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1st May 2020
Riaz acts as leading counsel in high value, complex disputes and advises clients on difficult legal and tactical issues. He is ranked as a leading silk for construction, professional negligence and international arbitration in The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.
The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners describe his working style as wonderfully hands-on, with a real ‘can do’ attitude, excellent client skills, very calm under pressure, highly responsive, hardworking, proactive, efficient, user friendly, approachable and always a pleasure to work with.
Commendations of his legal ability describe him as a supreme strategist, a top-notch legal mind who always provides excellent and clear advice, has a commercial and pragmatic approach, is quick to spot solutions that other counsel may miss, concise, incisive and very good at getting to the point.
As an advocate he is commended as brilliant in court and hearings, a very persuasive advocate, who is a tough, forensic, ferocious and excellent cross examiner.
Riaz has direct access rights and is often instructed directly by in-house counsel from governmental bodies and commercial organisations. He is on the LCIA list of arbitrators. He has presided over an arbitral tribunal and is a registered advocate in the DIFC.
Riaz has wide experience of professional negligence disputes, acting for both claimants and insurers in relation to claims brought against a variety of professionals, including engineers, contract administrators, architects and planning consultants. Riaz is experienced in leading disputes to trial, including cross examination of technical experts, advising on issues of contribution between defendants and in helping attain a successful negotiated settlement where appropriate.
Recent experience includes:
Riaz is experienced in high court litigation in the Technology and Construction Court and the Commercial Court, in construction contract adjudications and enforcements, in disputes under PFI contracts, in domestic arbitrations under the Arbitration Act 1996 and in advisory work. He is familiar with the major standard form construction contracts such as the JCT, NEC, ICE and FIDIC forms.
Recent experience includes:
Riaz advises on issues arising in general commercial contracts and acts in related litigation. In particular he advises on sale of goods contracts, claims under bonds and guarantees, actions arising from bribery and corruption, supply contracts and joint venture agreements.
Riaz is instructed as leading counsel in international arbitrations including in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and wider Middle East, the Caribbean and Europe. Riaz is familiar with the particular challenges of international arbitration disputes including managing mega disputes, the commercial realities of large value projects, issues between joint venture partners, dealing with foreign law (including civil law systems), conflict of laws and jurisdictional issues. He is accustomed to dealing sensitively with a diversity of tribunal members and clients. He has led arbitrations under the major institutional arbitral rules including ICC, LCIA and DIAC.
Examples of recent cases include:
Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd (2) Balfour Beatty Group Ltd v Astec Projects Ltd (in liquidation) (2020) 189 CON LR 154
Doosan Enpure Ltd v Interserve Construction Ltd (2019)  BLR 630
Cyril Chern v (1) Apilosa Corp (2) AR Architecture Ltd  BLR 128
Swansea Stadium Management Co Ltd v (1) Swansea City & County Council (2) Interserve Construction Ltd  4 WLUK 366
Lobo v Corich & Anor  All ER (D) 132 (Jun)
Ground Developments Ltd v FCC Construccion SA and others  BLR 532: 167 Con LR 192
Oakrock Ltd v Travelodge Hotels Ltd and Others  BLR 593
Co-Operative Group Ltd v Carillion JM Ltd & Anor LTL 11/2/2014
Honeywell International Middle East Ltd v Meydan Group Llc  2 Lloyd’s Rep 133:  BLR 401 : 154 Con LR 113 :  Bus LR D13
Clark Electrical v JMD Developments UK Ltd  BLR 546:  CILL 3249
McCain Foods GB Ltd v Eco-Tec (Europe) Ltd  CILL 2989
YCMS LTD (T/A Young Construction Management Services) v (1) Stephen Grabiner (2) Miriam Grabiner  BLR 211: 123 Con LR 202 :  CILL 2692
Letchworth Roofing v Sterling Building Co  CILL 2717
McAlpine v Tilebox  BLR 271
Haden Young v Laing O Rourke LTL 29/09/08
YCMS v Grabiner  BLR 211
2016: Appointed Queen’s Counsel
2000-2001: Prince of Wales’ Scholarship (Gray’s Inn)
2000-2001: BVC Inns of Court School of Law
2000: Andrews Medal, Most Outstanding Graduate, Faculty of Laws, University College, London
1997-2000: Awarded Medals for Best Examination Performance for each of the three years of LLB Degree at University College, London
1997-2000: LLB (1st Class), University College, London
“A great eye for detail and understanding of complex and technical issues.” “Fierce on his feet when needed, very analytical and responsive.”
Construction, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2020
“He is quick, strategically very strong and good on paper.” “He’s very responsive and goes out of his way to help you out, as well as being quite a fierce advocate.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2020
“Well prepared, good with clients and gets to the heart of the issues.”
International Arbitration, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2020
“Bright, hardworking, excellent client skills and tenacious.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2020
“An ideal choice for complex international arbitrations in the energy sector (both treaty and commercial).”
International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2020
“He is very approachable.”
Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2020
“He has a forceful, tenacious and effective cross-examination technique.”
Construction, The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 2020
“Bright, hard-working and very calm under pressure. Also very user-friendly and approachable and always a pleasure to work with.” “Excellent in court, a top-notch legal mind and an excellent cross-examiner.”
Construction, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2019
“He is excellent, sharp-witted, very clever and focused.” “A top-notch legal mind and excellent cross-examiner.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2019
“He has a deep knowledge of the construction industry and a great eye for detail.” “Phenomenal in terms of intellect. Brilliant in court and at hearings.”
International Arbitration, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2019
The above are a selection of recent client endorsements from the leading legal directories, both UK and internationally. For a complete list of endorsements, please contact the practice management team at Atkin Chambers.