Atkin Chambers

Construction Department

London (Bar)
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Maintains its position as a premier construction set, fielding a deep bench of specialist barristers capable of handling the full range of disputes arising in the construction industry. Members are consistently instructed in the highest-value construction disputes, both domestic and international. An interviewee describes it as "an agglomeration of the absolute finest intellects and advocates at the Bar in the construction, engineering and infrastructure spaces," and adds: "The set is packed to the brim with legendary heavyweight silks and superstar juniors." The set offers particular prowess in infrastructure project work and recently acted in Birmingham City Council v Amey, a long-running dispute involving a £300 million highways sector PFI contract. The set's enviable roster of clients consists of prominent contractors, developers, public bodies and insurers. The set also houses barristers with experience on related professional negligence claims. Other recent work includes the Grenfell Inquiry and other disputes involving alleged defects in cladding.

Client service: "The clerking service, which is generally immensely accessible, supportive and personal, is a huge asset for the chambers. It is a real factor in my decision to use the chambers as much as I do." "Support from the clerking team is extremely good and it really helps when the clerking is done well. The senior clerk Justin Wilson is someone I have a huge amount of time for." "The return of chief executive David Barnes is already making a difference to what was already an impressive clerking team."

Andrew Fenn
Sought-after junior who often appears unled in domestic litigation and international arbitration. He advises on a range of matters including infrastructure projects and final account disputes. He is increasingly concentrating his practice on large-scale construction and engineering disputes in the Middle East.

Strengths: "Andrew is accomplished well beyond his years and incredibly easy to deal with. He is a hugely compelling advocate and particularly good at grappling with complex delay and disruption claims."
Recent work: Advised the claimant M3 Properties in a dispute arising out of the termination of the appointment of a development and project manager for the refurbishment of a property in Soho, London. The claim was for unpaid and additional fees as well as damages for wrongful termination.

Andrew White QC
Highly distinguished silk offering unparalleled advice across areas such as oil and gas and renewables. He regularly advises major clients in high-profile construction disputes at both the national and international levels. He has experience representing both private companies and government bodies.
Strengths: "Andrew is exceptionally talented, and has a good understanding of the commercial imperatives and an ability to articulate the risks and what actions should be taken to manage or mitigate them. He is very astute, strategically on the button and approachable but with an aura of gravitas."
Recent work: Continued to act for Chinese steel manufacturer ZPMC in a dispute pertaining to the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm project.

Camille Slow
A strong choice to handle high-stakes construction mandates, with a particular emphasis on professional negligence claims relating to construction projects. She has extensive experience of international arbitration in addition to her frequent appearances in the TCC.
Strengths: "Her technical ability, attention to detail and client skills are all of the highest level." "Always delivers measured and accurate advice in a timely and clear style."
Recent work: Instructed in Keadby Generation v Promanex, a construction dispute arising out of the fire at the Ferrybridge coal plant in West Yorkshire. The sums claimed were in excess of £71 million.

Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC
Provides stellar representation to clients in high-stakes domestic and international construction disputes. Her broad experience includes disputes arising out of infrastructure projects as well as residential and industrial developments. She is adept at handling international arbitrations in addition to TCC cases.
Strengths: "Offers sound legal advice which methodically addresses the key issues."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant Bennett Construction in TCC proceedings relating to the manufacture, delivery and installation of modular bedroom units for a hotel in London.

Christopher Lewis QC
Maintains an impressive reputation among peers and clients for his ability to handle construction and engineering disputes. Many of his cases involve information technology, energy and infrastructure projects. He is regularly instructed on domestic and international disputes, and has particular strength in adjudication enforcements and international arbitration.

Strengths: "Well known for his diligence and thoroughness." "Exceptionally good."
Recent work: Represented Amey Birmingham Highways in a dispute against Birmingham City Council concerning one of the largest local government highways sector PFI contracts in the UK.

David Johnson
Developing an impressive construction practice, which sees him frequently engaged in technically complex disputes. He represents contractors as well as employers and is increasingly instructed in international construction matters, including in the Middle East.
Strengths: "Shows strong knowledge and great attention to detail when handling complex construction disputes."
Recent work: Instructed in a claim against a design and build contractor following the discovery of serious defects necessitating the closure of one of Gatwick Airport's car parks.

David Streatfeild-James QC
Highly lauded silk who is routinely instructed on the most technically complex construction litigation and arbitration. He receives praise for the high calibre of his written and oral advice. He is a leading figure in significant road and other transport infrastructure disputes, particularly those involving PFI or PPP contracts.
Strengths: "He is truly magnificent and should be at the top of every shortlist when shopping for a silk, no matter the size or value of the dispute. He is astronomically intelligent, with an ability to grasp both the breadth and the detail of a dispute in short order. He’s an advocate of the very highest calibre."
Recent work: Acted for a joint venture comprising of CVU, Colas, Volker Highways and Aecom in a dispute concerning a PFI framework agreement for the provision of highway maintenance services in central London, which culminated in a two-week TCC trial.

Dominique Rawley QC
Sought-after silk with a particular focus on domestic infrastructure matters and disputes arising from PPP and PFI arrangements. She is a regular participant in proceedings at the TCC and also has an active international arbitration practice. She is particularly adept at handling professional negligence disputes arising out of construction projects.
Strengths: "She is totally committed to every case and you can guarantee that she has looked at and thought about every aspect." "Clients are reassured by her calm approach to the most difficult issues." "Very proactive, pragmatic and user-friendly."
Recent work: Instructed in a claim for over £10 million brought by a housing association against its design and build contractor following a fire in a sheltered accommodation in St Leonards-on-Sea.

Edmund Neuberger
Highly rated junior who frequently appears in adjudications and in the TCC. He is increasingly instructed as sole counsel on cases, and represents a wide range of clients from across the construction industry. He handles disputes occurring in a range of sectors, from energy and utilities to residential developments.
Strengths: "Edmund is a terrific draftsman with an unnerving ability to get straight to the heart of a problem." "Puts in tremendous hours and is extremely thorough. He is destined to become a silk."
Recent work: Instructed in North Midland Building v Cyden Homes in the Court of Appeal. The case concerned the proper interpretation of a contract, including issues around concurrent delay and the prevention principle, and arose out of substantial delays in the construction of a luxury property containing a professional equestrian centre.

Felicity Dynes
A strong choice to handle high-stakes construction and related professional negligence claims, she is also frequently instructed to advise on construction contracts. She has experience representing clients in domestic and cross border disputes.
Strengths: "A very able individual with especially good written work." "Keeps a cool head with difficult clients."
Recent work: Represented VINCI Construction in a long-running dispute with Beumer Group over a contract for the provision of a new baggage handling system at Gatwick Airport.

Fiona Parkin QC
Noteworthy silk who acts in TCC litigation, adjudications and international arbitration. She frequently represents public bodies and private contractors in disputes arising from large infrastructure projects and has good expertise relating to PFI and PPP contractual issues.
Strengths: "Incredibly hard-working, very smart and extremely effective." "A wide skill set for development and construction work." "Calm and measured with clients, and tactically excellent."
Recent work: Continued to represent Igloo Regeneration Partnership in a dispute with the Welsh Ministers concerning the redevelopment of docks in Cardiff Bay.

Frances Pigott
Has a well-rounded construction practice, which sees her instructed by a varied clientele comprising of contractors, developers and local authorities. Her experience covers areas such as energy, infrastructure and residential development.
Strengths: "A very astute and insightful barrister, with the ability to make very complex matters intelligible. She is always approachable and highly responsive." "Always thorough and efficient as well as excellent on cross-examination."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for Corporate Officers of the House of Lords and House of Commons in their claim against a contractor concerning the design and installation of a water mist fire protection system in the Palace of Westminster.

James Howells QC
Advises on claims relating to design and construction defects in domestic disputes. His well-regarded practice also includes a strong international arbitration element predominately focused in the Gulf and East Asia. He receives praise for his compelling advocacy and exceptional analytical skills. His recent work has included a notable focus on disputes involving transport infrastructure.
Strengths: "A first-class advocate with an exceptional attention to detail and appetite for work. He is extremely responsive, a pleasure to work with and very quick to gain the confidence of clients, judges and tribunals alike." "A dedicated and skilled QC with an exceptional knowledge of the law. His strength is his ability to summarise complicated matters and concepts to find practical solutions."
Recent work: Acted for Blackpool Borough Council in a dispute regarding the design of a new tram depot, which concerned the design life of the building and components which have corroded significantly within a few years of opening.

Jennifer Jones
Noted junior with considerable experience in construction disputes involving professional negligence. She routinely handles high-value litigation and arbitrations in the UK and abroad and is increasingly active in multiparty TCC disputes. She has acted as sole counsel in numerous cases.
Strengths: "Jennifer Jones is smart, effective and thorough. She presents her legal advice in a manner which clients can easily grasp. She is an impressive junior." "An excellent barrister, she is very responsive and commercial."
Recent work: Instructed as sole counsel for the high net worth owners of a residential property near Hampstead Heath, the construction of which ran into serious difficulties with the appointment of two project managers, two quantity surveyors and three contractors. The claimant sought approximately £2 million in respect of allegedly negligent project management and quantity surveying.

Jonathan Acton Davis QC
Senior silk who regularly acts in large-scale construction disputes. He offers experience in both major international arbitration and high-value domestic litigation. He acts for a range of clients, most notably contractors and engineering firms.
Strengths: "A great courtroom tactician and advocate." "Excellent, calm and controlled but deadly in cross-examination. He is a reassuring presence to have on one’s side." "Gives strong, robust advice."

Katie Powell
Notable junior who frequently appears in significant litigation, including complex multiparty actions, before the TCC and in arbitration. She is especially well versed in construction disputes involving elements of professional negligence and insurance.
Strengths: "An outstanding construction and construction-related professional indemnity advocate." "She is extremely user-friendly, very bright and responsive."

Lucie Briggs
Has a strong construction practice and frequently appears in cases containing a professional negligence element. She acts in both domestic and international disputes and offers expertise across a range of sectors, including energy and commercial property.
Strengths: "Very good on the law and a very good advocate. In trials, she’s incredibly hard-working and has all the detail completely at her fingertips."
Recent work: Instructed by the hotel developer in a claim brought by Premier Inn for damages in excess of £6 million in relation to the removal and replacement of cladding on a hotel near Heathrow Airport, which Premier Inn alleges does not comply with fire safety regulations.

Manus McMullan QC
Star silk who draws praise for his advocacy skills and tactical nous. He regularly acts in high-value construction disputes and arbitrations around the world and is particularly good at infrastructure disputes. He also boasts a terrific track record in construction-related professional indemnity and insurance matters.
Strengths: "He's a hard worker with a brilliant and practical mind." "He’s absolutely first-class with an instant likeability factor."
Recent work: Represented the Panama Canal Authority in the Panama Canal Third Set of Locks Project dispute, a series of ICC arbitrations in which over USD5 billion was claimed.

Marc Lixenberg
Respected junior whose attention to detail and quality written work frequently elicit praise from market observers. He is active in high-value construction disputes in a range of sectors, representing clients on both the domestic and international stages. His experience advising on disputes involving infrastructure projects is of particular note.
Strengths: "He is very user-friendly, commercial and grapples with detail well." "He has excellent attention to detail and is a creative thinker."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of Amey Birmingham Highways in a series of proceedings involving claims brought by Birmingham City Council in connection with a PFI contract for the maintenance and operation of roads and street lighting in Birmingham.

Mark Chennells
Experienced senior junior who frequently acts in large-scale disputes covering areas such as renewables and property development. He increasingly acts as sole counsel in domestic disputes and various forms of ADR. He has experience handling disputes arising out of construction projects in the UK, Africa and Asia.
Strengths: "He has a skill set that instructing solicitors dream of and would be at the very top of the list of juniors I would be delighted to recommend - he is an intellectual heavyweight with a masterful presence and yet also very accessible and client-friendly." "A very astute, thorough, incisive and experienced junior."
Recent work: Acted for Travis Perkins in a TCC claim against a developer for over £30 million in respect of a defective distribution facility in Tilbury.

Martin Bowdery QC
Experienced silk who advises on a range of construction disputes, including domestic PFI actions and international arbitration. His impressive practice has taken him to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He is especially renowned for his stellar advocacy.

Strengths: "An excellent and very astute lawyer, and a subtle and effective operator in court." "A great legal mind and great on his feet too." "A silk who takes into account the commercial reality of disputes, is good with clients and is prepared to argue a client’s case sensibly."
Recent work: Acted for Imperial Chemical Industries in a dispute relating to the construction of a new paint manufacturing facility in Northumberland, which concerned alleged defects in the contractor's welding.

Mathias Cheung
Skilled junior barrister who is fast becoming a favourite among solicitors, who regard him as "one to watch" and "a very impressive junior who is clearly going places." He acts in construction matters as part of his varied commercial practice. He advises clients on construction defect and delay claims, and is particularly proficient in disputes arising out of infrastructure projects.
Strengths: "User-friendly, hard-working and extremely clever." "Amazingly hard-working and a real team player who gets stuck in and has a great eye for detail." "Very intelligent, meticulous and user-friendly."

Mischa Balen
A highly touted junior who is developing a superb construction practice, which sees him handle a range of contractual and professional negligence claims. He acts on behalf of employers and contractors and is proficient in international arbitration in addition to litigation.
Strengths: "Tremendously hard-working, intelligent, very responsive and user-friendly. He punches above his weight - a star of the future I am sure." "A standout junior and one to watch. His chief strength is the intellectual contribution he makes – in this he is superb, bolstering the client's case. Mischa is adept at tackling tricky disputes and getting straight to the meat of the issue."

Nicholas Baatz QC
Highly respected barrister with a sterling reputation for his experience in construction disputes and a noted specialism in those concerning insurance or professional negligence issues. His practice is active in domestic litigation and international arbitration, and his incisive mind and legal acumen garners much respect. His particular expertise includes delay analysis.
Strengths: "A first-rate lawyer and a tenacious and fearless advocate." "He is stellar. He's ridiculously knowledgeable and able to grasp a lot of factual information and produce advice that is to the point."
Recent work: Instructed in a claim for damages in excess £10 million against the design and build contractor, architects and engineers involved in the design and construction of the iconic Selfridges store at the Birmingham Bullring, which concerned the performance of the external skin of the building under thermal load.

Nicholas Collings
Highly respected senior junior who often acts as sole counsel in high-value disputes in the UK and the Middle East. He represents clients across a range of claims, such as those involving mixed-use developments and transport infrastructure projects. Recently, he has been particularly active in construction disputes pertaining to the energy and natural resources sector. He acts both for and against large construction and engineering firms.
Strengths: "An extremely good technical lawyer who has exceptional drafting skills and is very user-friendly."
Recent work: Acted for the groundwork contractors in Keller & others v Stewart & Harris, a multiparty claim in the TCC relating to significant defects in a warehouse facility in Avonmouth.

Nicholas Dennys QC
Highly regarded silk with a strong international practice. He is particularly noted for his vast experience working with government bodies and large multinational organisations. He regularly advises on major projects, covering areas such as transport infrastructure, utilities and oil and gas.

Strengths: "Very intelligent."
Recent work: Acted in Jacobs UK v Skanska Construction UK, the latest in a series of adjudications relating to a contract to provide lighting for Lewisham and Croydon, with both parties citing negligence during the tender and delays in the design production resulting in cost overruns.

Omar Eljadi
Undertakes a broad array of construction mandates, from TCC proceedings to international arbitrations and recently, a public inquiry. His experience includes domestic and international disputes relating to construction projects in the energy and utilities sectors.
Strengths: "The most impressive junior I have worked with for a long while, with an exceptional grasp of the law and technical issues."
Recent work: Instructed on behalf of a group of family members, survivors and residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, focusing on the technical evidence concerning the tower's construction and compliance with the Building Regulations.

Patrick Clarke
Noted junior with a professional engineering background whose attention to detail is widely admired by fellow practitioners. He advises on a range of matters, domestic and abroad, with a particular emphasis on residential properties and infrastructure works.
Strengths: "He provides an excellent service in terms of his written advice and advocacy. He is bright but also alive to the commercial demands of a case." "Patrick is very good at distilling complicated legal, technical and factual issues into a comprehensible compelling case."
Recent work: Instructed in Sitol Limited v Mr Robert Finegold, TCC proceedings concerning the existence and nature of a contract to carry out works on a very high-end residential renovation in London.

Peter Land
A strong choice to handle technically complex construction disputes, having previously qualified as an engineer. He acts for purchasers, contractors and developers in a range of disputes, including those arising out of infrastructure projects and real estate developments. He is also proficient in alternative dispute resolution.
Strengths: "An engineer and barrister with excellent technical and legal knowledge. He is approachable and a pleasure to work with." "Intelligent, professional and personable."

Riaz Hussain QC
Strong reputation for handling heavyweight construction disputes. He is active in domestic TCC proceedings, while also maintaining an active international arbitration practice, with a notable presence in the Middle East. He undertakes a wide range of construction disputes, such as those involving energy, infrastructure and commercial property developments.
Strengths: "A great eye for detail and understanding of complex and technical issues." "Fierce on his feet when needed, very analytical and responsive."
Recent work: Represented Swansea Council in a dispute involving the design and construction of Liberty Stadium.

Robert Clay
Experienced senior junior who draws praise from solicitors for his written work. He is regularly called upon by a diverse client base across a number of sectors including major contractors. He receives instructions in international arbitrations in addition to complex TCC proceedings.
Strengths: "Extremely thorough and very strong on detail, he is also hard-working and quickly picks out the material issues. His strong drafting style goes down well with clients." "He is very sharp and able to cut through complex legal issues very quickly."
Recent work: Represented the claimants in Freeborn v de Almeida Marcal (t/a Dan Marcal Architects), a claim in the TCC against an architect concerning the construction of a private cinema.

Ronan Hanna
Strong junior with experience in a number of sectors, including energy, oil and gas. He has advised purchaser and contractor clients in litigation and arbitration, both in the UK and internationally. He is experienced in disputes in the Middle East and North Africa.
Strengths: "Ronan is an excellent practitioner, hard-working and great with clients." "I have found him to be very effective and think he is a good senior junior."

Rupert Choat
Draws on his previous experience as a specialist construction solicitor at CMS to inform his well-rounded practice. He acts in adjudication enforcement matters and real estate redevelopment disputes, both domestically and internationally.
Strengths: "A QC-level junior who is very practical and creative in finding solutions." "Rupert is very pragmatic and has strengths in understanding clients from his time in private practice. He is able to deal with complex issues quickly and efficiently."
Recent work: Acted for Midas in litigation regarding the design and construction of a new continuing care retirement community in Hampshire.

Serena Cheng QC
Growing reputation as a silk, with a robust practice acting for contractors in technically complex engineering and energy disputes, both domestically and abroad. She is active in international arbitrations in addition to adjudication proceedings.
Strengths: "She took control of the adjudication and impressed our clients with her ability to immediately home in on the key issues." "Tenacious advocates and very good at advising clients."

Simon Crawshaw
Has experience of working in the transport, energy and property development sectors, on behalf of both employers and contractors. He has been instructed in both domestic and cross-border disputes. Recently he has been active in claims concerning construction delays and defects.
Strengths: "His written work is excellent and he has a real eye for detail and leaves no stone left unturned." "Gutsy, no-frills, exacting and meticulous, which is exactly what you need from a junior advocate on a dispute of monstrous technical and legal complexity."
Recent work: Acted for the owner and operator of an offshore gas field in the North Sea in a £25 million claim for damages brought by a contractor engaged to construct offshore platforms, which were completed several months late. The operator deducted £25 million in liquidated damages on account of the late completion, and the contractor is contending that the delay was caused by design changes and the owner's failure to provide materials on time.

Simon Lofthouse QC
Maintains an impressive construction practice with noted capabilities in international arbitration. He acts for a range of major clients from across the globe, including governments and contractors. He is typically instructed to handle disputes arising in the energy and infrastructure sectors. He is well suited to cases involving complex technical issues and delay claims.
Strengths: "Simon is pragmatic and very responsive. He is also well regarded by judges and arbitrators and very effective at cross-examination." "A very convincing advocate, with strong knowledge and attention to detail in construction disputes."

Stephanie Barwise QC
Top-drawer silk who advises on high-value adjudications and TCC litigation. She has a diverse practice ranging across areas such as housing disputes and energy projects.
Strengths: "Stephanie has the ability to make even the most stressed client feel at ease, which, combined with her superb advocacy, makes her a number one choice." "She is first-class and very professional in her approach. We have absolute confidence in her advice and ability to look after us."
Recent work: Represented a group of core participants including survivors, bereaved relatives and former residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Stephen Dennison QC
A prominent silk who is noted for his expertise in both domestic disputes and international arbitration. He is an experienced litigator who regularly acts for significant clients, particularly in the healthcare, transport and engineering sectors. He has a strong command of ADR methods.
Strengths: "He is a technically good QC, has real gravitas and is very user-friendly." "A calm approach to complex issues together with a very comfortable style of advocacy makes him a client favourite."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Almacantar (Centre Point) v Sir Robert McAlpine, a dispute arising out of a project to redevelop the landmark Centre Point tower in London and other buildings at a cost exceeding £100 million.

Steven Walker QC
Talented strategist who regularly acts for contractors in a wide range of disputes, both nationally and internationally. He has a stellar reputation for his work in domestic adjudications and regularly appears before the TCC. His diverse practice is well suited to disputes involving large-scale residential developments and public projects. He attracts praise for his technical know-how and oral advocacy.
Strengths: "He’s excellent at strategy, and has great technical ability and client service. He gets things done quickly and efficiently." "Very thorough and dedicated, he has an excellent manner with clients and is an absolute pleasure to work with. He has a deceptively understated cross-examination style which is highly effective."
Recent work: Represented the contractors in litigation involving Bridgewater Place in Leeds. The owner brought a negligence claim against the architects after undertaking remedial works to mitigate the effects of high winds, which cost around £10 million, and the architect in turn brought claims against the contractor.

Zulfikar Khayum
Acts in domestic and cross-border construction disputes, including international arbitrations. He has experience of handling litigation arising out of energy, healthcare and transportation projects.
Strengths: "Bright, diligent and detail-focused." "He's a good choice for both domestic and international work."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Interserve Construction Ltd v Hitachi Zosen Inova AG, a case relating to the construction of an energy-from-waste plant.