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Offers outstanding capability in construction litigation and has a deep bench of silks and junior barristers. The set is regularly instructed in the most prominent construction disputes both domestically and internationally, and possesses an especially strong offering in the Middle East. Recently, members of the set were instructed in the closely watched case of North Midland Building v Cyden Homes, in which the Court of Appeal considered the ability of contracting parties to agree how extensions should be dealt with in periods of concurrent delay. 4 Pump Court offers expertise across the full range of construction cases, including those pertaining to large-scale PFI projects, property developments and sizeable energy production projects.
Client service: "Consistently excellent service. The clerking is excellent, attentive and focuses on nurturing long-term relationships, ensuring that the right barrister is available for the right case, on time and on budget." "4 Pump Court is very easy to deal with and the clerks are very, very accommodating." Stewart Gibbs and Carl Wall lead the clerking team.
Alexander Hickey QC
Silk who is establishing a thriving practice in construction-related disputes. His skills as an advocate earn him considerable praise, particularly when deployed in adjudication enforcement cases. He is increasingly involved in cases in the Middle East, especially those in the infrastructure and energy sectors. Recently, he has been particularly active in complex PFI disputes.
Strengths: "A very strong advocate and team player." "He has excellent knowledge of the Construction Act and adjudication, and is a pleasure to work with." "Very commercial and client-friendly."
Recent work: Instructed on behalf of CPPI in a claim against the architects of Bridgewater Place in Leeds, which required redesign and wind 'baffles' following the death and injury of pedestrians from the wind-funnelling effect of the building’s design.
Anthony Speaight QC
Senior silk with significant experience acting in the TCC on high-value claims relating to a wide range of construction projects. His recent experience also includes adjudications and appellate proceedings.
Strengths: "Anthony's advocacy is truly excellent." "Deep thinking on complex legal structures, very client-friendly and responsive."
Recent work: Instructed in Grove v S&T, which considered whether an adjudication on true value could be commenced by an employer who had failed to give the notices required in response to a contractor’s application.
Benjamin Pilling QC
Quality QC with a substantial practice in both the UK and the Middle East. He has worked in a number of large-scale construction disputes in the renewables, infrastructure and transport remits.
Strengths: "He is good with clients and provides sound advice." "A very effective construction and professional liability silk."
Recent work: Instructed by the owners of a building comprising mainly sheltered accommodation in a £9 million claim against the contractors following the destruction of the building in a fire. The case involved allegations of defective design and defective workmanship.
Robust senior junior who advises a diverse client base including major contractors, engineers and government departments. Her wide-reaching practice includes significant engagements in high-value adjudications and TCC cases, as well as international arbitration proceedings. She is particularly adept at dealing with disputes concerning engineering or design failures, as well as those with professional negligence elements. She receives considerable praise for her superb drafting skills.
Strengths: "Impressive drafting. She is hard-working and works well on complex, document-heavy and technically difficult cases." "Her drafting and legal argument and analysis is brilliant. She is phenomenally hard-working and turns things around quickly."
Recent work: Represented the contractor in Mears v Costplan, in which the claimant tenant sought an injunction to prevent practical completion of blocks of student accommodation.
Duncan McCall QC
Excellent silk whose practice runs the full spectrum of construction and engineering claims. He has a particular focus on cases involving major infrastructure and commercial projects both nationally and abroad. He continues to build an active practice in international arbitration proceedings.
Strengths: "He is excellent on paper - very quick and to the point." "He is very easy to work with and extremely responsive. I was impressed with him."
Recent work: Instructed in Clancy Docwra v E.ON Energy Solutions, a dispute involving declarations regarding the responsibility for underground obstructions encountered during the installation of a district heat network in central London.
Fiona Sinclair QC
Impressive silk with an enviable construction practice that has seen her appear in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Her considerable domestic offering is supplemented by her involvement in large international arbitration. She is a good choice for complex multiparty construction disputes.
Strengths: "She is a phenomenal advocate and technically brilliant with an eye for detail." "She has the innate ability to orchestrate extremely complex and challenging multiparty cases in a manner that is straightforward and user-friendly. She is a highly impressive advocate and strategically brilliant."
Recent work: Represented Spink Construction in a highly contentious dispute arising out of a project to develop a super-prime home in Henley for £173 million, which involved defending allegations of fraud.
Excellent junior who regularly appears in both domestic and international arbitration and frequently advises on complex litigation and adjudications in the UK, as well as enforcement matters. He is increasingly instructed to act unled by a client base that includes multinational corporations and national governments. His recent work includes construction mandates arising in the energy and real estate development sectors.
Strengths: "He is an excellent all-round strategist and advocate - he is persistent, articulate and well prepared. He is also approachable and very good with clients in conference. His attention to detail and work is first-class." "His knowledge of construction law is just encyclopaedic."
Recent work: Acted as lead counsel for the claimant in Nua Façades v Terry Brady, a high-profile three-week TCC trial involving an alleged fraud in the tendering and operating of the contract.
James Cross QC
Highly regarded practitioner with a broad practice. He is particularly noted for his quality work in professional negligence-related construction matters. His clients include a wide range of prominent players in the construction industry, including government departments and major insurers from the UK and abroad. PFI and PPP-related disputes have become an especially active part of his practice.
Strengths: "An unrivalled ability to retain the minute details of a complex matter. Without exception, clients have been impressed with his written advice and his advice in conference." "He was very detailed and clearly prepared exceptionally well."
Recent work: Represented the main contractors in a dispute regarding the construction of residential apartment blocks in Woolwich, which suffered storm damage. The claim involved alleged defects in the design and construction of the roofs, causing water ingress and damage.
James Leabeater QC
Frequently instructed in complex international arbitration cases as part of his impressive construction practice. He has acted in large claims nationally and internationally, including recently in the Middle East and Australia. He has been particularly active in disputes involving energy and transport infrastructure.
Strengths: "James has an exceptional grasp of the facts and is a strong and persuasive advocate." "He is robust, thorough and has amazing gravitas in front of a tribunal despite his tender years. He is also very personable and approachable."
Jeremy Nicholson QC
Respected silk with a wealth of experience handling construction litigation and arbitrations. He is also noted for his adroit handling of construction-related professional negligence claims. He is frequently instructed in complex multiparty proceedings in the TCC.
Strengths: "Meticulous, hard-working and good on paper."
Recent work: Instructed in a complex multiparty dispute arising from differential settlement of the ground floor slab at a large distribution warehouse, involving issues about geotechnical engineering, remedial works and loss.
Jessica Stephens QC
Undertakes a wide range of construction mandates, including TCC and arbitration proceedings. She is experienced with handling disputes arising out of energy projects and real estate developments. She is acclaimed for her advocacy, receiving particular praise for her cross-examination skills.
Strengths: "She is an excellent advocate and cross-examiner. She is very good at working as part of a team." "She’s marvellous, hard-working and liked by clients." "Good knowledge of the law and very good on her feet - she is very able."
Recent work: Represented the defendant in BDW Trading v Integral Geotechnique, a £2 million claim for negligence against a geotechnical engineer which considered whether a duty was owed where an assignment was available but not taken up as well as loss of chance issues.
Strong senior junior who regularly represents prominent clients such as major public bodies and large contractors. He has acted in high-profile disputes, adjudications and arbitrations. He has experience handling disputes relating to higher education, transportation and housing developments.
Strengths: "An excellent advocate with an approachable manner. He is able to precisely dissect the most complex case and reduce it to the bare essentials." "An extremely able litigator."
Prominent junior who frequently appears unled in the TCC and before international tribunals, with a particular emphasis on construction-related professional negligence cases. She has represented an array of clients including contractors, subcontractors and insurers in a number of high-value disputes.
Strengths: "Outstanding - clever and hard-working." "Her written work is very thorough and she is certainly a very good technical lawyer."
Recent work: Instructed in a four-party dispute in the TCC on behalf of the specialist cladding consultants against a claim brought by the main contractor for £3.8 million in costs and damages arising from alleged defects in the cladding of an office building.
Well-regarded junior who frequently advises on complex construction disputes, arbitrations and adjudications. He is able to draw upon his previous experience as a civil engineer to inform his burgeoning practice, particularly in areas such as concrete and nuclear projects. The geographical scope of his practice continues to expand as he handles disputes arising out of projects in Africa and Asia.
Strengths: "Luke is an excellent construction barrister. His experience in the field and legal expertise makes him a formidable opponent." "He is fantastic, commercial and has the ability to distil complex information down into understandable chunks." "He quickly gets to grips with the technical and legal issues and works quickly and efficiently with instructing solicitors. He is a real team player who is prepared to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in."
Recent work: Instructed in a two-week High Court trial involving the £60 million East Kent Relief Road project, which involved highly technical evidence concerning the way in which a large road bridge was settling.
Lynne McCafferty QC
Lauded for her skill in complex, highly technical construction disputes. Her robust domestic practice complements her impressive international arbitration offering, which is focused in the Middle East. She is particularly active in disputes involving aspects of professional negligence. She receives extensive praise for her client-friendly approach.
Strengths: "Very clear, analytical and practical approach, and excellent in pleadings." "A hugely capable and fabulous advocate."
Recent work: Acted for the quantity surveyors in a £1.3 million claim brought in the TCC involving the design and construction of a residential property overlooking Hampstead Heath.
Rachel Ansell QC
A highly lauded advocate with a burgeoning reputation for her high-quality casework, domestically and internationally. She has been particularly active in international arbitrations of late, recently advising on matters arising in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She is regularly instructed by major clients, such as prominent contractors, on matters in the energy and transport infrastructure spheres.
Strengths: "A real fighter and a great advocate, great on her feet even in difficult circumstances, never gives up and always has her client's and instructing solicitor’s backs." "She has a pragmatic approach but is formidable when needed, in a way that commands respect and also works well with instructing solicitors to produce an exceptional written work-product."
Recent work: Continued to act in multiparty TCC litigation involving alleged defects in the cladding used for a mixed-use development in Ipswich.
Sean Brannigan QC
Top-drawer silk widely hailed for his courtroom presence. He regularly acts in high-value domestic cases and in major international arbitration seated worldwide, with an emphasis on work in the Far and Middle East. He is supremely capable in handling disputes relating to the largest projects internationally, from airport developments to wind farms.
Strengths: "Sean's strengths are his stunning ability to judge the approach that is going to appeal to the tribunal and the speed with which he is able to digest a large amount of material and identify the key issues." "All-round excellent. His commercial advice is always given with an eye on the overall strategy and he is outstanding on his feet in court."
Recent work: Represented the contractor in Cyden Homes v North Midland Building, in both the High Court and Court of Appeal. The case involved the contracting parties' ability to agree how extensions of time should be dealt with in periods of concurrent delay.
Widely respected senior junior who has acted in an impressive range of construction disputes and related professional negligence claims. He acts for employers as well as contractors, and his recent work has seen him act on behalf of architects and engineers.
Strengths: "User-friendly, efficient and effective, he has a sharp mind which gets to the key issues and he communicates them effectively." "A highly competent lawyer who is good at analysis and a strong strategic thinker."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for the engineer in a complex dispute arising out of the construction of four detached warehouse units in Basildon in Essex, in which it is alleged that the foundations have failed.
Quality junior with a robust litigation offering and a burgeoning international arbitration practice. He is increasingly acting as sole counsel in arbitration, adjudication and TCC proceedings. His recent experience also includes appearances before the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "Exceptional on construction matters." "He is a very user-friendly senior junior. He is very commercial and extremely savvy strategically." "Brings great clarity of thought to complex cases."
Recent work: Instructed in Lonsdale v Bresco, a key case on the impact of liquidation on adjudication proceedings.