Please note the change in our telephone number with immediate effect. Kindly contact us at 6551 2783 and update your records accordingly.
25 January 2019
SCL(S) - Habitat for Humanity - Batam Build (10 - 11 May 2019)
Come join like-minded colleagues from the Society of Construction Law (Singapore) on a Habitat for Humanity house-building trip in Batam, Indonesia.
It will be a meaningful two-days as we build a safe and decent home for a low-income family in Batam’s Kabil Village alongside the homeowner and their community.
25 January 2019
Dear SCL(S) members,
Welcome back from the year-end holidays, and to our very first Newsletter for 2019! This is a significant time for both the Construction industry in general, and for the Society in particular.
Members will recall the passing of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Bill 2018 back on 2 October 2018. There is as yet no official announcement as to when the amendments take effect. This is presumably because rules and subsidiary legislation governing statutory adjudication in Singapore are having to be reviewed, to ensure consistency and coherence with the statutory reforms when they come into force.
October 2018 also saw the launch of the Singapore Infrastructure Dispute-Management Protocol by Finance Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat at the 8th Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable. The innovative Protocol is intended to be a comprehensive dispute management mechanism, and is aimed for use on mega infrastructure and construction projects, not just in Singapore, but also internationally, particularly in Asia. The Protocol and the Ministry of Law’s press release are accessible here.
Another notable piece of legislation was passed on 1 November 2018 i.e. the new Mediation Act of Singapore. It applies not only to mediations conducted in Singapore, but also to mediations conducted overseas where parties have subjected their mediations to the Mediation Act or to Singapore Law. One of the hallmarks of this legislation is that it allows mediated settlement agreements to be recorded as Court Orders and to be enforced as such. This has obvious significance to the attractiveness and efficacy of mediation as a mode of dispute resolution in the construction sector, particularly when one considers:
(a) The international enforceability of Singapore Judgments through the various treaties and court-to-court agreements that Singapore has in place with jurisdictions such as Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, China, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, UK, and all of the EU states; and
(b) The planned signing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation (i.e. UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation) in August this year. Essentially the mediation equivalent of the New York Convention, the Singapore Convention seeks to ensure cross-border enforceability of mediated settlement agreements in courts of signatory states. Note however that it does not come into force immediately (February 2020 at earliest), and will need to accumulate a critical mass of signatories before realising its true potential.
Please look out for our regular updates on of events and articles on such legal developments and other issues that matter to the construction fraternity!
Toh Chen Han
Chairman, SCL (Singapore)
03 December 2018
SAL - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment (Amendment) Act 2018 (18 January 2019)
Join SAL’s Senior Accredited Specialists in Building and Construction Law as they dissect the amendments to SOPA and discuss how they may impact the payment and adjudication process.
The people have spoken and the SCL(S) Council for 2018-2020 have been elected. The campaigns were hard fought and the election promises came fast and furious. Pledges of more craft beer to be served at SCL social events were countered by pledges of a Singapore protocol on delay. The dust has settled and I am happy with the outcome. The majority are people I have worked with in the previous council and I can attest to their work ethic and their commitment. The new appointees are Kelvin Teo and Adrian Wong who I am certain will contribute significantly. Under the leadership of Toh Chen Han, I expect that the Council will build on the good work done by the previous council under Alex Wong’s leadership.
This newsletter also comes at a significant time. The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act has been amended. To that end, we are pleased to have an article from Joanna Seetoh and Chan Yong Neng of Pinsent Masons MPillay LLP enlightening us on the amendments. The article is extensive and exceedingly helpful in its survey on the changes to the Act. Construction lawyers and anyone else who rely on the Act would definitely find this article a useful guide to navigating the technical intricacies of the amendments.
We are also fortunate that we have another enriching article to read in this newsletter. This one is a piece by Sean Hardy and Justin Ee of Pinsent Masons MPillay LLP on the recent case of Lee Tat Development Pte Ltd v Management Corporation Strata Title Plan No.31  SGCA 50. This Court of Appeal decision looked at the esoteric torts of abuse of process and malicious prosecution in a long-running dispute between a developer and a management corporation. The article by Sean and Justin is a tantalising read and is a welcome change to the usual articles on variations, adjudication, delays etc.
I am pleased with the content that we have for this newsletter and look forward to working with my fellow co-editor, Kelvin Teo, on getting more interesting content out in future newsletters for all of you to digest and enjoy. Take care and see everyone soon at the next SCL(S) event!
Causes of Catastrophic Failure in Construction – A Guide for Lawyers and the Layperson (19 February 2019)
Central to preventing catastrophic failures in the construction sector is a knowledge of their underlying causes. But because construction is a technical profession, there can be a temptation to blame these failures on purely technical causes. But is this the case? Or do human beings play a bigger role? This presentation examines the interaction between technical and human factors in failure causation, and concludes that while failures stem from technical issues, it is human fallibility that allows these issues to culminate in catastrophe.
As a dispute resolution lawyer in the construction space, I found the course interesting and engaging. There was a clear focus on addressing the practical issues that those in the construction industry, not just...
In the presence of about 25 SCL(S) members, Philip (who also had submitted a paper) spoke about the concept of Construction Contract Changes. Phillip’s talk covered the certainty of change being the constant of...