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Camille Slow_barrister_Atkin Chambers

Camille Slow


Call 2002

"A good strategist, who is approachable and diligent." "Brilliant and skilled advocate who gets to the bottom of a matter very quickly and gives a straightforward steer of where we will end up."


Chambers and Partners

Camille’s practice covers a broad range of commercial matters with a particular focus on construction and professional negligence disputes.  She is experienced in all forms of dispute resolution, domestic and international arbitration, DABs, expert determination, mediation, adjudication and the High Court. She undertakes work in numerous industry sectors and has particular experience of social housing, government and public services, transport, infrastructure and energy projects.

Her professional negligence experience is considerable in particular in matters with a construction context having often acted for, and against, architects, engineers, surveyors, project managers, planning professionals and multidisciplinary firms, amongst others.

She is frequently instructed by insurers, professionals, governments, local governments and government departments, small and large developers and construction companies as well as private individuals, both domestically and internationally.  Camille also has experience in a number of high-profile fraud and conspiracy cases in the Chancery Division and Commercial Court.

Camille also has an exceptional track record acting as sole counsel, having been retained in this capacity for many high value, complex disputes both in the UK and overseas. She carries out a considerable amount of advocacy, regularly appearing in Court and arbitrations, conducting trials and other hearings, and directories have noted that she can “’can wipe the floor with silks’” (Legal 500).

Camille is recommended in the most recent editions of both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a leading junior in the fields of Construction and Professional Negligence. She is also listed as one of the five ‘Most Highly Regarded Leading Juniors’ for Construction in Who’s Who Legal 2015. The directories repeatedly praise her advocacy skills, tenacity, ability martialing complex facts and her approachability and ease in dealing with and advising clients; “combines a good bedside manner with a high level of tenacity and intelligence. She can marshal the minutiae of a case very quickly and efficiently” (Chambers and Partners).

CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Camille is noted as providing “…well-considered, timely and effective advice.” (Chambers and Partners). She regularly advises on, and acts for, clients both domestically and internationally in connection with all the standard forms of building and engineering contracts. She has particular experience of disputes involving design and build defects, cost overruns and delay and disruption cases. Her experience includes:

DOMESTIC

  • Acting for Laing O’Rourke in multi-party Part 8 proceedings and generally concerning the design construction and completion of Newcastle’s a multi-million-pound NHS PFI hospital building and maintenance project. The dispute relates to allegations of defects and in particular whether certain alleged defects are sufficient to prevent the hospital being practically complete. Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd v Healthcare Support (Newcastle) Ltd & Ors: 155 Con LR 148;
  • Acting for the Claimant in a high-profile dispute concerning the social housing development proportion of the ‘Arsenal on the Move’ project in Highbury commenced in the TCC. Allegations concerning fire stopping defects, insulation inadequacies, water ingress and inadequate heating provision;
  • Ensign Highways v PCC: Acting in an expert determination concerning a major highways PFI project, allegations including assertions of breaches of duties of good faith. The technical dispute concerned a number of alleged breaches of service obligations relating to maintenance and highways obligations.

INTERNATIONAL

  • Acting for a developer in a dispute between international companies (UK Court jurisdiction) concerning the construction yoke mooring system in the Caspian Sea, used to allow crude oil to be transferred from an offshore production platform via a sub-sea pipeline onto a Floating Storage Offloading vessel. The sums in dispute exceeded €20m and concerned, in particular, the true value of the final account and technical disputes. Camille’s involvement was from pleading stage to judgement (Netherlands and Russia). Bluewater Energy Services BV v Mercon Steel Structures BV and others [2014] 155 Con LR 85;
  • Acting on behalf of an African government against a multi-national joint venture consisting of well-known French and South African contractors in an international arbitration under the Procedural Rules of Conciliation and Arbitration of Contracts Financed by the European Development Fund. The dispute, worth €70m, concerns the termination of a major EDF road rehabilitation project, governed by the EDF standard conditions of contract (similar to FIDIC). She was involved throughout the pleadings and preparation of the case and represented her client at the hearing, making submissions and cross examining witnesses of fact and expert witnesses (Africa);
  • Acting in a dispute relating to the construction of a fluegas desulphurisation plant. The case concerned issues relating to parent company guarantees, misrepresentation and letters of credit (US).

ADJUDICATION

Camille’s adjudication experience includes advising on the enforcement of awards and attending summary judgement hearings both to enforce and resist the enforcement of adjudicator’s decision. As well as her enforcement experience she has significant experience conducting adjudications including attending hearings before adjudicators. Her experience includes:

  • Acting for the Respondent in a series of significant adjudications relating to the Manchester Metrolink system upgrade and extension project. Role included advising, drafting submissions and advising on expert and factual evidence. Issues related to delays and overspends on the project. (See [2013] All ER (D) 41 (Jan) for related proceedings in which Camille was also involved);
  • Acting as counsel in an adjudication dispute concerning a micro tunnelling project as part of the Thames Water, West Ham Strategic Flood Alleviation Scheme. The sub-contract was an NEC contract and the issue concerned the failure of some micro-tunnels due to alleged unforeseen ground conditions;
  • Successfully resisting the enforcement of an adjudication decision on the bases of alleged breaches of jurisdiction and natural justice. Jurisdictional issues concerned the procedure for nomination using a rolling programme of appointing named individuals and the meaning of the statutory requirement to have a ‘timetable to secure the appointment’ of an adjudicator.

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

Camille is “really good on her feet, and very unassuming and gentle in conference.” (Professional Negligence, Chambers and Partners). She has considerable experience in representing claimants, defendants and their indemnity insurers in professional negligence matters. This includes advising on and representing clients in respect of cases relating to allegations of negligence against; surveyors, engineers, solicitors, contract administrators, party wall surveyors and architects. Camille has particular expertise in multi-party cases. Her experience includes:

  • Acting as counsel for the Claimant borough council in a multi-party dispute against both engineering and ground improvement specialists relating to the failure of ground improvement solutions in a sports facility development;
  • Acting as sole counsel for the Claimant, a Registered Social Landlord, in a multi-party TCC action against a well-known surveyor and engineering company in relation to the catastrophic collapse of cladding (and other cladding failures) in a number of high rise blocks in a Liverpool housing estate. Sums in dispute were in excess of £7m. Issues included; VAT share agreements, stock transfer valuation, engineering and surveyor obligations on stock transfer, breach of warranties and mechanism of failure;
  • Acting as sole counsel for the Claimant, a redbrick university, in a dispute relating to the remodeling and refurbishment of a biosciences unit and chemical research facility. The Defendant was a multi-disciplinary consultant and a structural, mechanical and electrical engineer. The issues in dispute related to defects in the design and / or construction of the facility. Sums claimed in excess of £1m.

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

Camille advises and acts for public bodies and unsuccessful tenderers in relation to 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 remedies for their breach. Her experience includes:

  • Advising and acting in a procurement case concerning the provision of architectural services in connection with the design and construction of a new sports facility. The client was advised his tender had been successful but a complaint by an unsuccessful tenderer lead to the process of appointment being re-commenced and the tenderer who had complained ultimately being offered the contract;
  • Drafting proceedings on behalf of an information technology supplier against a government department seeking an order restraining the letting of several contracts and / or damages relating to breaches of the procurement regulations. Alleged breaches included application of incorrect regulations, failures to follow procedures, legitimacy of proposed Enabling Agreements;
  • Advising a police authority on the application of the Procurement Regulations to the procurement of a new police headquarters. Issues included how to evaluate tenders which included alternative proposals for developing different sites within the tenderer’s ownership in the local area and potential discrimination against tenders not having access to land in the local area to offer as an alternative.

GENERAL COMMERCIAL

Camille has experience in a wide range of practice areas, including commercial fraud. Additionally, she has developed considerable experience in insolvency related cases, with a particular focus on insolvency issues arising within a construction context. Her experience includes:

  • Advising upon and conducting injunction / strike our out proceedings in the Companies Court to restrain the publication of a winding up petition against a company with a historical turnover iro. £17m. Issues included insolvency law and procedure whether the Claimant had locus to bring a claim (dependant, in part, on when ‘sums were due’ under the Contract) and what impact the failure by the petitioner to take the matter to adjudication had on the application.
  • Appearing in the Chancery Division in support of an application to wind up a company following non-payment of sums due under a construction contract. The question related to whether the dispute was ‘genuine and bona fide’, established from the written evidence that the evidence suggestive of a dispute had been falsified and the dispute was therefore not a genuine one so the petition could be entered.
  • Acting for a major newspaper in connection with multi-proceedings involving several high profile media companies against whom allegations of both lawful and unlawful conspiracy are alleged. Involved from pre-action stage, drafting proceedings and continuing.
  • Instructed to appear at trial, leading a junior member of chambers, on behalf of 3 of the 10 Defendants (the only represented Defendants) in Chancery Division claim listed for 8 weeks. Sums Claimed in excess of £3m. Issues related to works carried out to overhead lines – claims alleged including, fraud, conspiracy, deceit, breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duties and receipt of bribes. Secured a settlement for her clients at the early stages of the trial. National Grid v McKenzie and Others [2009] EWHC 1817 (Ch).

ENERGY, NATURAL RESOURCES AND UTILITIES

Camille has particular expertise in the energy sector having been instructed as junior counsel in a number of substantial high-value disputes on behalf of major energy companies. Her experience includes:

  • Advising in connection with an ICC Arbitration relating to a power and desalination plant in the Middle East. Issues in the case relate to termination, commissioning, delay and design defects, (Middle East).
  • Acting as junior counsel in an international oil and gas arbitration, conducted under the auspices of the LCIA, which concerned a marine oil extraction facility. The dispute related primarily to cost overruns and liquidated damages. Her involvement included the preparation of advice, case preparation and investigation and assisting with drafting and statements of case (US).
  • Acting as junior counsel in a further international oil and gas arbitration relating to allegations of design and construction defects in a land based oil extraction facility in the Middle East. Her involvement included case preparation and drafting of statements of case (Middle East).

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Camille has experience in the Information Technology and Telecommunications field acting for suppliers and contractors in relation to telecommunication systems. Her experience includes:

  • Advising an ongoing involvement on behalf of a well-known mobile telecommunications company in a dispute worth £8m concerning GSM Gateways, licensed operator’s conditions, pre-action disclosure and competition law.
  • Advising in connection with a Primary Connection Point survey / refurbishment contract; her advice was provided on issues of contractual obligations of good faith and confidentiality and the extent of Adjudicator’s powers.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION

Camille is a member of COMBAR, LCLCBA, TECBAR and the SCL.

Camille is one of the contributors to ‘Hudson’s Building and Engineering Contracts’.