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Laura Hussey joined Atkin Chambers in 2018 following successful completion of her pupillage. Laura is developing a broad practice and gaining experience in all specialist areas of Chambers’ work including construction, engineering and infrastructure, energy and utilities, information technology, professional negligence, as well as general commercial disputes.

During pupillage and after accepting tenancy, Laura has gained experience at all stages of litigation, adjudication, and arbitration. She has worked with a variety of bespoke and standard form contracts and is familiar with the FIDIC, JCT, NEC, and ACA forms.

Prior to joining Atkin Chambers Laura spent a number of years gaining valuable and wide-ranging experience in banking and commercial roles. She now applies that experience to her work in order to provide practical and commercially sensitive advice.

CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRUCTURE

During pupillage and as a tenant, Laura has worked on varied construction disputes (including those under PFI contracts), in respect of a number of projects such as bridges, residential buildings, highways and hospitals. Recent work includes:

  • Producing an advice and particulars of claim in a dispute concerning the defective design of the mechanical and electrical works for a bridge in the Isle of Man including issues of jurisdiction and statutory limitation.
  • Drafting a particulars of claim against an architectural services company engaged to oversee the refurbishment of a high-end private property, including issues of misrepresentation and fraud.
  • Drafting grounds of appeal and a skeleton argument for permission to appeal a TCC decision in respect of concurrent delays to the construction of a private house under the standard JCT Design and Build Contract 2005 with bespoke amendments.
  • Drafting an advice on the merits of defending a Part 8 claim concerning the construction of luxury apartments at a prestigious location in London under a JCT Standard Building Contract without Quantities 2011 Edition with bespoke amendments. This included advising on the interpretation of the payment mechanism and issues involving deeds of novation.
  • Producing an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in a matter concerning a PFI contract for the rehabilitation and maintenance of roadways in Birmingham.
  • Drafting Part 8 particulars of claim and a skeleton argument in a matter concerning the contractual interpretation of payments due pursuant to a two-stage tender process for the redevelopment of an iconic tower block in London.
  • Drafting a defence and counterclaim in a claim in respect of the supply and installation of mechanical and sanitaryware services for a care home. Further work included drafting a skeleton argument resisting an application to amend the particulars of claim to include a claim to recover the legal costs of a related adjudication.
  • Producing a skeleton argument on appeal from the county court in a matter concerning a new home insurance policy and guarantee where the central issue in dispute was the expiry of the statutory limitation period.
  • Drafting an advice in a matter concerning the sale of defective concrete and in particular, evaluation of issues involving the incorporation of terms into the contract, the interpretation of limitation of liability clauses and the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
  • Drafting an advice in a claim regarding defects to a new build home covered by a buildings guarantee insurance policy.
  • Drafting an advice and particulars of claim in respect of obtaining an order for specific performance for the procurement of collateral warranties from the contractor and sub-contractors.
  • Producing an advice on a hospital PFI contract including the interpretation of the payment mechanism and the entitlement to service failure deductions.
  • Drafting a skeleton argument opposing an application for a cost capping order in a claim regarding a 25 year lease and redevelopment agreement in Wales.

ENERGY AND UTILITIES

Laura has gained experience during pupillage and since accepting tenancy on a range of international energy projects in line with Chambers core specialisms. Recent work includes:

  • Producing an advice and letter before claim for a large engineering services company in a claim concerning overpayments for the refurbishment and overhaul of a desalination plant in Africa at the time of the outbreak of civil war. The outbreak of war led to issues of contractual termination due to Force Majeure, frustration, unjust enrichment and jurisdiction.
  • Drafting a skeleton argument for an application for both an expedited trial and a trial of the preliminary issues in respect of the construction of a substantial infrastructure project in Central America.
  • Drafting an advice on the interpretation of a PFI contract for refuse collection involving issues of the interpretation of the payment mechanism, the penalty clauses and termination.

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

During pupillage and since tenancy, Laura’s professional negligence experience includes:

  • Drafting an advice, defence and Part 20 claim in a dispute concerning defects to a reinforced concrete piled foundation slab involving issues of limitation, determination of the correct party to the contract and contributory negligence.
  • Drafting a skeleton argument for an application for an order from the court specifying the process by which delay analysis would be handled and tried in the proceedings and permission to increase the claimants’ costs budget in a claim regarding the quantity surveying and project management services for building works carried out at a private home.
  • Producing a particulars of claim and reply in a claim concerning defects in the design of the temporary works of two cofferdams.

ADJUDICATION

Laura has experience of both contractual and statutory adjudications.  Examples include:

  • Drafting the response to a contractual adjudication defending the performance of an architectural services company in respect of their work on a high-end residential property.
  • Drafting the response to a ‘smash and grab’ adjudication for interim payments due under a contract for the construction of a superyacht shipyard.
  • Producing a skeleton argument for an adjudication enforcement hearing in the TCC in relation to a matter concerning an interim payment application due under a contract for the development of a large hotel in London.

GENERAL COMMERCIAL

During pupillage Laura gained experience of general commercial disputes including:

  • Drafting an advice and particulars of claim in a dispute regarding the interpretation of the payment terms of the contract and the interest and fixed fees owed under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
  • Drafting a defence and counterclaim, reply to the defence to counterclaim and an additional claim against a third party in a dispute regarding payment under a guarantee.
  • Producing an advice in respect of the merits of obtaining a Part 24 Order for payment due under a bond and in particular advising on whether the damages sustained were sufficiently established and ascertained pursuant to the terms of the bond.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Laura has gained experience of the information technology and telecommunication sector and related contracts, in particular:

  • Producing an in-depth position statement for mediation in a complex dispute in respect of a software implementation and services agreement, involving issues of contractual termination, the status of without prejudice documents and the contractual interpretation of a liability cap.