Joint Head - Energy, Projects & Construction Practice
Ian DE VAZ is the Joint Head of the Energy, Projects & Construction Practice and a Partner in the International Arbitration Practice and the Middle East Practice.
In January 2018, Ian was amongst the inaugural batch of select legal practitioners to be appointed Senior Accredited Specialist in Building and Construction Law by the Singapore Academy of Law.
Ian has a diverse practice in construction and civil engineering work, spanning both front-end matters and dispute resolution work.
As a disputes practitioner, he has appeared as lead counsel in the Court of Appeal, the High Court and in both international and domestic construction arbitrations (institutional and ad hoc) involving issues on delay and disruption, extensions of time, loss and expense claims, disputed variations, defective works, unforeseen ground and geotechnical conditions, construction insurance claims, performance bonds/guarantees, work suspension and termination of contracts.
Ian enjoys the unique distinction of being one of the first lawyers in Singapore to be trained as an adjudicator of construction disputes at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London, three years before adjudication was legislated in Singapore in 2005. Ian is currently on the panel of accredited adjudicators under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Cap 30B) and all of his notable adjudication determinations have been published in the annual Singapore Construction Adjudication Review (SCAdjR). To date, Ian has advised on, served as adjudicator and acted as counsel in more than 100 adjudications.
Ian's front-end construction experience includes drafting, reviewing, negotiating and advising on various standard form construction contracts (such as SIA, PSSCOC, REDAS, FIDIC, NEC, JCT and ICE), project management and consultancy agreements, construction-related insurance policies, bonds and guarantees. To complement this, Ian advises clients on the suitability of adopting different methods and best procurement models ranging from Public Private Partnership (PPP), Design-Build-Own-Operate (DBOO), Design and Build (D&B), Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC), Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management (EPCM) contracts and fee-based (management contracting and construction management) models and variants thereof.
Since 2013, Ian has been recognised as a leading Energy practitioner by Best Lawyers and from 2014, this was extended to Project Finance & Development. Ian was named "Lawyer of the Year" in Best Lawyers' 2014-15 edition of Singapore Project Finance and Development. In the 2016 edition of the IFLR1000: Energy and Infrastructure, Ian is listed as a leading lawyer in the areas of Disputes, Energy & Infrastructure and Project Development. He has also been recommended as a leading Projects & Energy practitioner in Chambers Global – The World's Leading Lawyers for Business and for Projects & Energy and Construction work in Chambers Asia-Pacific – Asia-Pacific's Leading Lawyers for Business, both of which identify Ian as "one of the leading figure[s]", an "engineering expert", "known for acting on both contentious and non-contentious mandates" and one whom interviewees have described as "meticulous, concise and helpfully insightful", "very good and very experienced" and who "consistently deliver[s] good work". Ian is highly rated by clients, one lauding his "good mix of technical competence and practical experience which enables him to identify critical issues quickly", as well as his "commercially minded approach to assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a case". In Asialaw Profiles – The Guide to Asia-Pacific's Leading Law Firms 2011, Ian is recognised as one of the "distinguished names" in the construction field. Ian is also recommended for Construction work in The Legal 500: Asia Pacific – The Client's Guide to the Asia Pacific Legal Profession, and has been recognized for his "excellent reputation for EPC". Outside the region, Ian is recommended in The Legal 500: Europe, Middle East & Africa 2014 for construction work in the United Arab Emirates.
Ian graduated from the National University of Singapore ("NUS") and is admitted to the Singapore Bar and to the Roll of Solicitors of the Supreme Court of England & Wales. Ian obtained his Master of Laws degree from University College London, scoring a Distinction in International Construction – Contracts and Arbitration.
Outside of practice, Ian holds the position of Associate Professor (Adj) in the Faculty of Law, NUS, where he has been teaching construction law since 2004.
Ian is regularly invited to speak on topical and practical issues in construction law and to date, he has delivered more than 80 papers to both common law and civil law audiences in jurisdictions such as the United States of America, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar.
Ian was the Firm's lead contributor to the construction section in Singapore Precedents of Pleadings (2006 & 2015 editions). Notably, Ian was given special mention by leading construction law author, Mr Chow Kok Fong, for his contribution to Law and Practice of Construction Contracts (4th edition, 2012) and Security of Payments and Construction Adjudications (2nd edition, 2013). Ian was promoted to Contributing Editor for Law and Practice of Construction Contracts (5th edition, 2018). He has also contributed to the Building and Construction volume of Halsbury’s Laws of Singapore. Ian is currently serving as Contributing Editor to the Singapore Journal of Construction Law (SingJCL), the inaugural edition for which was published in 2016.
Ian is also an active member of the Society of Construction Law, Singapore.
- Snr. Acc. Spec. (Building & Construction), Singapore Academy of Law
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
- University College London (LL.M.)
- National University of Singapore (LL.B., Hons.)
- Singapore Bar
- Roll of Solicitors of England & Wales