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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 three 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 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.


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.


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.


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.


2007: Called to the bar of Northern Ireland

2004: Ad hoc call to the bar of the Cayman Islands

1994: Called to the bar of England and Wales

1991: 1st Class Honours, Oxford University (Jurisprudence).


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.


“He’s a hard worker with a brilliant and practical mind.” “He’s absolutely first-class with an instant likeability factor.”

Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2020


“He has a very good ability to see through all of the words and get to the heart of issues.” “He is technically superb and has a brain the size of a planet.” “He is very personable and good at communicating with clients and getting to a good strategy.”

Energy, Chambers UK Bar 2020


“Very smart, to the point, principled and a pleasure to work with. He is very experienced and draws from his construction knowledge and global experience where necessary.”

International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2020


“He is a very smooth, attractive advocate.” “He has a very good cross-examination style, which is very forensic but also strategic. He has really good judgement and really good legal knowledge of complex issues.”

Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2020


“Outstanding, probably the most sought after construction silk.”

Construction, The Legal 500 2020


“A prominent silk in disputes concerning the development and exploitation of oil and gas fields.”

Energy, The Legal 500 2020


“A very effective cross-examiner and communicator, who at the same time gains the tribunal’s respect with his conduct.”

International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2020


“He has a very attractive manner in court.”’

Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2020


“He exhibits a perfect balance between being to the point and strategic yet courteous and respectful.” “He’s a go-to for his advocacy skills and absolutely fantastic cross-examination.”

Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2019


“Astute and knows the best way forward both legally and commercially.”

Energy, Chambers UK Bar 2019


“An outstanding barrister with a very good sense of strategy.”

International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2019


“He is to the point, strategic and principled; a hard worker and a brilliant and practical mind.”

Construction, The Legal 500 2019


“Tactically shrewd and good on his feet.”

Energy, The Legal 500 2019


“His experience, professionalism and work ethic are tremendous.”

International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2019


“A great choice for construction-related disputes.”

Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2019


The above are a selection of recent client endorsements from the leading legal directories, both UK and internationally. For a complete list of endorsements, please contact the practice management team at Atkin Chambers.