“Identifies the key issues quickly and immediately looks for the commercial drivers. Able to cut through extraneous matters and get to the nub of the problem efficiently and effectively.” – Legal 500, 2022
“Possesses a razor-sharp intellect and encyclopaedic knowledge of international law along with a deep knowledge of construction and engineering.” “Impressive both in his approach to complex construction matters but also with his astute commercial advice.” – Legal 500, 2021
“He understands the nuances of international arbitration work, especially on complicated large-value cases and uses his perfect diplomatic skills to run efficient and flawless proceedings.” – Chambers & Partners UK Bar, 2021
“An exemplary advocate as well as an absolutely excellent strategist.” – Legal 500, 2020
“A world-class chairperson of any arbitration tribunal who possesses a razor-sharp intellect and an encyclopaedic knowledge of construction and engineering.” – Chambers & Partners UK Bar, 2020
“Pre-eminent in arbitration both as counsel and as an arbitrator.” – Legal 500, 2019
“He possesses the highest abilities and is a real master of the international construction arbitration circuit.“ – Chambers & Partners UK Bar, 2019
Dr Chern is a recognised expert in construction and engineering mediation, its implementation both generally on an ad hoc basis as well as those mediations arising under a wide variety of standard forms (FIDIC, ICE (traditional and NEC), JTC, IMechE/IEE Model Form “A”, BPF/ACA, FCEC, GCWorks, ACE, HKGov, World Bank) and bespoke contracts as well. He is experienced in mediation claims dealing with structural engineering, bridges, tunnels, road works, aircraft hangers, life-safety systems, dams, hydro-electric facilities including differing site conditions, payment provisions, measurement, valuation, construction quality, design obligations, delay and disruption, time extensions, prolongation, prevention, breach of contract, contract interpretation, conflicting documentation, back-to-back agreements, scope of services, final account, price escalation, conflict of laws, concession agreements, and related matters.
Specifically as to mediations he has acted both on behalf of parties to mediations and also as mediator on over 312 complex construction and engineering disputes of which all were settled as a direct result of the mediation process, as well as many domestic and international disputes relating to construction and trade matters and he teaches and develops mediation systems, methods and techniques on behalf of the Bar Council of England & Wales, the World Bank, the IFC, and the Dispute Board Federation both in the UK, the EU, the Middle East and South America.
His book International Commercial Mediation (Informa Publishing 2009, London) is the leading text on the subject of commercial construction mediation and is joined by his second text on this subject The Commercial Mediator’s Handbook (Informa 2014, London).
- Contractor and employer disagreement over the completion of a roads project – £128 Million at stake. The parties voluntarily agreed to try Mediation before resorting to arbitration. The matter was settled to everyone’s satisfaction after two days of Mediation and at a cost savings, estimated by the parties, at £1.5 Million.
- Construction of a Nuclear Power Plant – EUR 1.2 Billion at stake. Contractor claims for delay and unforeseen conditions. Counterclaims by the Employer over delay. The parties agreed to mediation after 2 years of litigation. Matter and all issues successfully resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. The construction of a light rail and roads network in Spain, which was stopped due to disagreement of the employer and the contractor over design details and costs – $120 Million at stake. Here a language barrier impeded the progress of the matter until the parties agreed to voluntary Mediation in Spain. The UK contractor agreed to use a translator and after 2 days of intensive mediation the matter was resolved and work resumed. Neither Counsel nor Solicitors were used as both sides used party representatives who were knowledgeable in construction and the particular project. The construction of a tunnel and road project in India, disagreement as to the terms of instruction – £560 Million at stake. Litigation had begun in the Indian Courts and after one year and an impending trial the matter was sent to Mediation. The Mediation took 5 days and resulted in a complete settlement and the successful completion of the project. Both sides had Counsel.
- EUR 710 Million dispute over the fitness for use and structural engineering issues related to an international airport, aircraft repair facility and aircraft construction facility, which involved 5 parties and the concerned governmental authorities. After 3 days of intensive mediation the matter settled to the satisfaction of all parties and work resumed on the project resulting in a successful completion.
- EUR 950 Million dispute over the construction of a Port Facility and related infrastructure. 10 Day mediation resulted in full resolution of all issues.