In the middle of 2002, two veterans of the formation of the Hong Kong Society of Construction Law (SCL Hong Kong), Stephen Rae and Monique Ciochetto, moved to Singapore and approached Philip Jeyaretnam SC, a well-known practising lawyer, with the idea that Singapore should have its own Society too based on the positive experience the Hong Kong Society had brought to the Hong Kong Construction industry. Steps were taken to round up the usual suspects as well as others thought likely to share the trio’s enthusiasm. Several brainstorming sessions were held, with the noble grape helping to loosen tongues and stimulate ideas. Thus the Society of Construction Law (SCL) Singapore was conceived.
Joining in discussions which led to the formation of the SCL Singapore were James Niehorster (the first chairman of the SCL Hong Kong) and Paul Starr (his successor). Professor Anthony Lavers, a Council member of the Society of Construction Law UK (SCL UK) also shared the benefit of his experience and was instrumental in securing a grant from the SCL UK to help the SCL Singapore in its start-up.
Philip Jeyaretnam SC became SCL Singapore’s first Chairman. In the first year of its formation the SCL Singapore had slightly over ninety members. This is a sufficient size for the Society to be viable, but the SCL Singapore’s aim is to expand the membership eventually to closer to two hundred.
On 25 July 2002 the Society kicked off the first of its many events programme even while waiting for formal registration with a lecture by Vivian Ramsay QC on "Legal Rights & Remedies for 3rd Parties - Problems and Solutions". This was followed by a very active agenda of workshops and conferences.