Podcast: Suspension and termination of construction contracts

4th June 2020


The panel discusses the possibility of suspension and termination of construction contracts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of projects in the region have come to a halt due to the pandemic and as a result parties to a contract find themselves in a difficult and unique situation, having to navigate around the challenges arising as a consequence. Interestingly, the panel discusses the option of employers, rather than a contractor, issuing force majeure notices as well as the impact of changing legislation. Some of the key points raised will be relevant to both employers and contractors as they continue to develop their respective strategies to manage the delivery risk arising as a result of COVID-19.

Download or listen to the podcast below.


Haroon Niazi is a Partner and Head of HKA’s Middle East operations.

Haroon is a former practicing barrister and a Chartered Quantity Surveyor. He holds an honours degree in Law, a master’s degree in Law and a master’s degree in Quantity Surveying.

Haroon sits on the working group committee of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Saudi Arabia.

His experience has been gained both in building and civil engineering construction projects where he has provided specialist advice in relation to pre- and post-contract matters for Contractors and Employers alike. Whilst working in the region, Haroon has been involved in both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Haroon has led numerous HKA teams working on flagship oil and gas, railway and airport projects throughout the Middle East.

Tom Kapapa is a Partner at HKA with 20 years of construction industry experience. He acts as both a delay and quantum expert and has been appointed on five occasions.

Tom has acted as expert for disputed sums up to US$600 million and for projects values in excess of US$5 billion. He has been cross-examined in international arbitration twice, including giving concurrent evidence (hot-tubbing), and has been praised by both counsel and tribunals for his testimony. Tom also acts as both an arbitrator and mediator and has taken the lead on a dispute adjudication board (DAB), as well as leading numerous claims negotiations.

Tom has a broad construction background, working as both a site manager and surveyor on a variety of projects across the Africa, the Middle East and the UK. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the Royal Institution of Surveyors (RICS), Qatar country representative on the Dispute Resolution Board Forum and an Academy of Experts certified quantum expert. He acts as an assessor for RICS in the Middle East and provides training and mentoring for quantity surveyors and contact administrators in Qatar.

Head of White & Case Construction Practice, Ellis Baker is a leading authority on construction law.

Ellis advises clients on all aspects of the delivery of construction and engineering projects, from procurement and the drafting and negotiation of contracts, to contract administration and the avoidance and resolution of disputes. Originally a barrister, Ellis acts as lead advocate in the cases on which he is instructed.

Ellis has advised developers, contractors, consultants and lenders on projects in 31 countries across five continents, including power stations, oil and gas installations, metals and mining facilities, process plants, transport infrastructure and commercial developments.

Ellis is one of the few individuals ranked Band 1 for Construction: Purchaser by Chambers UK and is also ranked as a Leading Individual for Construction by Legal 500.

Ellis has been recognised by independent legal directories as a leading lawyer for construction law since 2005, and, in 2017, was described as being “singled out by market sources for his work on international disputes” by Chambers UK.

Ellis is lead author of “FIDIC Contracts: Law and Practice”, published by Informa, the principal construction text covering the whole suite of major FIDIC forms of contract.

Michael Turrini is a partner at White & Case. He advises clients on all aspects of construction and engineering projects, from procurement and the drafting and negotiation of contracts through to dispute resolution. He has particular knowledge and experience of projects in the Middle East.

Michael has a substantial track record of advising on bespoke and standard-form construction contracts, including EPC, EPCM, design/build and traditional lump sum, and construct-only contracts.

In dispute resolution, Michael advises on international arbitrations under all forums and rules, litigation, dispute board proceedings and alternative dispute resolution.

Michael’s experience includes advising in relation to projects concerning power, airports, oil and gas, water, large scale infrastructure, transport, waste disposal, cooling plants, commercial developments and large-scale hotel developments.

The option for employers, rather than contractors, issuing force majeure notices has become a hot topic and we’re seeing it happen more and more.”
Haroon Niazi, Partner, HKA

This webinar/podcast presents the views, thoughts or opinions of the speakers and not necessarily those of HKA. Whilst we take every care to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of issue, the content is not intended to deal with all aspects of the subject referred to, should not be relied upon and does not constitute advice of any kind. This webinar/podcast is protected by copyright © 2024 HKA Global Ltd.


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