August 2018 • Issue No. 36

Upcoming Events

Date Title
29 August 2018 SCL(S) 10th Annual Dinner
12 September 2018 SCL(S) Construction Law Conference 2018 - Collaboration And Technology In Construction Law & Practice – Where To Next?
4, 9, 11, 16 October 2018 Construction Law 101 (9th Run!)
7 November 2018 Challenges in Construction Mediation


View details of
SCL(S) Council 2016-2018

 Click here

Welcome to new SCL(S) Members

June 2018 to August 2018
1. David Wright
2. Fui Twee Wee
3. Wanjing Goh
4. Emerson Holmes
5. Zachary Sharpe
6. Michael Nathanael Guang Huichee
7. Steven Brown
8. Cui Yu Mok

Post Event Updates

Networking Cocktail 2018

18 April 2018

Construction Expertise 101

(08, 13, 15, 20 & 22 March 2018)


Understanding the Construction Contract in a Project Financing

27 February 2018

Annual Construction Law Update 2018

23 January 2018


Chairman's Message  

Dear SCL(S) members,

It has been almost two years since I assumed the Chair of the SCL(S). I have been lucky to have inherited the organisation at a time of strength and growth and with a Secretariat and Council stocked with enthusiasm. I hope to step down from my role with the SCL(S) in just as strong a position and with a team that is fit for the future.

Even in the relatively short two years at the helm, the pace of technological advancement and change have accelerated in the construction industry and in society as a whole. Technological advancement though is more than just about productivity gains and a new way of designing and constructing in the industry. It is also about ensuring that our industry keeps up with the wider change in society. Electrical engineering is moving on from building transmission lines and large power plants to building micro-grids and energy storage just as our road networks are being prepared for fully electrical and driverless cars. It is not just about a new way of doing things. It is about doing new things. Conversely, that change in society is also more than just about finding new business models and product lines, it is also about the way we do business. All our actions and decisions in business are expected to and should have a wider social and moral compass. How we make our money is just as, if not more important than, how much money we make. The world is always watching.

SCL(S) needs to respond to all these challenges and to be at the forefront of change. We are part of the push of the construction industry to greater things and to better things. I have no doubt that our new SCL(S) Council will continue to serve that end and I have no doubt that all of you will support us in that endeavour.

Alex Wong
Chairman, SCL (Singapore)  


SCL(S) 10th Annual Dinner: Dine in Retro-cool Style at the Philippe Starck-Designed "Beasts & Butterflies" (29 Aug, 7.00pm-9.30pm, M Social Singapore, 90 Robertson Quay)

For more details and to secure your place, please REGISTER ONLINE. Alternatively, simply download and return the completed registration form and e-mail to or fax to +65-62259426. Deadline for registrations is 22nd August 2018!

For more details and to RSVP for AGM, please click HERE (login required).


Fair Hearings & Natural Justice in Adjudications
Bintai Kindenko Pte Ltd v Samsung C&T Corp [2018] SGCA 39

Adjudications under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Cap 30B) (the “SOP Act”) are routinely described as a rough species of justice, wherein an adjudicator is required to make a determination within a short period of time. The adjudication’s quick pace is a feature of the SOP Act, along with its provisionally binding nature (referred to as temporary finality) until the differences are ultimately resolved in court or at arbitration. Both features facilitate the overall aim of easing cash flow to contractors and sub-contractors downstream in the building and construction industry.

Due to the constrains of time, adjudicators have been given considerable latitude to make their determination. Errors of law in adjudications are tolerated and cannot be appealed against. However, this does not mean that adjudicators have carte-blanche to do as they wish, as they are required to comply with the principles of natural justice in rendering a determination.

Contributed by: Justin Tan - Eversheds Harry Elias LLP

Latest Post Event Updates

Unabsorbed Head Office Overheads

(18 July 2018)


In his presentation on 18 July, Mr David Kelly, Principal at Exponent Inc, tackled the oft-misunderstood head of claim that is unabsorbed head office overheads. While a mainstay in time-related money claims, this head of claim is notoriously difficult to prove and contractors often find their claims dismissed as a result of insufficient evidence being tendered in support of the claim.

Mr Kelly's presentation succinctly summarised the nature and basis of this head of claim as well as the types of expenses that fall within such a claim, and provided a helpful comparison of the various formulas employed in practice to quantify this head of claim. Mr Kelly also brought with him insight from his expert practice across both civil and common law jurisdictions, which was particularly relevant in today's increasingly global market.

The seminar ended with a very interactive Q&A session, in which members of the audience discussed their experiences and the difficulties encountered in advancing this head of claim. In sum, it was an extremely informative and insightful talk put up by SCL Singapore.

Contributed by: Joanna Seetoh – Pinsent Masons



David Kelly brought the audience through an examination of the “unabsorbed” or “unallocated” portion of head office overheads, being that part of a contractor’s overhead costs that cannot be attributed to specific variation orders or events. Getting down to the nuts and bolts, we considered the various components of head office overheads and elements of proof needed to quantify such a claim.

Whilst we were given the opportunity to consider as many as seven different formulas (plus further variants within the Hudson’s and Eichleay formulas), it was not immediately apparent which of these formulas would be more appropriate or advantageous for different types of corporate entities pursuing such a claim. For this, one would have to undertake a comparative examination of the formulas using a set of available data.

By an informal poll by raising of hands, it was apparent that amongst the audience, this type of claim is largely unchartered territory.

Contributed by: Lesley Tan – WongPartnership LLP

Reliance and Expectation Loss: Alternative Heads of Damage?

(04 April 2018)

The talk on reliance and expectation losses by Ms Rashda Rana SC was a good refresher on contract law. We usually face claims for expectation damages by contractor clients and this talk reminded us that reliance damages is another concept that we should grapple with when analysing cases. In particular, it was interesting to hear Ms Rana SC discuss how expectation damages and reliance damages may not even be alternative heads and that both may come into play in assessing the claimant’s loss. The law is still evolving in this area and it was edifying to have Ms Rana SC guide us in what was an illuminating lecture.

Contributed by: Ashok Kumar Rai – Eversheds Harry Elias



Newsletter Editors: Lee Chau Ee & Ashok Rai 

Society of Construction Law (Singapore)

6 Eu Tong Sen Street,#05-07, Clarke Quay Central, Singapore 059817 • Tel: +65-31273797 & Fax: +65-6225 9426

Copyright © 2018 Society of Construction Law (Singapore)