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James Pickavance handles complex construction and engineering matters. He is listed as a leading individual in the Chambers and Legal 500 legal directories, where he is described as "an extremely capable and diligent lawyer," "extremely proactive," and "exceptionally gifted and talented."

James represents contractors, owners, developers, and consultants in public and private projects, particularly in the energy, power, major infrastructure, and commercial development sectors. As well as acting in a project advisory and dispute avoidance capacity, he has experience in all major forms of dispute resolution, including contractual and statutory adjudication, domestic and international arbitration, expert determination, mediation, and High Court and Appellate Court litigation. He has experience in more than 20 jurisdictions.

James is a member of the Society of Construction Law, International Bar Association (IBA), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He is a Visiting Fellow at King's College London and teaches the master's degree construction course, which is widely regarded as among the best of its kind in Europe. He has authored more than 40 articles in various publications, including the Society of Construction Law, International Construction Law Review, and Construction Law Journal, and routinely speaks at conferences in the United Kingdom and internationally. He contributed to the draft of the 2013 Chartered Institute of Building's (CIOB) Contract for use with Complex Projects, the first new standard form of construction contract in more than a decade. He is author of the 740-page book A Practical Guide to Construction Adjudication.


The following represents experience acquired prior to joining Jones Day.

Energy/Oil and Gas

Acted in a project advisory capacity for a consortium of global oil majors in relation to a $40 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia, Canada (Canada's largest ever infrastructure project).

Acted for a global manufacturer and services power sources provider in a €50 million LCIA arbitration arising out damage caused by an explosion to a manufacturing plant in Wales.

Acted for a China-based oil and gas company in a $175 million dollar dispute and $45 million bond call in relation to a contract for the construction of a power project in the Rumalia Oil Field in Iraq.

Acted for a China-based oil and gas company in relation to a cross-border ICC arbitration on a $11 billion gas project in Abu Dhabi.


Acted for a clean energy investment fund in a bond call and disputes relating to delays and variations concerning the construction and commissioning of a £80 million biomass plant in Lincolnshire.

Acted for a French-based multinational energy company against a German manufacturer in a €100m German Arbitration Institute (DIS) arbitration arising out of the design and construction of four biomass plants in Brazil.

Acted for a clean energy investment fund in disputes relating to gross negligence and willful misconduct, delays, claims for additional costs, bonds, termination, rejection, and insolvency arising out of the construction and commissioning of two £100m biomass plants in Wales and North England.

Acted for a German-based solar company in a defects and delay claim arising out of a contract for the construction of Jordan's largest solar farm project.

Major Infrastructure

Acted for an international heavy lifting engineering firm in an ICC arbitration arising out of the construction of the "Chernobyl Arch" (the contract price was €800 million and the final cost is approximately €2.2 billion).

Acted for Autolink Concessionaires (M6) in a £60m dispute in the Outer (first instance) and Inner (appeal) courts in relation to the construction of a motorway in Scotland.

Acted for a London public rail authority in relation to disputes on a £15 billion project for the design and construction of a new railway line across Greater London.

Acted for a U.S. headquartered global engineering firm in a $50 million ICC arbitration in relation to a dispute arising out of the design and construction of a mixed-use complex, "The Crescent Development," in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Acted for a London public rail authority in a £500m dispute arising from the construction and refurbishment of an East London railway line.

Acted for London Underground Limited in an ICC arbitration arising out of a £1.2 billion private finance initiative (PFI) project for the construction, installation operation, and maintenance of a new telecommunication and transmission system throughout the Underground network.

Acted for a British defense contractor in a dispute arising out of the redevelopment of a nuclear submarine facility in the United Kingdom.

Real Estate

Acted for various clients following the fire at Grenfell Tower in London in relation to the design and construction liability associated with defective ACM (aluminum composite material) cladding and then commenced claims against relevant entities for the cost of remedial works.

Acted for an international developer in a £20 million High Court litigation arising out of defective cladding and associated structural issues in its flagship United Kingdom shopping center development. Proceedings were brought by or against the contractor, architect, structural engineer, and tenant.

Acted for an Abu Dhabi developer in relation to extension of time claims made by the contractor arising out of the refurbishment of an office block in super-prime London.

Acted for a Japan-based telecommunications company in disputes arising out of the design and construction of a £90 million data center facility in Canary Wharf, London.

Additional Publications

Publications Prior to Jones Day

Some thoughts on succeeding in EPC projects
International Construction Law Review

Accessing Foreign Investment Protection for Construction and Engineering Projects
International Construction Law Review, Part 3 (206-232)

April 2016
The Regulation of Misconduct in Adjudication and Arbitration
Society of Construction Law

Speaking Engagements

  • October 2019
    Expert Problems in Arbitration, Seminar to members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration and the Academy of Experts

Speaking Engagements Prior to Jones Day

October 2017
Clarity on Concurrency: Concurrent Delay in Construction Contracts
Presented at the 3rd Annual Global EPC Contract and Risk Management Conference

October 2017
Exclusions from Immunity: Gross Negligence and Willful Misconduct
Society of Construction Law

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