Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600
Alexandra Bodnar is a sought-after barrister specialising in the litigation and arbitration of UK and international construction and commercial matters. She regularly represents clients in the English Technology & Construction Court and Commercial Court, as well as in front of international and domestic arbitral tribunals. Her work involves high-value, complex construction, engineering, infrastructure and energy projects across the globe. This includes PFI projects, EPC projects and substantial commercial supply projects. Much of her work involves allegations of professional negligence against construction professionals and claims concerning significant damage to property.
She has particular expertise in bonds and guarantees, both within the construction sector and concerning business matters more generally. This includes claims for injunctions to restrain guarantee demands, and insurance coverage and avoidance matters.
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 and UK construction adjudication (including adjudication enforcement claims).
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 insurance & reinsurance work as well as her professional negligence work.
Alex is an experienced construction and engineering junior, who acts for and against construction operators, professionals, owners, developers, insurers, funders and public bodies. Much of her work involves high-value, complex technical and legal issues in UK and international construction, engineering, energy and infrastructure projects. She deals regularly with cases involving allegations of professional negligence and significant damage to property (including as a result of fire, flood, landslip and contamination). She has been involved in a number of PPP/PFI disputes, including in respect of the application of Payment Mechanisms, and related Facilities Management and service contract issues. She is familiar with EPC contracts, as well as the full range of typical standard form UK and international construction contracts. She appears regularly in the English Technology & Construction Court and in front of arbitral tribunals, as sole and junior counsel.
Alex has particular experience of bonds and guarantees and has been involved, as sole and junior counsel, in some of the leading modern cases on UK construction performance bonds (including the ABI model form). She is familiar with coverage and avoidance issues arising under CAR and other construction insurance policies.
Current and recent examples of Alex’s construction work include:
- Acting for a large construction operator in respect of two high-profile TCC claims (being case managed together) arising out of ground works at the Twickenham Rugby stadium, involving preliminary issues about joint names insurance (junior counsel).
- Representing a rail company in respect of the catastrophic collapse of a novel structure, leading to extensive damage and £multi-million financial losses (sole counsel).
- Acting for the owner of a substantial building in a £multi-million TCC claim against the design and build contractor, concerning post-Grenfell external wall defects and consequent remedial works (sole counsel).
- Advising insurers about various related claims made by local authorities in respect of historic alleged defective highway engineering works (sole counsel).
- Acted for one of two defendants in a £multi-million multi-party TCC claim about a fire in industrial equipment caused by the failure of a fire suppression system, and consequent property damage (sole counsel).
- 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 (junior counsel).
- Acted for the lead manufacturer of technical deep-sea submarine rescue equipment destined for the government of an East Asian Country, in separate sets of proceedings – in the TCC and the Commercial Court – including obtaining and resisting injunctions, in connection with delivery and payment obligations (sole counsel).
Alex acts in professional negligence claims for and against professionals, often in a construction and engineering context. This includes allegations concerning 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 Alex’s professional negligence work include:
- Acting for a defendant in this £multi-million multi-party professional negligence claim arising out of the contamination of pipework and alleged failure to notify of the incident (sole counsel).
- Representing (sole counsel) the employer in this £multi-million TCC claim against the design & build contractor concerning post-Grenfell cladding/fire safety design issues at a tall building in Birmingham.
- Advising (sole counsel) the defendant solicitors in respect of allegations of professional negligence, arising out of a construction claim involving alleged breach and negligence against construction professionals.
- Representing a household name utilities provider in these multi-party £multi-million claims involving allegations of professional negligence against designers and specialist suppliers and installers, concerning alleged defective wall insulation at a large housing estate (sole counsel).
- Junior counsel as part of a large counsel team acting in a USD multi-million international arbitration concerning a high-profile engineering project and allegations against the EPC contractor.
- Advised a utilities provider in respect of contractual and jurisdictional issues concerning a pass-down £multi-million professional negligence claim against the designer and supplier of alleged defective materials (sole counsel).
Alex has particular expertise in cases involving banking instruments including guarantees, performance bonds and letters of credit. She has been involved, as sole and junior counsel, in some of the leading modern cases on UK construction performance bonds (including the ABI model form). She has significant experience of obtaining and resisting claims for injunctions concerning demands on guarantees.
Alex advises and acts in cases involving international and domestic supply, distribution and transportation contracts, PFI contracts, facilities management contracts, share sale/purchase agreements, mis-selling and damage to goods, and fraud. She has experience of jurisdictional matters, including anti- suit injunctions and parallel proceedings. Alex’s work also involves advising on coverage and avoidance issues under insurance policies
Current and recent examples of Alex’s commercial work include:
- Representing a surety in a multi-party Commercial Court claim on an indemnity consequent on a guarantee instrument (sole counsel).
- Representing the contractor in this £4.5 million TCC claim involving a preliminary issue about the extent of ‘joint names’ cover under a project insurance policy (junior counsel).
- Advising a surety in respect of a £multi-million claim involving a Spanish-law guarantee in respect of gaming industry operations (sole counsel).
- Advising a utilities company about a £multi-million claim for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of a share purchase agreement arising out of the purchase of shares in a technologies business (sole counsel).
- Represented the manufacturer and supplier of specialist deep-sea equipment in a significant $multi-million Commercial Court claim arising out of the international supply of bespoke equipment to the government of an East Asian country, including resisting an injunction application (sole counsel).
- Obtained an injunction in the Technology & Construction Court against a bank to restrain a $multi-million fraudulent call on an on-demand guarantee (sole counsel).
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.
Alex acts in international cases involving high-value, complex engineering projects throughout the world. Her experience encompasses oil and liquefied natural gal plants, water desalination plants, ultra-low sulphur diesel units and cross-border underground power cables.
Alex’s UK energy work has involved buildings services management, wind turbines, a gas storage facility, a nuclear project, projects concerning carbon emissions reductions and energy efficiency measures, and large-scale housing insulation projects.
Current and recent examples of Alex’s work in the energy sector include:
- Advising a household name energy supplier in relation to jurisdictional/parallel proceedings issues, in connection with a £multi-million claim concerning the sub-contract for the design and supply of energy saving measures (sole counsel).
- Advising an international energy and regeneration company about £multi-million claims encompassing technical and IT issues about the automation and remote management of buildings services (sole counsel).
- Advising a household name energy supplier in respect of a series of £multi-million claims arising out of the alleged defective design, supply and installation of external wall insulation on a large housing project (sole counsel).
- Part of a large counsel team acting in a $multi-million international arbitration concerning delays and defects at a novel engineering plant in the Caribbean (junior counsel).
- Part of a large counsel team acting on behalf of a sub-contractor in a $multi-million international arbitration concerning a range of claims for payment in connection with works at a liquefied natural gas plant (junior counsel).
Alex is and has been involved in cases about utilities networks, pipelines, gas storage, a nuclear facility, stadia, bridges, cranes, the London underground, the London Olympics 2012, motorways and schools. She has extensive experience of PFI and related contracts. Her international infrastructure work has also involved cross-border power cables and various engineering projects of significance.
Current and recent examples of Alex’s infrastructure work include:
- Acting for the manufacturer and supplier of specialist highly-technical deep-sea submarine rescue equipment destined for the government of an East Asian Country, in a number of £multi-million Commercial Court and Technology & Construction Court disputes involving multiple parties in different jurisdictions (sole counsel).
- Acting for a defendant in a multi-party claim about contamination of a water pipe network as a result of building works (sole counsel).
- Acting on behalf of a crane hire company in Technology and Construction Court proceedings arising out of the erection of bridges on the M6 motorway in the UK (sole counsel).
- Part of a large counsel team acting in a highly technical $multi-million international arbitration encompassing various claims and counter-claims in respect of a significant engineering project in the Caribbean (junior counsel).
- Advising and acting on behalf of a local authority in £multi-million Technology and Construction Court proceedings and various adjudications encompassing issues about the provision of utilities at schools, under PFI contracts (junior counsel).
Alex advises on coverage and avoidance issues under insurance policies (including notification, fraud, extent of cover and policy exclusions). She has particular experience of typical construction insurance policies: CAR (including joint names issues), professional indemnity, property damage, building defects and public liability policies. In addition, much of her work involves subrogated claims on behalf of insurers.
Alex also has expertise in cases involving guarantees, performance bonds and letters of credit. She also acts in related claims on indemnities consequent on payments under bonds and guarantees.
Current and recent examples of Alex’s insurance work include:
- Acting (as junior counsel) in a TCC case involving a preliminary issues trial about the scope of a joint names insurance policy for a construction project at the Twickenham Rugby stadium, and issues of agency/authority in the procurement of the insurance policy.
- Acting (as sole counsel) in a multi-party Commercial Court case on behalf of the surety in a claim on an indemnity.
- Advising the surety (as sole counsel) on the scope of £multi-million English-law indemnity obligations arising out of a Spanish-law guarantee given in respect of gaming operations.
- Advising the surety (as sole counsel) on the interpretation of expiry and ascertainment-of-damage provisions in a bond.
- Acted for a manufacturer in the successful pursuit of an injunction in the TCC against a bank to restrain payment to a third-party beneficiary under an on-demand guarantee, and (in separate proceedings) in the Commercial Court resisting an attempt to obtain an injunction to restrain the manufacturer from claiming under an on-demand guarantee (all as sole counsel).
- Advised the policy-holder on notification and policy-trigger issues in potential £multi-million new-build defects and structural damage insurance claims (sole counsel).