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Fiona Sinclair QC

Construction Professionals

Fiona has particularly extensive experience of construction-related professional liability claims against architects, engineers, building surveyors, quantity surveyors, project managers and other construction professionals. She is consistently rated in Chamber & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading junior in construction law and in relation to the professional liability of construction professionals. Fiona is also among the very small number of junior barristers who are ranked as international leaders in the field of construction law by Chambers & Partners Global 2010.

Her notable cases include:

  • Acting for services engineers in a complex dispute relating to the construction of a “luxury-plus” residential development in London.
  • Acting for quantity surveyors/cost consultants in £11 million claim arising from development of best-in-class luxury hotel.
  • Advising multi-disciplinary construction professional firm on £8 million claim arising out of the refurbishment of a leisure centre.
  • The M6 Thelwall Viaduct litigation: Acted for materials consultants in £35 million claim arising out of failure of motorway viaduct (roller bearings). Extremely complex technical issues involving 8-10 expert disciplines.
  • Acting for multi-disciplinary construction professionals in £9 million claim for alleged overspend on regeneration of a West London housing estate.
  • Advising on claim against mechanical and electrical engineers in relation to £20 million claim brought by developer of major City hotel. This case involved difficult issues as to the construction of collateral warranties. 
  • Acting for structural engineers in multi-party litigation on a £20 million claim relating to ground investigation and foundations design for a warehouse. 
  • Acting for water treatment consultants in a claim relating to corrosion in a chilled water system.
  • Acting for refrigeration engineers in multi-party litigation arising out of frost heave at a food storage and distribution facility. 
  • Acting in a claim against structural engineers arising out of piling design. This case involved difficult issues as to the identification of and responsibility for temporary works. 
  • Acting for architects on a £2 million claim arising out of the redevelopment of commercial premises in London W1. 
  • Acting for structural engineers in a £2 million claim arising out of the collapse of a 200-year old retaining wall during groundworks.  
  • Acting for offshore trust in claim against structural surveyors concerning dry rot in large country house.
  • Jarvis v. Castle Wharf Development Limited [2001] Lloyd's Rep PN 308: Acting for architects in claim concerning planning difficulties at a landmark office and leisure development in Nottingham.
  • Hoadley v. JR Edwards [2001] PNLR 41: Acting for building surveyors in an action concerning the structural stability of a half-timbered property of unusual design.
  • Capital & Counties and Digital v. John D Laing & Ors (1997): Acting for architects in £25 million claim concerning a design and build contract for an office development which was destroyed by fire.

Fiona has also acted for construction professionals in actions arising out of:

  • the design and construction of various commercial developments including a shopping centre, a reservoir, a dry ski-slope, offices and hotels.
  • residential developments (including conversions).
  • the provision of mechanical and electrical services.
  • project management.

Fiona is responsible for Chapter 9, "Construction Professionals" in the 6th edition of Jackson & Powell on Professional Negligence (Sweet & Maxwell, 6th edition, 2007) as well as for the section on "Expert Evidence" in Chapter 6.

She is a Member (and former Committee Member) of the Technology and Construction Court Bar Association (TECBAR) and of the Society for Construction Law (SCL).