Hannah McCarthy

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

Hannah specialises in construction and engineering, energy, and professional negligence, as well as general commercial work.   She is regularly instructed by domestic and international clients in TCC proceedings as well as arbitration and adjudication.  She has substantial experience as junior counsel as well as sole counsel of a wide range of construction, engineering and infrastructure disputes, with particular experience of nuclear and energy matters.    She has worked with numerous standard form and bespoke contracts, including FIDIC, NEC3 and JCT forms.   Hannah advises a wide range of clients, including employers, construction professionals, local authorities as well as private individuals.

Hannah speaks fluent French, in addition to German and Italian, which has helped in developing her international practice.  In 2019, she was called to the Bar of Ireland.

Construction & Engineering

Notable cases include working as junior in multi-million pound complex claims as well as contractual disputes (including arbitration and adjudication), professional negligence issues and statutory claims involving contractors and project designers.    She has experience of disputes involving payment issues, defective workmanship as well as delay and disruption claims, and is familiar with standard form contracts used in the construction industry, in particular JCT and NEC contracts.     She has additional experience of nuclear related projects, involving design, safety case issues and environmental issues.   She also has a growing practice in energy matters, in particular oil and gas related disputes.  Hannah has experience of a variety of adjudication proceedings, including enforcement hearings.

Examples of recent work includes:

  • Acting for a main contractor in delay and disruption claim arising in the course of a multi-million pound infrastructure dispute in East Africa;
  • Advisory work for local authorities as well as construction professionals on cladding issues and fire safety management;
  • Acting for a contractor in a claim brought by the developers of a disused power station;
  • Acting for a management firm in a dispute arising from a PFI contract, including such issues as fire compartmentation, fire safety management and unavailability provisions;
  • Advisory work for a local authority in respect of a waste treatment disposal plant;
  • Acting as sole counsel in enforcement of an adjudicator’s award against an off-shore company, requiring a freezing injunction to safeguard sums owed to a construction processional;
  • Acting for a contractor in a multi-million pound gas distribution dispute;
  • Acting for the owner in a dispute in respect of glazed window units on a high rise hotel;
  • Acting for an employer in arbitration proceedings on a multi-million pound construction dispute concerning delay and disruption claims;
  • Advising on complex design and payment issues arising on construction of a residential construction project;
  • Acting for a main contractor in arbitration rising from a multi-facilities construction project at a nuclear site, involving nuclear-related design issues;
  • TCC proceedings regarding negligent construction and project management of a local authority project;
  • Advising on a range of residential construction matters.


Hannah accepts a wide range of commercial instructions.   She is regularly instructed on general contractual disputes, civil fraud and insolvency matters.   She has advised and appeared before the TCC and Commercial Court for injunctions, both domestic and international.  She also has experience of major insurance claims

She was instructed as junior counsel for the Libyan Investment Authority in its litigation against Société Générale (The Libyan Investment Authority v Société Générale SA & ors (2017)).  The LIA sought the rescission of transactions amounting to more than US$ 2 billion which it alleged were procured via a fraudulent and corrupt scheme. The claim was settled very shortly before commencement of a 14-week trial in the Commercial Court with Société Générale apologizing to the LIA.  It was one of the largest and most complex civil fraud claims before the English courts.

Hannah is a pro bono volunteer at the Bar Council’s CLIPS scheme of the Chancery Bar, as well as of the Queen’s Bench Division, advising and representing pro bono clients.


Hannah has a growing practice in international arbitration. She has been instructed on a variety of multi-million pound commercial disputes as well as construction matters.  Recent and ongoing work includes:

  • Acting for an employer in a multi-jurisdictional dispute with complex nuclear design issues;
  • Acting for a contractor in a motorway infrastructure dispute in Eastern Europe;
  • Infrastructure dispute in respect of an electric tramway system.

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

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