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Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say:

"John is an excellent construction expert"

"One of the best I've come across"

Biography

John is an architect, designer and project manager, with over 40 years’ professional experience, including over 15 years as an expert witness. He has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.

His architectural practice has specialised in design development, project documentation, specification drafting, project coordination and statutory compliance issues, primarily for commercial, retail, hospitality and institutional building projects. He also offers specialist skills in contract and practice administration and forensic architectural consulting. John’s experience also includes interior and industrial design, commercial and business management.

A Practising Member of The Academy of Experts, John has acted as expert witness or party adviser in construction and related disputes in Hong Kong, Australia and the Asia region. He has given expert evidence in both court and arbitration proceedings, including both written reports and oral testimony. Matters in which he has been instructed mostly relate to building defects and professional practice, including questions of design responsibility and compliance. He has also given opinion evidence on design and construction issues arising in non-construction cases, including actions relating to personal injury, adverse possession, insurance claims and building management-occupier disputes.

As a Chartered Arbitrator, Accredited Mediator, Accredited Adjudicator and Qualified Expert Determiner, John also acts as third-party neutral and provides advice and support to parties in commercial disputes, particularly those involving architectural, design or building issues. He has been appointed as arbitrator and mediator in a number of matters, including construction, international trade and general commercial disputes.

He has also been appointed as Dispute Resolution Advisor (DRA) for seven Hong Kong Government building and civil works contracts to date. This is a neutral role – unique to Hong Kong Government public works contracts – by which the DRA is jointly appointed by the employer and contractor early in the project to provide ongoing, independent advice on the avoidance and resolution of disputes as the project progresses. The role is broadly akin to that of a Dispute Board under some other forms of contract. It involves spending time at site-level meetings and inspecting the works throughout the contract period, with site visits usually conducted monthly. This work has broadened John’s experience of construction works beyond buildings to encompass also major infrastructure projects including bridge, tunnel and road works. Building projects for which he has been appointed DRA have included an airport air traffic control headquarters, a hospital and a swimming pool-recreational complex.

John’s academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Built Environment (Architecture and Industrial Design) [QIT 1980], Graduate Diploma Industrial Design [QIT 1987] and Bachelor of Architecture [QUT 1996]. He is a Registered Architect under the Hong Kong Architects Registration Ordinance (Cap. 408) and the Queensland Architects Act 2002 (Australia). In addition to his technical qualifications, John holds a Master of Laws (LLM, Distinction) in Construction Law and Practice from the University of Salford, UK, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Arbitration from the College of Estate Management, Reading, UK.

John is active in construction law and dispute resolution professional and industry groups. A past chairman of both the Society of Construction Law Hong Kong and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (East Asia Branch), he currently serves as a member of the latter’s branch committee, on the councils of The Academy of Experts and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and on the HKIAC appointments committee. He also sits on the Hong Kong Institute of Architects’ ARCASIA/CAA committee under the Board of External Affairs.

After over 25 years in architectural, design and engineering consultancy businesses, John joined the Hong Kong office of Evans & Peck (later part of WorleyParsons), where he focused on project delivery, contracts advisory and expert witness services. He then joined EC Harris (later Arcadis) as a Partner in the Hong Kong office, with responsibilities for the contract solutions business line and expert witness services.

Since 2018, he has operated his own Hong Kong-based business, On Q Consulting Limited. Consultancy services include both front-end advisory, procurement and contract administration consultancy as well as expert witness, arbitration and dispute resolution services.

Internationally, John is associated with Hanscomb Intercontinental (www.hanscombintercontinental.co.uk) and the Malaysian-based 27Group (https://27.group). Hanscomb brings together experts that work across the global onshore and offshore construction, engineering and shipbuilding industries. With its global head office located in the heart of legal London at 5 Chancery Lane and global hub offices in New York, Johannesburg and Hong Kong, Hanscomb can mobilise large teams to any country in the world upon short notice.

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