Roberta Downey > Vinson & Elkins RLLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Vinson & Elkins RLLP
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Roberta Downey photo

Work Department

Complex Commercial Litigation




Roberta is co-head of the firm’s International Construction group. She is based in our London office with close to 30 years of experience in commercial dispute resolution, including large trials and highly technical disputes where teamwork together with strategic thinking, effective legal argument and detailed analysis of the evidence is required.

Roberta’s practice focuses first and foremost on the construction, engineering and energy industries. That industry focus has allowed her to build a portfolio of both domestic and international work that spans the full spectrum of energy, power, and major infrastructure projects, including thermal power plants, renewable energy projects, LNG facilities, petrochemical facilities, iconic urban regeneration projects, engineering support services, rail infrastructure, telecommunications, wastewater treatment, recycling facilities, data centres, and automated equipment and control systems. She is particularly well known in the market for her work in relation to offshore wind farms, on which she published a prize-winning paper for the Society of Construction Law.

Roberta focuses on practical and commercial solutions to complex issues that arise throughout the lifecycle of major projects, where she has advised all the key participants in the supply chain: developers, owners, contractors, subcontractors, consultants, and manufacturers. While she is a firm believer in proactive project management to avoid disputes, she always has an eye on positioning clients to best achieve their objectives and is as comfortable managing large trials on highly technical disputes in litigation and arbitration as she is in performing early case assessments, and conducting mediations, adjudications and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, whatever the jurisdiction or location of the project.


  • King’s College London, M.Sc. Construction Law & Arbitration, 2003
  • College of Law, London, CPE and LSF, 1991 and 1992
  • University of Oxford, M.A., 1988

Lawyer Rankings

London > Dispute resolution > International arbitration

Vinson & Elkins RLLP’s London group is well known for representing energy and oil and gas clients in high-value disputes. Louise Woods is experienced in investment treaty and international commercial arbitrations; Nick Henchie is a construction and engineering disputes expert; and Scott Stiegler acts in international construction disputes. In 2021, construction disputes partners Roberta Downey and Angus Rankin were recruited from Hogan Lovells International LLP, while former counsel and London practice co-head Alexander Slade joined Mishcon de Reya LLP in February 2022.

London > Real estate > Construction: contentious

(Leading individuals)

Roberta Downey – Vinson & Elkins RLLP

Vinson & Elkins RLLP has an excellent reputation for contentious matters relating to high-end, complex projects, both in international and domestic markets. The team acts across a range of sectors, including oil and gas, petrochemicals, infrastructure, power, energy and urban redevelopment. The international construction practice is co-headed Nick Henchie and Roberta Downey, who recently joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP. Henchie has extensive experience in international arbitration and dispute resolution for construction and engineering matters, whilst Downey specialises in onshore and offshore construction and energy disputes. Scott Stiegler has notable experience long-running energy and infrastructure disputes. The team has also been bolstered with the addition of partners Angus Rankin and Nabeel Ikram, both previously at Hogan Lovells International LLP. Since joining the team, Rankin has had a particular focus on power projects and serving the firm’s growing client base in Asia.