Chris Johnston

Partner, Blackrock Expert Services
Co-Head of the Singapore office of Blackrock Expert Services Group



What is your role at Blackrock Expert Services?

I am a quantum expert and I work with lawyers, contractors and construction firms on claims and their quantification related to large-scale construction and engineering projects. Prior to Blackrock, I was commercial lead on projects for contracting organisations for about 20 years both in the UK and internationally. This experience, along with my qualifications as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, enables me to offer the type of expertise needed in complex construction disputes.

As co-head of Blackrock’s Singapore office, what important developments are you seeing in the region?

The dispute market in Singapore and the wider APAC region is a growing and dynamic market, partly reflecting the growth and investment in infrastructure in the region. Events like the very well attended SIAC 2020 Virtual Congress held in September reflect this.

With Singapore increasingly becoming a well-respected arbitration venue – SIAC’s case filings have increased year on year, including a 19% increase in 2019 – we are very well-placed to continue providing independent expert opinion on disputes involving parties throughout Asia Pacific.

COVID-19 has presented some challenges but we have continued to work well and Singapore has been opening up recently which has helped.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on to date?

I very much enjoyed a recent SIAC arbitration on which I was the quantum expert. It was an inter-consortium dispute between an APAC contractor and a European contractor, with both contractors having quite different data sets and information to analyse. It required careful thought on how to approach this information so as to provide an independent assessment of both parties’ positions in my reports.