Jack Cantwell Principal Associate

Speaks:  English

Qualified: 2011 - Solicitor of England & Wales

Primary office:  Birmingham

Secondary office  London

Jack Cantwell

Jack Cantwell helps clients avoid and resolve disputes arising out of construction projects on the best terms possible. He is well versed in high-profile, complex, multi-party construction projects, regularly advising clients in relation to adjudication, dispute avoidance/mediation, and, if necessary, arbitration or litigation proceedings.

Understanding that managing stakeholders at an early stage can often be crucial in avoiding later costly disputes, Jack knows the importance of engaging with parties to attempt to resolve disputes before they have a chance to take on a life of their own. Accordingly, Jack takes an active and early role in advising on best practice conduct, correspondence and managing relationships on strategically significant projects. When things do go wrong, Jack is on hand assisting his clients to find a resolution that works for them and that minimises cost and risk or maximises returns.

Jack has particular expertise in a range of industry standard terms, including in respect of JCT, NEC, FIDIC and EPC contract forms. He also has significant experience of advising on large scale residential developments, including PRS/build to rent, energy generation projects, complex PFI disputes and high profile regeneration projects. Jack has also gained experience in energy infrastructure and oil & gas projects.  This breadth of know-how makes Jack well placed to deal with even the most problematic of construction and wider industry issues, including delays, defects and payment.

Jack has experience in projects and disputes across Europe, Central America, East Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the South Atlantic.


Acted for E.ON Climate & Renewables against MT Højgaard in theSupreme Court. E.ON successfully argued their interpretation of the Contract, such that MTH was found liable to pay E.ON €26.5m in relation to remedial works required to rectify defects which had arisen as a result of MTH's reliance on an incorrectly calculated industry standard.

Assisting a developer client, who had undertaken a £100 million mixed residential and retail development, in relation to claims for additional payment from a statutory undertaker and also in relation to four consecutive adjudications from the main contractor concerning defects, interim entitlements to payment and the final account. The client managed to avoid making any further payment to either party.

Advising a local authority in the north-west in adjudication and litigation arising out of construction of a new shopping centre/market. Jack assisted in relation to defects claims against the main contractor and achieved a settlement following a pre-action protocol letter. He also advised in relation to multiple adjudications commenced by the market fit out contractor to defeat claims in relation to repudiatory breach and a final account dispute.

Helping a main contractor client in relation to disputes in the South Pacific and Antarctica. This included undertaking an adjudication and arbitration in relation to additional claims for payment from the employer and a sub-contractor's breach of contract. Also advised in relation to a call on a bondsman based in South Africa.

Advising a designer, manufacturer and integrator of railway equipment in relation to an adjudication commenced by its main contractor in relation to a c£2 million final account. Jack managed to successfully defeat all substantive main contractor claims and establish cross claims to result in nil payment to the main contractor.

Advising a major hotel chain in relation to a claim for defective air conditioning throughout a c200 bedroom city centre hotel, including negotiating with the main contractor prior following issue of a pre-action protocol letter to recover the costs of retrofitting a c£1 million remedial scheme.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2018

    • Career
      July 2018
      Gowling WLG (UK), principal associate
  • 2016

    • Career
      February 2016
      Gowling WLG (UK), senior associate
  • 2015

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, senior associate
  • 2013

    • Career
      DWF, solicitor - senior solicitor
  • 2011

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
    • Career
      Cobbetts LLP, solicitor
  • 2009

    • Career
      Cobbetts LLP, trainee solicitor
  • 2008

    • Education
      College of Law, Birmingham, LPC
  • 2007

    • Education
      July 2007
      College of Law, Postgraduate Diploma in Law
    • Education
      College of Law, Birmingham, LLB
  • 2001

    • Education
      University of Bristol, B.A. History

Insights & Resources