Atkin Chambers Barristers
Fiona advises and represents multi-national companies, governments, public bodies and professional clients in connection with substantial international and domestic disputes, typically arising out of major energy infrastructure projects both within the UK and worldwide. Whilst the main focus of Fiona’s practice is in the field of energy and natural resources, where she has been retained to act for many of the world’s major oil, gas and power companies, she also has considerable experience of the construction and engineering, utilities and professional negligence sectors. She also has a well established public procurement practice, advising public bodies and unsuccessful tenderers on all aspects of Public and Utilities Procurement
Fiona has extensive experience of high value commercial litigation and international arbitration work. In particular, she has advised and acted in international disputes governed by ICC, UNCITRAL, LCIA and IBA Arbitration rules.
Before taking silk, she was recognised as a leading junior by the legal directories, Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession (UK and Global) and The Legal 500, in the fields of Construction, Energy and Natural Resources, Arbitration, Professional Negligence and Public Procurement. For further information on this, please download the pdf below.
o Advising a major oil company in connection with substantial cost and time overrun claims made by a multi-national engineering contractor and arising out of an EPC contract for the construction of a jack up rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
o Representing a major international contractor in an LCIA Arbitration arising out of the construction of an oil rig in South Korea. Successfully defending repudiatory breach, economic duress and loss of production claims advanced by the employer.
o Successfully representing a major energy company in an UNCITRAL Arbitration concerning liability for defective welding in pipework installed in a large Central Asian refinery; questions as to the contractor’s entitlement to additional sums for extra work and prolongation of the project and the employer’s entitlement to recover various heads of consequential loss including substantial sums for delayed production .
o Advising a major oil company in connection with disputes as to liability for pile failures during the construction of a water injection platform in the North Sea; recovery of losses associated with project delay and related insurance proceedings in the English Commercial Court.
o Advising national power company in relation to disputes arising during the course of the construction of two new GGCT power stations by an international engineering contractor; in particular in relation to ground condition risk, liability for industrial relations disputes and claims for prolongation, variations and delay and disruption.
o Acting for West African Gas Pipeline Company in relation to disputes arising out of the termination of an EPC Contract for the construction of the West African Pipeline; including advising in connection with disputes as to the enforceability of a parent company guarantee; the effect of termination on the parties’ contractual remedies and the recoverability of various heads of loss sustained by the employer as a result of the termination.
West African Gas Pipeline Company Ltd v. Wilbros Global Holdings Inc.
o Acting for state owned Iranian oil company in Commercial Court proceedings concerning disputes arising out of the termination of jack up drilling rig and associated rig transportation contract (in the Heavycon standard form) including disputes as to contract formation, agency, repudiatory breach and mitigation.
Dockwise v. North Drilling Company
o Representing BP Amoco in a 90 day case in the Commercial Court and advising in associated proceedings brought in America in connection with the termination of a contract for supply of giant jack up rig. The case considered issues relating to repudiation of contract; meaning and effect of contractual termination clauses; relationship between common law and contractual rights to terminate, issue estoppel and economic torts.
BP Amoco Ltd v. British American Offshore Limited
o Representing Turkish Pipeline Company in ICC Arbitration proceedings connection with claims brought by an EPC Contractor arising out of the termination of a pipeline contract. The dispute concerned the scope of the contractual termination and limitation of liability regimes; liability for defects in the pipeline and the financial consequences of the termination.
Fiona has experience of all aspects of international disputes arising out of major overseas projects. Examples include:
o Acting for a limited company created by the Gibraltar Government in connection with its disputes with two of the largest Spanish building contractors arising out of the design and construction of extensive new public housing programmes in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar Homes Ltd v. Agroman Empressa S.A.
o Acting for Cameroon Airlines in a Commercial Court Arbitration application. Successfully overturning an award made in the underlying arbitration (governed by South African law) which had been made against the airline. The underlying arbitration itself concerned disputes which had arisen as to the proper performance of the maintenance contract which governed the maintenance of all aircraft owned by the airline.
Cameroon Airlines v. Transnet.
o Advising large European Contractor in relation to disputes arising out of a regional re-development project in Oman; in particular in connection with the contractor’s liability under various performance bonds and parent company guarantees executed as part of a multi-national re-financing package.
o Acting for the Romanian Government in an ICC Arbitration concerning disputes arising out of the termination of a FIDIC form contract for the construction of a motorway in Romania and the jurisdiction of the Arbitrator to determine certain claims advanced.
o Advising and acting for the Gibraltar Government in connection with disputes arising out of a major road and tunnel infrastructure project in Gibraltar; in particular advising in relation to termination under the FIDIC form contract and at common law in the light of extensive delays to the progress of the works caused by the need to deal with contaminated land and water.
o Acting for major Wembley stadium sub contractor in multi million pound delay, disruption, loss and expense and final account litigation and associated adjudications. The dispute required an understanding of the inter relationship between groundworks, drainage and concrete technology issues against and the state of the art structural engineering design for this high profile landmark project.
PC Harrington v. Multiplex Constructions Limited 
o Acting for a Defendant process engineering contractor, in connection with a dispute about the performance of an SBR treatment plant in Leeds and related final account claims. The case required a detailed understanding of technical process realted issues in explaining the apparent poor performance of the plant.
Yorkshire Water Services Limited v. Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd (& others)
o Acting for Defendant process engineering contractor in relation to a claim brought by United Utilities arising out of alleged defects in a water treatment works in Liverpool and an associated group nuisance action launched by local residents.
United Utilities v. Degremont (& others)
o Acting for a defendant design and build contractor in connection with a multi party dispute concerning the cause of the poor performance of an air conditioning system installed in a prestigious new build office development in Reading.
Verizon (UK) Limited v. Bowmer and Kirkland Ltd (& others)
She has handled many cases, advising and acting for and against architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers and developers in professional negligence proceedings. She has particular experience of cases with limitation and proper measure of loss issues. Examples include:
o Employer’s claims for professional negligence against architects, engineers, surveyors & project managers; limitation of actions, existence & extent of professionals’ duty to warn.
Chesham Properties Ltd v. Bucknall Austin Project Management Ltd & others
o Employers claims for professional negligence against design and build contractors with particular consideration of limitation of actions in the context of claims for breach of contractual and non contractual duties; ‘no loss’ issues; and the extent of continuing duties owed by a developer to an employer. The extent of obligations upon a Maintenance Contractor to advise and warn of underlying design defects in building systems under its management and operation.
o Acting for a Design and Build Contractor in multi party proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court in relation to its claims against its structural engineer arising out of the design of a nightclub dance floor which failed due to fatigue. Advising as to nature and extent of contractual and tortuous duties owed by structural engineer, formation of the retainer; measure of loss and limitation issues.
Leisure II v. R G Carter Construction Ltd and others
o Advising concrete contractor in connection with pursuing claims against its professional indemnity insurer for failure to cover professional negligence claims made against contractor by employer. Advising as to effects of settlement of claim with employer on subsequent claims under the PI policy.
Fiona advises public bodies (including The House of Commons & Welsh Assembly) and unsuccessful tenderers on all aspects of Public And Utilities Procurement including the application of the Public Works, Services and Utilities Regulations 1991 and the Public Contracts and Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 (and associated transitional provisions), remedies for their breach and the impact of EU law on the field. Examples include:
o Representing the Corporate Officer of the House of Commons in connection with a dispute as to the procurement of the fenestration package for Portculis House. The Case considered the meaning and effect of UK Procurement Regulations, the effect of EU law and Procurement Directives, Misfeasance in Public Office, the proper measure of loss flowing from breach of procurement legislation and from misfeasance in public office.
Harmon v. Corporate Officer of House of Commons
o Advising a major construction company appointed as a framework contractor in relation to potential breaches of 2006 Regulations by Local Authority.
o Advising a large multi disciplinary service provider in connection with interim and final remedies available to it as a result of its failure to secure a multi million pound contract awarded pursuant to the procedure provided for by the 2006 Utilities Contracts Regulations.
1992 Inns of Court Scholar
Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship
1990 LLM (Hons) 2.i Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
British Academy Scholar
Evan Lewis Thomas Scholar
1989 LLB (Hons) First Class - Exeter University
Fiona is a member of TECBAR, Combar, the LCLCBA and the Society of Construction Law
Please contact either of our senior clerks, Simon Slattery and Justin Wilson, for futher information.