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Atkin Chambers media articles
‘Building Law Reports are the most established and authoritative construction law reports available’
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Articles

Our barristers often share their knowledge and experience by publishing articles on a wide range of subjects for leading national and international publications. We contribute articles to professional and academic journals in the field of construction, energy, alternative dispute resolution, commercial litigation and international arbitration among others. A number of our members are also regular columnists in specialist industry publications. Please see below for a collection of recent articles.

Debts in paradise | Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd & Anor vs Wilkins Kennedy [2016]

30 March 2017
In his most recent article for Building, Sir Robert Akenhead, with assistance from Omar Eljadi, discuss the case of Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd & Anor vs Wilkins Kennedy . The case highlights how wrong a construction project can go in the absence of clear contractual arrangements and proper financial controls. It also demonstrates the unique specialist expertise of the...Read more

Serena Cheng QC discusses Khalifa Ports announced expansion for Logistics Middle East

16 March 2017
In the March edition of Logistics Middle East magazine Serena Cheng QC comments on the potential pitfalls of Khalifa Port’s expansion by viewing the proposed works from both the employer and contractor’s perspectives. Khalifa Port recently announced plans to expand by adding a 1,000-meter quay wall to its container terminal and by deepening the channel...Read more

Stop playing games: does an adjudication enforcement trump an insolvency moratorium? – Building magazine

13 March 2017
In an article for Building magazine Lucie Briggs and Stephen Homer (Ashfords Solicitors) ask whether an adjudication enforcement trumps an insolvency moratorium by examining the January 2017 Coulson J judgment in the case of South Coast Construction Limited v Iverson Road Limited. The case concerned proceedings for the enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision and is...Read more

Better delivery of mega projects – The Oath (Middle East)

15 February 2017
Following the announcement of the development of the largest marina in the MENA region Steven Walker QC considers the contractual issues such mega projects could generate for those engaged in the delivery of the works. To read the full article please click here. This article was first published in the February 2017 edition of The...Read more

Contractual Interpretation: The retreat from Hoffman (Atkin paper)

14 February 2017
This paper was originally presented at a legal symposium hosted by Atkin Chambers on 7 November 2016. Contractual interpretation is a key battleground in much commercial litigation. Recent decisions from the UK Supreme Court and the courts in Singapore and Hong Kong appear to show a shift in approach from Lord Hoffmann’s well-known statement of...Read more

A year in increments

19 December 2016
Rupert Choat provides a review of the main changes to take place in the world of construction law in 2016. In this article Rupert discusses such issues as changes to insurance, retentions, payment provisions and the new Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes. To read the full article please click here. This article was...Read more

Concurrent Delay : a back-to-basics approach

8 December 2016
In his article for LexisNexis Mischa Balen explores the court’s approach to concurrent delay in Saga Cruises BDF Ltd v Fincantieri SpA EWHC 1875 (Comm), 167 ConLR 29. In his view, the decision sees the application of the orthodox rules of causation, and there is an important distinction between one-off and continuing events. To...Read more

Futureproof your disputes

2 December 2016
In his article for Building in December 2016 Nicholas Baatz QC discusses how leaving the EU could cause complications for the enforcement of court actions against firms and entities in EU member states. In his article Nicholas suggests that arbitration could offer an alternative. To read the full article please click here.  This article was...Read more

Ask a lawyer: How do I avoid disputes when investing in African construction?

23 November 2016
Following the opening of the first fully electrified cross-border railway line linking Ethiopia and Djibouti, Simon Lofthouse QC in African Business Review discusses the potential challenges to contractors that may occur when investing in African construction due to the additional complexity of third party funding. By taking the necessary steps, many of which are outlined...Read more

Article 50 High Court decision will prolong construction’s uncertainty

15 November 2016
In Construction News Mischa Balen discusses the High Court decision granting the Government permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court in relation to triggering Article 50 and explores the potential effects on the construction industry of exiting the European Union. To read the full article please click here.  This article was first published on...Read more

East and South China Sea disputes

14 November 2016
In his article for the November Edition of Petroleum Review, Patrick Clarke discusses how arbitration may be the way forward to resolve China Sea disputes. Developing the substantial hydrocarbon resources contained in the waters of the East and South China Sea can be legally challenging due to the multitude of sovereignty disputes over the waters....Read more

Contractual Interpretation after Arnold v Britton: What does it all mean?

14 November 2016
In their article for the Autumn 2016 edition of the ADR Digest, Steven Walker QC and David Johnson examine the implications of the Supreme Court decision in Arnold v Britton on contractual interpretation and consider whether it marks a departure from the purposive approach developed by the House of Lords in the first decade of the...Read more

Ethiopia’s lifeline to the sea

14 November 2016
Simon Lofthouse QC explores the pitfalls and disputes that can arise in projects such as the Ethiopian constructed railway between Addis Ababa and Djibouti in his article for ALB (African Law & Business). The recently opened Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line is the first fully electrified cross-border railway line in Africa, linking Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to...Read more

Heathrow’s third runway: Four lessons from other airport jobs

7 November 2016
Nicholas Dennys QC discusses the government’s recent decision to approve ‘in principle’ Heathrow’s third runway and suggests that there are lessons that can be learnt from other airports which should be applied to Heathrow in order to achieve success. These lessons are described as: sustained commitment from government and stakeholders time spent on planning is...Read more

The future of ADR?

24 October 2016
In her article for the October Edition of The Oath, Jennifer Jones discusses adjudication – what is it and what is needed to make it work in the Middle East. The article highlights the key features of adjudication, compares adjudication with other forms of dispute resolution and looks at the differences between various jurisdictions. In...Read more

A Spring Freeze – Article for Arabian Business Qatar

12 October 2016
In his article for Arabian Business Qatar, Riaz Husssain QC suggests that any oil output agreements will be crucial in market recovery. With supply continuing to outstrip demand, it is imperative that a balance is reached. In February 2016, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar, Kuwait and Venezuela agreed to the possibility of freezing output at 2016...Read more

The Costs of Construction Disputes in the Middle East

12 October 2016
In his article for ME Construction News, Simon Lofthouse QC outlines the costs incurred by construction firms when they engage in dispute resolution in the Middle East. With the average value of disputes at $82m, the Middle East heads the list. Despite this, with an average of 15.2 months, the time taken to resolve disputes...Read more

Are we ready to get fracking?

21 September 2016
In her article for Gas International, Serena Cheng discusses the current state of commercial fracking in the UK. Despite a promise from David Cameron, no commercial shale gas production has taken place in the UK. With such planning permission recently granted in North Yorkshire, this article discusses what next? Why not before? And several other...Read more

Fundamentals of Flight: Drones and the construction industry

15 September 2016
In the September Edition of Construction Week, Andrew Goddard QC and Simon Crawshaw discussed the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’ to revolutionise building sites across the globe. Drone evidence gathered from when construction begins can allow progress to be monitored and recorded on a more regular basis, with significant implications for dispute...Read more

The legal ramifications of exclusivity agreements

25 August 2016
In his article for Construction Week Zulfikar Khayum analyses the sorts of issues which can arise and which need to be considered when parties enter into exclusivity arrangements. The article arises out of the recent confirmation by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of...Read more

Brexit: Can anything be done about higher material prices as sterling falls?

25 August 2016
Since the EU referendum result, the pound has seen significant falls against both the euro and dollar, consequently the cost of importing materials for use on construction projects has increased. Jennifer Jones examines how pre-existing construction contracts may be affected by examining potential fluctuation clauses in the contract and the decision in Williams v Roffey...Read more

Using the DIFC’s Off-Shore Jurisdiction to Enforce Arbitration Awards in On-Shore Dubai

23 August 2016
In his paper for Arbitration, Mischa Balen examines the differences between the on-shore Dubai courts and the off-shore Dubai International Financial Centre when it comes to enforcing arbitration awards. In particular, the paper considers whether an award creditor can enforce an on-shore arbitral award against assets held in on-shore Dubai, rather than having to follow...Read more

Being Demanding: Recent cases on performance bond calls

1 August 2016
Stephanie Barwise QC and Omar Eljadi co-write an article on performance bond calls for Chartered ICES Construction Law Review Journal 2016  (published by the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors). In this article Stephanie and Omar discuss the vital role performance bonds play in modern infrastructure projects by discussing recent cases and the interpretations of...Read more

Brexit and contractual wrangling over infrastructure projects

19 July 2016
The UK’s decision to leave the EU could lead to the postponement or cancellation of major schemes. In her article for Construction News Frances Pigott explores what implications this may have for the contracting parties. To read the full article please click here.  This article was first published by Construction News on 19 July, 2016....Read more

Drawing the Line in Contractual Claims

11 July 2016
Contracts often limit the losses recoverable for a default, for example saying that those which are “indirect” or “consequential” are not recoverable. Where is the line to be drawn? If the contract is governed by the law of England and Wales, a court or arbitral tribunal will probably get some help from seeing what might...Read more

Payment rules: Was it worth it?

7 July 2016
Over the last 20 years the industry has invested in trying to improve cash flow, but has it been money well spent? In the June edition of Building Rupert Choat discusses recent trends and the courts’ judgments on the amended act’s payment rules. To view the full article please click here.  ...Read more

Construction in KSA – Proceed with caution!

10 June 2016
Riaz Hussain QC provides commentary on recent developments to the construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for May’s edition of The Oath. In this article Riaz discusses the recent reports from the Saudi Minister for Municipal and Rural Affairs that the Government has decided to ‘stop’ or postpone all new projects therefore raising...Read more

Concurrent delay, over-determination and the problem of default rules (2016) Const. LJ

10 June 2016
In his paper for May’s edition of the Construction Law Journal Mischa Balen discusses the conceptual difficulties caused by concurrent delay and causation in construction claims. The paper examines the various suggested solutions, including the “dominant cause” test in City Inn, the “Malmaison test” in Henry Boot v Malmaison and apportionment. The paper concludes by...Read more

BIM and its role in the construction industry

1 June 2016
Jennifer Jones considers the issues surrounding building information modelling (BIM) and its role in the construction industry for Lexis®PSL. In this interview Jennifer considers whether take-up of the technology has matched the government’s stated ambitions in this area and discusses both the risks and potential of BIM for the industry. To read the full article,...Read more

Contractor risks as Saudi public expenditure stalls

5 May 2016
In this article for Big Project ME Riaz Hussain QC analyses how Saudi Arabian contractors will be impacted by a postponement of infrastructure projects due to the economic downturn as oil prices continue to fall. Riaz also discusses the legal recourses that Saudi Arabian contractors may have and gives warning to contractors considering bids in...Read more

Contracting in hard times

21 March 2016
In March’s edition of Arabian Business Riaz Hussain QC comments on recent press reports that state Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait are projected to have significantly decreased spending on new construction contracts in the coming year in his article ‘Contracting in hard times’. The full article can be found here (p24/p25)....Read more

Riaz Hussain comments on conducting deals in ‘post sanctions’ Iran

18 February 2016
Riaz Hussain writes for Gulf Business to discuss what investors should keep in mind when conducting deals in post sanctions Iran. In this article Riaz Hussain suggests that although January 16th 2016 marked Implementation Day for lifting EU and UN sanctions on trade with Iran some UN and US direct sanctions still remain. The article...Read more

Riaz Hussain examines property law trends for Property Law Journal

7 February 2016
In his article ‘Keep an eye on the ball’ Riaz Hussain examines legal and litigation trends for construction in the year ahead. Riaz examines a number of observed and potential recent developments in the industry and in the construction court’s procedures and decisions that bear consideration by industry professionals and construction lawyers alike. This article...Read more

Qatar’s new Commercial Companies Law: Evolution not revolution

4 January 2016
Riaz Hussain writes for January’s edition of Arabian Business Qatar discussing Qatar’s new Commercial Companies Law which aims to make it easier to start new businesses in the emirate in order to stimulate the non-oil economy. This article was first published in the January 2016 issue of Arabian Business Qatar. To access the full article...Read more

Wrong Answer?

22 December 2015
In this article Darryl Royce assesses the ‘right question, wrong answer’ approach to the enforcement of adjudication decisions and the application of the Nikko doctrine. Wrong answer? TECBAR Review, Winter 2015, p4 -6 To view the full article please click here...Read more

The year of supreme busyness

18 December 2015
We are usually lucky if our most senior judges produce one judgment in a year that affects constrcution law. In 2015 there were five. In this article Rupert Choat explores these cases for Building. To view the full article please click here: http://www.building.co.uk/the-year-of-supreme-busyness/5079289.article...Read more

Mischa Balen discusses the case of ParkingEye v Beavis for Construction News

3 December 2015
In an article published on 30th November 2015 in Construction News Mischa Balen discusses the recent Supreme Court decision of ParkingEye v Beavis and explores how penalty clauses could have a big impact on construction contracts. Media coverage of the Supreme Court’s recent decision on penalty clauses has focused largely on Barry Beavis, a 47-year-old...Read more

The winds of change in Qatar’s labour laws

1 December 2015
Riaz Hussain writes for December’s edition of Arabian Business Qatar commenting on the recent amendment to the Qatar labour law which seeks to strengthen workers’ rights and protection. This article was first published in the December 2015 issue of Arabian Business Qatar. To access the full article please click here: http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?eid=82321f00-6e02-4ffb-9d35-30e9ec4ebd66...Read more

ParkingEye v Beavis: A view from the courts

30 November 2015
In an article published on 30th November 2015 in Construction News Mischa Balen discusses the recent Supreme Court decision of ParkingEye v Beavis and explores how penalty clauses could have a big impact on construction contracts. Media coverage of the Supreme Court’s recent decision on penalty clauses has focused largely on Barry Beavis, a 47-year-old...Read more

Equitable Set-Off – A New Direction After Geldof?

1 August 2015
Equitable set-off has traditionally been a difficult defence to define. The Court of Appeal in Geldof Metaalconstructie v Simon Carves reviewed a number of important cases and in drawing the threads together has rationalised the test for equitable set-off. In this paper the judgment of Rix LJ is reviewed and the implications of that judgment...Read more

Why only one dispute?

1 July 2015
In this article Darryl Royce addresses the ‘one dispute only’ rule, if such a rule there is. TECBAR Review, Informa...Read more

Doug Jones on “Challenges ahead”

12 May 2015
In a speech in Kuala Lumpur to mark the centenary of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Doug Jones spoke about the new competition to arbitration offered by mediation and specialised courts and warned that the reputation of commercial arbitration may be tainted by the controversy over investor-state dispute settlement. Challenges Ahead. GAR, Law Business Research....Read more

Security of Payment and Adjudication in Hong Kong

1 May 2015
With public consultation due in respect of the proposed Security of Payments (Adjudication) Act and legislation envisaged as early as next year, Hong Kong looks set to join the jurisdictions where adjudication has become a key element of construction dispute resolution. Peter Fraser QC and David Johnson of Atkin Chambers look at lessons from other...Read more

A practical Guide to adjudication

1 March 2015
Darryl Royce writes for the Solicitors Journal for their special report on ‘Commercial Law Practice: An Expert Guide’. In this article Darryl covers the following issues: • What is adjudication? • The contracts affected by statutory adjudication • Purpose of the statutory adjudication process • The procedure • Challenges and participation in the adjudication •...Read more

Collateral Warranties: UK Case Law

1 August 2014
This paper considers a number of UK cases relating to collateral warranties – which (despite the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999) are much used in construction projects. First, it considers the cases which have looked at ‘no greater liability’ and ‘net contribution’ clauses and limitations on assignment; it then looks at two other...Read more

Considering Apportionment of Liability between Construction Professionals under the Contribution Act 1978

1 November 2012
Contribution claims under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 are a common feature of commercial disputes. They are especially common in TCC proceedings given the nature of construction and engineering projects. There are often multiple professionals and parties involved in projects each owing a duty to the Employer either under direct contracts, collateral warranties or...Read more

Note on Simon Carves Ltd v Ensus UK Ltd

1 September 2011
Andrew Goddard QC discusses the case of Simon Carves Ltd v Ensus UK Ltd for TECBAR Review. Note on Simon Carves Ltd v Ensus UK Ltd. Technology and Construction Bar Association Review, Informa. To view the full article please click here: http://www.tecbar.org/downloads/2011-TECBAR-Review-Autumn.pdf...Read more

What is the status of a restitutionary power to revest title in insolvency?

1 July 2011
This article considers the priority of a power to revest title in insolvency. It concludes that such powers are best characterised as mere equities. Mere equities rank behind equitable estates, which include floating charges. A claimant with a power to revest title who exercises his right to revest will, depending on the facts, obtain an...Read more

Defective Premises Law: Time For Remedial Works?

1 June 2011
David Johnson looks at the history and usefulness of the Defective Premises Act 1972, against the background of developments of the law of tort in particular in Murphy v Brentwood and subsequent cases. The Act offers a statutory claim for damages for defects in dwellings: the right of action requires neither a contractual link between...Read more

What Lies Beneath…

1 April 2011
James Howells addresses the issues in construction and engineering contracts relating to modern rail routes and systems. What lies beneath… Construction Solutions, FTI Consulting, Issue 6...Read more

Failure to estop: rationalising proprietary estoppel using failure of basis

1 January 2011
Proprietary estoppel is claimed to rest, variously, on unconscionability, or on the unjust enrichment of the party who makes the promise. Both of these approaches are problematic. Instead, and borrowing from the unjust enrichment concept of failure of basis, a cause of action in proprietary estoppel arises where A assures B that B has or...Read more

Construing Construction Contracts: Principles, Policies and Practice

1 December 2010
A paper based on talks given to meetings of the Society of Construction Law in London on 2nd December 2008, Sheffield on 16th June 2009 and Birmingham on 25th February 2010 In Chartbrook v Persimmon Homes in 2009, the House of Lords revisited an apparently theoretical but in fact intensely practical area of the law:...Read more

On turning a blind eye: Traditional Structures vs HW Construction

1 November 2010
If you notice that a supplier has mistakenly failed to charge for an item on their tender, can you accept the price, keep shtoom and then hold them to it? Frances Pigott considers the issues in article for Building. Building , UBM. To view the full article please click on the following link: http://www.building.co.uk/on-turning-a-blind-eye-traditional-structures-vs-hw-construction/5003884.article...Read more

Heartless: The case of a builder sued for having a heart attack

1 July 2010
A builder suffered a heart attack during a job and could not finish the work. When his client sued him, the case turned on the rarely seen defence of frustration…. Frances Pigott discusses the case in an article for Building Building , UBM. To view the full article please click on the following link: http://www.building.co.uk/heartless-the-case-of-a-builder-sued-for-having-a-heart-attack/5007673.article...Read more

Hard Times Provoke Commercial Innovation

1 April 2010
Nicholas Baatz QC reviews recent case law relating to cost and profit sharing agreements as part of core construction and engineering contracts. Hard Times Provoke Commercial Innovation. Construction Solutions, FTI Consulting, Issue 1...Read more

“Here” but “Not here, the significance of Linnett v Halliwell for jurisdiction

1 March 2010
Nicholas Baatz QC explains Linnett v Halliwells B.L.R. 312 makes more problematic the position of a party who wishes to take jurisdictional objections in arbitration or adjudication. Technology and Construction Bar Association Review, Sweet & Maxwell. To view the full article please click on the following link: http://www.tecbar.org/downloads/2010-TECBAR-Review-Spring.pdf...Read more

Anti-Pettifogging

1 October 2009
Nicholas Baatz QC discusses pettifogging in an article for The American Lawyer Magazine, ALM Media Properties. To view the full article please click on the following link: http://www.americanlawyer-digital.com/americanlawyer-ipauth/tal200910ip?pg=132#pg132...Read more

Party Wall Act: Good news for good neighbours

1 July 2008
Lucie Briggs discusses a recent decision on the Party Wall Act which means that those who consent to a party wall notice are still protected by the act if a dispute arises. Building , UBM. To view the full article please click on the following link: http://www.building.co.uk/party-wall-act-good-news-for-good-neighbours/3118763.article...Read more