Our maritime practice is the key practice area of the firm. Our lawyers are experienced in the full range of shipping and admiralty work, having acted for clients in highly contentious matters as well as complex transactional and advisory work.
We pride ourselves on being able to assist our clients efficiently with precise and comprehensive advice. Bearing in mind the global nature of the shipping industry, we have a wide network of foreign law firms in various major ports to support our clients’ needs.
Our clients include shipowners, charterers, P&I Clubs, H&M underwriters, recovery agents, cargo insurers, brokers, suppliers, ship agents and managers and other institutions involved in the maritime industry.
The firm’s practice areas include:
Admiralty Law & Marine Casualties
Our lawyers are highly experienced and have handled a broad range of casualty-related work including the arrest of vessels for obtaining security. Notable casualties handled recently include:
- “Best Unity” c/w “Southern Explorer” off Singapore
- United Fortitude c/w “Oceanus Leader” off Singapore
- “Prime Sailor” c/w “Kuo Hsiung” off Port Klang
- “Mare Traveller” c/w “Densa Jaguar” off Chittagong.
- Acted for “ALM Eagle” interests which was towing barge “POE Giant 12” which ran aground off Pedra Branca.
- “Hai Qing” c/w ‘Lord Vishnu’ and “SKUA” off Singapore
- “Sevilla Knutsen” grounding on coral reefs around the Eauripik atoll, Federated States of Micronesia.
Charterparties & Cargo Claims
We have extensive experience in advising and handling litigation work in relation to this varied area of work. Some of our recent cases include:
- Acted as counsel for a Singapore company listed in the SGX mainboard dealing with the ownership and chartering of offshore vessels and rigs against a Mexican credit company involving a dispute over standby letters of credit amounting to approximately US$9 million issued pursuant to a charterparty agreement. As part of the proceedings, obtained an interlocutory injunction against the Mexican company preventing it from calling for payment under the letters of credit.
Acted for an Indonesian shipping company, which is listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, in defending an US$11 million arbitration claim in the London Maritime Arbitrators Association in respect of an alleged breach
of a bareboat charterparty.
- Acted for a Singapore listed company in an SIAC arbitration involving a US$85 million claim for breach of a long-term charterparty of a floating warehouse to PDVSA, the Venezuelan NOC.
- Acted for a Singapore listed company in its tripartite joint venture to supply offshore support vessels in respect of the Gorgon gas project in Western Australia. Work done included drafting and negotiating the JVA and the chartering contracts.
Shipbuilding, Repairs & Conversion
Our lawyers are well-versed in both contentious and non-contentious matters in this practice area. As the market continues to face a downturn, our understanding of our client’s business provides a distinct advantage in offering prompt advice tailored to the difficult problems faced by both owners and yards.
- Acted for a Mexican offshore contractor as claimants in an arbitration seated in Singapore against a major local shipyard in connection with warranty claims in excess of US$50 million arising from a contract for the construction and sale of a semi-submersible offshore drilling unit meant to be deployed under a PEMEX contract.
- Acted for a Singaporean shipyard in a claim for loss and damage in the sum of £800,000 brought by owners for alleged negligence in the conversion of their vessel to enable her to perform cable-laying works.
- Acted for Owners in a claim against an UAE-based builder for damages arising from delay and negligence in the construction of an offshore platform built at a contract price of US$8 million.
- Acted for owners in a claim against a manufacturer of controllable pitch propellers for loss and damage arising from defects in design.
- Retained by a Thai shipyard to advise and assist with all of their contract drafting and litigation.
- Acted as counsel for a Chinese shipbuilding and ship repair company in the arrest of a bulk container vessel registered in Panama. The admiralty and arrest proceedings involved claims from numerous intervening parties including the cargo owners, bunker suppliers, mortgagee bank and crew and concluded with the judicial sale of the vessel. Also obtained judgment in a sister ship claim against the same owners.
Non-Contentious Shipping and Offshore Oil & Gas Work
We have acted in numerous vessel sale and purchase transactions and have also advised on financing and flag registration aspects both in relation to the purchase of second hand tonnage as well as newbuilds. We also advise both buyers and yards on their shipbuilding and repair contracts, ensuring that their contracts apply the appropriate contractual risk allocation. Our work in this practice area includes advisory work and drafting of charterparties, ship management contracts, contracts of affreightment and crewing agreements. Finally, we are adept in acting for our clients in international joint ventures in the context of the deployment of their vessels into challenging jurisdictions such as Nigeria, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Examples of our matters are as follows:
- Acted for a buyer in relation to 3 new building contracts for self-propelled jack-up barges for construction at a shipyard in the USA. The aggregate project cost amounted to approximately US$150 million. Work done included drafting and negotiating documentation in relation to the financing of the new builds and separate joint ventures to own and operate the vessels.
- A buyer in relation to a construction contract for a Friede & Goldman Super M2 design jack-up rig to be built in an UAE based yard at a contract price of US$150 million. Scope of the advice included the financing of the construction cost, the drafting of all necessary documentation for a tripartite joint venture to own and operate the rig and the negotiation on the terms and conditions of the building contract.
- Acted for a purchaser in its US$80 million acquisition of an Oslo OTC listed company active in the provision of management services, operation and supply of on and offshore drilling and accommodation units. Advice rendered was mainly in relation to an extensive due diligence exercise carried out on the target company’s management contracts and assets.
- Acted for a borrower in relation to a US$40 million term loan facility to finance the construction of an offshore platform in the USA.
- Acted for a Singapore mainboard listed company in its tripartite joint venture to supply offshore support vessels in respect of the Gorgon gas project in Western Australia. Work done included drafting and negotiating the JVA and the chartering contracts.
Our international trade practice covers both contentious and advisory work. Our lawyers have a strong background in dispute resolution, including disputes relating to the international sale of goods and services, trade finance and insurance, shipping and logistics, conflicts of law and jurisdictional issues. We also regularly advise our clients on various regulatory and compliance issues as the need arises.
Having acquired in-depth knowledge of the industry, our lawyers are well-placed to advise our clients on a wide range of matters.
Our expertise includes:
- International Sale of Goods & Services
- Compliance & Regulatory Matters
- Export Finance & Insurance
- Security Provisions & Measures
- Commodity Trading & Trade Finance
Our lawyers have been involved in various arbitration forums including:
- The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
- The Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
Energy and Resources
Energy and Resources
In association with Hugh Fraser Consulting International, a specialist consulting and legal services provider, we assist our clients in the energy and water sectors to expand successfully across international markets with a focus on the ASEAN region.
Our areas of expertise encompass:
- Onshore & Offshore Energy & Resources
- Statutory & Contractual Regimes
- International Local Partner Agreements (ILPA) Solutions
- Project Development & Finance
- Asset Acquisitions & Divestitures
- Capital Market & Commercial Bank Financing