in international construction projects, various aspects of adjudication, dispute avoidance techniques, the Jackson reforms, short form arbitration and expert and lawyer conduct in adjudication and arbitration. He contributed to the drafting of the 2013 CIOB Contract for Use with Complex Projects, the first new standard form of construction contract in over a decade.

James is author of the book A Practical Guide to Construction Adjudication, published by Wiley Blackwell in December 2015. Extracts of reviews from the book are as follows:

  • “I know of no other similarly comprehensive guide and it is a fascinating and illuminating source of reference.” (The Hon Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, Head of the Technology and Construction Court)
  • “Pickavance’s text is a practice tool at its very core. It presents legal intelligence in a way that makes it readily comprehensible and suited to the incidences of practice. It is well-suited for any adviser or decision maker in the construction industry, to whom I would recommend this book strongly.” (Professor Doug S Jones, International Construction Law Review)
  • “The name of Pickavance is a well-known and regarded one in disputes circles, and James is a chip off the old block. The book could perfectly well serve as a key resource for lawyers, construction claims consultants and adjudicators.” (Civil Engineering Surveyor)
  • “Solicitor James Pickavance has really come up to snuff. He has gone for a practical guide to adjudication. Pickavance is a partner at Eversheds: The firm can be proud of the book.” (Building Magazine)
  • “The author is to be congratulated on the practical and strategic guidance offered to those involved in the process at various levels this book certainly delivers it will prove a very useful too.” (Construction Law Journal)
  • “It is crammed with helpful commentaries on the practical aspects of Construction Adjudication. It is without doubt, in my view, that this textbook will be an essential addition to the library of the practitioner, and is a very useful reference point.” (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators)
  • “I warmly recommend this book to the construction industry, adjudicators and lawyers alike. Mr Pickavance and his publisher deserve to be congratulated on this achievement: kudos!” (Chartered Institute of Building)

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