DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Atkin Chambers

Construction

40 ranked barristersBand 1London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers

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Atkin Chambers is a specialist construction set with an outstanding bench of barristers, from market-leading silks to rising star juniors. Individuals here are eminently capable of handling the full spectrum of construction disputes including the highest-value and most complex proceedings both domestically and internationally. They regularly handle cases concerning infrastructure and high-profile developments across a number of industry sectors. Clients of the set include the largest developers, contractors and insurers in the UK and globally. Atkin is described by one interviewee in glowing terms as "a real construction law powerhouse, a top set for construction with a clerking service and a quality of barrister that sets them apart."

Client service:

"The clerking service they offer is second to none." "Their clerking is truly excellent, very straightforward, very transparent, very reliable; chief executive and director of clerking David Barnes and senior clerk Justin Wilson both really understand the strengths of their barristers and pick the right the person for the job."

Strengths:

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.
"He is one of the bright stars of the Bar with an incredible work ethic and is good on his feet."

Strengths:

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.
"The current doyen of construction silks." "A brilliant strategist. Particularly good on complex, multiparty disputes." "Great with clients."

Strengths:

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.
"She is unquestionably all over the detail of any matter and her drafting has been incredibly strong."
Recent work: Instructed in a TCC claim against Berkeley Homes, brought by Dimension Data. The case concerned the construction of new homes with the claimant seeking to recover £3 million in unpaid sums and recover liquidated and ascertained damages deducted on the grounds that they were a penalty.

Strengths:

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 and Court of Appeal cases.
"An absolutely class act, highly intelligent with fantastic technical knowledge and excellent with clients." "She gets 100% on top of a case, making her points clearly and effectively bridging the mood of the court."
Recent work: Acted for an insurance company in relation to bonds issued in connection with a public private partnership for the construction of a waste-to-energy treatment facility. The project was terminated and the bank was seeking to recover under the bonds.

Strengths:

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.
"He is a very thorough barrister and good at getting to the issues in complex matters."

Strengths:

David Johnson
Has 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.
"He is an exceptional barrister - hard-working with exceptional advocacy skills." "He is able to get up to speed quickly when dumped with documents; he is clearly a silk in the making."
Recent work: Acted for a contractor in a claim for declaratory relief by a sub-contractor as to the operation of payment provisions in a contract for the construction of a modular hotel in Woolwich.

Strengths:

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.  He has a wealth of experience in both Court of Appeal and Supreme Court proceedings.
"If you have a difficult case which requires real brain power, then David is one of the top barristers in the country."

Strengths:

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. Cases arising from the waste-to-energy sector are also an area of specific expertise.
"She has a keen eye for detail and is good with clients." "Very impressive."
Recent work: Instructed in a High Court action for £5 million in damages for wrongful termination of three long-term public housing stock maintenance contracts.

Strengths:

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. He also offers notable experience in PFI-related litigation.
"He punches above his weight and works well with silks. He impresses with his willingness to roll up his sleeves, quickness in picking up points and commercial approach."
Recent work: Acted for a firm of construction managers which is the fourth defendant in a challenging claim relating to the redevelopment of an ultra-prime residential development with around 77 apartments and a number of houses looking over Hyde Park.

Strengths:

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.
"She is hands-on, gets stuck in and is helpful and responsive." "She is very incisive."

Strengths:

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. She has excellent additional sector expertise in energy and natural resources-related projects.
"She's an excellent strategist with a fantastic eye for detail. She is a safe pair of hands and excellent advocate." "She has excellent experience. She is very clear on strategy and risk with the ability to spot a weakness to exploit or challenge."

Strengths:

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. He is especially active on litigation involving transport and social infrastructure projects.
"He has excellent analytical skills and is a compelling advocate."
Recent work: Lead counsel for Amey Birmingham Highways in claims brought by Birmingham City Council in respect to a £300 million PFI contract for the refurbishment and maintenance of roads.

Strengths:

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.
"An excellent junior barrister who is happy to take on the difficult arguments and win."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant quarry in a claim brought by a national housebuilder in respect of a residential development in Cornwall.  The defendant supplied stone to all of the houses, which suffer from significant defects and have had to be largely rebuilt, with the dispute centring on whether the defendant’s stone was defective, or the claimant’s design or workmanship.

Strengths:

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. He also frequently represents clients in a range of other ADR forums including adjudication, mediation and expert determination.
"A very good advocate. He’s very smooth and urbane when dealing with tribunals, and has an understanding of what will sway them." "He has a voice like velvet, a fantastic demeanour and is very adept at judging a tribunal and persuading them with effective cross-examination."
Recent work: Acted for EMBD, a state-owned entity, in a claim in the courts of Trinidad and Tobago, valued at over £150 million. The claim concerned the payment in respect of six different road-building contracts and EMBD's defence of the allegation that the works were over-valued and defective.

Strengths:

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.
"She is quick to grasp complex issues, easy to work with and an effective advocate in a case."
Recent work: Appeared unled in a TCC trial concerning a claim arising from the development of a £35 million luxury mansion in Mayfair. Powell acted for the developer following the termination of the construction contract.

Strengths:

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. She has recent experience of fire safety and cladding-related cases.
"She is very user-friendly and a great advocate who prepares thoroughly." "Her cross-examination is crushing."
Recent work: Acted in a claim brought by Cofton Country Holidays for damages of over £2 million against its architects, ARA, arising out of the design of an indoor swimming pool and leisure facility at a holiday complex in Devon.

Strengths:

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. Energy and natural resources is another area of sterling sector expertise.
"He is brilliant at his work, a very smooth cross-examiner with a deep understanding of construction disputes and someone who commands the tribunal’s respect." "Our brief was to choose the best counsel and Manus was our first choice."

Strengths:

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.
"Calm, thoughtful and thorough - a very well-respected junior." "He has a good eye for detail and is committed to his clients."
Recent work: Acted for the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company in a Commercial Court claim worth in excess of USD90 million for breach of warranty arising from the Alma/Galia North Sea oil field development.

Strengths:

Mark Chennells QC
Experienced practitioner 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.
"He is excellent on his feet and on paper. A QC in waiting." "A real workhorse with a great attention to detail." "He is a calming influence in stressful situations."
Recent work: Acted for Kier in respect of TCC proceedings arising out of quay extension project carried out on the Isles of Scilly for Cornwall Council. The claim related to allegedly negligent design and raised issues of causation and quantum in respect of capital cost and delay to project.

Strengths:

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. He has particular sector expertise in energy and social infrastructure project-related disputes.
"Inventive intellectually and tactically superb, Martin goes that extra mile and is a go-to QC for any complex construction disputes." "He is among the most imaginative barristers I have dealt with when approaching a problem - he will think about it in a different way to unlock the issues."

Strengths:

Mathias Cheung  
Skilled junior barrister who is fast becoming a favourite among solicitors, who regard him as "a junior who will go far." 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.
"He is an absolute star - energetic, responsive, sharp and astute." "Head and shoulders above all the juniors at his level."
Recent work: Acted in a claim by DBE Energy against Biogas for rectification costs and loss of revenue arising from allegations of a breach of contract and negligence in the design or supply of pasteuriser tanks and digester tank heaters for an anaerobic digestion facility in Dunsfold.

Strengths:

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.
"He is personable and knowledgeable, with a good attention to detail." "He is extremely bright, he drafts well and is really very good as an advocate."
Recent work: Acted in the independent review into the culture, workmanship and customer care at Persimmon Homes.

Strengths:

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.
"A go-to person for super technical legal disputes." "One of the best black-letter lawyers and easy to work with."
Recent work: Acted in a claim arising from a PFI contract against structural and civil engineers in relation to the design of works to be undertaken in the provision of an educational institution.

Strengths:

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. He is also particularly active in construction disputes pertaining to the energy and natural resources sector. He acts both for and against large construction and engineering firms. He has additional expertise in construction-related professional negligence cases.
"Gets across the detail of the case."
Recent work: Acted for John Sisk & Son in a claim made by Hitachi in the TCC for various declarations as to the jurisdiction of an adjudicator in relation to disputes arising out of works for the construction of a waste-to-energy power plant in Ferrybridge.

Strengths:

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.
"He is outstanding in preparation." "He is impressive and definitive in advice, strong on his feet, strong on legal arguments and very clear in his responses to clients."

Strengths:

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.
"He understands the aspects of a case, he is very reliable and provides deep analysis of the pertinent issues." "He is able to plead the most complex cases in a clear and concise manner, which wins over clients and tribunals."
Recent work: Continued to represent a group of family members, survivors and residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Strengths:

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.
"He is very easy to work with and always happy to speak directly to solicitors. He is good on paper and offers clear advice." "He has excellent technical knowledge and understanding."
Recent work: Acted in adjudication enforcement proceedings related to a contract for enabling, demolition and sub-structure works for a development in West Park on Wentworth Estate in Surrey.

Strengths:

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.
"A very reliable and solid junior." "He is good at analysis and a thorough barrister."

Strengths:

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.
"An excellent QC who is a powerhouse in cross-examination."

Strengths:

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.
"He quickly gets to grips with and focuses on the key elements within a case, however substantial the documentation. His drafting is precise, he has a great eye for detail and he is a very strong advocate who is persistent in his cross-examination."

Strengths:

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.
"He is personable to work with and good at preparing witnesses and outlining the details to focus on." "Ronan is a great communicator and quick thinker."

Strengths:

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. He has an especially strong practice in cases arising from the energy and natural resources sector.
"He is meticulous in preparation, knows how solicitors work and offers outstanding input." "He came up with creative ideas, going that bit further to answer the thorny questions; he is a shining star at the junior Bar."
Recent work: Acted for Laing O’Rourke concerning its design and construction of a large development in Ipswich. Defects are alleged in seven blocks in the development which are said to infringe the fire safety requirements of Building Regulations.

Strengths:

Samar Abbas
A popular choice for clients facing significant construction disputes both domestically and in international arbitration proceedings. He has experience acting as sole and junior counsel for employers, contractors and state-owned entities.
"He has an excellent grasp of what his instructing solicitors require. He is a good listener and excellent drafter."

Strengths:

Sebastian Pigott
Has a well-rounded construction practice, which sees him instructed by a varied clientele comprising contractors, developers and local authorities. His experience covers areas such as energy, infrastructure and residential development. He frequently acts on delay, loss and expense, defective work and final account claims.
"He is helpful and friendly, very technically and strategically sound and someone who always thinks about the  ultimate outcome."
Recent work: Acted in enforcement proceedings concerning an employer’s claims for breach of contract by a specialist cladding subcontractor on a residential development.

Strengths:

Serena Cheng QC
A silk with a robust practice acting for contractors in technically complex engineering and energy disputes. She is instructed in complex cases both domestically and abroad, including those in the Middle East and Far East. She is active in international arbitrations in addition to adjudication proceedings.
"She is very impressive. Her written opinion really cut though the complicated detail and gave a convincing argument."
Recent work: Represented a design consultant in defence of a claim made in relation to the design and construction of the Starr Gate Tram Depot in Blackpool.

Strengths:

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.
"He’s a hard-working and user-friendly barrister who is thorough in his work and gets the job done." "He’s a responsive, efficient and reliable advocate."

Strengths:

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.
"He is my go-to barrister in construction when I want a heavyweight QC’s opinion and when I want to know what the judges are thinking."

Strengths:

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. She has notable expertise in fire safety and cladding issues. 
"She is a construction QC in her prime and at the top of her game." "She is able to assimilate information and hammer down the point in a logical way. She clearly has the ear of the judge and is a recognised authority."
Recent work: Continued to appear in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on behalf of a group of participants including survivors, bereaved relatives and former residents.

Strengths:

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.
"A details man. He’s very thorough and a good advocate." "He is excellent on every aspect of his work, incredibly detailed and a great strategist."
Recent work: Acted in a Court of Appeal case concerning practical completion in regards to the design and build of two blocks of student accommodation.

Strengths:

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.
"A very good tactician with a strong eye for detail as well as for the big picture." "He has a cross-examination style which is highly effective, whilst his preparation and attention to detail is impeccable and virtually unrivalled."
Recent work: Defended an application for summary judgment to enforce an adjudicator’s decision on the basis of alleged fraud on the part of his client, PBS Energo. The case arose from the failed development of a waste-to-energy plant in Wrexham.

Construction Department

Atkin Chambers

firm
Department location

1 Atkin Building

Gray's Inn

London

Greater London

UK

WC1R 5AT

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

Construction


Andrew White QC
Star Individuals
Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC
Band 2
Christopher Lewis QC
Band 3
David Streatfeild-James QC
Star Individuals
Dominique Rawley QC
Band 2
Fiona Parkin QC
Band 3