Shipping & International Trade

Our Capability

...Serving World-Class Clients in Asia...

We are trusted by world-class clients to manage their cross-border transactions and disputes in the region. We serve an international clientele of major ship-owners, shipping lines, operators, underwriters, P&I Clubs, shipyards and builders, energy and power generation companies, oil majors, commodities houses, port terminals and banks. North Asia, Korea, and Japan, count amongst the jurisdictions to which we cater to a particularly strong following. 

...In Exciting, Enviable, Top-Tier Business Deals and Disputes.

You can be confident in our depth of knowledge and intimate understanding of the entire spectrum of international trade and transportation.

We pride ourselves in our ability to assist in every contingency “from shipyard to scrapyard”, our industry-attuned minds focused always on achieving nothing less than the best results for our clients.

The areas in which we cover are as follows:

  • Charterparties, Cargo Claims and Security-Taking
  • Collisions and Marine Casualties
  • Oil Trading and Transportation
  • Shipbuilding, Repairs and Conversion
  • Work-Outs and Re-structuring (including Mortgage Enforcement)
  • Commodity Trading, Trade Finance and Structured Finance
  • Ship Finance and Non-Contentious Work 
  • Marine Insurance

Charterparties, Cargo Claims and Security-Taking

In this ‘bread and butter’ aspect of shipping, each and everyone of our lawyers regularly advise on all facets of charterparties, bills of lading, cargo damage / loss claims, tug / tow matters and multi-modal transport issues, both in relation to drafting and resolving of disputes.

Collisions and Marine Casualties 

Led by “wet” specialists Leong Kah Wah and Jainil Bhandari, supported by our resident master mariner, the group’s collision and casualty response team handles a broad spectrum of casualty-related work. In fact, since the 1990s, we’ve been involved in virtually every major casualty occurrence in Singapore – including collisions, sinkings, explosions, fires, strandings, salvage and marine pollution. The services we provide include casualty management, investigation and resolution of regulatory issues, advice on marine pollution liability, and representation of parties in collision and limitation actions.

Oil Trading and Transportation

We handle all aspects of disputes relating to oil and LNG transportation and trading, spanning Platts’ disputes to oil trading arrangements, contamination claims, and other quantity / quality issues. We represent oil majors, terminals, tanker fleet operators, and some of the world’s biggest independent oil-trading houses.

John Seow, who has a marine engineering background is recognised as a leading practitioner in this field. Bunker suppliers regularly instruct Kendall Tan, supported by other members of the group who are attuned to the market’s need for prompt and cost-effective solutions.

Shipbuilding, Repairs and Conversion 

Led by Philip Tay and Winston Kwek, our practice group in this increasingly important growth area has been involved in the most significant shipbuilding and conversion disputes arbitrated in Singapore and London.

Over the years, the scope of our work in this field has widened and matured into a complex and specialised practice involving a wide range of issues relating to the shipbuilding and repair disciplines – including work and task scheduling between the different construction disciplines, prolongation, disruption and acceleration costs, work variations and additional works and quality issues in newbuildings, repairs and conversion. 

Work-Outs and Re-structuring (including Mortgage Enforcement)

Our team has extensive experience in this field, having been involved in all of the major work-outs and corporate and debt re-structurings.  Winston Kwek’s experience in this area makes him “always the first choice” for banks and other financial institutions, both local and international. 

Commodity Trading, Trade Finance and Structured Finance 

The team’s specialist experience covers all aspects of international trade transactions and finance, both contentious and non-contentious.  In this key growth area, we advise a broad range of clients including banks, financial institutions, and commodity houses in commodities and trade disputes, trade finance documentation and litigation.

Leong Kah Wah and Jainil Bhandari have extensive experience in managing FOSFA and GAFTA arbitrations. Toh Kian Sing SC has established a reputation as the counsel of choice for his expertise in advising banks and traders on both contentious and non-contentious aspects of trade finance including letters of credit,  warehouse finance, collateral management agreements, and international sale of goods. Winston Kwek is popular with commodities traders when it comes to structured finance transactions and ancillary documentary credit and collateral management agreements.  

Ship Finance and Non-Contentious Work 

Led by Philip Tay and Winston Kwek, the team engages in negotiations for shipbuilding contracts, ship sale and purchase agreements, commodities contracts, advising on financing and ownership structures, vessel and naval mortgage registration – as well as other non-contentious corporate shipping matters such as tax and related choice of flag issues, structured finance, refinancing,  joint venture agreements, and mergers and acquisitions involving ship-owning interests.  And should disputes arise, the team is well equipped to advise and resolve contentious issues arising from ship sale and purchase, shipbuilding and other MOU-related or financing disputes.

Marine Insurance 

This well established area of our practice encompasses cargo insurance, hull and machinery insurance, builders’ insurance and P&I cover. Our lawyers advise underwriters, brokers and insured parties on their rights and liabilities under the relevant marine insurance policies.

Toh Kian Sing SC and Winston Kwek (who also teaches this subject as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Law Faculty in the National University of Singapore) are highly regarded in the area, having acted as counsel in well-publicised marine insurance disputes litigated in the Singapore courts. We are also actively involved in the resolution of a variety of marine insurance disputes whether in court or by arbitration.

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