Construction & Engineering

Our team has significant experience in arbitration and has appeared as counsel in more than 100 arbitrations. In addition to the numerous domestic arbitrations, we have represented parties in ICC arbitrations in Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, acted as counsel in more than 10 arbitrations in Singapore involving the SIAC rules and in ad hoc arbitrations in Australia, London and China.

The issues that we have to deal with are extremely wide-ranging, and have had to work with experts on engineering, technology, delay, costs, financial and various technical issues. Technical issues that our team deal with include issues relating to delay, acceleration of works, geotechnical works, construction methods and technology, causes of failures and incidents, engineering issues, substructure works and computation of losses. Our appointments include representing the main contractor in the KLIA2 airport dispute, power plant disputes and disputes involving rail transport projects. We have significant experience in relation to construction disputes ranging from infrastructure works such as airports to utility plants such as power plants; and from industrial plants such as steel mill to commercial development projects.

Currently, we have multiple and active construction dispute matters which we are acting for the Malaysian operations of 4 of the 10 largest Global Contractors (as ranked by Engineering News-Record). Noting that several of the top-10 global contractors do not have established or active business in Malaysia, it makes our achievement even more remarkable. The trust that these behemoths of the industry have in our firm is a testament of the strength and depth that we possess in this area of practice.  

Construction & Engineering Arbitration and Litigation

The team represented the main contractor involved in the construction of the KLIA2 airport in a successful mediation where our client recovered a significant amount of monies for work done, variations and prolongation costs. We also successfully resist a claim by the consultant in the KLIA2 airport project against the main contractor. 

We also represented a German contractor in the construction of the cargo hanger in KLIA. Our team successfully persuaded the arbitration tribunal to find in favour of our client on the issue of liability which resulted in a successful resolution to this dispute.

Our partner has also acted as counsel in arbitrations on disputes arising from the construction and concession of the KLIA2 Integrated Complex, which was developed as part of and to support the operation of the KLIA2. 

We represented a joint venture company who is a main contractor for the construction of a hospital in Kuala Lumpur in a number of disputes they have with their subcontractors. The disputes relate to issues of value engineering, failure on the part of consultants to properly manage the project, costs overruns, potential delay claims and non-compliance by the subcontractors. 

In addition, we also acted for the main contractor in a dispute in relation to the construction of the Prince Court Hospital, Kuala Lumpur. We represented the main contractor in order to secure an injunction for the performance bond and subsequently in the ensuing mediation.

We successfully represented the contractor in a dispute in relation to the construction of the mass rapid transport project in order to prepare a claim to recover acceleration costs, loss and expense as well as variations amounting to sums in excess of RM 100 million. 

Our team represented a nominated subcontractor to pursue claims in excess of RM 200 million against the main contractor in relation to the mass rapid transport project in Kuala Lumpur arising from delays to the project caused by delayed access to the site.

We represented an international French Contractor in an international arbitration in Singapore. The dispute pertained to the failure of the main contractor to make payment to the subcontractor for work done in relation to a high-rise tower building located in Kuala Lumpur. Currently, acting for a Malaysian contactor to defend them in a claim of RM 150 million in relation to a project undertaken in Brunei. The arbitration is being held in Singapore under the SIAC rules.

Our partner also represented an international contractor in an arbitration for the construction of an iconic high-end mixed-development project consisting of branded hotel and serviced apartments and shopping podium, where the contractor has successfully secured an arbitral award in its favour for almost RM300 million and defended against counterclaim well in excess of RM800 million.  

We represented the employer in a dispute in relation to the construction of a university in Malaysia. An interesting feature in this dispute is the allegation of bribery made by the contractor against the consultant and the issue of wrongful termination.

The team defended a claim for over RM 35 million arising from the construction of a university campus in Malaysia. The dispute relates to failure on the part of the main contractor to carry out and complete the work timeously resulting in significant costs overrun.

The team represented a piling contractor in a mixed development and successful in securing an award in its favour and successfully defended a counterclaim of a sum amounting to RM 100 million. 

The team also successfully secured an award or judgment in favour of contractor in the construction of residential facilities in Ipoh and the construction of the Malaysian Embassy in Manila, Philippines.

We are currently representing the developer & main contractor of a project intended to be constructed on a slope. This dispute is highly technical as it involved complex geotechnical issues and strengthening of slope.

We successfully pursued a claim against the Government of Malaysia on a highway project. We secured an arbitration award of RM 15 million against the Government of Malaysia.

We represented a contractor in 8 separate claims against the Government of Malaysia. The total amount in dispute is approximately RM 140 million and the disputes concern the construction of several highways and other infrastructure buildings.

We represented a Malaysian contractor in a claim exceeding RM 40 million against the Government of Malaysia. The dispute is in relation to the construction of a highway located in the east coast of Malaysia. The fundamental issue in this dispute relates to the application of the price fluctuation mechanism found in the contract and the acts of prevention.

Represented the owner of a port located in Sabah in a claim brought by the main contractor for the sum of RM 40 million. The dispute involves technical issues pertaining to the reclamation of land in order to construct the port facilities and further claims for variation and prolongation costs. The sums awarded to the main contractor in arbitration was a substantially less than the amount claimed.

We represented the employer in the construction of port facilities, including reclamation of islands of the coast of Melaka. The amount in dispute was in excess of RM 200 million and the dispute has been referred to arbitration in Singapore under the SIAC rules.

We represented the main contractor in a series of 3 arbitrations in claims brought by the subcontractor for a total sum of RM 87 million. The dispute pertained to the construction of the Penang Bridge. The issue related to the use of marine piles and whether the piles had been driven to suitable lengths.

Construction Adjudication  

The team has extensive adjudication practice, and we represent clients both as claimant and respondent in adjudication. Since the enforcement of the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (CIPAA), the team has been involved in more than 100 adjudications. The team also appears in court to challenge and or resist challenges to adjudication decisions.  

One of the notable decisions is the Federal Court decision in Jack-In Pile (M) Sdn Bhd v Bauer (M) Sdn Bhd and another appeal [2020] 1 MLJ 174 wherein we successfully argue the prospective application of CIPAA. Another notable decision is the Court of Appeal’s decision in Lion Pacific Sdn Bhd v Pestech Technology Sdn Bhd and another appeal [2022] 6 MLJ 967. The team successfully argued that the prohibition in conditional payment as provided in Section 35 of CIPAA is only limited to a pay when paid provision and does not include a pay if certified provision.  

In addition to acting as counsel, our partner Choon Hon Leng is also an adjudicator on the panel of AIAC and has regularly been appointed as adjudicator for adjudication matters.