Christopher James Reeves

Christopher James Reeves

Chris spent his early career on construction projects following his initial apprenticeship as a site carpenter. After studying building technology with contract administration and measurement at the local technical college, Chris progressed to membership of the Chartered Institute of Building before developing an interest in law.

Chris’s passion for resolving building disputes ultimately forced a change in career into legal practice. After qualification as a solicitor and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, he developed his construction law practice with regional law firms before setting up Reeves James in 2020 to service the clients with whom he has a close following.

Alongside the legal practice, Chris has also developed a specialist construction mediation practice and co-authored the award winning Guide to Construction Mediation for Constructing Excellence South West.

Chris was appointed to the adjudication panels of the RIBA and RICS and regularly acts as adjudicator whilst continuing to accept mediation appointments.

Chris is dual qualified as a solicitor and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building and a member of the Technology and Construction Solicitor’s Association. Chris specialises in construction dispute resolution with particular expertise with contractor claims, professional negligence and other technical disputes.

Chris is familiar with standard forms of building contracts (JCT and NEC) and supports clients with drafting and reviewing project documentation.

Chris regularly acts for contractors, sub-contractors, employers and consultants and has formed close working relationships with other construction professionals, experts and specialist Counsel.

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  • Extensive experience of resolving disputes concerning payment in the construction sector.
  • Comprehensive understanding and application of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 along with the Scheme for Construction Contracts Regulations in terms of the legislation itself and incorporation into building contracts.
  • Expertise with analysis of payment notices, pay less notices and suspension – identifying correct due dates, final date for payment and related deadlines.
  • Regularly acts as party representative in adjudication proceedings.
  • Providing legal supporting to contractors and developers on full range of commercial issues arising at tender and construction phases.
  • Supporting contract administrators and employer’s agent/project managers on matters of contract interpretation and application.
  • Non contentious work includes drafting bespoke amendments to the JCT Prime Cost form of building contract in relation to a period house refurbishment and associated collateral warranties.

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Reported Cases

Wilson & Sharp Investments Ltd v Harbourview Developments Ltd
[2015] EWCA Civ 1030[Court of Appeal]

Acted for the employer developer (Wilson and Sharp) who had entered into contracts in the JCT Intermediate Building Contract with Contractor’s Design 2011 Edition with a building contractor for the construction of student accommodation and successfully argued that it was not liable to pay the balance of four interim certificates totalling £1.2M which had been issued earlier by the contract administrator despite the absence of any pay less notices.

The employer was successful in overturning a High Court decision in the Court of Appeal so as to prevent the building contractor presenting a winding up petition.

Sub-issues in this matter included the successful defence of insolvency proceeding brought against the directors who had entered into personal guarantees for payment of the certified sums.

The case involved complex matters of valuation, disclosure, professional negligence, professional fees and insolvency. Established legal principles concerning payment in the construction industry in the context of insolvency.

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R G Spiller Ltd v Derhalli
[2014] EWHC 2458 (TCC)

Obtained ex-parte interim injunction for main contractor against Employers on £4M private residence refurbishment contract preventing the Employers from making any call, demand or other claim on an on-demand bond.

Matter had included resolution of dispute over contractors final account including claim for extensions of time with loss and expense, variations, defects and liquidated damages.

Dispute over final certificate issued by Architect before the issue of the making good of defects certificate.

Final hearing concerned costs of proceedings.

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Dixon & Anor v Radley House Partnership & Ors
[2016] EWHC 3485 (QB)

Assisted home-owners in claims against Architect and Mechanical Services consultant relating to defective works carried out at their home, and over-certification of the same.

Following a significant win on an attempt to have the case struck out, the case ultimately settled with a favourable outcome for clients.

Matter included complex issues of expert evidence relating to defects to listed property, renewables installation and electrical components.

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DR Jones Yeovil Limited v The Stepping Stone Group Limited
[2020] EWHC 2308 (TCC)

Recovering retention and defending defective works claim on behalf of Contractor. Engaged complex issues of transferred loss and entitlement to retention payment in the absence of a final or making good certificate.

Successfully defended all counterclaims for defective works.

Claimant ultimately recovered a significant portion of legal costs upon beating its Part 36 offer to settle.

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D R Jones Yeovil Ltd v Drayton Beaumont Services Ltd
[2021] EWHC 1971 (TCC)

Successful application to amend claim to introduce alleged defects in fire stopping outside of ordinary primary limitation period.

Case included hard fought argument over whether client’s terms and conditions applied.

Matter had included earlier successful vacation of trial date due to discovery that defendant had been carrying out attempted remedial works unseen by the expert.

Matter had also included earlier successful defence of adjudication enforcement proceedings brought by defendant.

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Other than family time then anything relating to 2 wheels.

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