Tom George, FCIArb
Tom is a construction disputes specialist. His practice focuses on high value and technically complex construction, infrastructure and engineering disputes, often across multiple jurisdictions.
In recent months, Tom has been engaged on high value arbitrations arising from the construction of a windfarm project in UK waters. He is also working on a high value dispute arising from the expiry of a high profile Government PFI contract. Tom leads on the contentious construction team's involvement in Central and Local Government work through the firm's Crown Commercial Service panel appointments.
Prior to joining the firm Tom worked in the Middle East for nearly seven years where he worked on a number of landmark projects resulting in multi-million dollar contested proceedings. He is an accredited arbitrator for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and a qualified Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the UK. He has conducted proceedings under the auspices of many of the leading arbitral institutions (UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, DIFC-LCIA, DIAC, ADCCAC, CRCICA and ad hoc), including as party-advocate. He also advises clients in court litigation (in particular at the TCC), adjudication, mediation and in other forms of dispute avoidance/management and alternative dispute resolution (such as expert determination and early neutral evaluation).
Tom's specific enthusiasm for construction law comes from his curiosity of the unique technical challenges that are individual to each project, and he enjoys immersing himself into the detail of each project.
Outside of the office, Tom is a keen sportsman; golf, cycling, cricket and rugby in particular.
- Acting for an offshore wind farm company in relation to c.£75 million claims (LCCIA & LMAA) arising throughout the construction phase of a substantial windfarm project in UK waters. Tom was involved in dealing with the substantive claims (including termination of a subcontractor) as well as advising on complex insurance coverage issues under the project all risks policy, and advising on settlement strategy.
- Acting for a non-Ministerial department of the UK Government in relation to potential claims worth c.£250 million arising from the expiry of a significant UK Government PFI contract.
- Acting for a department of the Government of Dubai in an ad hoc arbitration (custom rules) seated on onshore Dubai relating to the construction of a large infrastructure project (consisting of a roads & bridges intersection, tunnels and a raised metro line) on the Sheikh Zayed Road. The value of the dispute was US $550 million.
- Defending one of Dubai's largest regional developers in a Dubai seated ad hoc arbitration (UNCITRAL rules) relating to complex construction claims (including the termination and replacement of the main contractor) arising out of the construction of a large mixed use premises (shopping mall, hotel tower, apartment tower) above an underground metro-line. The claim value was US $600 million.
- Successfully resolving claims (by mediation) on behalf of a contractor in relation to its claims against a Government employer arising out of the construction of an underground jet re-fuelling system on a prestigious airport project in the Middle East (together with commencing multiple related ICC arbitrations seated in Qatar). The combined dispute value was US $220 million.
- Acting for a main contractor (the Qatari branch of a Fortune 500 listed company) in two ICC arbitrations seated in Doha. The two disputes were connected in that they arose out of the same contract package of works for the construction of new state of the art security intrusion detection systems on an airport in the Middle East. The matter involved considering the competing interests of defending claims from the downstream case (brought by a Lebanese subcontractor) as against the client's interest in advancing those same claims upstream (against a Government employer). The value of the dispute was in excess of US $250 million.
- Advising a Government non-departmental public body engaged in the nuclear sector in relation to claims of c.£17m arising from the construction, installation and commissioning of a solid intermediate level waste encapsulation facility.
- Advising a Korean contractor in relation to the potential termination of its contract for the construction of a large Ferris wheel on a landmark dredged island in Dubai.
- Advising a European contractor (and its insurers) in relation to the defence of an Oman seated ICC arbitration resulting from a large fire at a gas refinery in Oman. Claim value US $100 million.
- Advising a European contractor in relation to the procurement risks associated with entering a power plant project in Bangladesh, including the risks of transporting large items of plant and materials by river.
- Acting for one of the UK's largest civil engineering companies in relation to the defence of subcontract claims arising out of the construction of a district cooling plant in New Cairo, Egypt. Dispute value US $20 million. Arbitration seated in Egypt administered by the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.
- Successfully pursuing claims on behalf of a Chinese importation company in relation to the carriage of defective goods from China to the UK via Belgium. LCIA arbitration successfully resolved via mediation.