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Portrait of Sebastian Pigott a barrister at Atkin Chambers

Sebastian Pigott


Call 1994 (practising since 2004)

“Extremely bright and quickly gets to grips with complex contractual issues.”


Legal 500

Sebastian Pigott is described in The Legal 500 as “an intelligent and considered thinker” who is “very user-friendly and pro-active. Hard-working, sensible, common sense but with good and bright ideas – also sticks to his guns in all respects.” He is described in Chambers and Partners as “helpful and friendly, very technically and strategically sound and someone who always thinks about the ultimate outcome” and as “thorough and efficient, and excellent at cross-examination and in court” with “substantial experience, being a solicitor-turned-barrister” and a “down-to-earth approach”. Sebastian is also described as “a formidable advocate” who is “practical, helpful and good value”.

Sebastian, formerly a solicitor, started to practise at the Bar in 2004, and has over twenty-five years’ experience in construction law. He appears in court, arbitrations, adjudication hearings and has experience of construction-related inquests. He regularly attends mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution meetings with clients.

TRANSPORT

Railways & Tunnels

  • Acting in an international dispute involving the design and construction of an underground high-speed railway project including a terminus with iconic steel-framed atrium, twin track running tunnels and associated structures.
  • Domestic adjudication about the design and construction of a city tram system.

Roads & Bridges

  • Acting for a transport authority in a dispute about the design and construction of an over-railway bridge scheme on a class A road in the UK.
  • Amey LG Ltd v Cumbria County Council [2016] EWHC 2856 (TCC) and [2016] EWHC 2946 (TCC): a claim about maintenance, repair and renewal of highways, including resurfacing, surface dressing and patching. Notable for the novel use of non-probabilistic sampling as a means of proving breach, causation and the level of damages.
  • Dynniq UK Ltd v Lancashire County Council [2017] EWHC 3173 (TCC): a claim about the terms of payment for the supply of highway traffic safety and management measures for road maintenance works.
  • JSM Ltd v Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) plc [2020] EWHC 3583 (TCC): a claim about excavation, cable laying and traffic management work in highways, verges, bridges and across private land.

Airports

  • International arbitration: installation of MEP services as part of an airport lounges fit out.

Docks & Harbours

  • International arbitrations: claims concerning the construction of infrastructure and associated buildings as part of the development of an industrial shipyard.
  • International arbitration: claims about the design engineering and construction of a multipurpose commercial waterside complex.
  • Advising in a dispute about design responsibility for defects in a newly constructed harbour wall.

GEOTECHNICAL

Demolition and Enabling Works

  • Acting for a contractor in respect of demolition and enabling groundworks as part of the development of a themed holiday park.
  • Acting for a local authority in a dispute about enabling groundworks. The developer as part of its as part of section 106 works was required to cut and fill land owned by the local authority to prescribed formation levels and CBR values prior to construction of a school with sports facilities. A dispute arose about the site enabling works, the remediation of the site and the formation depths of the development platforms.

Geotechnical Investigations

  • Acting in an international dispute concerning the design and execution of ground investigations, the analysis of laboratory results, the preparation of geotechnical reports and baselines, and the scope and sufficiency of geotechnical information provided in tenders for contracts for the excavation of tunnels.

CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

Steelwork design and construction

  • Acting in an international dispute concerning the design and erection methodology for temporary and permanent steelwork for a highly complex roof structure.

Offshore installations

  • Bluewater Energy Services BV v Mercon Steel Structures BV [2014] EWHC 2132 (TCC): a claim made under a contract based on BASIC terms, involving the fabrication and supply of a tower-based soft yoke mooring system forming part of an offshore oil installation in the Caspian Sea.
  • International arbitration: a claim involving subsea export cables for an offshore wind farm, damage to fibre optic and power cables during shipment.
  • Renewables: claims involving the design and execution of on-site remedial works to the foundations and structures of wind turbines forming part of an offshore wind farm.

Pipe laying

  • Wales and West Utilities Ltd v PPS Pipeline Systems GmbH [2014] EWHC 54 (TCC): this claim followed an adjudicator’s decision about liability for unforeseen ground conditions during gas pipe laying.

Fire Safety

  • Claim in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) about the supply, installation, testing, commissioning, handover and maintenance of a High-Pressure Water Mist System in the basement of a world heritage building. The interpretation of the design specification was disputed, the claim concerned the extent to which the as-installed system diverged from that design.
  • Claim in the TCC concerning the fire safety design in the multi-storey car park of a mixed residential and commercial use complex.

Acoustic design

  • Claim about a design and build contract for a developer of a shopping centre including claims by the contractor relating to the acoustic specification and design for a cinema.

Drainage

  • Acting for a contractor in a claim about the adequacy of the design and installation of a rainwater and drainage system in a mixed-use development.
  • Acting for a subcontractor’s insurer in a multi-party action following the collapse of guttering on a large warehouse.

Project Management

  • Acting in an international professional negligence dispute concerning the project management of a high-speed underground railway project.

PFI

  • Acting for a subcontractor in a claim concerning the installation of pipework for a hospital
  • Acting for a hospital in claims for defective work by the contractor.

Other examples

  • Traditional Structures Limited v HW Construction Limited [2010] EWHC 1530 (TCC): rectification of a subcontract ordered on the grounds of unilateral mistake.
  • Atwal v Rochester [2010] EWHC 2338 (TCC): a claim that the building contract was determined by frustration.
  • Appearing at trial for a contractor concerning an allegation of deliberate concealment of building regulation breaches for the purposes of limitation.
  • Advising a football club on its claim in respect of design and workmanship problems at its new football pitches.
  • Acting for a contractor’s insurer facing claims for damage to an adjacent property during the demolition phase of the development. The claim included allegations of nuisance, negligence, breach of contract, breach of statutory duties, trespass, misrepresentation, directors’ personal liability and deceit.
  • Advising in respect of a contract for mechanical and electrical engineering services provided as part of a golf and ski resort development in Bulgaria.

ENERGY, RENEWABLES AND OFFSHORE INSTALLATIONS

Sebastian has a broad range of experience in the UK energy and renewables sector including:

  • Advising on a £30m final account dispute with a contractor for the design and construction of a bulk terminal biomass building used to receive, offload and store imported wood pellets.
  • Advising on a dispute with a contractor concerning the construction and operation of a new 30 MWe net output biomass plant under an EPC contract.
  • Acting in an adjudication concerning the construction of a biomass plant.
  • CCGT plant: claims concerning the design and construction of a combined heat and power system.
  • Application in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) to stay proceedings to arbitration in a case concerning scaffolding and insulation works at a CCGT power station. There was a conflict between the dispute resolution provisions contained in the subcontracts and a subsequent settlement agreement Interserve Industrial Services Ltd v ZRE Katowice SA [2012] EWHC 3205 (TCC).
  • Renewables: licencing and use issues concerning a monitoring system at land-based wind farm.
  • Renewables: claims about design related defects in the design and construction of wind turbine blades.
  • Acting in a dispute about a £9m contract for the design, procurement and installation of solar modules, frames and associated electrical infrastructure at the site in the UK.
  • Acting in a dispute concerning the construction of a new waste disposal recycling plant.

REPORTED CASES

JSM Ltd v Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) plc [2020] EWHC 3583 (TCC)

Dynniq UK Ltd v Lancashire County Council [2017] EWHC 3173 (TCC)

Amey LG Ltd v Cumbria County Council [2016] EWHC 2856 (TCC)

Amey LG Ltd v Cumbria County Council [2016] EWHC 2946 (TCC)

CIP Property (AIPT) Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd [2015] EWHC 481 (TCC)

CIP Property (AIPT) Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd [2015] EWHC 412 (TCC)

CIP Property (AIPT) Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd [2014] EWHC 3546 (TCC)

Wales and West Utilities Ltd v PPS Pipeline Systems GmbH [2014] EWHC 54 (TCC)

Bluewater Energy Services BV v Mercon Steel Structures BV [2014] EWHC 2132 (TCC)

L G Blower Specialist Bricklayer Ltd v Reeves [2010] 5 Costs LR 828 (CA)

Dutta v Hayes [2012] EWHC 1727 (Ch)

Interserve Industrial Services Ltd v ZRE Katowice SA [2012] EWHC 3205 (TCC)

Traditional Structures Limited v HW Construction Limited [2010] EWHC 1530 (TCC)

Atwal v Rochester [2010] EWHC 2338 (TCC)

Turner v Pryce [2008] 1 P&CR DG 20 (Ch)

Hurst Stores and Interiors Ltd v ML Europe Property Ltd [2004] EWCA Civ 490

LEGAL TEXTS

“Proof By Sampling” SCL Paper, D206 July 2017

“Equitable Set-Off – A New Direction After Geldof? SCL Paper, D180 August 2015

“Heartless: The case of a builder sued for having a heart attack” Building July, 2010

“On turning a blind eye: Traditional Structures vs HW Construction” Building November 2010

“Economic loss, transmissible warranties and extensions to the boundaries of Murphy v Brentwood” (2005) 21 Const.L.J.95 (referred to in footnote 56 at 9-057 and 62 of 9-058 of Jackson & Powell’s Professional Liability, 6th edition).

“Sharing the pain-contributions in construction disputes” In House Lawyer, August 2002

“Unforeseen ground conditions-the power of SMM7” In House Lawyer October 2002

QUALIFICATIONS AND AWARDS

2004 *Commenced practice at the Bar

1996 Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors

1994 Called to the Bar

1992 Represented the UK in Washington DC in the Jessop International Moot

Winner Jessop International Moot

Runner-Up Observer Moot Final

Sweet & Maxwell Prize

1990 Sweet & Maxwell Prize

LLB (Hons) 1st Class

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Sebastian is an associate of the CIArb and a member of the SCL and TECBAR.

RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS

“He is helpful and friendly, very technically and strategically sound and someone who always thinks about the ultimate outcome.”

Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2021

 

“Sebastian is an intelligent and considered thinker. I have found him to be very user-friendly and pro-active. Hard-working, sensible, common sense but with good and bright ideas – also sticks to his guns in all respects.”

Construction, The Legal 500 2021

 

“His star continues to rise. One of the best senior juniors at the Bar, I cannot think of a single weakness.”

International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2021

“A very astute and insightful barrister, with the ability to make very complex matters intelligible. He is always approachable and highly responsive.” “Always thorough and efficient as well as excellent on cross-examination.”

Construction, Chambers & Partners UK Bar and Global 2020

 

“Combines legal incisive understanding with a practical approach.”

Construction, The Legal 500 2020

 

“Knowledgeable and calm, which is reassuring for clients.” “He was always willing to speak at all times and did a great job in pleadings and in guiding the clients.”

Construction, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2019

 

“Extremely bright and quickly gets to grips with complex contractual issues.”

Construction, The Legal 500 2019

 

“Always thorough and efficient, and excellent at cross-examination and in court.” “Has substantial experience, being a solicitor-turned-barrister, and has a down-to-earth approach.”

Construction, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018

 

“He is always thorough, efficient and an excellent cross-examiner in court.”

Construction, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2017

 

“He’s a machine: technically excellent and absolutely diligent in his approach.”

Construction, Chambers Global 2017

 

“He’s very compelling when he’s on his feet and very good at getting to the nub of the problem.” “He provided sound, straight and precise advice which was well written and delivered.”

Construction, Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2016

 

The quotations set out 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.