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Dermot Woolgar

Call 1988

"Dermot is one of the most methodical barristers I have ever come across. He is positive in his advice and has an excellent calming manner which is very reassuring to clients."
(Legal 500)

Property Damage

Dermot has extensive experience of property damage cases arising from floods, fire, explosions, landslips, heave and subsidence.

Selected Cases

  • Advising contract works insurers defending claim brought by owners of prestigious property in Chelsea seeking compensation for various losses following damage sustained to their property as a result of the catastrophic collapse of the neighbouring property during the course of extensive refurbishment works.
  • Acting for brickwork subcontractor sued by contract administrator following extensive damage from a fire that occurred during the course of works to convert the Marconi Building in London into a hotel. Contract administrator seeking contribution towards sum which it had agreed to pay to the main contractor in respect of the main contractor’s liability for liquidated damages for the delay consequential upon the fire. Issues included cause of fire and specifically whether they were caused by hot works, and whether contributory negligence by the contract administrator could be raised by way of defence to the contribution claim.
  • Acting for property developer of part-commercial, part-residential, building destroyed by fire, seeking specific performance of the architect’s obligation to execute collateral warranties in favour of the building’s residential lessees. The terms of the warranties included restrictions on the architect’s liability to the beneficiaries and the architect’s PI policy excluded liability for most claims arising out of a collateral warranty. The spread of the fire was alleged to have been greater than it would have been but for design errors on the part of the architect. The court was required to determine the architect’s PI insurers’ contentions that the architect would be entitled to rely on the contributory negligence of the contractor as a partial defence to any claim under the warranties (Oakapple Homes (Glossop) Ltd v DTR (2009) Ltd (In Liquidation) & Ors [2013] EWHC 2394 (TCC))
  • Acting for defendant oil companies in relation to various substantial commercial property damage and business interruption claims arising out of the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot explosion.
  • Advising property investment company as to merits of potential claims for loss and damage arising from failure of defendant fully to implement environmental remediation works on substantial commercial / retail site.
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  • LLB (Hons) (Manchester University)
  • Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators)


  • Chair, Bar Council Overseas Territories Working Group
  • Member, Bar Council International Trade Working Group
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (Committee Member)
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Technology and Construction Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Administrative Law Bar Association


Co-author of chapter on Construction Insolvency in Emden’s Construction Law

“Regulation or Red Tape: the UK equity release market”: co-author (with Rob Sheldon and Liam Corrigan of DWF LLP) of chapter in Making the Most of Equity Release: Perspectives from Key Players, published by The Smith Institute, March 2012

“Still an Empty Concept?”: co-author (with Keith Shaw of Pinsent Masons LLP) discussing the implications of NYK Logistics Ltd v Ibrend Estates BV [2011] EWCA Civ 683 on the meaning of “vacant possession”, published in the Estates Gazette, 23 July 2011

“The Seduction of Iconoclasm”: discussion of the exemptions for religious organisations in the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, published in Law and Justice 2007, 158, 64

“Citibank NA v MBIA Assurance SA & Ors [2007] EWCA Civ 11”: co-author (with Justin Davis of Crown Office Chambers): Case Commentary published in International Corporate Rescue: Vol 4 (2007) Issue 5


“Dermot Woolgar’s advocacy is exceptional; he is very smooth and judges just love him. He is exceptionally experienced and has seen it all before.”… “Dermot is as impressive in conference as he is in a written advice. He has unusually broad knowledge and experience without any lack of depth.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Dermot is a meticulous and thoughtful practitioner. He leaves no stone unturned.”

Legal 500, 2024

“Dermot is a clear, methodical thinker who understands what arguments will win favour with the court.”

Legal 500, 2023

“Dermot Woolgar is a well-regarded junior with a vast expertise in property-related construction disputes. He regularly works on adjudication enforcement proceedings, disputes heard in the TCC and arbitrations. He has experience of acting both domestically and internationally.” “He brings a really practical angle; he is very good at taking a step back to make clear the practical implications of any decisions before the TCC judges.” “He considers things thoroughly.” “Dermot Woolgar is unflappable and very focused. He is excellent in his court presentation.”

Chambers and Partners, 2023

“Dermot is very personable, breeds confidence in all who instruct him and clients alike. When sat behind him in court you nearly always think you have instructed the superior counsel.”

Legal 500, 2022

“Dermot is one of the most methodical barristers I have ever come across. He is positive in his advice and has an excellent calming manner which is very reassuring to clients.”

Legal 500, 2021

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