Sean Garbutt Principal Associate

Speaks:  English

Qualified: 2017 - Solicitor of England & Wales

Primary office:  Birmingham

Sean Garbutt

Sean qualified in 2017 and is a principal associate in Gowling WLG's contentious construction team, and has considerable experience in construction litigation and dispute resolution. He has acted for a wide range of parties including national house builders, developers/funders, main contractors, subcontractors and end user employers. Sean has a particular interest in seeking settlement of disputes prior to the escalation of costs, be this by way of strategic advice or by alternative methods of dispute resolution including adjudication, arbitration and mediation.

Sean is also one of a small number of lawyers nationally to have litigated cladding disputes (arising as a result of the Grenfell tragedy) to the commencement of trial and has settled a number of these matters on behalf of claiming parties for multi-million pound sums. In addition to 'traditional' construction disputes concerning payment liabilities, Sean takes a keen interest in disputes with technical or engineering elements and has experience in matters such as concrete floor slab defects, geotechnical engineering/modelling disputes, paving failures, glazing/curtain wall defects and waste to energy engineering disputes.


  • Acting for a national house builder in relation to ACM cladding installed on a high-rise residential block to the commencement of trial. Settled on favourable terms against the project architects prior to the conclusion of trial.
  • Acting for a household name vehicle manufacturer in relation to a multi-million pound defective paving claim against the project architects and main contractor. The matter settled shortly before trial on favourable terms for the client.
  • Acting for a developer / funder in relation to wide ranging and significant concrete slab defects at an industrial unit against the Design & Build Contractor.
  • Acted for the successful claimant in Croudace Homes Ltd v PRB Wiring Solutions Ltd [2020] EWHC 2139 (TCC) concerning enforcement of an adjudicators decision.
  • Acting for a national house builder in relation to payment and quality issues with a brickwork subcontractor in a series of 10 adjudications with a value of over £500,000. Ultimately settled on a favourable "drop – hands" basis.
  • Advising a specialist sub-contractor in relation to payment and delay disputes with a main contractor in relation to a landmark development in Birmingham.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2023

    • Career
      July 2023
      Gowling WLG (UK), Principal Associate
  • 2021

    • Career
      January 2021
      Gowling WLG (UK), Senior Associate
  • 2017

    • Career
      September 2017
      Gateley Legal, Solicitor
    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
  • 2015

    • Career
      September 2015
      Michelmores, Trainee
  • 2014

    • Rankings & Awards
      November 2014
      Devon and Somerset Junior Lawyers Division, Chair
  • 2012

    • Career
      September 2012
      Michelmores, Paralegal
  • 2011

    • Education
      University of the West of England, LPC
  • 2010

    • Education
      Swansea University Law, LLB