Practice & Background

Renowned as a top-tier practitioner by all leading legal directories, Hamish Lal represents clients in a range of high-value, highly technical and international construction and engineering disputes and arbitrations.  Mr. Lal is ranked Band 1 in both Construction and International Construction Arbitration in Chambers & Partners UK, and in the top-tier in UK Legal 500.

Mr. Lal acts under many applicable laws (common law and civil codes) including UAE Law, Law of Iraq, Law of Nigeria, Qatar Civil Code, Law of Denmark as well as English Law and has acted under the rules of the ICC, LCIA, DIAC, DIFC-LCIA and the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, as well as in contractual mediations, expert determinations and ad-hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Rules. Mr. Lal is a Member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) European Users’ Council and sits on the Advisory Board of The Center for American and International Law.

Representative Matters

Mr. Lal’s matters will often address prospective & retrospective delay analysis, disruption, cumulative impact claims, FEED errors, non-conformance reports, design codes (such as DNV-OS-J101), pipeline weld defects, bad-weather windows, vessel-standby, unforeseen ground conditions, professional negligence, taking over/completion, liquidated damages, incentive payments, variations and termination under various forms of contract including FIDIC, LOGIC/CRINE and NEC3. Notable engagements include:

  • acting for sovereign developer defending a series of FIDIC Red Book 87 delay and disruption disputes on the $2 billion Barwa City Project, Doha, Qatar
  • acting for independent oil company in respect of contractor claims for vessel-standby, variations and local content changes on a subsea gas pipelines project in Nigeria
  • advising the employer on the world’s largest offshore wind farm project on delays, design codes, variations and non-conformance reports issued for transverse and longitudinal weld defects
  • advising contractor on 'open' non-conformance reports (NCRs) relating to a $1.4 billion project procured under the FIDIC Yellow Book where the contractor found significantly more work than in the NCRs raising issues of variations, acts of prevention and deliberate concealment
  • advising independent oil company on drilling contract in Iraq where there was a delta between the actual drilling and completion operations and the contractual regime concerning mobilization, completion, hand-over and liquidated damages for well clusters
  • acting for a sovereign developer defending a series of contractor claims for force majeure, acts of prevention and cumulative impact on a FIDIC Silver Book EPC project in Cairo
  • advising contractor on ground condition risks, ground replacement methods and acts of prevention under the FIDIC Red Book in respect of the Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project.
  • acting for employer on High Court dispute relating to consultant’s negligence causing delay and disruption on a 1200 megawatt coal-fired power station in the Philippines
  • acting for owner in respect of design defects and consequent transportation losses on a Floating Production and Storage and Offloading System (FPSO) in the North Sea
  • acting for contractor on dispute concerning nuclear decommissioning of a Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor
  • advising on, negotiating and drafting EPCM contract for a national oil company headquartered in the Middle East. The EPCM was structured to achieve optimum offshore capacity and an incentivized approach to preventative maintenance.

Awards & Accolades

  • Band 1 Chambers & Partners 2018 - Construction
  • Band 1 Chambers & Partners 2018 - International Construction Arbitration
  • Band 1 Chambers & Partners 2017 – Construction
  • Band 1 Chambers & Partners 2017 – International Construction Arbitration
  • Leading Individual Legal 500 UK 2017 - Construction
  • Best Lawyers UK 2017 - Construction Law
  • Band 1 Chambers & Partners 2016 – Construction
  • Band 1 Chambers & Partners 2016 – International Construction Arbitration
  • Leading Individual Legal 500 UK 2016 - Construction
  • Leading Individual Legal 500 UK 2015 - Construction
  • Band 1 Chambers & Partners 2015 – Construction
  • Leading Individual Legal 500 UK 2014 - Construction
  • The Lawyer Hot 100 in 2012
  • Awarded the Parkman Medal by the Institution of Civil Engineers in 2008 and 2014
  • Chambers & Partners 2018 writes that “‘one client enthuses ‘that his understanding of the commercial and legal landscape is astonishingly good and his capacity to comprehend factual and technical issues is unmatched.’”
  • Chambers & Partners 2017 cites a client recommendation that "His excellent understanding of all the technical, legal and commercial issues makes him a natural leader."
  • Chambers & Partners 2016 cites a client recommendation that “His advice is always spot-on and he can always be relied on for measured, sensible, commercial and legally astute counsel”
  • Chambers & Partners 2015,states that clients have “been particularly impressed with the way he makes even the most complex point seem easy”
  • Legal 500 EMEA 2017 recognized that “construction specialist Hamish Lal is ‘a top-class technical lawyer with a breadth of strategic thinking’”
  • Legal 500 UK 2017 commented that Mr. Lal “offers an unparalleled degree of business acumen and industry knowledge” and has the ability to “execute robust resolution strategies”
  • Legal 500 2016 commented that Mr. Lal “provides a level of intellectual and factual rigour that is unmatched in the contentious construction market”
  • Legal 500 2015 commented that Mr. Lal is “‘especially good on delay analysis and disputes”
  • Legal 500 2014 recommended Mr. Lal as “‘a thinker and a strategist,’ ‘his analysis and work ethic are second to none’”
  • Sits on Council of the Society of Construction Law
  • Sits on the Committee of the Adjudication Society
  • Fulbright Scholar

Court Admissions

  • Higher Rights of Audience (Higher Courts all Proceedings)
  • Called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
  • Part II Advocate (Full Rights) in Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Courts

Speaking Engagements

  • 8th International Society of Construction Law Conference – Hamish Lal will be speaking on “Penalty Clauses Around the World” in Chicago, 26 September 2018.
  • “Arbitration and Infrastructure”– Hamish Lal will be speaking at a conference arranged by DCA – Dias Carneiro Advogados and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. This event includes the leading Brazilian arbitrators, lawyers and experts, who, along with Hamish, will look at what is happening in Brazil and Latin America in terms of oil field services, construction projects and infrastructure, as well as trends in international arbitration. It will be held in São Paulo, 29 May 2018.
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Arbrix Construction Group, Spring 2018 Meeting: "Arbitration Workshop and Arbitration Law Update", 9 March 2018.
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors CPD Series – Hamish Lal delivered an "Update on Construction Law" in London, 16 January 2017.
  • The Adjudication Society Conference – Hamish Lal moderated the panel “Starting an Adjudication, Appointing an Adjudicator and Keeping the Adjudication on Track” in Dublin, 10 May 2017.
  • 6th IBA Construction Projects from Conception to Completion Conference, chair of panel session on “Assessing Disruption: Different Methods and Do They Matter?” held in Brussels, 15-16 September 2017.
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Arbrix Construction Group, Spring 2017 Meeting: Paper "The Society of Construction Law Delay and Disruption Protocol - Progress?", 11 March 2017.
  • Host of “Akin Gump Arbitration: The Expert Academy,” London, 10 November 2016. This one-day conference brought together clients, leading arbitrators and a range of testifying experts. The keynote paper was given by Sir Vivian Ramsey, and the closing was given by Sir Bernard Eder.
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Arbrix Construction Group, Spring 2016 Meeting: Paper “Mutual Confidence in Arbitrators: Independence and Impartiality,” delivered to The Arbrix Construction Group, Cambridge, 12 March 2016.
  • Meeting of The Society of Construction Law: Paper “Time-Bars” – Where Are We with Condition Precedent Clauses?”, delivered to The Society of Construction Law, London, 1 February 2016.
  • Lexis Nexis: Webinar Presentation on JCT v. NEC3: A Comparison, LexisNexis, London, 26 January 2016.