Brenna Conroy

Call: 2010

Email: bconroy@keatingchambers.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Practice Overview

Brenna Conroy specialises in construction, international arbitration, professional negligence and energy work and is recommended in Chambers and Partners as “a star of the future”, and described as “approachable, bright and incredibly sharp”. Due to the quality of her written work and advocacy, Brenna was appointed to the prestigious Attorney General’s B Panel this year.

Brenna’s reputation at the Construction Bar resulted in her being listed in Legal Week’s “Stars at the Bar 2017” as one of 12 most highly rated commercial barristers under 10 years call. Brenna was recommended as “quick-thinking [and] hardworking” and as having “a wider understanding of not just the legal perspective, but tactical strategy, demonstrated by her proficiently arguing complicated legal points.”

In relation to her construction work, Brenna is noted in Chambers and Partners as being “sharp and formidable” and “very commercial and user-friendly” and is commended for being able to “talk in the client’s language. She understands the industry and the key commercial drivers and comes up with practical solutions. She also has an incredible work ethic.” Brenna is also praised in the Legal 500 construction rankings for being “super-bright, quick to assimilate complex issues and detailed points.”

Brenna has built up a strong domestic and international practice, with a particular interest in construction and energy work and has been involved in a number of high-profile cases in the TCC as well as complex, high value international arbitration proceedings. Over the last 2 years she has been involved in several high value disputes concerning drillships, power plants, sports centres and infrastructure. She has been led in several UK court cases and adjudications as well as very high profile arbitrations involving projects in Georgia, Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

Brenna has built up a busy construction practice in her own right, and has had a number of reported cases, one of which had important implications for payment and one for adjudication within the industry. She has also received judicial praise in a number of her reported cases for her succinct and skillful advocacy.

Brenna is a contributing editor of the Construction Law Reports and Keating on Construction Contracts.

In chambers, Brenna sits on the pupillage committee and is a pupil supervisor. Brenna also sits on the GDL and Bar Course Scholarship Interview panels for Lincoln’s Inn.

Practice Areas
  • Construction & Engineering
  • International Arbitration
  • Professional Negligence
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Transport & Infrastructure
  • Adjudication
Construction & Engineering

Brenna is instructed on a wide range of construction disputes involving interim payments, termination, certification, defective works and designs, delay, disruption, loss and expense, extensions of time and liquidated damages, employer and contractor insolvency and complex final account disputes. She also has experience advising insurers on coverage issues relating to construction projects.

Brenna acts for clients in litigation, arbitration, adjudication and mediation. She is also direct access qualified and accepts instructions on a direct access basis.

Recent work includes:

  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v Lendlease Construction (Europe) Ltd & Others, the only construction case to feature in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022.
  • A $55m claim arising out of professional services provided in relation to a metro project.
  • A £15m dispute arising out of the construction of a new maintenance facility and wheellathe facility at a train depot.
  • A claim relating to alleged overpayment arising out of the construction of a £135m state of the art residential complex in central London.
  • A multi-million pound dispute against a structural engineer arising out of the design and construction of student accommodation.
  • Multiple disputes arising out of a framework agreement to grow, develop and upgrade the UK strategic road network.
  • A dispute concerning the design and construction of a £55m state-of the-art sports centre at a university.
  • A delay claim arising from a multi-million pound extension of the existing Northern line.
  • A £3m claim in relation to the design and construction of a multi-million pound depot alleged to have suffered from extensive defects to the pavement and drainage on site.
  • A £150m+ claim concerning the construction of a coal-fired power plant.
  • A $140m professional negligence claim relating to the design and construction of a Hydro Power Plant.
  • A $500m international arbitration in relation to the construction of a state-of-the-art drillship.
  • Complex contractual advice arising out of the Thames Estuary Asset Management programme.
  • Multiple disputes arising out of framework agreements for flood and costal risk management support.
  • Multi-million pound arbitration relating to the design and construction of a company’s new headquarters in Manchester.
  • The design and construction of the A380 south Devon Link road.
  • Ro-Bal Steel Fabrications Limited v G Jones Site Services Limited [2016] EWHC 292 (Ch): case concerning the winding up a company on the basis of a payment notice and failure to issue a pay less notice.
  • JRT Developments Ltd v TW Dixon (Developments) Ltd [2020] 10 WLUK 106: Instructed as sole counsel in adjudication enforcement proceedings and successfully persuaded the High Court to stay enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision on the grounds of manifest injustice and the impecuniosity of the claimant.
  • Deluxe Art & Theme Ltd v Beck Interiors Ltd [2016] EWHC 238 (TCC): Instructed as sole counsel in a dispute concerning the interpretation of Paragraph 8(1) of the Scheme for Construction Contracts, in which enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision was successfully resisted on the basis that the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate upon multiple disputes in separate adjudications at the same time.
  • Henia Investments Inc v Beck Interiors Ltd [2015] EWHC 2433 (TCC); [2015] B.L.R. 704; 161 Con. L.R. 51; [2015] C.I.L.L. 3727: Instructed as junior counsel in a £3m dispute regarding the ambit of Interim Applications and Pay Less Notices under the 2011 JCT suite of Contracts and the HGCRA 1996 (as amended by the LDEDCA 2009).
  • Wycombe Demolition Ltd v Topevent Ltd [2015] EWHC 2692 (TCC); [2015] B.L.R. 765; defending enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision on the basis that he had considered multiple disputes and had decided the issue of valuation based on his own novel approach rather than the case advanced by each of the parties.
  • Rydon Maintenance Ltd v Affinity Sutton Housing Ltd [2015] EWHC 1306 (TCC): led by Nigel Jones QC, challenging enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision on the basis that the adjudicator had breached the rules of natural justice in predetermining the outcome of the dispute and exhibiting apparent bias and/or a lack of impartiality.
  • Instructed as junior counsel, led by Paul Reed QC, defending a leading construction company in Dubai in an ICC arbitration against a contractor, claiming 35 million dirhams for delay and variations.
  • Accolade Wines v Volkerfitzpatrick: a six party £150m property damage and business interruption claim brought by Accolade Wines, described by the Lawyer as one of the biggest cases in the TCC in 2014/15.
  • Instructed as junior counsel, led by Sarah Hannaford QC, on a £200m arbitration in relation to a long running dispute over the refurbishment and rebuilding of a government military base.
  • National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside Board of Trustees v AEW Architects and Designers Ltd [2013] EWHC 3025 (TCC); [2014] 1 Costs L.O. 39 and [2013] EWHC 2576 (TCC) and [2013] EWHC 2403 (TCC): a lengthy trial in the High Court (TCC), defending a £4 million damages claim brought by the National Museum of Liverpool for remedial works that were alleged to be necessary because of design defects in the museum.
International Arbitration

Brenna has a busy international practice having been involved in a number of very high profile, high value and complex arbitrations involving projects in Korea (ship), South Africa (power plant), Australia (power plant), Georgia (hydro power plant) and Saudi Arabia with leading silks from Keating.

Brenna is particularly sought after in relation to large scale, international arbitrations because she is recognised as being equally enthusiastic and able when dealing with the high level strategic points as well as the heavy, detailed work which is often required on high-value construction disputes. She has also been praised as understanding the dynamic between instructing solicitors and clients and “really adds to that” and is able to “talk in the client’s language”. This makes her a popular choice for working as part of a team of barristers and solicitors on high profile disputes.

Recent work includes:

  • A $55m claim arising out of professional services provided in relation to a metro project (with David Thomas QC). Brenna was extensively involved with complex factual and legal issues arising out of allegations of professional negligence.
  • A £150m+ claim concerning the construction of a coal-fired power plant (with David Thomas QC). Brenna was extensively involved with complex technical, factual and legal issues relating to the claims for delay and disruption by the claimant.
  • A $140m dispute relating to the design and construction of a Hydro Power Plant (with Adam Constable QC).
  • An AUD 2.13 billion dispute arising out of the construction of an onshore LNG plant in Australia (with Adam Constable QC).
  • A $500m international arbitration in relation to the construction of a state-of-the-art drillship (with Adam Constable QC and Lucy Garrett QC).  Brenna was extensively involved with complex, technical expert issues relating to the construction of the drillship and claims for delay by the claimant.
  • Defending a leading construction company in Dubai in an ICC arbitration against a contractor claiming 35 million dirhams for delay and variations (with Paul Reed QC).
  • £200m arbitration in relation to a long running dispute over the refurbishment and rebuilding of a government military base (with Sarah Hannaford QC).
Professional Negligence

Brenna acts and advises in a variety of claims in professional negligence, particularly in the construction industry. She has advised and drafted pleadings in high value, complex claims involving allegations of negligence against professionals including surveyors, architects, engineers and project supervisors. She was instructed as Junior Counsel in a multi-million pound claim brought by the Museum of Liverpool against an architects firm following allegations of negligence in respect of the design of the new museum.

Recent work includes:

  • A $55m claim arising out of professional services provided in relation to a metro project.
  • A $140m professional negligence claim relating to the design and construction of a Hydro Power Plant.
  • A claim relating to alleged overpayment arising out of the construction of a £135m state of the art residential complex in central London.
  • A multi-million pound dispute against a structural engineer arising out of the design and construction of student accommodation.
  • A £3m claim in relation to the design and construction of a multi-million pound depot alleged to have suffered from extensive defects to the pavement and drainage on site.
  • Deluxe Art & Theme Ltd v Beck Interiors Ltd [2016] EWHC 238 (TCC).
  • Accolade Wines v Volkerfitzpatrick (2) Volkervessels (3) Goodman (4) Keller (5) Twintec (6) GJ3&4.
  • National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside Board of Trustees v AEW Architects and Designers Ltd [2013] EWHC 2403 (TCC).
  • National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside Board of Trustees v AEW Architects and Designers Ltd [2013] EWHC 2576 (TCC).
  • Acting for an architect in relation the multi-million pound refurbishment of a mosque.
  • Acting for an M&E designer in defence of a £10m claim by the employer arising from the refurbishment of a pharmaceutical facility.
  • Defending the designer of a road in TCC proceedings in a claim brought for damages for remedial works.
  • Advising a developer in a million pound dispute against an architect for breach of the Building Regulations 1991.
  • Advising a design consultant in relation to a claim brought by the main contractors regarding the installation of an industrial door at an airplane hangar.
  • Advising a building owner in relation to a claim against a surveyor relating to the negligent survey of a property.
Energy & Natural Resources

Brenna specialises in domestic and international construction work and over the last 12-18 months has been involved in a number of very high-profile arbitrations involving projects in Korea (ship), South Africa (power plant), Australia (power plant) and Georgia (hydro power plant) with leading silks from Keating.

Recent work includes:

  • A £150m+ claim concerning the construction of a coal-fired power plant.
  • A $140m dispute relating to the design and construction of a Hydro Power Plant.
  • An AUD 2.13 billion dispute arising out of the construction of an onshore LNG plant in Australia.
  • A $500m international arbitration in relation to the construction of a state-of-the-art drillship.
Transport & Infrastructure

Over the last 12-18 months Brenna has been involved in numerous high value disputes concerning train depots, metro stations, sports centres and extensions to the London Underground. She has been led in several UK court cases and adjudications as well as high profile arbitrations involving infrastructure projects.

Recent work includes:

  • A $55m claim arising out of professional services provided in relation to a metro project.
  • A £15m dispute arising out of the construction of a new maintenance facility and wheellathe facility at a train depot.
  • Multiple disputes arising out of a framework agreement to grow, develop and upgrade the UK strategic road network.
  • Complex contractual advice arising out of the Thames Estuary Asset Management programme.
  • Multiple disputes arising out of framework agreements for flood and costal risk management support.
  • A dispute concerning the design and construction of a £55m state-of the-art sports centre at a university.
  • A delay claim arising from a multi-million pound extension of the existing Northern line.
  • A £3m claim in relation to the design and construction of a multi-million pound depot alleged to have suffered from extensive defects to the pavement and drainage on site.
  • The design and construction of the A380 south Devon Link road.
Adjudication

Brenna has a thriving adjudication practice alongside her litigation and arbitration practice. She has been instructed by both Referring and Responding Parties and has had extensive experience drafting submissions in respect of a variety of construction disputes. She was described by Chambers and Partners as “[cutting] to the heart of the matter and offers sound potential solutions to legal issues particularly in the context of adjudication.”

Brenna also has experience in running adjudications on behalf of her instructing solicitors. She has regularly advised clients on tactics involved in the Adjudication process and has given comprehensive and interactive lectures on adjudication, aimed at both junior and senior practitioners.

Brenna appears regularly in the TCC in relation to adjudication enforcement proceedings and was sole counsel in the case of JRT Developments Ltd v TW Dixon (Developments) Ltd [2020] 10 WLUK 106, which is one of the only cases where counsel has persuaded the High Court to stay enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision on the grounds of manifest injustice, and the leading 2016 case of Deluxe Art & Theme Ltd v Beck Interiors Ltd [2016] EWHC 238 (TCC), winning on an issue which had far reaching implications in the industry in relation to the appointment of adjudicators on multiple disputes.

Brenna is also direct access qualified and is happy to accept instructions on a direct access basis.

Recent work includes:

  • A claim relating to alleged overpayment arising out of the construction of a £135m state of the art residential complex in central London.
  • JRT Developments Ltd v TW Dixon (Developments) Ltd [2020] 10 WLUK 106.
  • A £15m dispute arising out of the construction of a new maintenance facility and wheel lathe facility at a train depot.
  • A dispute concerning the design and construction of a £55m state-of the-art sports centre at a university.
  • A delay claim arising from a multi-million-pound extension of the existing Northern line.
  • A delay claim arising out of the design and construction of the A380.
  • Deluxe Art & Theme Ltd v Beck Interiors Ltd [2016] EWHC 238 (TCC).
  • Wycombe Demolition Ltd v Topevent Ltd [2015] EWHC 2692 (TCC).
  • Rydon Maintenance Ltd v Affinity Sutton Housing Ltd [2015] EWHC 1306 (TCC).
  • An adjudication arising out of a £2m dispute involving a substantial housing association in relation to rates for payment under a responsive repairs contract.
  • A series of adjudications arising out of a £10m claim brought by an employer against an M&E designer relating to the refurbishment of a pharmaceutical facility.
  • An adjudication brought by the owner of a food processing factory in respect of defective works carried out by a contractor.
  • A number of adjudications relating to final account disputes and interim payment disputes involving issues relating to pay less notices and withholding notices.