Michael Curtis QC

Call 1982 · QC 2008

"he is very measured and very sensible so you feel you are in safe hands". "He is extremely clear, calm and persuasive when on his feet in court"


Chambers UK 2016

Michael Curtis QC

Practice Overview

Michael is the Deputy Head of Chambers.  He has an MA in law from Brasenose College, Oxford (where he was awarded an Open Scholarship) and an MSc in construction and arbitration law from King's College, London (where he was awarded the inaugural Ranner Arbitration Prize).  He is one of the co-authors of Emden's Construction Law.

Michael is described in the most recent editions of Chambers UK and The Legal 500 as "excellent" with "a fantastic eye for detail" and as being "very strong" and giving "very clear advice on complex issues".

He has a civil/commercial practice with particular emphasis on construction, insurance, property damage, professional negligence and product liability.  He has extensive experience of cases which are factually, technically and legally complex and which include difficult questions of contractual or statutory interpretation.  Many of his cases involve the application of the law of tort in a commercial context.

Since appearing in the landmark case of Lyons v East Sussex County Council,  Michael also has over 25 years experience of acting on both sides in tribunals, the High Court and the Court of Appeal in regulatory and commissioning disputes between (1) hospitals, nursing homes, care homes and children's homes and (2) regulators and commissioning authorities.

Cases Michael has been instructed in as a silk include:

  • Two of the leading reported cases concerning causation, remoteness and measure of loss: in Coal Pension Properties v NuWay [2009] 124 Con (measure of loss in commercial property damage claims) he acted for the claimant; in Supershield v Siemens (2010) 129 Con LR (causation / remoteness) he acted for Slaughter & May in the settled litigation, to which Supershield and Siemens were additional parties. 
  • A two-month $150m international Cayman Island construction/insurance arbitration, where he acted for the insured.
  • A one-month arbitration concerning a major property development in Central London, where he acted for the project managers.
  • Veolia plc (formerly Three Valleys Water) v London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority [2009] EWHC 3019 and [2010] EWHC 208, in which he acted for London Fire.
  • The Buncefield quantum litigation, where he was one of the team, which acted for Total. 
  • Acting for the Allianz and Provident policyholders in the high-profile litigation concerning the RSA motor repair scheme (Coles v Hetherton [2013] Lloyds Rep IR 9 (Cooke J); [2014] Lloyds Rep IR 367 (Court of Appeal).
  • Acting for the contractor in a multi million final account arbitration under an NEC3 contract relating to the refurbishment of a bascule bridge.
  • Acting for the employer in a multi million TCC claim in respect of a major central London residential refurbishment.
  • Acting for a former director and shareholder of a Premiership football club in a professional negligence claim arising out of an attempted takeover of the club.
  • A large number of multi million pound property damage cases.
  • Acting for a consulting engineer in one of the first, major claims brought against an expert witness following the decision in Jones v Kaney.
  • Acting for contractors in a number of cases arising out of allegedly defective piling works.
  • Advising insurers in respect of a large claim arising out of a fire at a power plant in the Philippines.
  • Acting for the developers in TCC proceedings arising out of a £0.25 billion property development in Central  London.
  • Acting for the defendants in a multi million pound TCC claim brought by the Highways Agency arising out of damage to the M5 motorway in a road traffic accident.
  • Advising in relation to a hospital PFI project.


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