Practice

Simon Lofthouse is widely recognised as a leading domestic and international lawyer with particular expertise in construction, energy and natural resources and professional negligence. As in previous years, Simon is highly recommended in these fields by the leading legal directories, Chambers and Legal 500 both in their UK Editions and those published internationally. He is highlighted as “exceptional” and continuing “to enjoy a high-profile practice" in Chambers and Partners 2010.

His practice covers international and domestic litigation and arbitration acting for governments, corporations and professionals. The range of disputes frequently involve engineering or construction projects, transport, professional negligence, information technology, process or energy projects.

He is particularly experienced in the presentation and conduct of complex cases, especially those involving contractual interpretation, allegations of professional negligence issues including defective design, delay analysis, expert determinations and final accounts or disputed technical issues (including fraud).

The range of disputes covered is extensive, examples include large commercial developments both domestically and internationally (new-build and refurbishment) complex infrastructure works, including track installation, repair and upgrading, IT systems and installations, powers station disputes (both as to construction and operation including waste to energy plants), waste and water treatment technology, oil and gas platforms, piling operations onshore and offshore, construction of roads and ships, PFI’s, PPP’s, pipe laying, tunnels, pumping stations, coastal defences and effluent and airport terminals.

His experience spans the range of different forums including mediation, adjudication, expert determination, domestic and international arbitration and commercial Court litigation. Much of his work is international in nature and throughout his career he has advised on and appeared as advocate in disputes in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East (he is qualified to practice in the DIFC, Dubai), and across Asia. He has been appointed by the ICC both as Arbitrator and as Legal and Dispute Resolution Expert.

Simon also accepts appointments either as a sole Arbitrator or as part of a Panel and is, of course, familiar with the various established domestic and international rules

Construction, Engineering and Infrastructure

Simon has represented employers, governments, contractors, sub-contractors and consultants on many cases, both domestic and international, concerning numerous types of building and civil engineering projects.

(a) Construction

On the pure construction side he has dealt with the full range of issues arising out of standard form construction contracts, defects claims and claims concerning professional negligence; procurement including PFI projects; claims for extensions of time, loss and expense. Recent and current cases include acting for the following:

o a major construction company in litigation concerning a defects and defective design claim at a landmark development in the UK;

o a UAE development corporation in connection with a foreign arbitration concerning alleged delays to a large residential development;

o a foreign royal family in litigation in connection with a defects and professional negligence claim arising out of a summer palace;

o the employer in litigation concerning defects in the major refurbishment works to provide a 5-star hotel in London;

o a German contractor in an ICC arbitration concerning a delay and extra works claim involving the construction of a manufacturing plant in Bahrain;

o Advising on policy coverage in relation to design losses claimed for innovative plant installed worldwide.

o a major British charity in litigation involving with a bid dispute on a PFI refurbishment project in London;

o the contractor in litigation concerning a large hotel refurbishment in London;

o the MoD in connection with a major re-build project;

o the Developer in an arbitration concerning a large residential development in the Midlands;

o a Hospital Trust in connection with a complaint of overspend on the construction of a new pharmaceutical facility;

o a major international company in connection with a claim concerning defective abatement plant to reduce emissions;

o the contractor in the Court of Appeal in connection with the fit out of a bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the UK and the scope of expert determination clauses;

o the designer in connection with a dispute concerning the design of a processing plant for waste arising from a paper processing plant;

(b) Engineering

On the engineering side he has dealt with issues arising out of the standard forms of engineering contracts, variations thereon and bespoke forms; delay claims, ground conditions claims; civils works; bridge construction; mechanical and electrical disputes; building services and control systems and piling operations. Examples of his recent work include acting for/advising on:

o the contractor in an international arbitration concerning claims of defective piling in residential developments in the Far East;

o the construction and performance of infrastructure agreements concerning the upgrading of the UK rail system;

o acting as a Legal and Dispute Resolution expert in connection with delay, disruption and additional works claims at a major new airport project in India.

o the Treasury Solicitor in connection with delay claims on numerous major transport infrastructure works;

o a dispute concerning the tenders for the new Wembley stadium;

o the UK Government in various road dispute arbitrations;

o the contractor in the Court of Appeal on a clause 12 ground conditions claim arising out of off-shore work in the UK;

o insurers in litigation concerning defective bridges in Ghana, Ethiopia and Peru;

o Transport for London in an arbitration concerning claims arising out infrastructure works;

o the contractor in an arbitration against the Hong Kong SAR concerning delays to underground sewer works;

o a major construction plc against the Ministry of Defence in relation to claims arising out of the design and construction of a submarine facility;

o the purchaser complaining of fraud in the sale of contaminated land.

Energy, Natural Resources and Utilities

Simon has wide experience acting for employers and contractors on domestic and international disputes arising out of the design and construction of, among others, power stations, off shore installations and waste water treatment plants. Examples include acting for:

o the oil company employer in litigation concerning the refitting of a North Sea oil platform;

o the employer in litigation concerning the design and construction of a gas fired power station in the UK;

o the employer on claims arising out of the construction of a combined cycle gas turbine power station in the UK;

o the contractor in an ICC arbitration concerning their claims arising out of the construction of a power plant in the Middle East;

o as adjudicator by agreement of the parties in separate disputes concerning the provision of facilities for gas transmission;

o a Swiss employer against the French contractor in an arbitration concerning the design and construction of a waste to energy facility in the UK;

o the Japanese party of a multi-national Joint Venture in a dispute concerning the construction of a powers station in Spain;

o a Czech corporation in an international joint venture concerning the construction of a power station in Bulgaria;

o a water utility company in litigation alleging defective design and construction of a water treatment plant in the UK.

IT and Telecommunications

Simon was recently appointed as a Legal Expert by the ICC in connection with a major software dispute in India. He has significant experience of other information technology related disputes including acting for:

o an employer in a dispute about IT requirements in a new development;

o a major UK food manufacturer in disputes concerning the design and development of computer control for the process plant for the production of premium brand products.

Professional Negligence

He 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 to include architects, engineers, solicitors and quantity surveyors. Recent or current cases include acting for:

o the insurers of international architects in connection with negligence and fraud claims concerning a landmark development in the UK.

o the employer in litigation concerning allegations of the defective engineering design of a long-sea outfall pipe;

o the contractor in a claim alleging the defective engineering design of sea defences;

o the employer in a test-claim concerning an innovative roofing design;

o the employer in claims against the architect concerning delays and defective design on a prestigious new-build development in the UK;

o a property developer in connection with a professional negligence claim concerning planning problems arising out of a commercial development in London;

o the architect in litigation involving sound transference from a high-profile night-club;

o the architect in connection with a claim for undiscovered asbestos;

o a UK Government department in connection with a professional negligence claim against their legal advisers;

o a UK road and rail freight logistics provider min connection with a claim for defective design of an unloading facility;

Reported Cases

North Midland Construction v AE&E Lentjes [2009] EWHC 1371
H S Works v Enterprise [2009] EWHC 729
Liberty Mercian v Dean & Dyball [2009] BLR 29
Birmingham CC v Paddison [2007] BLR 622
Penwith v VP Developments [2007] EWHC 2544
Perkins v Devoron [2006] BLR 218
Carillion v DML [2006] BLR 15 (CA)
Barnes and Elliot v Taylor Woodrow [2004] BLR 111
Rhodia Clivex v Laker Vent [2004] BLR 75 (CA)

Legal Texts

He has contributed to professional publications both in the UK and Europe.

Qualifications and Awards

Other Professional Interests

2011 Public Access qualified
2011 Appointed Chair of Complaints Committee of Bar Standards Board
2010 Bencher of Gray’s Inn
2009 Qualified to practice in the DIFC, Dubai
2005-2007 Prosecutor for Bar Standards Board (Disciplinary)
2003 Appointed Recorder
2001-2004 Member of the Bar Professional Conduct Committee
1989-1993 Current Law Editor (Articles)

Simon is a member of the Commercial Bar Association and of the Technology and Construction Bar Association. He is a registered Adjudicator and has been an Advocacy Trainer for Gray’s Inn since 2004.

Simon has given talks both domestically and abroad on international arbitration, IT, construction and energy disputes.

Please contact our senior clerk, Justin Wilson, for further information.