Paul Darling OBE QC

Call: 1983 (2004 Northern Ireland) Silk: 1999


Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Practice Overview

Since joining Keating Chambers in 1985, Paul Darling has established a formidable reputation as an advocate in all types and levels of tribunals all over the world. He specialises in complex cases which feature multiple parties, large teams, and high volumes of material, and is often brought in by clients at short notice, late in proceedings. An ability to work with colleagues from any jurisdiction, and to grasp detail, strategy, and tactics quickly has allowed Paul to develop a practice which has taken him to every major jurisdiction, appearing in a wide variety of construction, energy, and commercial matters. Adaptability and focus have contributed to Paul’s reputation as a gamechanger, brought in to direct some of the construction and commercial world’s most difficult cases. Paul has represented diverse clients in tribunals such as the Commercial Court, the Technology and Construction Court, and the Court of Appeal in London, the High Court and the Supreme Court in Dublin, the High Court in Northern Ireland (he is a member of the NI Bar) and Arbitration Tribunals globally. Since the early 1990s he has conducted many arbitrations in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Middle East. He has acted in ICC, LCIA HKIAC, SIAC and DIAC Arbitrations.

Paul has developed particular expertise in complex, multi-handed cases requiring extensive cross-examination, often of several expert witnesses. He also sits as an arbitrator, adjudicator and mediator.

Paul’s commercial instincts and skills and his understanding of corporate governance have informed his litigation work. They are drawn from direct experience of the private and the public sector.

A substantial part of Paul’s practice relates to property damage and professional negligence: between 1991 and 2003, it was dominated by the McAlpine v Panatown & Unex dispute. The dispute involved all aspects of construction law and professional negligence, and after many Court appearances culminated in a 14 week TCC trial.

His practice has included all aspects of construction and engineering projects and property damage. An area of particular expertise is mining subsidence, landslip, and other forms of nuisance including noise, vibration and dust in construction operations.

He has fought several cases regarding housing developments in which the purchasers launched a group action against the developers, who in turn sought to claim against the contractors and consultants. One example was the Rossory Quay litigation in Northern Ireland which dealt with the failure of a load transfer platform on a development of 80 flats.

Paul represented a quarry owner in the Pyrite litigation in Dublin. In the High Court in Dublin, a building contractor sued the quarry owner for supplying material containing pyrite which was said to have expanded and damaged the structures under which it was placed. The case went on appeal to the Supreme Court. The trial occupied 60 days and the hearing in the Supreme Court, 5 days. The issues included whether the cause of damage to the building was defective design and construction or the expansion of pyrite, whether the pyrite in fact expanded, whether there were breaches of the Sale of Goods Act about merchantable quality and fitness for purpose, whether contractual terms applied and whether there were limitations on liability. Paul appeared in the Court of Appeal in Belfast on an appeal about the notice provisions under
the NEC 3 Variation Clauses.

A huge number of his cases has been reported; they reflect his wide-ranging expertise and adaptability. Paul has appeared in many of the leading cases on contractual claims: Temloc v Erill (£nil as liquidated damage); Plc v McAlpine (Overhead & Profit Guide Formulas); Chestermount v Balfour Beatty (Extension of Time); Tilebox v McAlpine (Penalties) and Mackay v Walter Lilly (Global Claims).

Practice Areas
  • Recent Work
Recent Work

Areas of the World
Paul has worked in the following jurisdictions:
England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Qatar, UAE, Trinidad, Barbados, Cayman, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa,

Expertise Includes
Arbitration Practice & Procedure
• Adjudication Practice & Procedure
• Court Practice & Procedure
– Pre-Action Protocol
– Disclosure
– Costs
– Privacy of Court Proceedings
– Name borrowing
– Champerty
Construction & Energy
– Power Plants, Offshore Plants, FPSO
– Pipelines
– Cracks and corrosion in metal structures
– Sports Stadia, Playing surfaces
– Dredging
– Local Authority Projects
– Shopping Centres, Theatres, Cinemas and Hotels
– Asbestos
– Wind Farms
– Chemical slag
– Cladding
– Foundations and Load Transfer Platforms
– Ground Improvements Schemes
– Temporary Earthwork Retaining Structures
– Unforeseen Ground Conditions
– Defective Foundations
– Large Housing Developments
– Airports
– Nuclear Energy
– Nuclear Waste Reprocessing
– Collateral Warranties
– Mechanical and Electrical Sub-Contracts
– Open Cast Mining Disputes
• Contractual Claims
– Loss and Expense, Prolongation and Disruption
– Global Claims
– Overhead and Profit, Emden Formula
– Extension of Time and Time at Large
– Liquidated Damages and Penalties and Float
– Termination and Forfeiture
– Exclusion and Limitation Clauses
– Standard Form Insurance Clauses
– FIDIC Contracts
– NEC Contract
– Contract, no Contract
Information Technology
– Software Disputes
– Claims for under performance
– Disputes about price escalation
– Disputes about delays in delivery and performance
• Nuisance & Mining
– Mining Subsidence
– Landslips
– Damage to adjoining property
– Contaminated and reclaimed land
– Street works
– Noise vibration and construction operations nuisance
Surface and Underground Railways
• Professional Negligence & Fee Claims
– Claims against Architects, Surveyors, Engineers and Solicitors
– Claims for fees
– Construction of Professional Engagement Terms
Commercial & Sale of Goods
– Disputes about quality of goods rights to reject
–Bonds and Guarantees
– Construction of Solicitor’s Fee Sharing Agreements
– Claim about Introducing Broker Agreements
– Hotel Management Contract’
• PFI & PPP Contracts
– Dispute about quality
– Complaints about non-performance
– Disputes about operation of agreements
• European Union Procurement
– France, Senegal, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Turkey.


Case Reports
Case Date
James Elliott Construction Ltd v Irish Asphalt 2014
Noreside Construction Ltd v Irish Asphalt 2014
Northern Ireland Housing Executive v Healthy Buildings (Ireland) Ltd 2014
Walter Lilly & Co Ltd v Mackay and another 2013
Shepherd Construction Ltd v Pinsent Masons LLP 2012
Mirador International LLC v MF Global UK Ltd 2012
James Elliott Construction Ltd v Irish Asphalt Ltd 2011
Community Gateway Association Ltd v Beha Williams Norman Ltd (Costs) 2011
Community Gateway Association Ltd v Beha Williams Norman Ltd 2011
Fitzroy Robinson Ltd v Mentmore Towers Ltd 2010
Fitzroy Robinson Ltd v Mentmore Towers Ltd 2010
Fitzroy Robinson Ltd v Mentmore Towers Ltd 2009
Crowley (t/a Crowley Civil Engineers) v Rushmoor Borough Council 2009
EWHC 346 (QB); [2009] All E.R. (D) 08 (Mar) 2009
Fitzroy Robinson v Anglo Swiss Holding Ltd (No 3) 2009
Sampla & Ors v Rushmoor Borough Council & Anor 2008
London & Regional (St. George’s Court) Ltd v Ministry of Defence 2008
Coal Authority v (1) F W Davidson (2) W E Davidson 2008
Ringway Infrastructure Services Ltd v Vauxhall Motors Ltd 2007
R (on the application of the Law Society) v Legal Services Commission & the Lord Chancellor 2007
Enterprise Managed Services LTD v East Midland Contracting LTD 2007
British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd v (1) Kernkraftwerk Brokdorf GMBH & Co OHG (2) Gemeinschaftskernkraftwerk Grohnde GMBH & co OHG (3) e.on Kernkraft GMBH 2007
BFS Group Ltd v (1) Secretary of State for Defence (2) Purple Foodservice Ltd 2006
Alfred McAlpine Capital Projects Ltd v SIAC Construction 2006
Alfred McAlpine Capital Project Ltd v Tilebox Ltd 2006
Yorkshire Electricity Distribution plc v Telewest ltd [Court of Appeal] 2006
Plymouth and South West Co-operative Society Ltd v Architecture Structure and Management Ltd 2006
Yorkshire Water Services Ltd v Coal Authority 2005
Severn Trent Water Ltd v Coal Authority 2005
Lafarge Aggregates Ltd v Newham London Borough Council 2005
Eileen Anthony & 6 ORS v Coal Authority 2005
David McLean Contractors Ltd v The Albany Building Ltd 2005
CIB Properties Ltd v Birse Construction 2005
Blair & Anor v AWG Residential Ltd & Ors 2005
Birse Construction Ltd v McCormick UK Ltd 2005
Birse Construction Ltd v McCormick (UK) Ltd 2005
Alfred McAlpine Capital Projects Ltd v Tilebox Ltd 2005
Wärtsilä France SAS v Genergy Plc 2004
Mowlem plc v Phi Group Ltd 2004
Hurst Stores and Interiors Ltd v ML Europe Property Ltd 2004
CIB Properties Ltd v Birse Construction Ltd 2004
Alfred McAlpine Construction Ltd v Forum Architects 2003
Van Oord ACZ Ltd and Harbour & General Works Ltd Joint Venture v The Port of Mostyn 2003
Twintec Limited v GSE Building and Civil Engineering Limited 2003
Simons Construction Ltd v Aardvark Developments Ltd 2003
Langley v Coal Authority 2003
Hurst Stores and Interiors Ltd v ML Europe Property Ltd 2003
Clegg v Olle Andersson 2003
Clegg v Anderson (t/a Nordic Marine) 2003
Arscott v Coal Authority 2002
Langley & Others v Coal Authority (No. 2) 2002
Miller Construction Ltd v James Moore Earthmoving 2001
KNS Industrial Services (Birmingham) Ltd v Sindall Ltd 2001
Farebrother Building Services Ltd v Frogmore Investments Ltd 2001
Holbeck Hall Hotel Limited v Scarborough Borough Council 2000
Flannery v Halifax Estate Agencies Limited 2000
Birse Construction Ltd v. St David Ltd (No. 1) 2000
Birse Construction Ltd v St David Ltd (No. 2) 2000
BHP Petroleum Ltd v British Steel Plc 2000
BHP Petroleum Ltd and others v British Steel plc and another 2000
Ascon Contracting Ltd v Alfred McAlpine Construction Isle of Man Ltd 2000
Workplace Technologies PLC v (1) E Squared Ltd (2) Mr J L Riches 2000
Shepherd Construction Ltd v Mecright Ltd Queen’s Bench Division 2000
Shepherd Construction Ltd v Mecright Ltd 2000
Munkenbeck & Marshall v The Kensington Hotel Ltd 2000
John Harris Partnership v Groveworld Ltd 75 Con. L.R. 7; 1999
John Harris Partnership v Groveworld Ltd 1999
Ascon Contracting Ltd v Alfred McAlpine Construction Isle of Man Ltd 1999
Birse Construction Ltd. v St. David Ltd (No. 1) 1999
Tower Housing Association Ltd v Technical & General Guarantee Co Ltd 1998
Holbeck Hall Hotel Ltd v Scarborough 57 Con LR 113; 1997
Mooney v Henry Boot Construction (No.1) 1997
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham v Stamford Asphalt Company Ltd & Ors 1997
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham v Stamford Asphalt Company Limited 1997
Vascroft (Contractors) Ltd v Seeboard Plc 1996
Property & Land Contractors Ltd v Alfred McAlpine Homes (North) Ltd 1996
Mooney v Henry Boot Construction Ltd 1996
Delta Civil Engineering Co Ltd v London Docklands Development Corporation 1996
Mooney v Henry Boot Construction Limited 1996
MJ Gleeson Group Plc v Wyatt of Snetterton Ltd 1995
Christiani & Nielsen Ltd v Birmingham City Council 1994
Alfred McAlpine Construction Ltd v Unex Corporation Ltd 1994
Balfour Beatty Building Ltd v Chestermount Properties Ltd 1993
Europa Holdings Ltd v Circle Industries (UK) Ltd 1993
Richard Roberts Holdings Ltd & Anor v Douglas Smith Stimson Partnership & Ors (No. 2) 1990
Temloc v Errill 1988