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Simon Goh

Head, Insurance & Reinsurance
Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Practice Area:

Insurance & Reinsurance
Commercial Litigation

LL.B. (Hons), National University of Singapore
Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore

T +65 6232 0645
E simon.goh@rajahtann.com

Simon joined us in 2001 after 5 years in another established law firm renowned for their insurance practice where he was a partner handling both insurance and shipping work and he now heads Rajah & Tann’s Insurance & Reinsurance practice group.

From insurance regulatory advice to corporate insurance as well as disputes over policy coverage, defending insureds or recovery under subrogation rights, his 24 years of unparalleled experience has resulted in him being consistently recognised by established publications in his area of expertise over the years as one of the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance lawyers, including the latest editions of "Chambers Asia Pacific (2020)" (where he is the only Singapore-qualified lawyer ranked as a Band 1 – Leading Individual), "The International Who’s Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers 2020", Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Insurance & Reinsurance 2020”, "Asialaw Profiles (2018) for Insurance", and in "Experts Guides for Insurance & Reinsurance (2020)". The winner of the Client Choice Awards 2017 for Insurance Law in Singapore and listed as a Leading Individual for Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s Tier 1 ranked Insurance Practice by Legal500, Simon has been described by Chambers Asia Pacific as "a class act" held in high esteem by peers and as being "highly commercial and pragmatic in helping clients find solutions" and is valued for his "clear, comprehensive and concise advice" as well as being a "very calm, very measured practitioner who doesn’t get aggressive or agitated by opponents’ tactics". He has also been selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Singapore (2021) for Insurance Law as well as by clients as a Global Elite Thought Leader in Who’s Who Legal’s Thought Leaders: Global Elite 2021 guide.

Experience 

The focus of Simon’s practice is on both the contentious and non-contentious aspects of insurance and reinsurance. Simon has advised and acted for most of the major insurance companies in Singapore ranging from captives, marine mutual insurers, general and life insurers to reinsurance companies in all classes of insurance.

On the non-contentious insurance aspect, Simon has assisted clients in securing the appropriate licences to conduct their insurance or broking business in Singapore, drafting of insurance policies as well as advisory work in relation to regulatory issues for insurers, reinsurers as well as for intermediaries and brokers in an increasingly complicated regulatory environment. Simon’s experience in the corporate insurance arena includes advising and acting for insurers and reinsurers on the sale or acquisition as well as portfolio transfers of their business as well as spearheading Singapore’s first insurance-linked securities transactions.

In addition, Simon also acts for insurers in policy coverage disputes which encompasses advising insurers on their legal rights under policies, strategising the best way forward for insurers, as well as defending claims brought by insureds or by third parties and recovery action under subrogation rights.

In the area of commercial litigation and international arbitration, Simon has acted in shareholder disputes concerning international joint venture companies and in cross-border disputes arising from the international sale of goods, shipping, infrastructure projects and other transactions of an international dimension. Simon’s practice extends to administrative law where he has successfully defended government bodies in judicial review applications in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. 

Notable Cases & Transactions 

Corporate Insurance &  Insurance Regulatory

  • Acted in more than a dozen (re)insurance company licence applications and successfully securing the appropriate class of insurance business licence for each from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
  • Acting for leading European trade credit insurer in various regulatory issues in relation to their Singapore business and operations in South East Asia and localizing their suite of trade credit policies to comply with Singapore law and insurance regulations.
  • Acted for ING General Insurance International N.V., Singapore Branch in the sale and subsequent portfolio transfer under a scheme of transfer of its insurance business to QBE Insurance (International) Singapore Branch.
  • Acted for Overseas Union Insurance Limited in the sale of its insurance business and subsequent transfer of business to United Overseas Insurance Limited under a scheme of transfer.
  • Acted for United Overseas Insurance Limited in the sale of its run-off reinsurance business and subsequent transfer of business to Reardon Pte Ltd under a scheme of transfer.
  • Acted for Groupama S.A in the transfers of its insurance business in Singapore including the sale of its run-off insurance business and subsequent transfer of business to Reardon Pte Ltd, which was confirmed by the High Court of Singapore under a scheme of transfer.
  • Acted for Euler Hermes SA in the restructuring of the insurance business in Singapore including a portfolio transfer of their Singapore business from Euler Hermes Deutschland Aktiengesellschaft, Singapore Branch to Euler Hermes Europe SA, Singapore Branch.
  • Acted for Cosmic Insurance Corporation Limited in the sale of its run-off insurance business and subsequent transfer of business to First Capital Insurance Limited, which was confirmed by the High Court of Singapore under a scheme of transfer.
  • Acted for Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance PLC in the sale and subsequent portfolio transfers under schemes of transfers of its insurance business to Allied World Assurance Company in Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Acted for XL Insurance Company SE ("XL") and Catlin Insurance Company Ltd ("Caitlin") in the post-merger integration of their Singapore insurance businesses and successful transfer of the business of Catlin’s Singapore branch to XL Singapore branch via a scheme of transfer sanctioned by the High Court of Singapore.
  • Advised Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe Limited (Singapore Branch) on the corporate and regulatory aspects of restructuring of its Singapore operations and establishment of the new Liberty Specialty Markets Singapore Pte Limited (f.k.a. Liberty International Underwriters Pte Limited).
  • Acted for Swiss Re and working with the relevant government agencies as the Companies Act was amended for the first re-domiciliation of a foreign company to Singapore in 2017, and in the subsequent portfolio transfer of the reinsurance business of Swiss Re, Singapore branch in 2018 to the newly re-domiciled company, renamed as Swiss Re Asia Pte Ltd.
  • Advising on Asia’s first regional climate and disaster risk financing and insurance facility, the South East Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF) announced at the 21st ASEAN + 3 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in May 2018.
  • Acted for Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) to complete the first insurance-linked securities (ILS) transaction in Singapore - the issuance of a A$75 million catastrophe bond by Orchard ILS Pte, Ltd., the first special purpose reinsurance vehicle to be licensed by the MAS.
  • Acted in the first Rule 144A ILS transaction in Singapore with the successful issuance of the US$100 million catastrophe bond by First Coast Re II Pte. Ltd in May 2019, with Security First Insurance Company as the reinsured.
  • Acted in the first Asian sponsored insurance-linked securities transaction in Singapore with the successful issuance of the US$100 million catastrophe bond by Akibare Re Pte. Ltd. in May 2020, with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance as the ceding insurer.

Disputes

  • Represented US Fortune 200 company in an SIAC arbitration against an Indonesian conglomerate in a US$330 million dispute over export credit financing of two paper and pulp plants.
  • Represented a major Korean construction company in a US$2 million ICC arbitration arising from the construction of commercial and hotel buildings and a biomass power plant in Indonesia;
  • Advising insurers under a banker’s policy arising from multiple claims estimated at S$80 million against the insured bank due to the mis-selling of structured products linked to Lehman Brothers.
  • Acted for insurers in a S$51 million claim from a major power station in Singapore for damage to its steam turbine and boiler under a comprehensive machinery breakdown insurance policy.
  • Acted for luxury resort hotel chain against their insurer for property damage and business interruption claims in excess of US$35 million due to the Boxing Day 2004 tsunamis.
  • Acted for a European retrocessionaire against various retrocedents in relation to multi-million dollar property damage claims sustained due to riots and political unrest in Thailand in 2010.
  • Represented Liberty Insurance in S$68 million-dollar claim in the Singapore High Court by Samsung Corporation for alleged wrongful repudiation of liability under a contractors’ all risk policy for the ‘tilting’ building project at Church Street, Singapore, now known as Samsung Hub.
  • Represented insurers as claimants in limitation proceedings commenced by a prominent P&I Club in the Singapore High Court for the worst oil spill in Singapore’s history arising from the collision between the vessels “Evoikos” and the “Orapin Global”.
  • Represented Registrar of Vehicles in judicial review proceedings in the High Court and Court of Appeal: [2008] 3 SLR 340; [2007] 4 SLR (R) 145.
  • Represented major general insurer in successful subrogated recovery proceedings in the Singapore High Court for claims exceeding $1 million due to flood damage to a commercial property: [2013] SGHC 184.
  • Represented the Land Transport Authority on instructions of underwriters in the first merit hearing of a claim for damage due to MRT construction work before the LTA Compensation Board and successfully defending the award on review to the High Court of Singapore in 2016.
  • Acted for Arthur J. Gallagher Singapore Pte Ltd to defend a claim in the High Court of Singapore for professional negligence in the placement of a trade credit insurance policy.
Memberships/Appointments
  • Chairman, Law Reform Sub-Committee (Insurance), Singapore Academy of Law
  • Co-Chairman, Workplace Safety & Health Council (Engagement & Outreach) Committee.
  • Senior Vice-Chair, International Bar Association (IBA) Insurance Committee
  • Past President, Insurance Law Association, Singapore
  • Member, Professional Indemnity Committee of the Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, the MAS’ Alternative Risk Transfer Working Group
  • Member, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
Publications
  • Insurance Chapter in Law Relating to Specific Contracts in Singapore, 2nd Ed, Sweet & Maxwell.
  • International Insurance Law and Regulation, Singapore Chapter (Oxford University Press, Inc.).
  • Insurance Chapter of the Singapore Academy of Law’s SingaporeLaw.sg (www.singaporelaw.sg).
  • “The impact of the UK Insurance Act 2015 on Singapore Insurance Law and Practice”, Singapore Law Gazette, October 2016 issue.
  • Chambers Global Practice Guide – Insurance & Reinsurance 2019, Singapore Chapter.