Roberta Downey

Roberta Downey


Email roberta.downey@​

Phone +44 20 7296 2350

Fax +44 20 7296 2001

LanguagesEnglish, Russian

Practice groupLitigation, Arbitration, and Employment

Clients praise the fact that she is a "very responsive lawyer" (Chambers 2020) who "knows the industry, understands our needs and is responsive and reliable, including in moments of crisis" (Chambers 2019) 


Roberta Downey heads the firm's global Construction and Engineering practice and has almost 30 years' experience in commercial dispute resolution, including large trials and highly technical disputes arising out of power plants, LNG facilities, engineering support services, rail infrastructure, telecommunications, waste water treatment and recycling facilities, and automated equipment and control systems.

Her practice is diverse: she acts for developers, owners, contractors and manufacturers across the full spectrum of energy, power, major infrastructure, process plant and urban redevelopment projects. She is a recognized market leader in offshore wind farms, on which she published a prize winning paper for the Society of Construction Law.

Roberta focuses on practical and commercial solutions to complex issues that arise throughout the lifecycle of major projects. She is a firm believer in proactive project management to avoid disputes or to protect her clients' positions should that not be possible, but is a seasoned fighter and formidable opponent where necessary. She is as comfortable managing large trials on highly technical disputes in litigation and arbitration as she is in conducting mediations, adjudications and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, whatever the jurisdiction or location of the project.

Roberta also leads the firms' pro bono advocacy work for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

Awards and recognitions


Ranked as a Tier 1 Leading Individual
Legal 500 UK


Ranked as a Tier 2 Leading Individual
Chambers UK


Named in the International Arbitration Power List
Legal 500


Acritas Star
Acritas Stars Independently Rated Lawyers

Highly commended entries in the Hudson Prize Competition 2002 and 2012 ("Offshore Wind Projects: Managing the Interface Risks") (both published on Society of Construction Law website)

Education and admissions


CPE and LSF, College of Law, London

M.A., University of Oxford

M.Sc., King's College London, Construction Law & Arbitration


Society of Construction Law

Law Society

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Representative experience

Advising on disputes relating to delay in commissioning a 1200 MW gas fired power plant with CHP facilities in South Africa.

Advising owner of a UK solar farm regarding its rights in respect of ongoing defects in the transformers.

Alstom Power Ltd v Ineos Chlor. Acting for contractor in High Court Proceedings relating to completion of a boiler plant project.

Barking Power Ltd v Balfour Beatty Projects and Engineering Ltd (1) and GEC ALSTHOM Power Plants Ltd (2). Acting for the consortium in High Court proceedings in respect of alleged defects to generators.

Advising a multinational contractor on various issues arising out of the onshore and offshore work on the control and instrumentation packages for two power plants in Africa.

Advising an international contractor in respect of valuation of a subcontractor's work, termination of the subcontract and financial claims arising out of a Middle Eastern power plant.

Henry Boot Construction Ltd v ALSTOM Combined Cycles. This case concerned a series of arbitrations and two Appeals to the Court of Appeal.

Advising the main contractor in respect of costs and delay issues arising out of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of an offshore wind farm.

Advising main contractor in respect of a defective meteorological mast for an offshore windfarm.

Advising an international contractor of its rights under offshore contracts for supply & installation of equipment/services in respect of the conventional island of a nuclear plant project in Mexico.

Advising on the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant in Eastern Europe.

Advising owner of a UK solar farm regarding its rights in respect of ongoing defects in the transformers.

Acting for U.S. project management company in respect of the recovery of unpaid invoices for consultancy services on two process plants in U.A.E.

Advising European supplier in respect of design and fabrication issues in a superheater for a fertiliser plant in Canada.

London Underground Ltd v CityLink Telecommunications Ltd. Acting for the EPC contractor under a PFI contract in respect of a series of disputes, arbitrations and Appeal to the High Court.

ALSTOM Automation Ltd v British Airways plc. This case concerned BA's multimillion pound air cargo handling headquarters at Heathrow and involved disputes about automated equipment and control systems.

Advising an EPC contractor how it might protect its position mid-project, regarding delay claims against the Chinese Government.

Advising the main contractor on a Malaysian power station project, including potential claims under Bilateral Investment Treaties.

Advising the EPC contractor on delay claims regarding a sewerage and waste water treatment scheme.

Mostcash Plc & Ors v Fluor Ltd & Anor. Acting for an EPC contractor defending High Court proceedings regarding alleged defective design, ingress of water and corrosion of a paper recycling facility.

Advising English clients on joint venture disputes giving rise to litigation and arbitration in various jurisdictions, including the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, British Virgin Islands & Stockholm.

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