Mr David Streatfeild-James KC > Atkin Chambers > London, England > Barrister Profile

Atkin Chambers
1, Atkin Building, Gray's Inn


David Streatfeild-James acts as an advocate, adviser and arbitrator in high-value commercial cases comprising legally, factually, and technically complex issues. During 30 years of practice he has gained an outstanding professional reputation.

In acting for a wide range of clients relating to infrastructure projects worldwide, David’s scope of experience encompasses the fields of construction and engineering, energy, information technology and professional negligence.

Experience includes disputes under most standard construction contracts and forms, on and offshore fabrications, power and renewable energy projects, water treatment and waste plants, soft and hardware computer systems, and control and communication systems.

David also has expertise with financing and service agreements, and PFI / PPP contracts.


Called 1986; Inner Temple; Queens Counsel 2001.

David is an accredited TECBAR arbitrator and DRB member.



Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Construction

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

David Streatfeild-James KCAtkin Chambers ‘David is an intellectual powerhouse. A very reassuring presence.’

Retaining its firm standing as a ‘market-leading’ set for construction disputes, Atkin Chambers has continued handling high-stakes matters in the UK and internationally. As one example of the chambers’ prowess in construction-related international arbitrations, the set’s mainstay, the Third Set of Locks Project on the Panama Canal saw Manus McMullan KC  and Christopher Lewis KC represent the Panama Canal Authority in a series of high-value claims. Domestically, Dominique Rawley KC and Jennifer Jones KC (a 2024 silk appointment) defended Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick and Balfour Beatty Group in Northumbria Healthcare NHS v Lendlease Construction, a case concerning alleged structural defects at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, while Simon Lofthouse KC and Omar Eljadi represented one of Lendlease’s subcontractors in the related Lendlease Construction v MPB Structures counterclaims. In an expansive multi-party dispute, among others Chantal-Aimée Doerries KC and David Streatfeild-James KC acted for Morrisons against Lorien Engineering Solutions regarding alleged defects in the refrigeration systems of its pork abattoir in Colne. Stephanie Barwise KC has been advising on cladding issues and the Building Safety Act, and has made clarification submissions on Grenfell – a number of other members of chambers have been involved in litigation surrounding related issues of cladding and fire safety. Notable internal changes include Stuart Catchpole KC joining from 39 Essex Chambers and Rupert Choat KC taking silk in March 2022.

London Bar > IT and telecoms (infrastructure and contracts)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Streatfeild-James KCAtkin Chambers

Building on its status as one of the pre-eminent construction sets, the members of Atkin Chambers are well-placed to act in disputes related to the systems underpinning large-scale facilities including airports, train networks, power stations and hospitals. David Streatfeild-James KC is acting for a supplier of renewable source electricity and energy solutions in a £40m termination dispute pertaining to the allegedly negligent design of a new billing and data management system raising issues of breach of contract, limitation of liability and possible fraudulent misrepresentation – a four-week trial is set for 2024. Patrick Clarke acts for the defendant in TCC proceedings concerned with a claim for £1m in connection with the engineering of an automated manufacturing process for fighter jet countermeasures. Peter Land, as a former engineer, is experienced in transport systems disputes, James Howells KC has an international practice in this space.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

David Streatfeild-James KCAtkin Chambers ‘David has a profound ability to pick up a substantial, complex construction case and present it forcefully and convincingly at a hearing. He is innovative in is thinking, always bringing a new angle to the issues and the manner in which a case should be put – a formidable cross-examiner, knows exactly how to read a tribunal and drafts with clarity and persuasively.’

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

David Streatfeild-James KCAtkin Chambers ‘A great advocate with a fantastic mind, David is strategically astute and has good industry knowledge.’

London Bar > Professional negligence

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

David Streatfeild-James KCAtkin Chambers ‘Exceptionally clever and considered – extremely good advocate, persuasive and clear and very commercial and strategic whilst being the ultimate team player.’

Atkin Chambers is a ‘market-leading’ construction set, with this expertise being relayed into a professional negligence practice concerning the built environment. Members of the set are regularly involved in the TCC and arbitration in disputes arising out of loss suffered as a result of negligent advice from a wide range of construction professionals. David Streatfeild-James KC recently acted for a contractor in a £115m dispute concerning alleged design defects in the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, a high-profile infrastructure project in Cambridgeshire – proceedings included negligence claims against the structural and geotechnical engineering subcontractor that designed the works.

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

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Streatfeild-James KC – Atkin ChambersA serene silk who always gets to the root of the key points.’

Middle East: The English Bar > Construction

(Leading silks)Ranked: Tier 1

David Streatfeild-James KCAtkin Chambers ‘One of the brightest silks in the world and an incredible work ethic. ’

Atkin Chambers is renowned for its proficiency in construction, energy, and infrastructure disputes, notably mixed-use, transportation, and power developments. Chantal-Aimée Doerries KC often handles disputes arising from the development of sizeable infrastructure and industrial facility projects. Andrew White KC, Fiona Parkin KC, and Simon Lofthouse KC act as counsel in arbitrations across the Gulf while David Streatfeild-James KC is experienced in renewable energy and mixed-use construction projects. James Howells KC specialises in contentious power mandates, and Riaz Hussain KC is often instructed by sizeable contractors and developers. Zulfikar Khayum is principally focused on international arbitration, and Samar Abbas’ recent caseload includes transport and water infrastructure projects. Christopher Reid is also a key member of the set.