Stephanie Barwise QC will participate in an international discussion panel for Fire Australia 2021, Australasia’s largest fire protection industry event, […]
“A top drawer silk... Brings an enormously energetic and enthusiastic approach to her work and is very much liked by clients. Her advice is clear and she understands the commercial context."
Chambers and Partners
Widely regarded as a leader in her field, Stephanie’s expertise lies in civil engineering and construction disputes. Her practice is broad based and comprises construction, civil and geotechnical engineering involving landslip/subsidence and augured/bored piles, mechanical and electrical engineering and infrastructure projects including roads, bridges, mass transit railroads, on and off shore refineries and biofuels plants, ship building and refits, wind farms, IT problems in computer automated cranes and trains, and procurement including major PFI projects such as hospitals and schools. Her practice also extends to military equipment such as man-portable, automated bomb diffusing equipment, battleships and nuclear bunkers.
Stephanie appears as an advocate in the Technology & Construction Courts, the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and the Court of Appeal as well as in international and domestic arbitrations. She also has considerable experience in alternative dispute resolution methods including adjudication and mediation, including acting as a mediator. She also sits as an arbitrator, including ICC such as a recent panel in relation to the design of one of the locks on the Panama Canal.
Amongst the first of the 1988 call to take silk, Stephanie has been consistently recognised as a leader in her field in legal directories such as Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide and The Legal 500. Stephanie won “Construction Silk of the Year” in the Chambers and Partners UK Bar Awards 2019 and was included in The Lawyer’s ‘Hot 100’ list for 2019.
Stephanie appeared for the manufacturer of both trains and the signal in the Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry. She is currently representing the larger of the two groups of victims (survivors, bereaved relatives and former residents of Grenfell Tower) in The Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, a group represented by three firms of solicitors.
In 2019 she was appointed by the Board of one of the UK’s largest volume housebuilders, Persimmon plc, to lead an independent review to assess its customer care, culture and operations, including workmanship standards, which reported to the Board and the findings of which were published in December 2019.
Stephanie was appointed to the Board of the International Quality Building Centre in 2020.
Stephanie has represented the UK government and foreign governments, as well as a wide variety of other clients in high-value and complex claims. Key cases include: BHC Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd (t/a Morrison Construction)  EWHC 368 (TCC) the development of a gas processing plant in the Laggan-Tormore fields off the Shetland Isles: one of the biggest UK construction projects at the time; Vivergo v Redhall  EWHC 4030(TCC) establishing grounds for wrongful termination of contract based on inadequate contractual notices having been given; R&C Engineers v Shaylor  EWHC 1254 establishing entitlement to set-off against an adjudicator’s decision; seminal case establishing an adjudicator has no right to adjudicate an account of any net balance due on set-off under rule 4.90 of the Insolvency Rules (Enterprise Managed Services v Tony McFadden Utilities  EWHC 3222(TCC)); and seminal case in the Court of Appeal on the ability to preserve a right of set-off despite settlement as cited in Foskett on Compromise (London & Regional (St Georges Court) v MOD  EWCA civ 1212).
Stephanie has been involved in cases concerning all aspects of building construction and civil engineering projects, including road and bridge building, representing contractors, employers and governments all over the world. She is fully conversant with the major standard form contracts used in the construction industry and has extensive experience of the issues arising in construction projects of all types including party wall disputes, easements and interference with rights of support. Her experience includes:
Acting for the Government on numerous contracts (all arbitrations) including:
Stephanie advises public bodies and unsuccessful tenderers, in the UK and overseas, on all aspects of public and utilities procurement including the application of the Public Works, Services and Utilities Regulations 1991 and the Public Contracts and Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006, and the Public Contracts (Amendments) Regulations 2009 and remedies for their breach and the impact of EU law on the field. Examples include:
Stephanie has a great deal of experience in the professional negligence field, acting for claimants, defendants and their indemnity insurers in relation to claims brought against a wide range of construction industry professionals and solicitors. Case examples include:
Stephanie has experience of both domestic and international disputes regarding the design and construction of oil rigs, on and offshore pipe-laying, offshore wind farms and waste to energy plants. Case examples include:
Stephanie has extensive experience advising governments and contractors on issues arising from the design and construction of rail and mass transit projects and infrastructures. This includes acting on disputes involving a variety of communication and signalling systems on over ground and underground rail networks. She has acted on several high-profile matters such as the Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry. Examples of her work include:
In addition to the specialised areas above, Stephanie is also frequently instructed on general commercial disputes arising on varied issues (such as bonds and warranties and payments made under mistake of fact/restitution and defence of change of position). Examples include:
2020 IBQC (International Building Quality Centre) Board Member
2014 Chair of Middle Temple Estates Committee
2010 Bencher of Middle Temple
2006–date Teacher for Middle Temple’s Advocacy for New Practitioners Programme
2006 Appointed Queen’s Counsel
2001-2003 Member of the Professional Conduct and Complaints Committee
1996–1997 Secretary of ORBA (Official Referees’ Bar Association) now Tecbar
1989 Middle Temple Benefactors’ Scholarship
1988 Called to the Bar of England and Wales
1986 Middle Temple Harmsworth Entrance Exhibition
1986–1987 Master of Laws degree. (LLM)
1983–1986 Downing College Cambridge – Honours Degree in Law (MA)
Stephanie is fluent in French and competent in German.
“She is a construction QC in her prime and at the top of her game.” “She is able to assimilate information and hammer down the point in a logical way. She clearly has the ear of the judge and is a recognised authority.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2021
“She’s amazingly intelligent and an excellent courtroom advocate.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2021
“Stephanie really is an exceptional silk. Genuinely special and dazzling to watch. I’ve not seen a better construction silk out there.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2021
“She is able to inhale papers and not only recall but assimilate the information. Has a commercial nose and sense of what is wrong. In an entirely different class to her contemporaries. Clearly a leading silk at the pinnacle of her career.”
Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2021
“Stephanie has the ability to make even the most stressed client feel at ease, which, combined with her superb advocacy, makes her a number one choice.” “She is first-class and very professional in her approach. We have absolute confidence in her advice and ability to look after us.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2020
“She is highly experienced, very practical and turns things around quickly.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2020
“Excellent, a standout star.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2020
“Very knowledgeable and extremely good with clients.”
Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2020
“She’s got an excellent legal mind, delivers on time and is excellent at meetings and in court.” “She produces very good written advice and is good in conference.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2019
“She gives very good advice in clear-cut, black-and-white answers and is very approachable.”
“She has an excellent legal mind.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2019
“She is very ‘hands-on’ and provides clear, firm views – excellent in conference and on her feet.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2019
“Extremely reliable and never ever lets the client down.”
Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2019
“A leading specialist in construction who provides excellent service which is clear, concise and to the point.” “Brings an enormously energetic and enthusiastic approach to her work and is very much liked by clients. Her advice is clear and she understands the commercial context.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2018
“Knowledgeable, precise and willing to debate the client’s commercial strategy.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2017
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.