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“A heavyweight silk who offers definitive advice that you can rely and act upon”
Chambers and Partners

Jonathan Acton Davis QC

Jonathan Acton Davis QC specialises in domestic and international litigation and arbitration in the construction, civil engineering and energy sectors and all related technical disputes. Throughout his career, he has handled many high profile cases representing governments (British and overseas), a huge number of contractors, private employers, manufacturers and their professional advisers all over the world.

He regularly appears in English High Court litigation, mediation, expert determination, adjudication (also as an adjudicator) and international and domestic arbitrations, as an advocate and an arbitrator. Internationally he has conducted many arbitrations under both ad hoc agreements and ICC and UNCITRAL Rules in Singapore, Kazakhstan, Oman, Paris, Brussels and London in relation to disputes arising out of projects in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

In addition to this, he has previously advised and acted for the British Government in a number of mediations and trials for DEFRA against contractors arising out of the foot and mouth outbreak. He has just completed 3 years as Lead Counsel to the Al-Sweady Inquiry (investigating allegations of murder and ill-treatment by the British Armed Forces in Iraq) under the chairmanship of Sir Thayne Forbes.


Throughout his career Jonathan has dealt with the whole range of issues arising in the field including the interpretation of Standard Forms of Contract such as JCT, FIDIC and ICE, contractors’ claims for loss and expense, defects claims, residential and commercial buildings, housing estates, motorway widening schemes, road construction, town and city redevelopments, bottling plants, shoreline breakwaters, the construction of manufacturing and process plant, mining, the causes and effect of fire, landslips and building collapses, local authority and central government work. He acts as arbitrator, adjudicator and counsel on significant international and domestic disputes. Recent projects on which he has advised include the Eurostar development at St Pancras, Bole Airport in Addis Ababa as well as countless construction and infrastructure projects in Central and Eastern Asia, Europe and the Middle East.


He has broad experience of both domestic and international disputes in relation to gas and oil pipelines, power stations and oilrigs. Recent case examples include acting for the main contractor on a gas pipeline dispute in Bangladesh and advising the main contractor in a number of power station disputes in India.

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He has represented, among others, governments and contractors on disputes arising from road and rail projects and infrastructures including advising and acting for a major contractor in a number of rail infrastructure disputes and advising and acting in two multimillion pound factually unrelated domestic arbitrations in highway disputes for HM’s Secretary of State for Transport.

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Jonathan 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 auditors, valuers, solicitors and construction professionals. He has worked on many high profile cases including the landmark case Watts v Morrow [1991] WLR 1421 on measure of damages in surveyors’ negligence disputes.

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In addition to the specialised areas above, Jonathan is regularly instructed on general commercial disputes. In addition to advising and acting in 6 cases for DEFRA against contractors arising out of the foot and mouth outbreak, other recent highlights include being asked by Sir Thayne Forbes to serve as Lead Counsel to the Al-Sweady Inquiry.