Donovan Ferguson

Don Ferguson

Experience

Donovan Ferguson is a Partner of King & Wood Mallesons in the Dispute Resolution team.  He specialises in infrastructure, construction and commercial disputes.  He works closely with clients in the building, energy and projects sectors, advising on the full life cycle of their projects in Asia.  Donovan is praised for resolving major disputes quickly and cost effectively, avoiding litigation or arbitration where he can and using other methods to achieve his client’s commercial objectives.

Donovan is described as “a standout partner”, “a very impressive lawyer” (Who’s Who Legal, 2019) and "absolutely one to watch – a delight to work with and a strong, practical lawyer" (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2020).  He is "very astute and has in-house experience, so he knows what clients want" (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2019).  He is recommended as “an insightful and trustworthy adviser with client’s best interest at heart” (Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019).

Donovan is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Construction (2019 and 2020), Chambers Asia Pacific (2019 and 2020), Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2019 and 2020) and other directories.  Such is his relationship with his clients, he was recognised with the Client Choice Award for the Construction Category in Hong Kong (2019). 

Donovan is qualified in Hong Kong and Australia and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Recent representative experience

Non-contentious

  • A multi-billion Hong Kong dollar contract for the design and construction of a data centre in Hong Kong and related contracts.
  • The largest tender for a project in Hong Kong in 2018.
  • A multi-billion US dollar project for an EPC contractor for a coal project in Indonesia.
  • NEC3 and NEC4 contracts for Hong Kong private projects.
  • FIDIC contracts for an energy company in Hong Kong.

Contentious

  • A number of disputes on a rail project in Hong Kong, where the sums in dispute are multiple HK$ billions.
  • Successfully defending both employers and contractors for prosecutions for alleged breaches of safety and environmental laws in Hong Kong.
  • A number of Hong Kong-seated arbitrations concerning the construction of projects in the region, including casinos in Macau, a hospital in Hong Kong, a residential block in Singapore and a major tollway in the Philippines.
  • One of the largest Hong Kong projects in relation to a key piece of infrastructure with China, with the dispute worth multiple HK$ billions.
  • A Joint Venture dispute in Hong Kong.
  • A Singapore-seated arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules concerning the construction of a major pipeline project in Australia, with claims and counterclaims greater than AU$1 billion.
  • A Singapore-seated arbitration under the ICC Rules concerning the design and construction of a processing plant in Malaysia.
  • An Indonesia-seated arbitration under the BANI Arbitration Rules concerning an offshore pipeline project in Indonesia.

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Reputation

  • Next Generation Partner in Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2020
  • Ranked in Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020
  • Who’s Who Legal: Construction – Future Leaders, 2019 and Future Leaders “Most Highly Regarded”, 2020
  • Leading Lawyer – Leading Construction & Infrastructure Litigation Lawyers, Hong Kong, 2020
  • Rising star for Construction in asialaw Leading Lawyers, 2020 and 2021
  • Up & Coming Lawyer, Construction – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2019
  • Rising Star – Expert Guide, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020

What clients say about Donovan

  • "absolutely one to watch – a delight to work with and a strong, practical lawyer" and "He gets into the detail of arbitrations and has a full grasp of the facts, the applicable law and any technical issues. He is very practical and sensible in identifying what the core issues are" (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2020)
  • a “rising name”, drawing praise for his “great eye for detail” and “practical and strategic approach” (Who’s Who Legal 2020)
  • “is very commercial and understands clients’ needs” (Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2020)
  • “a standout partner”, “a very impressive lawyer” (Who’s Who Legal, 2019)
  • "very astute and has in-house experience, so he knows what clients want" and "straight-to-the-point and practical way of dealing with things" (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2019)
  • “an insightful and trustworthy adviser with client’s best interest at heart” (Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019)

Professional Qualifications

  • 2009: Admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong (High Court)
  • 2005: Admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales (Supreme Court)
  • 2005: Admitted as a solicitor in Queensland (Supreme Court)

Memberships

  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member, Society of Construction Law Hong Kong

Education

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons and University Medal), Queensland University of Technology, 2004
  • Bachelor of Arts (Dist), Queensland University of Technology, 2004
  • Post Graduate Diploma of International Arbitration, Queen Mary, University of London, 2012

Location

Legal insights

Key highlights on a recent judgement in the matter considering an appeal on the question of contractual notices made under a construction contract.

13 November 2020

We look at how Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and England courts approach any exercise of power to restrain a call on performance bonds.

06 April 2020

We discuss the caseload statistics issued by the ICSID involving States in the South & East Asia & the Pacific Region.

06 September 2019

Investors journeying along Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries will be wary of the operational, political and legal risks that come along on the route.

12 April 2018

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