Max has a busy and broad practice acting at all stages of litigation, adjudication and arbitration. Max’s areas of practice include construction, engineering, infrastructure, energy and utilities, and technology. Max also regularly takes instructions on general commercial, company and insolvency law matters.

Max regularly appears in court (including the TCC) as sole counsel. Max’s recent instructions as sole counsel include appearing in a trial relating to a commercial development, adjudication enforcement hearings and a Part 8 claim relating to extensions of time.

As junior counsel, Max’s recent instructions include acting in two high-value international arbitrations concerning major airport and rail projects in the Middle East. Max is currently instructed in a final account dispute relating to the façade of a large London residential development and a TCC dispute relating to (amongst other things) fire-related issues in a hospital.

Prior to commencing practice, Max ranked first in the country in two consecutive years at law school, after graduating from Cambridge University with a starred double first. Max won first prize in the SCL Hudson Prize 2018 and has been published in the International Construction Law Review. Max is the current co-editor of the TECBAR Review.

CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Currently instructed as junior counsel in a high-value and multi-party TCC dispute relating to the construction of a hospital. The issues involved include alleged fire-related defects.
  • Currently instructed as junior counsel in a final account dispute between a developer and contractor in relation to a large residential development in London. The dispute relates to the façade of a tower block, including cladding and sliding doors.
  • Appeared as sole counsel for the successful applicant in a TCC application for a final charging order arising out of enforcement of an adjudication decision: Blacknest Gate Ltd v Semour Realty Ltd [2020] EWHC 3878 (TCC).
  • Appeared as sole counsel for the successful claimant in a trial concerning the scope of a contractual variation provision in relation to a commercial development: Star Real Estate Ltd v South Q 100 Ltd [2022] 4 WLUK 449.
  • Appeared as junior counsel for the successful applicant in a TCC security for costs application: Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure Ltd v Berkeley Homes Plc [2020] EWHC 1328 (TCC).
  • Acted as junior counsel in a multi-billion-dollar arbitration regarding a major airport in the Middle East and in a high-value arbitration relating to a major Middle East rail project.
  • Acted as junior counsel in a TCC claim relating to a post-termination final account under an M&E contract.
  • Drafted Defence and Counterclaim in a TCC claim relating to termination and defects on a development.
  • Drafted Particulars of Claim in a TCC claim relating to a defective car park.
  • Drafted amendments to a Defence and Scott Schedule in a TCC claim relating to student accommodation.
  • Drafted Defence on behalf of a bank in a claim relating to a call on a performance bond.
  • Drafted skeleton argument for permission to appeal a TCC judgment.
  • Regularly appears as sole counsel in the High Court and County Court in relation to construction and engineering disputes. For example, recent court appearances include: obtaining an interim injunction for a contractor in the High Court; appearing in a trial relating to defective work; and applying to set aside Default Judgment in a structural engineering dispute.

Max has drafted advices on numerous procedural and legal matters including: limitation periods; transfer of proceedings; preliminary issues; disclosure lists; jurisdiction and governing law; assignment; a standstill agreement; merits of a claim against an Approved Inspector; effect of partial possession; procedure for obtaining a costs certificate; charging orders; effect of tiered dispute resolution provisions; independent contractor defence and non-delegable duties; variations under a contract for asbestos removal; application of UCTA; and effect of a limitation clause.

Max has advised on a number of matters relating to guarantees and bonds in a construction context, including valid execution as a deed, lack of consideration, and when/how a call on a guarantee instrument can be made.

Max also has experience of PFI work, including drafting a skeleton argument contesting jurisdiction in a PFI dispute relating to road maintenance, and advice on limitation in a PFI dispute regarding defective cladding.

ENERGY AND UTILITIES

  • Drafted skeleton and grounds for appeal of a TCC judgment regarding a biomass energy plant.
  • Drafted Defence & Counterclaim in a claim relating to shutdowns in oil production of an FPSO.
  • Drafted advice on the defective design of parts of a waste processing/anaerobic digestion plant.
  • Drafted arbitration memorial relating to a power purchase agreement.
  • Drafted advice on retention of title clauses in a contract for the supply of solar panels.
  • Drafted Defence and RFI in a claim relating to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme.
  • Drafted advice for an offshore windfarm developer regarding its rights to carry out surveys and injunctive relief.

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

  • Acted as junior counsel in a multi-billion-dollar international arbitration on behalf of an architectural and project management firm, in a professional negligence dispute regarding a major airport in the Middle East.
  • Drafted Particulars of Claim in a TCC claim against an engineer and D&B contractor relating to a car park.
  • Drafted Particulars of Claim alleging negligent design of a bridge by mechanical engineers.
  • Drafted 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.
  • Drafted Defence and Contribution Notice in a negligence claim regarding septic tanks.
  • Drafted advice on measure of damages and the SAAMCO principle in a claim against a consulting engineer.
  • Drafted Defence in a defective design claim against architects regarding balcony soffits.

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION

  • Acted as junior counsel in a $2 billion arbitration in a dispute over the design, procurement, and construction of a major airport in the Middle East. Individually responsible for producing the response to one section/package of the Statement of Defence and Counterclaim relating to passenger boarding bridges.
  • Acted as junior counsel in a high-value arbitration relating to a major Middle East rail project, including throughout trial.
  • Instructed as junior counsel (drafting memorial statements of claim) in three arbitrations relating to MEP works in the construction of malls and a luxury resort in the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Drafted skeleton argument for a stay under s.9 Arbitration Act 1996.

ADJUDICATION

Max is regularly instructed in adjudications and in adjudication enforcement proceedings. Examples include:

  • Appearing for the successful claimant in adjudication enforcement proceedings against a contractor who resisted enforcement on the basis that the adjudication decision was incorrect.
  • Appearing for the successful defendant to a Part 8 claim seeking declarations to the effect that an adjudication decision should not be enforced.
  • Appearing for the successful applicant in a charging order application in TCC adjudication enforcement proceedings: Blacknest Gate Ltd v Seymour Realty Ltd [2020] EWHC 3878 (TCC).
  • Acting as junior counsel in an adjudication relating to a high-value final account dispute.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a ‘smash and grab’ adjudication.
  • Drafting Part 8 TCC claims seeking declaratory relief relating to an adjudicator’s jurisdiction, regarding: the conclusiveness of a final account; and the effect of a previous decision.
  • Acting for an adjudicator in a claim for non-payment of his fees.
  • Drafting advices on: resisting enforcement of an adjudication decision on the grounds of non-crystallisation of a dispute; severance of part of a decision; set-off; the jurisdiction of one adjudicator to revisit a decision made in a previous adjudication; the effect of adjudication clauses which are non-compliant with the Scheme; options for a claimant where enforcement had been made subject to an unconditional stay.

GENERAL COMMERCIAL, COMPANY AND INSOLVENCY

  • Appeared as sole counsel in the High Court Senior Courts Costs Office, successfully obtaining a charging order enforcing sums due under Default Costs Certificates, in proceedings relating to the compulsory purchase of land by an acquiring authority.
  • 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.
  • Appeared in the Companies Court Winding Up List to apply for a winding-up order.
  • Appeared as sole counsel in the Chancery Division, obtaining an indemnity costs order.
  • Appeared as sole counsel in a trial relating to the contractual interpretation of provisions under a development management agreement: Star Real Estate Ltd v South Q 100 Ltd [2022] 4 WLUK 449.
  • Appeared as sole counsel in a trial relating to the identity of the contracting entities in a contract for the sale of goods.
  • Drafted a Defence to a payment claim by a PR company following termination of its contract.
  • Drafted Defence on behalf of a bank to a claim calling on a performance bond.
  • Drafted advice for a purchaser under a contract for the sale of a hotel.
  • Various insolvency matters, including: advising on an appeal against a decision on a creditor’s proof of debt; and drafting skeleton argument for a stay on the basis that the defendant had entered voluntary liquidation.

Max has also drafted advice on numerous procedural and commercial, company and contract law matters, including: bonds and guarantees; contractual interpretation relating to various insurance policies; jurisdiction and governing law; limitation; agency; ratification; retention of title in goods and s25 of the Sale of Goods Act; the prospects of obtaining an interim injunction; Environmental Impact Assessment requirements; transfer of proceedings between courts; preliminary issue applications; and disclosure lists.

QUALIFICATIONS AND AWARDS

2018:         SCL Hudson Prize, 1st prize; Times Law Awards, runner-up

2017-2018:   Bedingfield Scholar, Gray’s Inn

2017-2018:   Bar Professional Training Course, BPP Law School, Outstanding (ranked 1st in country)

2016-2017:   Graduate Diploma in Law, BPP Law School, Distinction (ranked 1st in country)

2013-2016:    University of Cambridge, Trinity College, History BA (Hons), Starred Double First

Ranked 2nd in year in Part I, 3rd in Part II, ranked 1st on aggregate

Faculty of History Prize for Outstanding Performance

Earl of Derby Prize for highest distinction in History, Trinity College

James Webb Prize for the History of Ideas

Gordon Duff Prize, Cambridge University Library

Bowen Prize and Greaves Prize, Trinity College; Senior Scholarship, Trinity College

LEGAL TEXTS

‘Guidance Notes for Experts participating in Commercial Mediation’ The Academy of Experts [2021]

‘The Prevention Principle After North Midland v Cyden Homes: Time for Change?’ [2019] International Construction Law Review 375.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Max is a member of the SCL, TECBAR and COMBAR.

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