Mr Adrian Hughes KC > Chambers of Charlie Cory-Wright KC and Richard Harwood KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Charlie Cory-Wright KC and Richard Harwood KC
39 Essex Chambers


Barrister specialising in complex commercial contract work. Main areas of expertise lie within the construction/engineering and commercial fields and include also information technology, rail, energy, project finance, insurance, shipping, international trade and professional negligence cases. Much of his work involves international arbitration and dispute resolution with a particular focus on China and the Far East. He acts as Counsel and also as Arbitrator in many different jurisdictions and under all the main international institutional rules.


Formerly an Officer in the Royal Navy. Called to the Bar 1981. Examiner of the Court 1998. Recorder 2001. Queen’s Counsel 2006. Adjudicator (TECBAR). Mediator (Resolex panel; CEDR qualified); Dispute Board chairman/member for major infrastructure projects.


French (working knowledge).


Chairman UK Society of Construction Law (2010-11); Chairman China Law Council in the UK; Bar Council International Committee; TECBAR; COMBAR.


Warwick School; Wadham College, Oxford (MA in jurisprudence).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Adrian Hughes KC – 39 Essex Chambers ‘Adrian has an impressive energy practice and his advocacy is first-class.’

39 Essex Chambers is ‘very strong on environmental law they have a number of great juniors’, and in energy matters its members are ‘always very prepared and have the ability to explain advice to clients in a digestible way’. Its energy and natural resources group frequently handles disputes concerning projects in the oil & gas, nuclear, power generation and renewables industries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the UK. It also handles regulatory and public law matters relating to the energy sector, including challenges to UK regulator Ofgem. Notable silk Stephen Tromans KC is handling on development consent order application for new UK nuclear power station Sizewell C, working with emerging junior talent Victoria Hutton. Karim Ghaly KC has a growing reputation in the energy space; his work includes disputes concerning major PPP projects, oil wells and oil refineries.  Adrian Hughes KC  is involved in cases concerning international contracts for the construction and operation of power stations, waste processing plants, and oil and gas storage platforms.

London Bar > International arbitration: arbitrators

(Leading counsel as arbitrators)Ranked: Tier 2

Adrian Hughes KC39 Essex Chambers ‘His wide knowledge in international law is impressive and he is an excellent addition to an arbitration panel and a pleasure to work with.’

39 Essex Chambers is ‘full of excellent arbitrators‘ and is considered ‘an outstanding construction law set with many of the leading construction law specialists in the country‘. Energy and infrastructure disputes in Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong and China, all feature prominently on the agenda for its strong selection of full time and part time arbitrators. The members come from an impressive mix of backgrounds, including former judges such as Lord Dyson, highly rated barristers including Adrian Hughes KC and Richard Wilmot-Smith KC, and former solicitors such as Peter Rees KC,  David Brynmor Thomas KC and David Bateson.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Adrian Hughes KC39 Essex Chambers ‘A skilled silk and extremely adaptable and pragmatic. Solicitors and clients most impressed with his understanding of how local businesses work, in particular businesses with a mainland Chinese element.’

39 Essex Chambers has ‘great depth at both silk and junior level‘  and is considered a ‘premier set for large complex construction engineering infrastructure disputes‘. Clients are also attracted by the set’s ‘growing presence in Asia’. The  members’ international reach extends to major disputes in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Latin America. The set contains several high profile silks including Adrian Hughes KC, who recently defended a Chinese client in the enforcement of a Swiss arbitration award. David Brynmor Thomas KC and Karim Ghaly KC have also made a strong names for themselves in energy and infrastructure related claims. Jess Connors  and Karen Gough  are well-regarded at the junior end.

London Bar > Construction

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Adrian Hughes KC39 Essex Chambers ‘Adrian is highly regarded in the field of international construction arbitration. He is always thoroughly prepared, and he has a sharp mind which enables him to master complex issues swiftly. He is a wise strategist with an exceptional understanding of commercial realities.’

Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration > Arbitrators

(Leading arbitrators)Ranked: Tier 2

Adrian Hughes KC39 Essex Chambers ‘Adrian is very fair, open-minded and collaborative.  He does the work, gets his hands dirty and learns the details of the case.  He has a lot of experience in China-related disputes and is a valuable addition to any tribunal.

39 Essex Chambers  has arbitrators active in Asia, both in its London headquarters and in its offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Notable names among the set’s silks include Adrian Hughes KC, who continues to be popular in China-linked disputes, and Peter Rees KC , who has experience at the top level of both solicitors firms and in-house, having served as Shell’s in-house lawyer. Singapore-based and Italian-qualified Loretta Malintoppi contributes investor-state arbitration experience; Steven Lim is another notable name based in the city-state.

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

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Adrian Hughes KC – 39 Essex ChambersVery hard working, strong in the law and advocacy, and most important of all, a real team player.’


39 Essex Chambers prides itself on being a true international set within construction, energy and infrastructure, covering jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and Australia. The chambers’ international presence has been recently strengthened by the appointment of Abhinav Bhushan, who has joined as a Chief Executive for Asia, and has barristers taking on some of the region’s leading work such as Jonathan Bellamy advising a construction contractor on causes and remedial scheme for construction defects at Hung Hom MTR station in Hong Kong. Adrian Hughes KC has continued with his well established international arbitration practice, working with firms and clients across the region – he has particularly close connections with mainland Chinese law firms.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Commercial

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Adrian Hughes KC – 39 Essex ChambersHe has strong communication skill and fruitful experience.’

39 Essex Chambers are an international chambers offering leading commercial barristers in Asia Pacific regions such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Members of chambers are supported by the clerks who bring a high degree of knowledge about the Asia Pacific market, with their client focused and commercial approach. Adrian Hughes KC has an established commercial arbitration practice, acting as counsel for law firms and clients in Asia and the Far East including China, with work highlights also including London litigation involving the enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards. Jonathan Bellamy  as an established advisory and representation practice including arbitrations under institutions including ICC, LCIA, SIAC and UNCITRAL.