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Max joined Atkin Chambers as a tenant in September 2019, following the successful completion of his pupillage.

During pupillage, Max gained experience at all stages of litigation, adjudication and arbitration, encompassing a variety of bespoke and standard form contracts including JCT, NEC and ACE forms, as well as PFI contracts.

Max came to the Bar after finishing his undergraduate History degree at Cambridge University, from which he graduated with a starred double first. At law school, Max ranked first in the country in two consecutive years, on both the law conversion course and the Bar course. Max won first prize in the SCL Hudson Prize 2018, for his essay on the Prevention Principle. His paper has been published in the International Construction Law Review.

Max’s recent instructions have included appearing as sole counsel in the High Court and acting as junior counsel in a major international arbitration.

CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Max’s recent instructions have included:

  • Appeared as sole counsel in the High Court (Insolvency and Companies List), successfully obtaining an interim injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding-up petition against the applicant company. The applicant was the main contractor under a construction contract, and had been served with a statutory demand by its subcontractor claiming payment of an invoice for an interim payment.
  • Acting as junior counsel in an arbitration, on behalf of an architectural and project management firm, in a dispute over the design, procurement, and construction of a major airport in the Middle East.
  • Instructed to draft particulars of claim, and provide advice on limitation and assignment, in a TCC claim against a structural engineer and design-and-build contractor, relating to a defective car park.
  • Instructed to draft a Scott Schedule in a TCC claim relating to a student accommodation block.

As a pupil, Max undertook work across a broad range of construction disputes, including drafting:

  • Advice and particulars of claim in a dispute concerning the allegedly defective design of the mechanical and electrical works for a bridge. Issues included jurisdiction, governing law and limitation.
  • Advice on the effect of an exclusion to a limitation of liability clause under a construction subcontract.
  • Grounds of appeal and skeleton in support of permission to appeal a TCC decision regarding the effect of dispute resolution provisions in an operation and maintenance contract.
  • Skeleton argument for an application contesting the court’s jurisdiction, alternatively for a stay under s.9 Arbitration Act 1996. The dispute related to a PFI agreement for the maintenance of roads.
  • Advice in relation to a rail link contract, addressing a variety of issues including: defences against the levying of LDs; and the effect of a multi-tiered dispute resolution provision.
  • Skeleton argument for a preliminary issue trial regarding which party bore contractual responsibility for design elements of fires under a construction contract.
  • Skeleton argument for summary judgment application regarding invoices for plumbing works.
  • Letter of claim in relation to a claim for breach of contract for refurbishment works.
  • Defence, counterclaim and RFI, in a claim relating to whether an instruction to accelerate the works amounted to a variation, and the requirements for valuing the cost and expense of such a variation.
  • Advice regarding delay, defects and certification of practical completion, in relation to works on a hotel.
  • Defence to a claim by the defendants’ neighbours for negligence, nuisance, trespass and breach of the Party Wall Act; and advice on the effect of a breach of the Party Wall Act.
  • Advice on the independent contractor defence and non-delegable duties of care.
  • Advice on the payment process and additions/variations in relation to a contract for asbestos-removal.
  • Advice in a claim for alleged breach of a contract for the supply of reinforced steel cages, addressing: recoverable damages; a limitation of liability clause; and the potential application of UCTA.
  • Mediation position statement in a claim for negligence/nuisance arising from residential building works.
  • Reply to defence to counterclaim in a claim relating to defective hydrofoils on a racing yacht.

ENERGY

Max’s work on energy disputes during his pupillage included drafting:

  • Grounds of appeal and skeleton argument in support of permission to appeal a TCC decision relating to a contract for the operation and maintenance of a biomass energy plant.
  • Defence and counterclaim in a dispute under a contract for the operation of an FPSO relating to shutdowns in oil production.
  • Advice on the defective design of parts of a waste processing and anaerobic digestion plant.
  • Arbitration memorial relating to a power purchase agreement.
  • Advice on the effect of retention of title clauses in relation to a contract for the supply of solar panels.
  • Defence and RFI in a claim relating to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme.
  • Advice for an offshore windfarm developer regarding its rights to carry out surveys and injunctive relief.

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

Recent work:

  • Acting as junior counsel in an arbitration, on behalf of an architectural and project management firm, in a professional negligence dispute over the design, procurement, and construction of a major airport in the Middle East.
  • Instructed to draft particulars of claim, and provide advice on limitation and assignment, in a TCC professional negligence claim against a structural engineer and design-and-build contractor, relating to a defective car park.

Max’s professional negligence work as a pupil included drafting:

  • Advice and particulars of claim regarding the allegedly negligent design by mechanical engineers of the roller system of a swing bridge.
  • Skeleton argument for a defendant’s application for strike out/summary judgment, on the basis of a lack of expert evidence supporting a professional negligence claim against a construction manager.
  • Defence and contribution notice in a professional negligence claim regarding the supply and installation of septic water treatment tanks.
  • Advice on measure of damages and the SAAMCO principle, in a claim relating to the allegedly negligence reports on grounds conditions produced by a consulting engineer.
  • Defence in a professional negligence claim against architects for defective design, relating to the delamination of soffit insulation on balconies.

ADJUDICATION

Max’s adjudication work as a pupil included drafting:

  • Adjudication response on behalf of an employer in a ‘smash and grab’ adjudication claim.
  • Advice regarding enforcement of an adjudication decision. The defendant resisted enforcement on the grounds of non-crystallisation of the dispute, severance of part of the decision, and set-off.
  • Skeleton argument for an application to enforce an adjudication decision relating to a final account.
  • Advice relating to the jurisdiction of one adjudicator to revisit a decision made in a previous adjudication, and the effect of adjudication clauses which are non-compliant with the Scheme.
  • Documents for a Part 8 claim seeking a declaration that a second adjudication decision was made in excess of jurisdiction because it revisited a point decided in the first adjudication.
  • Advice on courses of action open to a claimant where enforcement of an adjudication decision had been made subject to an unconditional stay.
  • Adjudication response relating to the effect of an agreement to reduce the scope of the external works.

GENERAL COMMERCIAL

Appeared as sole counsel in the High Court (Insolvency and Companies List), successfully obtaining an interim injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding-up petition against the applicant company, following the service of a statutory demand on the applicant by the respondent.

During pupillage, Max completed work on a number of general commercial matters, including drafting:

  • Advice for a guarantor on whether various bonds/guarantees were enforceable.
  • Advice on the merits of a claim under a performance bond/guarantee by an employer following termination of a building contract.
  • Note on proving a debt in insolvency situations.
  • Skeleton argument seeking a stay because the defendant had entered into voluntary liquidation.
  • Research note on English and EU case law regarding Environmental Impact Assessment requirements.
  • Advice for a purchaser under a contract for the sale of a hotel, regarding delay and defects.
  • Skeleton argument for a defendant’s application for security for costs.
  • Advice and witness statement for the respondent, in relation to an appeal against a decision on a creditor’s proof of debt under rule 14.8 of the Insolvency Rules (England and Wales) 2016.
  • Advice relating to the insurance position of a contractor.
  • Advice on matters of contractual interpretation relating to an insurance policy.
  • Note on agency and ratification in relation to whether a contract was enforceable.
  • Skeleton argument resisting summary judgment in a claim under a vehicle credit hire agreement.
  • Advice on retention of title in goods and section 25 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979.
  • Advice on the prospects of obtaining an interim injunction requiring fishing vessels to be removed to enable a seabed survey to be carried out by a windfarm developer.