Alexandra Bodnar

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

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“Her approach is dynamic and enthusiastic”.
Legal 500 2020

“She provides a detailed and forensic analysis of legal issues, has a commercial approach and is very much a team player”
Chambers UK 2020

“A reassuringly safe pair of hands providing strategic and practical support from day one, who has a phenomenal grasp of case law.” “She’s hard-working and performs well on her feet.”
Chambers UK and Chambers Global 2019 Construction

Alexandra Bodnar is a barrister specialising in domestic and international construction and commercial law. She specialises in litigation in the English Technology & Construction Court and Commercial Court, as well as international and domestic arbitration, and adjudication. In addition to acting as an advocate in adversarial proceedings, she advises clients. She also represents clients in alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as mediation.

Much of her work involves high-value, complex construction, infrastructure and energy projects, often involving construction professionals and insurance issues.

She has experience of technical and contractual issues arising in construction projects, on-shore and off-shore energy projects, PFI/PPP projects, EPC contracts, commercial supply contracts, bonds and guarantees, insurance coverage and avoidance issues and jurisdictional issues.

Alex is consistently recommended in Chambers UK, the Legal 500 and Chambers Global. She is recommended in the Legal 500, Chambers UK and Chambers Global for her construction work, and in the Legal 500 for her professional negligence work.

Construction


Alex represents contractors, employers, owners & operators, professionals, public bodies, insurers, funders 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 coverage and avoidance issues arising under CAR and other insurance policies. She has particular experience of bonds and guarantees, professional negligence issues, PFI contracts and EPC contracts. She also acts in subrogated claims (on behalf of insurers) arising out of significant fire, flood and landslip/nuisance events. She appears regularly as an advocate in trials and hearings in the English Technology and Construction Court (TCC) and in front of tribunals in arbitration and adjudication.

Current and recent examples of her work in this field include:

  • Acting on behalf of the employer in this £7 million claim against the design & build contractor for defective ACM cladding/insulation and other fire defects, commenced after the Grenfell fire tragedy. The claim is in the TCC and concerns a bespoke JCT contract. Alex acts as junior counsel to Jonathan Selby QC.
  • Advising (as sole counsel) on technical contractual issues and insurance notification issues in this potential £multi-million new-build defects and structural damage insurance claim.
  • Representing a household name utilities provider in these multi-party £multi-million professional negligence and contractual proceedings arising out of alleged defective wall insulation installed as part of the UK government’s CESP scheme.
  • Acted on behalf of the owner in this very large $multi-million international arbitration concerning delays and significant defects at a high-profile ultra-low sulphur diesel processing plant in the Caribbean. Alex was one of two lead-junior-counsel in a multi-counsel, multi-solicitor team.
  • Acted as sole counsel for insurers in multi-party professional negligence proceedings in the TCC concerning allegations against the professional architect and engineer and complex geotechnical engineering issues.
  • Appeared in the TCC as sole counsel on behalf of the successful employer, Ziggurat, in its claim against the bondsman under an amended ABI model form of guarantee bond arising out of the construction contractor’s insolvency.

Regulatory & Disciplinary


Alex acts in professional negligence claims on behalf of and against professionals, often in a construction and engineering context. She has experience of dealing with allegations of negligence against architects, engineers, other designers, contract administrators and contract managers, as well as solicitors and financial advisers. She has also been involved in international regulatory proceedings. Current and recent examples of her work in this field include:

  • Acting as junior counsel on behalf of the employer in this £multi-million TCC claim against the design & build contractor concerning post-Grenfell cladding/fire defect issues at a tall building in Leeds.
  • Representing a household name utilities provider in these multi-party £multi-million proceedings concerning various allegations of professional negligence against specialists, arising out of alleged defective wall insulation.
  • Acted as sole counsel in multi-party professional negligence proceedings in the TCC concerning allegations against the professional architect and engineer arising out of a serious landslip affecting a coastal property.
  • Part of the counsel team acting in a USD multi-million international arbitration concerning a high-profile engineering project and allegations against the EPC contractor.
  • Represented home owners in this tri-partite TCC claim concerning significant defects at a luxury new-build property, against (amongst others) the alleged negligent architect.

Commercial


Alex advises and appears in cases involving international and domestic supply and transportation contracts, facilities management contracts, share sale agreements, mis-selling and damage to goods and fraud, as well as bonds and guarantees. She has experience of jurisdictional issues and injunctions. Current and recent examples of Alex’s work in this field include:

  • Advising owners of a substantial new-build development in relation to notification and policy trigger issues for a new-build guarantee provided by a household name insurance scheme.
  • Advising a dairy farmer in a claim arising out of the alleged wrongful termination of a milk distribution agreement and its catastrophic consequences.
  • Represented the successful employer, Ziggurat, in its TCC claim against the bondsman under an amended ABI model form of guarantee bond arising out of the construction contractor’s insolvency.
  • Junior counsel in relation to various £high-value disputes arising out of a PFI suite of contracts for schools, including interpretation of the facilities management agreement and the contractual payment mechanism.
  • Represented a supplier in a £3m Commercial Court claim concerning a share sale agreement arising out of the provision of technology services.

Alternative Dispute Resolution


Alex appears and advises in arbitrations, domestic construction adjudications (statutory and non-statutory) and mediations. She has also been involved in ad-hoc and bespoke contractual binding and non-binding dispute resolution processes.

Energy


Much of Alex’s work involves the energy sector. She has acted in cases involving significant, high-value, complex engineering projects in the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. Her international energy experience encompasses oil and liquified natural gas plants, water desalination plants and ultra-low sulphur diesel units. She also acts in cases involving underground power cables. Her domestic energy work has involved a gas storage facility, a nuclear project and contracts relating to wind turbines. Alex’s current and recent experience includes:

  • Part of the junior counsel team acting in a USD multi-million international arbitration concerning delays and defects at an engineering project in the Caribbean.
  • Part of the junior counsel team acting on behalf of a sub-contractor in a USD multi-million international arbitration concerning a range of claims for payment in connection with works at a liquified natural gas plant.
  • Advising a utilities provider in £multi-million Commercial Court proceedings about an alleged failure to deliver energy saving measures in the UK.
  • Advising a government institution in relation to £multi-million proceedings relating to defects, including significant fire defects, at a nuclear plant.

Please see the Construction section of Alex’s CV for more details.

Infrastructure


Alex’s work often covers domestic and international infrastructure projects. Domestically, she has been involved in cases concerning stadia, bridges, the London underground, the London Olympics, motorways and schools, as well as a nuclear facility. This includes extensive experience of PFI and related contracts. Her international work covers underground power cables and various engineering plants of international importance. Alex’s current and recent experience includes:

  • Acting on behalf of a crane hire company in TCC proceedings arising out of the erection of bridges on the M6 motorway in the UK.
  • Part of the junior counsel team acting in a USD multi-million international arbitration concerning delays and defects at an engineering project in the Caribbean.
  • Advising and acting on behalf of a local authority in £6m TCC proceedings and various adjudications about alleged defects and delays and the provision of utilities at schools, under PFI contracts.
  • Acting on behalf of a UK government body concerning defects, including extensive fire defects, at a nuclear facility.

Please see the Construction and Energy sections of Alex’s CV for more details.

Insurance


Alex has experience of coverage and avoidance issues (including notification, fraud, extent of cover, policy exclusions and disclosure) under various types of construction insurance policy, including CAR, professional indemnity, property damage, building defects and public liability policies. Alex has particular experience of construction bonds and guarantees, and has appeared in various TCC claims on behalf of insurers and policy holders. In addition, much of her work involves subrogated claims on behalf of insurers. Current and recent examples of her work in this field include:

  • Advising (as sole counsel) on technical insurance notification and policy-trigger issues in this potential £multi-million new-build defects and structural damage insurance claim.
  • Represented the successful employer, Ziggurat, as sole counsel in its TCC claim against the bondsman under an amended ABI model form of guarantee bond arising out of the construction contractor’s insolvency.
  • Advised a building owner on coverage issues arising out of the high-profile collapse of a household name construction contractor.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of insurers upon an indemnity, consequential on a guarantee claim.

Recommendations


Alex is recommended by Chambers & Partners, the Legal 500 and Chambers Global for construction. Alex is recommended by the Legal 500 for professional negligence.

Quotes

“She provides a detailed and forensic analysis of legal issues, has a commercial approach and is very much a team player.” “She is hard-working and a pleasure to work with, and delivers practical and user-friendly advice.” Chambers UK 2020 Construction

“Regularly acts unled in court” Legal 500 2020 Construction

“Her approach is dynamic and enthusiastic.” Legal 500 2020 Professional Negligence

“A reassuringly safe pair of hands providing strategic and practical support from day one, who has a phenomenal grasp of case law.” “She’s hard-working and performs well on her feet.” Chambers UK and Chambers Global 2019 Construction

Her clarity of thought is astounding. She has an ability to grasp the nettles the first time she gets the papers and her written work is staggering.” “Hard-working and a pleasure to work with. Delivers practical and user-friendly advice” Chambers UK 2018 and Chambers Global 2018

“She has exceptional technical ability and never loses sight of commercial considerations” Legal 500 2018

Historic quotes include: “She has a good grasp of technical detail and offers great support throughout a case” “She has a great work ethic” “She does not sit on the fence and quickly gets on top of the issues” “Bright and dedicated, she’s a first-rate talented junior” “She has a very approachable manner and a confident style” “An unequivocal, decisive junior who quickly gets on top of the issues”  “She is commercial, precise, with attention to detail, very practical” “Her client care skills and knowledge of the law are fantastic“Excellent, smart and gets to the nub of things really quickly”.

Related Cases


Commercial

Ziggurat (Claremont Place) LLP v HCC International Insurance Company Plc [2017] EWHC 3286 (TCC)

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

Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd v Sarens (UK) Ltd [2018] EWHC 827 (TCC)

Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd v Sarens (UK) Ltd [2018] EWHC 751 (TCC)

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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