Jon is a Construction and Engineering specialist, handling both contentious and non-contentious legal work. His practice focuses on acting for employers and their design teams, as well as contractors and engineers.
With over 16 years’ specialist construction legal experience and 2 years’ public procurement experience at central Government level prior to qualification, Jon has carved out particular expertise in renewable energy-related issues, infrastructure, precision engineering and cyber security installations as well as more general commercial property projects. He is often involved behind the scenes, advising clients engaged in R&D projects in the pursuit of cutting-edge technological advances, especially within the manufacturing and food security sectors.
Jon has also been an ADRg accredited mediator since 2013, which sees him advising clients on alternative ways to resolve disputes, thus avoiding or mitigating the significant cost and inefficiencies associated with the litigation process. As a TeCSA solicitor, however, he is well-seasoned in litigious matters whenever the need arises for clients to engage him in a more formal dispute resolution arena.
- Procurement strategy
- Interpretation and drafting of construction and related contracts
- Drafting of a number of standard-form and bespoke construction documents
- Public and private sector organisations
- Technology and Construction Court litigation
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – mainly adjudication and mediation within the UK
- Provided procurement advice and drafted contracts for the Cell Therapy Catapult (Innovate UK) on its £6m clean-room fit-out contract for research and development at Guy’s Hospital.
- Drafted contracts relating to a £9m car automotive testing plant in West Sussex for high-performance vehicles (race and road) – FIDIC Silverbook and Yellow Book procured for Horiba UK.
- Negotiated with Wasserman in the US on the retractable roofing contract at the Katara Fan Zone, Doha, ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and other sites in the Middle East for the same UK tensile fabric designer and installer.
- Advised councils in the South West of England on the procurement of an outdoor sports complex and associated facilities pursuant to JCT D&B 2016 and Minor Works with Contractor’s Design 2016, roofing remedial works and funding for a brewery and canalside regeneration scheme.
- Drafted suites of construction contracts for UK house-builders on multi-million pound housing schemes including Cotswold Oak (Bloor Homes) and RES Homes. Average value per site is £3m-5.7m.
- Successfully resolved a £4m dispute relating to the renovation of a Grade 1 listed property in the Cotswolds.
- Advised on structuring considerations for the National Star College in Cheltenham, in relation to new boarding houses with OJEU considerations.
- Advised on the drafting of construction contracts for high-end housing developments in London, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire (acting both client and contractor side) and dealing with ongoing contractual issues relating to re-pricing, variations and associated delay claims.
- Acted and advised on ongoing commercial issues relating to the design and construction of a new £3m wedding venue at a country residence in Cheshire for the estate owners.
- Drafted and negotiated the UK roll-out of construction documents in the UK for Pure Gym across over 70 sites including the first at Spinningfields, Manchester, in 2009.
- Advised and drafted the contract suite based on JCT D&B 2016 with further considerations for phase 1 (£60m) proposed hotel development in Cornwall, acting for Kingfisher UNA Resort Ltd and St James’ Construction Ltd.
- Drafted contracts (JCT, ICC-based plus consultants’ appointments, assignments and novations) for a number of hotel groups including Holiday Inn Express, Luxury Family Hotels Group and Cotswolds-based boutique hotel group Dunkerton Properties LLP with a build value for each site of between £450,000 and £4.2m.
- Acted for the successful contractor for recovery of sums due in both SG South Ltd v (1) Kings Head Cirencester LLP (2) Cornhall Arcade Ltd  and SG South Ltd v Swan Yard (Cirencester) Ltd  in relation to a shopping centre development and high-end hotel.
- Advised on various contractual issues arising from works at hotels at Moonfleet Manor, Dorset, and Thornbury Castle.
- Acted for Dowdeswell Estates (Building Contractors) Ltd in relation to contractual issues with their supply chain and fund raising in relation to a number of their hotel renovation sites including a £55m city centre re-development in Gloucester.
- Advised on the proposed UK roll-out of grass-fed-only AD farms for energy company Ecotricity Group (procurement via IChemE red book).
- Drafted supply, installation and commissioning contracts for anaerobic digestion plants for an Austrian engineer – bespoke contracts, IChemE Red Book and MF/1 procured across England and Scotland (140kwp-2.4mwp schemes with Downing funding considerations) including specialist plant and civil engineering.
- Drafted EPC contracts for commercial solar schemes including the largest rooftop solar PV installation in Europe in 2014 (6.1 MW with an array the size of 11 football pitches) at Marks & Spencer’s distribution hub at Castle Donnington, Leicestershire. Advising further on the rights disposal to Amber Infrastructure.
- Various piling and O&M contracts relating to wind farms (ICE/ICC-based).
- Advised UK Power Solutions (Infracapital) on various contractual issues (including successfully bringing adjudications) based on its multi-utility connection works for universities, solar sites and contracts with statutory undertakers such as British Gas.
- Acted for Ecotricity Group on the procurement of a number of projects and related contract advice relating to MF/1, JCT and bespoke appointments with engineers based in Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic.
- Advised US-based Infracapital on various contractual issues based on its multi-utility connection works for universities for gas connections with statutory undertakers such as British Gas in the UK.
- Acted for bio-gas generator on the procurement of a number of projects and related contract advice relating to MF/1, JCT and bespoke appointments with engineers based in Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic.
- Advised on the proposed UK roll-out of grass-fed-only AD farms for an energy company (procurement via IChemE red book).
- Drafted supply, installation and commissioning contracts for anaerobic digestion plants for an Austrian engineer – bespoke contracts, IChemE Red Book and MF/1 procured across England and Scotland (140kwp-24mwp schemes with Downing funding considerations) including specialist plant and civil engineering.
- Advised on a £30m insurance dredging dispute in relation to a professional negligence claim at a dry dock in Felixstowe.
- Defended a Midlands-based mechanical & electrical engineer on a £1.1m claim in the TCC relating to alleged defects in ventilation extraction. Advised throughout this tripartite litigation, having drafted the defence and was heavily involved in drafting witness statements and steering multiple experts.
- Advising, drafting and negotiating IChemE Red Book and Yellow Book engineering contracts for the procurement of food production facilities with works valued between £2.6m and £20m.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised by Chambers UK 2022 for Construction: South West
“Jon is proactive, commercial and dogged in his pursuit of a deal for his clients. He is also adept at advising on novel developments on deals and is a good lawyer to have by your side.” Chambers UK 2022
Recognised by The Legal 500 2022 for Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
Recognised by The Legal 500 2022 for Construction
“We have engaged Jon Close on a number of occasions over several years and have also recommended Jon to our own clients. Over the years we have engaged Jon to assist us on a number of complex adjudications and on each occasion Jon has provided advice which has resulted in a positive outcome for both us and our clients. Jon is an erudite individual with an encyclopedic knowledge of construction law.” The Legal 500 2022
“Jon Close in particular is a fantastic networker and is blessed with a contact directory that always enhances the client experience. Added to which the Keystone model enables partner-led advice at a more reasonable fee amount and the Keystone model also ensures that genuine sector specialists are engaged where there is merit in doing so. a genuinely collaborative practice.” The Legal 500 2022
“Jon Close and Tom Phillips are fantastic committed passionate construction professionals and they absolutely take the time to understand the client”s business and what they can do to help and address any issues.” The Legal 500 2022
Author of A Comparative Guide to Construction and Engineering Contracts (published by Law Brief Publishing, September 2017)
Co-authored pieces on the benefits in terms of legal risk management associated with offsite modular construction
Recognised by The Legal 500 2021 for South West: Construction
Recognised by The Legal 500 2020 for South West: Construction
Recognised by The Legal 500 2017
“At Keystone Law, key practitioners include Jon Close, who joined from BPE Solicitors LLP in March 2016.” The Legal 500 (2016)
“Jon Close has advised a number of international clients, including Horiba and Biogest Energie und Wasstertechnik GmbH, on a wide range of matters.” The Legal 500 UK (2014)
“Jon Close is a key contact.” Chambers UK (2014)
“BPE Solicitors LLP’s Jon Close is recommended.” The Legal 500 UK (2012)
Jon qualified as a solicitor in 2005. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2016, he worked at the following firms:
- BPE Solicitors
- Osborne Clarke