Our Construction & Engineering lawyers

provide legal and commercial solutions that add value to any project, from the concept phase and throughout the construction process.

Impactful Matters

Detail oriented, but also reasonable and solution oriented.

Legal 500 EMEA 2020

Very strong renewable energy knowledge, with commercial acumen to capture technical commercial agreements in legal documents.

Legal 500 EMEA 2020

Clients appreciate that "they have a very commercial approach."

Chambers Global 2020

Construction & Engineering

Our Construction and Engineering lawyers understand the importance of getting a project to completion on time and within budget.

We offer dedicated, experienced Construction and Engineering lawyers who provide legal and commercial solutions that add value to any project, from the concept phase and throughout construction. In the event that disputes arise, our team will ensure that your rights are properly protected.

Our team advises all participants in construction and engineering projects, including owners, contractors, professionals and supporting businesses. This gives us the ability to understand the requirements of all the stakeholders in construction and engineering projects, while aiming to support and achieve our clients’ objectives.

Our Construction and Engineering team has expertise in all the major sectors of the economy, including:

  • Energy (renewable and fossil fuel).
  • Transport.
  • Infrastructure.
  • Mining.
  • Process plants.
  • Civil construction.

Our services include:

  • Drafting and negotiating of all contractual arrangements whether bespoke contracts or customising the suite of FIDIC, NEC 3 and JBCC contracts.
  • Advice on the form and content of security packages, including bonds and guarantees, risk mitigation, insurance and the impact of regulatory and environmental legislation.
  • Dispute resolution including mediation, DABs, expert determination, arbitration and litigation, nationally, regionally and globally.
  • Particular expertise relating to all types of claims that arise from construction contracts, from construction contracts, including delay claims, P&G claims, etc.
  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is advising Scatec Solar, a leading international company, specialising in developing, engineering and constructing large scale photovoltaic systems. Our experts are representing the employer on disputes and claims involving the contractor and sub-contractors in relation to the Mocuba Solar PV project (Mozambique). This is the first large scale solar plant in Mozambique, and was supported by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), a multi-donor organization with members from seven European countries and the World Bank Group. Strategically important to client to resolve the claims and issues, some of which concern local sub-contractors in Mozambique. 

    The disputes relate to a host of contractual and technical issues on the project, and involve cross-border, conflict of laws, and jurisdictional issues, with multiple claimants and defendants and various types of claims, including: Contractor claims for payment; sub-contractor claims for payment (directly from Employer); retention monies issues; release/enforcement of performance security; interim payment certificates; employer claim and determination; application for Final Payment Certificate; cession of debt; applying the contractual regime for determining claims and resolving disputes. There are sensitivities with local (Mozambican) Sub-Contractors.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr are representing the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), a national development finance institution set up to promote economic growth and industrial development and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), a South African state-owned entity with R2.083 trillion of assets and Africa's largest asset manager. Our experts are advising on all aspects of the funding to be provided by the IDC and PIC to Ledjadja Coal Proprietary Limited which is an indirect subsidiary of Resource Generation Limited, a company dual listed on the Australian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, for its Boikarabelo thermal coal mine situated in the Waterberg coal fields of South Africa’s Limpopo province.  The funding will be provided by way of debt and equity financing by a syndicate of banks consisting of the IDC and PIC, as well as Singapore trading group, Noble Resources.  

    Our team is advising on all mining and environmental aspects of the funding as well as the commercial mining aspects, which includes conducting a mining and environmental due diligence and reviewing certain contracts from a lender perspective, including various offtake agreements, a mining services agreement, coal transportation agreement and electricity supply agreement as well as the construction and operation contracts.  The construction contracts have been split between the CHP (coal handling and processing) facility construction works and the ancillary works.  The transaction is complex given the changing regulatory landscape in South Africa coupled with the long-term nature of the funding. Furthermore, there are a number of interface issues that need to be dealt with to ensure that the contractual documents, particularly the split construction contracts and operation contracts correctly interface with each other to avoid any cost overruns.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is advising Scatec Solar on the termination of EPC contracts and disputes and claims involving the Contractor (SNC-Lavalin) in relation to the Sirius, Dyason's Klip 1 and Dyason's Klip 2 Solar PV projects (South Africa). This mandate is strategically important to client to resolve the claims and issues and complete the projects on time (significant risk/penalties for late completion). Our experts successfully negotiated and concluded a settlement with the Contractor.  The disputes relate to a host of contractual and technical issues on the project, with multiple Employer and Contractor claims relating to, amongst other things, performance, delay and payment.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), the electrical energy co-operation in Southern Africa under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).  The members of SAPP have created a common power grid between their countries and a common market for electricity in the SADC region.  Through a competitive bidding process, our project development team has been appointed as lead legal adviser for the ANNA Transmission Interconnector project, which is expected to link the Namibian and Angolan electricity networks in the north western part of Namibia and the southern part of Angola.  This mandate includes feasibility studies; the design of a procurement programme; as well as drafting the engineering, procurement and construction contract.  This is a critical and market-shaping project, as it will expand the interconnection of the electricity network between Southern African countries, thereby enabling increased trade in energy and ensuring energy stability and security for the continent.  We are working alongside a number of highly-regarded African law firms on the execution of this mandate.

Sector Rankings

  • Chambers Global 2017–2020 ranked our Construction & Engineering sector in Band 2 for construction and from 2013–2016 ranked us in Band 3 for construction.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2016–2020 recommended us in Tier 2 for construction.
  • African Construction and Engineering Team of the Year 2016 awarded to our team in the African Legal Awards.

Ranked Practitioners

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2018 and 2020 recommended Timothy Baker for construction.

  • Chambers Global 2020 ranked Emma Dempster in Band 4 for Projects & Energy. Chambers Global 2019 ranked Emma as up and coming in Projects & Energy. The Legal 500 EMEA 2018-2020 recommended Emma for projects & infrastructure and for construction in 2020. IFLR1000 2020 was listed as a highly regarded lawyer for project development and project finance. IFLR1000 2017–2018 recommended her as a leading lawyer (rising star) for project development and project finance.

  • Chambers Global 2020 ranked Joe Whittle in Band 3 for construction. Chambers Global 2016–2019 ranked him in Band 4 for construction. The Legal 500 EMEA 2017–2020 recommended him for construction.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2020 ranked Siviwe Mcetywa as a rising star for construction.