Daniel Wood is one of nine partners in our UK construction and engineering team, a "hugely respected group" with "an impressive client list" (Chambers & Partners), which "handles disputes at the highest level" (Legal 500). Dan spends his time helping clients to pursue or defend claims and - where necessary - to resolve their disputes. He typically represents employers, contractors and consultants involved in major infrastructure projects - invariably energy, petrochemical, process and civil engineering schemes - in the UK and overseas.
Spending his time equally between Gowling WLG's Birmingham and London offices, Dan helps his clients - often in real time, as part of project delivery - to evaluate and understand their true position in respect of claims made or received, providing no-nonsense advice on prospects, likely exposure and associated risk management. If disputes do arise, then Dan advises on the most cost-effective method of resolving them. In recent years Dan has acted on a number of the largest and most complex disputes to have arisen in the UK and beyond, including matters before the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and also in international arbitration and adjudication.
Dan is well-versed in all of the standard forms of contract and spends much of his time dealing with contracts based on FIDIC, IChemE, LOGIC, NEC and JCT forms.
Dan helps his clients to quickly see the most appropriate and direct way to resolve difficult issues, freeing them up to concentrate on what they do best. The directories note that clients regard him as "excellent", "perceptive" and a "key player" in the firm's leading energy and natural resources practice (Legal 500).
Representing E.ON Climate & Renewables - the multi-national energy company - in connection with a significant (€26.25m) claim arising out of defects encountered at E.ON's Robin Rigg offshore windfarm. The matter related to an industry-wide technical problem concerning the grouted connection between the foundation and tower, in piles designed and constructed by E.ON's foundation contractor. The issues in dispute centred upon the parties' respective rights and responsibilities under the contractual framework and focused on the interface between an obligation to use appropriate levels of skill and care and an express performance warranty - and considered the role that design life plays in an engineering project. This widely reported case set new law along the way and culminated in a decision of the Supreme Court, in which Dan's client - E.ON - was successful.
Advising a global engineering contractor in relation to a series of claims, in connection with both time and monetary overruns, arising out of the design and construction of a biomass power plant. Our role involved helping our client to understand its exposure in respect of various construction risks that had arisen and thereafter to manage and minimise the effects of that exposure. The issues involved were technically complex and our involvement required us to obtain advice from a series of technical experts whose opinions had to be understood and introduced, in the most appropriate way, into the overarching legal framework. The matter was resolved, culminating in a nine-figure settlement.
Representing the main contractor in its successful defence of a significant (c. £30 million) claim, made by its civil engineering sub-contractor, in connection with environmental improvements to a coal-fired power station in the United Kingdom. This matter was the subject of High Court litigation and was settled - following mediation - part-way through proceedings.
Acting for a global energy supplier, in relation to significant (£50m+) claims brought by its engineering contractor, arising out of the design and construction of a major oil-fired and combined cycle gas turbine power station in the UK. The issues centred on the proper interpretation of key provisions in a FIDIC-based contract and on the proper approach to the construction of bonds and other performance securities.
Providing, for over 10 years, claims management support and advice to an Eastern European state enterprise, arising out of the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant. The work carried out since our initial engagement has been extensive and varied and has included advice and assistance in connection with adjudication proceedings and assistance with the negotiation and formulation of extensive contract amendments, in which responsibility for overruns were compromised and aspects of the project re-baselined.
Advising a joint venture, comprised of three global engineering and construction companies, in connection with the termination of a nuclear decommissioning scheme in the UK. We helped our client to navigate through the termination, which in turn involved unravelling the contractual arrangements - both with the authority and the supply chain - and advising in connection with the corporate/property matters associated with unwinding the JV. Our legal advice, in parallel with practical assistance and guidance, helped our client to establish the most appropriate route to amicable resolution - an objective that was ultimately achieved.
Oil and gas
Advising the EPCM contractor on a number of significant technical and commercial disputes, both with the client and with the supply chain, arising out of the design and installation of major environmental improvements at an oil refinery in the UK. The disputes were technically complex, involved expert witnesses from a variety of disciplines, and were resolved after the successful pursuit of both arbitration and adjudication proceedings.
Representing the engineering contractor in connection with a series of complex claims, arising out of improvement works undertaken at a UK petrochemical processing and storage facility. The disputes arose out of a series of allegations concerning the failure to comply with the specification, together with challenges to the overall project cost and time taken.
Acting for the joint venture contractors in the pursuit of a significant (£60m+) delay and disruption claim, arising out of the design and construction of an additional runway at a major international airport. The claim involved technical programming and quantum expert evidence and the distillation of a significant amount of project documentation. The dispute also required the defence of a defective work counterclaim - concerning the integrity of the runway pavement - which in turn involved complex concrete technology and finite element analysis. The matter was resolved on favourable terms, following a series of conciliations and mediation.
Representing a multi-national civil engineering contractor in relation to a number of disputes - concerning delay, disruption and defective work - arising out of the design and construction of a major road scheme in central England. The matter involved marshalling and focusing experienced geotechnical, programming and quantum experts and was concluded following the successful pursuit of five adjudications - each targeted at a key contractual or technical issue.
Advising a multi-national engineering contractor in connection with significant claims, arising out of the design and construction of a substantial waste water treatment facility in the Middle East. This multi-faceted dispute was the subject of international arbitration proceedings and was resolved, by agreement, part way through that process.
Advising a major UK contractor, in connection with non-payment and corresponding allegations of defective work, arising out of a privately financed seawater desalination scheme at a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. This claim was resolved without the need for proceedings.
Representing a major UK main contractor in respect of time and monetary overruns at a project for the Court Service in northern England. The sum in dispute approached £10 million and centred on the mechanical and electrical sub-contractor's responsibility for delay and, correspondingly, its entitlement to additional time (and money) for the work undertaken. The dispute focused on the sub-contractor's responsibility for changes consequent on design development and detailing, and also on a number of allegations of defective work. The matter was resolved after a series of adjudications and mediation.
Representing a professional services client, in connection with a series of allegations connected with the design and construction of Wembley Stadium. This dispute involved several parties, from various tiers of the supply chain and related to alleged defects in the steelwork design. The issue was ultimately resolved following a multi-party mediation.