Lucy Colter’s practice is focused on the core areas of commercial litigation (including offshore), professional liability claims, and construction.
Lucy is ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for Commercial Litigation, Offshore, Construction and Professional Negligence and in Chambers & Partners for Commercial Dispute Resolution, Construction, Professional Negligence and Professional Negligence: Technology and Construction. She was nominated for the 2020 Chambers & Partners Construction Junior of the Year award.
Lucy has been described as “Destined to be one of the stars of the English Bar – she is extremely bright, personable and tactically incisive”, “perfect with clients and one of the cleverest barristers I have worked with” “She has incredible work ethic, forensic attention to detail, excellent responsiveness, and is a team player”, “she provides consistently excellent service and understands entirely what we and our insured and insurer clients want”, “first-rate – someone who works hard under difficult circumstances and is very approachable and normal”, “she is excellent, good at the detail, very positive and has a good knowledge of the law”, “extremely hard-working, very bright and has an exceptional mastery of the detail of complex matters. She provides invaluable input” and “a good team player who is insightful and responsive”
In 2017, Lucy was identified as one of just twelve “Stars of the Bar” under 10 years’ call by Legal Week.
Lucy’s practice is dominated by large-scale litigation, in particular complex high-value civil fraud. Led by Justin Fenwick KC and George Spalton KC, she represented Nick Suppipat in his US$billion fraud claims against multiple defendants in the Commercial Court, obtaining a judgment for US$850 million after a 20 week trial (Suppipat v Narongdej and others  EWHC 1988 (Comm)). In 2022, led by Justin Fenwick KC, Lucy represented Beny Steinmetz in an 11-week Commercial Court trial before Mr Justice Andrew Baker, defending deceit and conspiracy claims for c.US$1 billion+ brought by the Brazilian mining company, Vale. The claim collapsed midway through trial. Lucy was instructed for Georgy Bedzhamov in Vneshprombank v Bedzhamov and worked for several years on Deripaska v Chernukhin. Lucy also has a growing practice in commercial arbitration, including in the UAE.
Lucy acts in challenging and high-value claims, both for and against professionals. She is presently instructed with Patrick Lawrence KC to defend a potential loss of a chance claim for $100m+ against a leading private client firm involving issues of international and cross-border enforcement. She was instructed (led by Ben Hubble KC) by an ultra high-net worth client bringing lost litigation claims worth US$500 million+ against a leading City firm of solicitors in respect of claims arising out of a failed joint venture and the extraction and dissipation of the client’s interests and funds worldwide. She acted (led by Graeme McPherson KC) in a claim against a senior tax barrister instructed as an expert in respect of the demerger of a property empire, involving allegations of conflict and bias.
Lucy has very extensive experience and expertise in construction and engineering matters (in the TCC, arbitration and adjudication), acting for multinational construction service companies and development companies. She is currently representing an engineering company defending claims brought by Vinci listed for trial in early 2024. She recently represented the successful defendant on a preliminary issue in terms of duties owed in Multiplex Construction Europe Limited v RNP Associates Ltd (in liqudation) and others  EWHC 590 (TCC), leading Will Cook.
Lucy’s practice involves substantial and diverse offshore work in particular in the Channel Islands and Cayman. She is instructed in trust matters and litigation; construction matters concerning offshore arbitration or claims in the Royal Court; contractual disputes. Her commercial litigation practice very frequently involves an offshore element, in particular Cyprus, Cayman and the BVI. She has excellent experience of sanctions issues and is working on contentious sanctions issues in Bermuda.
Details of Lucy’s practice in each area can be found below.
“Lucy has a great capacity to manage a lot of complex information, and shows wonderful attention to detail.” Chambers & Partners
“Lucy Colter is very meticulous and displays an immense ability to get to grips with a massive amount of factual material.” Chambers & Partners
‘Lucy is very responsive, incredibly hardworking, and a fantastic team player. She is a real pleasure to work alongside and to instruct.’ Legal 500
“Lucy is an incredibly diligent barrister who knows the bundle backwards and has a natural intuition for what will and what will not work in a court room.” – Legal 500
“Destined to be one of the stars of the English Bar – she is extremely bright, personable and tactically incisive.” – Legal 500
Lucy has an extremely busy and rapidly developing commercial practice and is ranked as a leading junior in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. She is particularly interested in matters with an international element and has strong experience of matters in which fraud, conspiracy and large-scale dishonesty have been alleged. She has deep experience of fighting highly complex and difficult fraud claims at trial.
Featured Commercial Litigation cases
‘Wholly committed to the case – diligent and hard working.’ – Legal 500
‘Very bright and good attention to detail. Also very responsive. Worked well as part of a team.’ – Legal 500
‘A very good junior – she thoroughly researches her cases’ – Chambers and Partners
Lucy’s practice involves substantial and diverse offshore work in particular in the Channel Islands and Cayman. A significant part of her commercial litigation practice (particularly Russian/CIS litigation such as Deripaska v Chernukhin) has involved a significant offshore element and required expertise in this area.
Featured Offshore Litigation cases
Lucy has been instructed in some of the largest civil fraud claims in the Commercial Court in recent years, including at trial, and she also has experience of LCIA and ICC arbitration in particular. Lucy’s cases are frequently extremely high in value and highly contested proceedings involving serious and very complex allegations and issues.
Over the last 4 years, she has worked on Suppipat v Narongdej and others (a 17 week trial); Vale v Steinmetz and others (an 11 week trial in which Vale discontinued); and Vneshprombank LLC v Bedzhamov and others. She was involved for several years in the long-running dispute between Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Chernukhin, representing Mr Deripaska in the LCIA; trial in the Commercial Court; and the Court of Appeal. She acts for both claimants and defendants. She has extensive experience acting for UHNW clients and associated entities. She also has extensive experience of proceedings concerning complex company and trust structures including offshore.
“Lucy is extremely good with clients and a reassuring presence. She is completely on top of the facts and legal issues in quite a detail-heavy case.” – Chambers & Partners
“Great to work with; she’s a team player, who is down to earth and very bright.” – Chambers & Partners
“Fantastic on the detail and produces very good advocacy.” “She’s very able and gives very pragmatic advice.” – Chambers & Partners
“She is on a different planet in terms of brains and the ability to absorb vast quantities of information quickly. She does all of that but she’s also great with clients, which is a rare combination.” – Chambers & Partners
“Brilliant. Works hard to cover every angle. Lucy is one to watch.” – Legal 500
“She is very bright and has great attention to detail. Calm under fire.” – Legal 500
“Provides very quick and commercially focused advice and inspires confidence in clients.” – Legal 500, 2019
Ranked as a Leading Junior in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, Lucy is praised for being “great with clients”, “very able and gives very pragmatic advice” and is described as “one to watch”.
Lucy is very experienced in the most large-scale and challenging professional liability matters, including claims alleging fraud, and high-value matters with a commercial or international angle or context. She has particular experience of acting for claimants in such litigation.
She acts for and against solicitors, barristers, accountants, valuers, and financial advisors (and other professionals). She also has particular expertise in technology and construction related claims against professionals.
A flavour of Lucy’s experience in relation to lawyers’ negligence is provided by the following:
Lucy has excellent and long-standing experience of acting in claims against valuers, both for claimants and defendants. In respect of particularly notable claimant work:
Lucy also has extensive experience of acting on behalf of defendant valuers. In particular:
Lucy was recently instructed to advise Dubai-based claimants in respect of claims against financial, pensions and investment advisors arising out of negligent and potentially fraudulent advice on their pension arrangements. The claimants had entered into an Occupational Retirement Benefit Scheme, which had presented difficulties, and the bulk of their funds were then lost by way of an unprotected investment offshore in Mauritius.
Lucy has also acted for financial consultants in a claim against them arising out of advice given in relation to appropriate life and critical illness cover, and in a claim arising out of advice given in relation to endowment mortgages, and for another firm of financial consultants in respect of a claim arising out of advice relating to the transfer of pensions and SIPP investments, including investment in a property Unit Trust.
Lucy has recently been instructed for the claimant in a claim for loss of chance against defendant brokers who failed to obtain LEI, with the result that the claimant could not afford to pursue its extremely valuable claims against its project manager and contractor on a building project. She also has experience of professional negligence claims arising out of fire damage claims.
Lucy was shortlisted for the 2020 Chambers & Partners Construction Junior of the Year award.
“She’s impressive, confident and has ability beyond her call. She’s extremely good with clients and a reassuring presence.” – Chambers & Partners
“Lucy is meticulous in her analysis of the facts and the law. She’s a very capable advocate.” – Chambers & Partners
“Lucy is incredibly able and a pleasure to work with. Her written work is of the highest quality.” “Lucy Colter is very hands-on and easy to work with. – Chambers & Partners
“Lucy is extremely bright, highly personable, and very hard working. Her drafting is first class, and she advises with exceptional clarity. She also has a detailed technical understanding of the subject matter.” – Legal 500
“Brilliant. Works hard to cover every angle – she is one to watch.” – Legal 500
“She has incredible work ethic, forensic attention to detail, excellent responsiveness, and is a team player.” – Legal 500
“She is on a different planet in terms of brains and ability to absorb vast quantities of information quickly.” “She’s excellent to work with, very personable and down to earth, but also delivers concise and relevant advice.” – Chambers and Partners
“She is exceptional at what she does. She is highly organised, tough, determined and yet highly accessible.” – Legal 500
Lucy has very extensive experience of hard-fought and high-value construction disputes, including the TCC, arbitration and adjudication. She acts for leading construction engineering companies and development companies and has dealt with the major forms of contract. She has worked extensively on construction disputes in Jersey and Guernsey. Lucy has exceptional ability in respect of complex technical and scientific evidence and enjoys the challenge presented by it.
Lucy has equal experience of professional negligence claims against construction professionals, acting for and against architects, project managers and quantity surveyors. She has acted on multiple claims against heritage architects / architects working on listed or protected buildings.
Featured Construction & Engineering cases
Lucy has extensive experience of the LCIA rules and an unusual amount of experience of section 67/section 68 challenges under the Arbitration Act, particularly in the Deripaska v Chernukhin litigation (in which she acts for Mr Deripaska, led by Justin Fenwick KC).
Lucy particularly enjoys insurance coverage disputes – and disputes purely concerning the construction of insurance policy wording. She also has experience of professional liability claims which require a thorough understanding of multiple issues of insurance law.
Featured Insurance & Reinsurance cases
Lucy appeared as junior counsel for the Secretary of State for Health (led by Leigh-Ann Mulcahy KC): R(on the application of McVey) s Secretary of State for Health  EWHC 437 and  EWHC 1225. The Secretary of State successfully resisted the judicial review brought in respect of the ex gratia compensation scheme set up to compensate those infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, including a challenge by interested parties, living victims of the disease. This judicial review also engaged private law questions regarding trusts. Permission to appeal was refused.
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Tim Chelmick and Lucy Colter discuss practical completion post-Mears v Costplan and…
Lucy is a member of Lincoln’s Inn. She is a member of COMBAR, TECBAR and PNBA.
Lucy sits on COMBAR’s Equality & Diversity Committee and is a former chair of the Young COMBAR committee.
Lucy read English Language & Literature at Trinity College, Oxford, where she achieved a First Class Degree (coming top of her year in Moderations). She was a Percival Exhibitioner and Scholar at Trinity College, and won the Mrs Claude Beddington and the Violet Vaughan Morgan university prizes. She obtained a distinction in the law conversion (CPE), and took a year out to travel in Russia, China, Hong Kong and South East Asia, before the Bar Vocational Course.
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