UK Bar: Construction 2019

With 70 silks and 30 juniors recognised, our research provides a comprehensive analysis of the construction Bar, as we identify the leading lights in high-value international construction disputes.

Most Highly Regarded
Silks
1. Adam Constable QC Keating Chambers
2. Sean Brannigan QC  4 Pump Court
3. Marcus Taverner QC   Keating Chambers
4. Rachel Ansell QC  4 Pump Court
5. Anneliese Day QC   Fountain Court Chambers
6. David Streatfeild-James QC  Atkin Chambers
Juniors
1. Rupert Choat  Atkin Chambers
2. Calum Lamont  Keating Chambers
3. Jane Davies Evans 3 Verulam Buildings
4. James Bowling  4 Pump Court

Mainly Acting as Arbitrator

Keating Chambers has five barristers who excel as arbitrators.
John Marrin QC is an “excellent arbitrator” with vast experience. Sources call him “experienced and outstanding” for major construction disputes.
Stephen Furst QC garners respect from sources who state that he “has a brain the size of a planet” and affirm that “his intelligence is quite humbling”. His standout experience as an arbitrator on domestic and international levels makes him a go-to resource in the space.
Richard Fernyhough QC focuses his practice on acting as arbitrator in expansive, cross-border cases in the construction field. Peers are quick to highlight him as “a thorough silk” who is “a class act” in disputes.
Robert Gaitskell QC is “an excellent arbitrator” who acts in a broad range of international arbitration tribunals, working in high-value cross-border proceedings. He has notable experience in energy infrastructure matters.
Tim Elliott QC is an impressive practitioner who sits on a wide range of construction disputes Interviewees highlight his talents, describing him as “indisputably a top silk”.

Andrew Bartlett QC of Crown Office Chambers is a superb silk who leverages his extensive experience in the construction space in sophisticated arbitration proceedings, with sources noting that “he is absolutely brilliant as arbitrator”.

At Atkin Chambers, John Blackburn QC regularly acts as arbitrator in high-value proceedings conducted in a variety of arbitral seats, with interviewees praising him as “an excellent arbitrator who keeps things moving nicely”.
“Excellent elder statesman” Humphrey Lloyd QC is an impressive construction arbitration expert with extensive experience as counsel and arbitrator in a wide range of construction disputes.
Douglas Jones AO is many people’s first port of call for construction arbitrations, combining incredible depth of experience as an arbitrator with standout expertise in the construction space, resulting in vast knowledge of cross-border proceedings in a variety of issues.

At 39 Essex Chambers, Richard Wilmot-Smith QC is commended as “a very sound and extremely competent” practitioner who excels as arbitrator in the construction sector, bringing over 40 years’ experience to cases. 

 

Mixed practice or mainly acting as counsel

Silks

Keating Chambers stands out as the leading set for construction disputes, outstripping the competition with 23 silks listed.

Adam Constable QC leads our construction research and is widely regarded as one the leading silks in the field. Sources are quick to note that he is “the best there is” with others describing him as “an extremely good, very personable and very effective advocate”.
Head of chambers Marcus Taverner QC is hailed as “a formidable barrister” by sources for his standout work in complex and high-profile construction disputes taking place in a wide variety of jurisdictions. 
David Thomas QC draws praise from peers and clients alike for his “first-rate legal analysis and his ability to quickly get to the critical point”, while also being applauded for the “pragmatic and commercial way he approaches clients, never losing sight of the underlying objective”.
Richard Harding QC is frequently recommended by market sources as “an extremely experienced” barrister who “adeptly handles complex and very high-value cases” relating to construction disputes.
Simon Hargreaves QC regularly acts in high-profile construction disputes both domestically and abroad, proving himself as a go-to barrister in sophisticated proceedings that include PFI and local authority contracts.
Alexander Nissen QC has decades of experience in construction disputes and an impressive practice that spans a wide range of issues such as rail, oil and gas, and contractor claims, with sources noting, “He is a super-leader who really gets into the detail.”
Simon Hughes QC has enviable experience in construction disputes, with impressive expertise in the contractual elements of contentious proceedings. He is highlighted by interviewees as “an effective, energetic and engaged silk” who is “composed, approachable and excellent at what he does”.
Rosemary Jackson QC excels as a mediator in construction proceedings, receiving praise from peers who affirm that “she is the go-to mediator of choice” and “undeniably the number-one construction mediator at the whole construction Bar”.
Lucy Garrett QC is “very highly thought of by clients” for her expert representation in construction disputes, showcasing her profound industry knowledge and talent as an advocate in complex proceedings.
Sources are quick to highlight Sarah Hannaford QC as “a brilliant and wonderful advocate” who “is meticulous and really hard-working, and cares about her cases”. She provides clients with comprehensive representation in sophisticated construction disputes.

Atkin Chambers is another powerhouse in the construction Bar, with 18 barristers recognised.
David Streatfeild-James QC is a distinguished silk in the area, applauded by peers for being “at the top of his game” as well as a practitioner with a “huge intellect” who is “excellent and easy to work with”.
Nicholas Dennys QC is commended as by sources for his impressive work in infrastructure projects as both advocate and arbitrator. One peer comments: “He’s absolutely excellent – a lawyer’s lawyer, fair and good at what he does.”
“Very impressive silk” Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC has a standout practice in construction disputes and impressive international experience spanning Asia, the Middle East, Europe and beyond.
Manus McMullan QC focuses his first-rate practice on high-profile matters that regularly have international or multi-jurisdictional elements, in addition to sophisticated domestic infrastructure disputes.
Andrew White QC is a leading advocate in the construction Bar, acting for clients on an international scale in high-value disputes involving matters such as oil and gas and power station projects. Sources highlight him as a “formidable opponent” and “a brilliant silk”.
Stephen Dennison QC is a “great advocate and cross-examiner” in construction proceedings who “leaves no stone unturned”. Interviewees are “very impressed by his grip of the technical issues and pleading”.
“No-nonsense silk” Steven Walker QC is hailed as an “excellent and incredibly calming” barrister who “does a great job of putting clients at ease”. He has extensive experience as counsel and arbitrator in intricate construction disputes.
Stephanie Barwise QC is “very bright and meticulous” according to sources, who are impressed by her broad-based practice in construction disputes across a variety of sectors.

4 Pump Court has seven experts listed.
Sean Brannigan QC is one of the leading silks in the field, with interviewees stating that he is “very well known in the market as a forceful advocate who fights hard for his clients”. One market source says, “He’s a top-notch perfomer - if I had a case tomorrow, he’s who I’d appoint.”
Rachel Ansell QC is outstanding as both arbitrator and counsel in international construction disputes with a focus on proceedings in the Middle East. Sources are quick to highlight this aspect of her work, describing her as “a formidable barrister who really understands how the Middle East legal systems work”.

Anneliese Day QC at Fountain Court Chambers stands out at the construction Bar as "a magnificent lawyer with exceptional personal skills" as well as a “rapier-like style, making her an excellent advocate”.

Roger ter Haar QC from Crown Office Chambers is well known as “an absolutely first-rate silk” who possesses decades of experience as counsel and arbitrator in cross-border construction disputes.

Roger Stewart QC of 4 New Square is a highly impressive silk in the construction space who provides top-tier advocacy in sophisticated matters on an international scale. Peers describe him as “excellent, experienced and an exceptional cross-examiner”.

39 Essex Chambers is home to nine standout construction silks.
Paul Darling OBE QC is hailed by one source as “the most forceful and effective cross-examiner I have ever seen”. He acts in a wide variety of construction litigation cases while also possessing vast experience in international arbitrations. 
John Tackaberry QC is a long-standing silk in the field who has deep and varied experience in construction matters. Sources are quick to note that he is “unflappable and able to draw upon his extraordinary experience, making him an utter asset”.

Scotland

Two silks in the Scottish market are highlighted for their ability in construction disputes.

Robert Howie QC of Ampersand Stable has decades of experience in construction matters and is seen by interviewees as one of the leading names at the Scottish Bar for work in the area.

Garry Borland QC at Axiom Advocates is an outstanding silk in the construction market, with deep experience representing a variety of clients in high-profile disputes, which range from professional negligence to delay.

Juniors

Keating Chambers sees seven distinguished juniors recognised here.
Calum Lamont is one of the leading juniors in our research, winning  praise from sources who highlight him as “a superb advocate and team member” and “a star junior who will go even further when he takes silk”.
Richard Coplin is an excellent junior who is regarded as “extremely bright and brilliant with clients”, impressing peers and clients alike with his work in high-stakes construction disputes as counsel and arbitrator.
Paul Buckingham has impressive sector-specific knowledge that he deploys on disputes in a wide variety of jurisdictions. Peers regard him as “a very clever junior with a great cross-examination style”.
William Webb is considered by sources to be “a very cerebral lawyer” with “excellent legal knowledge and analysis” in the sector.

Atkin Chambers has seven juniors listed.
Rupert Choat continues to be a premier junior at the Bar for construction disputes, with a highly developed practice both domestically and abroad, and impressive experience in the Middle East. Says one source, “I’m impressed by Rupert’s understanding of what the client wants and his willingness to fight their corner. In addition, he has a sound understanding of construction law and is sensitive to the tribunal or judge’s approach as an advocate.”
Andrew Fenn draws praise as “a very impressive barrister” who is “absolutely outstanding”, with one silk noting that he is “the best junior I’ve led in a long time”.
Mark Chennells focuses his practice on construction disputes, acting as arbitrator and counsel in high-profile disputes. Sources note that “he is an extremely able junior barrister and excellent at complex litigation with the ability to think through, and around, matters quickly”.
Camille Slow has a broad practice in construction matters, expertly acting for clients in a wide range of disputes that touch on PFI projects, construction insolvency, procurement and damages. Interviewees note that “her written work is very intelligent and articulate”.

4 Pump Court has four individuals identified.
James Bowling is a “confident and forceful advocate” with “an encyclopaedia of construction knowledge”. His practice touches on a variety of construction matters and he is well known as an effective barrister in complex disputes.
Kate Livesey is well regarded by peers who highlight her as “an excellent junior” who has “superb legal analytical skills” that she leverages in construction disputes, including professional negligence, damages and insurance issues.

Jane Davies Evans at 3 Verulam Buildings offers “first-rate experience in some of the world’s largest and most complex construction disputes”, say market sources. “She is very precise, even when working at the speed of light,” adds another interviewee.

Paul Cowan from 4 New Square is a “strong advocate” with an international practice that spans both counsel and arbitration work. He focuses on complex construction disputes that run the gamut of sector-specific issues.

Sources praise Rachael O’Hagan at 39 Essex Chambers as a “calm, thorough and hard-working” junior who impresses peers with her “attention to detail, commitment, and proactive, client-focused approach”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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