Subramanian PILLAI 

Subramanian PILLAI


PARTNER
HEAD, INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION
PRACTICE GROUP

HEAD, CONSTRUCTION, ENGINEERING &
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS PRACTICE GROUP


T: +65 6349 8714
F: +65 6323 8282
> Email me

Add to Outlook Contact


Biography

 

Subra's practice has been primarily in the field of Commercial Litigation and Arbitration with particular emphasis in construction and engineering disputes.

As an accredited Arbitrator and experienced Arbitration Counsel, Subra has advised and represented clients in several international arbitrations under the SIAC, ICC and UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration, and, before the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Recent Accolades include:

Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 – recommended lawyer in Dispute Resolution, Real Estate and Construction and Restructuring and Insolvency practice

Asialaw Leading Lawyers 2017 – leading lawyer in Dispute Resolution practice

IFLR1000 2016 for Energy and Infrastructure – leading lawyer in Disputes and Energy and Infrastructure practice



Practice Experience

 

Construction & Engineering Disputes

Some of the major construction and engineering disputes (both litigation and arbitration) in which he has advised and acted as Counsel are as follows:-

  • Acted as one of the Counsel for Main Contractors in arbitration with German electrical sub-contractors involving the construction and completion of the Marina Centre Project.  The Claim amount was US $23 million.

  • Acted as lead Counsel for the Singapore subsidiary of a public listed French Conglomerate in a dispute involving the design and construction of two cement storage silo facility at Pulau Damar Laut off Jurong Island, Singapore. The claim amount was S$26 million.

  • Acted as lead Counsel for the Management Corporation of a prestigious 800 Units Condominium in the East Coast against Developers, renowned Architects and internationally acclaimed Main Contractors with regard design and workmanship defects.

  • Acted as Counsel for a publicly listed Shipyard in a 76 days arbitration involving claims by electrical sub-contractors under a ship building contract involving the building and commissioning of an oil tanker for Statoil in Norway.  The claim amount was S$16 million.

  • Acted as Counsel for a renowned German specialist logistics turnkey Contractors in arbitration with local sub-contractors relating to the construction of a freight / container terminal at Changi International Airport, Singapore.

  • Acted as Counsel for a statutory corporation managing Singapore’s largest island resort in arbitration with main contractors with respect to the construction of the island’s ferry terminal building. 

  • Acted as Counsel for a leading German specialist turnkey contractor in arbitration with sub-Contractors over the defective coating of clean-room facilities at a renowned computer hardware manufacturing facility in Singapore. 

  • Acted as lead Counsel for a public listed Structural Steel contractor in a High Court Suit against the Developers of a high end Office tower along Robinson Road, Singapore.   The Claim value was $14million.

  • Acted as Counsel for an internationally acclaimed Structural steel contractor in a dispute with UK listed Main Contractors over the structural steel works to a large computer software facility in Jurong, Singapore. 

  • Acted as Counsel for an internationally acclaimed Aviary cum Park in Singapore in a dispute against Swiss turnkey/EPCI contractors over the defective design and installation of the monorail system within the park. 

  • Acted as Counsel for a main board listed company in a High Court Suit against the proprietors of a Theme Park in a resort island off Singapore with respect to landscaping works. 

  • Advised and acted as Counsel for an internationally renowned Specialist Sub-contractor in a dispute with Main Contractors over specialist sub-contract works for the Singapore Civil Defence Force HQ. 

  • Acted as Counsel for Specialist Sub Contractors and renowned German manufacturers in a High Court Suit involving damage to Heavy Industrial cast-resin electrical transformers and consequential economic loss at a major bank headquarters in Raffles Place, Singapore. 

  • Advised and acted as Counsel for main contractors against Project owners over the defective construction of the external façade of the Haw Par Technocentre, Singapore. 

  • Advised and acted as co-counsel in a successful landmark appeal before the Court of Appeal for Main Contractors on the effect of Direct Payment Certificates under the Singapore Institute of Architects’ Standard Form of Main Contract in a Scheme of Arrangement. 

  • Advised and acted for the Board of Architects, Singapore in the successful prosecution of a senior Architect for professional misconduct. 

  • Acted as a Counsel in an International Arbitration in Singapore for an internationally renowned Belgian/Singapore joint venture logistics company against Professional Engineers over the structural collapse of a Petrochemical logistics facility in Rayong Province, Thailand. 

  • Advised and acted as Counsel for Structural steel contractors in arbitration under the ICC Rules of Arbitration in relation to a construction project in Dubai, UAE.

  • Advised and acted as Counsel in a multi million dollar dispute relating to valuations under the SIA Standard Form Contract and Additional/Variation works at the newly completed Singapore Management University at Bras Basah Road, Singapore. 

  • Advised and acted as Counsel for a very prestigious condominium in District 9, Singapore over claims against well known Developers, renowned Architects and contractors in a claim for defective design and construction. 

  • Advised and acted as Counsel for Architects in an action for professional negligence in the design and construction of a well known condominium project along River Valley Road, Singapore. 

  • Advised and acted as Counsel for a foreign EPC Marine Contractor before the High Court and the Court of Appeal in successfully setting aside a world wide Mareva Injunction obtained by the other party in Singapore.

  • Advising Specialist Sub-Contractors in relation to disputes with German Contractors arising from a sewerage treatment works project in Doha, Qatar, United Arab Emirates.


Non-Contentious Construction & Infrastructure Projects

In addition, Subra has, over the years, advised on and has been involved in the drafting of various types of project delivery models.  Some notable examples are:-

  • Advising and drafting the contract for the design and construction of two cement silos and storage facility off Jurong Island, Singapore;

  • Advising and drafting various consultancy Agreements and construction contracts towards the development of a proposed resort in Johor;

  • Advising and drafting a design and build contract relating to the construction of a monorail facility at a Theme Park;

  • Advising on a Tender Design Services agreement for the proposed Design and Construction of a major Coastal Expressway in Singapore;

  • Advising on the Main contract for a major phase of the one of the Integrated Resort projects in Singapore;  

  • Advised on a design and consultancy agreement for the design and construction a villa development within a site area of 113,098 sq ft comprising of 164 villas, clubhouse and service buildings in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam;

  • Advising Specialist Contractors in relation to the supply and installation of infrastructure facilities for an oil and gas project in Rajasthan, India;

  • Advising on a design consultancy agreement for a luxury hotel complex at Juha beach, Mumbai, India.


Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Subra has also advised and acted as Counsel in a variety of commercial disputes in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and other tribunals.  Subra's practice in commercial litigation encompasses disputes in the banking and financial industry, contentious corporate insolvency and restructuring, joint venture disputes, shareholders' disputes, minority shareholders actions and commercial crimes involving breaches of the Securities & Futures Act in Singapore.  In this area, his clients include public listed companies, venture capitalists and private entities.

The following are some of the commercial litigation matters which Subra was engaged in as Counsel in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal :-

  • Advised and acted as one of the Counsel for the Executrix of a large Estate spanning properties and assets in several jurisdictions including Indonesia, Japan Australia, the United States and Singapore in a claim to recover assets worldwide. The matter included obtaining a world wide mareva injunction.

  • Advised and acted as one of the Counsel for a SGX main board listed company against claims arising from the supply, installation and commissioning of IT infrastructure for a major Indonesian conglomerate.

  • Advised and acted as Counsel in a successful appeal before the Singapore Court of Appeal in a claim involving the sale and purchase of a Villa in Phuket, Thailand.  The case involved complex issues arising from the application of Thai property and conveyancing laws.

  • Advised and acted as Counsel for the former Chief Operating Officer of publicly listed Airocean Ltd in a landmark appeal against conviction and sentencing before the Honourable Chief Justice of Singapore.  The charges include reckless non disclosure of material information to the public, disclosing misleading information to the SGX and the public and three counts of Insider Trading.   The decision in this case is still pending.

  • Advised and acted as Counsel for one of two defendants in a High Court claim for breach of fiduciary duties as members of the Sales Committee arising from the unsuccessful Collective Sale of the Horizon Towers Condominium in Singapore. The claim against our client was dismissed with costs.

  • Advised and acted for one of Singapore's prominent families in a High Court claim involving allegations of misrepresentation and Conspiracy to defraud. The claim against our clients was dismissed with costs.

  • Advised and acted for a Thai company in a successful appeal before the Court of Appeal in Singapore involving issues relating to the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals and the enforceability of multi-tier dispute resolution clauses.


Subra has also been instructed to advise and act in several high value international commercial arbitrations involving clients from the middle east, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. 

Some of the recent reported cases in which Subra had acted as counsel before the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Singapore are :-

  1. International Research Corp PLC v Luftansa System Asia Pacific Pte Ltd and     another [2013] 1 SLR 973

  2. Then Khek Koon and another v Arjun Permanand Samtani and another and other   suits [2013] SGHC 213

  3. Allied Supply Pte Ltd v Granite S A M (S) Pte Ltd [1998] SGHC 246

  4. Madhavan Peter v Public Prosecutor and other appeals [2012] 4 SLR 613

  5. Ma Ong Kee v Cham Poh Meng and another suit [2013] SGHC 144

  6. Roland Yeo Peng Sin/ Chan Mei Yoke and Others v MCST Plan No. 2054 [2014] SGSTB 1

  7. Saatchi & Saatchi Pte Ltd and others v Tan Hun Ling (Clarke Quay Pte Ltd, third party) [2006] 1 SLR (R) 670

  8. Hitachi Plant Engineering & Construction Co Ltd and another v Eltraco International Pte Ltd and another appeal [2003] 4 SLR(R) 384

  9. Bahtera Offshore (M) Sdn Bhd v Sim Kok Beng and another [2009] 4 SLR(R) 365

  10. Murakami Takako (executrix of the estate of Takashi Murakami Suroso, deceased) v Wiryadi Louise Maria and others [2007] 4 SLR(R) 565

  11. Murakami Takako (executrix of the estate of Takashi Murakami Suroso, deceased) v Wiryadi Louise Maria and others [2009] 1 SLR(R) 508

  12. Ng Teck Sim Colin and another v Hat Holdings Pte Ltd and another and another appeal [2011] SGCA 34

  13. Official Assignee of the estate of Tay Teng Tiang William, a bankrupt v Tay Lee Kiang Liza and others [2013] SGHC 239


CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

"An Introduction to Public Private Partnership Projects - Structure, Procurement & Key Contractual Issues" -  presented at a Conference on PPP Projects, 2010;   

"Architects Duties & Liabilities" - presented to the Singapore Institute of Architects, 2010;

"Contract Administration under the SIA Form 8th Ed" - presented to the Singapore Institute of Building, 2010;

"Navigating the Construction Stage Administration" - presented at a conference on Construction Contract Administration & Management, 2010;

"Maintenance & Management of a Building and Common Property" - presented at a conference on Building Maintenance & Strata Management, 2010.