Atkin Chambers Barristers
Andrew is currently the Head of Atkin Chambers. He is a specialist in domestic and international civil engineering and building disputes, shipbuilding and ship conversion disputes, rail and rolling stock disputes and oil and gas projects (including contracts for the sale and purchase of oil and gas). He also has considerable experience in the professional indemnity, IT, telecommunications and procurement fields. Over many years, he has handled many large and complex cases representing contractors, governments, private employers, manufacturers and their professional advisers all over the world.
He regularly appears as counsel in English High Court litigation, international and domestic arbitrations as well as mediations and expert determinations. Most of his work is international in nature and in recent years he has advised on disputes in Europe, North and South America, Australia, the UAE and across Asia. He has appeared as counsel in the Court of Appeal in Gibraltar, in the High Court of Hong Kong and in arbitrations in the UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brussels, Gibraltar and the USA.
Andrew has also been appointed as an arbitrator in UNCITRAL, ICC and ad hoc arbitrations in England, New Zealand and New York.
He has been recognised for many years, as a leading Silk by the legal directories, Chambers and Partners Guide (Global, Asia & UK) to the Legal Profession and The Legal 500, in the fields of International Arbitration, Energy and Natural Resources, Construction and Professional Negligence.
Andrew has dealt with the whole range of issues including claims for loss and expense, defects claims, cost overrun claims and liquidated damages in relation to the design and construction of power stations, airports, shipbuilding and conversion, roads and other transport infrastructure, town and city redevelopments, including hospitals and schools.
Recent case examples include:
o Acting for the Government of Kuwait in relation to claims against it by the contractors who built Kuwait City. Paris arbitration and Kuwait law;
o Acting on a arbitration under DIAC rules relating to a claim in respect of the design and construction of Dubai Metro a several billion dollar project of international notoriety following the collapse of the Dubai government finances. Acted for the consortium of contractors who were building the new metro which comprised of 40 stations and some 70km of viaduct and tunnels;
o Acting for a contractor involved in the construction of the Pearl Project in Qatar. Qatar law and arbitration;
o Acting for the Government of Canada in a dispute concerning the construction of the Canadian Embassy in Saudi Arabia;
o Acting in arbitration and in the High Court for major j/v contractors in three major disputes concerning the construction of the process facility on Das Island, Abu Dhabi;
o Acting in arbitration under DIAC rules for the contractor in an arbitration concerning cost overruns on a residential development in Dubai Marina. Dubai law;
o Acting for international contractor in arbitration under DIAC Rules for the contractor in dispute concerning the construction of the DIFC (Dubai);
o Acting in LCIA arbitration for the contractor in dispute concerning a water treatment plant in Oman;
o Acting in LCIA arbitration for the contractors on a dispute regarding liquidated damages levied at USD30million but part of wider disputes relating to the completion of the desalination facility forming part of a combined power and desalination project in Oman;
o Acting in Hong Kong arbitration for an international contractor pursuing a claim against the government in respect of viaduct and road construction project in Hong Kong. The claim is for HK$1billion;
o Acting in a series of related arbitrations heard in Hong Kong relating to final account disputes between a Hong Kong property developer and a Korean construction company arising out of the construction of a hotel, an office block and a serviced apartment block. The issues involved questions of constructions of related contracts, practical completion, delay on the project, liquidated damages, variations, and defects;
o Acting in ad hoc arbitration broadly following UNCITRAL/IBA procedures. Claims for liquidated damages by owner for late completion c€70million. Counterclaim by contractor joint venture for extension of time and early completion bonus. Disputes relate to responsibility for delay caused by hydrocarbon contamination of ground affecting tunnel works
o Acting in a series of arbitrations in Hong Kong relating to a dispute between the domestic developer and a local contractor concerning issues relating to Government consents for tree felling defects loss and expense claims, final account and completion. Acted for one of the biggest contractors in Asia;
o Acting for the contractors on a multi-million pound arbitration in Singapore concerning a failed foundation piling scheme for a prestigious city centre office development;
o Acting for the contractor in relation to a major dam project in Malaysia which included disputes as to unforeseen ground conditions;
o Acting for employers and contractors in various other disputes concerning the design, construction and reconditioning of several power stations in various parts of the world. These include fossil fuel power stations, fluid bed boilers, tyre burning and combined cycle power stations;
o Acting for Mott McDonald defending substantial claim brought by Brookfield in relation to Wembley. Leading a large team of leading and junior counsel, this highly publicised matter is the largest of all the Wembley disputes with the sums claimed in excess of £280M and was the largest ever claim issed in the UK Technology and Construction Court although was settled in June 2010. Brookfield Europe (formerly Multiplex) v Mott McDonald;
o Acting for the contractor on a matter which related to the circumstances in which an injunction can be granted to restrain a call on a performance bond. Simon Carves v. Ensus  BLR 340;
o Acting on behalf of parties to contracts made under the UK Government’s PFI initiative. Advising upon, conducting and defending claims on a wide range of large projects relating to the construction of roads, tunnels, hospitals, schools and railways;
o Representing Bovis End Lease, in a case relating to a substantial claim arising from the construction of a Cadbury Chocolate Factory.
Andrew has considerable experience of both domestic and international disputes regarding oil and gas exploration and exploitation particularly in relation to the design and construction of on-shore and off-shore installations including oil rigs, pipelines and FPSO. Andrew has also acted as counsel in disputes regarding the sale and purchase of oil and gas.
Recent case examples include:
o Acting for main contractors who are in dispute with their subcontractors over the termination of lengthy section of an oil pipeline in Turkey and the financial consequences that flow from that. ICC arbitration and the seat is London. The claims and counterclaims are each in excess of $100m;
o Acting on behalf of the Singaporean owners of a shipyard in Rotterdam who were responsible for the conversion of a drilling rig into a deep water rig. Clients are part state owned and the employer is a Norwegian company. The claim is for more than $120m. The arbitration was conducted under SCIMA rules;
o Instructed by the owners and operators of an oil and gas process facility off the west coast of Russia. The claim is against the designers of the facility. UNCITRAL arbitration with a London seat;
o Acting in LMAA arbitration for the operators of an oil field off the coast of West Africa in relation to a dispute with the company that built and operates the FPSO that processes the hydrocarbons extracted from the field;
o Acting for a Canadian oil company which is in dispute with a Scandinavian shipping company over disputes that have arisen under contracts for the construction and operation of an FPSO which is now in production in Gabonese waters. The issues arising include delay, the allegedly late provision of information, and technical issues relating to the integrated control and safety system and the soil conditions at the FPSO site;
o Acting in a LCIA arbitration concerning the design and construction of the topsides of an offshore oil and gas processing platform in South East Asia. Claims included wrongful termination, variations, loss of profit, loss of production and defects;
o Acting for the owners in an LMAA arbitration regarding a dispute over the conversion of a 130,000t bulk carrier into the world’s largest dynamically positioned pipelayer;
o Acting in an ad hoc international arbitration for a claim in excess of Euro 70 million for late completion works to a Power Station in Spain due to hydrocarbon contamination of ground affecting tunnelling works;
o Acting on a UNCITRAL Arbitration concerning liability for extensive defects in welds in a newly constructed oil and gas processing facility in Kazakhstan. The sums claimed exceeded £100M, representing the costs of rectifying the defective welds together with associated losses (including a claim for recovery of delayed production losses);
o Acting, in the High Court and in arbitration, for ABB Lummus Global Limited in a dispute with Keppel Fels Limited, concerning the design and construction of the topsides of the Varg FPSO.
o Instructed on behalf of a Danish contractor who have constructed foundations for 2 wind farms in the Solway firth. The dispute concerns tens of millions;
o Instructed by Amec and Alstom to act on their behalf in a dispute with RWE over responsibility for delay and additional cost incurred by my clients who were the contractors for the construction of a desulpurization project for a power station in South Wales. The dispute concerns more than £50m and one aspect of it was the subject of a hearing and judgment by Akenhead J in the TCC;
o Acting for the contractors in defects action in relation to a pipeline from Birmingham to Gatwick Airport;
o Acting for the contractors in cost overrun claims in relation to an ethylene pipeline from England to Scotland. The dispute concerned unforeseen ground conditions;
o Acting in the High Court for Amec Process and Energy Limited in a dispute with Stork BV concerning the design and construction of the topsides of the Anaseuria FPSO;
o Acting for Sovereign Oil Limited in a High Court dispute with Aker Limited concerning the payment of a sailaway bonus in relation to the construction of the topsides Banf Ramform FPSO.
Andrew has extensive experience acting for a wide variety of employers and contractors on disputes arising from road, rail, tram and tunnel building projects and infrastructures all over the world. His cases include:
o Acting for employers and contractors in connection with cost overrun claims and liquidated damages in relation to the design, construction and upgrading of railway, underground and tram networks and the construction and modification of rolling stock in the UK, Europe and the Far East;
o Acting for employers and contractors in many international and domestic disputes (High Court and arbitration) covering the design and construction of tunnels for water, rail and vehicular traffic, including the Channel Tunnel, dam projects in Malaysia and the Brighton and Hove By-Pass;
o Appearing as counsel in the House of Lords in Balfour Beatty v Eurotunnel.
Andrew has a great deal of experience in the professional negligence field, acting for claimants, defendants and their indemnity insurers in relation to claims brought against a wide range of professionals. In the field of negligence generally, Andrew appeared as counsel in the House of Lords in the landmark decision of Murphy v Brentwood.
Other recent cases include:
o Acting for the employer in a dispute in the courts of Guernsey concerning the construction of residential and commercial development in St Peters' Port. A claim has been brought by the project managers against the employer for sums due under the contracts of engagement and the employer has a substantial counterclaim for £70m;
o Acting on a US $100 million professional negligence claim in UK High Court relating to design of power station in Philippines including two successful results in response to appeals to the English Court of Appeal
Mirant Asia-Pacific Construction (Hong Kong) Ltd v Ove Arup and Partners Intl Ltd.
Andrew has been instructed in various disputes concerning the design and construction of computers and the development of software. Cases include:
o A lengthy dispute between the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority and Marconi concerning the design and construction of its central mobilising command and control system;
o Instructed on behalf of London Underground in a series of High value arbitrations concerning contract for installation, operation and maintenance of new telecoms system on underground railway network. A factually complex case involving PFI contract issues, construction disputes and environmental matters, such as detection and treatment of asbestos.
Andrew has considerable experience in disputes under UK and European procurement rules. He was instructed by the Corporate Office of the House of Commons in connection with a lengthy High Court Action brought by tenderers for the fenestration package of the New Parliamentary Building at Westminster.
Andrew has been appointed to sit as sole and party appointed Arbitrator on numerous occasions both domestically and in New Zealand and New York.
Recent examples include:-
o Sitting in London with in a dispute between two large companies concerning claim for sums allegedly due under a contract for the construction in the Far East of steel manufacturing equipment. The arbitration was governed by UNCITRAL rules.
o Sitting as chair of arbitration in Abu Dhabi under ADCAC Rules.
o Sitting as sole arbitrator in London in dispute between Japanese finance company and Japanese contractor to determine liability for failure of pipework in a closed air-conditioning system in a 16 storey office building in the City of London. The dispute involved extensive technical evidence relating to water treatment and its chemistry and the possible interaction between chemicals used for water treatment and the failure of pipe fittings and metallurgy.
o Sitting as party-nominated arbitrator in New York governed by ICC Rules. The dispute was between a German company and Venezuelan company under a consortium agreement for the construction of a sulphur handling project in Venezuela. There were several hearings and three awards.
o Sitting as arbitrator in Wellington, New Zealand with in a dispute between the Government of a group of Pacific Islands and a New Zealand contractor concerning the construction of a road. Claims made by the Contractor included unforeseen ground conditions, breach of contract and measurement claims. FIDIC conditions applied. The arbitration was governed by ICC Rules.
Murphy v. Brentwood B.C. H.L.  1 AC 398
Balfour Beatty v. Eurotunnel H.L.  2 Lloyds Rep. 7
L.B. Barnet v. London Residuary Body C.A. (1990) 154 LG Rev.
Lampitt v. Poole Borough Council C.A.  2 QB 545
Martin Grant v. Sir Lindsay Parkinson C.A. 29 BLR 31
ABB Lummus Global Ltd v. Keppel Fels Ltd  Lloyds Rep. p. 24
Amec Process and Energy Ltd v. Stork Engineers & Contractors BV (2000) BLR p. 70
BICC Ltd v. Parkman 78 CLR p. 18
Bovis Lend Lease v. Braehead Ltd 71 CLR p. 208
Harmon CFEM UK v Corporate Officer of House of Commons (1999) 67 Con LR 1
Lesotho Highland Development Authority v Impreglio SpA and Others  C.A. Lloyds Rep.497
Mirant Asia Pacific Construction (Hong Kong) Ltd v Ove Arup & Partners  C/A BLR 75 90, ConLR 40
Road Management Services (AB) Plc v London Power Networks  BLR 303
Andrew is a contributor to Forms & Precedents: Building Contracts.
1979 LL.B (Hons.) Wales
2003 Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn
Andrew is a member of TECBAR, Combar and the Western Circuit.
Please contact our senior clerks, Simon Slattery and Justin Wilson, for further information.