“A Premier League silk” Legal 500 2015
Adrian Hughes QC has practised commercial and construction law at the Bar, since leaving the Royal Navy in 1984.
His practice focuses on complex commercial contract work. His main areas of expertise lie within the commercial and the construction and engineering fields, but span a broad area including shipbuilding, rail, energy, project finance, insurance, shipping, international trade, environmental law, information technology and professional negligence.
Whilst his domestic practice focuses on the Technology and Construction Court and the Commercial Court, much of his work involves international arbitration and dispute resolution and associated court proceedings. He regularly conducts commercial and construction arbitration work as counsel and arbitrator in many different jurisdictions subject to all the main international institutional rules.
He has a strong practice relating to China and East Asia. His recent cases have included a number of prominent international arbitration and court cases in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, before foreign arbitration institutions and for Chinese and Asian parties in the courts in the UK. He occupies a leading position at the English Bar in relation to his China work. Originally stemming from his running of the Lord Chancellor’s Training Scheme for Chinese Lawyers in London, he regularly conducts advisory and advocacy work for Chinese law firms and clients.
Recent international arbitration cases have involved a number of major cases arising from power and infrastructure projects in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as high value arbitrations for Asian clients in Hong Kong, Singapore and London. He also acts as expert witness on English Law issues and was the first barrister to act in this capacity in Chinese commercial court proceedings in a landmark case in the Shanghai High Court.
His early practice included extensive Supreme Court and Commercial Court proceedings arising from the collapse of the International Tin Council involving issues of public and private international law relating to the enforceability of arbitration awards against an international organisation and its Member States. This experience carries through to public and private international law issues arising in his current work.
He regularly sits as Arbitrator, Mediator and Adjudicator in international and domestic disputes. He also acts as chairman and member of Dispute Boards for international construction projects.
He sits as a Recorder and as an Examiner of the Court. He is a recent past Chairman of the UK Society of Construction Law (SCL), the country’s leading multi-disciplinary construction law association. He chairs the Bar Council’s China committee and is Chairman of the newly formed British Azerbaijani Law Association (BALA).
“Adrian Hughes QC has a brilliant analytical mind but is also very commercial, great with clients and a pleasure to work with.” Chambers UK
Adrian Hughes’ commercial practice includes international arbitration and litigation in the Commercial Court in London and before foreign courts, often involving jurisdiction and conflicts issues.
“Exudes gravitas,” and “is always very much on top of the detail in a case” “His advice is very thorough and he is very approachable” “A strong presence in construction law.” Chambers UK
Adrian Hughes’ construction and engineering practice is closely allied to his commercial work. His international practice largely involves international arbitration of major infrastructure and energy projects and further examples of his caseload are listed under the practice area relating to International Arbitration. His domestic work involves large scale disputes in the Technology and Construction Court and associated appeal proceedings, often arising from PFI, PPP or NEC partnering contracts and covering a wide range of sectors including highways, rail, hospitals, education and utilities. He is also very experienced in the conduct and enforcement of adjudications.
Adrian Hughes has substantial experience in IT disputes. His work includes disputes arising from hardware and software contracts and licensing agreements. He regularly acts for employers, suppliers and designers in providing advice during the course of projects and in representing clients in court and arbitration proceedings.
“Recognised for his vibrant practice tackling international arbitrations in Singapore and the Far East”; Chambers UK
“Particularly strong in China”; has “a great knowledge of the Chinese legal culture and understanding of the legal system”, and has “great relations with PRC law firms”. Chambers Asia-Pacific
Adrian Hughes has a long established international arbitration practice in and connected with Asia and the Far East. In particular this involves acting for clients from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Korea.
He occupies a unique position at the English Bar in relation to his China work. Originally stemming from his running of the Lord Chancellor’s Training Scheme for Chinese Lawyers in London, he has developed a relationship with many of the main law firms in China and regularly conducts advisory and advocacy work upon direct instruction from Chinese law firms. He chairs the Bar Council’s China committee.
He also acts as expert witness on English Law issues and was the first barrister to appear in this capacity in Chinese commercial court proceedings in the landmark case of Hua An v Lehman in the Shanghai High Court.
Recent Asia related international arbitration cases have involved a number of major cases instructed by Chinese and Korean contractors arising from their work on power and infrastructure projects in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as high value arbitrations for Asian clients in Hong Kong, Singapore and London:
Cases have included:
Adrian Hughes has many years of experience in resolving international disputes, ranging from sitting as judge or arbitrator to chairing dispute boards and acting as mediator or in other forms of ADR.
He regularly sits as arbitrator in both international and domestic cases either ad hoc or appointed by institutions. He has a specialist knowledge of arbitration and dispute resolution in China and sits on the panels of CIETAC, SHIAC and CCPIT (Mediation Panel).
Recent examples of international arbitral appointments include:
He has conducted many domestic arbitrations as sole arbitrator particularly arising from construction disputes and Lloyds’ insurance disputes.
He also chairs and acts as a member of Dispute Boards for international construction and infrastructure projects. He recently chaired a Dispute Adjudication Board for a North Sea Gas FPSO project which included the resolution of a number of disputes under a FIDIC based rapid adjudication process.
He qualified as a mediator with CEDR in 1999. Since then he has been involved in many mediations as counsel and as mediator, mainly in the fields of construction and commercial law, both domestic and international.
He is a member of RESOLEX and in particular of its Construction Contracts Mediators panel.
Significant recent cases as Mediator have included:
He is a TECBAR qualified adjudicator in which capacity he has the benefit of his longstanding experience as counsel in many TCC adjudication related court cases and adjudications.
Adrian Hughes maintains a wide-ranging and substantial professional liability practice. He acts for and against accountants, auditors, valuers, architects, engineers and surveyors and IT professionals.
A strong part of Adrian Hughes’ construction and commercial practice relates to the energy sector. This work ranges from his international arbitration cases relating to power and process plants and mining contracts to a domestic caseload relating in particular to the commercial and engineering aspects of projects for renewable energy. He leads an international initiative between the UK and Azerbaijan aimed at the development of energy arbitration work, chairing the newly formed bilateral association BALA (British Azerbaijani Law Association).
Adrian Hughes is consistently recommended in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, in particular for the practice areas of International Arbitration and Construction. Recent entries include the following:
“A leader who is experienced and capable in the construction field.” “He’s got a perfect manner for arbitration.” Chambers UK 2017
“He delivers highly innovative and persuasive submissions” Legal 500 2016
“He is very hard-working, commercial and clear in his thinking.” Chambers UK 2016
“A first-class barrister.” Legal 500 2015
“An extremely responsive and experienced lawyer who is dedicated to his work.” Legal 500 2015
“A Premier League silk” Legal 500 2015
“Extremely well liked by clients.” Legal 500 2015
“Adrian Hughes QC has a brilliant analytical mind but is also very commercial, great with clients and a pleasure to work with.” Chambers UK 2012
“Solicitors appreciate his “commercial and professional” way of operating, and the impressive way he handles international arbitrations.” “He has a calm and considered approach to matters and is extremely good at dealing with clients.” Chambers UK 2013
“Recognised for his vibrant practice tackling international arbitrations in Singapore and the Far East”; Chambers UK 2014
“A strong presence in construction law.” Chambers UK 2014
“Exudes gravitas,” and “is always very much on top of the detail in a case.” “His advice is very thorough and he is very approachable.” Chambers UK 2015
“He has the ability to inspire confidence in his clients. His advice is delivered in a straightforward manner, and he realises the commercial requirements of the client.” Chambers UK 2015
He also appears prominently in Chambers Global and Chambers Asia Pacific. “He brings decades of commercial and construction law experience to act on high-profile arbitrations in China, Singapore and South-East Asia generally. He has substantial experience in investor-state disputes. Sources consider him an advocate who exudes gravitas in arbitral proceedings.” Chambers Global 2014
In connection with his Far East international arbitration work, he is further described as being “particularly strong in China”, having a “great knowledge of the Chinese legal culture and understanding of the legal system” and having “great relations with PRC law firms”. Chambers Asia-Pacific