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Nicholas_Baatz_QC Barrister Atkin Chambers

Nicholas Baatz QC


Silk 1998

“a first-class silk who delivers thoughtful and strategically relevant advice”


Chambers and Partners

Described by clients as “a first-class silk who delivers thoughtful and strategically relevant advice” (Chambers and Partners), Nicholas Baatz QC specialises in disputes in the construction, engineering and infrastructure, IT and telecommunications, energy and natural resources, transport, and professional negligence sectors. Throughout his career he has handled many high profile, high value, technically complex and difficult matters representing a huge variety of suppliers, manufacturers, contractors, employers and their professional advisers who commend him for his “great client manner”.

He has been recognised for many years by the legal directories, Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500, as a leader in the fields of construction, information technology and professional negligence.

He has acted in numerous cases involving UK or foreign laws in relation to complex disputes arising out of projects all over the world, and acted for many overseas clients, including German, Italian, French, Swiss, US, Chinese, Kenyan, Japanese and multinational joint ventures.

In addition to acting as Counsel, Nicholas Baatz acts as an arbitrator, adjudicator and mediator.

CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRACTURE

A clear thinker and communicator with exceptional knowledge of the law.”

Construction, Legal 500

 

“An excellent black-letter lawyer who is very happy wading through complex documents.” “As with all good cross-examiners he catches people in unguarded moments.”

Construction, Chambers and Partners

 

He has successfully represented a large number of employers, governmental organisations, developers, national and international contractors, sub-contractors and consultants on many cases, both domestic and international, concerning numerous types of building and civil engineering projects. His clients include:

COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

  • Employer in connection with disputes arising out of construction of iconic City Centre department store.
  • Piling contractor in dispute concerning one of Europe’s largest packaging and distribution centers, Accolade Wines v VolkerFitzpatrick Ltd and Others (TCC 2015).
  • Employer in dispute about structural defects in City Centre shopping, leisure and residential complex, CIP Properties (AIPT) Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd & Ors (TCC 2014-2015).
  • Developers in a tripartite arbitration against contractors and consultants in connection with a substantial central London commercial development and in associated adjudications and litigation.
  • The Employer/Developer in connection with a contractor’s claim for loss and/or expense and extensions of time arising out of a contract for conversion to shops, restaurants, flats and offices and a hotel of a redundant city centre utility building in Manchester.
  • Mowlem in connection with a dispute about design and delay issues arising out of the restoration and regeneration of the heritage Bath Spa buildings.
  • An international Bank pursuing contractor’s assigned claims in an adjudication.
  • Developers in connection with a contractor’s claim for loss and/or expense and extensions of time arising out of the contract for the conversion to shops and flats of a landmark building in Birmingham.
  • A national contractor in connection with a dispute about the unforeseen condition of a redundant utility building converted into shops and flats.
  • An international grocery company in connection with a dispute concerning delays due to unexpected subsoil conditions arising out of the construction of a ready-made meal production factory leading to delay, loss and expense, loss of revenue and groundworks re-design costs.

INSTITUTIONAL, RESIDENTIAL

  • Contractor in claims arising out of iconic Arts and Educational complex.
  • PFI Co in dispute with NHS Trust and claims over against Design & Build Contractor.
  • Insurer in connection with claims arising out of alleged defects in numerous residential apartments.
  • Contractor in Hospital Private Finance Initiative Dispute (performance standards and targets).
  • An Employer in a dispute about the construction of 560 student dwellings under the terms of the JCT with Contractor’s Design conditions with Guaranteed Maximum Price Agreement.
  • A national outsourcing services provider in connection with contracts for the provision of accommodation for military personnel.
  • A contractor in connection with an adjudication concerning delay and loss and expense arising out of the construction of a luxury hotel.

SPORTS FACILITIES

  • A Sub-Contractor in a dispute about the “iconic” steelwork for a Premier League Football Stadium.
  • A national Contractor in a long-running arbitration about extensions of time and loss and/or expense in connection with the construction of a Sports Stadium, using an “As Built But For” delay analysis.

SPECIAL APPLICATIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • The Natural History Museum in connection with a fitness for purpose dispute in relation to an air-conditioning installation for an installation for the storage of ancient preserved animals and artefacts.
  • French contractors in enforcing an adjudicator’s decision concerning the design and construction of a geodesic dome.
  • Coastal Authority in connection with variations claims in an ICE arbitration about sea defences.
  • A national contractor in connection with a dispute as to piling and the preceding geotechnical investigation.

He has acted in many other disputes on behalf of commercial, charitable and local government bodies in disputes concerning educational facilities, hospitals, housing estates and leisure facilities.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

“An excellent silk.”

IT and Telecoms, Legal 500

“He is very, very thorough and just gets things done.”

Information Technology, Chambers and Partners

Nicholas has an excellent reputation for work he has undertaken in the IT and Telecommunications’ field acting for employers, suppliers, manufacturers and contractors in relation to telecommunication systems; computer software and hardware systems including microchip quality disputes, plant and machine tool control systems; bespoke software source code design and implementation for various applications including relational database management system applications. Examples of his recent clients include:

  • Software supplier of Distributed Control System for an industrial plant cogeneration power plant (ICC arbitration Paris 2015).
  • IT contractor in relation to claims arising out of Business Process Outsourcing framework agreement.
  • Employer in dispute about design and supply of IT services for insurance company under Agile methodology.
  • Government/Employer in long-running arbitration concerning substantial national IT implementation (UK arbitration).
  • Atos in a claim arising out of a pan European software implementation for Avis’ car hire business. The case concerned the termination of a contract for the implementation of a Europe-wide ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software system for Avis. The case involved consideration of the way in which the ERP package software chosen was configured, customised and outsourced. Satellite litigation included issues of privilege from disclosure.
  • An international defence contractor in connection with a dispute arising out of the fitness for purpose of a radio frequency based defence system (software and hardware).
  • A consortium of international banks in connection with a dispute about the design and construction of software for a worldwide banking settlement services organization.
  • A sub-contractor in connection with system implementation works in connection with a customer information and billing system for the Sydney Water Authority.
  • A national software house in a dispute concerning the design and installation of a relational database management system (using UNIX and INFORMIX). The issues raised included fitness for purpose, the number of ‘bugs’, time for performance and the boundary between specified requirements and change control.
  • An international telecommunications contractor in connection with a dispute about delivery of a 3G telecommunication system.
  • A steel manufacturer in a dispute about a computer controlled robotic steel slab-cutting machine. The issues involved fitness for purpose and tolerances and the extent to which the slab cutting process was properly controlled by the computer hardware and software.

ENERGY, NATURAL RESOURCES AND UTILITIES

Nicholas has wide experience acting for contractors on domestic and international disputes arising out of utilities, oil and gas exploration and exploitation and the design and construction of power plants. Examples of his clients include:

ENERGY

  • Contractor for Oil Rig refurbishment in Caribbean (LMMA arbitration 2015).
  • Software supplier of distributed control system for an industrial plant cogeneration power plant (ICC arbitration Paris 2015).
  • Sub-contractor in connection with works for EPC contractor at UK power station.
  • Contractor in arbitration concerning oil refinery construction in Caribbean (Offshore and Onshore contracts) (ICC arbitration 2012).
  • Supplier of onboard Liquefied Natural Gas storage containers vessels for fleet of bulk LNG carrying vessels.
  • A joint venture in resisting the enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision concerning the supply and installation of steelwork as part of a Liquefied Natural Gas unloading and storage installation.
  • National Grid Gas in a case concerning the enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision arising out of works for the construction of a gas pipeline.
  • Both employers and contractors in several cases involving technical and legal issues concerning “fitness for purpose” of power station turbine sets and electricity co-generation plants, heat recovery boilers, gas, steam and multi-fuel turbines both in the context of pure power generation and in contexts ancillary to industrial and other commercial processes under various commonly used standard terms including Powergen Combined Heat and Power conditions and the I.Mech.E standard conditions.
  • A major Japanese contracting company in an arbitration concerning technical issues engaged by the alleged self-destruction of turbine blades due to harmonic stress caused by resonance at the operating frequencies of the UK Grid.
  • A national power generator in a dispute concerning the robustness of condenser tubing in a steam turbine power generation station.
  • Sub-contractor in connection with a dispute concerning the design and construction of super heaters and water chemistry and taking over and acceptance issues.
  • An international manufacturing company in a dispute about the promised fuel efficiency of a Combined Heat and Power Plant.

OFFSHORE STRUCTURES

  • The contractor in connection with dispute arising out of the refit of a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The fabricator of key metallurgical components of a hydraulic jacking system for an offshore accommodation vessel in the Irish Sea in a “fitness for purpose” dispute.
  • A major contractor in a dispute about the metallurgy of weld testing used in the fabrication of an oil rig for use in the North Sea.

ENERGY RECOVERY FROM WASTE

  • Employer in connection with the provision of a biogas plant.
  • The Bank of Scotland in connection with a claim upon a bond made in respect of the alleged defective design and construction of a waste handling plant.
  • The UK subsidiary of US Sub-Contractor in a dispute concerning an alleged discrepancy between the designed and actual efficiency of the process for the generation of electrical energy from the combustion of waste tyres.
  • An international contractor in a dispute concerning the energy recovery facility (household waste to energy).

MINING

  • Mining Authority in connection with mining subsidence claim in relation to Wentworth Woodhouse, said to be the largest private house in Europe.
  • A mining contractor in connection with volume, productivity, price disputes arising out of open cast coal mining.
  • A contractor in a dispute concerning the extraction of methane gas from exhausted mine workings.

UTILITIES

  • A national water authority in respect of a claim for the defective installation of a large subterranean water main which resulted in the failure of the main and extensive flood damage in the surrounding city centre area.

PROCESS PLANT AND INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES

“Adopts a measured, reflective approach…very thorough and able to cut to the heart of the issue.”

Chambers and Partners

Nicholas Baatz has acted in numerous disputes concerned with industrial processes including steelworks, processing of foods and materials such as paint and chemicals (for pharmaceutical and other uses). His clients include:

  • Car manufacturer in connection with dispute arising out of supply and installation of car production lines.
  • EPC Contractor in dispute in relation to productivity of fertilizer production facility in the Middle East (Offshore and Onshore contracts).
  • An international process plant corporation in connection with a dispute about the efficiency of co-generation plant to supply electrical power co-ordinated with the requirements of a paper manufacturing plant.
  • The German manufacturer of linings for steel blast furnaces in connection with dispute concerning fitness for purpose.
  • A contractor in connection with a dispute arising out of the construction of a 650 Tonnes Per Day clinker plant.
  • Contractor in dispute about construction of cement factory in East Africa

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION

Nicholas Baatz has appeared in various international arbitrations involving UK and foreign laws, ICC, LCIA, LMMA and other international and foreign dispute resolution rules and procedures. Clients for whom he has acted include:

  • Software supplier of Distributed Control System for an industrial plant cogeneration power plant (ICC arbitration Paris 2015).
  • Contractor for Oil Rig refurbishment in Caribbean (LMMA arbitration 2015).
  • Contractor in arbitration concerning oil refinery construction in Caribbean (Offshore and Onshore contracts) (ICC arbitration 2012).
  • International contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings against international consortium including China National Petroleum Corporation concerning an oil pipeline and associated storage, pumping and tanker marine terminal loading facilities. Extremely high value claims were made arising out of a FIDIC based contract for design and construction. The contract was governed by the laws of the Republic of Sudan including the principles of Sharia as set out in the book and the Sunna.
  • Swiss designers in an ICC arbitration concerning the design of a vitamin C production plant in India. The issues involved consideration of what were acceptable efficiency ratios of raw materials to product and acceptable production capacity. Indian law was the proper law of the contract.
  • An international electrical engineering company in an ICC arbitration in connection with allegations as to defects in a communications and control installation (lack of availability and mean time between failure) for a mass transit railway.
  • International contractor in a dispute about delays and loss and expense arising out of the construction of the roads and pedestrian ways along a City centre waterside in the Middle East, under the laws of the UAE.
  • UK international contractor in connection with a dispute about delays, loss and expense and variations arising out of the construction of interchanges, underpasses and spur roads for a capital City road ring in the Middle East, under the laws of the UAE.
  • International contractor in connection with claims for extensions of time and loss and expense arising out of the construction of a road, bridges and underpasses in the Middle East under the laws of the UAE.
  • Civil engineering contractor in a dispute arising out of the construction of a cereals and fertiliser storage and handling terminal at an East African port under the law of the Republic of Kenya.
  • International joint venture in an LCIA arbitration concerning the fitness for purpose of insulating materials used in turbine generator sets.

TRANSPORT

Nicholas has represented a number of contractors, domestic and international, on disputes arising from road, mass transit rail and bridge and tunnel projects and infrastructures including ports. His clients include:

RAILWAYS

  • Contractor in relation to tunnelling work for the sub Thames section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (St. Pancras- Gare Du Nord).
  • Commercial owners of a Georgian listed building affected by the tunnelling of the jubilee line extension in London;.
  • German manufacturers in connection with a dispute arising out of the provision of rolling stock for the district line in London.
  • UK rail operator in connection with a challenge to an adjudicator’s decision about the calculation of extensions of time arising out of the construction of new city centre passenger terminal.
  • German contractors in connection with a dispute about design responsibilities under ICE design and construct conditions incorporating Network Rail conditions in relation to an upgrade of a commercial railway.
  • National track maintenance contractor in an adjudication about track inspection and maintenance obligations following the hatfield rail disaster.
  • An engineering consultancy in a dispute arising out of the croydon tramlink.

ROADS

  • UK contractor in a dispute about a sub-contractor’s landfill claim in connection with the construction of a trunk road.
  • UK contractor in connection with a dispute about the construction of the structural lining of a trunk road tunnel.

TUNNELS

  • UK contractor in arbitration concerning the expected and actual rate of cut of tunnelling machines through dolomitic conglomerate.
  • International consortium contractor in connection with construction of tunnel for international rail link.

AIRPORTS, PORTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Airport authority in connection with a contract for the design and construction of remote stands at airport terminal under NEC 2 conditions.
  • International contractor in connection with a dispute about port grain handling installation in East Africa.
  • Commercial dock operator in a dispute about dredging and conversion of a dock to provide Ro-Ro terminal and ship breaking yard.

BRIDGES

  • Contractor in connection with failure of cast steel components of the Clyde Arc Bridge.
  • International joint venture in connection with disputes arising out of the Second Severn Crossing.
  • International contractor in a dispute about the design of a bridge required for a river crossing to transport bauxite in West Africa.
  • UK contractor in connection with a dispute about an estuarial bridge crossing.

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

“Demonstrates particular strengths in cases involving large-scale engineering and infrastructure projects.”

Professional Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2016

 

“Has a fantastic light touch, and is excellent with clients.”

Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2016

 

Nicholas has wide experience in the professional negligence field, acting for claimants, defendants and their indemnity insurers in relation to claims brought against a range of professionals. Examples of his clients and the disputes in which he has acted include:

  • Employer in connection with claims against architects and engineers in connection with iconic city centre department store.
  • Employer in connection with claims against architects and engineers in connection with shopping, leisure and residential complex.
  • Employers concerning professional negligence of project managers and quantity surveyors arising from the construction of a major commercial office development in central London.
  • Builders in a case concerning the destruction by fire of a supermarket development.
  • Architects in a claim for fees for the design of a chain of cinema complexes.
  • Architects in connection with the effect of a ‘net contribution clause’ incorporated into the RIBA “Agreement for the Appointment of an Architect”.
  • Contractors in cases concerning the collapse of building works and cranes.

GENERAL COMMERCIAL

He has acted in numerous disputes concerned with general commercial issues such as the interpretation of commercial contracts, bonds, guarantees, collateral warranties and assignments. His recent clients include:

  • Bondsman in connection with call of performance bond (failure to disclose proprietary interest).
  • Contractor in connection with sub-contractor’s parent company guarantee (conflicts of laws).
  • Major manufacturer in a dispute about the interpretation of the payment terms of an agreement to supply energy in various forms.
  • A data storage and handling contractor in relation to the terms of an agreement licensing the use of data for analysis for commercial purposes.
  • An international bank in connection with claims based on collateral warranty and financing documents.
  • An international power company in a dispute about the interpretation of price fluctuation clauses linked to the cost of gas in an energy supply contract.
  • A major services outsourcing contractor in an arbitration under LCIA Rules about set offs under ‘umbrella’ term contract for services.

ARBITRATOR, ADJUDICATOR, MEDIATOR

Published awards and appointments have included:

  • An award in respect of currency fluctuation provisions in an engineering contract (appointed by the President of RICS).
  • An award in respect of the design and construction of paint factory (appointed by the Institution of Chemical Engineers).
  • An award in relation to disputes as to variations, delay and liquidated damages under a construction contract (appointed by the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators).
  • An award in respect of disputes arising out of the construction of a laboratory in Cambridge (appointed by the parties).
  • An adjudication decision in relation to the design of a city centre light rail infrastructure pursuant to a PFI Agreement (appointed by the parties).
  • Appointed as party nominated arbitrator (DIAC) in respect of a dispute arising from the construction of a sports facilty in the Middle East. Claims in excess of AED$100million.
  • Appointed as sole arbitrator (ICC) in respect of defects in the construction and the operating of an industrial furnace located in the Middle East.

Nicholas has also successfully conducted mediations of construction disputes, most recently the successful mediation of a delay dispute under the JCT conditions. He has recently acted as a party appointed arbitrator in an ICC arbitration concerning works in the Middle East and an adjudicator appointed by the parties in a dispute concerning a significant development in London.

ADVISORY WORK

An important part of his work is advising in relation to practical problems arising out of contracts of all kinds including bespoke contracts and the principal standard form engineering and building contracts including, FIDIC, ICE, I Mech E, I Chem. E, JCT, NEC 3, RIBA and ACE and Government forms of contract.

He has advised the Institution of Chemical Engineers upon the drafting of the I.Chem.E suite of contracts.