Atkin Chambers Barristers
Manus specialises in commercial disputes with an emphasis on construction and engineering, infrastructure, professional indemnity, insurance, energy, natural resources and utilities both domestically and internationally. He has represented a wide range of clients including multi-national corporations, government entities, professional advisors and individuals all over the world.
He is recognised as a leading barrister in a number of commercial fields by the legal directories. He is the only barrister to have won the Chambers and Partners junior construction barrister of the year three times. Uniquely, he was nominated for the award in each of the five years in which he was eligible. He was also nominated as professional negligence barrister of the year (junior).
Manus is recommended by both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners in the fields of commercial arbitration, construction, energy and natural resources and professional negligence.
Manus has experience of the whole range of disputes that arise in all varieties of construction and engineering projects including variations, defects, loss and expense, prolongation and acceleration. He has been instructed in cases involving fires, floods, structural collapse and subsidence.
In relation to engineering disputes his case load has covered the chemical, civil, electrical, electronic, geotechnical, industrial, manufacturing, marine, mechanical, piping, process, structural and tunnelling disciplines. He has also been involved in technical engineering disputes concerning defective equipment, machinery and systems of all kinds.
(He) “is amongst the most highly regarded of his generation of new silks. Commentators praise him as ‘tactically astute and a very good advocate’”.
Chambers and Partners 2013, Construction
“He is a particular favourite with solicitors due to his ‘proactive manner and commercial understanding’”
Chambers and Partners 2012, Construction
“An incredibly bright strategist with a modern approach” he “works very hard, fights very hard and has excellent judgement”
Chambers and Partners 2011, Construction
Manus has acted for and against many professionals, particularly in the construction and engineering fields. Cases have involved architects, engineers of many different disciplines, project managers and quantity surveyors as well as valuers, building surveyors and other designers.
He also takes on some cases of alleged professional negligence in other fields. On more than one occasion he has acted against solicitors for negligent drafting and advice and against management consultants for failure to perform. As a result of his experience in information technology he has acted for and against software designers.
“Manus McMullan QC, a highly rated member of the Bar with ‘a charm about him which endears him to both insurers and the insured.’”
Chambers and Partners 2013, Professional Negligence
“An ‘excellent barrister with a charming court manner and a brilliant mind’”.
Chambers and Partners 2011, Professional Negligence
“Manus McMullan is a key name. "Unflappable and quick-witted," he is one of the best barristers "by a country mile."”
Chambers and Partners 2010, Professional Negligence
Manus’ practice includes acting for parties concerning the development and exploitation of oil and gas fields all over the world, as well as the extraction and processing of other natural resources and minerals.
Domestically, his work in utilities is more broadly based. He has acted for and against utility providers (water, electricity and gas) in disputes with developers and also on projects such as power plants and sewage treatment works. In addition to cases concerning development, he has advised and fought cases upon the statutory framework in England and Wales and the rights and duties provided thereby. Matters include disputes over payment rates for renewable energy, royalties, and energy service agreements.
“Manus McMullan QC can be relied upon to skilfully deploy his considerable arsenal of charm and legal acumen to the great benefit of his clients.”
Chambers and Partners 2013, Energy
“McMullan’s fans are legion, not least due to the fact that he has ‘a wonderful personality and a helpful approach’ to complement his undoubted legal skills”
Chambers and Partners 2011, Energy
"Manus McMullan is viewed as a real star of his field: ‘Incredibly charming and brilliant with clients, he has a true command of all that he undertakes.’"
Chambers and Partners 2010, Energy
Over the past year Manus has been engaged on the following matters, among others:
(1) Acting for a major international engineering contractor in relation to a tunnelling project in Singapore. Arbitration hearing lasting two weeks. Claim for approximately Sing $100m.
(2) Acting for the owners of the busiest port in the Caribbean against a design and build contractor. Claim concerned defects in pavement, asphalt, cranes and drainage. Claim value approximately $30m. Arbitration hearing of four weeks.
(3) Acting for the financiers of a hotel development in central London designed by Lord Norman Foster. Trial in the commercial court before Blair J for 9 weeks, along with Lord Grabiner. Claim approximately £100m. Counterclaim approximately £50m.
(4) Appealing an arbitration award concerning a ship building contract for a Turkish Shipbuilder. Hearing in the Commercial Court.
(5) Acting in a multi party dispute for specialist piling designers in relation to claims of alleged negligence and consequential loss. Pending trial.
In addition Mr McMullan has been involved in others matters such as advising engineers in dispute with the United Nations Office for Project Services and advising a contractor seeking a contribution from a negligent designer.
Degree First Class Honours, Jurisprudence, Oxford University.
1994 Called to the bar of England and Wales
2004 Ad hoc call to the bar of the Cayman Islands
2007 Called to the bar of Northern Ireland
2010 Appointed Queen’s Counsel
Manus is fluent in Spanish (instructed in bi-lingual arbitrations) and has competent French.
Please contact either of our Senior Clerks, Simon Slattery and Justin Wilson, for further information.