King & Wood Mallesons

Construction (International Firms) Department

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What the team is known for Heavyweight construction group handling high-value contentious and non-contentious matters for an enviable roster of blue-chip clients, government agencies and SOEs. Well-established domestic and international practice with considerable cross-border experience and PRC law capabilities. Experienced advising on matters relating to the hospitality, energy and infrastructure sectors, as well as the One Belt One Road initiative. Capable of handling mandates involving various jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region.

Strengths Clients praise the depth and regional breadth of the practice: "They are the pre-eminent law firm for business in China, with a unique understanding of the region. They seamlessly leverage their Hong Kong presence to work hand in glove with their extensive office network in China." Another client remarks: "The team covers all the strengths required to manage a dispute, from strategy setting to producing well-structured and easy-to-understand pleadings."

Work highlights Advised China Machine New Energy Corporation on a dispute in connection with its contractual obligations for the building and financing of a USD1.1 billion infrastructure project in Central America.

Notable practitioners

According to one source, Donovan Ferguson is "absolutely one to watch – a delight to work with and a strong, practical lawyer." He is capable of handling contentious and non-contentious construction matters, as well as representing clients in investigations. One source remarks: "He gets into the detail of arbitrations and has a full grasp of the facts, the applicable law and any technical issues. He is very practical and sensible in identifying what the core issues are."

Edmund Wan offers an expert handling of advisory construction law mandates, including the drafting and negotiation of tender documents and contracts, as well as assisting with regulatory matters. One interviewee is also keen to point out his prowess in contentious construction matters, describing him as a "construction arbitration specialist."

One client reports that Paul Starr is a "superb strategist and innovator who gets to grips with the detail in an extraordinary way and has an exceptional ability to master all of the ramifications of a case." He maintains a market-leading reputation for his work on construction-related disputes and is frequently instructed on complex cross-border arbitration cases. Another source enthuses: "He's very strong on developing dispute management strategy, which comes from his many years of experience. He has great presence in negotiations and provides practical advice in order to seek commercially sensible settlements."