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David Owens


David specialises in construction disputes, including disputes relating to Private Finance Initiatives (PFI).

His clients include public bodies and contractors of all sizes. He has acted in disputes relating to projects in the UK and overseas, including multi-party PFI disputes.

David holds a master’s degree in Astrophysics and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Astronomy.

Away from the office, David is a keen cyclist and has recently begun riding in sportives to improve his fitness. His weekends are spent looking after horses and ponies and playing with his three young children.

Joined Sharpe Pritchard
January 2019

Previous Employment
Clyde & Co


Recent work

  • Acting for an African government department on disputes relating to infrastructure projects, the first with a dispute value of around £37m and the second for around £20m, each with multiple heads of claim.
  • I was previously instructed on a similar arbitration for the same client, and was successful in entirely dismissing the claimant’s claims, winning all of our client’s counterclaims, and recovering more than 95% of our client’s costs.
  • Considerable experience of complex multi-party PFI disputes, including those involving joined adjudications and name-borrowing, relating to hospitals, schools, housing and other projects. Recent matters have included a long running and high value dispute relating to fire stopping provisions at a hospital, involving previous and current FM-contractors and the building contractor, as well as Project Co and the Authority, in which we successfully negotiated a favourable settlement and defended claims for deductions of around £17m.
  • Acting for a tier-one contractor in relation to a final account dispute with a University relating to a major new building, with a dispute value of around £9m.
  • Acting for a major utilities provider in relation to a significant health and safety breach by one of its contractors. Resolving matters with the HSE and agreeing a favourable settlement for our client.
  • Successfully defended a £9m claim brought by the owner of a data centre against a major contractor relating to alleged electrical defects in the construction of the centre, and agreed a settlement for around 1% of the sum claimed.
  • Acting for the operator of an energy from waste plant in the South of England in its claim against the owner of the plant (and defending a potential counterclaim) with a dispute value of around £30m. We successfully negotiated and concluded a Settlement Agreement, which included a substantial payment to the client, which allowed our client to exit the Contract. I then negotiated the TUPE process and a complex data-transfer agreement to complete the matter.
  • Acting for an existing Contractor for a London housing project who had been excluded at the PQQ stage from the list of tenderers for a future 5 year project with a value of around £75m per year. We successfully ensured the readmittance of the client to the list of approved tenderers for a £75m local council housing project.
  • Acting for an Operation and Maintenance subcontractor for a desalination plant in the Middle East, to defend claims brought by the contractor.
  • Acting for an early-works contractor on an LNG plant in Yemen defending claims from the employer.
  • Acting for the operator of a Scottish power plant to resolve a number of disputes with the plant's owner and to manage a successful exit from the unprofitable O&M contract.
  • Conducting a successful adjudication on behalf of a London further education college against a contractor in relation to damage caused by flooding.


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