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Ben Quiney QC

Call 1998 • QC 2014

"An absolute star of the Insurance World."
(Legal 500 2020)

Construction & Engineering

Ben has wide experience in construction disputes including trial work in the TCC, Arbitrations (domestic and international), and Adjudications. He has dealt with cases for both employers and contractors. Ben regularly works on insurance issues arising from construction projects, including claims under CAR, PI, Property, and Liability policies.

Ben has wide experience of arbitrations and has acted in ICC, DIA, LCIA, LMAA, ARIAS, SIAC, and ad hoc arbitrations.

Ben has particular experience in cases involving construction professionals. The cases that he has been involved in have included allegations against professionals including architects, engineers, valuers, M&E Consultants, quantity surveyors, and emerging professions. Ben has experience of most standard form contracts, including JCT, ICE, NEC, FIDIC, and professional terms (such as ACE, RIBA, RICS). In the latest edition of Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 he is identified as a Leading QC in Construction Professional Negligence and in Construction.

Selected Cases

Recent cases include:

  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust v Lendlease & ors – Ben is acting in the TCC for architects that were part of a large team involved in the construction of a specialist emergency care hospital. The case is a complex multi party claim for over £100m raising numerous legal and technical issues (DAC Beachcroft).
  • Waterside Developments v Thomas Barnes & ors – Ben acted in the TCC for engineers involved in the construction of a large wharf side development in Manchester. The multi-party dispute raises interesting questions as to the inter-relationship of engagements and damages (BLM).
  • Scottish Arbitration – Ben is acting in a claim made against a large engineering company involved in a project to rehabilitate a large part of the main water system in Scotland defending a multi-million pound claim. Allegations of breach of contract arising from the design and issues of defective products arose, requiring the examination of a number of complex scientific, chemical and technical matters, as well as matters of arbitration law and practice; as considered in Arbitration Appeal No 1 of 2021 [2021] CSOH 41. (Beale & Co)
  • Blue Manchester v North West – Ben is acting for the leaseholder in a long running dispute concerning the construction and management of a landmark building in Manchester. It raises complex issues on landlord and tenant claims, engineering of facades, and the scope of allegedly necessary remedial works (JMW).
  • The 52 Occupiers of the Ceramic Works v Bowmer & Kirkland Ltd – Ben is acting for the Defendant engineers facing multiple claims from flat owners for allegedly defective cladding and fire protection. This case raises important issues of liability, causation and damages in the context of the many claims that have followed the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower [2021] EWHC 17 (TCC) (Mills & Reeve).
  • Zone Developments v Farrow & Walsh and CNA Insurance – Ben is acting for insurers following a serious collapse during demolition works. Complex issues are in dispute following from exclusions in the relevant policy including determination of the line to be drawn between workmanship and design (Mills & Reeve).

Construction Insurance

Ben frequently advises on insurance disputes arising from construction projects. This includes claims and recoveries. Ben has particular experience with CAR policies (including LEG3 and DE5 wordings) and professional indemnity cover. Recent projects he has acted on include:

  • Coverage issues arising from a large PFI Hospital project.
  • CAR and PI coverage issues with respect to multiple power stations across Europe.
  • Professional Indemnity and CAR claims following the modernisation of a major railway system.
  • Coverage issues arising from landlord’s claims following a major fire in a South London nightclub.
  • Coverage issues arising from a prestigious University project including CAR and LEG3 issues.
  • Co-insurance problems arising in various projects including the construction of a prestigious development in London and the construction of a landmark office block also in London.
  • Coverage issues arising from product liability policies and the failure of products in various large construction projects, such as construction materials, wall systems and marine engineering products.
  • Recoveries arising from fires on various projects, including a major National Trust Property and specialist engineering facilities that involved the use of “Hot Works”.

Adjudications and Enforcements

Ben has extensive experience in complex and high value adjudications. He deals with adjudications from start to finish, including enforcement. Recent adjudications and enforcements have included:

  • A Power Station Project – Ben is acting in a multi-million claim arising from the construction of a power station and complex issues of professional negligence (RPC).
  • A Large University Project – Ben is acting for an architect in a complex and multi-million pound adjudication dealing with the nature and extent of the duties of various professionals and the difficulties arising from works on listed buildings (DWF).
  • A Large London Hotel Development – Ben acted for a developer in a series of multi-million pound adjudications arising from a serious fire in a very prestigious London development. The series of adjudications have focused on the cause and culpability for a large fire, operation of a JV agreement, liquidated damages, and the role of project managers (Howard Kennedy).
  • A Significant University Accommodation Block – Ben acted for the firm of architects in defending an adjudication arising from alleged defective cladding and fire safety design. The dispute raised questions of the state of the art in cladding claims, the extent of liability in the context of allocated risks and scope of duty, and the effect of allegedly reasonable settlements (Beale & Co).
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Qualifications


  • Birkdale School, Sheffield
  • BA (Hons) in Law – First Class, University College, Oxford
  • Tax Trainee with Ernst & Young
  • BCL, University College, Oxford
  • Admitted to Gray’s Inn, Lord Birkenhead Scholarship
  • Inns of Court School of Law
  • Called to the Bar
  • Tenant at Crown Office Chambers (previously One Paper Buildings)
  • Appointed QC
  • Called to the BVI Bar

Seminars

Ben regularly gives seminars in his areas of expertise. He is happy to do so as part of in-house training. In the past few years he has given seminars on the following topics: Insurance Act 2015; liquidated damages; fire and disaster claims; bonds & guarantees; conflicts of interest; privilege and the law of evidence; damages; fiduciary and directors’ duties; interim commercial remedies; restrictive covenants; the impact of Covid 19 and insurance claims; loss of a chance in professional negligence claims; and the Law Commission reform of Insurance Law.

Memberships


  • LCLCBA
  • TECBAR
  • COMBAR
  • PNBA

Recommendations


“His advice is clear, measured and commercial and his mind is incredibly well organised.” “He’s good at structuring arguments methodically and impressive on his feet.”

Chambers & Partners, 2021

“His advocacy is sharp and incisive. Technically brilliant and happy to role up his sleeves.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He is always fully read in, prepared and very organised. There is no better man in a crisis.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He is structured and clear, and has a great knack for putting the client at ease. He’s very skilled at advocacy and advising in conference, and judges immediately warm to him.”; “He is calm and measured, puts his written arguments in an attractive way and is helpfully understated in court.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

“Very calm, very intelligent, highly responsive, fun to deal with and a good strategist.”

Chambers & Partners, 2018

“He is very dedicated, always on top of the details and very pragmatic.”

Chambers & Partners, 2018

“He is excellent, very good at what he does and particularly good at difficult coverage cases.”

Chambers & Partners, 2018

“Ferociously intelligent but at the same time very down to earth and approachable.”

Legal 500, 2017

“Particularly good at oral advocacy.”

Chambers & Partners, 2017

“His client care is excellent and he’s always open to new ideas.”

Chambers & Partners, 2017

“He has great attention to detail, is very tenacious and very bright.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016

“Extremely user-friendly – very clear in the way that he explains things.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016


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