John Simpson > Stephenson Harwood LLP > Singapore, Singapore > Lawyer Profile

Stephenson Harwood LLP
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John is a Director of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration and a Committee Member of the Maritime Law Association of Singapore. John has also served on the Advisory Board to the National University of Singapore Centre for Maritime Law.

As a recognised expert in charterparty law, John was appointed to the Singapore Maritime Foundation drafting committee for the Singapore Time Charter Form, which eventually evolved into the new NYPE 2015 charterparty form. John has also advised GlobalORE on revisions to the Standard Iron Ore Trading Agreement (SIOTA). John advises on drafting and negotiation of shipbuilding contracts, charterparties, bills of lading, MOAs and associated disputes. John also has particular expertise in the drafting and negotiation of transhipment project contracts.

John acts mainly for contractors in the offshore oil and gas sector and has advised on charterparties and construction contracts for FPSOs, FSRUs, drilling rigs, production platforms and offshore support vessels as well as advising on subsea construction disputes. John has assisted clients with tender processes, bids and negotiation of final contracts as well as disputes occurring during the running of the project.

John advises traders on potential disputes arising out of letters of credit, bills of lading, charterparties and contracts for the international sale of goods, particularly coal, iron ore, oil, LPG, LNG and LME metals. John has also advised on the drafting of long term contracts for the sale of LNG and on sale and repurchase transactions.

Lawyer Rankings

Philippines > Foreign firms

Major financial institutions, private equity funds and multinational corporations turn to Stephenson Harwood LLP in investments and finance transactions involving the Philippines. Transport finance is a particular strength. The team has expanded considerably through several recent hires; this includes the hire of Gregory Xu, who joined from Clifford Chance in 2018 and was promoted to partner in 2019, and the arrival of Martin Brown and John Simpson (and others), who joined from Ince in 2018 and 2019, respectively. George Cyriac  is another key contact; he advised AIGF, a Singapore-headquartered private equity fund, on its investment in Philippines-based co-working and flexible workspace provider KMC Solutions. Tom Platts heads the practice.

Singapore > Asset finance: foreign firms

Stephenson Harwood LLP significantly strengthened its capabilities in cross-border ship finance and offshore maritime transactions with several key hires from Ince, including shipping expert Martin Brown, who joined in November 2018, and maritime disputes specialist John Simpson, who joined in 2019, along with four associates experienced in shipping, aviation finance and international trade. The team has broad-ranging expertise in aviation finance, including US and European ECA-backed financings, commercial debt financings and derivatives. Saugata Mukherjee‘s expertise in aviation finance includes secured lending structures, portfolio acquisitions, pre-delivery payment financings and operating leases. Shipping practice head Gregg Johnston is supported by Martin Green and Iain Young. Counsel Michelle Runagall-Orlić is a key name for cross-border aviation financing, acquisition and leasing transactions.

Singapore > Shipping: foreign firms

Arguably one of ‘Singapore’s pre-eminent shipping practices‘, Stephenson Harwood LLP fields a team of ‘top-tier lawyers‘ with wide-ranging expertise in wet and dry shipping, ship finance and marine-related disputes. The practice has been bolstered by the arrival of Gregory Xu from Clifford Chance, a banking partner with experience in shipping and offshore oil and gas financing, particularly for FPSOs, FSRUs and LNG vessels. The hire of former Ince managing partner John Simpson in May 2019 has significantly strengthened the firm’s bench strength in shipbuilding, charterparty agreements and dispute resolution, including subsea construction disputes. Head of shipping Gregg Johnston is particularly noted for his experience in English-law governed financings in Korea; Martin GreenIain Young, Martin Brown and Huay Yee Kwan are the other key partners.

Singapore > International arbitration

Stephenson Harwood LLP is a burgeoning player in the arbitration market, particularly in investment disputes and in offshore oil and gas cases. It has extensive experience in Indonesia, Vietnam, China and the Philippines. Post M&A, joint venture, shareholder and power cases also feature strongly along with shipping and charterparty arbitrations. Timothy Cooke is a recognised leading name in the arbitration field, while Michelle Yong has a strong name in shipping disputes, as does John Simpson who joined from Ince in 2018.