Dispute Resolution: Singapore

Our disputes team has cutting-edge experience, acting both as counsel and as arbitrators. The team consists of experts in all forms of dispute resolution with a focus on:

  • Negotiating Settlements
  • International Arbitration
  • Cross-border Litigation
  • Investor-State Dispute Settlement
  • White Collar Crime & Investigations

Our team includes practitioners with a proven track record of advising clients in Asia as well as investors into the region, on disputes, crisis management, and other matters which cause problems and disruption. They regularly act as counsel in proceedings before the main arbitral institutions in the region, especially SIAC and the ICC, and have overseen litigation and enforcement proceedings in the courts of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Bangladesh, and Mongolia.

Our work spans a range of sectors and capabilities, including:

Energy is often the subject of hard-fought disputes in this region. We regularly advise governments, multinationals and private companies on their disputes, stakes and operations in the energy and infrastructure industries across Asia.

Our lawyers' recent experience includes:

Oil & Gas

  • Operator of an oil and gas Production Sharing Contract in Indonesia pursuing arbitration claims for over USD 100 million arising out of a transfer of operatorship agreement entered into when the block was transferred to a new contractor (SIAC, Singapore).
  • South Korean shipbuilder in an arbitration governed by Western Australian law concerning the construction and installation of a multi-billion dollar central processing facility to be used at an offshore gas field (ICC, Singapore).
  • A Thai oil and gas exploration company defending against claims brought in arbitration by a helicopter services provider – the contract was for a transportation network for various offshore platforms in the Gulf of Thailand (Thai Arbitration Institute, Bangkok).
  • Indonesian operator defending claims in arbitration for US$218 million arising out of a Joint Operating Agreement for an oil and gas development block in Sumatra (SIAC, Singapore).
  • Japanese energy company in arbitration governed by Singapore law involving shareholder disputes under JOA/PSC relating to an offshore block in Vietnam (SIAC, Singapore).
  • Multinational energy company on the restructuring and potential sale of its Myanmar assets, including potential litigation and arbitration issues relating to the application of Myanmar tax law to the relevant oil and gas concessions.

Power & Renewables

  • Infrastructure and real assets arm of an Australian investment bank in an arbitration governed by Philippines law concerning the development of a solar energy project in the Philippines (SIAC, Singapore).
  • Japanese-owned coal-fired power station bringing arbitration claims against a contractor for losses suffered as a result of generator damage caused by broken turbine blades (LCIA, London).
  • Japanese contractor in respect of court proceedings by the Thai state electricity company, following an arbitration determining claims arising out of an EPC contract for the construction of a power station in Thailand (Bangkok Southern District Court, Thailand).

Infrastructure

  • US listed company in a dispute governed by Singapore law concerning the alleged failure of a part supplied for use in a South Korean petrochemical plant (SIAC, Singapore).
  • Japanese EPC contractor in arbitration proceedings relating to the engineering, procurement and erection of a paper pulp mill in Vietnam, one of the largest pulp paper mills in Vietnam (ICC, Singapore).
  • Multinational mining company in court proceedings brought by the operator of a coal export terminal (Queensland Supreme Court, Australia).

Singapore has become one of the international hubs for both the FinTech and Cryptocurrency industries. The regulatory environment is supportive of FinTech businesses, so Singapore is often used as the HQ for payments companies operating across Asia and worldwide. More recently, a number of leading cryptocurrency exchanges have based their operations in the country. Asia-based parties to SAFTs, ICO documentation, trading and platform agreements, crypto mining partnerships, DeFi lending, and yield farming often choose Singapore as their forum for dispute resolution.

Click here for details of our specialist Blockchain Group at the firm. 

Our lawyers' recent FinTech and cryptocurrency disputes experience includes:

  • A Bitcoin investor seeking to recover over USD 50 million of BTC after it was fraudulently stolen during a cold wallet hack – third party disclosure orders were successfully secured and required a leading cryptocurrency exchange to identify the hackers and trace the stolen assets.
  • A consortium of investors in connection with the ICO of a Vietnamese cryptocurrency, after the crypto assets were not delivered in accordance with the SAFT.
  • Acting for a leading provider of a cryptocurrency wallet in the context of a ‘suicide blocking’ of its accounts.
  • Advising on a $220 million contractual dispute concerning credit derivative swap and cross- border leasing transactions entered into with global financial services provider (including jurisdictional challenge under EC Regulation 44/2001 to Court of Justice of EU). Substantive proceedings raise issues of mis-selling of financial products and the doctrine of ultra vires.

The hospitality & leisure sector has experienced tumult like no other in recent times. We have advised clients across the sector on a range of disputes. The cross-border nature of ownership structures, licensing and management arrangements and joint ventures (often international and local partners working together) in the sector means that international arbitration is often the preferred choice for dispute resolution.

Click here for details of our specialist Hospitality & Leisure Group at the firm.

Our lawyers' recent experience includes:

  • Luxury hotel group in an arbitration governed by Malaysian law against a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund concerning the development of a hotel and villa project (UNCITRAL, Hong Kong).
  • Global hospitality operator in connection with claims under the hotel management agreement for a prestigious hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • Owner of a hotel on Ko Samui, Thailand in arbitration claims arising out of the construction and subsequent collapse of part of the resort following storms on the island (Thai Arbitration Institute, Bangkok).

The Asia Pacific region is governed by dozens of overlapping multi- and bilateral international trade and investment agreements. We can help you navigate this complex web of agreements. We have experience sitting on both sides of the table, representing foreign investors and governments, in investor-state arbitrations under the ICSID Arbitration Rules and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

Our lawyers' recent experience includes:

  • The Vietnam government in its successful defence of an investment treaty arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules brought by a French company under the Vietnam-France BIT.
  • Australian investor in ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Timor-Leste arising out of a fuel supply agreement.
  • Singapore based infrastructure fund on its investor-State dispute settlement options under the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement.

Singapore has long been one of Asia's leading hubs for international trade. Both its courts and renowned arbitration centres (SIAC and SCMA) are popular choices for dispute resolution in the sector.

Commodities disputes are often time-sensitive and require an understanding of the commodity involved. We have acted for and against traders of oil and gas, metals, grain, fabrics, and electronic components, and letters of credit, trade finance fraud, and trade insurance.

Our lawyers' recent experience in this sector includes:

  • A global bank in an arbitration relating to its exposure under a high profile multi-billion dollar commodity financing fraud in Qingdao, China (SIAC, Singapore).
  • Japanese trading company in making recoveries under a trade insurance policy covering losses arising out of the sale of plastics to Russian and Chinese buyers.
  • Obtaining an award for a UAE coal trading company in respect of claims under contracts for the sale, purchase and shipment of coal from Indonesia to India (SIAC, Singapore).
  • Japanese metals trading company in connection with a long-standing agreement to purchase copper base bars containing precious metals from electronic waste, including allegations of fraud relating to the sampling process (ICC, Tokyo).
  • Singapore oil trading company in an arbitration concerning back-to-back trading of biodiesel fuel, including complex fraud allegations relating to shipping documents and requiring expert evidence on trade finance and Chinese customs laws (SIAC, Singapore).
  • Multinational insurer in an arbitration involving the alleged phantom shipping of 360mt of tin (SIAC, Singapore).

No other sector is as fast paced as the technology, media and telecommunications sector. The rapid rate of change and resulting disagreements mean it is critical to resolve those disputes as quickly as possible. We regularly act on technology and telecommunications disputes, whether pertaining to the technology or infrastructure involved or the contractual relationships between the various stakeholders.

Click here for our specialist Technology Group at the firm.

Our lawyers' recent experience includes:

  • German telco service provider pursuing claims of USD 37 million against its Singaporean partner in a joint venture for the construction, operation, and servicing of 3G cellular network towers in Myanmar (SIAC, Singapore)
  • Japanese subsea telecoms cable company in arbitration proceedings worth over USD 150 million relating to the installation of a submarine telecoms cable from India to France via the Red Sea (ICC, Geneva)
  • Uzbek State-owned company in arbitration proceedings governed by Singapore law concerning the installation of a telecommunications system along the Uzbek gas pipeline (ICC, Singapore)
  • Tower contractor in connection with potential arbitration claims against a South African telco provider, including delay claims and other technical issues relating to the phased roll out of network towers across the country.
  • Leading Japanese telco in arbitration claims for USD 50 million of liquidated damages arising out of the delivery into geostationary orbit of a defective telecommunications satellite (ICC, Paris).

Our Singapore dispute resolution team is ready to assist clients in all aspects of white collar crime and investigations, whether companies in need of advice in respect of suspected fraud or bribery by employees or individuals who are themselves under investigation. We can provide a comprehensive response when an organisation or individual is facing issues that may give rise to potential civil, criminal, regulatory or employment issues, as well as potential reputational or commercial damage.

Click here for our specialist White Collar Crime & Investigations Group at the firm.

Our lawyers' recent experience includes:

  • Investigating an employee mis-selling and unauthorised investment operations for a US investment bank in Japan.
  • FMCG multinational in an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regarding cartel and other anti-competitive arrangements.
  • Investigating corruption allegations made against employees of a medical and hospital services provider in Thailand.
  • Australian company director in an investigation and subsequent Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings regarding a tax evasion and money laundering scheme.
  • Anti-corruption due diligence exercises for a Japanese company in respect of potential transactional partners and agents for projects across Asia and Africa.
  • Successfully defended a company director and CEO in relation to investigations conducted by Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Receivers and Liquidators and defending criminal charges of alleged breaches of director duties.
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