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Manus McMullan Barrister Atkin Chambers

Manus McMullan QC

Silk 2010

"Incredibly hard-working and really bright."

Chambers and Partners

International Arbitration Silk of the Year 2018, Legal 500 UK Awards

International Arbitration Silk of the Year 2017, Chambers UK Bar Awards

Construction Silk of the Year 2016, Chambers UK Bar Awards

Energy and Construction Silk of the Year 2015, Legal 500 UK Awards

Manus specialises in commercial disputes with an emphasis on energy, natural resources and utilities, construction and engineering, professional indemnity and insurance matters both domestically and internationally. He is often the lead advocate on the largest and most high-profile disputes in these fields. He has represented a wide range of clients including multi-national corporations, government entities, professional advisers, contractors and individuals all over the world.

In the past 3 years, in cases where Manus has been acting for the Claimant or Plaintiff, his clients have been awarded, and have recovered, over US$ 1bn. In the same time frame, where he has been acting for Defendants or Respondents, he has successfully defended claims for in excess of US$ 5bn.

Manus is recommended by both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners in the fields of international arbitration, construction, energy and natural resources, and professional negligence.



Manus’ practice includes acting for parties concerning the development and exploitation of oil and gas fields all over the world, as well as the extraction and processing of other natural resources and minerals. Domestically, his work in utilities is more broadly based. He has acted for and against utility providers (water, electricity and gas) in disputes with developers and also on projects such as power plants and sewage treatment works. In addition to cases concerning development, he has advised and fought cases upon the statutory framework in England and Wales and the rights and duties provided thereby. Matters include disputes over payment rates for renewable energy, royalties, and energy service agreements.


“He is a very fluent advocate, and is very, very bright so even when you are against him it’s a pleasure to watch him in action.” “His advocacy style is good. He presents very clearly and very precisely, and he comes across as genuine and trustworthy. He’s an exceptional QC.”

Energy, Chambers UK Bar 2017


“He is user-friendly and pragmatic. He rolls his sleeves up and gets on with it.”

Energy, Chambers Global 2017


“A standout silk with an impressive international arbitration practice.”

Energy, Legal 500 2016


“Excellent strategically, and can pinpoint the key issues in a mass of details.”

Energy, Legal 500 2015


Manus has experience of the whole range of disputes that arise in all varieties of construction and engineering projects including variations, defects, loss and expense, prolongation and acceleration. As well as dealing with such claims he has been instructed in cases involving fires, floods, structural collapse and subsidence.

In relation to engineering disputes his case load has covered the chemical, civil, electrical, electronic, geotechnical, industrial, manufacturing, marine, mechanical, piping, process, structural and tunneling disciplines. He has also been involved in technical engineering disputes concerning defective equipment, machinery and systems of all kinds.


“A first-rate lawyer and advocate, who is very hard working and an excellent strategist.” “He’s just brilliant. Courteous, charming, witty and on top of it. A real star.”

Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2017


“He’s smooth in court, a good cross-examiner.” “He is enthusiastic and tactically brilliant.”

Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2016


“Very client-friendly and tactically shrewd.”

Construction, Legal 500 2016


“A standout silk, and a very good reader of tribunals.”

Construction, Legal 500 2015


Manus has acted for and against many professionals, particularly in the construction and engineering fields. Cases have involved architects, engineers of many different disciplines, project managers and quantity surveyors as well as valuers, building surveyors and other designers.

He also acts in some cases of alleged professional negligence in other fields. On more than one occasion he has acted in cases concerning negligent legal drafting and advice, and against management consultants for failure to perform. As a result of his experience in information technology, he has acted for and against software designers.


“Outrageously clever, he puts other lawyers to shame with his legal knowledge.” “He’s brilliant with clients, excellent on his feet, self-sufficient and very calm.”

Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2017


“A fine brain, a superb advocate and a joy to work with on construction professional negligence cases.” “He is very responsive, has a very nice manner and explains complex legal concepts in a very easy to understand way.”

Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2016


“He has a collaborative approach.”

Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2016


“Fantastic client skills and bedside manner.”

Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2015


In addition to the specialist areas referred to above, Manus is often instructed in disputes that concern other areas of commerce. He has experience of licence, distribution, royalty and franchise agreements. He was junior counsel in the House of Lords in a case concerning the effect of joint insurance.  He has fought a number of cases concerning bonds and guarantees. He has argued cases on jurisdiction and at times his cases concern insolvency.


“He’s very bright, hard-working and an excellent advocate. He is very good with the tribunal, excellent in arbitration matters and very user-friendly.”

International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2017


“He has a very good knowledge of construction law, a forensic mind and a calm demeanour.” “He is very, very bright and he is extremely likeable personally, but in a courtroom or in an arbitration, he is a ferocious opponent.”

International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2016


“Very client-friendly, tactically shrewd, and good on his feet.”

International Arbitration, Legal 500 2016


“An accomplished and effective oral advocate”

International Arbitration, Legal 500 2015


Manus is fluent in Spanish and has competent professional proficiency in French.

He is a member of the disciplinary board of the RIBA and a trustee of the Harold G Fox Scholarship.