Tim Chelmick specialises in commercial disputes with a particular emphasis on international arbitration, construction, professional liability and costs.
With a strong scientific background, Tim is regularly involved in cases with a scientific or technical element involving complex expert evidence.
Many of his disputes relate to projects in the Middle East as Tim spent 2 years living and working in Dubai. He is one of only two leading juniors recommended for both commercial and construction disputes in Legal 500’s UAE guide. Legal Directories characterise his work as including “shareholder, insurance, and asset-tracing matters” for commercial and “heavy infrastructure disputes” for construction.
Tim is also recommended in the UK legal directories for construction, costs and professional liability. He has been described by clients as “An incredibly commercial barrister, who is able to cut through all extraneous information and drill down to the facts of the case” who has “an uncanny ability to adapt quickly to all kinds of instructions”; “an extremely bright mind” and “excellent advocacy skills” with “the potential to rise to the top of the profession”.
Prior to joining chambers, Tim read chemistry at Magdalen College, Oxford obtaining a first class degree. After leaving Oxford, Tim worked for 2 years as a software developer in the technology department of Goldman Sachs in the London, New York and Hong Kong offices.
“He steals a march on other barristers in terms of on-the-ground Middle East experience. A go to barrister for the Middle East region.” – Legal 500, 2022
“He’s very hard-working and diligent. He is also technically strong, especially in relation to construction-related arbitration, and he is strong in getting to the heart of the detail and the quantum.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“Commercially minded, excellent drafting that gets straight to the crux of the matter, sensible dealing with pleadings and evidence.” – Legal 500, 2021
My preferred senior junior for international arbitration – he is incredibly good value and hardworking. – Legal 500, 2020
Many of the claims where Tim is instructed are arbitration claims and Tim has extensive has acted in arbitrations (including as sole advocate) conducted under a wide variety of rules including UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, DIAC and ADCCAC. The arbitrations include complex commercial dispute and construction disputes. The subject matter of the arbitrations is often based in the Middle East, where Tim lived and worked for 2 years.
He has also acted in court proceedings in support of arbitration, with particular experience of applications for anti-suit relief and applications to set aside arbitration awards.
Featured International Arbitration cases
“Tim is a great team player and works very hard. He is very bright and technically strong.” – Legal 500, 2022 (Middle East: Construction)
“Tim is a very thorough and skilful barrister who is able to provide clear and pragmatic advice in relation to the dispute subject matter.” – Legal 500, 2022
“He is highly capable of dealing with complex legal issues.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“Highly commercial, responsive, understands immediately what clients need and delivers.” – Legal 500, 2021
“He is an outstanding professional and is very quick in grasping, analysing and articulating a case. His drafting is a big strength and he cross-examines very ably.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Ruthlessly efficient in trial.” – Legal 500, 2020 (Middle East: Construction)
Tim is a recommended junior in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for construction and engineering disputes.
As noted in the directories, his practice encompasses the full spectrum of litigation and arbitration, both domestic and international. Tim is often instructed in disputes relating to projects in the Middle East involving, in particular, allegations of delay and disruption. He is familiar with most standard form contracts with particular expertise in FIDIC based contracts. He has also been involved in a number of disputes involving PFI and other long term relationship contracts.
Tim is a TECBAR accredited adjudicator who acts in adjudications both as adjudicator and counsel. He is also often involved in proceedings for the enforcement of adjudication awards in the Technology and Construction Court. He has dealt with a number of adjudications which raised issues of jurisdiction and procedural unfairness.
Featured Construction & Engineering cases
“He is a hugely hard-working barrister and is easy to work with. He is very good at finding the right option in a common-sense way.”– Chambers & Partners, 2022
“He is brilliantly smart and second to none in terms of tactics and strategy. Working with Tim spoils you for working with other barristers.” – Legal 500, 2021
“A really solid performer who is consistently busy in really sizeable and exciting cases, and has loads of experience in professional negligence work.” “His advice is excellent and he just gets on with things.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
Tim is a recommended junior in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for professional liability claims.
Tim has extensive experience in the full range of claims brought against professionals and regularly acts for both claimants and defendants. He has acted both for and against solicitors, surveyors, architects, accountants, insurance brokers and financial services professionals.
With a degree in chemistry and professional experience working as a software developer, Tim has a very strong scientific and technical background and hence he is often involved in cases that raise complex scientific and technical issues. These claims include claims against construction professionals, information technology professionals and patent agents.
Tim has been involved in a substantial number of claims against solicitors and barristers where the underlying subject matter relates to both civil and criminal matters. He has particular experience of claims that relate to the misconduct of litigation and also claims involving residential and commercial conveyancing transactions. He has also been involved in a number of wasted cost claims involving both solicitors and barristers.
As a result of his experience with issues relating to legal costs (Tim is also a recommended junior in the field of legal costs), Tim is also often involved in claims where there are allegations of overcharging and negligence.
Tim is regularly instructed in construction and engineering disputes that involve allegations of professional liability, particularly involving architects, quantity surveyors and structural engineers. He has particular experience of construction and engineering disputes in the Middle East. With his technical background, he particularly enjoys claims which raise complex scientific and technical issues.
Tim is a TECBAR accredited adjudicator and has considerable experience of adjudication in professional liability matters. He has dealt with a number of adjudications and also proceedings to enforce adjudication awards that raised issues of jurisdiction and procedural unfairness.
Tim is an editor of the Construction Professionals chapter of the 8th edition of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability.
Tim also has experience in claims against valuers involving both residential and commercial property. He has been instructed both by banks seeking to recover losses caused by negligent valuations and also by valuers defending such claims. He also has been involved in a number of mortgage fraud cases. Tim also has experience of contribution claims brought by solicitors against valuers.
Tim’s experience of claims against accountants ranges from group litigation by a number of investors in a film finance scheme to claims against accountants by individuals in respect of negligent tax advice. His recent cases include a claim for damages following the admitted failure by an accountant to file accounts and a claim against finance director for mismanagement of corporate accounts.
Having worked for Goldman Sachs prior to coming to the Bar, Tim is regularly involved in claims involving financial services professionals, ranging from group litigation against accountants accused of giving negligent tax advice to smaller claims against IFAs.
Tim is involved in claims both where the primary claim is against the insurance broker and also disputes between policy holders and insurers where the broker has been added as an additional party. He has experience of claims involving material non-disclosure, negligent advice by brokers and also claims where the broker failed to renew insurance policies.
Tim has experience of claims against patent agents involving allegations of negligent advice in respect of the validity and registration of patents. With his scientific background, Tim is often instructed in litigation that involves complicated technical issues.
“Tim is very client-friendly, commercial in approach, great to work with in terms of responsiveness and getting to grips with the case and the issues involved; he is a great asset to the team.” – Legal 500, 2022 (Middle East: Commercial)
“A wonderfully practical approach that boils down complex litigation to the essentials and makes it easier for solicitors and clients alike.” – Legal 500, 2022
Tim has acted in a wide range of commercial disputes including those arising from concession agreements for infrastructure projects, project finance and a variety of contractual claims. Tim has particular experience of claims where there are competing proceedings in different jurisdictions and those involving issues of conflict of laws.
Additionally, having worked as a software developer prior to coming to the Bar, Tim has experience in every stage of software development from concept design to testing and implementation and hence Tim is often instructed in claims that relate to computer contracts and information technology professionals.
Featured Commercial Litigation cases
Tim also regularly advises insurers on coverage issues and additionally on the meaning of policy wording. Tim has particular experience dealing with issues in respect of professional indemnity policies and cases which raise issues where a conflict of interest has arisen between insurers and policyholders.
Tim has also been instructed in a number of cases where the insurance broker is accused of negligence.
Tim also regularly deals with subrogated recovery actions by insurers against construction professionals.
Featured Insurance cases
Tim worked as a software developer for Goldman Sachs prior to coming to the Bar and hence has significant first-hand experience of the full life cycle of IT projects. He has been instructed in a number of disputes relating to IT contracts involving both issues of defective software and late delivery of projects. His cases often involve complex technical expert evidence.
Tim was recently involved in a number of disputes relating to a contracts with a number of governments in the Middle East for substantial infrastructure projects in the region. The cases involved allegations of defects with the software and late delivery of project requirements along with claims of wrongful termination of the contracts. The cases also raised issues relating to national security.
Tim has also recently been instructed by a local authority to advise in respect of the proper construction of an outsourcing contract.
Tim edited of the Information Technology chapter of the 7th edition of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability.
“Has a wonderfully practical approach that boils down costs matters and complex litigation to the essentials.” – Legal 500, 2022
“Delivers excellent and practical advice that is well tailored to the situation and client needs. His analysis is incisive and his drafting excellent.” – Legal 500, 2021
A fantastic junior with a bright future ahead of him. – Legal 500, 2020
Tim is recommended in the Legal 500 for costs disputes. He has extensive experience of costs litigation at all levels up to and including the Court of Appeal.
Tim is regularly instructed in complex detailed assessment proceedings and other hearings where the primary issue is the recoverability of legal costs. He often deals with claims that involve challenges to the solicitor’s retainer, allegations of misconduct (such as alleged failures to mediate) and also claims which deal with insurance issues, particularly involving after the event insurance.
He also is regularly instructed to deal with costs budgeting issues (even when not involved in the underlying litigation) and has been involved in a number of significant cases before the High Court involving substantial cost budgets. He also often deals with wider procedural issues relating to costs, including issues relating to Part 36.
Tim also has specific experience in issues relating to RTA Portal cases. He has been involved in both of the two significant cases where the costs consequences of the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents and associated Part 8B Proceedings have been considered (Mulholand in the Newcastle County Court and Phillips in the Court of Appeal). He has advised and appeared in numerous other claims relating to the RTA Portal involving a wide variety of issues such as the circumstances in which cases can leave the Portal, the effect of statements made in Stage 2 and the costs consequences when cases wrongly exit the Portal.
Tim also has significant experience of claims where the costs are challenged by the client including assessment of solicitor and client costs under the Solicitors Act 1974.
He has additionally dealt with a number of cases raising costs related issues in the context of wider issues of negligence by the solicitor.
Tim also has experience of disputes between the SRA and solicitors regarding the interpretation of the Solicitors Accounts Rules
Tim also has experience of applications for costs orders being sought against directors of companies involved in litigation. He also has particular experience in applications for security for costs in commercial litigation. He also has advised on the recoverability of costs in arbitral proceedings.
Featured Costs cases
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