IPBA 2021

Construction Law in Focus, Part 1: Employers’ Rights and Obligations

Organised by: International Construction Projects Committee

Session abstract:

This interactive panel discussion will consider the following issues (among others) from a multi-jurisdictional perspective with particular attention to material distinctions between civil and common law approaches:

  • Delay damages/liquidated damages;
  • Performance guarantees and bonds;
  • Suspension/termination


Karen Gough
Barrister, Attorney-at-Law (Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago), Chartered Arbitrator
39 Essex Chambers, London, Singapore and Malaysia

Karen Gough is an English Barrister in practice at 39 Essex Chambers and is based in its London office. Karen specialises in complex major construction, engineering, infrastructure and energy disputes, and general commercial litigation, with a strong emphasis on international commercial arbitration and ADR. She practises globally as counsel, attorney-at-law, arbitrator, adjudicator and ADR neutral and in the UK has appeared before the courts at all levels, including the Privy Council.

She represents a wide range of clients including governments, government agencies, local authorities, educational institutions, contractors, sub-contractors, and major commercial organisations. Her construction practice includes disputes concerning private domestic and commercial industrial and retail developments, major public works and infrastructure projects including water, sewage, energy and power plants, nuclear facilities, hospitals, prisons, schools, roads, rail, and sea defences. She has dealt with all manner of disputes, including claims for payment, extensions of time, delay and disruption, specialist disputes involving complex M&E and building management systems, ground conditions, cladding and roofing projects. Her commercial practice includes corporate debt restructuring issues; disputes arising from share purchase agreements; banking; and a number of other complex disputes involving financing and guarantees for major commercial developments. Karen also acts for clients in insolvency/insolvency related disputes.

She is a past president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Chartered Arbitrator, and a member of a number of arbitral institution panels, and an accredited adjudicator. She is a past Chairman of the ICAEW’s Insolvency Licensing Committee.

She is an acknowledged expert on the resolution of disputes arising under the FIDIC forms of contract. She is an expert “Friendly Reviewer” of the FIDIC 2017 Forms, a member of the AIAC Expert Advisory Committee contributing to the drafting of the KLRCA/AIAC Standard Form Contracts in Malaysia and a member of the expert advisory panel of the JAIAC.

She is a Council member of the Society for Construction Law in London and a Vice Chairman of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association’s International Construction Projects Committee.

She is described as “Just the person you want if the battle is going to be hot” in construction claims, and having “immense arbitral experience” by Chambers UK, and by Legal 500 as providing advice which is“…incisive, to the point, and with an ability to solve complex problems with ease.”, and as someone who is “outstanding in her detailed and analytical grasp of her field and fearless in her protection of the client”, and “The sort of advocate that most clients dream of instructing.”

Paul Sandosham
Clifford Chance Asia and Cavenagh Law LLP

Recognised by independent legal directories as a leading dispute resolution practitioner, Paul specialises in international arbitration and litigation focussing on disputes in the power, energy, oil & gas, infrastructure, construction, mining, resources, utilities, commodities and international trade sectors. He acts as counsel in court and in international arbitration proceedings under various arbitral rules. Paul has advised on a multitude of projects and disputes that have arisen across numerous jurisdictions, including in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, India, Lao PDR, Philippines, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, KSA, Mauritius, Maldives, Tanzania, Nigeria, China, Mongolia, Turkey, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Paul is a qualified Chartered Arbitrator. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and Singapore Institute of Arbitrators (SIArb), and is on the panel of arbitrators of several arbitral institutions including AIAC, BCDR, BANI, DIAC, HKIAC, PIAC and SIAC. He sits as sole arbitrator and tribunal chairman in international arbitrations relating to various types of disputes. He is on the Chairman of the board of directors of CIArb Singapore Ltd and a member of the CIArb teaching faculty. Paul is a member of the ICC Singapore Nomination Commission, the body that nominates arbitrators for appointment for ICC arbitrations.

Paul is recommended by leading legal publications including, Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Legal 500: Asia Pacific, Europe, ME, Africa, Global Arbitration Review’s 100, Who’s Who Legal – The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Construction Lawyers, Expert Guides – Commercial Arbitration and Construction, IFLR 1000 (Energy & Infrastructure) – Guide to the Industry’s Leading Law Firms and Lawyers and Asian Legal Business.


Dr. Christopher Malcolm
A Consultant Senior Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Justice of Jamaica; Secretary General JAIAC

Dr Malcolm is a Consultant Senior Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Justice, Jamaica; Secretary General JAIAC, and a dispute management practitioner, who has been admitted to practice law in Jamaica, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Lucia and Belize. His primary areas of focus are banking and finance, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), construction and real estate, corporate and commercial, trade and investment, regional integration and economic development. He is an alumnus of Munro College; The University of the West Indies at Cave Hill; Norman Manley Law School; Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University London; and UNCTAD Virtual Institute, in collaboration with the Universities of Barcelona and Chile. Dr Malcolm has worked collaboratively with lawyers and other professionals from across the globe, including in the area of capacity building.

He is a former Attorney General, British Virgin Islands; Director, Mona Law Institutes Unit; Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law at Mona, University of the West Indies; Partner, Malcolm Gordon, Attorneys-at-Law; Consultant, Fulford Chambers (Turks and Caicos Islands); Council Member, Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution; former Head, Legal Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States; Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; former Chair, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators – Caribbean Branch; Fellow, Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution; Secretary General, Jamaica International Arbitration Centre Limited; Member, Technical Advisory Group, Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT) Project; Panellist, Asian International Arbitration Centre; Panellist, Dispute Resolution Centre of Trinidad and Tobago (DRC); Member, Sports Law Association of Malaysia; Member, Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA); and Executive Director, Street Law Caribbean Limited.

Swee Im Tan
39 Essex Chambers
Kuala Lumpar

Swee Im Tan is a Barrister-at-Law (Middle Temple), Chartered Arbitrator, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators, Fellow of the Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, Fellow of the Malaysian Society of Adjudicators, Fellow of the Dispute Board Federation and an arbitrator, adjudicator and mediator on the panel of the Asian International Arbitration Centre, a member of the SIAC Panel of Arbitrators, a member of the HKIAC Panel of Arbitrators, a qualified adjudicator, a Malaysia Construction Industry Development Board Accredited Mediator, and holds a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration.

Swee is also an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya, and founded a legal firm in Malaysia which focuses on the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors. She was in-house counsel for a public listed company and has extensive arbitration experience. She was a key member of the drafting team on the first independent power plants in Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing projects and many other major projects in Malaysia as well as internationally.

Swee’s experience in the construction industry ranges from the early procurement strategy stage, contract drafting, advisory during the project life, through to dispute resolution. She is known for her logical and practical approach to matters, with a great ability to keep the big picture in mind without losing focus on the detail. Solution orientated without getting lost in the law, she is a sought after resource by industry stakeholders.

In construction, Swee has had a role in much of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline and in infrastructure she has been involved in many of the major infrastructure projects including airports, bridges, highways, heavy rail and light rail. Internationally she has been involved in projects in South East Asia, Indo-China, Middle East, Australia, as well as trans-national pipelines. Power plants, co-generation facilities, crude oil terminals are included in her energy experience.

Swee regularly sits as arbitrator and adjudicator, in addition to her many years as counsel in arbitrations and adjudications. Her appointments are institutional as well as party agreed.

Swee is a regular speaker at conferences, seminars as well as practical workshops in contract administration. She is a great communicator and a lively speaker and passionate about the education of construction professionals in dispute avoidance. Swee has contributed many articles, case commentaries and led a team to develop standard forms and procedures guide for statutory adjudication. She has always been an active contributor to industry associations.