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Nicholas Maciolek Portrait

Nicholas Maciolek

Call 2013

"Nicholas' ability on his feet belies his year's call. Extremely hard-working and very bright, he is an absolute pleasure to work with."

A Client

Nicholas’ practice covers all areas of Atkin Chambers’ work, including construction, engineering and infrastructure, energy and utilities, information technology, and professional negligence in both court and arbitration. In addition to these specialist areas, he also acts in respect of a range of other general commercial disputes. Nicholas has been rated a ‘rising star’ in the legal 500 for 2021, with a client commenting “a very bright junior, he has a very good manner when being challenged – listens and reflects, but also has firm resolve”.

Nicholas has worked with a variety of bespoke and standard form contracts, and is familiar with the FIDIC, JCT, NEC, and ACA forms.

Nicholas appears regularly in the High Court and the County Courts. Recent reported examples of Nicholas’ work include acting as a junior in a £12 million claim under a new homes policy in respect of defective works at a housing development in Manchester and acting as sole counsel in a claim involving the interpretation of a guarantee – Zurich Insurance PLC v Nightscene [2017] EW Misc 27 (CC). Other examples of his work include acting as a junior in respect of a significant delay claim regarding the construction of an airport in the Middle East, acting as a junior on a claim involving the design and engineering works for a large hospital under a PFI contract, and acting as sole counsel in respect of a £5 million claim for negligent design and construction in a project for the erection of a state-of-the-art cancer research facility.

He works closely and collaboratively with solicitors – he has spent several months liaising between leading counsel, his solicitors and his lay client in order to develop and advise upon a substantial claim for extension of time and additional services for an MEP design firm, and has undertaken a secondment with a large City law firm, where he worked on a range of construction disputes within the property litigation team.


Nicholas has experience of an extensive range of construction disputes, spanning from large and complex projects to residential works contracts. He has worked on disputes over defects, extensions of time, variations, loss and expense, and termination in respect of a range of projects from domestic and commercial construction to pavements, railway, harbour and bridge engineering works. Recent examples of his work include:

  • Instructed as a junior in a multi-million euro arbitration concerning variations and prolongation in the context of a bespoke contract for the construction of an offshore steel test platform.
  • Acting for a contractor in resisting a winding-up petition on grounds of abuse of process and a genuine contested debt (County Court at Liverpool).
  • Advising an employer on its rights vis-à-vis a subcontractor arising out of a contract for the renovation of an airport terminal (NEC 3 Option A).
  • Acting for an employer with respect to MEP works in a London skyscraper.
  • Advising a contractor on the proper construction of an asbestos clause in a contract for the refurbishment of an academy school in south-west London.
  • Acting for a homeowner in a final account dispute (County Court at Bournemouth).


Nicholas has undertaken work on a range of energy projects in line with Chambers’ specialisms. Examples include:

  • Advising and drafting adjudication submissions for the operator of a waste-to-energy plant in respect of a claim for the cost to complete after the termination of a £80 million design and build contract.
  • Advising on a contractual obligation to provide a bank guarantee in a contract for the delivery of a vessel to conduct subsea surveying for an oil pipeline in the Indian Ocean.
  • Advising on the allocation of risk and assisting in finalising a statement of case in an ICC arbitration concerning delays to works on an oil and gas facility in the West Indies.
  • Drafting submissions for a pre-trial application for security for costs in a dispute concerning repair works on an off-shore oil rig.


Nicholas has gained experience of acting in cases of professional negligence. Recent work includes:

  • Instructed as sole counsel on behalf of an architect defending negligence claims in connection with the conversion of two premises into a number of flats.
  • Instructed as sole counsel on behalf of an Employer in respect of a claim that an architect’s design was unbuildable and contravened approved planning requirements.
  • Advising on the apportionment of liability between a main contractor and a fit-out contractor with regard to defective ceiling works in a central London office building.
  • Advising on a surveyor’s standard of care in conducting valuations.


Nicholas has drafted pleadings arising of information technology and telecommunications.

  • Drafting a defence to a claim arising out of a contract for the international provision of networking and telephony systems.
  • Acting for the contractor in a large-scale PFI dispute concerning the interpretation of a contract in the application of a performance algorithm to roads maintenance works.
  • Acting on behalf of a supplier of networking systems for integrated traffic light monitoring and communication in several council wards in London and the South-East in respect of a claim for the supply of defective routers.
  • Advising in respect of a dispute concerning the royalties payable in an end-user licence agreement.


Nicholas has experience of all aspects of statutory adjudication. He has drafted adjudication submissions as well as particulars of claim in enforcement proceedings:

  • Drafting submissions for an engineering design subcontractor on a nuclear waste storage construction project.
  • Drafting responsive submissions on behalf of an employer in a large-scale final account dispute concerning brickworks at a university accommodation building in central Bristol.
  • Drafting a referral for a contractor in the context of a contract for the provision of long-term maintenance services for social housing (TPC 2005 (amended 2008)).
  • Advising a sub-contractor on a number of payment disputes arising out of a large-scale residential development project in a former gas holder.
  • Acting for an employer in respect of an adjudication arising out of the termination of its groundworks contractor.


Nicholas has worked on several commercial disputes. Recent work includes:

  • Instructed as junior counsel for the claimant in seeking damages for an international fraud (touching upon Thailand, India, Canada and the UK) involving breach of director’s duties, proprietary claims in equity, unlawful means conspiracy (Commercial Court).
  • Drafting a defence and counterclaim in an action concerning the connection of mains electricity to a dairy.
  • Advising on an insurance coverage dispute concerning a school in the context of issues of vicarious liability.
  • Advising on a reinsurance coverage dispute concerning the release of contaminated water by a utility company.
  • Advising on an insurance coverage dispute arising out of the provision of defective tiling to domestic properties.


Qualifications and Awards

2012-2013 BPTC (Very Competent)
2009-2013 PhD, ‘Justiciability before the International Court of Justice’ (Cantab)
2008-2009 LLM (First Class) Wolfson College, Cambridge
Jennings Prize, Wolfson College, Cambridge
Bevan Prize, Wolfson College, Cambridge
2005-2008 LLB (First Class), University College London


Nicholas speaks French, Italian, German and basic Polish.


“A very bright junior, he has a very good manner when being challenged – listens and reflects, but also has firm resolve.”

Construction, The Legal 500 2021