Karen is a Senior Associate in the Construction and Engineering team at Burges Salmon LLP, having joined the team on qualification in 2014. 

Karen specialises in contentious Construction and Engineering and has significant experience in complex trouble shooting advice and strategy in order to avoid costly disputes, as well as in advising on contractor insolvency issues. She is also highly experienced in adjudication, arbitration, the Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes and enforcement proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court. 

Karen’s key interests are in renewable energy projects and in the creation of infrastructure that contributes to Net Zero. Karen also has particular experience in working for public sector and defence clients, as well as in hospitality and leisure.

"Richard Adams and Karen Paley – both absolutely superb lawyers and good fun to work with." - Legal 500 2022

"Richard Adams and Karen Paley are superb in terms of knowledge and support during the adjudication process and hearing." - Legal 500 2023


  • Advising an international engineer specialising in emissions control in a multi-million pound dispute in relation to a FIDIC based contract for the conversion of oil burners to biomass burners at a power plant that is responsible for a significant proportion of the UK's energy supply. 
  • Advising on the research and delivery phases of a ground-breaking international project to generate fusion energy as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.
  • Advising the Isle of Man Government in relation to two major contract variations to its multi-million pound energy from waste facility on the Isle of Man. 
  • Advising North Somerset Council on one of its key infrastructure projects in the South West, involving highways and rail interfaces.
  • Defending arbitration proceedings commenced by a contractor against a police authority in an M&E design dispute. 
  • Acting for a national contractor in a series of adjudications and arbitrations following disputes with its design team and the authority on a £160 million highways project procured under an NEC3 form of contract.
  • Advising Birmingham City Council on the construction aspects of delivery stage of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
  • Advising AEG in relation to the new retail development at The O2, London.
  • Acting for a charitable trust in a dispute with its demolition contractor concerning the removal of asbestos in a Grade II listed building, to be used as an aviation heritage museum. 
  • Advising The Crown Estate on construction contracts across its development portfolio. 

What others say...

Senior associate Karen Paley is good to work with. Very personable and responsive to the client’s requirements.

Legal 500 2024