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David Streatfeild James QC Barrister Atkin Chambers

David Streatfeild-James QC


Silk 2001

"Absolutely outstanding. He is strategically first class in terms of the advice that he gives and his advocacy is absolutely amazing."


Chambers and Partners

David Streatfeild-James acts as an advocate, adviser and arbitrator in high-value commercial cases comprising legally, factually, and technically complex issues. During 30 years of practice he has gained an outstanding professional reputation.

In acting for a wide range of clients relating to infrastructure projects worldwide, David’s scope of experience encompasses the fields of construction and engineering, energy, information technology and professional negligence.

Experience includes disputes under most standard construction contracts and forms, on and offshore fabrications, power and renewable energy projects, water treatment and waste plants, soft and hardware computer systems, and control and communication systems.

David also has expertise with financing and service agreements, and PFI / PPP contracts.

David has been recognised in Chambers & Partners (UK, Asia and Global) and the Legal 500 as one of the leading silks at the commercial bar. In 2017 he was shortlisted as Construction and Energy Silk of the Year (Legal 500 Awards) and has previously been nominated for Barrister of the Year (The Lawyer Awards).

ENERGY, NATURAL RESOURCES AND UTILITIES

David is regularly instructed to provide advice relating to the conduct of major energy-related projects including, on and offshore fabrications, FPSOs, jack-up rigs, platforms, pipelines, power and renewables including wind, nuclear and carbon capture schemes and water treatment and waste plants.

Recent examples include:

  • Acting for MT Hojgaard AS in MT Hojgaard AS v E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Robin Rigg East Ltd & Anor [2017] UKSC 59 in the UK Supreme Court in 2017.  The case concerned the failure of offshore wind farm foundations due to international design code failure. The case was extremely high-profile in offshore industry as well as the legal sector in regard to the design liability issues it examined.
  • Acting for the defendant, Hitachi Zosen Inova AG, in the TCC in Interserve Construction Ltd v Hitachi Zosen Inova AG [2017] EWHC 2633 (TCC) in a case concerning an energy from waste plant in Hartlebury, Worcestershire.
  • Acting for a Korean contractor in an ICC arbitration arising from a turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract.
  • In respect of a gas and steam turbine power plant in the Middle East.
  • Advising an employer under an NEC3 contract for the design, procurement, construction, delivery and commissioning of a boiler park at a nuclear licensed site. The project is a key part of the decommissioning process at the nuclear facility.
  • Advising in relation to disputes arising during the course of the construction of a new GGCT power station by an international engineering contractor, in particular in relation to ground condition risk, liability for industrial relations disputes and claims for prolongation, variations, delay and disruption.
  • Acting for the owner in an international arbitration hearing in London under LCIA rules concerning the construction of an oil and gas platform in the Far East. Issues in respect of design and engineering, weight growth, miscellaneous variations and the valuation of loss caused by deferred production.
  • Advising engineer/contractor regarding the construction of two thermal hydrolysis plants. Instructed in respect of claims brought by energy companies arising from alleged failure to provide and deliver the required volume of qualifying services which would generate Community Energy Saving Programme Points pursuant to The Electricity and Gas (Community Energy Saving Programme) Order 2009; an obligation for reducing carbon emissions in domestic properties.
  • Advising claimant regarding a civil engineering building works for a new energy from waste treatment facility in the UK. The contract is based on the Yellow FIDIC Book.
  • In the Technology and Construction Court acting for claimant providing engineering, construction management and procurement services to the mining industry regarding the mining of phosphate deposits in West Africa.

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION

Many of the matters David advises and acts upon are governed by the rules of arbitration, administered by bodies including LCIA, ICC, SIAC and ad hoc rules.

  • Appointed as leader on counsel team of seven, acting for a major IT company in an ultra-high value dispute (claims in excess of £1 billion) against the UK Government relating to a software system that culminated in an 82 day arbitration, involving the cross examination of over 80 professional and lay witnesses.
  • Acting in an ICC arbitration (Singapore seat) regarding the manufacture of plant and machinery for the making of seamless metal tubes in a brownfield project dispute arising out of the upgrade of a plant in India.
  • Acting for a Korean contractor in an ICC arbitration dispute between an engineering and construction company, and a power company in relation to a gas and oil-fired combined cycle electric generation plan in Jordan.
  • Acting in LCIA arbitration concerning the world’s largest offshore wind farm in construction, involving the installation by a joint venture of 140 3.6 MW wind turbines located around two sand banks off the UK coast.
  • Acting for the owner in an international arbitration hearing in London under LCIA rules concerning the construction of an oil and gas platform in the Far East. Issues in respect of design and engineering, weight growth, miscellaneous variations and the valuation of loss caused by deferred production.
  • Acting on behalf of a foreign government in respect of a multi-million-pound ICC arbitration regarding a tube tunnel and commuter rail mass transit system.

CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRUCTURE

David has extensive experience of acting for employers, contractors, sub-contractors and consultants both domestically and internationally, and has acted in connection with projects all over the world. His experience includes disputes on most standard forms, in relation to a wide range of projects, including hospitals, shopping arcades, large scale residential and mixed-use developments, roads, tunnels, bridges, railways, docks, jetties and other infrastructure. More recent examples include:

  • Acting for Connect Plus (M25) Limited (a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Atkins and Egis) in a £100 million dispute in TCC arising out of payment provisions in £6 billion 30-year PFI DBFO Contract for operation of the M25 motorway, Connect Plus (M25) Ltd v Highways England Company Ltd [2018] EWHC 140 (TCC).
  • Representing contractor in multi-million-pound PFI dispute concerning claims of defective highway works against local authority. A 16-week trial from January 2016 in the Manchester Technology & Construction Court.
  • Led a multiple counsel team in the London Technology & Construction Court regarding a project agreement between a city council and a contractor in respect of PFI works relating to the rehabilitation, maintenance, management and operation of the roads and street lightning in that city. Issues principally regarding payment deductions levied for allegedly defective works.
  • Acting for state-owned corporation in an ICC arbitration regarding major infrastructure works package in a Middle East mixed-use development.
  • Lead counsel on claim brought in the Technology and Construction Court regarding design and works in respect of a city centre guarded travel system.
  • Advising main contractor on a project governed by a JCT contract and contractual performance issues on a city centre tower.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

David has significant experience of disputes concerning technology of a number of kinds and has acted in relation to computer hardware/software disputes as well as in connection with different sorts of communication systems, control systems and building management systems. Experience includes the following:

 

  • Appointed as leader on counsel team of seven, acting for a major IT company in an ultra-high value dispute (claims in excess of £1billion) against the UK Government relating to a software system that culminated in an 82-day arbitration, involving cross examination of over 80 professional and lay witnesses.
  • Acting for the defendant in an IT contract dispute in a claim for damages totalling approximately £186 million against The Secretary of State.
  • Advising on a possible judicial review of a marine licence for the installation of a subsea fibre optic cable.
  • Advising on a dispute with the UK Ministry of Justice in respect of a failure to deliver agreed milestones and of a breach of contract concerning the provision of services in respect of the Criminal Justice Systems Exchange.

ARBITRAL APPOINTMENTS

Whilst the majority of David’s practice encompasses counsel appointments, he also accepts arbitral appointments (party nominated and chair) and has recently been appointed under LCIA, ICC and ad hoc rules. The subject matters covered include; construction and engineering, IT, shipbuilding, energy, professional negligence and more general commercial disputes.

Subject to confidentiality sensitivities, further information and specific case examples can be provided upon request.