Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600
Gaynor Chambers had a previous career in building surveying and spent several years in the construction industry. She now specialises in construction, utilities, energy and professional negligence disputes.
Recently described as “impressive at getting to the crux of the matter and very user friendly” and “excellent”, Gaynor has been ranked in the directories for construction for over a decade.
Water related disputes are a core specialism and Gaynor is the first port of call for one of the largest national water utility companies in the UK. She has extensive experience in disputes arising under the Water Industry Act 1991, the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, and associated legislation.
A further specialist area is subsidence related matters, ranging from mining subsidence claims to sinkholes, particularly those affecting highways and adjacent areas.
Her construction practice is wide ranging, and includes both assisting with adjudications and acting as an adjudicator (she is TECBAR accredited and is on IChemE Approved Panel of adjudicators, and has produced over 20 decisions to date). Gaynor has experience of arbitrations under UNCITRAL, LCIA, ICC and ad hoc rules, and of most standard form contracts, including the JCT, I Chem E and FIDIC forms.
Gaynor’s UK and international energy practice focuses on both upstream and downstream disputes, including matters arising out of new technologies. She is regularly instructed by professional indemnity insurers in claims against Architects and engineers.
- Acting for statutory undertakers in various arbitrations relating to the scope of Schedule 12 compensation following the exercise of statutory undertakers’ pipe laying powers pursuant to sections 158 and 159 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (“WIA 1991”).
- Acting for statutory undertakers and claimants in disputes arising out of section 209 WIA 1991, including Mortimore v United Utilities Water Limited (Unreported, 13th July 2018), in which the Claimant claimed almost £1.5 million as damages arising out of flooding at business premises. The net liability of the Defendant was found to be £8,545.
- Acting for the Intervener in Rochdale Boroughwide Housing Limited v Esther Izevbigie, United Utilities Water Limited (Intervener) 2017 EWHC 790 (CH), one of a series of cases arising out of the Water Resale Order 2006 and water service charges levied on social tenants by housing associations and local authorities following Jones v Southwark Council  EWHC 457 (Ch). The Judge held that there was no assumption of responsibility by the Claimant to pay charges directly to the Intervener and that the underlying agreement was concerned with the Claimant’s right to collect money owed by the tenants to the Intervener, distinguishing that underlying agreement from the one considered in Jones.
- Advising on statutory undertakers’ common law and other rights in relation to easements and wayleaves, including overbuilding and injunctions.
- Advising on various matters arising out of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulation 1999.
- Advising on the implications of the private sewer transfer regulations.
- Advising on the scope of statutory undertakers’ proactive and reactive maintenance obligations.
- Advising on the duty to provide sewers pursuant to section 101A WIA 1991, including dealing with referrals to the environment agency and advice on judicial review arising out of any such referrals.
- Advising a gas transporter in relation to damage to a gas main caused by construction works and, in particular, the scope of damages available following such damage.
- Advising on product liability issues arising out of defective gas regulators.
- Acting as junior counsel in a claim concerning defective design of a UK secondary waste water treatment plant (£85 million claim), using Biological Aerated Filters. Advisory work, settled pleadings, and appeared as sole counsel at interlocutory hearings.
- Acting and advising in a claim arising out of the defective design and construction of membrane bioreactors.
- Acting and advising in a claim arising out of a defectively designed package plant.
- Four-day hearing arising out of the defective design of an on and off shore desalination plant (arbitration pursuant to the Rules of Arbitration of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre). Acted as sole counsel against a silk and junior for a Korean client.
She has also acted and advised in relation to disputes between arising under the provisions of the New Road and Street Works Act 1991, including:
- reinstatement disputes pursuant to section 71 and/or the Street Works (Reinstatement) Regulations 1992;
- failure by an undertaker to adequately identify the measures required in relation to apparatus pursuant to section 84;
- disputes as to liability pursuant to section 82 NRSWA 1991;
- disagreements in relation to cost sharing pursuant to section 85 of the Act and/or the Street Works (Sharing of Costs of Works) (England) Regulations 2000;
- the interpretation of specific paragraphs of the Street Works (Recovery of Costs) (England) Regulations 2002;
- references to HAUC and to arbitration.
- Advising and acting in various disputes arising out of defectively designed and installed fire resistance measures in public buildings and social housing.
- Advising and acting in disputes relating to asbestos releases in public and commercial buildings and other health and safety related matters.
- Advice on bonds and guarantees. Gaynor appeared as junior to Marc Rowlands QC in Simon Carves Limited v Ensus UK Limited  EWHC 657 (TCC);  B.L.R. 340; 135 Con. L.R. 96 and has extensive experience in relation to bond calls both in the UK and abroad, most recently appearing in A2 Dominion Developments v J-Ross Developments Limited  EWHC 1159 (TCC).
- Gaynor regularly advises and acts for contractors and employers in connection with extension of time and final account disputes under various standard form contracts including the JCT, NEC, IChem E and FIDIC contracts.
- Acting as an Adjudicator in over 20 disputes to date.
- Drafting of adjudication notices, referrals and responses, including specific sections on particular legal points.
- Adjudication enforcement experience including Griffin v Midas Homes Limited  78 Con LR 152,  Col 18 No 1 Con LJ 67 and preliminary advice in Davis McClean Contractors Ltd v Swansea Housing Association Limited  CILL 1811, along with Westminster Building Co Ltd v Andrew Beckingham  BLR 163, Air Design (Kent) Ltd v Deerglen (Jersey) Ltd  BLM Vol.26 No 1 TCC, YCMS Ltd v Grabiner  EWHC 127 (TCC) and Viridis UK Ltd v Mulalley & Co Ltd  EWHC 268 (TCC).
- Acting and advising in a number of cases about the design and construction of hotels.
- Instructed as a Treasury junior in a multi-million-pound arbitration relating to design responsibilities and defects on a new-build project.
- Acting as junior counsel in a TCC case concerning defective welding of modular units. The case involved both technical issues and the proper construction of a sale and purchase agreement.
- Appeals from arbitrators’ decisions.
- Advising and acting in a dispute arising out of defective high voltage equipment at an oil refinery, and the effects of a flashover caused by that defect (including loss of production).
- Junior in $100m dispute related to a gas processing plant in the Middle East.
- Three-week TCC trial in relation to dispute arising out of piping works at a UK biofuel plant (IChemE Red Book).
- Junior in a £9m dispute (and 28-day TCC trial) concerning process and vibration issues on a North Sea oil platform.
- Advice on disputes related to the construction and operation of wind turbines under contracts ranging from £500,000 to several million pounds.
- Acting as junior counsel for the owner in an international arbitration concerning the design of an onshore processing facility in Eastern Europe. Settled pleadings, advised and appeared as sole counsel at interlocutory hearings.
- Advising on disputes arising out of Production Sharing Agreements in Indonesia and Eastern Europe.
- Advising in relation to commissioning and recovery of a North Sea oil platform.
- Junior in a £10m dispute related to an innovative gas turbine in the UK.
- Junior in adjudication relating to defective design of bioethanol plant (amended IChemE Red Book).
- Advising in relation to compensation claims pursuant to the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991. Gaynor recently acted for the Claimant in Ian White v Coal Authority  UKUT 134 (LC), in which the Claimant recovered the costs of demolition and rebuilding of a house which had noticeably tilted as a result of coal mining operations.
- Advising in relation to a mining surveyor’s negligence and/or breach of duty under the Mines and Quarries Act 1954 and the Management and Administration of Safety and Health in Mines Regulations 1993, and mining subsidence claims under the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991.
- Appeared as a junior in Mason v The Coal Authority (QBD, 15/3/2001, unreported) dealing with the Coal Authority’s liability in negligence when preparing reports on mineshafts and adits.
- Advising and acting in various cases concerning damage arising out of sinkholes, in particular those concerning the effect of leaking or broken water pipes on subsidence to the highway.
- Advising and acting in various cases arising out of subsidence caused by defectively designed or constructed foundations.
- Advice on disputes relating to contaminated land.
- Junior in Offer-Hoar v Larkstore Ltd  All ER (D) 45 TCC (a landslip case concerning negligence arising out of soil investigation report, issues on assignment of loss dealt with at first instance and in the Court of Appeal)
- Acting for and advising geotechnical and civil engineers in relation to disputes arising out of defective foundations.
- Sole counsel in various Architect’s negligence cases, ranging from domestic extensions to large scale commercial developments.
- Sole counsel and junior in various engineering related disputes, in particular those arising out of deficiencies in the provision of chemical engineering services.
- Advising and acting in arbitrations relating to the scope of cover under professional liability insurance policies.
- Junior in Munckenbeck & Marshall v The Kensington Hotel Limited  78 Con LR 71 (Architect’s negligence).