Michael Chia

Michael Chia

Partner Singapore, Singapore

Michael is a partner at Kennedys Legal Solutions. He holds dual qualifications in building and law and started his QS career with a building contractor in 1985. He later joined HDB as a Contracts Officer and qualified as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor. He was called to the Singapore Bar and Malaysian Bar. He started his legal career in one of the top four legal practices in Singapore and was attached to a boutique construction law practice in KL.

Michael has over 25 years of experience advising developers, owners, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and consultants on legal matters, claims and disputes in building and construction in Malaysia and Singapore. His main practice areas are litigation, dispute avoidance and resolution, mediation, adjudication and arbitration in construction and related disciplines.

He is on the panels of arbitrators of SIArb, LSAS and KLRCA and an accredited adjudicator with the SMC and KLRCA. Michael co-authored the Contractors’ Working Manual on PSSCOC published by SCAL in 1996 and “Standard Form of Sub-Contracts-An Annotation” published by Butterworth in 2001.

Work highlights

  • Acted successfully as counsel for a main contractor/applicant in the 1st statutory adjudication case under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Cap 30B) in Singapore in 2005.
  • Acted successfully as counsel for building developer/owner in 2 consolidated arbitrations with the main contractor arising from proposed construction of a 4-storey factory cum office building in Changi South, Singapore and successfully resisted the contractor’s application to set aside the final award in High Court.
  • Acted successfully as counsel for a main contractor in a High Court Suit in 1999 against a developer of a theme park in Sentosa in which the Court held that the defendant was estopped from challenging the validity of architect’s payment certificate.
  • Acted successfully as counsel for a defendant to set aside a default judgment in a High Court Suit in 2016 as there were triable issues to the claim for damages arising from a contract to build barges in Batam, Indonesia and the plaintiff had commenced the Suit in breach of foreign jurisdiction clause.
  • Acted successfully as counsel for a subcontractor in its claim in equity for sale proceed of a residential house built by the subcontractor against the developer despite absence of privity of contract in a High Court Suit in 2017.