Practice

Chantal-Aimée Doerries is widely recognised as a leading practitioner in commercial dispute resolution. She has a well established practice, representing clients in a wide range of sectors including construction, engineering and infrastructure projects, energy and natural resources, professional negligence, shipbuilding and IT and telecommunications.

As an advocate, she has considerable experience appearing in the UK Technology and Construction and Commercial Courts, Chancery Division, and Court of Appeal, as well as, in domestic and international arbitration.

Many disputes on which she is instructed have an international aspect, and her work has taken her all over the world including to South and East Asia, the Middle East, and, of course, to Europe.

In addition to this, Chantal also accepts appointments as arbitrator and as adjudicator.

She is regularly recommended by the leading legal directories, including in the most recent edition of Chambers and Partners for construction, energy and natural resources, professional negligence and international arbitration and the most recent edition of Legal 500 in Energy, Commercial Arbitration and Professional Negligence. Further, she was identified by The Lawyer in the litigation section of its 'Hot 100' list for 2009 as one of only 10 barristers.

She is the current Chairman of the International Relations Committee of the Bar Council of England and Wales.

Construction, Engineering and Infrastructure Projects

Chantal has extensive experience in construction, engineering and infrastructure projects. Examples include acting for/advising:

(a) Construction and engineering

o International contractor in 3 substantial Hong Kong arbitrations against developer about a hotel and office and residential blocks.

o Local authority in relation to PFI project for provision, servicing and maintenance of school facilities.

o Robert McAlpine in Court proceedings re Lloyd’s Register of Shipping headquarters. Claims of £25 million for delay, disruption, variations and defects.

o The British Museum in Court proceedings dispute with contractor re supply of stone for prestigious Great Court project, involving allegations of fraud.

o Clugston in multi-party Court proceedings about the design, manufacture, installation/commissioning of an aircraft surface treatment facility and cranes within it.

o Main contractor in arbitration against sub-contractor concerning design and installation of structural steelworks at a leisure centre project.

o Contractor defending claim by employer about delay caused by water ingress through piling works. Claims over against sub-contractors and engineers.

o Mowlem in High Court injunction proceedings against the local authority arising out of the Bath Spa project.

o Employer in dispute with contractor and bank about performance guarantee, proper construction of the guarantee and its release.

o Global biopharma company in dispute with contractors concerning specialist fit-out works to laboratories.

(b) Infrastructure projects

o London Underground in Court proceedings against Tubelines, the supplier of train, station and related infrastructure services to London Underground Network concerning payment for services. Part of the Public-Private Partnership for the London Underground.

o Local authority in substantial infrastructure dispute in Ireland involving claims re procurement, design, delay, disruption, ground conditions and variations.

o Major UK contractor in number of substantial rail infrastructure disputes covering issues of track renewal, maintenance and remedial works.

o Contractor, supplying services for national transport system, in dispute (determined by adjudication) with employer arising out of contract for the upgrade of the control system.

o Middle Eastern government in arbitration proceedings in Oman brought by Middle Eastern contractor arising out of the construction of highway. Issues of delay, disruption and additional works.

o Contractor in an arbitration concerning the fabrication of a pontoon and linkspan bridge, forming party of a ferry terminal.

(c) Adjudication

o Major UK contractor in series of substantial adjudications concerning rail infrastructure disputes.

o European energy contractor in adjudication concerning delay and acceleration claims re construction of a combined cycle gas turbine power station.

o Local Authority in relation to adjudication against infrastructure services provider re construction of railway stations and associated works.

o Appointed adjudicator in dispute concerning the manufacture, installation and maintenance of air-conditioning system.

o Appointed adjudicator in dispute concerning the design and installation of audio-visual facilities.

o Quantity surveyors in relation to adjudications concerning valuation services provided in relation to large retail project.

o Employer on contractual dispute concerning provision of new signalling system for part of London Underground.

Energy and Natural Resources

Chantal’s practice reflects the range of disputes arising in this sector. Examples include acting for/advising:

o North European owner/operator of floating units for offshore applications in disputes with Chinese entities concerning contracts for construction and delivery of drilling/production units and option and lease arrangements.

o Specialist engineering equipment manufacturer in a dispute concerning supply of the equipment to a UK nuclear power station.

o Norwegian oil service company in dispute with Australian engineering company about fabrication of topside process modules for North Sea FPSO project.

o Liquidator of European engineering contractor in ICC arbitration against a European joint venture about € 100 million claims concerning rehabilitation/upgrade of power and desalination project in Middle East.

o FPSO offshore services company in dispute concerning recoverability of typhoon damage sustained by FPSO offshore Philippines.

o Thyssen in UK proceedings, defending claims by RWE about the construction of a fluegas desulphurisation plant.

o Oil exploration company in dispute with contractor arising under contract for fabrication, pre-commissioning and load out of wellhead platform. Dispute about variations, liquidated damages and hand over.

o International energy contractor in a dispute relating to the design, construction and commissioning of boiler in power station in China.

o Employer in dispute with FPSO contractor concerning delayed delivery of FPSO for use offshore of Thailand.

o Joint venture in a dispute concerning onshore and offshore contracts for supply of services, equipment and materials for the construction of a coal fired thermal power plant in Indonesia.

o Engineers in UK appeal Court proceedings in dispute with an off-shore contractor under a contract for design of boiler foundations and supervision of works for a power station in the Philippines.

o Employer in dispute with contractor arising in connection with wind farm.

o Contractor in two adjudications before 3 man Adjudication Panel in relation to disputes arising out of construction of FPSO.

Professional Negligence

She is frequently instructed in professional negligence disputes acting for and/or against a range of professionals and has been involved in some of the largest such disputes arising from construction projects. Examples include acting for/advising:

o Mott McDonald, defending claim for £250 million brought by Brookfield, formerly Multiplex, in relation to design of structural engineering works at the new Wembley Stadium.

o English quantity surveyors, defending claim brought by developer of German shopping centre. Allegations about project feasibility advice. 3rd party claim against German professionals.

o Halcrow in substantial proceedings brought by public body re construction of state of art firefighter training facility. Case concerned cost advice, design and valuation services. 3rd party claims vs. engineers and QS.

o Building services and environmental consulting engineers in Court proceedings concerning design of mechanical services for commercial unit.

o Contractor alleging professional negligence against engineers re tender stage design services for warehouse development and pile monitoring services.

o Employer in Court proceedings against WS Atkins in relation to design of a refrigeration facility for a chilled food factory.

o Estate of deceased solicitor in proceedings re services provided by a firm of accountants, involving allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against accountants and directors.

o Multi-national project managers in High Court proceedings re infrastructure project. Central allegations concerned role of project managers and issues of independence.

o Employer bringing professional negligence claim against engineers and project managers re design of tissue producing machine, deinking facility and effluent plant.

o Project manager in Court proceedings concerning the design/ provision of mechanical handling equipment/computerised management system at a distribution facility.

Shipbuilding

Chantal is increasingly instructed in disputes arising out shipbuilding and related contracts. Examples include acting for/advising:

o Chinese shipyard in Commercial Court proceedings brought by Norwegian marine design company re contract for supply of design and classification documentation for anchor handling tug supply vessels.

o German specialist drilling equipment manufacturer in Commercial Court proceedings also involving Saipem and National Oilwell concerning incident on an ultra deep water drill ship engaged in oil exploration services off coast of West Africa. Claim about construction and commissioning of ship. Damages in excess of $100 million claimed.

o Chinese shipbuilding company re London Maritime Arbitrators Association arbitration against American offshore marine service company. Payment and warranty dispute.

o Stena Sealink, owner of Port of Holyhead, in Commercial Court proceedings against Irish Ferries arising out of contract for the construction of berth and an accident while vessel was departing its berth.

General Commercial

In addition to the specialised areas above, Chantal is also regularly instructed on general commercial disputes. Examples include acting for:

o Middle Eastern company in proceedings in the Chancery Division in connection with Dubai airport, involving questions of jurisdiction, choice of law and enforcement.

o Liquidator in Chancery Division. Section 212 Insolvency Act proceedings against a director involving allegations of misfeasance, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.

o Thyssen in Court proceedings involving claims under an agreement for the sale and purchase of shares.

o Overseas client in Court proceedings involving allegations of defects in electronic manufacturing equipment supplied to production plant for the glass industry.

o German supplier of industrial conveyors for a car factory involving issues of design, installation and commissioning as well the appropriate jurisdiction and law.

o Developers in dispute with vendors of site of a chemical productions factory site. Claims relating to sale agreement and written representations concerning contaminated land.

o American manufacturer of roofing material in High Court proceedings concerning quality of the product.

o UK Port in a dispute arising out the supply/installation of a number of pumping systems forming part of a jet fuel berthing facility.

Qualifications and Awards

Fluent in German. Basic French.

Major Harmsworth Entrance Exhibition, Middle Temple

Diplock Scholarship, Middle Temple

Gertrude de Gallaix Achievement Award for study of law, FAWCO

TECBAR accredited adjudicator

1987-1991 Cambridge University, New Hall

1989 President of the Cambridge Union Society

1986-1987 University of Pennsylvania, USA

Legal texts

Joint Editor of Building Law Reports since 1999
Contributing Editor of Hudson’s Building and Engineering Contracts 12th Ed.

Other Professional Interests

International Bar Association (Co-Chair, Forum for Barristers & Advocates 2009 - 2011, Council representative Bar of England and Wales 2009-)
Bar Council of England and Wales:
International Business Development Group (Chair 2009-2013)
International Committee (Chairman 2011-2013)
Bar Branded Arbitration Working Group (Chair 2008-2009)
Technology and Construction Bar Association (Chairman 2010-2013)
American Bar Association: Associate member
American Bar Foundation: Fellow

For further information please contact our senior clerk, Justin Wilson at jwilson@atkinchambers.com