John Steel

Call: 2018


Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Practice Overview

John Steel was called to the Bar in 2018 and became a tenant at Keating Chambers in 2020 following the successful completion of his pupillage.

During pupillage, John was immersed in the core areas of Chambers’ work, focusing on construction and engineering disputes, professional negligence, energy and infrastructure projects, procurement and insurance. He worked on cases involving a variety of standard form contracts, including the JCT and NEC3, as well as bespoke framework agreements, construction contracts, PFI/PPP and turnkey agreements. This work has spanned both litigation and complex adjudication.

Since accepting his offer of tenancy, John has advised a sub-contractor on issuing Pt 8 proceedings following an adjudication and the merits of referring a dispute to adjudication. He has also drafted an application for a Pt 8 hearing for a main contractor and assisted in preparing witness statements.

While studying on the GDL/ BPTC, John was the director of the School Exclusions Project, providing representation to children with special education needs. He also acted as a mentor at Vocalise, teaching debating in London prisons and representing the initiative in formal debates at Gray’s Inn.

John can accept instructions to advise, draft pleadings and represent clients in relation to a broad range of commercial matters, with an emphasis upon construction, engineering, and infrastructure disputes.

Practice Areas
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Professional Negligence
  • PFI
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Infrastructure & Utilities
  • Public Procurement
Construction & Engineering
  • Assisted in drafting a defence for a major housebuilder in respect of a claim under an NHBC policy.
  • Assisted in advising a client on issuing proceedings against a design and build contractor of a warehouse facility for a claim that faced limitation issues. The case involved navigating a standstill agreement and related limitation issues.
  • Assisted in drafting pleadings in an adjudication against a shell and core contractor following water ingress. The adjudication related, in particular, to the question of quantum and expert evidence for remedial works.
  • Assisted in advising a client on staying proceedings against a dissolved company to return it to the register for the purposes of the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930.
  • Assisted in advising a hotel on a major pipework defects claim and drafting a claim form and particulars of claim against a manufacturer and contractor.
  • Assisted in advising a sub-contractor on the compatibility of a standard form sub-contract with the payment provisions of the HGCRA.
  • Assisted in drafting pleadings in an adjudication against a contractor following the installation of lifts at a hotel.
  • Assisted in advising a client and drafting particulars of claim against a contractor under a joint venture agreement. The advice related, in part, to the issues relating to partnerships and complications surrounding a partnership and insolvency proceedings.
Professional Negligence
  • Assisted in drafting particulars of claim against an architect as part of a major project to provide performing arts facilities.
  • Assisted in advising a client on obtaining an injunction to prohibit solicitors acting for another party in adjudication proceedings. The advice, and subsequent hearing preparation, related to concurrent adjudication proceedings.
  • Assisted in drafting pleadings in a passthrough adjudication referral for a Project Co following the defective installation of firestopping at a major educational facility. The drafting was informed by a series of conferences with the client and expert evidence of the defective design and installation to which the pleadings related.
  • Assisted in advising a Project Co on issuing a claim against a design and build contractor of a car park adjoined to a hospital. The advice concerned questions of ‘no loss’ and failure to mitigate
Energy & Natural Resources
  • Assisted in advising a power plant in a claim against maintenance contractor for damage and loss of income following a fire. The points of advice went to both questions of waiver of privilege over expert reports and the measure of damages for loss of profits.
  • Assisted in advising an overseas company with an interest in a power plant on next steps in arbitration proceedings.
Infrastructure & Utilities
  • Assisted in drafting pleadings in adjudication proceedings for a major domestic infrastructure project, involving an amended NEC3 framework agreement. Also assisted in advising on next steps in multiple adjudications and contract management in respect of the same project.
  • Assisted in drafting pleadings and taking witness statements in a major arbitration dispute relating to an infrastructure project in the Gulf.
Public Procurement
  • Assisted in preparing for a hearing involving an application for security for costs and an application to amend the pleadings for a claim under The Public Contracts Regulations 2015.