Instruct Anthony

To instruct Anthony please contact our clerks on +44 (0)20 7842 5555 or email

Anthony Speaight QC has a civil and commercial practice with particular experience in the sometimes overlapping fields of construction, technology, professional negligence, professional discipline and regulation, financial services regulation, and other EU and public law.

He has appeared in over 60 cases reported in published law reports (list available on request).  As a QC he has appeared as an advocate in the House of Lords, Privy Council, Court of Appeal, Queen’s Bench and Chancery Division of High Court, Commercial Court and Technology & Construction Court;  and has been instructed in cases in the UK Supreme Court, European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights.

He is a trained adjudicator, trained mediator and has experience of appointment as an arbitrator.  He accepts public access instructions.

Anthony is recommended in Chambers & Partners, Legal Experts and Legal 500 where comments include:

  • A superb advocate and a talented wordsmith who has everybody eating out of his hand in court
  • Precise and unequivocal in his advice
  • Greatly esteemed; a class performer
  • Intellectually first-class
  • Reassures clients that their concerns are his absolute priority
  • Very hands-on and very approachable
  • Very good on his feet, a very smooth QC
  • A seasoned TCC practitioner, appearing in many construction arbitrations and adjudications.

He has practiced extensively in the Technology and Construction Court and on appeal from the TCC.  He recently appeared in Grove v S&T, which concerned the Construction Act payment rules at first instance and in the Court of Appeal, and following the settlement of the Supreme Court appeal in January 2020 argued the case at a special meeting of the Society of Construction Law. He acted at first instance, Court of Appeal and House of Lords in Linden Gardens v Lenesta Sludge concerning assignment of rights of action to new property owners.

In 2019 he acted in the first case to reach the TCC post-Grenfell relating to fire risk in cladding.

He is a supervisor of dissertations at the King’s College London.  In 2020 he lectured at the Cambridge University Department of Architecture.

He has served as a member of the Council of the Society of Construction Law.  He was a main speaker at International Construction Conference in London in 2008.

Featured Construction & Engineering cases

Appearing in the TCC and Court of Appeal in Grove v S&T  on whether an employer can commence an adjudication for a repayment on the basis of a true valuation after liability to pay a notified sum under the Construction Act.

Acting in the TCC for the successful party in Jawaby v Interiors Group  [2016] BLR 328 on whether a document was a valid interim application for the purpose of the Construction Act payment scheme.

Acting in the TCC in an action relating to a BOT project for a power station in Mexico.

Appearing in a 3-week trial in the TCC in 2018 on whether settlement agreements between contractor and owner vitiated by fraudulent conspiracy.

Acting in the TCC in a claim for £7m damages for tree root damage to a historic building.

Acting in a representative action procedure for the residential owners in a claim relating to defective air conditioning in a 322 flats block in Docklands.

Acting for the successful party in the Court of Appeal and in the TCC trial in an action in respect of a housing maintenance contract where estoppel by convention was used to overcome an entire agreement clause: Mears v Shoreline Housing Partnership [2013] 1 BLR 393.

Acting in a High Court case on whether a local authority at fault in relation to building control owes duty under article 8 of the ECHR.

Acting in an adjudication for a contractor and advising on a succession of issues in respect of a PFI project for a £100m regeneration project involving 500 new homes.

Instructed on two separate cases in the European Court of Justice on behalf of contractors challenging the fairness of public procurement exercises.  Acting in a series of arbitrations and adjudications for a utility company about service connections.

He has acted in a range of cases on computer contracts.  He had the leading brief in the 125 day TCC action relating to the London Fire Brigade’s command and control system.    He is a past Vice-Chairman of the Bar Council’s IT Panel.

Featured Technology & Telecoms cases

Arguing in the Commercial Court for British Telecom on the disclosure obligations in a claim  arising from the termination of a term contract with a local authority.

Appearing in a 2-week Chancery Division trial about IT website hosting and licensing.

Appearing for the successful computer company in the Court of Appeal and Commercial Court in a challenge to an arbitral award in a dispute about tailored software:  Sumukan v Commonwealth Secretariat (CA)  [2007] 3 All ER 342.

Acting in 2020 in a TCC action about defective performance of tailored business management software.

Acting for the successful party in a Queen’s Bench action on whether the Data Protection Act provides parallel remedies in cases of the publication of false information: Quinton v Peirce [2009] FSR 17.

He has acted in cases about the professional negligence of architects, engineers, surveyors, barristers, solicitors and independent financial advisers.  He has been Editor of the Architects Legal Handbook over eight editions.

Featured Professional Negligence cases

Acting for the claimant in a £100m High Court action claim for professional negligence against surveyors and solicitors in Malmesbury v Strutt & Parker.

Appearing in the Privy Council in a case about the principles of valuation for compulsory purchase compensation:  Mon Tresor & Mon Desert Ltd  v Ministry of Housing (Mauritius)  [2008] 38 EG 140.

Acting in 2019 in a TCC case for a contractor bringing third party claims under novation agreements against the architects and engineers for defective design.

Acting on several occasions for barristers sued for professional negligence.

Appearing in the TCC in Gable House Estates v. Halpern, which was at the time believed to be the longest architects negligence case ever tried, relating to an office development in the City of London.

Acting for the claimant investors in the TCC in an action against surveyors for negligent mis-statement as to valuation.

Secured permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal where an independent financial adviser was held to have contracted personally and so liable for investment losses of a client when the network’s insurance failed to respond.

He acted for the successful barrister in the seminal Bar case re P on bias in a disciplinary tribunal.  He also appeared in the other major case on the structure of Bar discipline, Russell v BSB, on whether defect in appointment procedure of Tribunal members invalidated decision.

He appeared on behalf of the Bar Council in the Court of Appeal in Agassi v Robinson concerning the role of barristers acting directly for lay clients.

Featured Professional Discipline and Regulation cases

Successfully arguing that a member of the Professional Conduct Committee could not sit on a Bar disciplinary tribunal:  In re P (a barrister) [2005] 1 WLR 3019.

Acting for the successful barrister in the first judicial review of the Legal Services Ombudsman, on the grounds of the irrationality of the decision.

Acting for a barrister in the Administrative Court in 2017 in successfully resisting an appeal by the BSB seeking to increase a sentence.

Acting for a doctor in a successful appeal from the GMC to the Administrative Court.

Defending a barrister before a Disciplinary Tribunal on charges of professional misconduct for withdrawing from a case on the ground that she felt the case was unarguable.

He has acted for firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and its predecessors in many High Court cases, often challenging the legality of the action of regulatory authorities.  He has been instructed in litigation in relation to several of the most highly publicised investment problems in recent years, including Harlequin, ArchCru and Keydata.

He also regularly advises off-shore insurance companies.

Featured Financial Services Regulation cases

Appearing in the Administrative Court and the Court of Appeal in a case raising the question whether disciplinary proceedings of financial services regulators are compliant with European Convention on Human Rights:  R  (Fleurose) v Securities and Futures Authority  [2001] 2 All ER (Comm) 481.

Appearing in the Court of Appeal in the Heather Moor & Edgecomb cases on whether the Financial Ombudsman Service is obliged to reach decisions in accordance with the law.  He was then instructed by the firm in an application to the European Court of Human Rights on whether Financial Ombudsman Service is compatible with ECHR:  (2011) 53 EHRR SE18, (2012) 55 EHRR SE20.

Acting for over 200 independent advisers in the judicial review of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme decision as to allocation of the compensation levy in respect of the £300 million collapse of the Keydata and Lifemark products.

In 2019 he acted for a firm of independent financial advisers which succeeded in securing an order quashing an award made against it by the Financial Ombudsman Service relating to Harlequin investments.

Advising on a challenge to the Financial Conduct Authority in 2020 in respect of its approval of the Financial Ombudsman Service as an ADR entity.

Advising on a number of occasions insurance companies regulated in Guernsey on whether their activities involve infringement of UK law.

He has appeared in a wide range of public law cases.   In 2018 he acted for criminal practitioner barristers in a successful judicial review of the Lord Chancellor relating to criminal legal aid fees for Very High Cost Cases.

He was invited to give oral and written evidence to the House of Lords EU Select Committee on acquired rights following Brexit.

Featured Public Law cases

R (Ames) v Lord Chancellor (2018):  judicial review of Legal Aid Agency regarding Very High Cost criminal legal aid fees, and non-disclosure of internal policy document.

Acting for a student seeking judicial review of Newcastle University following exam failure, including issues whether this was precluded by existence of Office for the Independent Adjudicator.

Appeared in the Administrative Court in a case on whether the government must disclose under the Freedom of Information Act if  Law Officers had advised on the human rights compatibility of legislation:  H M Treasury v Information Commissioner  [2010] 2 WLR.

Appeared in the Employment Appeal Tribunal on whether diplomatic immunity in an employment claim infringes ECHR.

Appeared in two separate judicial review cases in relation to the Legal Services Commission tendering exercise for solicitors’ legal aid contracts:  [2011] ACD 16, [2011] EWHC 964.

Appeared for the successful claimant barrister in a judicial review of the Legal Services Ombudsman on the grounds of irrationality.

Appearing in a 6-week Chancery Division trial in 2017 concerning alleged fraud in the award of remuneration by school governors.

Acted for a political party in 2018 on an issue relating to challenging the interaction between the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and art 50 of the Treaty of European Union.

Acting in many judicial review challenges to financial regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, referred to more fully in the section on Financial Services.

Book Launch: Architect’s Legal Handbook

We are pleased to announce that the 10th edition of the Architect's Legal Handbook was published on 29th January 2021. ...

Podcast: The future of London as the pre-eminent global legal centre

The latest episode of 4PC Podcast sees Anthony Speaight QC speak to the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC about whether London...

Contact Tracing – The Ethical and Legal Issues

Anthony Speaight QC, Iain Munro and Anna Hoffmann Three members of chambers examine the ethical debate and legal...

The Third Annual SCL West Midlands Debate

Four Members from 4 Pump Court will debate the question of "Are independent experts really doing their job?" at the...

Instruct Anthony

To instruct Anthony please contact our clerks on +44 (0)20 7842 5522 or email

  • Member of the Government Commission on a UK Bill of Rights chaired by Sir Leigh Lewis
  • Past Chairman of the Editorial Board of Counsel, Journal of the Bar of England and Wales
  • Past Chairman of the Bar Council’s Access to the Bar Committee
  • “Architects Legal Handbook”, Editor 2nd to 10th editions, and contributor of chapters on English Contract Law and Litigation
  • “The Law of Defective Premises” (with G Stone)
  • Co-editor of “Butterworths Professional Negligence Service”, and author of chapters therein on barristers, construction professionals and independent financial advisers
  • Various papers published by the Society of Construction Law
  • MA (Oxon)  Modern History
  • French (working knowledge)

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