Rachael O'Hagan

Year of call:
2006
Email:
rachael.ohagan@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“Gifted junior increasingly instructed in valuable litigation and arbitration for a diverse client base…”
Chambers & Partners 2017

“Extremely bright, very user-friendly, with an extraordinary work rate”
Legal 500 2016

Rachael O’Hagan is described as a barrister who: “is a quality junior”; “understands the issues straight away”; and “is sensitive to the clients’ needs”.

She acts in complex high value construction and commercial cases and is experienced in different forms of commercial dispute resolution. Rachael acts as a junior and in her own right and she prides herself on being approachable, commercial and client-focused.

Recommendations

Rachael is ranked as a leading junior in the area of Construction Law by Legal 500, Chambers and Partners UK, Chambers Global and Who’s Who Legal Directory.

Quote

  • “Gifted junior increasingly instructed in valuable litigation and arbitration for a diverse client base….Her body of work includes significant matters in energy, infrastructure and residential development.” Chambers & Partners 2017
  • “She’s unflappable; she deals incredibly well with pressure and demonstrates fantastic management skills.” She’s extremely hardworking and takes a common sense approach.” Chambers & Partners 2017
  • “Extremely bright, very user-friendly, with an extraordinary work rate.” Legal 500 2016
  • “Quality with a growing reputation amongst a body of clients that stretches from private individuals to major companies and government bodies. She has experience across a range of industry sectors, with notable experience in the nuclear energy sector.” Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “She is able to sift through issues with ease and is excellent on paper.” Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “Clients appreciate her thoroughness.” Legal 500 2015
  • “Displays great attention to detail, is very hard-working and is also accessible and user-friendly.” Chambers & Partners UK 2015
  • “A popular choice for governments, employers and individuals, who has specific expertise in matters relating to nuclear and energy projects” Chambers and Partners UK 2015
  • “Effective and considerate in her manner; she understands the issues straight away and is sensitive to the clients’ needs.” Chambers & Partners UK 2014
  • “A very hard-working junior, she is very thorough, good on paper and good at handling clients, and provides succinct written advice.” Chambers & Partners UK 2014

Construction and Engineering


Chambers and Partners UK 2016 describes Rachael as “She is able to sift through issues with ease and is excellent on paper.”

Rachael is instructed on construction, engineering and infrastructure disputes and her practice extends to acting in high-value, complex claims and also in small domestic disputes. She is experienced at dealing with the disputes which arise in these fields, including claims concerning: delay and disruption; termination; contractual interpretation; final account disputes; professional negligence issues; and, party wall matters. She has a good working knowledge of the standard form contracts used in the construction industry, including the JCT, NEC3 and Maximum Price Target Cost (MPTC) contracts.

Rachael writes construction-related articles and seminars and is happy to deliver seminars on construction related issues.

Examples of recent work include being instructed on:

  • UAE, DIFC LCIA arbitration – representing a supplier as sole counsel in a 5-day hearing concerning disputes about electrical equipment supplied for a cooling plant.
  • UAE, DIAC arbitration – representing a main contractor as sole counsel in a 5-day arbitration hearing concerning mechanical and electrical works to a car park.
  • Member of dispute avoidance board (DAB) for major infrastructure projects.
  • Multi-million pound professional negligence claim concerning a derailment and liability for the design of railway infrastructure.
  • Termination dispute on a multi-million pound project (as a junior to Sean Wilken Q.C).
  • Arbitration proceedings relating to a multi-million pound construction dispute concerning payment issues and delay and disruption claims.
  • Domestic arbitration (5 week hearing) concerning a final account dispute and issues arising following termination of a sub-contract.
  • Dispute concerning the payment of a bond under a JCT contract.
  • Complex design and payment issues arising on a construction project.
  • Court of Appeal proceedings on important issues concerning the scope of a sub-sub-contractor’s duty of care and liability for economic loss in tort: Southern v How Engineering (2010).
  • Rights to light dispute in the TCC/advised developers in relation to various rights to light issues.
  • Proceedings concerning a defective power boat.

Procurement/PFI/Facilities Management Contracts

Rachael has worked on public procurement and PFI related matters and is familiar with the various Public Procurement Regulations. She has contributed to a Society of Construction Law (SCL) paper on transparency and procurement, which was delivered in Hong Kong.

Examples of recent work include being instructed on:

  • A claim concerning a major facilities management contract under NEC3.

Adjudication, Arbitration and Mediation


Rachael acts for parties in construction adjudications conducted under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (HGCRA) and the Scheme. She was instructed in the matter of Lanes Group v Galliford Try Infrastructure, which was the subject of considerable debate within the construction industry.

She acts for parties in arbitral proceedings (domestic and international) and mediations. Rachael has also represented parties in mediations and arbitrations heard by TCC judges under the Court Settlement Process.

She has assisted with the preparation and drafting of arbitration papers concerning, for example: comparative studies of various arbitral bodies (including ICC, FIDIC, LCIA, AAA, DIAC, CIETAC); an analysis of the differences between the ICC Rules and the ICSID Rules; the use of evidence in international arbitration; and an arbitrator’s power to award currency and interest where the award is made in Hong Kong.

Examples of recent work include being instructed on:

  • An adjudication – acting as junior counsel for a major employer organisation which successfully defeated (in its entirety) a claim brought by a contractor for some £40m. Also, instructed in respect of a directions/jurisdiction hearing where Rachael was the sole advocate and her opponent was leading silk in the field.
  • City Basements Ltd v Nordic Construction UK Ltd (Unreported, 14 April 2014), where Rachael successfully enforced an adjudicator’s decision in the TCC. The case also considered relief from sanctions in the context of an adjudication enforcement timetable.
  • Member of dispute avoidance board (DAB) in respect of major contracts.
  • AMEC Group Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence (2013) (as a junior), where Rachael acted for the SSD and successfully resisted AMEC’s application pursuant to section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 for permission to appeal against the majority decision of an arbitral dispute review board.
  • Proceedings in the TCC (Secretary of State for Defence v Turner Estate Solutions Ltd [2014]) brought under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 where the claimant challenged an arbitral award on the basis of serious irregularity.
  • Statutory adjudication proceedings, where Rachael acted for the defendant and successfully defended a contractor’s claim for a multi-million pound payment.
  • Lanes Group v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd (2011), where Rachael was instructed as a junior in the Court of Appeal proceedings.
  • Multi-million pound delay and disruption dispute which was referred to adjudication.
  • Various disputes referred to adjudication under the NEC3.
  • Advising on whether there was a contract in writing for the purposes of the HGCRA.

International and Commercial Law


Rachael is ranked in Chambers and Partners Global 2016 and she has a range of commercial law experience and is familiar with the issues which arise in commercial disputes, including (for example): bonds and guarantees, global claims, indemnities and monies mistakenly paid under commercial agreements. She has also worked on a number of international disputes.

Examples of recent work include being instructed on:

  • UAE, DIFC LCIA arbitration (value, about £3.5m) – instructed as sole counsel in respect of 5-day Evidentiary Hearing.
  • UAE, DIAC arbitration (value, about £5m) – instructed as sole counsel in respect of a 5-day Evidentiary Hearing.
  • Advising on a contract concerning LNG (gas) works in South America.
  • Claim for a major international telecommunications organisation relating to a dispute concerning a sub-sea fibre optic cable in Indonesia. Case concerned complex jurisdiction issues. Rachael also represented the claimant on a without notice application in the TCC concerning an application relating to CPR, Part 11.
  • Claim for monies due under a bond.
  • Substantial commercial dispute which turned on the proper construction of a contractual payment mechanism.
  • ICC arbitration concerning a brokerage contract where the applicable law of the contract was Swiss Law. In particular, instructed to consider Swiss Law in French.
  • The impact of the Bribery Act 2010 on international commercial transactions.
  • Worked on a commercial case concerning the proper interpretation of the HK Companies Ordinance.

Property


Rachael advises and acts in matters concerning property damage, nuisance claims, interpretation of leases and contractual claims.

Energy


Nuclear, Energy, Oil & Gas

Chambers and Partners 2016 describes Rachael has having “…experience across a range of industry sectors, with notable experience in the nuclear energy sector.”

Rachael is experienced in working on nuclear and energy related projects. Such disputes typically give rise to complex disputes concerning: design, safety case approvals, insurance and environmental issues.

Examples of recent work include being instructed on:

  • Representing a party in respect of disputes which have arisen in respect of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal.
  • Construction project at a nuclear site.
  • Project with complex nuclear related design issues.
  • Proceedings concerning the construction of a power plant.
  • Claim concerning the proper interpretation of an oil and gas contract.

Related Cases


Arbitration – ADR, Commercial, Construction
Secretary of State for Defence v Turner Estate Solutions Ltd [2014] EWHC 244 (TCC)

AMEC Group Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence [2013] EWHC 110 (TCC); [2013] All ER (D) 93 (Feb)

Construction & Engineering

City Basements Ltd v Nordic Construction UK Ltd 27 June 2014 (summary reported on Westlaw)  (unreported, 14 April 2014, TCC).

Lanes Group Plc v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd (t/a Galliford Try Rail) [2011] EWCA Civ 1617; (2012)  CILL 3116; [2012] Bus LR 1184, 141 ConLR 46, [2012] BLR 121, [2012] 13 Estates Gazette 92, [2011] All ER (D)  179 (Dec)

Lanes Group Plc v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd [2011] EWHC 1696 (TCC) 137 Con LR 1 also Court of  Appeal [2011] EWCA Civ 1617

Southern Insulation (Medway) Ltd v How Engineering Services Ltd & How Group Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ  999; [2010] ALL ER 99 (Aug)

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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