Stuart Catchpole QC *

Year of call:
1987
Silk:
2002
Email:
stuart.catchpole@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“A brilliant advocate and cross-examiner with an amazing command of the law.”
Legal 500 2016

Stuart Catchpole QC has appeared as an advocate in a wide range of domestic and international tribunals, including the House of Lords / Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and different divisions of the High Court in the United Kingdom together with domestic and international arbitrations (institutional and ad hoc), both as Counsel and as Arbitrator. Stuart is an overseas member of Chambers who provides services internationally from Jersey.

The majority of his practice involves and has always involved substantial and complex litigation, arbitrations or mediations. In the last six years approximately 90% of his practice has arisen out of large construction & engineering, commercial, insurance and professional negligence disputes. Most of this work tends to arise out of disputes in the construction, engineering, mining and energy (particularly power generation, oil and gas) and infrastructure sectors, with a significant proportion being international arbitrations, together with insurance-related disputes. He has extensive experience of all of the major UK domestic and international standard forms of contract.

The balance of Stuart’s practice as a barrister has been principally concerned with a wide range of public law and public procurement cases, largely for central or local government both in the UK and abroad although he also undertakes work for private clients. The range includes acting in connection with principally commercial or regulatory disputes which tie in with his construction and commercial law experience (such as large public procurement problems, acting in judicial review proceedings in relation to the proposed conversion of a power station to run on “dirty fuel”, regulatory authorities in relation to environmental and health & safety issues and acting for statutory undertakers) to acting on behalf of the UK Government in relation to the detention and extradition of persons suspected of being international terrorists.

Stuart has also been involved in various public inquiries including as junior counsel for Sheffield Wednesday FC at the Hillsborough Inquiry (subsequently appearing as counsel for the Club in the lengthy inquests into the deaths at the Hillsborough Stadium), as counsel for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the BSE Inquiry (February 1998 – December 2000), as advisor to one of the Inquiries into the Foot and Mouth crisis and as advisor to members of the Prison Service in connection with an investigation into deaths in custody.

In addition to acting as legal advisor to and advocate for parties before all forms of dispute resolution panels, Stuart also sits as a part-time Judge in the UK, and acts as a mediator and arbitrator. In the UK, Stuart sits as Deputy High Court Judge (Administrative Court and Queen’s Bench Division), a Crown Court Recorder (in criminal cases) and is a part-time member of the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission which hears appeals against the designation in the UK of organisations as terrorist organisations. As set out below, he has acted as an arbitrator in a range of international and domestic arbitrations covering different sectors under a variety of institutional rules (principally ICC, LCIA and DIAC) as well as in ad hoc arbitrations as sole arbitrator, as President / Chairman of a panel of three and as a party-appointed arbitrator. He has also acted as a mediator and adjudicator in domestic UK disputes.

* Stuart is an overseas member of Chambers who provides services internationally from Jersey.

Public


As noted in the body of the CV, most of the work in this field has historically involved advising or acting on behalf of Government Departments although Stuart also undertakes work for local authorities and applicants.  Full details can be provided on request.   Examples of cases since taking silk include:

  • As noted above, advising a non-UK public authority in relation to claims made against it arising out of a very substantial public procurement project outside the UK.
  • Representing the Secretary of State in various appeals before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission
  • Advising the HSE and the Environment Agency in relation to potential challenges to the exercise of their regulatory powers/duties in connection with the importation of ships from third countries for breaking up in the UK
  • Acting on behalf of the Secretary of State in one of the first cases where Art 1F(c) of the Geneva Convention applied to a person alleged to have been involved in terrorist activities
  • Advising in 5 separate cases in which the extradition of individuals for alleged involvement in terrorist-related offences has been sought by foreign states
  • Advising various prison officers in relation to an investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality into the allegedly racist killing of an inmate at a Young Offender’s Institution
  • Advising a local authority in relation to a complicated public procurement problem
  • Advising the Secretary of State in relation to an appeal to the House of Lords in a case of allegedly wrongful detention (appeal withdrawn before hearing)

ADR


Arbitration, Adjudications and Mediations

“The star of the show on construction and engineering matters” Legal 500

As indicated above, Stuart has extensive arbitration experience involving both domestic and international arbitrations and a variety of arbitral rules including ICC, UNCITRAL and LCIA arbitrations.  In the last two years these have included acting or advising in claims and arbitrations governed by the laws of Dubai, Cyprus, England & Wales, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Jordan and Nigeria.  Stuart is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the ICC and the LCIA.  He is registered at the DIFC.  Most of Stuart’s domestic cases and a proportion of the international cases have involved mediations, early neutral evaluations, dispute boards or some other form of ADR.  Stuart is a CEDR qualified mediator and a TecBar qualified adjudicator.  He has advised and acted on behalf of clients in relation to nearly all forms of dispute resolution procedures. He acts as an arbitrator and mediator and has recently been acting as Arbitrator in a number of international arbitrations.  He also has extensive experience of mediations and domestic (UK) adjudications.  As set out above, he also has considerable judicial experience in the UK.

Commercial


Excellent cross-examiner” Chambers & Partners

  • Acting on behalf of a contractor in a dispute relating to the generation of electricity from landfill gas
  • Advising in connection with the restructuring of a large PFI project
  • Advising insurers in relation to coverage disputes with various insureds for defective works
  • Advising insurers in relation to complaints that had been referred to the Financial Services Ombudsman
  • Advising a large developer in relation to the CITB levy
  • Advising a joint venture partner in relation to disputes arising from a substantial proposed development in the UK
  • Acting on behalf of a water utility company who were sued for breach of statutory duty, nuisance and negligence following the raising of a substantial dam following the substantial economic losses allegedly inflicted on a business depended on the water supply from the river downstream of that dam
  • Acting on behalf of Underwriters in claims arising out of the collapse of a nationwide scheme for ‘after the event’ legal expenses insurance
  • Acting on behalf of the owners of commercial property affected by the explosions at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot in December 2005
  • Acting on behalf of the purchaser of two oil tankers in relation to claims arising out of the purchase and conversion of the tankers into FPSOs
  • Advising the Employer in relation to claims arising out of a very substantial public procurement project outside the UK
  • Acting on behalf of a franchisee in relation to a claim for breach of an exclusive distributorship and servicing agreement relating to the supply of commercial vehicles
  • Acting for a design and build contractor of offshore structures in relation to the successful defence a subrogated claim by an Operator/Employer arising out of allegedly defective subsea equipment on the basis that the contractor was entitled to the benefit of the CAR policy effected by the Operator/Employer
  • Acting on behalf of the insurers who have avoided a professional indemnity policy in relation to a claim brought under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930
  • Advising the Provisional Liquidators of the Independent Insurance Company in relation to various claims under policies by an insured train operator for losses following the Hatfield rail disaster and the scheme of safety works that were subsequently implemented
  • Acting on behalf of a manufacturer and supplier of software used for a widespread commercial application in a substantial claim brought by way of arbitration relation to alleged defects in the design of the software
  • Acting in a substantial commercial dispute in relation to the allegedly improper termination of an exclusive distributorship
  • Acting on behalf of a non-UK company in relation to a dispute arising out of the acquisition of a substantial number of infrastructure companies from the UK parent of those companies
  • Acting on behalf of a large firm of accountants in a claim for fees for their services
  • Acting for a substantial distributor of food products in relation to a dispute arising under their distribution agreement with a national retailer
  • Advising on issues of confidentiality in relation to the personal papers of an aide to a deposed former Head of State
  • Advising insurers in relation to policy wording/coverage disputes (often, but not universally, connected with one of the disputes outlined above)
  • Advising insurers on the effect of insurance clauses in standard building contracts on subrogated claims

Insurance


Professional Liability

“An excellent advocate” Chambers & Partners

  •  Acting for the designer of a Onshore Processing Facility in connection with a substantial claim for allegedly negligent design
  • Acting for a specialist design and build contractor in relation to the allegedly negligent design of a Car Park
  • Acting for a Fire Authority in relation to a claim for alleged negligence in fighting a fire at factory premises
  • Acting on behalf of a specialist cladding contractor in relation to alleged negligence in the design and installation of three cladding, curtain walling and glazing systems
  • Acting on behalf of a developer in a substantial claim against a firm of quantity surveyors for alleged negligence in advising as to the projected cost of a substantial refurbishment and redevelopment project
  • Acting in relation to a claim against the designer of anchors for a mooring system used in connection with an installation in the North Sea
  • Acting on behalf of a firm of engineers in relation to claims arising out of the design and construction of a leisure centre
  • As noted above acting on behalf of a firm of Consulting Engineers in relation to alleged negligence in the design of railway tunnel
  • Acting on behalf of a non-UK law firm in relation to a substantial claim brought against it for negligence in connection with the acquisition of various trading companies and the benefits of various Joint Venture agreements
  • Acting on behalf of Consulting Engineers in relation to a substantial claim for alleged negligence in designing and supervising the construction of a bridge and associated construction work
  • As noted above, acting in two different claims against software companies where one of the main claims raised was an allegation of professional negligence in the development of the software products in question
  • As noted above, acting on behalf of a main contractor in relation to a substantial claim for, inter alia, the negligent design of piles on an industrial site by the piling sub-contractor and a Consulting Engineer
  • As noted above, acting on behalf of a design and build contractor in a three-handed domestic arbitration relating to the design and construction of a sewage treatment plant including in a claim against the Consulting Engineers for negligent design of the plant
  • Acting on behalf of two international law firms in relation to claims made outside the UK arising out of the allegedly negligent drafting of power generation contracts for projects in the Far East

Infrastructure


“A construction heavyweight.” Chambers & Partners; “A fantastically energising presence; as good as it gets for infrastructure disputes” Legal 500 2015

  • Acting for an Asian contractor in relation to a large infrastructure project in Africa
  • Acting for the designer of an Onshore Processing Facility in a substantial claim for allegedly negligent design
  • Acting for the Employer in relation to substantial disputes arising out of the construction of an airport
  • Acting in a substantial arbitration in Hong Kong arising out of an infrastructure contract
  • Acting for a contractor in relation to substantial claims against an Employer arising out of an infrastructure repair and maintenance contract
  • Acting for a large engineering consultancy in relation to claims of allegedly negligent design in relation to railway infrastructure
  • Acting for a main contractor in a dispute relating to the maintenance and repair of railway infrastructure
  • Acting on behalf of a contractor in relation to a substantial road-widening scheme
  • Acting for the contractor and insurers in relation to a claim arising out of the defects in a design of a car park at a large retail shopping complex
  • Acting for a contractor in relation to substantial claims following the termination of a number of substantial construction and infrastructure projects
  • Acting for a contractor in a substantial claim against it for the allegedly negligent design of cladding and curtain wall systems
  • Advising and acting for a contractor in relation to various disputes arising out of a large PPP infrastructure project in the UK
  • Advising in relation to various claims and disputes arising out of the dredging and construction of new port facilities
  • Acting for a contractor in an international arbitration about the design and supply of gas compressors at various oil gathering centres
  • Acting for a contractor in an international arbitration concerning the design and installation of a gas turbine power generation plant
  • Acting in an ICC arbitration concerning claims arising out of the design, construction and procurement of offshore facilities
  • Acting for a contractor in a claim arising out of the refitting of a nylon plant
  • Acting for an Employer in an arbitration concerning claims arising out of the design and construction of railway infrastructure and tunnels
  • Acting in an arbitration in Dubai in relation to a substantial civil engineering claim arising out of an infrastructure project
  • Acting in three different arbitrations for the owners and operators of various open cast mines in respect of substantial claims made by the Contractors that had worked the mines in question
  • Acting on behalf of a main contractor in relation to a substantial claim for the negligent design and/or construction of piles on an industrial site by the piling sub-contractor and a Consulting Engineer
  • Acting on behalf of a firm of Consulting Engineers in relation to alleged negligence in the design of railway tunnel
  • Acting on behalf of a design and build contractor in a three-handed domestic arbitration relating to the design and construction of a sewage treatment plant
  • Acting on behalf of a joint venture in relation to potential claims against their consultants arising out of the alleged negligent design of various parts of a design and build contract for the construction of a road together with related infrastructure

Energy


“A scarily bright man. He gets on board with matters quickly, understands the issues and has a very good tactical understanding of how to run a case.” Chambers & Partners

“His mastery of the most minute detail makes him a superb cross-examiner of experts.” Legal 500 2015

  • Acting in relation to two separate arbitrations arising out of the construction of an major oil pipe line
  • Acting for a contractor in relation to a dispute with the Employer consortium in relation to the design and construction of a gas pipeline and facilities in West Africa.
  • Acting on behalf of a State-owned operating company in relation to a substantial dispute relating to the design and build of an oil pipeline [Confidential]
  • Acting for an Employer in relation to potential claims by and against it relating to the design, procurement and construction of an offshore production platform
  • Acting on behalf of a design and build Contractor in respect of various claims in relation to the design and construction of an FPSO for use in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea
  • Acting on behalf of a Contractor in respect of claims for extensions of time, variations and loss and expense in relation to the construction of an FPSO for use in the North Sea

Recommendations


Stuart is recommended as a leading silk in International Arbitration, Construction, Professional Negligence, Commercial Litigation, Energy and Natural Resources and Insurance and Re-Insurance by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.  He has also been consistently recognised as a leading silk in Construction law and Professional Negligence in the ‘Legal Experts’ publications.

He was one of six silks shortlisted for Barrister of the Year at ‘The Lawyer’ Awards 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.  He was awarded the Construction Silk of the Year 2008 at the Chambers & Partners Awards and was one of three silks shortlisted for the same in 2006, 2009 and 2010. Chambers & Partners also named Stuart in the Chambers 100, a list of the top 100 Silks practising at the Bar across all practice areas.

“A brilliant advocate and cross-examiner with an amazing command of the law.” Legal 500 2016

“He’s very lucid, understands the detail and is a very good legal and technical lawyer.” “He gives advice that is very robust.” Chambers & Partners 2016

“An unrivalled ability to work with solicitors and clients as part of a team.” Legal 500 2015

“Heavily in demand for his construction and international arbitration expertise.” Legal 500 2015

“Very impressive; he is not only technically excellent but also very commercial.” Legal 500 2015

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