Hew Kian Heong brings more than 30 years of experience advising Chinese and international clients on major infrastructure, projects and construction disputes in many parts of the world. He is one of the leading international construction, projects and infrastructure lawyers currently working and living in China.
Hew regularly advises clients on complex cross-border construction disputes. Fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, he regularly acts for and advises both Chinese and international clients in court litigations, arbitrations and mediations across various jurisdictions including China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, Stockholm, Geneva and London.
Hew also regularly works with client project teams during the design and construction phases of projects to help them to resolve contractual issues and disputes or to mitigate their impact as and when they arise, with a view to avoiding expensive litigation and arbitration.
Splitting his time between Shanghai and Beijing, Hew regularly lectures on PRC and international contract forms and construction law issues at workshops and seminars organised by various organisations in China including the China International Contractors Association and Tsinghua University. He is a member of the China International Economic & Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)'s Panel of Arbitrators and has conducted CIETAC arbitrations both as counsel and arbitrator, as well as a member in the List of Experts for Construction Dispute Review maintained by CIETAC. He is also a member of the panel of arbitrators of Beijing Arbitration Commission, and Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission. Hew sits on the legal panel of China Association of International Engineering Consultants.
His extensive experience is validated by his recognition in global legal directories. Hew has been recognised as an Eminent Practitioner (since 2018) in the field of Construction by Chambers Greater China Region and acknowledged as a Thought Leader in Construction by Who’s Who Legal: Mainland China & Hong Kong SAR 2023. He is also recognised as a Leading Lawyer and described as "the leading figure for the practice who offers strategic thinking and practical solutions to the team and the clients" by Legal 500 2023 in Real Estate & Construction: China.
Notable Cases & Transactions
- Representing a Chinese state-owned chemical and engineering company in an arbitration under SIAC rules seated in Singapore. The matter concerns the construction of a chemical plant in Russia and involves the non-performance of an EU counterparty facing the recent EU sanction measures against Russia.
- Representing a Chinese SOE in a SIAC arbitration concerning shareholder disputes arising from a joint venture company between the Chinese company and a Danish company.
- Representing a Chinese state-owned energy facilities company (Middle East branch) in an arbitration under ICC Rules and seated in Singapore. The case arose out of a subcontract for the construction of a world-class mega-energy storage facility in the Middle East, with the amount in dispute nearly US$100 million.
- Representing a Chinese stated owned company on a delay claim caused by COVID-19 in its oil tank and pipeline construction project in Oman.
- Representing a Chinese contractor on the construction of a soda ash and calcium chloride production plant in Ras Al Industrial City in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including licensing issues, variations, claim preparation, potential disputes with service providers.
- Representing CRCC in relation to its role as EPC contractor and investor in respect of the Thai “three airports” High Speed Rail PPP project.
- Representing a leading Chinese state-owned engineering company in an arbitration under the rules of SIAC seated in Singapore. The matter involves a dispute arising from a share purchase agreement for acquisitions of an electricity distribution company and an electricity sales company.
- Representing a major Chinese contractor on contract, legal and commercial issues arising from the design and construction of a mega hydropower project in South Asia, including reviewing project contracts, claims analysis, strategic advice on handling of disputes arising from the project.
- Co-leader of a PRC and London team of lawyers representing ZPMC in a multi-million US dollar TCC court action in England arising out of the delivery of alleged defective piles on the Greater Gabbard Offshore Windfarm Project.
- Lead partner representing a major Chinese international contractor in an ICC (London) arbitration in relation to a subcontract dispute arising out of the construction of a cement production facility in Turkey.
- Lead partner representing a major Chinese international contractor in an ICC (London) arbitration in relation to a dispute arising out of the operation and maintenance of the power generation facility for a cement production facility in Albania.
- Lead partner representing a Hong Kong main contractor in three arbitrations in the Hangzhou Arbitration Commission and nine litigations in the Chinese courts involving inter-connected and independent disputes with its subcontractors arising out of the design, procurement and construction of a Research and Development Campus in Hangzhou for a leading PRC technology company.
- Lead partner representing a major Chinese international contractor in injunction proceedings brought against it by a Singapore listed company in the Singapore High Court on a call on a payment guarantee provided in relation to the design and construction of a wood chip factory in Indonesia.
- Lead partner representing a major Chinese international contractor in a potential ICC arbitration in relation to claims and counterclaims arising out of the performance of an EPC contract for a power station in Sudan.
- Lead partner representing a major Chinese international contractor in a potential ICC arbitration arising out of the termination of an EPC contract for a power station in Sudan. In this matter, we also successfully applied to the PRC court for an injunction to stop payment by the bank of a multi-million US dollar on-demand performance bond pursuant to a call by the owner.
- Lead partner representing a leading UK design firm in a CIETAC (Beijing) arbitration involving a dispute over design fees for the design of a commercial building in Beijing.
- Lead partner and advocate representing a major Chinese international contractor in a CIETAC (Beijing) arbitration involving a claim for agency fee by a foreign agent in relation to a construction project in Vietnam.
- Lead lawyer representing a Singaporean contractor in a CIETAC (Shanghai) arbitration involving disputes with the owner arising from the construction of a manufacturing facility in Tianjin, PRC.
- Lead lawyer and advocate representing a US manufacturing company in a CIETAC (Shanghai) arbitration involving disputes with the main contractor arising from the construction of a manufacturing facility in Suzhou, PRC.
- Acted as party appointed arbitrator in a CIETAC (Shanghai) arbitration involving disputes between an owner and the main contractor arising from the construction of a manufacturing facility in the PRC.
- Represented the Shanxi Yellow River Diversion Project Corporation in a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitration on a multi-million USD dollar dispute with the contractor consortium on the Shanxi Yellow River Diversion Project.
- Acted for a number of international contractor consortiums in arbitrations arising out of the design and construction of a number of the work packages for the Hong Kong Airport Core Program, including the Hong Kong International Airport Terminal Building and connecting infrastructure.
- Represented three international contractors in the Hong Kong International Airport Opening Public Inquiry hearings.
- Represented a Hong Kong listed company in an ad hoc arbitration in Hong Kong involving a dispute with the main contractor over the design and construction of its headquarter office building.
- Represented a Hong Kong stock-broking company in a High Court action against a former client in respect of sums due for purchase of shares.
- Represented an engineering consultancy firm in an ad hoc arbitration in Hong Kong involving a claim by the owner for the negligent design of a printing facility in Hong Kong.
- Represented an employer against its legal advisers in respect of a court action in the English court for professional negligence involving drafting of liquidated damages and extension of time provisions in a construction contract for the Shajiao C power station in China.
- Represented a Korean main contractor in a KLIA arbitration in relation to a dispute with the owner arising out of the construction of a palace residence in Brunei.
- Member, Panel of Arbitrators, China International Economic & Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)
- Member, Panel of Arbitrators, Beijing Arbitration Commission
- Member, Panel of Arbitrators, Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission
- Member, List of Experts for Construction Dispute Review by CIETAC (June 2023 - Present)
- Legal Panel, China Association of International Engineering Consultants
- Visiting Professor, School of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University (2021 - 2023)
- The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Construction & Engineering Law 2019 - China Chapter