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Kelvin Aw

Director

Contact
Holborn Law LLC
7 Straits View #19-01
Marina One East Tower
Singapore 018936
Languages English, Chinese
Construction & Engineering

Kelvin Aw is a Partner in CMS Singapore, and a Director in CMS Holborn Asia, the Formal Law Alliance between CMS Singapore and Singapore law practice, Holborn Law LLC. He is Co-Head of the Infrastructure and Construction practice in Singapore. He brings almost 3 decades of court room and board room experiences to champion clients’ interests not only in contentious but also transactional matters, with particular specialisation in the construction, engineering, and infrastructure sector.

On contentious briefs, he appears before all levels of the Singapore Courts, and also before tribunals in statutory adjudications under Singapore’s Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Cap. 30B), and in international and domestic arbitrations under various arbitral institutions including the Asian International Arbitration Centre (Malaysia) (AIAC), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), and China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). He delivers consistently with an impressive track record in all matters, particularly on high-stakes disputes in which his specialist knowledge of international building and construction law sets him apart.

On transactional matters, he is often engaged on high-value infrastructure projects from procurement through to delivery, operations and maintenance. In these engagements, his expertise is sought for structuring, drafting, and strategic advice for the avoidance of disputes, where possible. Together with co-head of the practice Lynette Chew, they are regularly engaged by clients on large-scale, landmark development matters not only in Malaysia, but also in Singapore, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Middle East. These range from infrastructure projects such as power plants, particularly dealing with renewables such as wind farms and hydro-electric installations, to buildings for residences, commerce and the tech industries such as data centres and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants. Among key representations, Kelvin was one of the project counsels to the Marina Bay Sands (Singapore) for its iconic integrated resort project from tender to completion valued at S$6 billion. 

Kelvin is consistently ranked as a leading individual by various legal ranking directories for his expertise in construction, projects & energy, as well as dispute resolution. These include Chambers Asia-Pacific: Leading Lawyers for Business, Legal 500, AsiaLaw, Best Lawyers and Benchmark Litigation.

Kelvin is regularly invited to participate in key industry and sector conferences as a speaker, and to deliver trainings to his clients on key legal updates that are essential to their business, including conferences and events organised by the Society of Construction Law, FIDIC and the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF) in the ASEAN region.

He is also a Senior Accredited Specialist for Building and Construction recognised by the Singapore Academy of Law.  He is a fellow of the Singapore and Chartered Institutes of Arbitrators, and an accredited Senior Adjudicator with the Singapore Mediation Centre. In addition, he has served on the Council of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and has taught construction law modules at the National University of Singapore. Kelvin also serves on the board of the Caregiving Welfare Association, having formerly been appointed as its President from 2016 to 2019. 

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“Litigation Star for Construction.”

Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2020

"Recommended individual for Construction"

Chambers, 2015-23

"Recommended individual for Construction Law"

Legal 500, 2017-23

“Dispute Resolution Star for Construction/International Arbitration.”

Benchmark Litigation, 2018-22

"Notable Practitioner for Construction Law."

AsiaLaw, 2020-2022

"… is very responsive, articulate and analytical."

Chambers, 2022

"Leading Construction Litigation Lawyers, Singapore."

Doyles, 2022

"… is lauded by clients for being very knowledgeable and street smart when it comes to the nuances of the legal system; he knows all of the ins and outs.”

Chambers, 2018

"… is very responsive, articulate and analytical."

Chambers, 2022

“[Kelvin’s] biggest strength as a lawyer is that he is very strategic and always thinks ahead and tackles potential problems early on.”

Chambers, 2017

"Recommended individual for International Arbitration"

Legal 500, 2018

“Litigation Star for Dispute Resolution.”

Benchmark Litigation, 2018-20

“Best Lawyer – Construction.”

The Best Lawyers, 2019 - 2022

"Recommended individual for Projects & Energy"

Legal 500, 2016

Kelvin Aw … advises on both contentious and non-contentious construction matters, in particular those arising from large infrastructure projects in the region. One client says: “his biggest strength as a lawyer is that he is very strategic and always thinks ahead and tackles potential problems early on."

Chambers, 2017

Relevant experience

  • As project counsel of one of the largest integrated resort developments in Singapore which was valued at more than SGD$ 6bn (approximately USD $4.4bn).
  • An international Korean construction company in successfully setting aside an adjudication determination before the High Court of Singapore and the Court of Appeal of Singapore, in relation to claims in excess of S$ 13m by its subcontractor over a longstanding dispute in the Suntec City Mall project in Singapore.
  • A Singaporean listed developer of a resort in the Republic of Maldives, in an arbitration bought by its contractor for disputes arising from their building contract concerning valuation, time analysis and defects.
  • A Hong Kong listed Chinese developer and its construction arm as sponsors in the tender of the Marina East Desalination Plant project called by the Singapore Government on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model.
  • A Hong Kong listed construction company in their successful tender for the construction of an MRT station and tunnels along the Thomson-Eastern Line by the Land Transport Authority of Singapore and drafting subcontracts for tunnel boring machines and other processes for the project.
  • A Singaporean government-linked port developer on a retainer basis, advising them on front end contract documentation based on the FIDIC suite of standard forms for use in relation to their expansion of the container terminal in Panama.
  • A Singaporean government-linked constructor on its successful bid for development of a defence sector training facility in Singapore procured on a design-build-operate model, and drafting sub-tier contracts for all phases of the project.
  • A German food flavours manufacturer on a retainer basis, for the development of their first Southeast Asia headquarters located in Singapore.
  • A leading international architectural firm, advising on and resolving a dispute arising from a resort project in Montenegro, owned by joint venture between entities in Azerbaijan and Montenegro.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Senior Accredited Specialist (Building & Construction), Singapore Academy of Law.
  • Fellow, Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • Accredited Senior Adjudicator, Singapore Mediation Centre.
  • Member, Society of Construction Law Singapore.
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore.
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Education

  • 2005 - MSc, Construction & Arbitration King's College London
  • 1995 – LLB (Hons), University of Kent at Canterbury, Kent
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Dispute Resolution

Kelvin Aw is a Partner in CMS Singapore, and a Director in CMS Holborn Asia, the Formal Law Alliance between CMS Singapore and Singapore law practice, Holborn Law LLC. He is Co-Head of the Infrastructure and Construction practice in Singapore. He brings almost 3 decades of court room and board room experiences to champion clients’ interests not only in contentious but also transactional matters, with particular specialisation in the construction, engineering, and infrastructure sector.

On contentious briefs, he appears before all levels of the Singapore Courts, and also before tribunals in statutory adjudications under Singapore’s Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Cap. 30B), and in international and domestic arbitrations under various arbitral institutions including the Asian International Arbitration Centre (Malaysia) (AIAC), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), and China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). He delivers consistently with an impressive track record in all matters, particularly on high-stakes disputes in which his specialist knowledge of international building and construction law sets him apart.

On transactional matters, he is often engaged on high-value infrastructure projects from procurement through to delivery, operations and maintenance. In these engagements, his expertise is sought for structuring, drafting, and strategic advice for the avoidance of disputes, where possible. Together with co-head of the practice Lynette Chew, they are regularly engaged by clients on large-scale, landmark development matters not only in Malaysia, but also in Singapore, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Middle East. 

Kelvin is consistently ranked as a leading individual by various legal ranking directors for his expertise in dispute resolution, with a particular specialisation in construction and projects & energy. These include  Chambers Asia-Pacific: Leading Lawyers for Business, Legal 500, AsiaLaw, Best Lawyers and Benchmark Litigation where he has been conferred a Litigation Star ranking for both construction and dispute resolution practices.

He is also a Senior Accredited Specialist for Building and Construction recognised by the Singapore Academy of Law. He is a fellow of the Singapore and Chartered Institutes of Arbitrators, and an accredited Senior Adjudicator with the Singapore Mediation Centre. In addition, he has served on the Council of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and has taught construction law modules at the National University of Singapore. Kelvin also serves on the board of the Caregiving Welfare Association, having formerly been appointed as its President from 2016 to 2019.

more less

“Litigation Star for Construction.”

Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2020

"Recommended individual for Construction"

Chambers, 2015-23

"Recommended individual for Construction Law"

Legal 500, 2017-23

“Dispute Resolution Star for Construction/International Arbitration.”

Benchmark Litigation, 2018-22

"Notable Practitioner for Construction Law."

AsiaLaw, 2020-2022

"… is very responsive, articulate and analytical."

Chambers, 2022

"Leading Construction Litigation Lawyers, Singapore."

Doyles, 2022

“[Kelvin’s] biggest strength as a lawyer is that he is very strategic and always thinks ahead and tackles potential problems early on.”

Chambers, 2017

"… is lauded by clients for being very knowledgeable and street smart when it comes to the nuances of the legal system; he knows all of the ins and outs.”

Chambers, 2018

Kelvin Aw … advises on both contentious and non-contentious construction matters, in particular those arising from large infrastructure projects in the region. One client says: “his biggest strength as a lawyer is that he is very strategic and always thinks ahead and tackles potential problems early on."

Chambers, 2017

"… is very responsive, articulate and analytical."

Chambers, 2022

"Recommended individual for International Arbitration"

Legal 500, 2018

"Recommended individual for Projects & Energy"

Legal 500, 2016

“Litigation Star for Dispute Resolution.”

Benchmark Litigation, 2018-20

“Best Lawyer – Construction.”

The Best Lawyers, 2019 - 2022

Relevant experience

  • As project counsel of one of the largest integrated resort developments in Singapore which was valued at more than SGD$ 6bn (approximately USD 4.4bn).
  • An international Korean construction company in successfully setting aside an adjudication determination before the High Court of Singapore and the Court of Appeal of Singapore, in relation to claims in excess of S$ 13m by its subcontractor over a longstanding dispute in the Suntec City Mall project in Singapore.
  • A Singaporean listed developer of a resort in the Republic of Maldives, in an arbitration bought by its contractor for disputes arising from their building contract concerning valuation, time analysis and defects.
  • A leading international architectural firm, advising on and resolving a dispute arising from a resort project in Montenegro, owned by joint venture between entities in Azerbaijan and Montenegro.
  • An American oilfield service company in an SIAC arbitration against its supplier in relation to supply of products for use in oil exploration activities, which is related to disputes over quantity and quality of products supplied.
  • A Swedish civil engineering company in 2 arbitrations arising from 2 MRT Circle Line projects, involving measurement of foundation and tunnelling works and investigation into trench collapse.
  • An international Australian real estate developer on claims arising from the ceiling collapse of their flagship mall in Singapore.
  • A Malaysian M&E contractor in an ad hoc arbitration in Singapore against a Korean M&E contractor involving the design and installation of piping and ducting works in a Rolls-Royce manufacturing facility for engines used in the Airbus A380 fleet, and its associated enforcement proceedings in Singapore and Korean.
  • A hotel developer in respect of a claim by its contractor for a hotel development in Perth, Australia.
  • A Singaporean employer in an arbitration against and an Australian contractor on a 5-star hotel project in Ho Chih-Minh City, Vietnam.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Fellow, Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • Accredited Senior Adjudicator, Singapore Mediation Centre.
  • Member, Society of Construction Law Singapore.
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore.
more less

Education

  • 2005 - MSc, Construction & Arbitration King's College London.
  • 1995 – LLB (Hons), University of Kent at Canterbury, Kent.
more less

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