Construction & Engineering
Drew & Napier's dynamic Construction & Engineering Practice provides start to end legal, contractual, technical and practical advice on construction and engineering-related work.
Our approach encompasses contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction and engineering projects, both domestic and international, with particular expertise in energy and infrastructure.
Both Head and Deputy Head of our Construction & Engineering practice, Christopher Chong and Mahesh Rai, are recognised as Senior Accredited Specialist and Accredited Specialist in Building & Construction Law respectively by the Singapore Academy of Law under its Specialist Accreditation Scheme. This recognition is a testament to the high level of proficiency in building & construction law that Christopher and Mahesh have.
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific commends the Practice for its “speed and efficiency”, and adds “as with all dispute practices at the firm, the technical skills are top notch.”
Some of the significant non-contentious matters our Practice has handled include:
- Advising the developer and its subsidiaries, as joint lead counsel, on all construction project documentation, including EPC and O&M contracts, for the design, construction and commissioning of Singapore's largest desalination plant.
- Advising a specialist contractor in the drafting of its contract for the supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of a diesel rotary uninterruptible power supply system.
- Advising the employer in the drafting of the tender documentation and the conditions of contract for the development and construction of a data centre in Singapore.
- Advising the developer on all construction project documentation (including EPC and O&M contracts) for the design, construction and commissioning of its gas-fired thermal power project in Taipei, Republic of Taiwan.
- Advising a major international pharmaceutical company on its EPC contract for its pharmaceutical plant in Bogor, Indonesia.
Our Practice has also handled a number of highly technical and complex contentious matters including:
- Presently acting for an Indonesian high net worth individual in resisting claims from an Indian energy conglomerate in relation to a dispute over the development of 3 coal mining concessions in South Sumatra. The arbitration required extensive arguments on multiple aspects of the infrastructure work associated with developing and operating a greenfield coal concession in Indonesia.
- Acting for the respondent Korean construction corporation, in an ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules 2010 against the claimant, Indian state-linked petrochemical company. The dispute relates to the aborted construction, on an EPC+L basis, of a High Density Polyethylene Plant in a petrochemical complex in India.
- Acting for an EPC contractor in an SIAC-administered international arbitration (commenced under the BANI Rules in Indonesia) in relation to an offshore oil platform project in Indonesia.
- Acted for the claimant Indian power conglomerate in an SIAC arbitration against respondent Indonesian mine owners, relating to failure to complete construction of a coal mining facility and failure to deliver land over the mining concession area in Indonesia.
- Acted for the respondent Vietnamese state-linked entity (employer) against the claimant Chinese state-linked construction company (contractor) in a VIAC arbitration. The claimant raised a litany of claims against the respondent justifying their termination of the FIDIC-based contract. The complexity and scale of disputes in this massive project required close cooperation with quantum and delay experts, and a detailed understanding of the construction process of hydro-electric dams and the use of tunnel-boring machines.
Chambers Asia Pacific
Construction 2022 – Band 4 (2 consecutive years)
Construction 2020 – Noted Practitioner (2 consecutive years)
Christopher Chong – Band 2 in 2022; Band 3 in 2020 and 2021; Leading Lawyer in 2019
Kelvin Teo – Up and Coming in 2022
Drew & Napier is an "impressive team with extensive experience in construction and infrastructure law and the disputes that arise out of major projects."
“A market commentator praises Drew & Napier's attention to detail and says it is "an extremely efficient firm that provides excellent services."”
A client remarks, "We are very happy with their performance. Their legal strategy is sound and they deliver on tight timelines. They are particularly good at analysing various available legal options and communicating those to us so that we can take considered decisions."
“The team made themselves available and were always on point, with a very good understanding of the whole process."
"Christopher Chong is a construction law expert and an excellent strategist when it comes to resolving complex multi-party disputes on major infrastructure projects. When projects go south, you want him on your team."
"Christopher is pragmatic and quick on his feet”.
Christopher is "a very sound construction lawyer."
A client praised Christopher for his "knowledge and practical experience," added that "he is excellent and has a very bright mind."
Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific
Construction 2022 – Tier 2
Christopher Chong – Construction 2022 – Litigation Star (3 consecutive years)
Mahesh Rai – Construction 2022 – Future Star
A client commented that Drew & Napier has an “excellent dispute resolution practice. Very professional and service oriented. They are able to anticipate and identify issues and offer sound and practical ways out of a situation.”
Christopher has “impressive ability to cut through complex fact scenarios and get to the heart of the issues. Provides strategic and commercial advice.”
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
Construction 2022 – Tier 3; Tier 4 in 2021
Christopher Chong – Recommended Lawyer (2 consecutive years)
Mahesh Rai – Recommended Lawyer (2 consecutive years)
Jimmy Yim SC – Recommended Lawyer
Cavinder Bull SC – Recommended Lawyer
Kelvin Teo – Next Generation Partner (4 consecutive years)
Don Loo – Recommended Lawyer
Nicole Toh – Recommended Lawyer
Josh Tan – Recommended Lawyer
“The Rolls Royce of the Singapore Market – can’t get any better.”
“Drew & Napier’s construction & engineering practice is first-rate in the projects disputes area. “
“Comprehensive full-service firm with depth of expertise in a range of critical areas that are indispensable for our day-to-day operations, whether during a growth cycle or a downward trend, such as construction, corporate, insolvency & restructuring, security of payment matters and dispute resolution. Drew & Napier has been our trusted go-to firm on a regular, consistent basis for some years now with full intention on our part to continue this relationship for a long time to come.”
“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.”
“Drew & Napier LLC is “renowned” for real estate and construction, advising on the contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction, engineering and related insurance issues."
"Drew & Napier LLC has broad and deep expertise in both contentious and non-contentious real estate and construction matters.”
Construction 2022 – Recommended firm (4 consecutive years)
Construction & Real Estate 2013 to 2018 – Highly Recommended firm (6 consecutive years)
“A group of very talented lawyers” who “gave much valuable and insightful advice” and produce “really excellent work [despite] tremendous pressure.”
asialaw Leading Lawyers
Christopher Chong – Distinguished Practitioner (3 consecutive years)
“Christopher Chong is a first class international arbitration practitioner supported by a strong team.”
Mahesh has “deep understanding of Singapore law and appreciation of practical problems in multijurisdiction litigations.”
Mahesh possesses “strong knowledge of Indian laws.”
Sources say Mahesh “demonstrates commitment and responsiveness to queries at all hours. A very driven individual who has sensible commercial solutions. A capable lawyer who delivers results we ask for.”
“Mahesh is a first-rate litigator with a good eye for detail. He grasps issues quickly, was accessible and was excellent in providing commercial solutions to our problems.”
“Mahesh is an excellent disputes lawyer and a master strategist with a deserved reputation for solving complex issues. He was very user friendly, commercially-minded and was one of the best lawyers my company has worked with.”
“The level of legal advice and general client service that I received while working with Mahesh Rai's team was outstanding. My queries were answered promptly and with great attention to detail. Not only did the team closely monitor the progress of the settlement discussions, but it had also taken it upon itself to supervise and check the drafts that came back from the Indonesian law firm instructed by us to advise on Indonesian law queries pertaining to the transaction. Our management and I have been very pleased with the standard of service received from D&N.”
Who’s Who Legal
Thought Leaders Guide: Construction 2021
Christopher Chong – Thought Leader
Global Guide: Construction 2022
Christopher Chong – Leading Lawyer for 5 consecutive years
National Guide: Southeast Asia - Construction 2021
Christopher Chong – Leading Lawyer
Christopher earns praise for his “unparalleled strategic mindset and commercial outlook”.
Christopher’s “high quality, clear and effective arguments and drafting” are considered to be “a delight to behold”.
Best Lawyers International: Singapore
Construction Law 2023
Christopher Chong – Endorsed individual (3 consecutive years)
Jimmy Yim SC – Endorsed individual (9 consecutive years)
Who's Who of Construction 2014
Cavinder Bull, SC