Atkin Chambers has a long-standing presence in Asia and The Pacific, maintaining members’ reputations for advocacy, advice and analysis through their continued involvement with important and complex disputes.

Members and door tenants are regular visitors to and speakers in the region, and Chambers has regularly hosted lawyers from the region on training and exchange programmes like the Bar Council Training Scheme for Chinese lawyers and the Bar Council and Korean Bar Association Korean Exchange Programme for young lawyers. At the same time, junior barristers from Chambers have gained valuable experience on secondment to law firms in Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore.

Recognition for members’ work in Asia-Pacific

Atkin Chambers a recommended chambers again in the most recent The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (The English Bar) and has more members ranked than any other set in Chambers Asia Pacific (International Arbitration – The Bar in Asia-Pacific). The Legal 500 Asia Pacific commented in its recent guide that Atkin Chambers was “hailed by the market as ‘first-rate barristers of exceptional ability, at both QC and junior level’. The set is ‘undisputedly one of the best for construction, engineering and infrastructure’ with clients noting the ‘international reach and reputation’ of its barristers as ‘second to none’.”

Major project disputes in South-East Asia

Members of Chambers have been instructed in major project disputes in Hong Kong, Singapore and throughout South East Asia and the Pacific for over 50 years, working initially on projects such as the Mass Transit Railway, Chek Lap Kok Airport and Harbour City in Hong Kong. Members continue to be regularly instructed in large and high-profile disputes in this region such as cases about the Stonecutters Bridge, one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world, the Metropolis Shopping Centre, power generation projects, and casinos in Macau and Disneyland Asia.

Specific matters in which members have been recently involved include a dispute relating to the collapse of an office block in Singapore due to foundational failures which required submissions on complex geotechnical issues arising out of the unusual geology. Other matters include an arbitration between a Thai utilities company, a Thai industrial conglomerate and a mixed Chinese and Thai joint venture contractor for the design and build of one of the largest biomass power stations in the world. Members have also acted on behalf of the Singaporean owners of a shipyard in Rotterdam which was responsible for the conversion of a drilling rig into a deep water rig.

Disputes in Oceania

Members have also been involved in disputes in Oceania, particularly energy, mining and transport disputes, including between the Government of a group of Pacific Islands and a New Zealand contractor concerning the construction of a major road. One of the most renowned construction lawyers and arbitrators in the region, Professor Doug Jones AO, is a door tenant at Atkin Chambers.

Disputes in Central Asia and India

Cases relating to Indian companies or projects have covered a wide spectrum of technologies, including:

  • A dispute arising from the design and construction of the turbines and drive systems for a circulating fluidised bed coal fired power station in Karnataka, India
  • An ICC arbitration about an offshore dredging contract off the coast of Goa
  • An arbitration about the construction of a fertiliser plant by an Indian contractor and its performance bond issued by an Indian bank
  • An arbitration brought by an Indian contractor concerning termination of its employment to design and build a sugar processing facility in Africa.