Melissa Shipley

Year of call:
2011
Email:
melissa.shipley@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

Melissa specialises in construction law, commercial law and international arbitration.

She has extensive international experience, including in South East Asia (having worked on secondment in the Arbitration and Dispute Resolution team of a leading international law firm in Singapore). Her practice is focused on commercial and construction disputes in a variety of forums, including international arbitration, UK litigation and adjudication. Her recent cases have ranged from disputes regarding residential building projects, to large-scale PFI and energy and infrastructure projects.

Melissa has experience of the major standard form construction contracts, with particular experience in JCT and FIDIC contracts, including advising clients during the dispute board process.

Construction


Examples of Melissa’s most notable recent work include:

  • Acting for the contractor in a multi-million dollar SIAC arbitration arising out of the rehabilitation, design and construction of a road of national significance in Asia (FIDIC Pink Book).  Issues include delay and extensions of time, early completion, and the enforcement of dispute board decisions.
  • Acting as junior counsel for Highways England in the TCC in Connect Plus (M25) Ltd v Highways England Co Ltd [2018] EWHC 140 (TCC). This involved the proper interpretation of a £6.2 billion, 30-year PFI contract for the M25 motorway.
  • Acting as junior counsel for a state-owned petroleum company in a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration with an EPC contractor in the Caribbean. Issues included defects and delay.
  • Acting for the employer in a multi-million dollar SIAC construction arbitration involving the construction of commercial premises.
  • Acting and advising as sole counsel in adjudications for contractors and employers, including adjudication enforcement hearings in the TCC. Melissa recently represented the claimant as sole counsel in its successful application for summary judgment for over £2 million in Breyer Group PLC v Adam Michael Scaffolding Services [2018] EWHC 3959(TCC). Other recent reported enforcement cases include 4MA Ltd (t/a 4M Group) v Nash [2019] 4 WLUK 210 and BM Services Inc Ltd v Greyline Builders Ltd [2018] EWHC 3884 (TCC).
  • Advising contractors and employers in international energy disputes. Recently, Melissa has advised on disputes arising out of the construction of solar power plants in the Middle East and South America.
  • Advising contractors and employers in international infrastructure disputes. Recently, Melissa has advised on disputes, including delay claims, arising from a significant infrastructure project in Asia (FIDIC Red Book 1999).
  • Advising on a complex jurisdictional dispute arising out of the construction of a power plant. The dispute involved parties in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Advising contractors and employers in a wide variety of construction disputes, including: claims for defects; delay and extension of time claims; claims relating to the validity of payment and pay less notices under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996; joint venture disputes; and matters arising out the Party Wall Act.

Melissa is also a regular contributor to the Practical Law Construction and Dispute Resolution Blogs.

International Arbitration


International arbitration constitutes a significant proportion of Melissa’s practice.  Her focus is on international arbitrations arising out of construction and infrastructure disputes. She has particular experience of arbitrations under ICC, SIAC and UNCITRAL rules.

Examples of notable recent work include:

  • Acting as junior counsel for a state-owned petroleum company in a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration with an EPC contractor in the Caribbean. Issues included defects and delay.
  • Acting for the contractor in a multi-million dollar SIAC arbitration arising out of the rehabilitation, design and construction of a road of national significance in Asia (FIDIC Pink Book).  Issues include delay and extensions of time, early completion, and the enforcement of dispute board decisions.
  • Acting for the employer in a multi-million dollar SIAC construction arbitration. Issues included: delay; extensions of time and liquidated damages; alleged defective workmanship; and suspension and termination.

Commercial


Melissa has a broad commercial practice. Examples of Melissa’s recent work include:

  • Acting, as junior counsel, in a £23 million action under the Financial Services and Markets Act, arising from regulatory charges brought by the Financial Conduct Authority. Melissa 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.

Planning, Environment & Property


Whilst on a secondment to a local authority, Melissa 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.
  • Assisting in two planning inquiries for large-scale residential housing schemes.

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

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