Construction: Local firms in Singapore

Allen & Gledhill LLP

Allen & Gledhill LLP is extensively involved in large-scale and high-end building and infrastructure projects in Singapore and around the region, often acting for blue-chip developers, contractors, and state entities, providing 'practical and pragmatic advice while having a solid grounding in legal analysis and industry practice'. The 'extremely capable and highly experienced' Chien Mien Ho advises on non-contentious aspects in the development of infrastructure, commercial and residential projects, as well as cross-border disputes. Sathiaseelan Jagateesan is 'an outstanding construction lawyer and is the go-to lawyer for government', their linked entities, and developers in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters relating to private and public infrastructure projects. Charmelia Sugianto is recommended for contract negotiation, procurement, and risk management.

Other key lawyers:

Charmelia Sugianto

Testimonials

‘A&G is set apart from its competitors as it is one of the few teams in Singapore which has a strong expertise and experience in representing the state/state-related entities in large-scale construction projects.’

‘Practical and pragmatic advice that is workable and can be implemented while having a solid grounding in legal analysis and industry practice. This is business-friendly and cost-effective. Having a wide range of experience across a client range also provides a good benchmark for the advice provided. The turnaround time is generally quick. The partners accessible and willing to front face with the client even for small and seemingly minute questions.’

‘J. Sathiaseelan is an outstanding construction lawyer. He is proactive and prompt in providing sound legal advice to clients. He makes concerted attempts to understand the technical issues on hand so that he is in a position to provide practical legal solutions to clients.’

‘Sathiaseelan Jagateesan is the best construction lawyer that I have worked with and the first one I look to when it matters. What sets him apart is his ability to be a first-class problem-solver and being able to leverage on his legal expertise to provide workable solutions for his clients.’

‘Ho Chien Mien, a Partner, is extremely capable and highly experienced, who readily provides a superb view of the intricacies involved, helping his clients in putting up a solid contract, mirroring the EPC project they are about to undertake!’

Work highlights

  • Acting as project counsel to Cambodia Airport Investment Co Ltd, the joint venture responsible for developing the new airport for Phnom Penh in the Kandal province.
  • Acted for Air Liquide Singapore Pte Ltd in helping to analyse, structure, negotiate and execute a highly bespoke EPC contract for the development of a plant to manufacture specialist gases for the petrochemical industry in Singapore.
  • Defending Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Southeast Asia Pte Ltd and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation in proceedings before the Singapore High Court. The dispute between the parties relates to structural steel elements (H-beams) used for construction projects in Singapore and around the region.

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore has a  strong established reputation for handling regional construction disputes and is noted for representing international contractors in claims arising in energy, infrastructure projects, and property developments. Jon Howes and Eugene Tan co-head the practice, both with over two decades of experience in transactional and contentious aspects of construction law. Tan has particular knowledge of projects in Indonesia, while Howe is highlighted as an all-around projects specialist. Sean Hardy is noted for project delivery and his experience in international arbitration.

Other key lawyers:

Sean Hardy

Key clients

Chevron

McConnell Dowell South East Asia

Rider Levett Bucknall

 

Work highlights

  • Lead counsel for McConnell Dowell South East Asia in resolving claims against the employer and acted as lead counsel in a dispute with sub-contractor, Impian Tekad, in work relating to the BLNG Cogen II Project in Brunei.

Pinsent Masons MPillay

Pinsent Masons MPillay combines local construction law expertise with an impressive international capability handling complex mandates across the APAC region. The practice is led by managing partner Mohan Pillay, who is reputed for his technical construction expertise and experience acting in disputes across the region. The firm frequently represents developers and contractors in high-value construction litigation and arbitration. Nicholas Brown and Toh Chen Han are the other key figures in the specialised practice.

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Brown; Toh Chen Han

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has top-tier experience advising on construction matters for project sponsors, developers, and contractors, ranging from project feasibility, financing to contract drafting across a range of large scale projects in the region, such as its involvement with 'One Bangkok' the largest private sector development in Thailand. The Andre Yeap and Soh Lip San led group is also routinely advised on real estate redevelopments and EPC contracts for energy and infrastructure projects. Soh is sought after for his broad contentious and non-contentious expertise. Ng Kim Beng for disputes, Shemane Chan and Chee Siong Sim for procurement are also of note.

Practice head(s):

Andre Yeap, SC; Soh Lip San

Key clients

Facebook, Inc

One Bangkok Co Ltd

Resorts World Sentosa

Ikano Group

Wintree Investment Pte Ltd

SpaceDC Pte Ltd

Swiber Offshore Construction Pte Ltd (Judicial Mangers appointed)

Work highlights

  • Advising the master developer of “One Bangkok” in respect of the development of waste water treatment plant, district cooling plant, electricity distribution facility and ICT infrastructure and services on a design, build, own, operate, finance and transfer basis to supply the utilities to the One Bangkok development.
  • Advising Resorts World Sentosa on its S$4.5 billion redevelopment and expansion project of its existing integrated resort infrastructure and facilities at Sentosa Island, Singapore.
  • Advising SpaceDC Pte Ltd (formerly known as Polymer Connected Pte Ltd) (“SpaceDC”) on its proposed construction of 2 data centers in a 1.8-hectare campus in Jakarta Barat, Indonesia – this will be Jakarta’s first green data center campus.

WongPartnership LLP

WongPartnership LLP's Christopher Chuah led team is 'well equipped with the skill and knowledge in the areas of construction law' and is a well-reputed local firm retaining full breadth and depth of contentious and non-contentious capabilities. Chuah is a prominent advocate in landmark construction law cases and arbitral disputes before the highest courts in Singapore and China. The firm is involved in prominent front-end and large infrastructure and PPP projects around the region, such as advising for China Harbour, a major contractor in the S$1.5bn development, and construction of the Integrated Waste Management Facility by the National Environment Agency, on contractual and various construction arrangements. Peng Cheng Tay and Ian de Vaz are highly recommended for disputes while Lay Theng Kua, Lesley Tan, and Linda Low are active on the non-contentious side.

Other key lawyers:

Lay Theng Kua; Linda Low; Lesley Tan

Testimonials

‘WongP has the largest and broadest range of expertise in construction-related matters in Singapore. I would strongly recommend WongP for front-end construction work. ‘

‘The team lead by Mr Christopher Chuah is well equipped with the skill and knowledge in the areas of construction law. We are particularly pleased with the sound advice rendered by the team and its quick responses.’

‘Christopher Chuah is highly regarded in the construction industry and we are particularly impressed with his depth of knowledge.’

‘Lesley Tan is the first name that comes to my mind for front-end construction matters. She is very client-centric and has always been able to come through for me no matter how difficult the matter may have been.’

Key clients

Wheelock Properties (Singapore)

Ministry of Health Singapore

Tuan Sing Holdings Ltd.

Koh Brothers Group Ltd.

SC Global Developments Pte. Ltd.

Lum Chang Holdings Ltd.

Keppel Corporation Ltd.

SembCorp Utilities Pte. Ltd.

Sunhuan Construction Pte. Ltd.

UOL Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Zhengda Corporation in applications in the Singapore High Court to set aside two adjudication determinations made under the Building and Construction Industry of Payment Act (Cap 30B, Rev Ed 2006).
  • Defending Or Kim Peow Contractors, one of Singapore’s largest privately-owned property developers/contractors, against criminal charges brought by the Prosecution under the Workplace Health and Safety Act, and the Building Control Act, in respect of the collapse of a partially-constructed highway viaduct structure on Upper Changi Road East which resulted in the death of a worker and injuries to several others in 2017.
  • Acting for Pontiac Land Group in its development of the Rah Falhu Huraa Islands in the Maldives

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

At Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, dispute resolution principal Nandakumar Ponniya leads 'a capable team that collaborates well among themselves', and is an experienced international arbitration counsel in building, infrastructure, and construction law. He regularly advises on infrastructure projects such as rail systems, oil and gas facilities, and utilities plants, as well as commercial and residential developments across the region. Disputes specialist Wong Tjen Wee frequently works alongside Ponniya.

Practice head(s):

Nandakumar (Kumar) Ponniya

Other key lawyers:

Tjen Wee Wong

Testimonials

‘A capable team that collaborates well among themselves.’

‘Nandakumar Ponnaiya and Tjen Wee Wong, were very knowledgeable, patient, and extremely supportive throughout the legal process.’

Key clients

Siemens

Work highlights

  • Advised Siemens in various disputes with a sub-contractor arising out of the fabrication of various structural components in Batam, Indonesia for use at a major oil & gas facility in Russia.
  • Advising a central SOE on commodities trading activities which directly impact projects’ construction, completion and ability to operate.
  • Advised a central SOE on the construction, development, operation and maintenance arrangements for the Cattle Hill Wind Farm (150MW) project in Central Highlands of Tasmania.

Cavenagh Law LLP

Integrating local and international expertise, Clifford Chance and Cavenagh Law LLP's Matthew Buchanan, Paul Sandosham and Joan Lim-Casanova are well placed to advise on construction-related disputes and non-contentious work across the energy and infrastructure sectors, both in Singapore and throughout Asia. Buchanan specialises in advising on procurement structures and drafting and negotiating contracts. He frequently acts for lenders in relation to the financing of major projects. Sandosham is 'hugely knowledgeable and dedicated' litigation and arbitration counsel; Lim-Casanova is noted for her experience acting for Chinese clients in resolving disputes.

Testimonials

‘Clifford Chance Asia offers a uniquely broad and deep range of legal talent, industry knowledge, and all-round ability to the Singapore, and wider Southeast Asia, market. It offers a full-service proposition to its clients, taking construction matters all the way from the original deal to successful dispute resolution.’

‘The intake and training of new lawyers is consistently first-class, and the firm boasts – in my experience – some of the best construction advocates around. Having worked very closely with them on a number of matters, they would be my number one recommendation for any of my clients’ most important, bet-the-company-type cases.’

‘Paul Sandosham is a hugely knowledgeable and dedicated lawyer. He is always available, no matter where he is in the world, or the time of day. He gets completely stuck into cases and can recall the fine details with almost alarming precision and speed.’

‘Joan-Lim Casanova is a dynamo of a lawyer, with boundless energy and a constant source of innovative solutions and ideas for her clients.’

‘Paul Sandosham is charming and engaging and is very good at making a good impression with the tribunal. Matt Buchanan is very bright and you are in absolutely safe hands when he is on your team.’

‘The construction team is very hands-on and particularly strong in their understanding of the key issues in disputes commonly arising in complex international construction and engineering projects’

‘Paul Sandosham, the current head of the construction disputes practice in SE Asia, is extremely knowledgeable and experienced and one of the leading practitioners in international construction disputes in Singapore.’

Key clients

Macquarie Capital

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM)

Work highlights

  • Advised Kai Tak Sports Park Limited, a consortium consisting of New World Development and its subsidiary NWS Holdings, on the successful award of a 25-year contract to design, build and operate the Kai Tak Sports Park at a construction contract sum of HK$29.99 billion.
  • Advised Macquarie Capital and Swancor Renewable Energy as the lead sponsors on the NT$62.4 billion (US$2 billion) financing of the development and construction of the Formosa 2 offshore wind farm in Taiwan.
  • Advised the sponsors (Macquarie Capital, Ørsted and Swancor Renewable Energy) on the S$627 million 16-year project financing of the development, construction, commissioning, testing and operation of Formosa 1 – Taiwan’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm.

Dentons Rodyk

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP's prominent contentious practice is spearheaded by Philip Jeyaretnam, who is regularly instructed by blue-chip clients, contractors, and developers on high-value landmark construction disputes.  The team also demonstrates technical expertise in relation to the drafting and negotiation of design, engineering, and infrastructure projects in the region. Paul Wong is the other key partner in the sizeable team which operates as part of the wider dispute resolution practice.

Practice head(s):

Philip Jeyaretnam, SC; Paul Wong

Key clients

China Huadian Engineering Co., Ltd

Fraser & Neave, Limited

Iljin Electric Co., Ltd

Jurong Primewide Pte Ltd

Kimly Construction Pte Ltd

Koh Brothers Group

Meinhardt Facade Technology

Sinopec

SMRT Corporation Ltd

Wah Loon Engineering

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending Jurong Primewide, a Temasek-linked company, through robust cross-examination of the key witness – [2019] SGHC 4 in relation to a major project at Biopolis.
  • Acting for a well-known Fast Moving Consumer Goods company in Singapore in relation to the relocation of its existing production, warehousing and R&D facilities to a new integrated facility incorporating all of the aforesaid capabilities into a single complex located on greenfield site.
  • Acted for the client, which specialises in energy conservation, in relation to various legal proceedings arising out of an adjudication determination under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act.

CMS Holborn Asia

At CMS Holborn Asia, Kelvin Aw brings in two decades of courtroom and transactional experience in construction law, in all aspects of the construction, engineering, and infrastructure sector. Co-head Lynette Chew specialises in front-end building and infrastructure projects work in Singapore and Asia Pacific region, particularly in greenfield developments of data centres, power plants, leisure and hospitality, and commercial developments.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Aw; Lynette Chew

Drew & Napier LLC

Drew & Napier LLC 's team 'excel in bringing in-depth local on-the-ground knowledge' and 'responsiveness and efficiency in matters' in the structuring of projects through drafting and negotiation of consortium, concession and supply agreements, concession agreements, with additional capabilities in project financing, procurement, and insolvency. On the contentious side, the team has bolstered its capabilities with the addition of Christopher Chong, who leads the practice. Deputy head Mahesh Rai represents clients in complex joint venture and contractual disputes arising out of construction, energy, infrastructure, and telecommunications projects.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Chong

Other key lawyers:

Mahesh Rai; Kelvin Teo

Testimonials

‘For an international conglomerate operating subsidiaries in Singapore, we need (and expect) that practitioners have an international perspective and at the same time is in tune with the local pulse and practices. Excellent legal work aside, the Drew & Napier team excels in bringing in-depth local on-the-ground knowledge to the table, conveyed in a matter that an international client would readily understand and appreciate. Their knowledge, responsiveness, and efficiency in matters, is something that other firms can only aspire to.’

Key clients

Amara Hotel Properties Pte Ltd

China Machine New Energy Corporation

CosmoSteel Holdings Limited

Daelim Industrial Co

Essar Group including Essar Projects (India) Limited  and Essar Projects Singapore Pte Ltd

Hyundai Engineering & Construction

Noomadi Resorts & Residences AG

Work highlights

  • Representing the owner of a residential project in a three-way High Court suit against the main contractor and the architect for the project, involving complex construction issues including delay, defective works, duties of care in tort owed by the architects.
  • Acting as co-counsel for the Respondent, Daelim Industrial Company Limited, one of Korea’s leading chaebols, in a dispute concerning an aborted L+EPC contract for the construction of part of the largest petrochemical plant in Dahej, India.

TSMP Law Corporation

TSMP Law Corporation retains a good level of activity in front-end and contentious work, representing developers contractors and in construction and engineering disputes as well as adeptness in drafting contracts, advising on bids and tenders, and general day-to-day advice on ongoing projects. Derek Loh and Melvin Chan are the key figures.

Practice head(s):

Derek Loh; Melvin Chan

Key clients

Architects 61 Private Limited

SCDA Architects Pte Ltd, Chan Soo Khian, Kan Fook Seng

CSYA Pte Ltd

Euro Assets Holding (S) Pte Ltd

Hyundai-GS Joint Venture

Kabeli Energy Limited

Boustead Projects Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for an major architect against the buyer of a S$500 million hotel over alleged negligence.
  • Successfully acted for a Nepalese energy company developing a US$102 million 37.6MW hydropower project in discharging an injunction obtained by Chinese contractor on a call on a performance bond.
  • Advising and acting for a major construction JV in upstream and downstream disputes in the construction of a S$1.65 billion commercial and residential development.

Harry Elias Partnership

Chau Yee Tan heads the construction group at Harry Elias Partnership where his practice spans both front-end advisory aspects, particularly in the drafting and review of construction contracts and other related agreements, as well as arising dispute resolution. Justin Chia is noted for his expertise in assisting clients in their insolvency and restructuring exercises.

Practice head(s):

Chau Yee Tan

Other key lawyers:

Justin Chia

Key clients

DBS Trustee Ltd as Trustee of Soilbuild Business Space REIT

GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd

Standard Chartered Bank / Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Ltd

Surbana Jurong Consultants Private Limited

Wee Hur Group of Companies

SMRT Corporation Limited

Straco Leisure Pte Ltd (Singapore Flyer)

Work highlights

  • Working as claims specialist to the Project Manager (Surbana Jurong Consultants), and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for the Tuas Terminal Port Project 1 (part of the upcoming Tuas Mega Port project).
  • Advising Ministry of Health on an ongoing basis in reviewing and amending the standard term contracts (the PSSCOC) to be used when engaging the contractors, architects and consultants in relation to upcoming Senior Care Centres to be built in Singapore.
  • Acting for the former director of a general builder company is in liquidation and applied to adjudicate for a claim in excess of S$300 million against another company.

Shook Lin & Bok LLP

The lawyers at Shook Lin & Bok LLP 'give good advice and explore every possibility and leave no stone unturned' and regularly works alongside colleagues in the real estate, disputes, banking, and insolvency departments to offer a one-stop-shop for banks, construction engineering companies, developers and contractors. Joseph Tay is an experienced litigator and with complementary sector expertise in drafting, reviewing, and negotiation of all manner of design and engineering projects.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Tay

Testimonials

‘The team took on the case seriously and was very committed which gave me the assured and confidence that I’ve got the right lawyers working on my case. They give good advice and explored every possibility and leave no stone unturned.  I’ll gladly recommend Shook Lin & Bok LLP. ‘

‘Joseph Tay spends long hours working on the case especially when the hearing dates draw close. He chaired very effective and constructive meetings to piece everything together as we are not trained in law. During the hearing, he’s very sharp and fast with all the information he needed as he’s well prepared. ‘

Work highlights

  • Advising Snakepit-BP LLP (an associate company of Razer (Asia-Pacific), on a construction contract to build and construct a new facility at One-North, which is intended to serve as the new headquarters for Razer, the world-renowned gaming-peripheral company.
  • Advising Apollo Aquarium and Cube 2 on a construction project to build and construct a new, space-saving, vertical fish farm facility, employing technologies and design techniques that are the first of its kind in the world for fish-rearing facilities.
  • Advising Digital Realty on a construction contract to carry out the internal fit out works at its new digital data centre facility.