Memberships / Associations / Volunteer Work
- Member, Law Society of Singapore
Education / Qualifications
- 2008 - Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore
- 2007 - LLB, National University of Singapore
- 1997 - B.Eng, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST)
Francis has over 20 years practical work experience across the construction, legal and offshore industries with a unique ability to combine and cross-relate across each industry. He heads the construction practice in the firm, which has ranked by Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific as a Notable Firm in the “Construction” category for a second year in a row and a third time overall (2018, 2022-2023).
Francis obtained his first degree in Civil and Structural Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). He started practice as an engineer in a consulting firm in 1997 and has worked in wide and various capacities ranging from design and structural analysis, resident site staff and contract administration. He became a Professional Engineer in 2004.
He retrained in law and graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2007 with a Bachelor of Laws.
His engineering background with site experience gives him a unique ability to combine the technical and legal issues which proves invaluable in dealing with engineering and construction disputes.
Francis’ practice includes construction and shipping, with a specific emphasis on engineering related issues. In his construction practice, he has advised main-contractors, sub-contractors and owners on building and construction issues and standard form contracts, and acted for them in their disputes. He is also active in adjudication applications under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act, acting for both claimants and respondents.
He has also handled both wet and dry shipping matters in the Singapore courts and had advised owners, banks and shipyards on various aspects of admiralty and shipping disputes including arrests, enforcement of maritime claims, shipbuilding and ship repair contracts and disputes, and limitation of ship owners’ liability.
He has been described by clients as being able to “grasp construction concepts fast and give advice” as well as having “listened, and offered excellent advice on steps forward to avoid litigation and to try to get a settlement”. One client has also described him as having offered “sensible and practical advice in the review of the draft agreements [and] helped explain [the] options and the implications of the amendments being sought to the draft” (Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific).
Significant Matters & Transactions
- Acted for homeowners against a contractor for damage to property arising from MRT tunnelling works.
- Acted for homeowners against a contractor for damage to property caused from tunnelling and blasting works from a deep sewerage tunnelling project.
- Acted for main contractors in a claim by a condominium MCST for building defects.
- Acted for a crane company against a public listed FPSO company for the supply and installation of offshore cranes on board a FPSO vessel. It was alleged that the supplied cranes were defective and had to be repaired, which required understanding of technical issues relating to crane construction and of API offshore standards.
- Advised shipyard in a claim against ship engine manufacturer where method of installation of engine into vessel had failed, causing damage to the vessel and resulting in delay to the completion of repairs to the vessel.
- Successfully acted for cargo owners in an arbitration claim against an Iranian vessel owner for breach of a charter-party.
- Acted for a company in a claim against a former director for breach of fiduciary duties. Case reported in Yong Kheng Leong v Panweld Trading Pte Ltd  SGCA 59