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Isabel Hitching

Call 1992

"She has an awesome intellect and always examines issues from all angles."
(Legal 500 2016)

Construction & Engineering

Isabel has a long-established construction and engineering practice and is instructed in contractual and professional negligence claims arising out of a wide variety of domestic, European and international construction and engineering projects.

Selected Cases

  • Fulwood (& 24 Others) v Secretary of state for the Department for Energy and Climate Change & Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council & Others – Acting for a local authority defending claims by residents alleging breach of duties in connection with the dismantling of gas works and the reclamation of the site on which their properties were built: alleged environmental damage and personal injuries (ongoing QBD).
  • Aspect Contracts (Asbestos) Ltd v Higgins Construction PLC (ongoing) Supreme Court: [2015] UKSC 38 Court of Appeal: [2013] EWCA Civ 1514 First instance: [2013] EWHC 1322 (TCC) – Preliminary issue concerning identification of the cause of action and applicable limitation period for a party paying monies following an adjudication decision to seek a final determination and, if successful, recovery.
  • Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Ltd v C A Blackwell (Contracts) Ltd & Tencate Geosynthetics (UK) Ltd (TCC) – Dispute as to the design of crane pads and road surfacing for a wind farm.
  • Network Rail v Handy et al [2015] EWHC 1175 (TCC) – Test cases concerning the scope of damages payable to Network Rail by drivers causing line incursions or bridge strikes. This was a further test case following the Court of Appeal judgement in Network Rail v Conarken (in which Isabel was instructed for the application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court). Following Handy Isabel was instructed in a number of cases where the decided principles fell to be applied.
  • Thames Water Utilities Limited v Viridor Waste (Thames) Limited – Acted for Viridor defending a multi-million pound claim for contamination of a sewage treatment works and pollution of a drinking water supply and bringing a multi-million pound cross-claim for damages for breach of contract. Five disciplines of expert were instructed, including hydrologists, biochemists and surveyors specialising in the construction and operation of sewage treatment plants. Acted from pre action until settlement before trial following mediation.
  • Alexander & Law v Coveside (21BPR) Ltd [2013] EWHC 3949 (TCC); 152 Con. L.R. 163 – Enforcement of adjudication decision. The existence of a winding up petition was not a defence to summary judgment.
  • Acting on behalf of the Highways Agency, led by Anneliese Day QC (Fountain Court) in CONNECT PLUS (M25) LIMITED V HIGHWAYS ENGLAND COMPANY LIMITED ( judgment awaited) concerning the calculation of sums due to the DBFO company under the PFI for the M25.
  • Acting for developers of a high value private property in Weybridge seeking to set aside a settlement reached with second level funders for fraud including the fraudulent procuring and provision of a certificate of practical completion.  White et al v PSM Residential Finance Limited and Pluto Finance Limited.  listed for trial October 2017.  Judgment on preliminary point [2017] EWHC 1925 TCC.
  • Successfully acting for the Environment Agency in relation to a range of projects from footpaths to flood defences.
  • GE Energy Power Conversion UK Ltd v Anixter Ltd and Cooper & Turner Distribution Ltd and Clyde Fasteners Ltd (TCC listed for trial 2018) – Acting for 4th party manufacturer of components which allegedly failed in generators manufactured by GE for use in the oil and gas industry.  Issues of traceability of the components through the contractual chain and cause of failure.
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Qualifications


  • Lord Justice Sachs Scholarship, Middle Temple
  • Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple
  • BCL, Christ Church, Oxford
  • MA (First Class), Christ Church, Oxford

Memberships


  • Attorney General’s Treasury Panel
  • Bar Standards Board Equality & Diversity Committee (Past member)
  • Bar Standards Board Qualifications Committee (Past Vice-chair)
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • Society of Construction Law (Past committee member)
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association (Past committee member)
  • Joint editor of Emden’s Construction Law

Recommendations


“A first-class senior junior and a superb tactician, who is masterly with the game plan.”

(Legal 500 2017)

“A highly intelligent and practical barrister.”

(Chambers & Partners 2015)


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