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Marc Lixenberg Barrister Atkin Chambers

Marc Lixenberg


Call 2005

“He demonstrates tactical nous and translates it into shrewd and timely advice.”


Legal 500

Confirming his status as a “respected junior”, Chambers UK Bar Guide recently ranked Marc as a leading junior construction barrister, whose “attention to detail and quality written work elicit praise from market observers”. They further note the breadth of his practice, which is “active in high-value construction disputes in a range of sectors, representing clients on both the domestic and international stage.” The international scope of this recent work includes instructions arising out of disputes in Hong Kong, Thailand, Dubai and Qatar. Instructing solicitors value Marc’s ability to perform as a “team player” who “works hard on detailed technical matters”, singling out his “good eye” and “excellent” drafting. “Very capable intellectually”, he possesses “an exceptional work ethic.”

Marc specialises in the fields of construction, engineering, infrastructure, energy, information technology, professional negligence and general commercial arbitration. Described by clients as “a good advocate, and very proactive”, Marc has significant experience of High Court and appellate litigation, and arbitration, both as sole counsel and as junior counsel on large trials. He has built up considerable expertise in drafting pleadings, adjudication enforcement proceedings, preliminary hearings, advising on tactics, settling witness statements and expert reports, as well as fighting trials.

Marc’s advocacy is always sensitive to situation and audience, whether in the context of a court hearing, arbitration, mediation, adjudication or simply seeking to persuade through correspondence. “Committed and attentive to detail”, Marc is skilled at analysing large quantities of information and documentation. He has a keen eye for legal and technical complexities, while also maintaining a commercial overview and offering practical advice. Marc is one of the editors of the Building Law Reports, widely recognised as the leading set of law reports for the construction industry.

Hailing him as “very user-friendly, diligent and proactive”, the latest edition of Legal 500 recommends Marc in the fields of construction and professional negligence. Clients appreciate the “tactical nous” he brings to cases, as well as his power to “[translate] it into shrewd and timely advice”.

CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Marc’s experience covers a broad variety of construction, engineering and infrastructure disputes. He has acted for a wide range of contractors, private employers, government departments and local authorities in cases both large and small. His cases frequently concern matters such as the interpretation of standard form contracts, delay, disruption, extensions of time, loss and expense, liquidated damages, interim valuations, final accounts, variations, retention monies, termination, repudiation and defects. He is confident handling cases involving multiple parties.

Marc is accustomed to arbitration disputes, such as advising on the interpretation of arbitration clauses, drafting notices of arbitration and arbitration submissions, making applications under the Arbitration Act, as well as appearing at arbitral hearings.

Marc is also often called upon to advise parties on the suitability of a dispute for adjudication and the enforceability of any award. He has represented parties on many occasions in the adjudication process itself.

  • Acting for two international construction contractors as Respondents in ICC arbitration brought by a Middle Eastern State entity arising out of the development of a world-class medical facility in the Middle East. USD 3 billion at stake.
  • Representing the owner of an offshore wind farm in arbitration proceedings under the LCIA rules, in relation to a contractor’s alleged entitlement to additional payment (c. £300m), extensions of time and liquidated damages (c. £90m).
  • Representing a European contractor responding to an ICC arbitration valued in excess of $20m USD in respect of the construction of a power plant in the Middle East.
  • Advising a Hong Kong contractor on a substantial claim for Extensions of Time, and loss and expense, in relation to external wall repair and cleaning works.
  • Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd v Sarens (UK) Ltd: acting as sole counsel for Cleveland Bridge on a significant claim for declarations in relation to an alleged limitation on liability in the parties’ contract for the construction of new bridges on the Heysham to M6 link road.
  • Castle Trustee & Ors v Bombay Palace Restaurant Ltd [2017] EWHC 1889: acting as junior counsel in a two week TCC trial concerning the Claimants’ entitlement to payment for additional works. Marc was also involved with numerous significant interim applications, including for strike out, summary judgment and security for costs.
  • Representing the successful Claimant as junior counsel in a case regarding the Defendant contractor’s contractual obligation to provide documents. The second Judgment, also in favour of the Claimant, addressed the Defendant’s objections based on privilege. Transport for Greater Manchester v Thales Transport and Security Ltd (No 1) 146 ConLR 194, (No 2) 146 ConLR 218 (Akenhead J);
  • Appearing for the Claimant in Liberty Mercian Ltd v Cuddy Civil Engineering Ltd & Ors (2013) 150 ConLR 124; (2014) 157 ConLR 72 (Ramsey J), a case which raised complex legal issues regarding misnomer, mistake, rectification and repudiation. Marc acted as junior counsel on three appeals to the Court of Appeal (which appeals settled prior to the hearing itself), arising out of three separate first instance Judgments.
  • Appearing as sole counsel for the successful housing association in Part 8 proceedings to ‘overturn’ an adverse adjudicator’s decision: TSG Building Services plc v South Anglia Housing Ltd [2013] BLR 484 (Akenhead J). The Judgment involved the resolution of important, and topical, questions regarding termination of contracts and good faith.
  • Appearing as sole counsel for the Claimant contractor in successfully resisting an application for security for costs (Adonis Constructing Limited v Brand Leonard Limited (2013), Ramsey J).
  • Appearing as junior counsel for the MoD in the High Court and Court of Appeal in respect of preliminary legal issues (London & Regional (St George’s Court) Ltd. v. Ministry of Defence & Secretary of State for Defence [2008] EWHC 526; [2009] BLR 20). Marc’s role included assisting in the drafting of statements of case, witness statements, opening submissions, grounds of appeal and skeleton argument for permission to appeal.
  • Successfully arguing against summary enforcement of an adjudicator’s award in BSF Consulting Engineers Ltd v. MacDonald Crosbie ([2008] All ER (D) 171).

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

Acting for and against a range of professionals (including engineers, architects, surveyors, and project managers), Marc has been involved in some of the largest professional negligence disputes arising from construction projects. Notable examples of Marc’s work include:

  • Hyde Housing Association Ltd v Geoffrey Osborne Ltd: acting as junior counsel in respect of major claim (in excess of £10m) by a housing association against a design and build contractor arising out of a fire in sheltered accommodation, and associated third party proceedings against an architect.
  • Moto Hospitality Ltd v (1) URS Corp Ltd; (2) North Midland Construction Plc: acting as sole counsel for the Second Defendant contractor in multi-million pound, multi-party, TCC proceedings relating to pavement defects at a motorway service station.
  • Kellie and another v Wheatley & Lloyd Architects Ltd [2014] EWHC 2212; [2014] EWHC 2886: acting for the Defendant, successfully defeating the professional negligence action brought by the Claimant homeowners. The case related to architect’s duties and their interaction with planning law. The Court indicated how the weaknesses in the Claimant’s case had been “starkly exposed at trial” (which included a concession from the Claimant’s expert, obtained under cross examination by Marc, that the Defendant had not acted negligently). In a second costs Judgment, the Court made important findings regarding the costs budgeting regime.
  • BDW Trading Ltd & Ors v Rodgers Leask Ltd & Anr: acting as sole counsel for the Claimant national house builder bringing a claim against an engineer in relation to the foundation design at a residential development.
  • Acting for Mott McDonald Ltd., defending a claim for some £250 million brought by Brookfield Construction (UK) Ltd., formerly Multiplex, in relation to the design of structural engineering works at the new Wembley Stadium. Marc was heavily involved in assembling the voluminous Defence and Counterclaim, working closely with engineering, programming and quantum experts, in addition to preparing notes of advice on specific legal matters.
  • Appearing as junior counsel for the successful Defendant engineer in a five week High Court trial (Galliford Try Construction Ltd. v. Mott MacDonald Ltd. [2008] EWHC 1570). Marc’s role included assisting in preparing for the cross examination of witnesses and drafting opening and closing submissions.

GENERAL COMMERCIAL

  • Acting as junior counsel in respect of a substantial Commercial Court claim for breach of warranty arising under a Farm In Agreement, particularly relating to the refurbishment of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility.
  • Appearing as junior counsel for a Thai contractor in an UNCITRAL arbitration (under Thai law) concerning a contract to build and operate a process plant, supplying products to the Thai subsidiary of a Swiss food company (claims valued at c.US$300 million). Marc’s role included assisting with the preparation of the case for trial, and also cross examining a number of witnesses during the hearing itself.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  • Representing as sole counsel a UK-based SME in High Court proceedings defending itself against a professional negligence claim in excess of £1.2 million in relation to website design services.
  • Acting as sole counsel for a major USA headquartered software company in an LCIA arbitration concerning an ERP implementation.
  • Acting for a major global software and systems contractor in relation to the preparation of a multi-million-pound arbitral claim, respecting the termination of a nationwide IT solution. Marc gained a detailed understanding of issues relating to software design and defects, as well as the supply, delay, integration and operation of IT systems.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION

Qualifications: 2005 – 2006: LLM, Harvard Law School and Churchill Scholarship, Gray’s Inn; 2004 – 2005: W. M. Tapp Scholarship, Gonville and Caius College and Bedingfield Scholarship, Gray’s Inn; 2001 – 2004: BA, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (1st Class), Frere Smith Prize for Law, Sir William McNair Prize for Law and Honorary Senior Scholarship.