Shipping: local firms in Singapore

Allen & Gledhill LLP

Allen & Gledhill LLP has a large and dedicated practice focused on the shipping sector, particularly in the financing and transactional arena, along with a further significant emphasis on contentious maritime work. In recent times, the firm has been especially active in big-ticket restructurings and financial distress, along with fraud and wrongdoing matters in the shipping sector. Gina Lee-Wan specialises in shipping and offshore financings, leasing and equity transactions. Kenny Yap is prominent in international trade and shipping, and Yap Yin Soon is noted for maritime and offshore disputes. Corina Song is another senior name in contentious shipping, trade and admiralty matters. Vivian Ang is a leading figure in wet and dry shipping disputes.

Practice head(s):

Gina Lee-Wan; Kenny Yap; Yap Yin Soon

Other key lawyers:

Corina Song; Harold Or; Vivian Ang

Testimonials

‘The team has established good work relations with our bank for over 10 years now. They know most of our bank’s team and also the bank’s working style and we are able to easily reach out to them on mobile and email for any issues.’

‘Over the years the team has been able to continually provide good advisory services for our bank’s shipping and general banking and finance transactions accompanied with practical solutions for a range of cross border issues.’

‘The team has very good in-depth knowledge of the local laws and regulations in the relevant areas, including shipping finance.’

‘Our partner to call is Harold Or. He has an in-depth knowledge of the legal aspects of the shipping industry. In a tough and lean market, he has also been able to provide legal services at very good rates.’

‘The team led by Yap Yin Soon has in-depth technical knowledge and expertise in shipping cases, with well-supported counterpart lawyers of major shipping hubs. Their advice is also always cognisant of updated insolvency rules in relation to IRDA.’

‘Besides being a strong negotiator, Yap Yin Soon is commercially minded, highly analytical and holistic in providing practical solutions.’

‘Kenny Yap, Soh Yin Chuin, Shaun See Tow – clear analysis of legal problems and provide practicable solutions for the business, always able to make time to take calls from the client, able to negotiate fee discounts after billing.’

‘The A&G team comprises seriously talented individuals with loads of experience and which have garnered many kudos from the legal sector themselves, especially Gina Lee-Wan.’

Work highlights

  • Advised multiple major bank and non-bank creditors, with high-value claims, in relation to the judicial management of Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, Ocean Tankers (Pte.) Ltd and Xihe Holdings Pte Ltd.
  • Advised an informal steering committee of lenders, holding $1.34bn of debt, on the restructuring of PIL. Pacific International Lines (Private) Limited.
  • Acted for Natixis, a lender and single largest secured creditor of Zenrock, in connection with evidence of wrongdoing by Zenrock.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is a t the forefront of maritime disputes, offering a sizeable team of shipping experts, many of which have many years of experience. The focus on marine and international trade includes an in-house Master Mariner, while its international client base features banks, shipowners, P&I Clubs, charterers and commodity houses. The firm has landed a series of headline engagements in shipping sector restructurings, liquidations, allegations of fraud, and instances of judicial management. Toh Kian Sing SC and Leong Kah Wah have outstanding reputations in shipping and international trade disputes.

Practice head(s):

Toh Kian Sing, SC; Jainil Bhandari; Chua Choon King

Other key lawyers:

Leong Kah Wah; Winston Kwek; Chua Choon King; Kendall Tan; Max Lim

Testimonials

‘This team has been nothing but amazing, supporting my career. I’ve known the team for almost ten years and we have worked on so many deals together. The team is constantly there for me even to the extent of providing free advice, by being someone to chat with and discuss legal strategies.’

‘Collaboration is their big strength. From top to bottom they have knowledgeable, bright and well-disciplined team members who all contribute to the winning outcome.’

The team has hands-on knowledge and always make themselves available.’ 

‘Kendall Tan and Max Lim are outstanding for their breadth and depth of knowledge and the speed and accuracy with which they apply it.’

‘Kendall Tann and Max Lim. They give importance to detail and try to find a solution to a problem, rather than focusing on the problem.’

Key clients

Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd and Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd

Phillip 66 International Trading Pte Ltd

Hai Jiang 1401 Pte Ltd

National Bank of Fujairah

Swiber Holdings Limited and Swiber Offshore Construction Pte Ltd

Malayan Banking Berhad

DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited and United Overseas Bank Limited (Confidential)

China-Base Group Co Ltd

Cepheus Ltd

Grand Famous Shipping Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd and Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd in a high profile $4bn debt restructuring exercise involving more than 23 creditors.
  • Acting for a group of banks in Singapore, who are major creditors of Agritrade International Pte Ltd, in relation to over a $1bn suspected fraud.
  • Successfully acted for DBS Bank Ltd as creditor in its involvement in the global restructuring of Bourbon Maritime.

Dentons Rodyk

Dentons Rodyk has a long history in the shipping, trade and commodities field. It continues to stand out for its abilities in contentious matters, including litigation and arbitration, thanks in part to the pre-eminence of Lawrence Teh. He and the wider team have landed a series of major maritime and commodities arbitration engagements, including offshore construction disputes and maritime joint-venture cases. Restructuring and insolvency matters are also key for the practice; Loh Jen Wei is noted for shipping sector restructuring and insolvency disputes while Janice Ngeow provides further expertise in restructuring and distressed situations.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence Teh; Jen Wei Loh

Other key lawyers:

Janice Ngeow

Testimonials

‘They are very experienced in shipping claims and remain one of the premier firms for mortgage enforcement work.’

‘Very attentive to the client. Deliver reliable, timely, effective, efficient, and of high quality legal services.’

‘Lawrence Teh is a well established leading figure in both shipping and arbitration. He has a wealth of knowledge and contacts. Jen Wei Loh is incredibly hard working and a sensible pair of hands to deal with urgent litigation matters.’

‘Janice Ngeow – very friendly and very attentive to the client.’

Key clients

Pavilion Energy Pte Ltd

Navios Maritime Partners L.P.

Skaugen

Vinmar Overseas (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Pacific Radiance Ltd

Hong Leong Finance Limited

Stigma Shipholding Ltd

Enemalta

IMSK SE, IMSPL Pte Ltd, ImskMan AS.

IberiaBank Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acted for Enemalta P.L.C. where an interconnector linking Malta to Sicily owned by the client was damaged by the vessel Di Matteo resulting in a nation-wide power shortage in Malta.
  • Acted for the buyer Straits Orient Lines (Singapore) Pte. Limited in the purchase of two new vessels including the preparation/review/ negotiation of the Memorandum of Agreement, delivery documents, closing procedure and hosting the completion meeting.
  • Represented Stigma Shipholding Ltd in the Singapore action to secure the release of the Vessel and defend the claim on unpaid bunker.

Joseph Tan Jude Benny LLP

Joseph Tan Jude Benny LLP is a longstanding prominent player in the Singapore shipping sector. It has a strong presence in admiralty proceedings, including arresting and releasing of vessels, along with a growing reputation in domestic and international arbitrations. Close to a number of P&I Clubs and marine insurers, shipowners, charterers and shipyards, the firm has also developed its standing in offshore oil and gas. K. Murali Pany continues to impress in headline shipping disputes, as does Danny Chua. John Sze represents a range of marine insurers in major shipping cases.

Testimonials

‘They provide a consistently high level of service which makes them stand out from their competitors. Their charges are reasonable and they are flexible about billing. I have no hesitation in recommending them to my colleagues.’

‘The overall impression of the firm is very positive only strengths and no weaknesses.’

‘Deep wealth of shipping knowledge and connections within the industry here and overseas A well-run practice where the juniors are superbly trained and able to answer queries without having to clear through a hierarchy.’

‘Danny Chua is my ‘go to’ Singaporean lawyer. He always responds promptly and will supply detailed advice as soon as he is able. I have known Danny for many years and have very high regard for his breadth of knowledge, professional acumen and friendly demeanour.’

‘Danny Chua stood out. His knowledge of the law in this particular field of expertise as well as his in-depth knowledge of the SE Asia markets and pragmatic approach to the matter at hand.’

‘John Sze – unflappable demeanour even in the most dramatic and stressful of situations. His nimble mind comes up with practical solutions which are always legally sound and well thought through.’

Key clients

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co., Ltd. Hong Kong branch

Ardours Pte Ltd

FTI Consulting (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., as Judicial Managers appointed for 6 shipowning companies within the Xihe Group

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.

AmBank (M) Berhad

Grant Thornton as the judicial managers (JMs) of Xihe Holdings Pte Ltd (Xihe) and in excess of 30 subsidiaries

Work highlights

  • Advised FTI Consulting (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., as Judicial Managers for six shipowning companies which are also part of the Hing Leong Group on all legal matters relating to shipping.
  • Advised Petrobras on a dispute arising from a sale of petroleum cargo by a Petrobras subsidiary to Hontop, which obtained financing from Natixis to purchase the cargo.
  • Advised Interim judicial managers of Xihe Holdings Pte Ltd and various subsidiaries, in relation to maritime issues arising in the course of the management of Xihe.

Oon & Bazul LLP

Oon & Bazul LLP has a long and strong association with the shipping sector, handling a wide variety of contentious shipping matters across Asia Pacific, including China-related cases. It has a particularly fine record in misdelivery claims, acting for a number of shipowners and bill of lading holders. In addition, it has extensive experience in applying for and defending mandatory injunctions taken up by shipowners under letters of indemnity and continues to be involved in a high volume of casualties throughout Asia Pacific. Bazul Ashhab and Kelly Yap are particularly highly rated practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Bazul Ashhab; Kelly Yap

Testimonials

‘Excellent lawyers and friendly professionals; always fully understanding clients’ needs and highly successful in achieving them, at reasonable prices and transparently. Kelly Yap is one of the best lawyers in Singapore.’

Key clients

Visa Resources Pte Ltd

Red Sea Marine Services

PT Adidaya Energy Mandiri

Navig8 Chemical Tankers 4 Inc

Batavia Eximp & Contracting (S) Pte Ltd / Excel Exports Co (S) Pte Ltd

Ocean Light Shipping Inc.

ICICI Bank, Singapore Branch

Monjasa Ltd

Innovek Pte Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel for Visa Resources Pte Ltd in the defence of a claim brought by Chinese shipowners over a dispute on the unauthorised issuance of bills of lading and changing of discharge ports, which resulted in the arrest of the vessel in India.
  • Defended the Red Sea Marine Services under the Bakri Group against claims brought by Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) in excess of $12m.
  • Acted for PT Adidaya Energy Mandiri in a case involving issues concerning the construction of marine insurance contracts under Singapore law, the scope of a marine insurance contract covering total loss, when an insured’s duty of sue and labour terminates, and the right of an insured to reimbursement of sue and labour expenses from an insurer and quantification of such expenses.

Virtus Law LLP - Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance

Virtus Law LLP – Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance is part of a prominent global shipping practice, and a broader Singapore team that covers both domestic and international laws. The sizeable team is at the forefront of maritime disputes and big-ticket ship financings. It covers both traditional shipping and the offshore segment, and on the finance side has seen particular growth in sustainability-linked finance and green loans. It also continues to be involved in a number of the headline restructurings in the market. Daryll Ng is a prominent name in shipping disputes, and Colin Jarraw and Jason Yang in ship finance.

Practice head(s):

Daryll Ng; Colin Jarraw

Other key lawyers:

Jason Yang; Elaine Beh; Sheetal Sandhu; Priscilla George; Parikhit Sarma

Testimonials

‘The people were great, very responsive and easy to communicate with. Colin Jarraw and his team were extremely helpful and very knowledgeable in the area in which we seeking advice and assistance.’

‘Again, Colin Jarraw and his team were very responsive which is extremely important in our line of work as we had deadlines to meet and transactions to complete.’

‘I work with Colin Jarraw and since the time we first met, he has impressed me with his knowledge, warmth and ability to deliver.’

‘The Virtus Law team have extensive experience in shipping and corporate law. This has served us well in our business where they have assisted with a sale transaction and provided solutions in various other areas as required.’

‘Colin Jarraw, Elaine Beh, Sheetal Sandhu, Jason Yang, Priscilla George, Parikhit Sarma have been part of the team who have assisted us over the years. Prompt response, effective solutions and in-house expertise in various areas are the qualities that we have greatly valued.’

Key clients

National Australia Bank

ING Bank

Tradewind GmbH

BNP Paribas

ABN AMRO Bank

China Navigation Company Pte. Ltd. and Swire Bulk Holdings Pte. Ltd.

EnTrust Global

Work highlights

  • Advised Entrust Global as Singapore counsel for the financing of up to $27.5m in respect of two tankers which were acquired from Maersk.
  • Advised and acted for two major secured lenders on the collapse of Hin Leong Trading, its related vessel ownership group Xihe Holdings and its related bareboat charterer Ocean Tankers.
  • Advised ING Bank on the structuring and documentation of a $145m multi-tiered Korean Ocean Business Corporation (KOBC) guarantee backed container financing.

Asia Practice LLC

Asia Practice LLC has an established background in shipping transactions, ship finance and leasing, notably having solid connections to the Chinese shipping market. Lee Chien Herr and Jonathan Tan are prominent asset finance specialists with a rich history in the shipping sector.

Practice head(s):

Lee Chien Herr; Jonathan Tan

Testimonials

‘Ship finance is quite a niche industry so it is good to have a firm that is experienced in this sector.’

‘Lee Chien Herr – very responsive.’

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel for Global Container Assets 2016 Limited in a $150m syndicated term loan, to be used towards financing marine container acquisitions and refinancing existing facilities.
  • Acted as Singapore counsel for the world’s largest Chinese ship lessor providing aviation, shipping and equipment leasing and investment management on the multi-billion dollar financial and corporate debt restructuring of a French conglomerate with over 400 vessels and operations in 50 countries.
  • Acted as Singapore counsel in a $50m loan facility provided by a state-owned Chinese bank to a Singapore incorporated company, secured by a mortgage over a steel liquefied petroleum gas vessel under Singapore Flag.

Helmsman LLC

Helmsman LLC is an emerging name in the shipping sector, covering maritime disputes, restructurings and commodities trading matters. The firm represents a variety of shipowners and commodities traders. Ian Teo has a particular niche in downstream LNG trading. Maureen Poh is also noted for commodities trading and shipping work, including contentious and advisory matters.

Practice head(s):

Ian Teo

Other key lawyers:

Maureen Poh

Testimonials

‘The team is professional and friendly, especially in the shipping industry.’

‘Person in charge is very nice and helpful, can easily understand what we want and act quickly.’

Key clients

AS Fortuna OpCo and AS Fortuna ShipCo

Toyota Tsusho Corporation

Seajacks UK Ltd

Sino Quest Tankers Pte Ltd and New Maritime Tankers Pte Ltd

Trafigura Pte Ltd

Oriental Energy Co., Ltd.

Vietnam Ocean Shipping Joint Stock Company

Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd

The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.Nora Ltd (a subsidiary of Ezion Holdings Ltd)

Work highlights

  • Advised AS Fortuna OpCo and AS Fortuna ShipCo on a variety of shipping matters.
  • Representing the Japanese trading company, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, in various actions against corporate entities in the Brightoil group in the Singapore High Court, and admiralty actions against Brightoil vessels.
  • Advising Seajacks UK Ltd, the defendant of the vessel which is allegedly damaged an undersea cable tunnel in Tuas / Pioneer.

Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC

Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC‘s substantial presence in Singapore affords it an ability to offer extensive levels of specialisation, which includes shipping disputes. Much of this is led by prominent litigator Wendy Tan. Beyond core maritime and shipping cases, the firm is also prominent in international trade and commodities disputes. The Singapore office also benefits further from the firm’s international network, including its presence in China; it serves a number of big Chinese clients. Daniel Chia provides further senior-level disputes experience, including in the shipping sector.

Practice head(s):

Wendy Tan

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Chia

Testimonials

‘The team is responsible, and remain contactable, act fast to respond to client’s request. They remain helpful in their advice.’

‘Wendy Tan as the lead counsel has been always thinking from the client’s perspective and provides practical solutions in the client’s interest. She is responsive and remains helpful and contactable at all critical times. She is proactive in handling cases and thinking out of the box to find solutions for clients. In addition, she is fluent in Mandarin and is well equipped with oil trading knowledge.’

Key clients

PetroChina International (Singapore)

Chinaoil (Singapore) Int’l Pte Ltd

COSCO Group – Cosco Petroleum Pte Ltd and Sinfeng Marine Services Pte Ltd

Chimbusco International Petroleum (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Thaumas Marine Ltd (part of Coastal Contracts Bhd)

CMB Financial Leasing

CITIC-Ship Co., Ltd.

Schenker Singapore

Prime Star Transportation

Clean Marine AS

Work highlights

  • Advised PetroChina on various issues arising out of the collapse of Hin Leong Trading and its shipping arm Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd.
  • Successfully represented Sinfeng Marine Services Pte. Ltd. and COSCO Petroleum Pte. Ltd., in the Singapore Court of Appeal in a case concerning creditors’ voluntary liquidation.
  • Represented Viking HVAC Pte Ltd in connection with a $7.1m  shipbuilding dispute involving a subsidiary of Keppel Singapore.

Resource Law LLC

Resource Law LLC, the Singapore practice, is part of Reed Smith LLP‘s global shipping practice. The Singapore team has a wealth of experience in both wet and dry disputes and is also well positioned in the ship finance segment. The firm handles a variety of cases, including both litigation and arbitration, notably making a further impression in charter party and casualty disputes. Collin Seah and Bernard Yee are experienced shipping disputes experts.

Practice head(s):

Collin Seah; Bernard Lee