Professor John Uff CBE KC

Call: 1970 Silk: 1983


Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Practice Overview

John Uff originally trained as a civil engineer, becoming a specialist in geotechnics, but after five years practice he transferred to the Bar and became Donald Keating’s last pupil.

While developing an extensive practice in all areas of engineering and construction, he has maintained close interests in writing, lecturing and academia. In 1987 he became the founding Director of the Centre of Construction Law and Dispute Resolution at King’s College, London, and was appointed to the Nash Chair of Engineering Law at the University of London in 1992. Since 2003 he is Emeritus Professor of Engineering Law at King’s College. John Uff’s national and international reputation has led to many appointments as arbitrator in substantial disputes in most parts of the world as well as being appointed to chair Public Inquiries in the UK and abroad.

He has maintained close contact with the engineering world through the ICE and the Royal Academy of Engineering. John has been closely involved in many developments in the construction industry over the past two decades, through committees and publications and has most recently spearheaded the engineering profession’s drive to establish new code of ethics in the engineering profession. In 1996 he served as Chairman of a Public Inquiry into Yorkshire water. In 1998-2001 chaired two Public Inquiries into rail accidents: first the Southall inquiry and secondly, sitting jointly with Lord Cullen, into rail safety systems, following the Paddington crash. Most recently he was invited to a chair panel of Commissioners inquiring into the activities of the public construction industry in Trinidad and Tobago. His report, which received wide publicity throughout the Caribbean, was delivered to the President in March 2010. His professional activities have included serving on the Court and appointment as a Vice President of the London Court of International Arbitration and serving as President of the Society of Construction Arbitrators and Master of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators.

Practice Areas
  • Appointed Arbitrator
  • Appointed in Adjudications and ADR
  • Acting as Counsel
Appointed Arbitrator

John Uff has worked on many substantial arbitrations, as sole arbitrator, Chairman or Tribunal member throughout the world from Australasia and the Far East to the Middle East, Europe and North America of which the following is a recent selection.

  • Sole Arbitrator on a wide range of disputes on an off-shore gas rig in Australia.
  • Party arbitrator in an ad hoc Tribunal dealing with disputes on design and construction of a nickel and cobalt process plant in Western Australia.
  • Chairman of LCIA Tribunal for major disputes on oil installation in Southern Iraq.
  • Party arbitrator in ICC case concerning construction of silos in Iran.
  • Chairman of a UNCITRAL tribunal dealing with disputes on major building project in Eastern Europe.
  • Chairman of ICC Tribunal for delay and defects issue on major power plant in Thailand.
  • Chairman of ICC Tribunal on disputes arising from construction of substantial oil-transfer facility in North Africa.
  • Party arbitrator on disputes arising from the construction of two high-spec oil drilling vessels.
  • Sole arbitrator in LCIA dispute in Caribbean concerning design and construction of substantial beach resort.
  • Chairman of ICC Tribunal dealing with issues of delay and defects on international construction project in Gibraltar.
  • Chairman of ad hoc Tribunal dealing with large number of disputes arising from design and construction of military air-base in Gulf region.
  • Party arbitrator in ICC Tribunal dealing with delay and determination issues arising from power transmission works, South Pacific.
  • Chairman of ICC Tribunal dealing with disputes including determination on natural gas process plant, Greece.
Appointed in Adjudications and ADR

John Uff has been appointed on a substantial number of adjudications and ADR proceedings in recent years dealing with claims on major projects.

  • Termination of manufacturing plant in North Africa.
  • Delay and disruption dispute on national motorway structure.
  • Termination of major bank construction project.
  • Rail network maintenance contracts.
  • Refurbishment works at a major national gallery.
  • A major port and ferry terminal upgrade.
  • Disputes arising from substantial military installation.
Acting as Counsel
  • Acting for the Treasury Solicitor on projects including:
  • PFI project for water services.
  • Major facility for UK armed services.
  • Disputes on PFI project for National Laboratory.

Also giving specialist advice on construction projects and procedures for dispute resolution, particularly involving international issues and parties.

Case Reports
Case Date