Construction in London Bar
Specialist construction set Atkin Chambers is 'one of the leading chambers for construction disputes.' Its long-standing expertise serves both UK and international clients. Manus McMullan QC acted as lead counsel, working alongside Christopher Lewis QC, on the Panama Canal case on its Third Set of Locks Project dispute. A series of arbitrations are ongoing with further cases continuing until 2021. On the fire safety and cladding side, Nicholas Baatz QC is leading Marc Lixenberg in Stonewater Ltd v BAM Construction Ltd & Ors a cladding dispute, wherein the scope of a builder’s responsibility for compliance with Building Regulations has been in question. At the junior end, the set's rising stars are Mathias Cheung, Lauren Adams, Dr Nicholas Maciolek, and Christopher Reid.
'Pre-eminent' set Keating Chambers continues to work on the largest and most complex construction and engineering cases both in the UK and internationally. Piers Stansfield QC and Marcus Taverner QC acted on behalf of the claimant in Essex County Council v UBB, a £100m dispute regarding a PFI waste recycling project. Jonathan Selby QC has acted for the claimant in Zagora & Others v Zurich, a £13m claim in the TCC and Court of Appeal concerning a defective block of 104 flats, prompting the Fire Officer to order an evacuation of the building. In November 2019, Rachael O’Hagan arrived from 39 Essex Chambers, further strengthening her new chambers at the junior end, while Krista Lee took silk in early 2020. The future of chambers looks bright with Harry Smith, Emma Healiss, and James Frampton seen as rising stars in the market.
39 Essex Chambers' 'considerable depth' of expertise in construction and engineering is displayed by its leading members acting in major disputes, including a growing arbitration practice in the Middle East and Asia. On the domestic front, Paul Darling QC has acted for Interserve in Swansea Stadium v Interserve, in a claim against the contractor for defects in paintwork, which ended in a dismissal of the claim. The 'clever and strategic' Karim Ghaly QC is currently representing an NHS Trust in a £25m TCC claim arising from the construction of a hospital. The dispute concerns the topical issue of the adequacy of the fire stopping construction at the hospital.
The 'outstanding' and 'excellent' barristers at 4 Pump Court undertake construction disputes in the UK and abroad, especially the Middle East. The set's members continue to be instructed on landmark buildings, large-scale energy projects and PFI/PPP projects. The 'thorough and persuasive' Fiona Sinclair QC is representing the respondent in Bresco Electrical Services Ltd (in liquidation) v Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd, a case addressing the interplay between the statutory construction adjudication process and the statutory insolvency regime. Rachel Ansell QC is acting for Westfield Europe Ltd and White City Acquisitions Ltd in Westfield Europe Ltd; (2) White City Acquisitions Ltd v O’Keefe Construction (Greenwich) Ltd, in a claim for damages arising from the breach of the structural slab above the Central Line.
The 'very efficient' 4 New Square is instructed by major contractors and top tier law firms on a range of construction disputes. Paul Cowan acted for Sharpfibre Limited in Bouygues (UK) Ltd v Sharpfibre Ltd, a notable claim in respect of alleged defective cladding on a hotel, which has especially significant in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower Fire and the subsequent Public Inquiry. Ben Patten QC is acting for the contractor, Lindum Group, in Volvo Group UK Ltd v Paul Robinson Partnership UK Ltd, Lindum Group Ltd, a claim concerning alleged defective pavement design and construction at a Volvo depot. Richard Liddell strengthened the set after taking silk in early 2020.
Crown Office Chambers are equipped to handle instructions from employers, contractors and sub-contractors, and construction professionals across a wide range of sectors including engineering, power, infrastructure, and telecommunications. David Sears QC, who lauded as being able to 'identify key issues' in disputes acted for the contractor in CIMC MBS Ltd v Bennett (Construction) Limited, a crucial case concerned with the role of ‘effective payment mechanisms’ within the Construction Act 1996. The 'ferociously hard-working' Andrew Rigney QC and 'methodical' Dermot Woolgar acted for the respondent in Mears v Costplan Services et al (2019), considering the meaning of practical completion and the impact that patent defects have on the certification of practical completion.
Hardwicke possesses 'exceptional performers' who are instructed by the top tier construction firms. The 'brilliant' Paul Reed QC is leading the David Pliener and the Ebony Alleyne in Green Oasis International Company Limited & Others v Northacre Plc & Others (2018), a £20m claim arising from defective redevelopment works to ‘The Lancasters’, a landmark development in central London overlooking Hyde Park. Acting in the TCC has been Nigel Jones QC, leading Catherine Piercy in Lessors & Management Company of Herons Court v HeronsLea Limited, NHBC and others, defending a defects claim brought in effect by 20 owners of a block of flats built/developed by Heronslea.