Michael O'Shea Partner


Speaks:  English

Qualified: 2017 - Solicitor Ireland

Qualified: 1996 - Solicitor of England & Wales


Primary office:  Birmingham




Michael O'Shea

Michael O'Shea has a wealth of experience in relation to the construction industry and the management and resolution of disputes arising out of the challenges and uncertainties in this sector. He qualified and practiced as a Quantity Surveyor before re-qualifying as a solicitor in 1996. He became a partner at Masons in 2000 and joined Gowling WLG as a partner in 2006. Michael is also qualified in Ireland.

Michael heads the contentious practice and is known as one of the leading lawyers in his field combining academic analysis with pragmatic commercial advice.

He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Manchester and was involved in a number significant research projects which were cited in Sir Michael Latham's review of the construction industry 'Constructing the Team' and Lord Woolf's report on the Civil Justice System 'Access to Justice'. He is a CEDR Accredited Mediator and a regional co coordinator of the Society of Construction Law.

Recognition

Michael O'Shea leads the department's contentious practice, representing contractors in disputes arising from high-value developments. He is well known in the market, with one source saying: "He is exceptionally good and does really heavyweight work with clients who will follow him to the ends of the earth." Chambers & Partners 2018.

Highlights

Michael is one of a small number of construction specialists who have taken a dispute to the Supreme Court (then called the House of Lords) winning the landmark case of Alfred McAlpine Construction Limited v Panatown Limited [2000] relating to privity of contract.

He was also involved in one of the very first decisions in relation to the jurisdiction of adjudication disputes: Shepherd Construction Limited v Mecright Limited [2000].

Clients

  • Shepherd Building Group
  • Wates Group
  • Morgan Sindall Group
  • Pochin Construction Limited
  • Metropolitan Housing Trust
  • A number of specialised subcontractors

Experience

  • A 15 party action relating to significant defects in an office complex in Cambridge
  • Representing a specialist concrete frame sub-contractor in a multi - million pound arbitration relating to the construction of a new national sports stadium.
  • Representing a main contractor in dispute in relation to the scope and operative effect of a clause in various sub-contacts under which the main contractor argued it was not required to make any further payments to its sub-contractors where its developer employer had entered into administration. The matter was ultimately decided by the Court of Appeal.
  • Representing a specialist ground engineering contractor in a High Court action in relation to the collapse of a soil embankment as part of the redevelopment of a soft drinks manufacturing facility.
  • Representing a main contractor in relation to name borrowing proceedings to recover additional payments relating to the construction of a retail and commercial development. The matter was ultimately decided by the Court of Appeal.
  • Representation of a main contractor in relation to a claim for the defective design and construction of element of a new berthing facility on the River Mersey.
  • Representing a main contractor in arbitration proceedings relating to the construction of a sixth form education college. The dispute concerned the entitlement to extensions of time and payment for variations.
  • Over 100 Adjudications relating to matters concerning payment, extensions of time, defects and final account disputes.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2017

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      2017
      Qualified, Solicitor Ireland
  • 2016

    • Career
      2016
      CEDR Accredited Mediator
    • Career
      2016
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, partner
  • 2014

    • Career
      2014
      Wragge Lawrence Graham LLP, partner
  • 2006

    • Career
      2006
      Wragge & Co LLP, partner
  • 2005

    • Career
      2005
      Pinsent Masons, partner
  • 2000

    • Career
      2000
      Masons Solicitor, partner
  • 1996

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      1996
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
  • 1994

    • Career
      1994
      Masons Solicitors, trainee