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Rupert Choat Barrister Atkin Chambers

Rupert Choat

Call 1998

“He is a strategy machine and a superstar, who runs the show.”

Legal 500

Rupert has specialised since 1997 in construction, engineering, PFI/PPP, energy and similar disputes. He has considerable experience in related claims involving professional negligence as well as bonds and guarantees. He has worked on disputes concerning projects in over 50 jurisdictions, with most of them governed by the local law. He is an experienced advocate from the English Court of Appeal to arbitration venues around the world.

Rupert is a practising arbitrator and has sat in ICC, LCIA, SCC, DIAC and ad hoc arbitrations. He has also acted as the expert in expert determinations. In addition, Rupert is a CEDR accredited mediator.

Rupert teaches on the MSc in Construction Law & Dispute Resolution at King’s College, London.

Rupert was named Construction and Energy Junior of the Year at The Legal 500 UK 2018 awards. He has been ranked the No. 1 Thought Leader in Europe for two years running (Who’s Who Legal Construction 2017 & 2018): he “wins praise from clients for being “charming and talented”. He is known to be “an exceptional talent”…” and “one of the foremost names in construction arbitration and litigation”. He is also ranked in Tier 1 by Legal 500 2017 for Construction – leading juniors: “Charismatic and able to think of points that would not occur to his opponents.”


  • Co-counsel in an ICC arbitration concerning the design and construction of modules for 6 Floating Production Storage & Offloading units. Claims and counterclaims total over US$ 250m.
  • Counsel in two ICC arbitrations on a Middle Eastern power plant, for a total of c. US$ 1bn.
  • Counsel in an ICC arbitration concerning a major new airport in the Middle East worth c. US$ 600m, including variations, extensions of time, delay and disruption costs.


  • Counsel for Jersey developers in ad hoc arbitration over a final account for a high specification, new-build residential project.
  • Counsel for a contractor regarding claims arising out of its work on a hotel in Libya, in arbitral and court proceedings.
  • Junior counsel for Hackney Empire Theatre and Lord Sugar on issues arising from a contractor entering administration before completing its refurbishment works, including claims against a bondsman.


  • Counsel in Lukoil Mid-East Ltd v Barclays Bank plc [2016] B.L.R. 162 regarding the interpretation of an “on demand” bond and a call under it for US$ 7m. The call concerned the late drilling of production wells in one of the world’s largest oil fields (in the Middle East).
  • Counsel in two TCC hearings regarding an injunction against calls on on-demand bonds (owing to alleged bad faith) concerning a power plant in Brazil; Doosan Babcock Ltd v Comercializadora de Equipos y Materiales Mabe Lda [2013] EWHC 3010 (TCC) and [2013] EWHC 3201 (TCC); [2014] B.L.R. 33.
  • Advising on whether a £5m bond for a London hotel development was an “on demand” bond and associated issues of interpretation and claiming under the instrument.


  • Lead Counsel in €250m arbitration against an East European state over bonus and completion date issues.
  • Counsel to a Project Company in adjudication proceedings on various multi-million pound issues arising under a UK hospital PFI project agreement.
  • Advising project companies on claims arising under military, waste and schools PFI/PPP projects (including one concerning the termination of a project agreement and sub-contract).



  • Counsel in TCC litigation concerning the proper interpretation of dispute resolution provisions and when an appointing body is said to have appointed a panel of experts who were not suitably qualified.
  • Advising on contractual issues and multi-million euro claims concerning five separate European interconnector projects, including contractual adjudication proceedings.
  • Advising an EPC contractor in relation to arbitral and associated court proceedings concerning a power plant in a former Soviet republic.


  • Counsel for a state in ICC arbitration proceedings for over US$ 650m concerning an oil and gas project involving deficient wells and environmental damage as well as breaches of duties of good faith and concealment.
  • Counsel in a SIAC arbitration for over US$ 200m concerning the drilling of oil wells in the Persian Gulf (in particular, for providing offshore drilling vessels).
  • Advising a joint venture on contractual issues and arbitral proceedings with regard to an oil and gas project in Central Asia.


  • Counsel for a wastewater engineering contractor in £5m TCC litigation against its employer concerning a new build process plant. IChemE Green Book.
  • Counsel in an LCIA arbitration on a US$ 60m claim concerning a late and allegedly defective process plant in Southeast Asia and a bond call.
  • Advising on the termination of a contract to construct a new process plant in South Asia and related issues.


  • Counsel to EPC contractors on claims, including termination issues, regarding a US$ 1bn+ project to deliver water to a capital city. Three separate international arbitrations with various subcontractors and international arbitration proceedings with the client for US$ 400m.
  • Counsel in an ICC arbitration against a Central African country concerning claims on a dam, water treatment plant and pipeline project.
  • Counsel to an international contractor concerning a new desalination plant in Northwest Africa.


  • Advising in relation to a contractor’s multi-million dollar claims regarding a mining project in Russia.
  • Advising on rock issues on a project in South America.
  • Advising on contractual issues concerning a nickel mine in Africa and potential arbitral proceedings.


  • Counsel in litigation against architects and contractors concerning a negligently designed school.
  • Junior counsel to two major UK contractors and a PFI Project Company in professional negligence litigation against engineers for £35m regarding a defective road in the UK.
  • Counsel in a successful mediation concerning a claim against architects regarding their design of a supermarket destroyed by fire.


  • Acting for a blue chip telecoms company in disputes and adjudications worth over £200m.
  • Advising on New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 claims.
  • Advising an international supplier of hardware/equipment to a new build plant in Russia on a multi-million euro dispute with its employer.


  • Counsel in an ICC arbitration regarding JV / Subcontract arrangements for the construction of a road in East Europe.
  • Counsel in an ICC arbitration concerning the termination of its contract in relation to works at two airports in SE Africa.
  • Advising on claims regarding various projects for rail and signalling work.


  • Counsel to one-half of a contractual JV in a dispute with the other half over an energy project in the Middle East, where the latter – in breach of duties of good faith – materially breached the JV agreement.
  • Advising a Kuwaiti supplier of equipment in relation to multi-million dollar contractual claims regarding a project in Iraq.
  • Counsel for a Project Company in an ICC arbitration regarding a contract with an East Asian company for the supply of equipment for a wind farm that was terminated owing to fraud, collusion and kickbacks (as the Arbitral Tribunal found, in ProjCo’s favour).


Contributing editor for Global Arbitration Review’s Construction Arbitration.
Columnist for the UK’s industry weekly magazine, Building.


LLB Law (Hons), Warwick University

LLM Commercial Law (Hons), Cambridge University

Hardwicke and Sir Thomas Moore Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

No. 1 Thought Leader in Europe (Who’s Who Legal Construction 2017 & 2018)

Construction and Energy Junior of the Year (Legal 500 UK 2018 awards)