Lip San heads the firm’s Construction & Projects Practice and is also a partner in the International Arbitration Practice. He has significant experience in non-contentious work for the building and engineering sector and stands out for his ability in resolving complex issues.
Lip San has been ranked as leading lawyer for Construction by Chambers Asia Pacific since 2015. a “Highly Regarded” lawyer for Project Development by IFLR1000 (2018 and 2019) and leading lawyer for Energy & Infrastructure by IFLR1000 (2014 to 2017). He is also recognised for his work in Projects & Energy in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2018), for Construction Law in Best Lawyers (2020); for International Arbitration in Best Lawyers (2018 to 2020) and in other publication such as Asialaw Profiles, The International Who's Who of Construction Lawyer.
With over 25 years of experience, Lip San specialises in handling major construction and engineering disputes, both in Singapore and across the region. Lip San is also involved in the structuring of various procurement models for the infrastructure and engineering sector, both in the public and private sectors.
He leads a team of lawyers in the Band 1 projects and energy practice and the team covers all aspects of construction and engineering law in Singapore and the region.
Lip San has been named as a Senior Accredited Specialist for Building and Construction Law in the inaugural batch of the Singapore Academy of Law’s Specialist Accreditation Scheme. The voluntary accreditation scheme was introduced in 2017 as a mark of recognition for legal practitioners who have gained professional excellence in their areas of practice.
His accolades include:
- Lauded by clients for being “very practical and possessing deep knowledge about both construction and arbitrations”, and “very good at drafting and good at strategising.”
- “Lip San is an outstanding lawyer and a trusted advisor,” says a client in the infrastructure sector.
- “He is a safe pair of hands whose counsel is sought often and valued by both our in house lawyers and executives alike.”
- “A lawyer of the top order, one whose dedication to his work and his clients is exemplary.”
Lip San has advised on and acted as counsel in various disputes. Lip San’s expertise in dispute resolution ranges from matters that are subject to:
- litigation in court;
- both domestic and international arbitration (be it ad-hoc or under institutional rules such as SIAC, ICC, UNCITRAL, CIETAC);
- adjudication, expert determination and mediation.
Lip San is also involved in non-contentious work and has worked on various iconic PPP projects and transactions across various sectors including waste and power, data centres, hospitals, transportation infrastructure and so on.
Notable Cases & Transactions
- Advising on various high value infrastructure projects ranging from combined cycle power plants, PPP projects to Singapore's fifth desalination plant which will be built on Jurong Island. Lip San has also advised various government bodies on front end structuring for laws and regulations required for infrastructure projects initiated under public private partnership models as well as concession agreements.
- Represented a leading water solutions company in a CIETAC arbitration over a joint venture dispute in relation to a cutting edge plant project in China.
- Advising a main contractor on the design, delivery and procurement process for various data centres in Singapore. The experience involved contracting models as well as dispute avoidance on unique engineering issues such as reliability of power systems.
- Representing a state owned Chinese entity in an ICC arbitration regarding the development of an Indonesian project. The dispute was governed by French law and involved sums in dispute exceeding US$50 million.
- Representing a major Japanese trading house in various ICC arbitrations regarding engineering and construction issues over a railway project. The disputes are governed by Taiwanese law and involved sums exceeding US$100 million.
- Advising clients on multi-million dollar energy project disputes (in excess of US100 million) in Indonesia ranging from coal mines to geothermal power plants that are subject to arbitration under UNCITRAL rules.
- Drafting and advising on contract documentation and specific clauses during tender and tender negotiation of three power stations, including a combined cycle power plant (2 units x 370 MW) with a contract sum of over S$800 million.
- Drafting and advising on contract documents and specific clauses during tender and tender negotiation of a light rail system, contract sum, in excess of S$500 million.
- Advised an Australian aviation company in drafting, reviewing, advising and negotiation of a design, build and lease agreement with an international contractor in relation to the development of its multi-million integrated private jet sales and maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Seletar Aerospace Park.
- Involved in the provision of S$525 million (US$316 million) financing for a 500MW cogeneration project.
- Acting for a statutory undertaker in a dispute with their contractor over the design and build construction of a fully automated sewerage treatment plant and water reclamation facility (value – over $180 million).
- Acting and advising various main contractors on tunnelling works in relation to projects as varied as the development of a deep tunnel sewerage and underground train networks to cable transmission projects.
- Arbitration and litigation in relation to specialised manufacturing projects such as multi-cell / duo-cell cement silo and the clean room for a wafer fabrication plant.
- Advising and representing parties involved in major industrial accidents ranging from tower cranes to collapses of large structures. Lip San also regularly advises on significant engineering issues associated with alleged defects such as the fire rating of composite panels as well as the durability of building materials.
- Providing advice on regulatory issues in the construction sector ranging from the use of technology to prefabricated systems to dealing with sustainability concerns.
Illustrative Reported Judgments
- Kalzip Asia Pte Ltd v BFG International Ltd  SGHC 152
- Chip Hup Hup Kee Construction Pte Ltd v Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co Ltd  SGHC 269
- Chip Hup Hup Kee Construction Pte Ltd v Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co Ltd  SGHC 237
- Jurong Town Corp v Sembcorp Engineers and Constructors Pte Ltd  SGHC 93
- Published various confidential decisions in the course of his appointment as adjudicator
Memberships / Directorships
- Member, Law Society of Singapore
- Contributor, Hudson’s Building & Engineering Contracts, 12th Edition
- Contributor, “Workplace Safety and Health – A Practical Guide”
- Author, GAR Construction Arbitration know-how – Singapore chapter