Melissa accepts instructions across all areas of Chambers’ work and specialises in construction law, commercial law and planning.
Melissa has a particular interest in international arbitration, and has recently spent six months working in Singapore on a multi-million dollar SIAC construction arbitration. Issues included: delay; extensions of time and liquidated damages; alleged defective workmanship; and suspension and termination.
Melissa has had exposure to construction disputes arising out of the major UK and international standard forms of contract, with particular experience of the FIDIC form of contract.
Other examples of Melissa’s most notable recent work include:
- Currently acting, with Anneliese Day QC and Isabel Hitching, for Highways England in a c£100 million dispute involving the proper interpretation of the payment mechanisms of a PFI contract.
- Currently acting, with Karim Ghaly QC and Samar Abbas, for a state-owned petroleum company in an ICC arbitration with an EPC Contractor in the Caribbean.
- Advising, with Clifford Chance Asia, on a complex jurisdictional dispute arising out of the construction of a power plant in Nigeria. The dispute involved parties in multiple jurisdictions, including Asia and the MENA region.
- Acting for a defendant contractor in a claim for defective workmanship.
- Advising and acting in matters arising out the Party Wall Act 1996.
Melissa accepts instructions in all types of commercial cases. She is developing a broad practice, with a particular emphasis on banking and financial services.
Examples of Melissa’s recent work include:
- Acting, with Andrew Tabachnik, in a £23 million action under the Financial Services and Markets Act, arising from regulatory charges brought by the Financial Conduct Authority. She represented the Managing Director of the main operating subsidiary
- Being instructed as part of a team acting as a s166 skilled person, appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority, reviewing consequential loss claims following the mis-sale of Interest Rate Hedging Products by a major high street bank.
- Acting, as sole counsel, for the Financial Ombudsman Service to successfully strike out a claim brought against it for damages.
- Successfully representing the Claimant in a partnership dispute.
Environment, Planning & Property
Melissa has a keen interest in planning law. Whilst on a four-month secondment to a local authority, she advised on a variety of planning and public law matters. At Chambers, her other recent experience includes:
- Advising a local planning authority ahead of a five-day planning inquiry.
- Advising on a range of planning issues, including: service of enforcement notices; certificates of lawfulness; developments within COMAH zones; the planning impact of s14 Education Act 1996; and the merits of potential judicial reviews of planning decisions.
- Acting in a range of enforcement matters, including enforcement inquiries and criminal proceedings.
- Assisting in two planning inquiries for large-scale residential housing schemes, including by advising on the legality of Grampian conditions that will be discharged through financial contributions.
Regulatory & Disciplinary
Examples of Melissa’s regulatory work include:
- A secondment to Kingsley Napley solicitors, where her responsibilities included interviewing witnesses and writing witness statements for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) cases.
- Along with Alison Foster QC, Vikram Sachdeva QC, Benjamin Tankel and Adam Boukraa, Melissa drafted ‘The Jurisdiction of Regulators’ chapter in the new edition of Harris on Regulatory and Disciplinary Proceedings.
- Advising on predetermination and judicial review claims against ombudsmen.
Melissa has successfully represented claimants and defendants in a wide range of county court hearings, including: fast track trials; small claims hearings; Stage 3 hearings; and costs and case management hearings. Melissa regularly appears in court as sole counsel.
Melissa has a particular interest in clinical negligence. She drafts clinical negligence pleadings, particularly for NHS Trusts, and has appeared for NHS Trusts in case management hearings in county courts and in the High Court.
Melissa undertakes a wide range of pleading and advisory work, including drafting statements of case, schedules of loss, counter schedules and Part 35 questions.
Melissa assisted Charles Cory-Wright QC with the 2015 update of Kemp & Kemp.