Full Name
Roberta Downey
Job Title
Head of Construction
Vinson and Elkins
Speaker Bio
Roberta is a partner, solicitor-advocate and head of International Construction at Vinson & Elkins.

Roberta specialises in all forms of commercial dispute avoidance and resolution in respect of major infrastructure, energy, power projects (conventional, nuclear and renewable fuels), iconic urban redevelopment projects, petrochemical facilities, engineering support services, telecom systems, rail, sewerage and waste water, paper recycling and automated equipment and control systems. She has considerable experience in the Courts and International Arbitration, but also focuses on assisting clients with live project management and developing strategies to prevent issues developing into major disputes and/or to best position her clients to be able to deal with them. Roberta holds a Higher Courts advocacy licence. She is a member of the Society of Construction Law, the Law Society and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Roberta has been described as "Roberta Downey is London’s queen of construction disputes. Clients and counsel love working with her. One of the all-time greats. She may actually be without compare – the leading light of her generation perhaps". [Legal 500 U.K., 2022]. She is also ranked in Chambers 2021: "She is an extremely impressive and really clever litigator." "She's a distinguished lawyer who is very solution-orientated and attentive. She is "known for her superb expertise in large international construction disputes as well as her excellent capability at advising clients" (Who's Who Legal Construction 2017); and "very responsive and personable; she understands the issues deeply and her advice is sound" (Chambers UK).

Roberta led the team that won the Arbitration Team of the Year award from Legal Business in September 2022 and won the 2023 law.com award for Women, Influence, Power and Law. She was also shortlisted for the FT's Innovative Practitioner award, Construction News's award for inspiring women in construction and Disputes lawyer of the year award from Women & Diversity.

Roberta has published a number of articles, including two prize winning papers for the SCL (The Contract is King - entire agreement and exclusive remedy provisions (2003) and Offshore Wind - managing the interface risks (2013)); and contributed three chapters to the International Arbitration Handbook (2004) published by LLP.
Roberta Downey