Gaynor Chambers

Call: 1998

Email: gchambers@keatingchambers.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Practice Overview

Gaynor Chambers was called to the Bar in 1998 following an earlier career in building surveying and has since specialised in construction, utilities, energy and professional negligence disputes.

Recently described as “impressive at getting to the crux of the matter and very user friendly”“excellent” and “incredibly practical and able to come up with great solutions to difficult problems”, Gaynor has been ranked in the directories for construction for over a decade.

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).

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 out of the design and construction of wastewater treatment and desalination plants, along with those arising under the Water Industry Act 1991, the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, and associated legislation.

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.

She has considerable advocacy experience in the UK Courts (particularly the TCC), and practices in a wide range of forums including both domestic and international arbitrations pursuant to the ICC, UNCITRAL and CI Arb rules.

Construction

“Impressive at getting to the crux of the matter quickly and very user friendly” .. “we were very impressed ..” “excellent and produces nice well rounded opinions”… “fiercely intelligent …“incredibly practical and able to come up with great solutions to difficult problems”… “very effective” …“a sensible, bright and forthcoming advocate”…“sterling work in professional liability disputes particularly with regard to oil and gas developments”…“fine reputation among the construction community”…“leaves no stone unturned”…“a hard-working and belligerent advocate”…. “known for her pragmatic, common-sense approach…her diligence and commercial insight have particularly impressed”…

Chambers and Partners 2005, 2006, 2008 – 2016, Legal 500 2014 -2016

Energy and Natural Resources

“Very good, very hard working, easy to work with and down to earth” …”so bright it is hard to keep up with her”…”an incredible ability to process and assimilate huge volumes of information”…. is noted for the quality of her performances”… “very focused”…”someone who really drills down to the issues in a case”… “provides very positive advice and does not sit on the fence”…

Chambers and Partners, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Practice Areas
  • Infrastructure & Utilities
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Professional Negligence
  • Mining
  • Other specialist areas
Infrastructure & Utilities

Various cases relating to primary, secondary, and tertiary sewage and wastewater treatment, including:

– 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 as lead counsel 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.

 

  • Extensive experience in relation to matters arising under the Water Industry Act 1991 and associated legislation, in particular disputes concerning:

– pipe laying powers pursuant to sections 158 and 159 and compensation pursuant to section 180 and Schedule 12 of the Act.

– the scope of statutory undertakers’ obligations pursuant to section 94, including advising on the scope of reactive maintenance obligations.

– the duty to provide sewers pursuant to section 101A, including dealing with referrals to the Environment Agency and advice on judicial review arising out of any such referrals.

– the implications of the private sewer transfer regulations and the proper forum for claims

– bulk water supply agreements.

 

  • Acting and advising 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 on statutory undertakers’ common law and other rights in relation to easements and wayleaves, including overbuilding and injunctions.
  • Advising and acting in various cases concerning subsidence, landslip and coastal erosion, including liability for damage arising out of sinkholes.
  • Advising on product liability issues arising out of defective gas regulators.
  • Advice on disputes relating to contaminated land.

 

Construction & Engineering

General Construction (Litigation, Arbitration and Adjudication):

  • Instructed as a Treasury junior in a multi million pound arbitration relating to design responsibilities and defects on a new-build project.
  • Advising on extension of time and final account disputes under various standard form contracts including the JCT, NEC, IChem E and FIDIC contracts.
  • Advising and acting in disputes relating to asbestos releases in public and commercial buildings and other health and safety related matters.
  • Advising and acting in relation to disputes arising out of PFI contracts, primarily in relation to the refurbishment and subsequent maintenance of UK hospitals.
  • Advice on bonds and guarantees. Gaynor appeared as junior to Marc Rowlands QC in Simon Carves Limited v Ensus UK Limited [2011] EWHC 657 (TCC); [2011] B.L.R. 340; 135 Con. L.R. 96 and has extensive experience in relation to bond calls both in the UK and abroad.
  • 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 arbitrator’s decisions.
  • Drafting of adjudication notices, referrals and responses, including specific sections on particular legal points.
  • Adjudication enforcement experience including Griffin v Midas Homes Limited [2002] 78 Con LR 152, [2002] Col 18 No 1 Con LJ 67 and preliminary advice in Davis McClean Contractors Ltd v Swansea Housing Association Limited [2002] CILL 1811, along with Westminster Building Co Ltd v Andrew Beckingham [2004] BLR 163, Air Design (Kent) Ltd v Deerglen (Jersey) Ltd [2008] BLM Vol.26 No 1 TCC, YCMS Ltd v Grabiner [2009] EWHC 127 (TCC) and Viridis UK Ltd v Mulalley & Co Ltd [2014] EWHC 268 (TCC).
Energy & Natural Resources
  • Junior in $100m dispute related to a gas processing plant in the Middle East.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Advice on disputes related to the construction and operation of wind turbines under contracts ranging from £500,000 to several million pounds.
Professional Negligence
  • 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 [2000] 78 Con LR 71 (Architect’s negligence).
  • Junior in Offer-Hoar v Larkstore Ltd [2005] 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).
Mining
  • Advising in relation to compensation claims pursuant to the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991.
  • 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.
Other specialist areas
  • Party wall cases ranging from domestic premises to large commercial developments.
  • Advising and acting in disputes concerning the environmental impact of dredging.
  • Advising and acting in disputes arising out of:

– The design and construction of super-yachts;

– An engine room fire during testing due to deficient design; and

– Defective paint finishes and refitting.