Hung Le

Recognising the importance of a boutique law firm dedicating to serving legal needs in real estate, construction and operation of a property project, Hung Le took the bold and entrepreneurial step of leaving both Hoa Binh Construction and Real Estate Corporation, a leading construction contractor in Vietnam, and a Vietnamese based law firm to set up CNC Counsel in 2013.

Being recognized as an experienced lawyer in the field of construction and dispute resolution, Hung regularly advises project developers, contractors and various consultant in investment, construction, and real estate in Vietnam. Hung’s clients include Hoa Binh Group, How Yu, Lecade, Dat Xanh, AltusGroup, Artelia Group, Kurihara, COFICO, Pado, Sinh Nam.

Gaining an extensive experience and good relationships with those clients, Hung can give exceptionally valuable legal advice in a wide range of services, ranging from contract, construction, real estate to dispute resolution.

Ranked as one of a few lawyers in Vietnam who can understand the deep insight of real estate and construction industries, Hung regular conducts in-depth 1999 FIDIC contract management training courses with the aim at to help Vietnamese practitioners to have a further closer to international conditions of contracts in construction and real estate sectors.

Education & Training:

  • LL.B, Commercial Law, Ho Chi Minh City University of Law
  • Lawyer Training Course, the Judicial Academy, 2010
  • FIDIC Contract Expert, the FIDIC Young Professionals

Areas of Practice:

  • Contracts
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Dispute Resolution
  • FIDIC Contract Training

Dimitris Kourkoumelis

Born in Athens in 1967, Dimitris Kourkoumelis holds a Law Degree from Athens Law School, a Master in Law from Cambridge University and a Master in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. A highly experienced projects real estate and public procurement attorney, he is a member of the Legal Committee of the Technical Chamber of Greece and was a member of the State Experts Committee for Public Works. During the last 15 years he was actively involved advising sponsors, contractors, consultants and the government in most public and privately financed projects in Greece including the Attiki Odos ring road, the Rion Antirrion Bridge, the Athens International Airport, the Athens Metro, the Egnatia and PATHE Motorways, the Ionia Odos Highway, the Olympic Projects, the Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls, the New Acropolis Museum and the new National Opera and National Library, at the Athens Faliron Delta. Further he had a vast exposure in energy and property projects including a pioneer biogas to energy project in Athens, several wind farm projects all over Greece and many residential, commercial, leisure and sports developments. He practices on non-contentious as well as contentious matters and has a long construction litigation and arbitration experience. Dimitris Kourkoumelis served as Secretary General of the Ministry of the Aegean and Island Policy (2004-2005). He speaks English and French.

Firm Overview:

Kourkoumelis & Partners is an Athens-based law firm focused in the fields of project finance, construction and engineering, real estate, public procurement, energy and environmental law.

We are working closely with major participants in the above areas including owners and developers, designers, contractors, consulting engineers, banks, the government and public bodies. We advise our clients on non-contentious matters as well as represent them in different kinds of dispute resolution procedures, including court procedures, arbitration and out of court settlement procedures. Our understanding of the industries involved enables us to foresee legal and practical difficulties that our clients may face in their business. By working with them on a regular basis, we are able in many cases to efficiently and inexpensively prevent or minimize the effects of such difficulties.

Our clients benefit from our flexible approach and mainly from our unique know-how and experience obtained through our long and continuous involvement in most of the major projects undertaken in Greece.

The services we offer run from project conception to completion and operation. We provide early assistance on ownership, zoning and planning, environmental assessment and licensing. We help in the formulation of a clear procurement strategy and we are actively involved in the process of putting together the project structure and parties. We draft tender documents and contracts, joint venture arrangements, financing documents and guarantees. During project implementation we work with our clients and assist them in managing risks, contractual correspondence and avoiding disputes. Should these arise we handle all forms of dispute resolution under local or international fora.

We are a cost-efficient firm with international experience capabilities thus providing the best solution not only to the in-house colleagues of large construction and development groups but also to our colleagues in major international law firms who need specializes of council support in construction and EU public procurement.

Marilyn Klinger

Marilyn Klinger serves as the Managing Partner of SMTD Law’s Los Angeles office. She is involved in all aspects of construction law on a state and national level, representing the full spectrum of the construction industry, from owners, contractors, subcontractors and sureties. Ms. Klinger’s practice includes time-related claims and litigation (e.g., delay/impact), legal advice and counsel regarding the contracting process (e.g., bidding and contract disputes/performance bond claims), payment enforcement/defense (e.g. payment bonds/mechanics liens/stop payment notices), administrative and scope claims and litigation (e.g., differing site conditions, change and extra work orders/inadequate plans and specifications and subcontractor substitutions) and counseling and transactional services to the construction industry (e.g., general advice and counsel, including contract preparation, evaluation and negotiation). In addition, she has extensive experience in dispute resolution including litigation, trial, appeals, arbitration and mediation.

Ms. Klinger is a hard-working “straight shooter.” Early in her career, she became a pioneer in construction law, being one of the first women attorneys to practice in the primarily male field. Through her passion and unique intelligence she has established a vital, nationwide practice involved in all aspects of construction law and a career marked by increasingly prominent leadership positions. She is recognized as an innovator in legal problem-solving and as a thought leader who is a frequently published author and sought-after speaker for professional legal, construction and educational publications and organizations. Marilyn loves humor and thinks everyone is way too serious.

Awards & Recognition:

  • Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law, 2018
  • Martin J. Andrew Award for Lifetime Achievement in Fidelity and Surety Law, 2017
  • Chambers USA — individually recognized and ranked for Construction Law (2013-2016)
  • Sedgwick Law 2015 Ernest “Bud” Arnold Mentor Award for Commitment in Expertise in Mentoring and Counseling
  • “Who’s Who in Law: Angelenos to Know in Real Estate Law,” Los Angeles Business Journal, 2013
  • 2010 James Acret Award for Outstanding Achievement in Construction Law Legal Writing

Firm Overview:

SMTD Law is a boutique law firm concentrating in construction, surety and business litigation. The Firm’s attorneys are highly experienced in handling disputes unique to the construction and surety industries and they understand the rigors and challenges of litigation. Because of the Firm’s experience, our attorneys are well prepared to work with our clients to achieve their goals. We take pride in knowing that our clients trust us to handle all of their legal needs, and, as a result, we do everything in our power to help our clients succeed.

The Firm handles all facets of federal and state public works construction projects, and commercial and private works projects. The Firm counsels owners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in a broad range of transaction and litigation matters. With decades of collective experience handling construction disputes, our attorneys are uniquely qualified to address the complex issues that arise in the construction industry.

Prior to the start of construction, our attorneys found that negotiating appropriate contract terms and counseling our clients’ project team regarding the legal requirements of a particular project often make or break the project. Our attorneys frequently counsel construction clients with matters involving:

  • Preparing and negotiating contracts
  • Interpreting regulatory requirements, including licensing issues, set aside qualifications and the Federal Acquisition Regulations
  • Creating project specific form documents to comply with legal, contractual, and statutory requirements
  • Analyzing, prosecuting and defending bid protests
  • Analyzing subcontractor listing requirements

Once construction has commenced, our clients demand prompt, accurate and experienced responses to their questions. Our attorneys are well versed in handling:

  • Subcontractor substitutions
  • Payment disputes
  • Work stoppages
  • Stop notice and bond claims
  • Delay and productivity claims
  • Labor and prevailing wage claims with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement and others
  • Change order and extra work disputes
  • Termination disputes
  • Submittal, scope, and design disputes

Many projects are successfully closed out without the need for experienced counsel. When disputes arise, the Firm is positioned to effectively and efficiently address our clients’ claim needs. Avoidance of unnecessary litigation costs and expenses is important, and, as such, the Firm assists with analyzing and quantifying claims prior to litigation and providing upfront risk analysis. By doing so, we are able to provide our clients with workable solutions to avoid litigation.

If prosecuting or defending a claim is necessary, our attorneys are experienced and have a tremendous record of success. Our attorneys have successfully handled trials and claims in state and federal courts, various Boards of Contract Appeals, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, arbitration’s, and other tribunals.

Paul K. C. Chan

After graduation from McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering with Great Distinction in 1976, Mr. Paul K.C. Chan furthered his studies in law and obtained his Juris Doctor Degree from University of Toronto in 1979 and was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in Ontario, Canada in 1981, and as a solicitor in Hong Kong in 1984 and in England and Wales in 1988, and as a barrister and solicitor of the Australian Capital Territory in 1991, and an advocate and solicitor of Singapore in 1995. He became a China Appointed Attesting Officer in 1995, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 1996, a Notary Public in Hong Kong in 1997, HKIAC Accredited Mediator in 1999, HKCAC Accredited Construction Adjudicator in 2014 and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2016.

Mr. Paul K.C. Chan first started his practice as a solicitor in Hong Kong in January 1984 and became a partner of one of the leading law firms in Hong Kong in February 1986. He continued to pursue his career in the legal field and moved on to start his own firm in 1992 under the firm name of Paul K. C. Chan & Partners., Solicitors and Notaries. Mr. Paul K.C. Chan has extensive experiences in construction law contracts and litigation, land development and commercial matters.

Firm Overview:

Paul K. C. Chan & Partners consists of an energetic team of professionally-minded staff headed by lawyers who have been admitted to practice in Hong Kong, Canada, England, Australian Capital Territory and/or Singapore, and provides good and professional quality works and services in Construction and Commercial Disputes; Corporate and Commercial Matters; Intellectual Properties; Corporate Finance and Securities; Immigration, Estate Planning and Trust; Divorce and Probate Practice; and Company Secretarial and Ancillary Services.

Serkan Çatalpınar

After completing his bachelor study (LLB) at the Başkent Universitiy Faculty of Law in 2005, Serkan Çatalpınar served as an intern lawyer then as a lawyer at the Kasaroğlu Law Offices until 2007, before settling in Brussels in 2007 and serving for the PECO desk at the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe as a representative of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations. After practising as a self-employed lawyer, he later served as a contract specialist at Aydın Yazılım ve Elektronik Sanayi Ltd, which is partnership of the American L3 Communications and Vestel Holding, and as a lawyer at the Yazıcı Law Offices. Since 2012, he has served as the Chief Contract Administrator of the FIDIC-based Cairo International Airport Project, of which Limak Construction Industry and Trading Co. is the main contractor. As of July 2015, he has been working at the Kurucu Law Offices, of which he is a founding partner.

His specialities are particularly concentrated on the fields of Construction Law (primarily FIDIC), International Commerce, Defence Industry, and Companies Law. Since the beginning of his professional life, Mr Çatalpınar has provided legal support to many local and foreign clients.

Professional Memberships:

  • 2008 – 2010 President of the Ankara Bar European Union Centre
  • Ankara Bar International Law Congress, 2010 Regulatory Board Member
  • TED Ankara College Alumni Association (2010)
  • Member of Draft Advocacy Law Commission of Ankara Bar (2009)
  • The European Law Students’ Association Ankara Member (2009)
  • Free-Visa Europe Association Member (2009)
  • Ankara Bar (2007)

Languages:

  • Turkish (mother-tongue)
  • English (advanced level)
  • Portuguese (intermediate level)
  • Arabic (beginner)

Professional Experience:

Mr. Çatalpınar has specialised in the field of FIDIC-based construction law, both in the law offices he has worked and in the Cairo International Airport Project. He has been involved personally in the relevant legal processes of a construction project, gaining experience from the tender stage all the way up to the final acceptance of the project. Being a lawyer who has worked on a construction site, he offers clients not just legal but also operational experience.

During his construction site experience, he has conducted all the correspondence that the client carries out with the employer, engineer, sub-contractors and suppliers, managed claim sand variations,and conducted the defence of claims submitted by the employer and sub-contractors. Mr. Çatalpınar has personally represented, with his team consisting of lawyers and engineers, the client for preparing, negotiating, executing, and solving disputes related to the contracts that the client has signed with sub-contractors, suppliers, and service providers.

He gained experience in the field of Project Management by establishing the coordination between the Contracts Department, of which he was the manager, and the project technical teams and international consultants.

In the aforementioned Project, he served as the team leader of the client’s site team in the Dispute Board case that the client brought against the employer, and carried out the coordination with the international consultancy firm which was composed of engineer. In the aforementioned case, all of the client’s demands were accepted by the Dispute Board.

His field of speciality has been concentrated on construction law, and has worked for many years on the administration of contracts, particularly those of the FIDIC and FAR form. While managing FIDIC projects, he has had experience in correspondences which are of vital importance, claim management, contract management, meeting follow-ups, document management, and the management of variation, and has worked on the preparation, negotiation, follow-up, and termination of sub-contracts. Mr. Çatalpınar provides consultation to clients, particularly on FIDIC projects, starting with the bid preparation for tenders until the provisional acceptance and final acceptance processes, for setting up contracts, claim, DCC, planning, technical office, and cost control teams and support, supervision, and management of the same.

Alongside construction law, he has also been involved in many international projects:

  • He was the head of the Turkish legal team managing the Gentaş Group of Companies’ acquisition of the Italian company SAFON S.r.l.. He also provides legal support for the projects of local and foreign companies both in Turkey and abroad, the establishment of business partnerships, and preparation, negotiation, and execution of technical agreements within the scope of the projects. Alongside this, he also works in the fields of companies’ law and international commerce.
  • He has also served in the preparation and negotiations for the Sikorsky S-70i Contract, the Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicle (Catapult/Parachute) Project, the Aselsan ADOP-2000 Project 2nd Phase, the Aselsan Link-11B and ACO/ATO Library of the Air Defense Early Warning and Command and Control System Project, the Aselsan Developing Rugged Laser Printer and Rugged DVD Writer Project, and the Landing Platform Dock Project contracts in the Defence Industry with the title of Contract Specialist for Aydın Yazılım ve Elektronik Sanayi Ltd.
  • He was a member of the legal team that worked for bringing the Formula 1 brand to Turkey.
  • Alongside his legal work, he served as the president of the Ankara Bar European Union Centre between 2008 and 2010, worked on many international projects, implemented the intern exchange program with the German IRZ Foundation and the Madrid Bar, and with this, he enabled Turkish intern lawyers to be sent abroad. He was also one of the members of the Ankara Bar 2010 International Law Congress Regulatory Board.
  • In 2009, he took on the position of Moderator of the Working Group on “Cooperation among Lawyers: A Network of Bar Associations in the Region “within the Project on “Combating Trafficking in Human Beings through Legal Assistance to Trafficked Persons and Enhanced Judicial Cooperation” by International Organization of Migration. and Chairman of the session on “Legal Assistance to Victims of Trafficking: Law and Practice” within the Project on “Combating Trafficking in Human Beings through Legal Assistance to Trafficked Persons and Enhanced Judicial Cooperation” by International Organization of Migration. Also in 2009, he represented the Ankara Bar Association on the International Workshop on “Court Management” within the Project on “Support to the Court Management System in Turkey”, implemented by the European Commission, Council of Europe and Ministry of Justice of Turkey. In 2007, during his works at the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, he carried out coordination between the 32-member European Bars in various international projects, and due to this, he was able to bring to KURUCU an international professional network that encompasses the whole Europe.
  • He spent 2000-2001 as an AFS exchange student in Brazil, and learned Portuguese while there.

Firm Overview:

Kurucu Law Offices (“KURUCU”) has been established in Ankara at the beginning of 2015 by three founding partners, each specialised in their own practice area. KURUCU is an Ankara-based law firm which provides services with its team of lawyers who can speak English at high level and are specialised in their fields, being primarily energy law, construction law and infrastructure law, FIDIC and FAR contracts and agreements law, mergers and acquisitions, project financing, international commerce, international arbitration and commercial cases. KURUCU has a liaison office in Istanbul, Turkey.

KURUCU provides legal consultation and advocacy services based on the principles of high quality, sincerity and honesty, in conjunction with various law offices and specialist technical service providers in its network, to local and foreign clientele in their projects and activities both in Turkey and abroad.

In provision of its services, KURUCU aims to provide assistance in all aspects of clients’ needs from the very start of the relevant project and/or legal process until they are completed, to be available at all times, and treat the needs of the clients as if they are KURUCU’s own needs, and to keep these aims in the foreground at every stage of KURUCU’s services.

While carrying out services, in addition to their viewpoint as lawyers, KURUCU team make a point of conducting them as a businessman by benefiting from their past experience and technical-specialist staff.

NJ Ayuk JD, MBA

NJ Ayuk is the Chief Executive Officer of Centurion. His experience includes advising major companies on investment strategies, the establishment of joint ventures and cooperation structures, privatisation, licensing and related tax, OHADA, Equatorial Guinea law, oil and gas, local content, litigation, negotiations, governance and other matters. He also frequently advises International oil companies, governments, oil service companies, financial institutions, development banks and construction firms in Equatorial Guinea and Sub Saharan Africa.

He is particularly active in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of petroleum, mining, LNG, and other natural resource projects in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Chad, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Angola, Congo and other Sub-Saharan countries. His experience has included PSCs, JOA, service agreements, concessions, oil-field service and drilling contracts, licensing and pipeline and marine transportation issues, including the sale and transportation of LNG.

Drawing from his past experience from his job with the United Nations, he continuously advises governments on judicial modernization, rule of law issues, training of judges, prosecutors and lawyers in Equatorial Guinea, Chad, South Sudan, Uganda and Niger on a pro bono basis.

He regularly participates in industry-specific conferences and seminars as speaker and moderator. He graduated from University of Maryland College Park and earned a Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in the United States. He further holds an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology.

He is an active member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), the Institute for Energy Law (IEL) and the Petroleum Joint Venture Association (PJVA).

He is recognized as a leading oil & gas lawyer by the International Who’s Who of Oil & Gas Lawyers, and chambers and partners, recognized him as “important player” and a “tremendous resource” an acknowledgement bestowed upon him by his peers in the industry.

Firm Overview:

Centurion Law Group is a pan-African corporate law conglomerate. Operating at the cutting edge of business practices today, Centurion stands ready to provide outsourced legal representation and a full suite of legal services to new, expanding and established corporations.

From our headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, and from our offices in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Accra, Ghana; and Douala, Cameroon, we specialise in assisting clients that are starting or growing a business on the continent. We navigate the regulatory environments of Africa’s different legal jurisdictions to make sure that you can do business efficiently and successfully.

Across Africa, Centurion provides a service tailored to your operating environment, the nature and structure of your business, your level of risk tolerance, and your overall objectives. Our alternative billing arrangements provide our clients with a greater degree of certainty about their legal costs.

Centurion is committed to the highest ethical standards and we recognize that our firm must take a leadership role in the legal profession in Africa. Wherever we work, we strive to be actively involved in business and community organizations and to maintain our visibility as lawyers and as members of our communities. Our personal and corporate charitable activities contribute meaningfully to our communities.