Louise is a consultant in the property and construction team. She is a knowledgeable and respected specialist adviser with over 20 years’ experience of contentious construction and engineering disputes acquired in the road and rail sectors, in PFI, on tunnelling and dredging projects, and in the residential, retail, hotel, education, and health and leisure sectors. Louise has particular expertise in working for clients delivering mechanical and electrical engineering services.
Louise advises main contractors and subcontractors, consultants, and employers on all aspects of their construction and engineering needs, from advice on contracts and issues of design and construction, to disputes over payment, performance, and termination. She particularly enjoys advising on complex contract incorporation and interpretation issues, on final and interim account disputes, and on issues relating to delay and disruption, loss, and expense. Her experience includes advising on the usual standard form construction contracts including JCT and NEC, and on PFI and bespoke contracts.
Louise is a Fellow and SW Committee Member of the Forum for the Built Environment and a member of the Society of Construction Lawyers, the Adjudication Society, Constructing Excellence, and Interact Bristol.
- Advising on standard and bespoke forms of construction and engineering contracts highlighting the risks of proposed terms and amendments
- Analysis of contractual and tortious rights, obligations and risks
- Scrutiny of complex issues of incorporation and interpretation
- Advising on issues concerning the agreed scope of work and allegations of defects in design and workmanship
- Providing guidance on the administration of construction contracts including concerns as to Payment, Pay Less and Withholding Notices, Early Warning Notices, and Compensation Events
- Advising on Interim and Final Account disputes and on issues of abatement, set-off and cross-claims
- Analysing claims for delay and disruption, concurrency, and loss and expense, and working with independent experts to assess the prospects of success and the most advantageous presentation or defence of these disputes
- Providing guidance on the risks and procedures for contract termination by employers and by contractors, and bringing claims for wrongful termination including loss of profits
- Dealing with issues arising upon employer, contractor, and supplier insolvency including issues of retention of title and step-in rights, and acting for liquidators and administrators in recovering debts
- Assisting clients with the delivery of internal training programmes to reduce and manage risks
- Dispute resolution and avoidance using mediation and negotiation
- Litigation and arbitration including multi-party and international disputes
- Advising a contractor on step-in rights on insolvency and issues of design warranties on a multi-million pound airport project.
- Representing a national contractor on claims and counterclaims relating to the delivery of works on a PFI project including complex concurrency and quantum issues and securing settlement terms.
- Advising a contractor in response to allegations of defects in the design and workmanship on a commercial development including defending substantial claims brought against the contractor for diminution in value and loss of profits.
- Acting for a national M&E contractor on issues concerning a lighting system on a prestigious sustainable commercial development and allegations of defects in the performance of a combined heat and power system, including international issues of subcontractor retention of title.
- Acting for an international contractor on a multi-million pound claim relating to losses sustained on a dredging and reclamation contract for a UK port on issues of design and workmanship, insurance coverage, delay, and disruption.
- Securing an advantageous settlement for a main contractor of a dispute concerning the scope of works on a significant infrastructure project involving complex questions of contractual interpretation and incorporation of terms and documents.
- Represented a college on issues concerning works carried out on a project to design and build a new school and sporting facilities.
- Advising a national contractor on the termination of a framework housing maintenance project to avoid penalties and contra-charges on termination.
- Successfully defending Costain on the reported decision of Tesco Stores Ltd v Costain Construction Ltd and others, on design, workmanship, and limitation issues following a major retail fire.
- Advising on an international debt recovery claim for an ‘eco’ company including local law issues and advice to avoid pay-when-paid provisions.
- Providing efficient and effective advice in portfolio debt recovery for companies, liquidators, and administrators.
- Representing hospital trusts on claims arising from the procurement and delivery of projects including project time and cost overruns, performance of the consultant team, and actions against the contractors for delays in completion and defective performance.
- Advising a national hotel group on issues arising on new build and refurbishment projects involving claims made against contractors and consultants.
- Representing a college on issues concerning works carried out on a project to design and build a new school and sporting facilities, involving claims against numerous defendants and issues of architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical, and general building defects.
- Working on behalf of a land owner and house developer on adjudications concerning the defective performance of various contractors on a project for 40+ properties.
- Acting for home owners in claims against developers and building insurers for defects in their properties.
- Advising on upstream and downstream contractual issues concerning delivery and client obligations on major national and international tunnelling projects including the analysis of complex Z-clause amendments to the NEC3, early warning notices and compensation events.
- Working with a national contractor on various projects in the rail, road, and housing sectors to avoid and resolve disputes through advice on rights, obligations, and tactics appropriate to the issues and the commercial necessities.
- Advising the liquidator of a company on the strength of a significant claim brought against the company and providing a report to permit final distribution.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised in Chambers UK 2022 for Construction
Recognised by The Legal 500 2022 for South West: Construction
Recognised by Chambers UK 2021 for Construction: South West
Recognised by The Legal 500 2021 for South West: Construction
Recognised by Chambers UK 2020 for Construction: South West
Louise Garcia routinely advises contractors, developers and engineering companies on both contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction projects. An impressed client describes her as a “very good negotiator,” adding that she is “the kind of person you like to have with you when you are sitting at a table discussing matters with the opposition.” Chambers UK 2020
Recognised by the Legal 500 2020 for South West: Construction
Louise Garcia is a consultant at Keystone Law and is lauded as “a formidable construction litigator.” She has extensive experience in handling disputes, particularly those in the road and rail sectors. Chambers UK 2019
Recognised by the Legal 500 2018 for South West: Construction
Louise Garcia of Keystone Law is a highly regarded contentious specialist. She represents contractors, subcontractors, employers and consultants in a range of construction disputes, with particular strength in matters pertaining to commercial and residential developments. Chambers UK 2018
Recognised by the Legal 500 2017
Louise Garcia of Keystone Law represents contractors, subcontractors, consultants and employers in significant disputes. One interviewee reports that she is “dedicated and thorough in her approach, and very knowledgeable in her field.” Chambers UK 2017
At Keystone Law, Louise Garcia, has notable experience in contentious construction matters. Legal 500 2016
Louise Garcia of Keystone Law acts for a wide range of clients on contentious matters. One client reports that she “tells it to you straight – she lets you decide whilst fully explaining the risks and opportunities around her advice.” Chambers UK 2016
Louise Garcia of Keystone Law has extensive experience of contentious and non-contentious matters. She advises on construction contracting and procurement, contractor and subcontractor insolvency matters and dispute resolution. Chambers UK 2015
Before joining Keystone, Louise was Head of the Construction Team of her previous firm, based in Bath. Chambers and Partners UK 2013 rates Louise as a Band 1 adviser in construction and engineering in her location and comments that Louise is noted by clients for “cutting to the chase” and “negotiating well”. She is respected for her abilities as a contentious practitioner, and sources describe her as “a very accomplished litigator who knows what she’s doing.” Comments from the 2012 review note: “Clients consider her to be extremely client-focused, highly competent and an excellent and persuasive communicator. She possesses a most welcome and natural ability to explain complex legal arguments in plain English.”
The Legal 500 UK recommends Louise and describes her as “very knowledgeable”, commenting also on her team-leader focus of delivering a service which is described as “very strong, personable …, and provides good value for money”.The Legal 500 quotes clients commenting on Louise as having “the ability to crystallise the important issues and communicate them succinctly and effectively”. She is “extremely client-focused, highly competent and an excellent and persuasive communicator”.
Fellow of Forum for Built Environment and Great Western Branch Committee member
Member of the Society of Construction Law
Member of the Adjudication Society SW
Member and current Bristol Chair of Interact
Member of Constructing Excellence Southwest
Louise qualified as a solicitor in 1992. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2014, she worked at the following firms:
- Withy King
- Osborne Clarke
- Nabarro Nathanson