The Legal Advisory Division (Works) (LAD(W)) was set up in the then Works Bureau on 1 October 1998 by subsuming the former Legal Advisory Division in the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office, part of the Civil Litigation Unit and the then Lands and Works Unit. Although it is part of the Development Bureau, counsel and the para-legal staff of the Department of Justice are seconded to the Development Bureau to provide the legal services which are within the ambit of the LAD(W).
The LAD(W) is responsible for providing legal services (both contentious and non-contentious) to the whole of the Government’s construction programme including construction contracts undertaken by the Works Group of Departments and departments outside the Works Group of Departments such as the Environmental Protection Department. The LAD(W) also advises the Works Branch of the Development Bureau and the Works Group of Departments on all legal matters that fall within the Works Branch’s policy purview in the course of their administration. Significant matters and projects handled by LAD(W) in 2012, 2013 and 2014 are highlighted below.
Model of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
The LAD(W) was heavily involved in the drafting and tendering of the contracts for major infrastructure projects, including the local infrastructure projects in the HKSAR of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link, Kai Tak Development, Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2, Wan Chai Development Phase II and Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point and Integrated Waste Management Facilities Phase I. All these contracts are high-valued contracts involving complex contractual provisions to deal with the specific requirements of the projects.
The LAD(W) advised the Works Branch on measures to enhance the control of fresh water cooling towers to minimise the potential risk of Legionnaires’ disease related to these cooling towers. The LAD(W) also advised the Civil Engineering and Development Department on the handling of the tender exercise for the Lung Mei Beach project when faced with the petitions and the subsequent application for judicial review regarding the environmental permit for that project.
The LAD(W) was closely involved in legislative proposals which are highly important to the construction industry, such as the legislative proposal for the security of payment legislation.
The LAD(W) also provided legal advice to the Transport and Housing Bureau and the Highways Department on issues arising from the delay in the construction of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link project.
On contentious matters, the LAD(W) provided legal services to the Government in relation to construction disputes arising out of public works contracts. The LAD(W) assisted the Government, particularly the Works Group of Departments, in resolving the disputes through negotiation, mediation, adjudication, arbitration or litigation.