Callum Monro Morrison

Call: 2018

Email: cmonromorrison@keatingchambers.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 7257 8751

Practice Overview

Callum has a busy commercial practice and specialises in disputes arising out of engineering, construction, energy, offshore and infrastructure projects. Acting as either sole counsel or junior counsel in larger legal teams, he is engaged in both international and domestic work and particularly relishes disputes involving complex engineering issues. Callum is a contributor to Keating on Construction Contracts and is familiar with all common standard forms, including the JCT, NEC and FIDIC forms. He is ranked in The Legal 500 as a ‘rising star’ (tier 1) in construction: “Callum is an exceptionally diligent counsel who focuses a great deal on preparation and achieves a quick grasp of the technical nature for work.”

Callum regularly represents clients in the High Court, County Court and in adjudications in his own right. He is currently being led in substantial multi-party TCC litigation and in several international arbitrations. Recent highlights include acting:

  • on behalf of an investment fund in TCC proceedings concerning a multi-million-pound retail and residential development (led by Jonathan Selby QC);
  • on behalf of a public authority in TCC proceedings concerning unsafe cladding and other fire safety defects in residential tower blocks (led by Simon Hughes QC);
  • in international arbitrations concerning (i) two state-of-the-art semi-submersible offshore drilling rigs (led by Adam Constable QC), (ii) a coal-fired power station in Africa (led by Simon Hughes QC), (iii) a water desalination plant in the Middle East (led by Simon Hughes QC) and (iv) a leisure park in East Asia;
  • as sole counsel for a Defendant insurer in a series of fast- and multi-track trials concerning repairs to highway furniture; and
  • as sole counsel in a c. £1.6 million adjudication concerning the loss of a chance to implement a less costly structural steelwork design.

Callum accepts instructions to advise, draft pleadings and represent clients in relation to a broad range of commercial matters, with a focus on engineering and construction contracts and associated professional negligence disputes.

Practice Areas
  • Advocacy
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Professional Negligence
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Insurance
  • Offshore/Marine
  • Adjudication
  • Litigation
  • International Arbitration
  • General Commercial
Advocacy
  • Prepared written and oral submissions to resist a High Court application to strike out large parts of the Particulars of Claim which advanced a claim based on extrapolation (led by Jonathan Selby QC). Successfully obtained dismissal of the application – [2020] EWHC 3419 (TCC).
  • Prepared written and oral submissions on behalf of the Respondent in a significant appeal concerning the use of sampling and extrapolation in professional negligence claims (led by Jonathan Selby QC). Successfully obtained dismissal of the appeal – [2021] EWCA Civ 1793.
  • Application in the High Court (TCC) for a stay of proceedings pursuant to section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996. Appeared on behalf of the Defendant and successfully obtained the order sought, together with a substantial costs order in favour of the client.
  • Application in the High Court (TCC) for an extension of time for service of the Claim Form. Appeared on behalf of the Defendant and successfully resisted the application.
  • Fast- and multi-track trials in the County Court – appeared on behalf of the Defendant insurer in a series of claims brought by highway repair contractors for the costs of repairing damaged highway furniture. The trials included cross-examination of factual and expert witnesses. Successfully obtained significant reductions in the quantum of damages awarded in each case (liability had been admitted).
  • Represented two homeowner claimants at mediation in a claim against a well-known housebuilder. The claim concerned widespread defects in a new-build residential property. Successfully obtained a substantial settlement payment on behalf of the claimants.
  • Disposal hearing (County Court at Canterbury) – appeared on behalf of the Claimants in a claim against a landlord for the cost of building repairs. Successfully obtained all monetary relief sought, together with a substantial costs award.
  • Strike-out application (County Court at Watford) – successfully obtained dismissal of the claim on grounds of contractual exclusion and limitation.
  • Application to set aside default judgment (County Court at Leicester) – successfully resisted an application to set aside a default judgment and associated interim charging order, further obtaining an order that the Defendant pay a substantial part of the Claimant’s costs.
  • Final hearing (County Court at Kingston-Upon-Thames) – appeared on behalf of the Defendant and successfully obtained dismissal of a claim for business interruption losses.
  • Application to reinstate a Defence (County Court at Slough) – appeared on behalf of the Applicant and successfully obtained an order granting relief from sanctions, thus reinstating a Defence which had been struck out for failure to serve a directions questionnaire on time.
  • Application for a stay for arbitration (County Court at Northampton) – appeared on behalf of the Applicant and successfully obtained a stay of the proceedings under section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
Construction & Engineering
  • Advised an employer as to whether it was entitled to terminate a building contract on the basis that the contractor had suspended the works.
  • Advised an employer as to whether its termination notice had been valid or in fact constituted a repudiatory breach of the building contract.
  • Advised an employer on its prospects of successfully defending a contractor’s ‘smash and grab’ claim for payment of a notified sum. The claim proceeded to adjudication, in which Callum drafted the employer’s submissions and successfully obtained an adjudicator’s decision that the contractor was not entitled to any payment at all.
  • Drafted a Defence on behalf of a defendant building contractor in a claim concerning allegedly negligent installation of windows in a large residential property. The claim was discontinued upon service of the Defence.
  • Advised a public authority in the north of England as to who bore responsibility under an amended NEC3 contract for interaction with statutory undertakers, which interaction had caused delay to the works and had led to time and money claims against the authority by the building contractor. The advice turned on the interpretation of bespoke ‘Z’ clauses, the Works Information and various technical documents governing interaction with statutory undertakers in respect of highways works.
  • Drafted pleadings, advised on contractual issues and appeared at mediation on behalf of a public authority seeking to recover substantial damages for an evacuation and remedial works caused by unsafe cladding (led by Simon Hughes QC).
  • Advised on, and drafted the Defence to, a claim against a jacuzzi company for negligent construction of a swimming pool. The Claimant discontinued the claim upon receipt of the Defence.
  • Drafted two Defences to claims against a homebuilder for breach of contract in relation to various new-build properties. Following receipt of the Defences, the Claimants settled the claims.
  • Drafted Particulars of Claim on behalf of a building owner for a breach of contract/negligence claim against an earthworks contractor for defective piling at an industrial warehouse.
  • Drafted a Defence on behalf of a bathroom fit-out contractor, against whom liability for various bathroom defects had been alleged by the owners of several apartments.
  • Assisted in drafting Particulars of Claim on behalf of an unpaid demolition contractor.
  • Advised a building contractor on the status of various notices for the purposes of an interim application under a JCT Design & Build Contract (2011 edition).
  • Advised an investment management firm on its prospects of success, the likely measure of damages and whether to accept a Part 36 offer in respect of a claim arising from defective cladding at an office building.
  • Advised a groundworks subcontractor on its prospective claim against a main contractor for the costs incurred repairing a warehouse floor slab.
  • Advised a glazing subcontractor on (a) whether it had formed a binding contract with a main contractor, (b) the terms of that contract and (c) whether those terms permitted adjudication.
Professional Negligence
  • Advised an employer on its prospects of success and recovery options in a prospective claim against its employer’s agent for negligent over-certification in the sum of c.£400,000. The project concerned a new medical facility in the north of England. The claim proceeded to adjudication, in which Callum drafted the employer’s submissions and successfully obtained a substantial settlement payment for the client before the adjudicator had reached his decision.
  • Drafted an amended Defence, appeared at the PTR, drafted the skeleton argument for trial and successfully negotiated and agreed a settlement on behalf of a defendant lighting supplier in a claim concerning the supply of an allegedly defective lighting system for a mansion in Chelsea, London.
  • Drafted pleadings on behalf of an investment fund in a multi-million-pound professional negligence claim against its design team (led by Marcus Taverner QC and Jonathan Selby QC). Successfully defended (i) a strike-out application in respect of those pleadings and (ii) an appeal in respect of the High Court’s decision refusing to strike out the said pleadings – see [2020] EWHC 3419 and [2021] EWCA Civ 1793.
  • Provided ongoing advice and assistance and worked with the client (main contractor) to draft claim documents for consideration by the expert team in a c. £40 million prospective claim against a construction manager and a consultant building services engineer. The prospective claim concerned negligent cost planning and design for a new hospital.
  • Drafted a Scott Schedule in defence of a million-pound claim against architects for allegedly negligent design of home refurbishment works (led by Richard Coplin).
  • Drafted a Defence on behalf of a property management company against whom it was alleged that negligent failure to provide an out-of-hours emergency telephone service had led to severe flooding at a residential property.
  • Drafted a Pre-Action Protocol Letter of Claim on behalf of a local authority seeking damages in respect of a collapsed floodlight at a rugby stadium.
  • Drafted Particulars of Claim on behalf of a public utilities supplier for a claim against a water-cooling specialist whose products had caused a leak at a telephone exchange.
  • Assisted in advising an NHS trust on its prospects of success (liability and quantum) in a prospective claim against (a) a contract administrator and (b) a specialist water treatment firm.
Energy & Natural Resources
  • Assisted in drafting pleadings, prepared written and oral submissions and appeared on behalf of the Claimant at the hearing of the Respondent’s jurisdictional challenge in an international arbitration concerning a water desalination plant in the Middle East (led by Simon Hughes QC).
  • Drafted Particulars of Claim and the Reply in a substantial claim against a maintenance contractor for costs incurred as a result of the destruction of a flue gas desulphurisation unit during a fire at a power station.
  • Advised an oil rig decommissioning firm and drafted a Pre-Action Protocol Letter of Response in relation to a sale of goods dispute with the buyer of a reclaimed turbine.
Insurance
  • Advised 43 leasehold owners of a large apartment building in London on their prospective claims in respect of extensive water ingress damage against two insurers under building warranty policies. The principal issue was limitation.
  • Drafted Particulars of Claim on behalf of an insurer for a claim against a guarantee bond. The bondsman paid out upon receipt of the draft Particulars.
  • Advised an insurer on the validity of various grounds for declinature against an insured under a legal expenses insurance policy.
  • Advised a main contractor on its claim against an insurer under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930 in relation to demolition and asbestos removal works.
  • Assisted in advising an employer on its claim against the PI insurer of an insolvent groundworks subcontractor.
Offshore/Marine
  • Drafting pleadings, witness statements and CMC submissions and providing ongoing advice and assistance in relation to two international arbitrations concerning the design and construction of two state-of-the-art semi-submersible offshore drilling rigs (led by Adam Constable QC).
  • Drafted witness statements to support the referral to adjudication of two substantial claims against a main contractor for undervaluation of interim payments and mobilisation and delay costs. The claims related to a large marine engineering project in Scotland. Also advised on quantum, the NEC3 compensation event provisions and assisted in drafting the Referrals. The claims were ultimately successful in litigation in Scotland, in part thanks to persuasive English authorities that Callum had identified to the Scottish legal team – see [2020] CSOH 87 and [2021] CSIH 50.
Adjudication
  • Drafted the Responding Party’s submissions in a ‘smash and grab’ adjudication concerning a large residential development in Kent. Successfully obtained an adjudicator’s decision that the Referring Party was not entitled to any payment whatsoever and directing that the Referring Party pay the adjudicator’s fees and expenses in full.
  • Drafted the Referring Party’s submissions in a c. £1 million dispute concerning delay to the construction of a large residential development and the liquidated damages payable in consequence of that delay. Succeeded on all legal issues, including (i) the existence, terms and effect of an alleged settlement agreement and (ii) arguments about partial possession.
  • Drafted the Notice of Adjudication and Referral in a claim by a firm of architects for unpaid fees. The fees were paid upon receipt of the Referral.
  • Advised a main contractor as to whether various matters raised by its subcontractor in adjudication constituted res judicata owing to a previous adjudicator’s decision.
  • Drafted the Response and Rejoinder in a final account dispute concerning a groundworks subcontract for a Lidl supermarket in Yorkshire. Successfully obtained a 62% reduction in the payment which had been sought by the Referring Party.
  • Appeared on behalf of the Defendants and successfully resisted an application to enforce an adjudicator’s decision, on the grounds that the adjudicator lacked jurisdiction because there was no contract between the parties, and the case was not amenable to summary judgment in any event.
  • Appeared on behalf of the Referring Party (main contractor) and successfully obtained an adjudicator’s decision to the effect that no further sums were owing to a sub-contractor, since allegedly additional works were in fact within the agreed scope of the subcontract.
  • Drafted the Response and Rejoinder in a final account dispute concerning ground remediation works at a mixed retail and industrial site (led by Tom Coulson). Successfully obtained a 91% reduction in the payment which had been sought by the Referring Party.
  • Drafted the Rejoinder in a final account dispute concerning the construction of a dance studio. Legal issues included global claims and liquidated damages. The contract between the parties was in the JCT Standard Building Contract Without Quantities (2011) standard form.
  • Assisted in advising a property developer on contract administrator’s duties and the crystallisation of a ‘dispute’ for the purposes of adjudication under the statutory Scheme for Construction Contracts.
  • Assisted in advising a civil engineering subcontractor on the scope of the Notice of Adjudication and whether matters outside that notice could be raised in its defence.
Litigation
  • Advised a defendant design and build contractor in substantial multi-party TCC proceedings as to the potential consequences of its prospective agreement to discontinuance of the claim.
  • Advised on the merits of an appeal against a judgment on quantum where the judge had erred in law, and drafted the Grounds of Appeal and accompanying skeleton argument.
  • Advised on whether there had been a breach of CPR 3.13 regarding the time for filing cost budgets and accordingly whether an application for relief from sanctions needed to be made.
  • Advised on the merits of an appeal against a decision refusing a request for default judgment. The advice included detailed consideration of CPR 12 and relevant authorities.
  • Drafted a skeleton argument in support of an application to the High Court to obtain an interim prohibitory injunction to prevent threatened trespass and property damage.
  • Assisted in advising a prospective Claimant on the optimum procedure for its claim (Part 7, Part 8, shorter trial scheme, flexible trial scheme).
  • Drafted a Respondent’s statement of why permission to appeal should be refused.
  • Drafted a skeleton argument in support of an application for (a) a mandatory interim injunction to obtain delivery up of certain design materials, and (b) an order that the proceedings be stayed for arbitration.
  • Assisted in advising a Defendant to a substantial multi-party claim on whether it was bound by court decisions in related proceedings (res judicata and issue estoppel).
  • Drafted a skeleton argument for an application to strike out a substantially defective pleading, alternatively to obtain summary judgment against the Claimant.
  • Drafted a skeleton argument on behalf of a Defendant seeking to strike out the re-amended Particulars of Claim at a directions hearing.
  • Drafted a Part 20 contribution notice seeking an indemnity/contribution from five other Defendants.
  • Drafted a Pre-Action Protocol Letter of Claim on behalf of a power generation company seeking substantial business interruption losses from a power station maintenance contractor.
International Arbitration
  • Drafting pleadings, witness statements and CMC submissions and providing ongoing advice and assistance in relation to two international arbitrations concerning the design and construction of two state-of-the-art semi-submersible offshore drilling rigs (led by Adam Constable QC).
  • Reviewed and edited pleadings, prepared written and oral submissions on jurisdiction and appeared on behalf of the Claimant in a billion-dollar international arbitration concerning pricing indexation under a power and water supply agreement (led by Simon Hughes QC). The agreement related to a water desalination plant in the Middle East. The jurisdictional arguments concerned the definition of a government body under local law (ground 1) and the interpretation of a tiered dispute resolution clause (ground 2). Succeeded on ground 1.
  • Drafted pleadings on behalf of the Defendant in a Mauritian arbitration concerning the construction of a luxury villa (led by Jennie Wild). Settled.
  • Drafted the Respondent’s closing submissions on English law in a Hong Kong arbitration concerning the construction of a leisure park in the Far East.
  • Drafted part of the Opening and Closing Submissions, assisted with trial preparation and drafted a List of Issues for an international arbitration (UNCITRAL rules) concerning delays to the construction of a coal-fired power station (led by Simon Hughes QC). The subcontract between the parties was in the FIDIC Yellow Book (1999) standard form.
  • Assisted with trial preparation for an international arbitration (LCIA rules) concerning the scope of works in a contract for the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant.
General Commercial
  • Advised a consumer on the merits of a potential claim against a utilities provider for incorrect invoicing. The advice included consideration of whether billing data could be obtained from the utilities company under the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • Assisted in drafting the Defence to a claim brought by a recruitment agency against an engineering consultancy for alleged breach of a personnel assignment agreement.
  • Drafted a skeleton argument for a Defendant’s application to set aside default judgment in a claim for alleged wrongful registration of a default.
Case Reports
Case Date
Building Design Partnership Ltd v Standard Life Assurance Ltd 29 November 2021