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Portrait of Dalton Hale, a Barrister at Atkin Chambers

Dalton Hale


Call 2015

Dalton was a delight to work with: knowledgeable, thorough, proactive and original in approach, he greatly assisted the timely settlement of the case for our clients.


A client

Dalton has a broad practice covering all areas of Chambers’ work, including construction, engineering and infrastructure, energy and utilities, and professional negligence. In addition to these specialist areas, he has experience in a range of general commercial disputes.

He has gained experience at all stages of litigation, adjudication and arbitration and has worked with a variety of bespoke and standard form contracts including the FIDIC, JCT, NEC and ACE forms.

Prior to joining Atkin Chambers, Dalton was a judicial assistant to Lady Justice Arden in the Court of Appeal where he worked on numerous high-profile cases spanning a wide range of legal areas including contract, tort, intellectual property, public, EU and human rights law. He recently returned to Chambers following a 5-month secondment with a US law firm, where he became part of the complex commercial litigation team. During his time at the firm, Dalton gained experience in high-value international arbitrations through providing advice, drafting and assisting in the management of the cases he was involved in.

CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Dalton has experience in a range of construction disputes, both domestically and internationally. Recent work includes:

  • Acting for a design subcontractor in relation to the ongoing construction of a large-scale metro project in the Middle East. Responsibilities included, drafting requests for arbitration, pleadings and provision of advice on contractual interpretation.
  • Successfully representing a cladding sub-contractor at trial in respect of its claim against the main contractor for unpaid invoices. The main contractor defended the claim on the basis that the cladding installed was not as agreed, and was defectively installed.
  • Successfully representing a UK-based hotel business (employer) in its application to set aside default judgment entered against it in the TCC.
  • Advising on the correct interpretation and effect of a retrospectivity clause in multi-million-pound dispute concerning the construction of a domestic shopping centre and residential units.
  • Advising and drafting a Defence and Counterclaim in a dispute concerning the alteration, refurbishment and fit-out of a private property. The Defendant’s subcontractor claimed for unpaid invoices, and the contractor counterclaimed for defective works.
  • Drafting opening submissions and assisting at trial in a TCC case concerning the correct interpretation of an insurance contract following the discovery of numerous substantial defects in a new build property. Further, assisting in the negotiations leading to the settlement of the case.
  • Advising and drafting a letter of claim in relation to a domestic final account dispute following termination by the Contractor.
  • Advising and drafting Particulars of Claim in a dispute concerning a joint venture agreement to develop land into residential units.

ENERGY AND UTILITIES

In practice, Dalton has developed experience in a number of energy and utilities matters. Notable examples include:

  • Advising an EPC subcontractor in respect of an Operation and Maintenance Agreement to operate and maintain a solar energy plant in the Middle East. The issues primarily concerned the correct interpretation of a related financial instrument, as either a guarantee or performance bond; the merits of a proposed injunction against a call on the instrument; the international enforceability of any such injunction; and the merits and advisability of termination of the Agreement.
  • Assisting in an ICC arbitration, by drafting opening and costs submissions, in a claim for unpaid invoices relating to the construction of a geothermal power plant. The key issue was whether the contract was a fixed price contract and whether the unpaid invoices represented additional work.

Furthermore, Dalton undertook the following work during pupillage:

  • Producing an advice on the merits of a claim against a water authority under the Water Industry Act 1991.
  • Drafting a Particulars of Claim in a dispute concerning the failure of a water main isolation, causing substantial flood damage.
  • Producing an advice on delay and extensions of time in a project arising out of an EPC contract for an oil processing facility in the Middle East.
  • Drafting a Defence in a claim concerning defects in the design and installation of a propane condenser at an industrial LPG plant.

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

  • Producing an advice on the merits of a claim against a structural engineer for the failure of a retaining wall.
  • Drafting grounds of appeal and skeleton argument for an application for permission to appeal a TCC decision in a negligence claim against an architect who had allegedly failed to properly design and supervise certain landscaping works in a private development.

ADJUDICATION

Dalton has gained experience in statutory adjudication, including enforcement. Examples include:

  • Acting for a high net worth individual, defending a statutory adjudication brought by a development contractor in respect of unpaid third party invoices on a £40m project for the renovation of an historic estate in the UK.
  • Acting for the employer in an adjudication brought by a structural engineering subcontractor, concerning the cause and liability for delay in a large-scale rail project in the UK following a project manager’s instruction and other concurrent delays.
  • Acting for a building contractor and negotiating a satisfactory settlement concerning an adjudication brought against the employer in respect of unpaid invoices and damages for loss of profits following the contractor’s termination of the agreement.
  • Advising on the merits and acting for a contractor in relation to an interim payments dispute under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act.
  • During pupillage, producing a skeleton argument for an adjudication enforcement hearing in the TCC in a matter concerning liquidated damages for delay where the claimant’s financial position was in question.
  • During pupillage, drafting a response and rejoinder in a “smash-and-grab” adjudication for interim payments due under a contract relating to the building of a shipyard “construction hall” for use in the building of superyachts.

GENERAL COMMERCIAL

Dalton has acted and advised in respect of various non-construction and general commercial matters. Examples include:

  • Advising on the jurisdiction and likelihood of the Supreme Court retaining a costs orders made below in favour of a successful respondent, despite the Supreme Court’s reversal of the Court of Appeal decision.
  • Appearing in the County Court for an applicant in its application to strike out particulars of claim concerning unpaid utility bills. The application included an indemnity costs order against the respondent, which was successful.
  • On several occasions, appearing for airlines in the County Court defending against compensation claims under EC Regulation 261/2004 for delayed and cancelled flights within the European Union.

During pupillage, Dalton also gained the following experience:

  • Making an application for summary judgment in a debt claim arising under a credit-car-hire agreement, and defending applications for permission to amend a defence and a strike out.
  • Producing an advice on the expiry of the statutory limitation period relating to claims in contract and tort for the negligent design, supervision and workmanship by architects and contractors.
  • Producing an advice on limitation and party identity issues in relation the construction of a supermarket and two residential blocks.
  • Drafting a skeleton argument and advice on the merits in an appeal from the High Court in a case relating to a breach of warranty under an agreement to assign a receivable.
  • Producing an advice as to whether a financial instrument was an on-demand bond or true guarantee and the jurisdiction of the courts considering the existence of an arbitration agreement.
  • Producing an advice as to the correct applicable law and forum, as well as statutory limitation issues in a case concerning the construction of a bridge in the Isle of Man.
  • Making an application for security for costs in response to a claim for unpaid invoices by a contractor engaged in the redevelopment and refurbishment of a hotel.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION

2015-2016 Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice Arden, Court of Appeal.

2014-2015 BPTC (Very Competent), BPP University.

2014 Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn.

2014 Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn.

2014 BPTC Advocacy Award, BPP University.

2013-2014 BCL, Mansfield College, University of Oxford (Conflict of Laws, Unjust Enrichment, Commercial Remedies and Principles of Civil Procedure).

2013 R G Lawson Prize for Competition Law (top in year), University of Manchester.

2010-2013 LLB, University of Manchester (First Class).