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Nicola Atkins

Call 2012

"Nicola is an incredibly talented barrister. She is scarily bright and very user-friendly"
(Chambers & Partners, 2023)

Construction & Engineering

Nicola is experienced in a wide range of construction disputes involving defective works, fee disputes and allegations of negligence by professionals.  She regularly appears in the TCC and in arbitral proceedings both as sole counsel and with a leader.

Selected Cases

  • TCC: Nicola is instructed as junior counsel for the Defendant, a large building contractor, in a multi-million pound claim concerning allegedly defective cladding installed at a hotel in Gatwick. The Defendant was employed as design and build contractor and has sought to pass on the claim to its various subcontractors and specialist consultants (who are named as additional parties).  The trial is listed for 3 weeks.
  • TCC: Nicola is acting as sole counsel for specialist contractor in a large claim for loss of profits (£700,000) in relation to the design and construction of an Anaerobic Digestion Facility and a counterclaim for fees.  The trial was heard for 4 days in February 2020 with oral evidence from mechanical and engineering and forensic accountancy experts.  Judgment is awaited.
  • TCC: Nicola is acting for a firm of architects in a claim pleaded at £1.4million involving allegedly defective work carried out on a residential development in Wimbledon. The case involves an extensive schedule of structural defects and the parties have permission to rely on expert evidence in the areas of building services, fire safety, architecture and quantity surveying.  The trial is listed for 6 days.
  • TCC: Nicola is acting for a specialist glazing company in a claim brought for breach of contract/negligence in relation to the construction of a £2 million property in Sussex. The Claimant (who project managed the works) alleges that as a result of the Defendant’s breach of duty the property is affected by water ingress and damp throughout.
  • GPS v Contractors: Nicola is instructed by the proposed claimants at the pre-action stage in respect of negligent groundworks carried out during the course of a large residential development. The claim for remedial works and residual diminution in value is currently put at £400,000.
  • Arbitration: Nicola acted for a firm of architects in arbitral proceedings for unpaid fees relating to the refurbishment of a restaurant in the West End. Nicola drafted the pleadings, appeared at various interim hearings and at settlement meetings.  On the provisional award the firm obtained favourable findings on all but one of its 6 claims.
  • TCC: Nicola was instructed on behalf of the defendant contractor in relation to the supply and installation of air conditioning units at a pharmaceutical storage company. The claim for remedial works and business interruption was put at £1.2 million, but settled confidentially.
  • Arbitration: Nicola acted for the Respondents in arbitral proceedings concerning a claim for professional surveying fees. The Referring Party was engaged by the Respondents to advise on a large residential building project, particularly in relation to the design and construction of basement areas.
  • Nicola was instructed by a company specialising in damp proofing to defend a claim brought in respect of works carried out to a number of holiday cottages in Wales. The Claimants allege that the re-pointing and damp-proofing works caused cracking and moisture ingress to the properties.  Their claim comprises the cost of further remediation and a claim for loss of revenue.
  • Nicola is instructed in a claim concerning the re-development of commercial premises in Cavendish Square. The claim is brought by a neighbouring property owner who allege that the Defendants (various contractors, sub-contractors and specialist consultants) carried out the redevelopment works, including works to the adjacent footpath maintained by the local highway authority, negligently.
  • Nicola acted for a firm of architects in a fee claim brought in respect of a residential building project. The firm alleged that the owners of the property had failed to pay their fees for architectural and contract administration services during a 2 year period.  The claim settled confidentially.
  • Nicola has acted on a number of claims concerning allegedly defective works, including in respect of cavity wall insulation, plumbing, mechanical and electrical engineering and damp proofing.
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Jules Thorn Scholarship (2011), Middle Temple

Astbury Scholarship (2010)

Middle Temple Exhibition Scholarship (2007)


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  • BPTC, City Law School (2011-2012)
  • Jules Thorne Scholarship, Middle Temple (2011)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, City University (2010-2011)
  • Astbury Scholarship, Middle Temple (2010)
  • MA, Legal and Political Theory, UCL (2009-2010)
  • Academic Scholarships, St Catherine’s College, Oxford University (2006-2008)
  • BA (Hons), Modern History, Oxford University (2005-2008)




LCLCBA (Secretary of the Association)



Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction in London (Bar) – Up and Coming

Professional Negligence: Leading Juniors – Tier 4 – ‘Exceptional.’



“She has been active in a lot of big cases, and she’s an absolute Stakhanovite when it comes to taking on work.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Nicola always delivers and goes the extra mile. Her ability to grasp and master complex technical issues is exceptional.”

Legal 500, 2022

“Brilliant with clients and has real expert knowledge of the issues. She stands out for her attention to detail, and she has a 360-degree understanding of the case, so she can anticipate issues before they arise.”

Chambers & Partners, 2021

“She is exceptional. Nicola is very easy to communicate with and very approachable.”

Legal 500, 2021

“She is exceptional.”

Legal 500, 2020

“She has a phenomenal amount of energy and is a very switched-on junior.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

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