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Life as a construction lawyer: interview with Paul Scott, Partner at Trowers & Hamlins

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Luqmaan Ayaz, senior legal recruitment specialist recently sat down with Paul Scott, Partner at law firm Trowers & Hamlins, to discuss life as a construction litigator and partner, the firm’s growth plans for the Birmingham team, plus what it’s like working there.

Trowers & Hamlins are a full-service international law firm with offices across the UK, Middle East and Asia, supported by a rich 240-year history. If you are a Midlands based lawyer interested in hearing more about available opportunities, contact Luqmaan Ayaz, senior legal recruitment specialist on 07425 806576 or

Could you share some insights into your career path and the journey that led you to Trowers & Hamlins?

Since qualifying in 2008, I have worked as a construction litigator at several national and international law firms.  I have been fortunate to work with some excellent construction litigators over the course of my career to date and have worked on a range of interesting and varied matters for great clients. In the first few years after qualification, I was focussed on learning as much as I could about construction disputes and, with the benefit of hindsight, I probably didn’t truly recognise the full significance of the wider economic situation at that time.

This may have been because the disputes market remained pretty buoyant throughout the financial crisis compared to transactional work. It was probably only after another two years, when I was able to view that period with a bit more context.

After 10-12 years of working as a construction litigator in Birmingham, I'd started to think about moving into a role where I had the opportunity to develop my own team. It was around that time that the opportunity at Trowers & Hamlins presented itself. For me, the chance to lead the construction disputes team at the firm's Birmingham office offered the ideal opportunity for me to achieve two things. One; to lead a Birmingham based construction team in a market I have a great deal of experience in and two; benefitting from the size, expertise and reputation of Trowers & Hamlins as a full service national and international law firm.

I decided to move to Trowers & Hamlins in late 2019 and was working my notice period at my previous firm when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I started at Trowers just as the national lockdown was imposed and, whilst the new remote working requirements made integrating into a new team more challenging, the pandemic presented a range of interesting work in relation to the impact of the lockdown on the construction industry.

Whilst the pandemic was undoubtably a challenge for many, it did speed up our adoption of technology. For us, amongst other things this included a heavy reliance on Teams and video conferencing software, which helped us maintain strong communication channels with our clients and intermediaries, whilst retaining cross-office cooperation between our UK and international teams. Our hybrid working model has successfully balanced the benefits of remote working with the office collaboration.

What it's like being a Partner at Trowers & Hamlins?

Being a partner at Trowers & Hamlins is an inclusive and multi-faceted role, and I’m proud to work alongside 16 other talented partners in the Birmingham office. As well as being specialists in our respective practice areas, partners contribute to;

The strategic direction of the Birmingham office and can expect to lead on initiatives that support the delivery of a first-class service to clients

The personal and professional development of the wider team

Proactive regional marketing and profile raising

Client origination – all of which involve a strong focus on internal and external relationship management.

 There's a clear understanding of metrics and strategic direction, and our contribution to the firm's 'responsible business' activities is also encouraged. It's a particularly exciting time to join Trowers & Hamlins given our investment in new offices in new locations, our commitment to innovation and our purposeful ED&I and ESG strategy - all of which will take us forward as a firm.

What are your thoughts on the Midlands construction market?

The construction and engineering industries will always be seen as drivers of wider economic growth – be that through large infrastructure projects or ambitious targets for the construction of new homes. This will continue to generate work for both transactional and disputes focussed construction lawyers, and I suspect that firms will therefore continue to compete to recruit and retain the best talent to help them access this work and deliver it to a high standard.

Why do you believe Trowers & Hamlins stands out as the top choice for construction lawyers?

There are some excellent opportunities at Trowers & Hamlins for talented construction lawyers who want to progress their careers. Very few law firms in Birmingham are able to offer 'the best of both', in terms of playing an important role in contributing to the direction of the firm locally, whilst also being able to capitalise on the experience and expertise that comes from being at an international law firm.

Trowers & Hamlins has over 170 partners and more than 1,000 people located across the UK, Middle East and Asia, including dedicated teams focussed on Korea and India. In the UK, we have our headquarters in London and three regional offices in Birmingham, Exeter and Manchester.

As a full-service law firm that advises clients locally and across the globe, Trowers & Hamlins are recognised experts in corporate, commercial, dispute resolution and litigation, real estate, social housing, banking and finance and private wealth and employment law. We also have specialists in areas such as construction, planning, tax, pensions, IP, energy, environmental, manufacturing, owner-managed business and cyber.

All of this is reinforced by our values-driven culture and a fantastic working environment which has been fostered over our 240-year history. We have stood by our values and characteristics – such as service, quality, integrity and innovation – this has made us not only a leading law firm, but also an inclusive and exciting place to work and establish a career.

What is the advantage of collaborating with a specialised legal recruitment agency like IDEX Legal?

With the competition around recruiting and retaining the best talent expected to remain strong, we have found it incredibly useful to partner with specialist recruiters such as IDEX Legal, who take the time to really understand our recruitment needs and find a bespoke solution that truly delivers what we need.

If you are a Midlands based lawyer interested in hearing about the opportunities available to you, contact Luqmaan Ayaz, senior legal recruitment specialist on 07425 806576 or