“… an intellectual powerhouse, exceptional advocate and superb draftsperson. He is hard-working, straight-talking and clients love him. He is a star of the Construction Bar.”
Hugh is a leading barrister for construction, engineering and technology disputes who is described in the directories as “considerably experienced” yet “down-to-earth and approachable” and someone who “quickly builds a rapport with clients and is a reassuring addition to any team”. He also has significant experience in associated fields including professional liability, property damage, insurance, bonds and guarantees, public procurement, injunctions, and insolvency.
Hugh’s expertise is recognised in Chambers & Partners, where clients say that he is a “junior with a rapidly growing reputation” who “personifies cool, calm and collected”, is “equally good on his feet as he is on paper”, is “very commercial and has excellent analytical skills”, and gives advice that “is first-class, comprehensive and answers the question”. Legal 500 also lists Hugh as a leading junior for construction work.
Hugh has additionally been listed in Who’s Who Legal in their “Future Leaders” section as one of the world’s leading construction lawyers aged 45 or under.
A confident and persuasive advocate on paper and in court – described in Legal 500 as “a class act, great on his feet” – Hugh regularly appears before the High Court (particularly in the TCC) and the County Court. He also has extensive experience in adjudications (including enforcements in the High Court) and in domestic and international arbitration. Hugh has acted for clients around the world, including in the Caribbean, China, Europe, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Turkey and throughout the Arabian Peninsula, both on matters within the UK and within their own jurisdictions.
Although he is usually instructed as sole counsel, Hugh is often led (by silks both inside and outside chambers) and he is increasingly instructed to lead more junior counsel on significant matters. Hugh has also been appointed to act as adjudicator in statutory and contractual adjudications.
Clients describe Hugh as being “very strategic and user-friendly” and say that he is “easy to work with, his drafting style is clear and precise and he just works well as an extension of the team”.
Before returning to the Bar in 2014, Hugh practised for over seven years in the specialist construction groups at some of the world’s leading law firms, including White & Case and Nabarro (now CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang), acting on a wide range of commercial matters and disputes. This background gives him a genuine understanding of the needs of his instructing solicitors and his clients’ commercial interests, and of the importance of finding practical, cost-effective solutions where possible, including alternatives to pursuing litigation, adjudication or arbitration. Hugh’s commercial experience means that he is still instructed to advise on non-contentious matters including contract drafting and procurement and he is familiar with all the major standard-form construction contracts including the JCT, NEC, FIDIC and LOGIC forms and SOPC-based PFI contracts.
Hugh is the co-author (with Ben Patten QC) of Professional Negligence in Construction (2nd edition, Informa). He is a member of TECBAR (having served on the committee between 2014 and 2018), the SCL, the Adjudication Society (and a former editor of the Society’s newsletter), the PNBA and the BILA. Hugh is also a former editor of the RICS iSurv materials on Contract Administration.