Rachael Hobbis

Partner - Head of Construction and Engineering

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"I am a construction and engineering law specialist with the expertise and experience to assist clients through the life-cycle of a project. I particularly specialise in managing risk and solving complex issues to achieve clients goals. ”

I am a partner and Head of the Construction and Engineering team at Higgs. Prior to joining Higgs LLP in 2018, I worked for a national top 50 law firm for over 10 years.

I specialise in all aspects of construction law and have more than 15 years’ experience advising employers, funders, end-users, contractors, sub-contractors, designers and consultants on all major forms of construction, engineering, demolition, energy and development contracts, advising throughout the entire life cycle of the project, identifying and advising upon the correct procurement and contract strategy, negotiating and drafting contracts and risk strategy, and advising on dispute avoidance and resolution.

I advise a wide-range of project stakeholders including:

  • Residential and commercial developers;
  • Healthcare operators and NHS Trusts;
  • Educational Institutions such as Universities and schools;
  • Hotel and leisure operators;
  • Contractors and supply chain;
  • Utilities and energy sector specialist contractors;
  • High street, challenger, mezzanine and private equity funders;
  • End users and occupiers; and
  • Consultants; amongst others.

I enjoy working as an extension of the client team to achieve a successful outcome in line with the client’s ambitions and aspirations for the project. I have a particular interest in drafting of documents to address specific nuances of the project.

I am a visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University to Part 3 Architecture Students and previously to Part 2 Architecture Students. I am a previous visiting lecturer at Aston University to Construction Management students.

I am currently secretary for the Constructing Excellence Birmingham and Black Country Club.

  • Advising a residential housing developer in respect of a particularly complex build to rent and registered provider mixed use housing scheme for £90M
  • Advising a care operator on a build programme for new care homes with a value in excess of £20M
  • Acting on behalf of an American based manufacturing company agreeing obligations in respect of the development agreements for the construction of a new build commercial unit and carrying out due diligence and agreeing the construction package
  • Acting on behalf of NHS Trusts in respect of construction of a respite home and inter-operative MRI scanner
  • Acting on behalf of a client in respect of contract for the procurement of the design and construction of modular housing
  • Advising a specialist utilities contractor on its responsibilities and risk under multi-million pound framework contracts and negotiating the same
  • Drafting forms of contract for a PV contractor
  • Acting on behalf of both employers and contractor in respect of the construction of new hotels in the region of circa £10M
  • Acting on behalf of tier 1 and tier 2 funders to carry out due diligence on the contraction documents package and obtain collateral warranties in its favour as part of the funding security package
  • Acting on behalf of borrowers in satisfying lender’s requirements to secure funding
  • Advising consultant practices on risk under appointment documents
  • Advising employer in respect of claims against a guarantor to a main contractor arising as a result of as a result of the contractor’s insolvency including a claim for step-in and specific performance by the guarantor to complete the contractor’s obligations and for consequential monetary claims arising as a result of the delay
  • Assisting various clients during build stage to assist the management of monetary and programme risk ensuring contractual obligations have been complied with
  • Acting on behalf of employers, contractor and sub-contractors in various adjudications including disputes regarding payment (“smash and grab” and valuation), delay and defects
  • Advising employer in respect of multi-million pound delay claim brought by contractor
  • Acting on behalf of main contractor in respect of £2.5m claim for delay and additional costs by sub-contractor
  • Advising sub-contractor in respect of £0.5m payment claim
  • Advising sub-contractor in respect of recovery of retention where main contractor operating pay when paid/certified clause
  • Advising sub-contractor in the circumstances of upstream contractor insolvency
  • Instructing Solicitor on reported case of Avoncroft Construction Limited v Sharba Homes (CN) Limited (2008)

More about me

Favourite place

South Milton Beach, South Devon

Favourite quote

“What if I fall? Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”

Most used app

What’sApp for school updates!


Horse riding, tennis, pilates, walking, reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family

"Rachael Hobbis went above and beyond my expectations for a legal adviser. A first-class experience"

A satisfied client

"The construction team was lauded for its “diverse roster of investors, developers, contractors, and end-users across the West Midlands”, with the report commending Partner Rachael Hobbis"

Legal 500

“…your comment about Rachael is understated! She is bloody brilliant, she is the best construction lawyer in the business by miles. She guides [our company] through the most complex transactions, working all the hours to achieve a successful result…”

CEO of developer

Meet the team