Justin Mort QC

Call: 1994 Silk: 2014

Email: jmort@keatingchambers.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Practice Overview

Justin Mort QC specialises in disputes arising out of construction, energy, infrastructure and process engineering projects. He is recommended for Construction in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

He has an unparalleled reputation as a successful trial advocate, strategist and lawyer. Comments in the directories include: “Justin is a fantastic lawyer as he gets straight into things and works incredibly hard on the detail. He can rip apart cases that need a detailed analysis”, “A strong, forceful advocate who is completely at home in the TCC” and “singled out for the strength of his intellect, and his vast knowledge of the technicalities of construction law”. He has recently worked on claims arising from a variety of energy projects including the construction of a wind farm in Scotland (delay claim), Pembroke power station (termination and final account dispute), a gas power station in Singapore, a hydro-electric dam in Malaysia (unforeseen grounds conditions claim) and a waste to energy power plant in England.

Lately he has worked on disputes arising in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, Gibraltar, Denmark, St Lucia, and Zambia as well as the UK. Infrastructure projects that Justin has worked on include major works for the supply of electricity, the maintenance of trunk roads and other transport projects, and numerous PFI projects. Justin is presently working on two (unrelated) disputes arising out of the 2012 London Olympics. Justin taught construction and arbitration law as part of the LLM at the Centre of Commercial Studies at Queen Mary College. He has appeared in numerous reported decisions concerning the interpretation and application of the Arbitration Act 1996. He has detailed knowledge and experience of the principal arbitration rules.

Justin also specialises in injunctive proceedings. He has recently acted for a party seeking an injunction to prevent a firm of solicitors from acting against their client, a mandatory injunction for return of takeover packages removed to Italy (Alstom v SOMI), an anti-suit injunction in the Commercial Court (U&M v KCM) and an injunction in the Companies’ Court to  prevent the presentation of a winding-up petition. He edited the section on injunctions in Keating on Construction Contracts.

Justin is a renowned authority on the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. In 2013 he expanded the application of the Act by arguing that a collateral warranty was a “construction contract” (Parkwood v Laing O’Rourke). In September 2014 he successfully argued that an express contractual right to adjudicate did not fall within the operation of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 (Hurley Palmer Flatt Ltd v Barclays Bank plc).

Practice Areas
  • Infrastructure & Utilities
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Other engineering or geotechnical disputes
  • Injunctions
  • Arbitration applications
  • Professional Negligence
Infrastructure & Utilities
  • Acting for a number of contractors and professionals in claims arising out of various infrastructure projects relating to the Olympics under NEC3 and the NEC3 professional services contract.
  • Claim in respect of unforeseen defects arising out of the maintenance of a road network on an amended NEC3 form of contract: adjudication and subsequent arbitration.
  • Claim for additional costs arising out of the demolition and construction of a bridge under the A404(M), NEC2 form of contract.
  • Acting for the main contractor responsible for connecting new street lighting in two London boroughs over a 6 year period; various disputes referred to adjudication (against Adam Constable QC).
  • Acting for Alstom in TCC litigation relating to delay in the design and manufacture of the Pendolino (tilting) trains.
  • Acting for the main contractor in disputes arising out of the refurbishment of the Jubilee line under NEC2, led by David Thomas QC.
  • Acting for a consultant in dispute about payment and services provided in connection with the Crossrail project.
  • Acting for a subcontractor carrying out railway maintenance works under the MF/1 form.
  • Acting for HSBC Rail in TCC litigation arising out of the late supply and refurbishment of trains.
Energy & Natural Resources
  • Final account, termination and delay dispute between main contractor and steelwork subcontractor arising out of the construction of a power station: various adjudications and litigation (against Marc Rowlands QC and subsequently against Simon Hughes QC).
  • Final account dispute arising out of the installation of an uninterruptible power supplies in a data centre: adjudication and subsequent litigation.
  • Delay claim arising out of the procurement and construction of a sunflower oil facility in Ukraine: LCIA arbitration, led by Marcus Taverner QC.
  • LCIA arbitration concerning the refurbishment of an oil platform in the Middle East: defending the contractor’s delay claim on behalf of the employer.
  • Claim by contractor under a FIDIC form for unforeseen grounds conditions arising out of the construction of a hydro-electric dam in Thailand: arbitration.
  • Acting for Black and Veatch in a delay claim arising out of the construction of a gas power station in Singapore.
  • Acting for the owner in a dispute arising out of the operation of a glass re-cycling facility.
  • Acting for the owner in a dispute arising out of an alternative energy project for the production of renewable natural gas.
  • Delay claim arising out of the construction of a wind farm in Scotland.
Other engineering or geotechnical disputes
  • Claims by contractor for (a) unforeseen physical conditions and (b) force majeure, arising out of the construction of a landfill site in St Lucia under a FIDIC form.
  • Claim in respect of geotechnical engineering services arising out of the construction of a shopping village at Ebbw Vale. Led by David Thomas QC; the case also involved Marcus Taverner QC and Krista Lee who acted for the civil engineer.
  • Acting for the employer defending a delay claim arising out of a copper mining project in Zambia, based upon an allegation of failure to dewater the site.
  • Assisting Finola O’Farrell QC with proceedings in the TCC arising out of the procurement and construction of a fire training facility in South London.
  • Final account dispute arising out of M&E works undertaken at a psychiatric hospital built for North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust: trial in the TCC (against Alexander Nissen QC).
  • Acting for PFI concessionaire as defendant in TCC claim for additional payment brought by building contractor and as claimant in corresponding pass-through claim against South Tees Acute Hospitals NHS trust.
  • Acting for a main contractor in a delay claim against Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust.
  • Acting for a groundwork subcontractor in claim arising out of the construction of a community college.
  • Acting for the operator of a local authority leisure facility and teaching pool against the maintenance contractor in a series of adjudications.

Justin Mort QC prepared the section on injunctions in the 9th edition of Keating on Construction Contracts

  • Resisting an ant-suit injunction in the commercial court to prevent enforcement of interim injunctive relief obtained in support of arbitration: see arbitration claims below.
  • Acting for a contractor seeking an injunction in the TCC to prevent the contractor’s solicitors from acting against it in adjudication proceedings.
  • Acting for the claimant in a claim in the TCC for interlocutory and final mandatory injunctions (alternatively: order for delivery up), requiring the return of takeover packages unlawfully removed to Italy.
  • Application for injunction and strike out of a winding-up petition in the companies’ court: petition withdrawn and costs awarded on an indemnity basis.
  • Resisting an application in the TCC for an injunction requiring the main contractor on a sensitive
    building project to permit the employer’s remedial works contractor to attend site.
  • Preparing an application for an emergency injunction in the TCC against a contractor working for a local authority.
  • Successful appeal from an order striking out a claim for a prohibitory injunction (nuisance).
  • Advising in a claim for an injunction requiring delivery to the subcontractor of the main contract.
Arbitration applications

Justin Mort QC has lectured on arbitration law at Queen Mary College, London.

  • Dispute as to a party’s entitlement to seek interim injunctive relief in the court local to the project in circumstances where the seat of the arbitration was London under the LCIA rules (commercial court): sections 2(3) and 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and article 23.5 of the LCIA rules considered.
  • Application to set aside an arbitral award under section 68 of the Arbitration Act (serious irregularity) together with application for permission and appeal under section 69 on a question of law: construction of sections 57 and 70.
  • Resisting a section 9 application to stay TCC proceedings for arbitration in Denmark arising out of a BVI company’s building project in the UK.
  • Resisting an application to stay a counterclaim for arbitration made by the claimant at the same time as its own application for summary judgment under the same contract.
  • Application to stay a counterclaim for arbitration in circumstances where the claim arose from a contract that provided for the resolution of disputes in litigation whereas the counterclaim arose out of a contract containing an arbitration agreement.
  • Appeal in the TCC from an arbitrator’s refusal to grant security for costs in a final account arbitration arising out of the construction of a residential development.
Professional Negligence
  • Architects and quantity surveyors negligence trial in the TCC, led by Paul Darling QC, arising out of the refurbishment of a shopping centre in Plymouth.
  • Claim against a quantity surveyor arising out of the development of a shopping centre in Leeds.
  • Acting for employer in the TCC against architect in connection with the installation of double glazing units in the River and Rowing Museum in Henley.
  • TCC trial arising out of the development of a shopping centre and cinema complex in North London: respective liabilities of building services engineer and architect.
  • Claim against architect arising out of use of letter of intent (TCC trial).

Justin has also acted in a range of domestic and international building disputes, including acting for high net worth individuals in connection with various residential projects in adjudication, arbitration, litigation and mediation.

Case Reports
Case Date
Swansea Stadium Management Company v Swansea and Interserve 17 April 2019
Swansea Stadium Management Company v Swansea and Interserve 15 August 2018
Swansea Stadium Management Company v Swansea and Interserve 24 July 2018
Adam Architecture Ltd v Halsbury Homes Ltd 2 November 2017
Jacobs UK Ltd v Skanska Construction Ltd 29 September 2017
Kersfield Developments (Bridge Road) Ltd v Bray and Slaughter Ltd 18 January 2017
Trant Engineering Ltd v Mott McDonald Ltd 5 July 2017
Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd v Merit Merrell Technology Ltd (costs) 26 July 2017
Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd v Merit Merrell Technology (liability) 12 July 2017
Lea Valley Developments Ltd v Derbyshire, decision of Adrian Williamson QC (substantive issues) 16 June 2017
Lea Valley Developments Ltd v Derbyshire, decision of O’Farrell J (jurisdiction) 19 April 2017
North Midland Construction plc v Geo Networks Ltd 30 October 2015
William Clark Partnership v Dock St PCT Ltd: 16 October 2015
J Murphy & Sons Ltd v Beckton Energy Ltd 2016
Commercial Management (Investments) Ltd v (1) Mitchell Design & Construct Ltd (2) Regorco Ltd (Formerly Roger Bullivant Ltd) 2016
Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd v Merit Merrell Technology Ltd 2015
Hurley Palmer Flatt Ltd v Barclays Bank plc 2015
Transformers & Rectifiers Ltd v Needs Ltd (decision of Coulson J) 2015
Transformers & Rectifiers Ltd v Needs Ltd (decision of Edwards-Stuart J) 2015
Atkins Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport 2013
Parkwood Leisure Ltd v Laing O’Rourke Wales and West Ltd 2013
U&M Mining Zambia Ltd v Konkola Copper Mines plc 2013
Fileturn Ltd v The Belgrave London Ltd 2013
Alstom Power Ltd v Somi Impianti S.r.l 2012
Alstom Power Ltd v Somi Impianti S.r.l 2011
Rust Consulting Ltd v PB Ltd (decision of Edwards-Stuart J) 2011
Alstom Power Limited v Somi Impianti S.r.l 2011
Rust Consulting Ltd v PB Ltd (decision of Akenhead J) 2010
GPS Marine Contractors v Ringway Infrastructure Services 2010
Beck Interiors Ltd v Dr Russo 2010
Heifer International Inc v Helge Christiansen Arkitekter KS MAA PAR 2008
Construction Partnership UK Ltd v Leek Developments Ltd 2006
Captiva Estates Ltd v Rybarn Ltd 2006
Brian Warwickshire Partnership v HOK 2006
Bella Casa Ltd v Vinestone Ltd 2006
Multiplex Constructions (UK) Ltd v West India Quay Development Company (Eastern) Ltd 2006
Plymouth and South West Co-operative Society Ltd v Architecture Structure and Management Ltd 2006
Tracy Bennett v FMK Construction Ltd 2005
Bella Casa Ltd v Vinestone Ltd 2005
Rossco Civil Engineering Limited v Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedic 2004
Orange EBS Ltd v ABB Ltd 2004
Simons Construction Ltd v Aardvark Developments Ltd 2003
Orange EBS Ltd v ABB Ltd 2003
Galliford Try Construction Ltd v Michael Heal Associates Ltd 2003
RC Residuals Ltd v Linton Fuel Oils Ltd 2002
David McLean Housing Ltd v Swansea Housing Association Ltd 2002