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International Construction Disputes

Vinson & Elkins has been involved in some of the largest and most complex multi-billion dollar international construction and infrastructure project disputes, including the multi-billion Panama Canal expansion program, as well as some of the world’s largest aluminum smelters and desalination plants, power and petrochemical plants, waste-to-energy facilities and rail projects. We routinely represent governments, large corporations, and parties active in the construction sector, including contractors, subcontractors, project owners, developers, architects, engineers, and vendors. We are particularly well known and highly regarded for handling engineering disputes related to large on- and offshore energy projects.

Scope of Services

Our experience includes advising clients on litigation risk, strategy, and avoidance, as well as handling their disputes. We have litigated construction claims involving projects from around the world, in a number of courts and arbitral venues; in adjudications, dispute adjudication boards, and expert determinations; and under various applicable laws. Specifically, V&E lawyers have been involved in defending and pursuing claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, design and construction defects, errors in FEED, negligence, and a vast array of typical construction disputes, such as claims for additional costs, variations and changes, delay and disruption (including cumulative impact claims), and liquidated damages, under both common law and civil law systems. We have substantial experience with insurance related issues as they relate to the construction industry and insurance related claims both for and against insurers.

Technical Proficiency

Unlike many of our peer firms, we have a stand-alone Construction team comprising lawyers who only work on construction and engineering matters. In addition, V&E’s Construction and International Arbitration lawyers have substantial experience drafting and interpreting EPC contracts, including those based on standard forms, such as FIDIC and LOGIC, and those utilizing various pricing models and formats.

Experience Highlights

  • Acting on a number of ICC arbitrations in connection with the design and construction of a major maritime project in Central America

  • Represented an international developer of power and water projects in complex and high-value ICC international arbitration proceedings concerning a Central American hydro electric power project

  • Represented an EPC contractor in an ICC arbitration, seated in Singapore, arising out of a construction project for a coal mining conveyer system in Indonesia; the arbitration primarily concerned changed site conditions in the project area caused by an affiliate of the owner, which prevented project completion; the case settled favorably

  • Representing an international EPC contractor and specialist waste-to-energy plant provider in major disputes concerning the design of a waste-to-energy plant in the UK

  • Representing a specialist contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings concerning termination and costs claims for a major development project in Saudi Arabia

  • Representing a major Turkish conglomerate in ICC arbitration proceedings arising out of the disputed termination of one of the EPC contracts relating to the Marmaray Project in Istanbul (FIDIC Silver Book based)

  • Represented claimant in an ICC arbitration in a dispute arising out of the purported termination of various construction contracts governed by the Rules of the Federation Internationale des Ingenieurs-Conseils (FIDIC)

  • Representing a major offshore oil and gas contractor in LCIA arbitration proceedings concerning a project in Kazakhstan

  • Represented claimant in an arbitration under the Rules of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration arising from the alleged payment of bribes in the procurement of major construction projects in the Middle East

  • Represented claimant in an UNCITRAL arbitration in relation to various agreements concerning the design and construction of a seed crushing plant in Ukraine