Life as a construction barrister

Life as a construction barrister

Sean Brannigan QC at 4 Pump Court gives his views on construction disputes and suggests how proceedings could be improved.

What is your favourite thing about construction disputes?

Without doubt my favourite thing is the people you meet. Dealing with construction disputes means dealing on a day to day basis with clients and solicitors who are generally very down to earth, interesting and often enormous fun. You get to meet and sometimes even help quite an enormous range of people.

What is the most memorable case you have been instructed on during your career?

I would say the one that sticks out most for me is Walter Lilly & Co Ltd v Mackay and another company [2012] EWHC 1773 (TCC)[2012] All ER (D) 213 (Jul), where I led the team for the successful contractor. As anyone who has read the very entertaining judgment in the case might appreciate, the case was interesting and memorable—not only because of the forceful personalities involved and the ferocity of the fight that provoked, but also because it was something of a ‘refresher course’ for me in relation to just about every tricky bit of construction law.

Happily that replaces my previous most memorable case, my very first court outing, at the end of which I managed to get my client arrested for both perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Have you noticed any trends in the cases you’ve been instructed on over the last few years?

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