Seb Oram

Seb Oram

Year of Call: 2007
Email Address: seb.oram@3pb.co.uk
Telephone: 020 7583 8055

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Construction and engineering

Seb Oram regularly advises and acts in relation to construction disputes, and routinely deals with disputes arising under the common-form contract suites (in particular JCT and NEC contracts). A large part of his practice concerns professional negligence in the construction and engineering context.

In each of his practice areas he represents parties in arbitration, the High Court and the County Court. He also acts in adjudications under the 1996 Act and in the enforcement of adjudicator awards.

Recent cases

  • Sub-contractor’s multi-million US dollar claim for delay and disruption damages, on a regional infrastructure project to upgrade the electricity distribution network of the Bangalore metropolitan area, India (TCC, ongoing).
  • Payment and defects claim under a framework contract for telecommunications network installations in the north of England (TCC, ongoing)
  • Professional negligence claim against mechanical systems designers, relating to the adequacy of a sub-floor heating system for a listed building (TCC, ongoing)
  • Professional negligence claim against structural engineers, relating to the design of a cladding frame for a major, regional shopping centre (TCC, ongoing)
  • Software claim to recover business losses suffered through errors in the design of bespoke customer relationship management software (ongoing; arbitration)
  • Property owner’s claim against design and build basement specialists relating to tilting of the structure (ongoing; TCC)
  • Negligence claim against third party M&E contractors, arising from sprinkler system flooding to commercial premises (2017-2019)

Noteworthy and recent cases (Technology / Construction)

  • Deluxe Property Holdings Ltd v SCL Construction Ltd [2020] EWHC 3354 (TCC)
    Claims for proprietary relief in respect of VAT mistakenly overpaid to a contractor under a construction contract.
  • Lejonvarn v Burgess (No.2) [2020] EWCA Civ 114, [2020] 4 All ER 461, [2020] 4 WLR 43, [2020] BLR 187, [2020] Costs LR 45 (CA)
    Professional negligence claim against architect; costs orders.
  • Burgess v. Lejonvarn [2017] EWCA Civ 254, 171 ConLR 118 (CA); [2018] 181 ConLR 204 (TCC)
    Professional negligence claim against architect; assumption of responsibility in tort for design and project management services provided gratuitously.
  • Ziggurat (Claremont Place) LLP v HCC International Insurance Co plc [2017] EWHC 3286 (TCC), (2017) 176 ConLR 161 (TCC)
    Explored the wording of the industry-standard contractor’s bond, and the insurer’s liability under it on the contractor’s insolvency.
  • Seeney v. Gleeson Developments Ltd [2015] EWHC 3244 (TCC), [2015] All ER (D) 143 (Nov)
    Residential homebuyers’ claim against national housebuilder, arising out of design and construction defects in a new-build home.
  • West 3 Mechanical Contractors Ltd v Mizen Design Build Ltd [2014] All ER (D) 40 (TCC)
    Defence of contractor’s claim for payment, centering on defective installation of gas installation pipework.
  • Hunt and Ors v. Optima (Cambridge) Ltd and Anor [2013] EWHC 681 (TCC), (2013) 148 ConLR 27 (TCC)
    Defects and tenants’ repair claim arising out of the development of 26 new-build properties.
  • JGD Construction Ltd v. Mills [2013] EWHC 572 (Ch), [2013] BPIR 811
    Appeal considering the extent to which the court has   a discretion to make a final third party debt order, notwithstanding the fact that the judgment debtor has entered formal insolvency proceedings.
  • Articles
    • In theory--CDM Regulations and novation

      Construction law: The CDM Regulations 2015 and novated designer appointments - an update for Lexis Nexis by Seb Oram of 3PB Barristers.

      View Article
    • DM Regulations 2015 and their effect and on the practical issues that they raise for the Construction and Engineering sectors

      On the anniversary of the CDM Regulations 2015 coming into force, Seb Oram presents a LexisNexis webinar on their effect and on the practical issues that they raise for the Construction and Engineering sectors.

      View Article
    • The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015: changes and impact on litigation

      The CDM Regulations 2015: changes and impact - an update by 3PB's construction law barrister, Seb Oram.

      View Article
  • Recommendations

    Sebastian Oram is an experienced barrister focusing on professional negligence claims against construction professionals, among others. He has experience litigating in the Court of Appeal as well as the TCC.
    Strengths: "He always understands the underlying technicalities of the issue and he knows the right questions to ask. He's not just concerned with the specific task but with the progression of the matter." "He has a level of experience and judgement that far exceeds his years of call. Responsive, persuasive, calm and measured. An absolute pleasure to deal with."
    Recent work: Acted in a claim against the designers and installers of stonework cladding on a shopping centre, for remedial works and consequential losses.

    Chambers UK 2022/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction/London Bar

    Strengths: "Considered, robust, articulate, technically sound and has a great ability to absorb complex facts and cut to the heart of the issue."
    Recent work: Acted in a claim against structural engineers for economic losses resulting from negligent advice about the adequacy of foundations for the vertical extension of a commercial building.

    Chambers UK 2021/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction/London Bar

    Strengths: "He is good at explaining things in a calm, methodical and well thought out way. He listens to instruction and his overall demeanour is very confident." "Considered, robust, articulate, technically sound, and has a great ability to absorb complex facts and cut to the heart of the issue."
    Recent work: Acted in a claim against structural engineers for economic losses resulting from negligent advice on the adequacy of foundations for the vertical extension of a commercial building.

    Chambers UK 2020/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction/London Bar

    "He very quickly inspires confidence in the client and is a measured but very effective negotiator."
    Recent work: Acted before the Court of Appeal in a claim arising out of the design, tendering and supervision of the structural relandscaping of a terraced garden, and considering whether a professional could be held liable for services provided gratuitously.

    Chambers UK 2019/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction/London Bar

    Strengths: "You can bombard him with information and he sees straight through everything that needs to be swept aside. He gets to the crux of the issue. He is also a very effective communicator."

    Chambers UK 2018/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction/London Bar

    ‘ A highly intelligent and articulate barrister who provides superb, insightful advice. A persuasive advocate who is also measured and calm. ’

    Legal 500 2022/Professional negligence/Leading Juniors/London Bar

    ‘He has a great ability to absorb complex facts and cut to the heart of the issue. He is methodical and, in terms of bang for your buck, you get a much bigger bang with Seb than you would with other barristers of a similar year of call.’

    Legal 500 2021/Professional Negligence/Leading Juniors /London

    ‘Excellent on construction-related claims.’

    Legal 500 2020/Professional Negligence/Leading juniors/London

    'Incredibly detailed, solid and hardworking.'

    Legal 500 2018/19/Professional Negligence/Leading juniors/London

  • Expand recommendations
View Full CV
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Individual 2022 Logo
  • Top Ranked Chambers - Leading Set 2020 - UK Bar Logo

Academic qualifications

  • MA (Hons.) Law, Trinity Hall, Cambridge
  • LL.M., University of Bristol

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Called 2007; Lincoln’s Inn

Professional bodies

  • Associate member of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (“R3”)
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Member of the Society of Construction Law
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)