I work with owners, employers, developers, architects, engineers, designers, contractors, and subcontractors in both the private and public sectors, specialising in construction and real estate law, in particular construction dispute resolution and arbitration.
My expertise as a construction dispute specialist began in the UK and focuses on both UK and Middle East law. I have practiced construction arbitration in the UAE for the past 11 years. Initially for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce (for the Rulers Court/DCA) and its successor, DIAC (Dubai Municipality, Dubai Properties and numerous private developers and contractors). I have also worked in private practice for a major global law firm.
Chambers Global 2015 recently said: 'Steven Hunt is widely recognised for his capable handling of construction disputes. Clients describe him as "a good listener, strategist and tactical lawyer, who gives you a real picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your case."'
Recent construction disputes work includes:
- Acting for a developer to resolve disputes with a value exceeding AED2 billion on a multi-tower development in Dubai. Conducting an expert determination (non-binding) and structured negotiation.
- Advising a major local developer in respect of the purported termination of the Sale Agreement between the developer and master developer for an AED 5.6 billion residential, commercial and leisure development.
- Acting on behalf of a sub-contractor in an arbitration relating to claims associated with wrongful termination of a major sub-contract package for the construction of a sub-station. Arbitration conducted through the Dubai International Arbitration Centre.
- DIAC arbitration for a Far-East contractor in respect of time and money dispute/arbitration with a value exceeding AED300 million.
- Acting in a dispute/arbitration on a 50+ storey residential and commercial development on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. The dispute involved wrongful termination, liquidation of the performance guarantee, developer claims exceeding AED500 million and contractor time and money claims of a similar value. The arbitration was conducted through the Dubai International Arbitration Centre.
In addition to acting as a construction dispute specialist I also provide strategically focused non-contentious, commercial advice. I have recently worked on transactions and projects including:
- The design and construction of Trump International Hotel and Tower – negotiated contracts for the design and construction of the hotel and tower being a 48 storey mix used development consisting of 300 room luxury hotel and 360 residential apartments. The contract value was approximately AED 2 billion.
- STP, Jumeirah Golf Estates – Originally designed at 220,000m³/pd using MBR and BNR and a temporary plant of 15,000m³/pd using SBR technology. Novation and re-negotiation of the EPC & O&M contract for the purpose of raising project finance. Negotiating changes to the original deal with the EPC Contractor with a view to making the deal bankable (in particular restructuring the deal in light of changes to projected demand (i.e. phasing) and extending the O&M term from 5 to 30 years). Securing bridging finance.
- Drafting and negotiating a JV/Partnering Agreement between Nakheel and Macquarie Bank/ADCB for the financing of Nakheel infrastructure projects.
- Advising major Chinese railway contractor on the terms of an unincorporated joint venture agreement in respect of a US$ 3 billion causeway project in Kuwait.
- Advising a bidder for a major security/communications centre in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a value of US$ 2 billion identifying the risks associated with the method procurement and with the main sub-contracting packages including the technology provider and long-term operator.
- Drafting and negotiating commercial agreement for the delivery of the transit infrastructure (roads and monorail) for the Atlantis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah.
- Advising a shareholder in an incorporated joint venture incorporated in Qatar in respect of its liabilities under its joint venture/shareholder agreement and under the related guarantees.