Mr James Howells QC > Atkin Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Atkin Chambers
Atkin Chambers
1, Atkin Building, Gray's Inn
James Howells photo


James specialises in construction, engineering and IT disputes, both domestic and international. James regularly appears as an advocate in the English Courts and in international arbitration, James is regularly instructed in international arbitration in the Middle East/Africa and Asia, and has extensive experience of arbitration under all major institutional rules. James has extensive experience of other forms of dispute resolution. James’ experience of domestic and international infrastructure projects has included metro and heavy rail, roads, and airports across the globe. Experience of energy disputes has included numerous claims relating to the design, construction and commercial operation of oil and gas production platforms and rigs, drill ships and FPSOs. James has extensive experience of power-related disputes ranging from coal/oil and gas fired plants and renewable energy sources including wind, wave, hydro, solar and biomass power production. IT experience includes commercial and technical disputes in respect of projects ranging from financial services/banking and commercial systems to major government IT infrastructure disputes. 


MA (Cantab), BCL (Oxon). Silk 2014.




TECBAR, LCLCBA, COMBAR, SCL, Society for Computers and Law.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > IT and telecoms

(IT and telecoms (excluding regulatory) - Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

James Howells QCAtkin ChambersHe always provides level-headed, pragmatic and commercial legal advice.

Atkin Chambers is a set to note for IT infrastructure disputes, within which its barristers have acted both for and against software providers. In a recent work example, James Howells QC is representing PTT Limited in a dispute with Triple Point Technology Inc relating to $13m claims and counterclaims arising out of the termination of a contract for the design and implementation of IT systems across Asia and Gulf businesses.

London Bar > Professional negligence

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

James Howells QCAtkin ChambersHe is experienced in energy, engineering and technology disputes.

Atkin Chambers is an ‘extremely strong construction set‘ and is therefore ‘well placed to handle complex construction, engineering, infrastructure and energyrelated professional negligence disputes.’ Nicholas Baatz QC represented the developer in Bullring Ltd Partnership v Laing O’Rourke, which examined the design and construction of the iconic Selfridges store at the Birmingham Bullring. Stephanie Barwise QC is representing a group of survivors, bereaved relatives, and former residents in The Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry. Phase 2 of the inquiry is due to commence in 2019 and will involve matters which could eventually give rise to actions for negligence. James Howells QC is leading Lucie Briggs in acting for the first defendant in Premier Inn Hotels Ltd v AP14 Ltd & S&T (UK) Ltd & SD Samuels (Special Projects) Ltd, a £6m claim brought by the hotel chain arising out of the design and specification of the cladding on its hotel at Heathrow.

London Bar > Construction

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

James Howells QCAtkin ChambersA dedicated and impressive silk.

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

James Howells QCAtkin ChambersVery user-friendly, calm and incredibly hardworking; he conveys an impressive sense of being on top of everything.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

James Howells QCAtkin ChambersPhenomenally clever and strategically astute.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Construction, energy and infrastructure

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

James Howells QCAtkin ChambersLay clients do not understand how he does it – he has a grasp of all the material and can talk knowledgeably about oil and gas in the boardroom.

Atkin Chambers is ‘one of the leading constructions sets in the world with a very long-established successful track record and a wide range of counsel to choose from‘. The set is active in disputes over agenda-setting projects across Asia, including in both Mainland China and Hong Kong (with Andrew Goddard QC popular in Hong Kong). James Howells QC has a practice that includes work across the ASEAN region, and in particular, is well-connected in Thailand; alongside arbitration instructions, he represented the Thai state oil company in the English Court of Appeal case Triple Point Technology v PTT Limited, a matter which has raised questions of the English law on liquidated damages in the context of a fraught IT project. Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC is a very popular silk among Korean law firms.