Ashley M. Howlett


Jones Day
32nd Floor, China World Office 1
No.1 Jianguomenwai Avenue
Beijing 100004, China

Tel: +86.10.5866.1113
Fax: +86.10.5866.1122


Ashley Howlett’s practice focuses on construction and engineering issues connected with infrastructure and major projects. Ashley has been based in the Beijing Office since its opening in 2003, and he leads the Firm’s Construction Practice in Asia. Ashley advises Chinese and international clients on all aspects of the design and construction process, including drafting and negotiating contract documentation, dispute avoidance, and dispute resolution by way of mediation, arbitration, and litigation.

Ashley has lived and worked in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom and has been involved in major construction and infrastructure projects throughout Asia for the past 15 years. Ashley’s practice is focused on representing foreign-invested parties on construction projects and disputes in China, as well as counseling Chinese contractors on their projects around the world. He recently advised Chinese contractors involved in projects in Angola, Brazil, Egypt, Libya, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

Ashley is ranked as a leading individual for construction and dispute resolution by Asia Pacific Legal 500 and is consistently ranked in the Chambers & Partners Asia-Pacific legal guide as the leading foreign construction lawyer in China, where he is described as “probably the most famous foreign construction lawyer you’ll come across in China” and “extremely pragmatic, shrewd and personable — you can’t get better than him.” Ashley also is the author of the only English language textbook on Chinese construction law, Chinese Construction Law — A Guide for Foreign Companies, which was first published by CCH Wolters Kluwer in October 2006 with a second edition published in November 2009.

The Jones Day construction team of highly experienced lawyers, many with backgrounds in architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate development, regularly advises US, international, and multi-national owners/employers, contractors, consultants, and public sector entities on a wide variety of contracting and disputed matters worldwide.

Our construction team provides the full range of legal support for construction-related issues, representing clients in the initiation of projects and preparation of contract documents, acting as project counsel, and handling dispute resolution matters, including negotiation, adjudication, mediation, arbitration, and trial.

Jones Day’s construction lawyers have played key roles in some of the largest and most prominent infrastructure projects in the world, including mega-projects such as the Taipei Financial Center (then the world’s tallest building) in Taiwan, J.P. Morgan World Headquarters in New York, and the Alameda consolidated rail corridor project in Los Angeles.

We have the experience, depth, and resources to handle virtually any type of matter. Our capabilities encompass all types of problems that arise in the construction process, such as delays, differing site conditions, added work and reduced productivity issues, as well as terminations for default and convenience. In addition we have in-depth knowledge of a wide range of problems with completed projects, such as defective workmanship or equipment, structural failures, and warranty issues. Often working in conjunction with Jones Day’s insurance recovery lawyers, we are experienced at leveraging potential insurance coverage to aid in recovering construction defect losses. Also, a distinctive element of the construction team is our focus on and extensive experience assisting troubled projects in reaching successful completion, while avoiding in many instances the need for formal dispute resolution procedures.

All law firms seek to serve clients effectively. Some do it more consistently than others. Jones Day topped BTI Consulting Group’s 2013 “Client Service A-Team” ranking, which identifies the top 30 law firms for client service through a national survey of corporate counsel. “BTI congratulates Jones Day on achieving the number one spot in The BTI Client Service 30 for the third consecutive year, and the eighth time in 12 years, says the BTI report. Jones Day earned Best of the Best honors for 11 different activities driving superior client relationships including Client Focus and Commitment to Help.” Jones Day has also ranked in the Top 10 every year since 2000 in the Corporate Board Member/FTI Consulting annual survey of the best corporate law firms. These are just two indications that our focus on serving our clients’ needs, and not on the financial metrics that are so commonly used today to measure law firm performance, is recognized by our clients, who reward us with more opportunities to help them meet their interests.

Jones Day is organized as a true partnership, and it operates as such; we are not an LLP or LLC or some other quasi-corporate entity. We see ourselves as a global legal institution based on a set of principles to which a large number of men and women can commit – principles that have a social purpose and permanence, that transcend individual interests. While this may well be a more sociological description than you would see on most law firm web sites, and no doubt is subject to a skeptical reaction from many when they first read or hear it, we believe it accurately describes one important aspect of what makes Jones Day the client service organization that it is.

Ashley Howlett specialises in non-contentious construction matters, and was the leading counsel in the Chuan Dong Bei gas project matter.
Chambers Asia & Pacific, 2015