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Nick Henchie

Nick Henchie Partner, International Construction Disputes

Head of the firm’s International Construction group, Nick is ranked in Band 1 for International Arbitration, Construction, in Chambers 2018 and has been described by Chambers UK as “widely regarded as a market leader in international construction arbitration” a “construction law heavyweight”, and a "brilliant strategist".

Nick has a wide range of experience, focusing on international arbitration and dispute resolution of construction and engineering disputes all over the world, as well as drafting construction contracts and procurement strategy development, and all aspects of construction insurance.

In recent years, Nick has increasingly advised clients regarding the engineering aspects of major energy projects, particularly offshore works and vessels. He is particularly well known for his lead role on behalf of the Panama Canal Authority, whom he represents in multiple high-value claims arising out of the $5.25 billion Panama Canal Expansion Project.

Nick’s experience covers projects, international disputes, and arbitrations in the UK, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong, St. Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Jordan, India, Egypt, Algeria, Gambia, Angola, Venezuela, Chile, Dominican Republic, Panama, Qatar, UAE, Caspian Sea, and other European countries.

A leading authority on the FIDIC and LOGIC/CRINE forms of contract, and EPC and EPCM contracting, Nick advises regularly on highly complex disputes involving detailed technical construction and engineering issues (defective works, delay and cumulative impact claims, errors in FEED and basic engineering, claims for loss and expense, disruption, force majeure, termination, etc.), related to many types of engineering and construction projects. 

Nick has represented a wide variety of clients in very significant international arbitrations and numerous pieces of litigation in the Technology and Construction Court, as well as before high-profile Dispute Adjudication Boards and a substantial number of domestic adjudications.

Experience Highlights

  • 2007 to date, advising the Panama Canal Authority in relation to the construction and engineering aspects of the $5.25 billion Panama Canal Expansion Program, including the procurement of the major locks contract (FIDIC Yellow Book based),the program manager’s appointment, and a number of technical and high-value disputes in DAB proceedings and ICC arbitration proceedings
  • Representing an international developer of power and water projects in complex and high-value ICC international arbitration proceedings concerning a Central American hydro electric power project
  • Representing an international EPC contractor and specialist waste-to-energy plant provider in major disputes concerning the design of a waste-to-energy plant in the UK

Power

  • Advising General Electric on various international construction contracts with governments, EPC contractors, and IPPs around the world for supply of gas turbines and construction of power stations; negotiated power contracts in Israel, Italy, and Spain
  • Representing an international developer of power and water projects in complex and high-value ICC international arbitration proceedings concerning a Central American hydro electric power project
  • Represented INEOS Chlor in High Court proceedings in the U.K. against Alstom Power Limited concerning major disputes over a boiler plant

Oil & Gas

  • Successfully represented a major energy company in complex and high-value ICC arbitration proceedings concerning the Dolphin project in the Middle East; dispute concerned responsibility for delays and cost overruns, and a disputed termination of a major pipe coating contract
  • Representing a specialist contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings concerning termination and costs claims for a major development project in Saudi Arabia
  • Representing a major offshore oil and gas contractor in LCIA arbitration proceedings concerning a project in Kazakhstan
  • Advising a major offshore oil and gas contractor on disputes concerning a defective gas pipeline in West Africa
  • Representing a major international offshore EPC contractor in relation to warranty claims concerning the construction of various well head towers and umbilicals offshore West Africa
  • Representing a major offshore EPC contractor in disputes arising out of major off shore project in Venezuela

Infrastructure & Rail

  • Representing an employer (Union Railways) in disputes, and serial adjudications and arbitration, arising out of one of Europe’s largest major infrastructure projects, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link project
  • Representing a major Turkish conglomerate in ICC arbitration proceedings arising out of the disputed termination of one of the EPC contracts relating to the Marmaray Project in Istanbul (FIDIC Silver Book based)
  • Advising a major international contractor on large disputes arising out of the design and construction of a major EU-funded road project in West Africa
  • Advising a major international EPC contractor on a new tram project in West Africa, and on all aspects of the EPC agreement and procurement

Process Plants

  • Represented a Jordanian company engaged in multimillion dollar ICC arbitration proceedings against an EPC contractor, engaged on FIDIC’s Orange Book to design and build a magnesium oxide plant on the banks of the Dead Sea; successfully defeated in its entirety the contractor’s loss and expense, and extension of time, claim in excess of $100 million; dispute concerned responsibility for errors in FEED
  • Represented a major U.S. international contractor in very substantial claims in UNCITRAL arbitration arising out of a process plant project at Ras Laffan, Qatar

Metals & Mining

  • Advised the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on various major oil shale concessions in the Kingdom
  • Advising a stock-listed mining company on construction (EPC/EPCM) aspects of the expansion of a major gold mine in Venezuela
  • Advising a major U.S. contractor on disputes and possible UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings arising out of a bauxite mine in Jamaica
  • Advising a Jordanian company on disputes arising out of an agency agreement for the supply of magnesium oxide
  • Representing a Jordanian company in major ICC arbitration proceedings concerning the design and construction of a magnesium oxide plant

Construction Insurance

  • Representing a major international power generation company in ICC arbitration proceedings against insurers, relating to damage to property claims concerning an infrastructure project in Latin America
  • Acting for a major energy company in claims against the EPC contractor, and under its business interruption and all risks insurance policies, in relation to complex engineering and performance-related issues, including major damage to the RO membranes, concerning a major desalination plant in Africa
  • Representing a major oil company in a dispute concerning the application of builders all risk insurance for alleged damage to property with regard to a major offshore project in the Middle East
  • Advising a UK contractor in relation to claims under its all risks insurance policies in relation to major water damage to the works at a prestigious new London development


Contact Details

London

T +44.20.7065.6087
M +44.7775.921.247
nhenchie@velaw.com
20 Fenchurch Street
24th Floor
London EC3M 3BY
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:26 PM
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Nick's Practices

  • The College of Law, Guildford, England, 1992
  • University College London, LL.B. (Honours), 1991
  • Admitted to practice: Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • Prior to joining Vinson & Elkins' London office in 2011, Nick was a partner at another major law firm.
  • Chambers UK, Construction: International Arbitration, 2016−2018
  • Legal 500 UK, Real Estate: Construction, 2015−2017
  • Legal 500 UK, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2015−2017
  • Who's Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.); Construction, 2016 and 2017
  • Selected to the London Super Lawyers list, London Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters)2015
  • Legal 500, United States, Construction, 2014 and 2018
  • The Best Lawyers UK (Woodward/White, Inc.), Construction, 2012, 2014, 2017−2019
  • Chambers UK, “Leaders in their Field” in Construction: Supplier (UK–wide), 2012–2014
  • Chambers UK, Construction: International Arbitration, 2014
  • Chambers UK, Construction: Purchaser, 2014
  • Legal 500 Latin America, International Arbitration, 2013, 2014 and 2016−2018
  • Selected to the London Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2013
  • The International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers (Law Business Research Ltd.)2013
  • Legal 500 EMEA, Construction, 2013
  • Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards, Shortlisted in “Construction Lawyer of the Year – UK,” 2013
  • Legal 500 UK, Construction, 2012
  • Legal 500 EMEA, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2012

  • Member: Society of Construction Law
  • Member: International Bar Association
  • Member: The Adjudication Society
  • Member: Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Solicitors and Registered Foreign Lawyers. A list of partner names is available for inspection at 20 Fenchurch Street, 24th Floor, London, EC3M 3BY. Vinson & Elkins RLLP is a limited liability partnership formed under the laws of New York authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No. 0079019).