Yu Zheng.jpg

Yu Zheng

Partner (Foreign Lawyer), Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Practice Area:

Shipping & International Trade
China Related Investment Dispute Resolution

LL.M, National University of Singapore
LL.B in Maritime Law, Dalian Maritime University, China
PRC Lawyer’s Qualification

T +65 6232 0613
E yu.zheng@rajahtann.com

Effectively bilingual in both English and Mandarin, Yu Zheng is a qualified Chinese lawyer with extensive contentious experience involving both the common law and Chinese law.

Yu Zheng regularly acts as counsel and arbitrator in international arbitrations in Singapore, Malaysia, London, Hong Kong and China. His cases often involve complex legal issues in areas such as shipping, international trade, insolvency, joint ventures, etc. Apart from international arbitration, Yu Zheng specialises in a broad range of commercial dispute work. He is frequently engaged by clients to assist with their litigation and arbitration matters relating to China.

Yu Zheng’s scope of expertise also includes fraud investigation, assets tracing and debt recovery. He has advised on several high-profile investigations into multi-jurisdictional fraud as well as instituting cross border asset recovery actions spanning multiple jurisdictions.

Experience

Investment Dispute / Share Transfer Dispute

  • Acted for an SOE in Tianjin in an arbitration proceeding in Singapore International Arbitration Centre against a Canadian company. The dispute arose from a joint venture agreement of a joint venture company in Tianjin. The claim and the counterclaim in the arbitration amounted to more than US$100 million.
  • Acted for a Hong Kong listed real-property developer in two Singapore arbitration proceedings arising from a joint venture agreement. The disputes related to shareholder’s preempt right. The claimants sought an order for forced sale of shares which amounted to around RMB 1.5 billion in value.
  • Acted for a famous Chinese dentist in an SIAC arbitration and successfully defended the claim of RMB 15 million brought up by a subsidiary of a listed company in Singapore. The dispute arose from a “variable-interest-entities” investment structure in Shanghai and Nanjing, China.
  • Acted for two Singaporeans (sellers) in an SIAC arbitration against a Singapore company (buyers). The disputes arose from an agreement for sale and purchase of a company incorporated in Shanghai (the “Target Company”). The Target Company's main asset was a land-use title in Shanghai Free Trade Zone, and the value of the land-use title was around RMB 130 million.
  • Acted as the chief arbitrator in an arbitration hearing in Langfang, China. The dispute arose from a contract for sale and purchase of a gas station.

Hotel Management

  • Acted for an internationally renowned hotel management group in HKIAC arbitration against a Chinese hotel owner. The disputes arose from alleged repudiation of a 20-years brand license agreement. The hotel manager was eventually awarded for damages amounting to approximately RMB 24 million.
  • Acted for an international renowned hotel manager in a CIETAC arbitration in Shanghai against a major tourism group in China. The disputes arose from wrongful termination of a 20-years hotel management agreement. The claim amount was approximately US$9 million.
  • Acted in HKIAC mediation for a luxury hotel manager against a Chinese backgrounded hotel owner in Luang Prabang, the Republic of Laos, for repudiation of a hotel management agreement of 15 years. The dispute was successfully resolved by mediation.
  • Acted in HKIAC mediation for a luxury hotel manager against a hotel owner in Shanghai for repudiation of a hotel management agreement of 15+15 years. The claim amount was approximately US$60 million.
  • Acted in HKIAC arbitration for a luxury hotel manager against a hotel owner in One-Thousand-Island Lake, China, for repudiation of a hotel management agreement of 15+15 years. The claim amount was approximately US$13 million.

International Trade / Trade Finance / Trade Fraud Investigation

  • Acted for Kolmar Group to enforce a Singapore court judgment against Jiangsu Textile in Nanjing, China. This is the first case whereby a Singapore court judgment is enforced in China.
  • Acted for an European bank in its investigation and litigation matter relating to a fraud scandal relating to warehouse receipts for alumina stored in the tax-bonded warehouse in Qingdao port. The value of the cargoes involved was around US$25 million.
  • Acted for the Singapore branch of a Chinese backgrounded bank against Agritrade and various shipowners in a palm oil trade finance fraud and related litigation. The outstanding amount was approximately US$ 18 million.
  • Acted for Petrolimex against Brightoil and the Independent Petroleum Group in a series of trade finance disputes involving a phantom bill of lading allegedly representing crude oil with a value of US$ 30 million.
  • Acted for a trader in Suzhou, China, in several SIAC arbitrations against an Indonesian nickel ore mine and an Indonesia insurance company who is the guarantor of the mine. The total amount of these claims exceeded US$16 million. The disputes arose from a long-term supply contract for nickel ore and a letter of guarantee. Yu Zheng also assisted the Suzhou trader to obtain an order of attachment from a Chinese court to assist the SIAC arbitration. This is the first case whereby a Chinese court issued an order of attachment to assist a foreign arbitration for non-marine cases.
  • Acted for the Hong Kong subsidiary of a listed company in China in defending a claim exceeding US$20 million by an oil major in a SIAC arbitration. The dispute involved a contract for long term sale and purchase of refrigerated propane.
  • Acted as the sole arbitrator in an arbitration hearing in Langfang, China. The dispute arose from two contracts of sale and purchase of equipment.
  • Acted as a co-arbitrator in two arbitration proceedings in HKIAC under UNCTRAL Rules. The disputes arose from two contracts of sale and purchase of electronic components between Hong Kong claimants and Taiwanese defendants.

Shipping and Maritime

  • Acted for ICBC Leasing Finance in a series of ship finance disputes following the scheme of arrangement of ESRA group, including various court proceedings in China, Singapore, America and United Arab Emirates. The total amount in dispute claim was around US$200 million.
  • Acted for Qingdao Shunhe Shipping in a tri-partite arbitration in London regarding the sale and purchase of the Lacerta. The value of the claim was US$32 million.
  • Acted for a Chinese shipyard in Jiangsu Province and a stated owned trading company in Beijing in a consolidated arbitration in the Asia International Arbitration Centre. The disputes arose from two shipbuilding contracts and the claim amount was about US$28 million.
  • Acted for Xixiakou Shipyard in two London arbitration cases relating to disputes arising from two shipbuilding contracts. The claim amount was about US$40 million. He also advised Xixiakou in its legal proceeding before the Chinese court against the shipowners and the main engine suppliers for collusion. After losing the London arbitration, Xixiakou successfully obtained a worldwide injunction from the Chinese court, prohibiting its guarantee bank from paying any money to the shipowner under the refund guarantee. This is the first case whereby the Chinese apex court refused to stay the litigation despite the arbitration agreement is valid and binding.
  • Acted for Minmetals in two London arbitrations again Glory Wealth and Transfield respectively regarding a chain of charters of the Iron Miner. The total claim amount in both cases was about US$130 million.
  • Acted for a Hong Kong listed bunker supplier in claiming against and tracing the assets of a major Chinese shipping company in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Eventually, the bunker supplier successfully recovered more than US$12 million principal claim amount, with interest and legal costs.
  • Assisted a German shipowner in claiming against, and searching assets of a Chinese shipping company (listed in Shenzhen Stock Exchange) in various countries including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Africa. The claim arose from a time charter party and the claim amount was approximately US$60 million.
  • Advised the cargo interest against the shipowners in MV Oinoussian Strength (in Wuhan Maritime Court). The claim amount was US$16 million, which was the largest single cargo damage claim in China during that period.
  • Assisted Malaysian buyers to obtain the release of the vessels “Sealink Maju 4 & 5”, which were wrongfully detained in China for ten months and they were also involved in ownership disputes. The Malaysian buyers were successfully awarded damages for wrongful arrest. This case was eventually retried by the Supreme People’s Court of China.

Insolvency, Judicial Management and Debt Restructuring

  • Acted for the liquidator of Sinosteel (Singapore) Pte Ltd in recovery of assets in Singapore, Germany, Turkey, China and Zimbabwe, and claim against the directors and “shadow directors” of the company.
  • Advised Singapore commodity trader H&C in its successful scheme of arrangement and enforcement of the moratorium in England. This is the first-ever recognition of the Singapore moratorium by a foreign court. The case was highlighted in Global Restructuring Review 2019.

Other Disputes

  • Acted for a petrochemical company listed in China to defend a claim by a Mexico company in an ICC arbitration. The underlying disputes arose from a technology license agreement. The claim amount exceeded US$22 million.
  • Acted for the owner of “Mobike” trademark against the owner of “Obike” trademark. The two trademarks are famous trademarks for bicycles-sharing in China.
Memberships/Directorships
  • Commissioner of the Shipping and Maritime Special Professional Commission of China National Lawyers’ Association
  • Mediator of Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in the areas of investment and hospitality disputes
  • Arbitrator in the Panel of Arbitrators, Langfang Arbitration Commission, China
  • Invited Expert of Professional Committee on Investment Arbitration of China Academy of Arbitration Law
  • Research Fellow of Institute of Marine Insurance Law of Dalian Maritime University
  • Research Fellow of Research Centre of International Shipping Law and Politics of South China Normal University
Publications
  • “Creating an Amicable Cooperation Environment in International Rule of Law – Analysis and Recommendation on Nanjing Court’s Judgment relating to the Recognition and Enforcement of Singapore Court Judgment”, Co-Author: Ge Huangbin and Wu Zhengkun, People’s Court Daily, 11 August 2017, page 8.
  • “Comments on SIAC Arbitration Rules of 2010 Version”, co-author with Yang Anshan, published at page 104 of Annual of China Maritime Law, Vol. 22, No 2, 2011.
  • “May Claimants Arrest the Guarantor’s Vessels for Claims Arising from a Performance Guarantee under a Charterparty?”, co-author with Yang Anshan, published on page 103 of Annual of China Maritime Law, Vol. 21, No 3, 2010.
    “The Discretionary Power of the English Court in Recognizing and Enforcing Foreign Arbitral Awards”, co-author with Yang Anshan, published on page 114 of Annual of China Maritime Law, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2010.
  • “Supreme People’s Court of China Has Denied the Effectiveness of an Arbitration Clause in a Bill of Lading”, co-author with Yang Anshan, published on page 10:404 of 2010 Annual Review of International Banking Law & Practice.
  • “Recent Amendments to Civil Procedure Law”, published on page 22 of Sea Venture, 11th issue, a periodical by Steamship Mutual (Also online: http://www.simsl.com/SeaVenture.html).
  • The Enforcement of China Judgment in Singapore”, Co-author with Toh Kian Sing, SC, presented at China Lawyers Maritime Law Forum, November 2007, Ningbo, China, also published in Guangxi Lawyers, 1st Vol of 2008.