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Newcastle Seminar

Opportunities & Risks - The Future of Construction & Development



Book Your Free Place

Newcastle, 11th October 2022

4pm for 4.30, The Spark, Draymans Way, Newcastle Helix, NE4 5DE

What does the future hold for construction and real estate in and around Newcastle?

Join leading experts from the world of construction and law for a look at plans for the sector in the coming year and beyond. Experts will discuss what the future holds for the region, what plans are in place for infrastructure and development, and how to avoid the pitfalls that lead to costly disputes and legal issues.


  • 4.30pm: Horizon Scanning with Warren Kemp, DAC Beachcroft
    • What changes are coming up in the law, what does the future hold?
    • What are the impacts of recent legal decisions and changes?
    • A look at recent past and possible future risks on the horizon for construction.
  • 4.50pm: In Conversation with Michelle Percy and Paul Darling QC
    • Background to Michelle and her role as director of place in Newcastle.
    • A look at recent challenges and how they’ve been overcome.
    • What’s coming up in Newcastle- new projects, plans for infrastructure.


  • 5.20pm: Project Controls & Disputes, A Practical Perspective with Paul Gibbons of Decipher
    • Putting in place systems to avoid problems.
    • The importance of records and common mistakes.
    • How to prepare for claims, and ensure success.
  • 5.40pm: BIM, and MMC with Simon Lewis and Ian Atkinson
    • BIM and Information Management: what happens next?
    • MMC: building for the future.
    • What does the law say?
  • 6pm: Panel discussion and Audience Q&A with all speakers, chaired by Paul Darling
  • 6.30pm: Close and Networking / Drinks


Paul Darling OBE QC

Paul Darling QC

Paul is a leading construction barrister and current chair of the Horserace Betting Levy Board. Paul has been involved with some of the highest-profile construction cases in the UK and Internationally over his career of almost forty years at the bar. Paul is also co-editor of the text, “Wilmot-Smith on Construction Contracts” and a regular speaker and lecturer on issues relating to construction and law. Paul is also a proud sand dancer and his grandfather scored twice for Newcastle in the 1932 FA Cup Final.

Warren Kemp

Warren KempWarren is a Partner in the Newcastle office of DAC Beachcroft, specialising in construction and engineering. He has extensive experience advising clients on all aspects of dispute resolution. In addition, Warren is also very experienced in providing non-contentious client support including contract drafting.

Simon Lewis

Simon LewisSimon has over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, specialising in dispute resolution. He has extensive experience in all forms of dispute resolution, both domestic and international.  Simon also has a longstanding interest in Building Information Modelling (BIM). He is the procurement workstream lead for the Government & Industry Interoperability Group, has helped to draft template Information Management protocols for the UK BIM Framework, sits on the BRAC Golden Thread working group and is Vice Chair of BIM4Legal.

Michelle Percy

Michelle PercyMichelle’s role is to deliver a major change programme and shape Newcastle’s approach to becoming an enterprising council. Michelle joined Newcastle City Council as lead assistant director of commercial development in October 2016 before taking on the role of director of Place in 2019. Her background is in strategic construction development and management across a range of sectors.

Paul Gibbons

Paul GibbonsCEO, Decipher: A Chartered quantity surveyor and Chartered member of the CIOB with over 25 years’ experience in construction, Paul’s core discipline is in quantity surveying. Other disciplines have been developed over the course of the past decade, mainly in disputes, project programming and construction law. He is also a Counsellor and an Assessor for the RICS APC Pathway, providing guidance to quantity surveyors who wish to become Chartered professionals.

Jessica Tresham

Jessica TreshamJessica is an experienced and technically astute Construction Partner based in the Southampton and London offices of WBD. She is known for her expertise in high-value and technically challenging construction and engineering-related contentious matters. Jessica defends and brings claims in the Technology and Construction Court in addition to advising clients in relation to all forms of dispute resolution and insurance issues.

Ian Atkinson

Ian is a partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, with over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry, specialising in non-contentious transaction work across a range of projects. He also has considerable experience of major capital projects including PFI/PPP. Ian is interested in the impact new technologies can have within the construction industry and frequently shares his opinions and insights on MMC through publications in the industry press.

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