Simon Hughes has been a Member of Keating Chambers since 1996 and has rapidly acquired an impressive practice acting in a large number of substantial high profile disputes in the United Kingdom and internationally.
Mr Hughes' work has included disputes relating to power stations, utilities, process plants, shipbuilding, mining and other construction and engineering projects. He is particularly active in the area of energy-related work. These disputes have been conducted in litigation (Technology and Construction Court (TCC), Commercial Court and Companies Court), UK arbitration, international arbitration and adjudication. He has extensive hands-on experience of disputes involving nuclear power generation (and reprocessing); he has experience of disputes involving the construction of LNG plants together with contracts for the supply on natural gas; and Simon also has detailed experience of shipbuilding disputes, particularly in relation to vessels to be used in the energy sector.
Simon Hughes has been involved in disputes involving most standard form contracts used for substantial projects including the JCT standard forms, ICE 5th and 6th editions, the NEC, IChemE, FIDIC (Green, Red and Silver Books), and derivative standard form agreements. He also has wide experience of dealing with professional negligence claims (solicitors, architects, consulting engineers) arising out of construction and other commercial projects. Simon also has experience of a wide range of construction-related commercial work, particularly in the area of bonds and guarantees, insurance and re-insurance and commercial property.
Simon Hughes has particular of international construction, engineering, power-plant and shipbuilding work, particularly in the Far East, and where the governing law is not English law. He has worked on major construction projects in Hong Kong; he has undertaken extensive work for one particular shipbuilder with a commercial base in Singapore and a yard in PRC; he was involved in a multi-million pound dispute at a major UK International Airport in relation to the design, re-design and construction of the aircraft ground lighting/landing systems. This involved complex specialist engineering issues plus awareness of the complex regulations imposed by the CAA. Most recently, he spent much of 2009 leading the defence of a claim against Rolls-Royce plc for over $100 million in relation to a cogeneration plant located in the North Island of New Zealand. This case was fought in the Auckland High Court.
“Very impressive and very hard-working”...“known for his international work.”
Chambers and Partners 2013
"Practicality and awareness of the key strategic issues"...“a proactive manner”
“Deserving his elevation to silk”
Chambers and Partners 2012
"Works with you every step of the way"
Legal 500, 2011
"Frighteningly bright"..."keen, responsive and a great lateral thinker"..."he's proactive, and produces brilliant pleadings that can stop a case in its tracks."
"Superb critical judgement and ability to untangle problems"..."he works round the clock for you."
Chambers and Partners 2011
"really is an asset to your case"...“solicitors appreciate him”
“Frequently associated with high-profile litigation and arbitration”...“a favoured choice on cases where foreign law applies”
Chambers and Partners 2010
Legal 500, 2010
"Never less than ready with imaginative and commercially sensible ideas"
Energy and Natural Resources
"Hard-working, has a good command of the law and is a good strategist"
Chambers and Partners 2009
“A high-class and extremely hard-working advocate with a fine legal mind”…“a tough fighter”…”is highly regarded for his knowledge of the nuclear power sector"…"a very good nose for how to present a case - he has the flexibility to work out what the best line is and follow it assiduously"…“a phenomenally hard worker”…“thorough and tenacious”…“has a practice that would be the envy of barristers many years his senior”…“particularly strong on paperwork.”
Chambers and Partners / Legal 500
Construction and Engineering
- Instructed to appear on behalf of a very well-known French multi-national in a DIAC arbitration concerning a dispute involving several hundred million AED arising out of the construction of terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport. There was extensive and complex technical evidence together with substantial issues over time and money. He worked with, and very much as part of, a team from a well-known firm with a significant UAE presence.
- Acting for Multiplex (now Brookfield) in connection with the construction of Wembley Stadium (disputes with the employer and the designers).
- Acting for AMEC in connection with a number of significant civil engineering projects (one of which went to the Court of Appeal).
- Acting for a UK Utilities company in relation to the refurbishment of a wastewater treatment works.
- Acting for the joint venture contractor in connection with disputes concerning the construction of the A13 in East London.
- Acted for Thames Water on their successful claim against London Underground for damages caused by tunnelling works.
- Involvement in a significant number of high value adjudications, on behalf of contractors, employers and professionals, many of which are notable reported cases on adjudication.
- Involved as sole counsel in an ICC arbitration concerned with allegations of fundamental flaws in the design of mass-produced construction plant.
- Involved in a very substantial claim by a joint-venture contractor in connection with the construction of the Jubilee Line, and also involved in a very large dispute arising out of the construction of the new Hong Kong Airport.
- Acting for E.ON in proceedings in the Chancery Division and proceedings in the TCC both arising out of contracts for the reprocessing of spent fuel at Sellafield (THORP).
- ICC arbitration for US clients where the Japanese claimants were alleging failure to design a gas fired power station, so as to ensure that the level of water vapour coming from the cooling-towers was in accordance with the contract and environmental regulations.
- Seconded to work for a major energy authority to prepare and review contract documentation for new UK and international power generation projects.
- Acted for the employer in an International arbitration, under UNCITRAL Rules, relating to the construction of an artificial island created for oil extraction operations.
- Acted for insurers in a Commercial Court case relating to claims by owner/operators of oil rigs in Uzbekistan relating to damage to rigs.
- Acted for US clients in connection with a dispute, in the TCC, over payment for the construction of LNG storage facilities in Nigeria.
- Advised one of the world’s largest electrical engineering and electronics companies on claims (£50 million) against a postal service in relation to the development of a computerised mail sorting system.
- Advised a major utility in relation to defects in a new computer system which was designed to facilitate cross-selling of products amongst existing customers.
- Contributor, Keating on Construction Contracts - Eighth Edition (2006) and Ninth Edition (2012).
- Editor of Chitty on Contracts (29th Edition 2004).
- Part of the Editorial Team of Keating on Building Contracts.
Education and Professional Career
|BA in Modern History and Modern and Mediaeval Languages,
Magdalen College, Oxford (Scholar, Double First Class)
Heath Harrison University Prize for German
Thyssen Prize in Modern and Mediaeval History
Diploma in Law, City University
Called to the Bar (Gray’s Inn)
Judicial Assistant to the Court of Appeal
Member of the Society of Construction Law
Member of Technology and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
Member of Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
Simon enjoys running and cycling.
If you would like to discuss ways in which Keating Chambers can assist you or your organisation, please contact Senior Clerk, Nick Child
, in the first instance, on +44(0)20 7544 2600. The teams of Clerks will be pleased to advise you on the member of Keating Chambers appropriate to your requirements.
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