Alexandra Bodnar

Year of call:
2004
Email:
alex.bodnar@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“The quality of her paperwork is excellent.” “She is commercial, precise, with attention to detail, very practical.”
Chambers UK 2016

“An unequivocal, decisive junior who quickly gets on top of the issues.”
Legal 500 2015

“Strong junior with a growing reputation in the market”
Chambers Global 2016

Alexandra Bodnar is a leading construction and commercial law specialist. Much of her work involves significant, high-value, complex infrastructure and energy projects. She is routinely instructed in her own right and led by highly-regarded silks.

Alex specialises in litigation, arbitration, adjudication (statutory and non-statutory) and mediation. She appears regularly in the Technology and Construction Court, the Commercial Court and in front of arbitral tribunals. She has experience of most of the major domestic and international standard form construction contracts, as well as coverage and avoidance insurance issues and jurisdictional issues in international dispute resolution.

Alex is consistently recommended by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. She is recommended in Chambers Global. She was also a winner of the Lawyer Monthly Magazine Women in Law Awards 2014 and 2016.

Construction


Alex represents contractors, employers, construction professionals, public bodies, insurers and developers in domestic and international construction and engineering matters. She is used to dealing with bespoke and standard form contracts (including JCT, NEC and FIDIC), in litigation and domestic and international arbitration. She is familiar with jurisdictional issues in international dispute resolution, as well as coverage and avoidance issues arising under CAR and other insurance policies. Alex has significant experience of working as part of a team on large, high-profile cases. She has been involved in a number of contractual and statutory adjudications and enforcement claims. Current and recent examples of her work in this field include:

  • Instructed as senior counsel in a £6m domestic arbitration on behalf of a leading residential care provider in a multi-party dispute concerning wide-ranging defects at a new build care home in the north of England.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment/strike out in a £1m multi-party TCC claim on behalf of a supplier of electrical goods which caused a fire and consequential damage at a school.
  • Acting on behalf of a leading provider of student accommodation in £multi-million TCC proceedings arising out of widespread alleged mechanical and electrical defects.
  • Instructed as sole counsel in a £1m+ TCC claim on behalf of a defendant contractor and its insurers, concerning damage to a Caribbean-themed restaurant.
  • Represented as junior counsel and in her own right a bondsman in a £1m+ TCC trial and subsequent appeal in the Court of Appeal concerning construction works at the Hackney Empire Theatre and liability following the contractor’s insolvency.
  • Acted as junior counsel in an ICC arbitration on behalf of an international contractor in relation to multi-million dollar delay and damages claims, arising out of a high-profile engineering project in the Middle East.
  • Instructed as junior counsel to advise and to act on behalf of a local authority in relation to various ongoing £multi-million construction disputes under PFI contracts relating to the Building Schools for the Future programme.
  • Advising in relation to money claims arising under a bespoke JCT 2005 contract, concerning a multi-million pound luxury development in Knightsbridge for an Eastern European investor.
  • Appeared on behalf of a local authority in a three-day trial concerning property damage following an escape of water.

Regulatory & Disciplinary


Alex acts and advises in relation to a range of professional negligence matters, often in a construction and engineering context. She has particular experience of dealing with allegations of negligence against surveyors, designers, architects and contract administrators. Her experience extends to solicitors’ and financial advisers’ negligence cases. Current and recent examples of her work in this field include:

  • Represented home owners in this tri-partite TCC claim concerning significant defects at a high-specification new build property, against alleged negligent designers and contractors.
  • Advising and acting, as sole counsel and later as junior counsel, on behalf of an employer in relation to £multi-million claims between the employer and the alleged negligent management contractor, including adjudication proceedings.
  • Instructed as sole counsel to advise a local authority in relation to a high-value claim against a contract administrator arising out of the procurement and construction of a school.
  • Assisted underwriters in relation to a HK$300m claim against the insured accountants and possible arbitration proceedings.

 

Commercial


Much of Alex’s domestic and international commercial work involves the interpretation of contracts, including guarantees and indemnities and share agreements. She is used to dealing with jurisdictional issues and the practicalities of international claims. She has experience of international distribution agreements, claims relating to the supply of services and sale and transportation of goods, development and overage agreements and claims for fraud. Current and recent examples of Alex’s commercial work include:

  • She was instructed as sole counsel in a £3m Commercial Court matter concerning a share agreement arising out of the provision of internet services.
  • She successfully discharged an injunction in the Commercial Court on behalf of Bangladeshi clients, in relation to an international arbitration agreement.
  • Represented, as sole counsel, an international service company in a £5m loss of profits claim in the TCC arising out of the early termination by a Council of a contract for the provision of refuse, recycling and related services.
  • Represented, as junior counsel, the bondsman in a £1m+ TCC and Court of Appeal case concerning the bondsman’s liability following the insolvency of a contractor.
  • Advising in a high-value commercial matter following the catastrophic collapse of a structure, involving French law issues.
  • Acting for individual defendants in relation to a claim concerning the allocation of funds under a multi-million pound development agreement and associated lease.

Energy


Alexandra’s energy work involves significant, high-value, complex projects, including projects in the Middle East and South America. Her experience encompasses oil and gas plants (including LNG facilities), water desalination plants, nuclear projects, underground power cable projects and national utilities issues. Her recent experience includes:

  • Acting on behalf of a sub-contractor in a multi-million USD international arbitration concerning a range of claims for payment in connection with works at a LNG plant in South America.
  • Acting on behalf of a utilities provider in £multi-million Commercial Court proceedings about an alleged failure by a specialist contractor to deliver energy saving measures in the UK.
  • Assisting with proceedings in connection with international underground power cable projects arising out of breaches of EU competition law.
  • Acting on behalf of a contractor in a multi-million USD international arbitration concerning claims arising out of the complex design and engineering of a water desalination plant in the Middle East.
  • Advising a government institution in relation to £multi-million proceedings relating to defects, including significant fire defects, at a nuclear plant.
  • Advising in relation to up- and down-the-line contractual claims arising out of a gas storage facility in the north of England.
  • Advising a contractor in relation to its claim against a subcontractor for defective state-of-the-art wind turbines.

Insurance


Alexandra has experience of coverage and avoidance issues, including non-disclosure, misrepresentation, notification, limitation and fraud, as well as subrogated claims. She handles matters relating to a range of policies, including CAR, property damage, PI, public liability and D&O. Her recent experience includes:

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment in the TCC on behalf of insurers upon an indemnity.
  • Advising an insurer in relation to a potential claim for fraud under a Building Defects policy.
  • Advising on coverage under a property damage and public liability policy, arising out of damage caused by M&E defects.
  • Acting in a claim against an insurance broker in relation to allegations of failure to notify a claim under a D&O policy.
  • Advising in relation to a claim against PI insurers under the Third Party (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930 following the insolvency of the alleged negligent contractor.

Infrastructure


Alexandra’s construction and energy work means that she is instructed regularly in matters involving infrastructure projects. Please see the ‘Construction’ and ‘Energy’ sections of her CV for further details. She has particular experience of PPP/PFI projects. Recent examples of her PPP/PFI work include:

  • Advising and acting on behalf of a local authority in £6m TCC proceedings about alleged defects and delay at schools, as well as acting in relation to various £multi-million adjudications and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings, all arising out of Building Schools For the Future PFI projects.
  • Advising a local authority in relation to contractual payment terms in PFI schools contracts and £multi-million contractual claims arising out of the provision of utilities.

Recommendations


Alex is recommended by Chambers UK and mentioned by Legal 500 for construction.

Quotes

“She does not sit on the fence and quickly gets on top of the issues” Legal 500 2016

“The quality of her paperwork is excellent.” “She is commercial, precise, with attention to detail, very practical.” Chambers UK 2016

“An unequivocal, decisive junior who quickly gets on top of the issues.” Legal 500 2015

A talented junior who is instructed in domestic and international construction disputes, (Clients describe Alex as) “Bright and dedicated” Chambers Uk 2015.

A well-regarded junior in construction and engineering cases, who is routinely instructed in her own right or led by highly regarded silks. (Clients describe Alex as) “Bright and dedicated, she’s a first-rate talented junior”. “She has a very approachable manner and a confident style”. Chambers UK 2014

“Her client care skills and knowledge of the law are fantastic.” Legal 500

Alex “commits real time and effort to understanding client concerns and addressing those concerns in a pragmatic and sensible manner” and is “excellent, smart and gets to the nub of things really quickly” Chambers UK 2013

The Legal 500 says Alex “shows signs of becoming a real force in construction law”.

Winner – Lawyer Monthly Magazine – Women in Law Awards 2014.

Related Cases


Commercial

Hackney Empire Ltd v Aviva Insurance Ltd (on interest) [2013] EWHC 2212 (TCC)

Aviva Insurance Ltd v Hackney Empire Ltd (on appeal) [2012] EWCA Civ 1716

Hackney Empire Ltd v Aviva Insurance Ltd (first instance) [2011] EWHC 2378 (TCC)

Chesterton Global Ltd v Finney [2010] (Lawtel ref: AC0124712)

Construction

AECOM Design Build Limited v Staptina Engineering Services Limited [2017] EWHC 723 (TCC)

CSG (Stratford) Ltd and others v ASB Contractors Ltd and others [2013] EWHC 2868 (TCC)

Squibb Group Limited v Vertase FLI Limited [2012] EWHC 1958 (TCC); [2012] EWHC 3194 (TCC)

Vertase FLI Limited v Squibb Group Limited [2012] EWHC 3194 (TCC)

Berry Piling Systems Ltd v Sheer Projects Ltd [2012] EWHC 241 (TCC)

NAP Anglia Ltd v Sun-Land Development Ltd [2011] EWHC 2846 (TCC)

Cundall Johnson & Partners LLP v Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust [2007] EWHC 2178; [2007] BLR 520

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