3PB Direct

How much experience do you have in this area?

I qualified as a barrister in 1982. After initial practice at the Bar, I spent a number of years as an employed barrister in solicitors’ practice working for two major regional firms, before returning to practice at the Bar. I am an ADRg and Civil Mediation Council registered civil and commercial mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a qualified construction law adjudicator (RIBA and TecBar).

According to recent directories which research and rank lawyers in the UK: 

‘He has a cool head and a precise eye’ – Legal 500 2018 (Tier 1 – Construction Law, Western    Circuit)

‘Commercially astute and sharp on his feet.’ – Legal 500 2019 (Tier 1 – Construction Law, Western Circuit) 

‘Paul Newman – extremely helpful, wise, willing, and knowledgeable … flexible and stepped in last minute a number of times.’ – What do clients want from the Bar, Thomson Reuters 2019

Legal Expertise

I deal with a broad range of construction disputes, both domestic and commercial building. I have in-depth familiarity with a wide range of industry standard building contracts. My work load regularly includes claims relating to building defects, the termination of building contracts and final account disputes, where the arguments centre on extensions of time, liquidated damages and final account valuation.

I assist clients with party wall disputes, where an award is, or may be, the subject matter of a statutory appeal. I handle a number of professional negligence claims against construction professionals and have a particular interest in construction bonds and guarantees. The enforcement of construction adjudicator decisions is a significant part of my practice and I have appeared as counsel in a number of reported cases.

I am also happy to accept instructions to undertake non-contentious drafting, e.g. prepare contract amendments, collateral warranties and appointment documents.

Recent cases include:

  • Enforcement of adjudicator decisions relating to –
    • a ‘high end’ residential property in the Home Counties; and
    • monies awarded for an undervaluation of an interim application under a standard form building contract for works in the South West.
  • A professional negligence claim against an Approved Building Inspector
  • A professional negligence claim against an architect for negligent contract administration
  • A claim relating to a negligently issued architect’s certificate
  • Advice on a subsidence claim, where the re-build cost of the affected property and professional fees are in issue.
  • An appeal against a Party Wall Act award (acting for the adjoining owner).

I became an ADRg accredited mediator in 2001 and later a TecBar and Civil Mediation Council listed mediator. I have been involved in a considerable number of mediations, acting either as mediator or as an advocate, principally relating to construction and property-related issues. Many of those are conventional face to face mediation, but latterly telephone mediation has started to take off.

I aim to balance the therapeutic benefit of allowing the parties to get things off their chests with firm but non-confrontational reality testing. As a lawyer with long litigation experience I know the financial risk and emotional stress litigation brings to most clients. Interested in the psychological drivers underlying disputes, I actively work to encourage parties to identify where their true interests may lie and to achieve a negotiated outcome.

My recent mediation experience includes:

  • The malfunction of an electronic score board at a major sports ground
  • A contract for domestic building / refurbishment works
  • A contract relating to the provision of IT back up and support services
  • A claim for additional money under a consultancy agreement (by telephone)
  • A claim relating to an allegedly defectively installed screed (by telephone).


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