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Leading individuals

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Christopher & Lee Ong's full-service department is noted for its 'quick responses, commercial approach and practical advice'. The 'very objective, sharp and solution-oriented' Clive Selvapandian is a shipping and trade disputes specialist; he and Ong Chee Kwan assisted Bureau Veritas with attempting to recover unpaid classification fees owed by the owners of the MV Newlead Victoria. Jainil Bhandari, who heads the team jointly with Ong and ship finance expert Por Chuei Ying, represented Maersk Malaysia in a RM120,000 dispute with a logistics company regarding the transport of a shipment of rubber blocks to Turkey, which was claimed by a third party not named in the Bill of Lading.

Well-resourced shipping boutique Joseph & Partners is well regarded for its contentious and non-contentious capabilities. Managing partner Jeremy M Joseph assisted Macon Charter with bringing a €3m claim against a Malaysian company in a dredging charter dispute, and transactional expert Melanie Pillai advised KPMG Deal Advisory as liquidators on Syarikat Borcos Shipping's disposal of $13m-worth of vessels. Insurance, marine pollution and ship finance are also areas of expertise for the firm. Vinodhini Samuel is another name to note.

Ship arrests, collisions, marine insurance and vessel transactions are among the core focus areas of maritime boutique Sativale Mathew Arun. Raj Sativale, Mathew Kurien and Arun Krishnalingam are the names to note; between them they act for cargo underwriters, P&I clubs, ship agencies, shipowners and trading houses.

The 'very good' practice at Shearn Delamore & Co is praised for its 'prompt replies and cost-effective advice'. 'Thorough' department head Rajasingam Gothandapani is 'street-smart as well as legally knowledgeable'; he represented Samalaju Industrial Port in a dredging charter case brought by Macon Charter. Jaldhi Mideast DMCC, Maersk Malaysia and CMA CGM are additional representative clients.

Skrine's 'commendable' practice is noted for its 'business acumen', and has been especially busy acting for banks on ship mortgage matters; the team also advises shipowners and cargo claimants alike on cargo demurrage and detention claims. The 'commercial' Siva Kumar Kanagasabai, who heads the department and is praised by clients for his market knowledge, acted for Portigon on its arrest of the MV Newlead Victoria. Oil spills and ship-related transactions are also areas of expertise. Other clients of the practice include Northport Malaysia, Johor Port and Icon Offshore.

T S Oon & Partners, an associate firm of Singaporean firm Oon & Bazul LLP, is experienced in collision claims, charter hire disputes and various other kinds of contentious maritime law; it also has non-contentious capabilities. Managing partner Oon Thian Seng is the name to note; Jessica Teng is also singled out.

Sitpah Selvaratnam is the key partner at Tommy Thomas' shipping practice; he has particularly strong expertise in contentious work, including collision claims, ship arrests and cargo and charterparty disputes.

Arbitrator and litigator Philip Teoh heads the practice at Azmi & Associates, with support from shipping and oil and gas focused associate Muhammad Afeez. The team is experienced in maritime insurance matters, ship arrests, cargo damages claims and contractual disputes; it represented EA Technique (M) in a RM27m breach-of-contract case against Amaniaga Resources regarding services for a floating storage and offloading vessel. Westport is another client.

At Rahayu Partnership, key partner Rahayu Abd Ghani has experience across a wide range of maritime matters, including transactional, advisory and contentious work. Spica Services (M), Harbour Star Shipping Services, Alam Maritim (M), TT Mutual Insurance Club and Johor Shipcare are all clients.

Charterparty disputes, maritime casualties and bills of lading are all areas of strength for Shaikh David & Co's practice, which also handles vessel transactions and shipbuilding contracts. James P David and Cahaya Narimas Faad are both dedicated to shipping and maritime matters, including insurance. GAC Marine Services is a client.

Rahmat Lim & Partners' department acts mostly for banks and other financial institutions on ship finance and other transactional matters. Soh Yin Chuin acted for a syndicate of foreign banks on the registration of mortgage over a vessel, and group head Azman bin Othman Luk advised several Malaysian financial institutions on a debt restructuring that involved various shipbuilding and vessel chartering companies.

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