George McDonald > 4 New Square Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

4 New Square Chambers
4 New Square

Living Wage


George has extensive experience of commercial disputes with a real focus on construction, international arbitration and costs. George acts on substantial domestic and international claims, which recently include multiple disputes arising from three separate PFI contracts (worth £2billion, £6billion and £800 million) for the management of road networks, major motorways and a waste management facility, a complex arbitration claim worth in excess of £100million relating to a nuclear facilities construction project, and disputes relating to novel cheque scanning facilities for the whole of the UK. In costs, George has been instructed as sole costs counsel on some of the seminal costs cases and has particular experience of group litigation. Recent costs cases include for the Mirror Newspaper in the phone hacking litigation, in the Mau Mau litigation against the UK Foreign Office, for hundreds of claims by army personnel for hearing loss, one of the largest product liability claims relating to defective hip implants, and for 365 local authorities in the substantial “property searches” litigation.




BA (Oxon) (1st class). Worcester College Scholar. Called to the Bar in 2007 (Hardwicke and Shelford Scholar).


Sport, travel.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Construction

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

George McDonald 4 New Square ‘George is a stand-out junior; immensely clever and likeable.’

4 New Square provides representation on a range of construction-related matters, and coupled with its professional negligence expertise, it offers particular strength in defending claims for contractors. Four members of chambers have been instructed on different aspects of UBB Waste v Essex County Council, a high-value dispute over a 25-year PFI contract for the construction and operation of a waste treatment, including Roger Stewart KC, Richard Liddell KC, George McDonald and Lucy Colter. Thomas Ogden is acting on Frames Process Systems v Vulcanic UK, a multi-million euro claim relating to defective equipment on offshore vessels. Members of chambers are also instructed on a number of delay and disruption construction claims, as well as claims involving issues of insurance. Internationally, it is involved in a range of construction arbitration matters, with Cyril Chern acting on a number of arbitrations relating to major engineering and construction projects.

London Bar > Costs

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

George McDonald4 New SquareGeorge is outstanding, his attention to detail is second to none. He is simply one of the best.

An ‘excellent set with a speciality in costs‘, 4 New Square is ‘a collection of barristers operating in the modern era‘ that are frequently seen in Supreme Court and Court of Appeal costs cases, with representation from silk to junior level. October 2021 saw the conclusion of Ho v Adelekun, the leading Supreme Court appeal case on the question of qualified one-way costs shifting and set-off of costs. The set had representation on both sides, including renowned costs silk Nicholas Bacon KC for Ho, and Roger Mallalieu KC acting for the successful appellant. Benjamin Williams KC also acted in that appeal for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and in another appeal heard in October 2021, represented the former in GEHC v Rosenblatt, the longest ever costs trial relating to alleged misconduct by a commercial firm of solicitors. In another long-running costs assessment Vik v Deutsche Bank, Pippa Manby led by Bacon KC, was on the opposing side to Williams; her busy costs practice has her instructed in inter partes disputes and solicitor-client disputes in the County Courts, High Court and Senior Courts Costs Office. Daniel Saoul KC has a strong costs litigation practice and particular experience offshore, while Robert Marven KC is often brought into major group and commercial litigation on specific costs issues. Matthew Waszak joined the set from Temple Garden Chambers in March 2022 and adds to an impressive crop of juniors that includes regular sole costs counsel George McDonald, and Shail Patel, whose established commercial practice means he can advise on costs issues and take the lead in costs arguments as part of substantial commercial cases.

London Bar > Group litigation

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

George McDonald4 New Square ‘His understanding of how to structure all aspects of complex group litigation is unrivalled.’