Christopher Humby

Nexus Chambers


Australia, rest of Asia and the Middle East


Christopher is a commercial barrister in Australia. He has significant experience in relation to construction and engineering disputes as well as domestic and international commercial arbitration. Prior to commencing at the Independent Bar Christopher was an Of Counsel in the construction team at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP in London. He has worked in the commercial litigation and construction departments of top-tier law firms in Australia and the UK since his admission in 2009.

Recent instructions as counsel include:

- Led by 2 renowned silks, junior counsel acting for a state government in ongoing significant arbitration proceedings involving a Project Co and Builder arising out of a large PPP hospital project.

- Counsel for owner in proceedings in the Supreme Court of South Australia commenced by a contractor seeking relief under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009 (SA).

- Acting for a developer in proceedings in both the Supreme Court of South Australia and the Environment, Resources and Development Court in relation to the over-swing of a crane by a neighbouring development.

Experience as a solicitor:

- For about 7 years I acted for the owner in a London seated, Qatari law governed ICC arbitration against a JV contractor. USD 2 billion in issue. I was responsible for and ran to hearing significant aspects of the case - this included delay, defects and quantum issues.

- The arbitration involved a number of hearings of up to 8 weeks in length as well as regular contested case management conferences, preliminary issues and applications. I worked closely with counsel from Atkin Chambers, London, in the preparation of evidence and materials for hearings. I led a large team of lawyers working on the case through all phases from commencement, through to preparation for final hearings on quantum.

- I worked closely with counsel in successfully defending 2 UK High Court challenges to awards issued in the arbitration:

Obrascon Huarte Lain SA (T/A OHL Internacional) & Anor v Qatar Foundation for Education, Science & Community Development [2019] EWHC 2539 (Comm)

Obrascon Huarte Lain SA (trading as OHL Internacional) v Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development [2020] EWHC 1643 (Comm)

- Acting for a Saudi Arabian state-owned manufacturer of steel products in a USD 300 million London seated, Saudi law governed ICC arbitration. I led a team of lawyers and worked closely with counsel in the conduct of the claim through the exchange of pleadings, preparation of evidence and various procedural applications, until the matter was settled. The case related to a long-term supply contract and alleged quality issues.


Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Honours) - University of Adelaide, 2007

Master of Laws (LLM) - University of Melbourne, 2012

‘Commercial Arbitration in South Australia - an update’ Law Society of South Australia - Commercial Law Conference (presentation and paper) (July 2023)

‘Commercial Arbitration in South Australia - an update’ South Australian Bar Association - Annual Conference (presentation and paper) (February 2023)

'Expert Evidence in International Construction Arbitration: Perspectives from the UK and US', presentation to the Society of Construction Law North America (September 2021)

‘COVID-19 and Legal Issues in Saudi Arabia’, Quinn Emanuel Client Alert, April 2019

‘Construction Arbitration in Qatar’, Global Arbitration Review, July 2016

‘Construction Arbitration in Saudi Arabia’, Global Arbitration Review, July 2016

‘Arbitration in Qatar’, Getting the Deal Through, March 2016

‘Construction Arbitration in Saudi Arabia’, Global Arbitration Review, October 2015

‘Security of Payment Regime to Commence in SA’, South Australian Law Society Bulletin, October 2011

'The Assessment of Damages for Defective Building Work’, Australian Building and Construction Law Bulletin, December 2010

Society of Construction Law Australia

Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), SA State Committee Member

Christopher was recognised in Doyle’s Guide in the category of Leading Construction Law Barristers – South Australia, 2023 – Junior Counsel. As a solicitor he was also noted by Legal 500 UK 2021 for International Arbitration and selected as a “Rising Star” by US legal publication Law360 for 2019 in the area of construction.

Christopher holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne specialising in construction law and dispute resolution. He has published on construction and arbitration issues in Australia, the UK and the Middle East. He is also a registered adjudicator under the Western Australian Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2021.

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