Shipping & International Trade

Our Deals

Some significant transactions which we have worked on include:  

Charterparties, Cargo Claims and Security-Taking

  • Acted for Transocean Oil Pte Ltd in the arrest of the “ STX Mumbai” in Singapore for unpaid bunkers supplied that raised several important issues, one of which was the effect of insolvency of the shipowner’s parent company in Korea, and the Court of Appeal hearing in Singapore was presided over by a rare 5-member Bench.
  • Represented Indonesian shipowners in claiming contribution under a General Average adjustment from cargo interests.
  • Advised a large Japanese logistics provider on assignment of rights and obligations under bills of lading.
  • Acted for Indonesian shipowners and successfully set aside an arrest in South Africa by the shipmanagers.
  • Advised shipowners on ship arrests under Indonesian law on the ground of a bunker claim, including issues on time bar, conflicts of law, and definition of “supplier of bunker”.
  • Acted for PetroVietnam Technical Service Corporation (PTSC) Offshore Service Corporation in the dispute against R.L.G. regarding the forwarding service contract at the People’s Court of Vietnam.
  • Advised on charter of vessel agreements, ship arrest in Thailand, and requirements to obtain a shipping license.

Collisions and Marine Causalities

  • Acted for one of the largest crude oil and petroleum traders in an arbitration against a Malaysian Government linked port operator arising from a fire incident at the port tank storage facility, which successfully resulted in an arbitration award for over US$140 million.
  • Acted for Sima Prime in a collision with local fishing vessel causing 16 deaths and physical damage quantified at US$1.5 million.
  • Advised on a dispute arising from a ship collision in Thailand which led to concurrent court proceedings in Singapore and Thailand. Dispute involved issues of jurisdiction, pilotage, towage, and limitation of liability.
  • Acting for international oil major in relation to substantial claims in excess of US$10 million arising from damage caused to an oil pipeline in Malaysia in the course of dredging operations.
  • Acted for international savors based in Singapore in the salvage of a vessel that grounded off Maputo, Mozambique.

Oil Trading and Transportation

  • Acted for Seadrill Janus Limited in a dispute against Vietsovpetro regarding the outstanding amount in a transportation contract with dispute amount of over US$1.4 million.
  • Advised a subsidiary of a major family business providing manpower services and seismic equipment, drilling exploration in oil and gas, in the drafting of a memorandum of understanding for the proposed subcontracting of charter parties in connection with a LNG operation.
  • Acted for the Malaysian national oil company in an oil contamination dispute which resulted in court proceedings in both Malaysia and London.
  • Acted for a major Malaysian chemical terminal operator in an arbitration involving the contamination of MEG stored in their terminal tanks.

Shipbuilding, Repairs and Conversion

  • Acted for Bondholders and their Trustee, Norsk Tillitsmann AS when the bond-issuers, the Petromena, Petroprod and Petrojack Groups, defaulted under Loan Agreements which were secured by assignments of a number of rig-construction contracts and mortgages over FPSO's. Disputes arose over step-in rights and title to the FPSO’s that were then under construction at Jurong Shipyard.  Value of claim in excess of US$1 billion.
  • Acting for MMA Offshore in disputes arising from the construction and supply by sub-contractors of ship-board cranes that utilised cutting-edge technology in the use of fibre instead of customary steel ropes.  
  • Acted for Global Process Systems in disputes arising from the defective construction of top-side modules for an FPSO.

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

  • Acting for the liquidators of Dynamic Oil Trading Pte Ltd, the Singapore subsidiary of the O.W. Bunker Group, Denmark, that allegedly triggered the collapse of the Group, with total debt in excess of US$1.4 billion.
  • Acted for a syndicate of banks led by Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in the successful arrests  and enforcement of mortgages against 3 vessels (MV "SAHAND", "SABALAN" and "TUCHAL") belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines ("IRISL").  This attracted global attention as we were the first lawyers in the world to arrest IRISL vessels.   Value of claim was approximately US$200 million.
  • Acted for the syndicate of bank lenders in the successful global restructuring of Danish shipping group Torm A/S and its Singapore subsidiary Torm Singapore Pte. Ltd., with debt in excess of US$2 billion. The Torm Group is one of the largest transporters of refined oil products in the world with a fleet of then about 75-80 vessels.
  • Acted for one of the major lenders to and a number of unsecured creditors in the re-structuring of the PT Berlian Laju Tanker Group. This is the largest Indonesian liquid cargo shipping company, owning a fleet of about 50 vessels. It operates a number of vessels under sale and lease back arrangements, in which we now advise the lenders. In January 2012, with a total debt of almost US$2 billion, it suddenly announced a standstill on debt repayments and recently obtained court protection from creditor action in Singapore and US against its assets.
  • Acted for Keppel Shipyard with claims totaling SG$55 million in the re-structuring of the PT Arpeni Pratama Ocean Lines Group (large Indonesian ship owners and operators, with total debt of about US$590 million).

Commodity Trading, Trade Finance and Structured Finance

  • Advised leading commodity houses in formulating cross-border structured finance transactions involving several hundred million dollars.
  • Acted as counsel to a Chinese bank in relation to a US$100 million uncommitted trade finance facility to a group of companies headquartered in Switzerland.
  • Acted as counsel to the lenders in respect of a US$50 million structured bilateral term loan facility to P.T. Pamapersada Nusantara, Indonesia (this deal was the first of its kind since the Asian financial crisis and won the “Trade Finance Deal of the Year 2004”accolade).
  • Acted as counsel to the lenders in relation to a Euro 40 million syndicated uncommitted trade finance facility to Singapore-incorporated and foreign borrowers.
  • Acted as counsel to the lenders in respect of a US$29,561,772.66 bill discounting facility involving the lease purchase of helicopters by agencies of the government of a South East Asian country.
  • Acted as counsel to a European bank in relation to bilateral trade finance facilities of up to US$15 million to a Singapore-incorporated borrower.
  • Acted as counsel to various banks in relation to receivables purchase transactions involving obligors in various jurisdictions.
  • Acted as counsel to two foreign banks on matters relating to SWIFT’s Trade Services Utility and Bank Payment Obligations.
  • Acted as counsel to a foreign bank on matters relating to ESS-Databridge™.

Ship Finance and Non-Contentious Work

  • Advised an international finance institution on its US$35 million loan facility to the largest floating oil storage operator in Indonesia.
  • Advised the largest vertically integrated petrochemical company in Indonesia on statutory rules governing the conversion of its private port to a public port through the establishment of a public port authority.
  • Acted for PTSC before the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre in the dispute with Bayswater Maritime Ltd in respect of the sale contract of the FPSO “Ruby Princess”. Dispute amount: US$6 million.
  • Advised on corporate and joint venture structures for clients relating to marine shipping business.

Marine Insurance

  • Acted for China Insurance Co in the sinking of the “Marina Iris” in Japanese waters with the loss of all crew onboard and ensuing claims from the vessel owners under the marine hull policy which brought to the fore numerous issues, including over whether the vessel was seaworthy to begin with when she set sail.
  • Acted for Metico Marine Pte Ltd against Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Singapore ) Ltd when on their maiden voyage in a double tow from Shanghai to Singapore the tow rope between the tug and 2 barges parted in adverse weather.
  • Acted for PTSC in a marine insurance claim for piracy.

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