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Robert Stokell

Call 1995

“Rob [is] a go-to barrister on construction and product liability disputes. He is fiercely intelligent and highly organised.”
(Legal 500, 2023)

Construction & Engineering

Robert specialises in substantial construction and engineering disputes. He appears regularly in the TCC and has acted in the Court of Appeal, and in adjudication, arbitration and mediation.

Selected Cases

  • Associated Newspapers Ltd v Buckingham Group Contracting Limited: (TCC) [ongoing]: This is a c.£10m claim by a newspaper publisher against a building contractor relating to the differential settlement of concrete slabs at a warehouse and production unit, and a claim by the contractor under the Third Party (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010. Robert acts for excess insurers.
  • Prater Limited v Riverstone (and others) (Commercial Court): This was a £100m+ multiparty construction/ insurance claim relating to the roof at Sky Central, which is owned by the broadcaster Sky UK Ltd. It was an important case in relation to the interpretation of CAR insurance policies in substantial construction projects (including in respect of cover, occurrence of loss and damage, and aggregation). Robert had been instructed since before proceedings were issued, and he was led by Adam Constable KC. The claim involving Robert’s client settled before trial.
  • [A Construction Consortium] v [A State] (Arbitration): Robert was instructed (with Crispin Winser KC and Daniel Shaw) in a £60m+ arbitration defending claims brought by a construction consortium in relation to a large infrastructure project in the Middle East, before an eminent panel which included two former TCC Judges. Robert was instructed to deal particularly with geotechnical and specific quantum issues.
  • Atlas Hive v Sterling Asset Management (Bristol TCC) [settled in 2021]: This case arose out of a call on a performance bond, in the context of COVID 19, and raised questions about whether there was a breach of the underlying construction contract, and the interpretation of bonds. Robert drafted the pleadings, advised on the witness evidence, and produced the skeleton argument for a summary judgment hearing. The case settled on the morning of the hearing. Robert was solely instructed against Anneliese Day QC and Simon Hale.
  • Kier v PCE v WSP v Banagher (TCC) [settled in late 2021]: Multiparty construction claim for £4m+ arising out of the design, manufacture and construction of concrete elements for a new build bus interchange. Robert was solely instructed for Banagher, against Jonathan Selby KC, amongst others. He drafted pleadings, advised on issues and witness statements, and represented Banagher at a remote CCMC heard by Fraser J. The case settled shortly before the 14 day TCC trial was due to begin in late 2021.
  • Patel v Barnet (TCC) [settled in 2020]: Acting for a local authority in respect of a £2m+ claim relating to flooding and water damage to a substantial house due to a defective drainage pipe. Robert was solely instructed against Paul Darling KC and James Burton. Robert was involved from the initial defence, which he drafted, through interlocutory hearings and about 4 days of trial before Jefford J, until the case settled. This was one of the first remote trials in the TCC following the onset of COVID 19. On the pleadings the case raised numerous interesting causes of action including in nuisance, trespass and Rylands v Fletcher.
  • Calonne Construction Ltd v Dawnus Southern Ltd [2018] EWHC 1634 (TCC); [2019] EWCA Civ 754; [2019] T.C.L.R. 6; [2019] Costs L.R. 309: Acting successfully for a building contractor in the TCC in a claim arising out of a residential building project. The employer’s claim for flooding to the basement, due to alleged defects, was dismissed on the ground that an insurance claim had already been made and paid out on a different basis. The employer was given permission to appeal in relation to two points on a Part 36 offer, regarding the inclusion of a proposed counterclaim, and a term as to interest. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
  • Skymist Holdings Ltd v Grandlane Developments Ltd [2019] EWHC 659 (Comm): Opposing an application for pre-action disclosure in relation to prospective proceedings in the Commercial Court, where related proceedings were already on foot in the TCC.
  • (Cardiff TCC 2019): Successfully contesting jurisdiction on the basis that, on a proper construction, the contract contained an arbitration agreement.
  • Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust Ltd v Lakehouse Contracts Ltd [2018] EWHC 558 (TCC); [2018] B.L.R. 511; [2018] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 382; [2018] C.I.L.L. 4121: Acting for contractors (with Andrew Bartlett KC) in a £5m claim arising out of a fire. Issues included joint insurance and the construction of a project insurance policy.
  • Structure Consulting v Maroush Food Production (TCC 2017): Acting for Maroush, the defendant in an enforcement claim and the claimant in a Part 8 claim for declarations mainly relating to whether or not the parties had agreed a JCT contract, and whether a pay less notice was valid.
  • Goldsworthy v Harrison [2016] EWHC 1589 (TCC) – Defeating an application for summary judgment to enforce an adjudicator’s decision, on the basis that the Court was not satisfied that the parties had agreed that the JCT Minor Works terms were to apply.
  • Harrison v Shepherd Homes Ltd [2014] EWHC 2786 (TCC) – Costs in a multi-party construction dispute.
  • Harrison v Shepherd Homes Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 904 – Acting successfully for the homeowners (with Andrew Bartlett QC) in the Court of Appeal on an appeal in relation to quantum.
  • Harrison & Ors v Shepherd Homes [2011] EWHC 1811 (TCC); 27 Const LJ 709 – Acting successfully for the homeowners (with Andrew Bartlett KC and Crispin Winser KC) in the TCC in claims against a major house builder relating to piled foundations, defects and nuisance in a housing development.
  • Thameside Construction Co Ltd v Arthenella Ltd [2011] EWHC 2695 (TCC) – Establishing that the claim had been settled in the run-up to Trial by an oral agreement between the principals.
  • PMP Electrical Services Ltd v Henley Homes (East) LLP [2011] EWHC 599 (TCC) – Defeating a claim in misrepresentation/ deceit in respect of a cabling contract, dealing with an application for security for costs, and obtaining an order for payment of costs by a non-party.
  • Acting for a major engineering company in adjudications relating to an energy project. Issues included the construction of a contract (based on a FIDIC form), jurisdiction, claims for defects in intumescent paint, and the construction of a settlement agreement.
  • Drafting answers to questions, and a Response, on behalf of a structural engineer in an adjudication arising out of an NEC3 Professional Services Contract. The Adjudicator rejected the claim that the engineer had failed to use reasonable care in respect of ground investigations and the design of piles.
  • Drafting a Response and a Rejoinder in an adjudication relating to a housing development constructed (under JCT DB 2011) using pre-fabricated pods. Issues included claims for defects, with reference to expert architectural, engineering and fire safety evidence.
  • Adjudication Response in a claim concerning alleged Compensation Events arising out of an infrastructure contract incorporating parts of the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract Option A.
  • Advising a company which provided services as a contract administrator, lead consultant and building surveyor in respect of a large residential refurbishment project, in a claim relating to an alleged breach of planning permission.
  • Advising the provider of social housing in a claim against a developer pursuant to the DPA in respect of defective boilers and flues.
  • Acting for an engineer in an adjudication relating to the design of more than 2,000 precast concrete elements.
  • Advising whether an engineer owed a duty of care in tort in respect of the adequacy of its design to a tendering contractor.
  • Advising on suspension of performance, LADs and provisional sums under a JCT Design and Build Contract 2011.
  • Acting for an M&E contractor against the supplier/ commissioner of an air-cooled water chiller, in relation to water damage.
  • Acting for a contractor in a case concerning a retaining wall and alleged damage to a warehouse and drainage, and dealing with contribution claims against the engineer and the designer/ builder of the retaining wall.
  • Acting for the owner of commercial premises in a claim against a contractor for loss caused by damage to asbestos panels during roof works.
  • Acting for an occupier of commercial premises in a claim against an M&E maintenance contractor in relation to damage caused by a fuel oil leak.
  • Acting for a residential owner in a claim for defects against a major house builder based on the NHBC Buildmark Policy.
  • Acting for the owners of a substantial London property with a defective basement and a leaking roof, in a case against the architect, structural engineer and building contractor.
  • Acting for the owner of a lorry park with surface and drainage defects claiming damages from the structural engineer and contractor.
  • Acting for a contractor responsible for the construction of a basement and the installation of a damp proof membrane.
  • Acting for an engineering and earthworks contractor facing a claim for alleged vibration damage. Acting for the contractor in a £1.2m final account claim pursuant to a JCT 1998 Contract (Private with Approximate Quantities).
  • Defeating claims for additional scaffolding hire costs and for damages for loss of scaffolding from site.
  • Defeating a £1.9m adjudication claim against a building surveyor in respect of alleged loss following major design changes.
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  • Eastham Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Sir Thomas More Bursary, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Boulter Exhibition (Law), Christ Church, Oxford University
  • MA (Hons), Christ Church, Oxford University


  • Technology & Construction Bar Association
  • Society of Construction Law
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association

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