Our approach to Dispute Resolution

Our approach to dispute resolution is to help our clients to find the best and most cost-effective solution and pursue the outcome in a manner that make sense to achieve our clients’ commercial objective. That explains why we focus on result, not billable hours.

Our practice is based on the fundamental understanding that commercial disputes do not form part of our clients’ core business. Therefore, prior to initiating a lawsuit or take any serious legal proceedings, we astutely assess the strengths and weaknesses of our clients’ cases and advise on how best to resolve them, whether by way of a negotiated settlement or a formal procedure, such as mediation or adjudication.

Only where disputes are not able to resolve amicably, our experienced litigators navigate our clients’ cases through court procedures and arbitral proceedings.

Our approach to dispute resolution

A highly-specialised dispute resolution

CNC has a dedicated commercial disputes team which has the experience and depth of resources to provide a range of legal advice, litigation and dispute resolution services for a very broad spectrum of legal issues.

Once engaged by Clients, our lawyers can act as internal counsel to initiate a Claim under a Construction Contract or serving an early warning notice to buyers under Sales and Purchase Agreement, or collecting Debts for landlords, Employer, Contractors.

Clients regular refer to our lawyers to help them to settle disputes through mediation, litigation, adjudication and/or arbitration. We earn clients’ trust because of the way we conduct our services and not only of our extensive expertise, their knowledge and experience.

Flow chart of Dispute Resolution

Here below our simplified step-by-step actions that we typically assist our clients aiming at bringing clients the best outcomes.

Step 1 - Provision of Legal Opinion

It is the INTEGRITY that makes our experienced lawyers different. At the outset of the engagement, our lawyer will carefully and diligently review the case, trying to identify what are the roots causes leading to the dispute between the parties and/or to really identify our clients’ legal positions so that clients become aware of a clear picture, legal proceedings available, and decide what are best proceed.

We remain our integrity for the best interest of Clients rather than encouraging our clients to negligently go into a costly aggressive dispute options that destroy relationship.

Step 2 - Further Consultation with Client

In addition to the first step of assessing the case, we open for any discussion with our Clients so that both Client and our lawyers understand the detail of each matter which weaken our clients or challenging our clients’ interests.

Our lawyers normally encourage Clients to tell us the whole stories, spending time telling us the exact matters they are concerning about. We called it “devil in the detail”

Step 3 - Taking Legal Proceedings

Whenever our clients are clear of the roadmap ahead, then we shall act seriously to secure our clients’ interests by providing an invitation to meet, a demand for payment, a notice of commencing arbitration, and/or other legal manner so that Client’s party can seriously think of our clients’ action, and to rethink the way they will with dispute.

Depending on the Clients’ partner response, we shall then advise our clients how best to proceed, by way of attending meetings with them, advising the possible scenarios, setting our next strategy, and/or continue with what was planned in previous steps.

Continue to advise our clients on their strategic options throughout any dispute resolution process. Seek to work constructively with the other party to the dispute and their lawyers.

Step 4 - Amicable Settlement

We would not opt out any opportunity to continue settlement in an amicable manner to save cost and time for both.

Whenever possible, and if appropriate, focus on maintaining relationships with other parties in order to keep our clients’ commercial options open for when the dispute is resolved

Thank to our experience in settling the dispute in various situation, we shall know exactly what a real offer of settling dispute amicably is, what is just a way of delaying the process.

Above all, we pride ourselves on our ability to go beyond ‘black letter’ legal advice to give our clients commercial solutions to their problems.

Step 5 - Civil Enforcement

This is the hardest part but the fruiful that bring to warriors who devoted their time, energy and attention to make any amicable settlement, court’s decision and/or arbitral award valuable to Clients.

Therefore, promptly after the engagement, we have prepared various plans for securing our clients’ interests which includes, without limitation to the application of various interim injunctions that make immediate effect and pressure on the Client’s partners so that they know there is no other way out other than collaborating with our clients.

After all, we truly understand that the person who smiles the last is the wining person.

What Makes us proud of?

Some of recognised complex disputes CNC has been engaged include:

  • 2022 – Provided legal advice and representation in a dispute involving a Vietnamese contractor against a General Contractor at one of Dong Nai’s largest civil and residential projects. The dispute involved in the General Contractor claiming two Performance Securities, two Advance Payment Securities, late completion of the Works, a request for an Extension of Time for Completion, the Employer’s liability to remedy defective equipment used for the Works, and the settlement of the Contract termination by both Parties. The value of the dispute exceeded 80-billion VND.
  • 2021 – Provided legal advice for a Contractor regarding potential entitlement to terminate the Contract due to the Employer’s failure to provide reasonable evidence that financing had been arranged for the Works and that it was also being maintained. Thereafter, in 2022 CNC earned the trust of the aformentioned contractor and became managed a much more complicated issue – preparing justification to the Contractor’s Entitlement to an Extension of Time, late payment of Interim Payment Certificates – amounting to nearly 100-billion VND, and a payment of additional Costs due to the Contractor exercising its entitlement to terminate the Contract. Finally, CNC was retained by the Contractor to settle a dispute of whether or not the Employer had the same right to terminate the Contract and withhold payment at the date of Contract termination. The Contract involved in two financial resources, e.g., ADB’s finance, and the Vietnamese’s counterpart capital in one of the largest and longest infrastructures in Southern Vietnam.
  • 2021 – Provided advice and representation for a leading contractor to settle a one million, five hundred thousand US dollar ($1.5 million USD) dispute regarding the Employer’s Claim for Delay Damages, additional Costs payable to their Engineer due to the prolongation, and the Contractor’s Claim for the Employer’s delay in achieving the Practical Completion Date, the Employer’s wrongful withholding two Interim Payment Certificates, as well as additional Costs resulted thereof. The dispute was initially brought to the VIAC arbitration, but promptly thereafter the Parties had reached a mutual agreement on the Employer’s release of the two Interim Payment Certificates, and the Contractor agreed to postpone its Claim with regard to the Additional Prolongation Costs, and finally, the Works remained in his custody until the competent authorities allowed the Employer to connect the Works to the public infrastructure.
  • 2019 – Amicable resolution advice and representation for a Japanese based contractor involving a dispute with their Vietnamese based Sub-contractor for the final account of a subcontract regarding mechanical installation of cooling, chilling, and condensation pipes for a First Solar DMT2-WP54, Chiller Pipe & P&S project. This dispute involves a variety of views on variations during construction.
  • 2019 – An amicable debt collection settlement, as well as several other legal issues pertaining to the performance of two nominated MEP Subcontracts between Kurihara and reputable Vietnamese Contractors for the Holm Project.
  • 2019 – A lawsuit that went to trial pertaining to a well known interior contactor and a reputed project developer for the Ho Tram Project in Vung Tau.
  • 2020 – Legal Counsel Proceedings for a reputed Japanese Contractor and a Vietnamese Subcontractor related to an advance payment and compensation issue for which there was a  dispute in the amount of 10-billion VND.
  • Advised and represented Water and Environment Corporation (Waco) against Binh Dinh Water Supply Company in the negotiation and settlement of more than VND30 billion following VIAC arbitration procedures in a dispute over a construction contract in relation to extension of time claim (EOT Claims), price adjustment, and wrongfully termination of the contract.
  • Together with a leading firm in Vietnam, acted for the Urban-Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority of Ho Chi Minh City (UCCI) against Obayashi, a leading Japanese contractor, constructing the Construction and Completion of the Saigon East-West Highway Construction Project – Package 2 – Construction of Tunnel Crossing Saigon River and Construction and New Thu Thiem Road. This is the first US $ 40 million lawsuit being advised and represented by a local law firm at international arbitration center (ICC) for a diversity of claims, ranging from extension of time, payment of associated cost thereof, to price adjustment for both local and foreign elements.
  • Together with a leading firm in Vietnam, advised the Urban-Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority of Ho Chi Minh City against Extension of Time Claims (EOT Claims) of the package A – Improving Tau Hu canal – Ben Nghe built by TOA, Package C – constructing of sewer line, sewage pumping stations and equipment procurement constructed by the contractor consortium Nishimatsu – Ebara – Shimizu (NES joint venture), and package D – constructing sewers conveyance and improving existing public sewer system constructed by Shimizu, under the City’s Water Environment project – Phase 1.

Consult with our lawyers to see how best we could proceed?