Alessa is a Partner with the International Arbitration, Construction & Projects Practice Group at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP. She handles a wide range of cross-border commercial disputes before international arbitral tribunals, as well as before the Singapore courts. She has experience with both ad hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings under SIAC, ICC, LCIA, HKIAC, UNCITRAL and ICSID Rules. Alessa is a Regional Representative for the South Asia chapter of the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF).
In addition to her international arbitration practice, Alessa also has extensive experience in arbitration-related court proceedings. She has acted for clients in setting aside proceedings, applications for anti-suit injunctions and other court applications arising out of ongoing arbitration proceedings. Alessa is adept at dealing with cases which involve foreign law issues (both civil law and common law systems).
In 2020, Alessa was seconded to C&G Law (the Philippine member firm of the Rajah & Tann Asia network), where she assisted with Philippine-seated arbitration proceedings, and advised on disputes arising from infrastructure projects in the Philippines.
Alessa is also a tutor for the Civil Procedure and Arbitration modules for the SILE Part B Bar Examinations course
- Acting for an African parastatal body in Mauritius-seated SIAC arbitration proceedings arising out of an affreightment contract governed by Mauritius law.
- Acting for a Maldivian company in the hospitality industry in SIAC arbitration proceedings; dispute arose out of a share sale purchase agreement.
- Acting for a Philippine company in SIAC arbitration proceedings; dispute arose out of a share sale purchase agreement governed by Thai law.
- Acting for the owner / operator of a data centre in London-seated LCIA arbitration proceedings against the design and build contractor.
- Acting for the claimants in Courts (Indian Ocean) Limited and Courts Madagascar S.A.R.L v Republic of Madagascar (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/34).
- Acting for an Austrian company in a SIAC arbitration claim for breach of warranties in a share sale purchase transaction; argued the substantive hearing before the arbitral tribunal.
- Advising the India entity of an international conglomerate in a claim relating to the construction of a water treatment plant in South East Asia. The main contract was governed by Philippine law.
- Acting for a Malaysian company in a dispute arising out of an oil industry-related share sale purchase agreement (governed by English law) in SIAC arbitration proceedings.
- Acting for a health care consulting company in a claim against a private equity firm in SIAC arbitration proceedings.
- Defending a claim arising out of a joint venture agreement between a Korean entity and a Chinese entity in SIAC arbitration proceedings.
- Acting for a Malaysian company in a claim for monies owed by a Vietnamese corporation arising out of a loan agreement and a related joint venture agreement; HKIAC proceedings and related Singapore High Court proceedings.
- Advising on Singapore arbitration law in relation to an urgent injunction application in an ICC arbitration (Singapore-seated).
- Acting for the Kingdom of Lesotho in an application to appeal against an arbitral tribunal’s jurisdictional ruling and to set aside the costs award made in the same proceedings – first successful application to set aside an investment treaty award in Singapore. The matter was heard before the Singapore High Court and before the Singapore Court of Appeal.
- Advising and acting for the Kingdom of Lesotho in an application to challenge service of originating process on a State.
- Acting for a Mauritius-registered investment company to defend an application before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) to set aside an arbitral award; first arbitration-related decision issued by the SICC.
- Acting for a Chinese construction entity in an application to set aside an ICC arbitration award on the grounds of breach of natural justice, agreed procedure, violation of public policy and corruption issues. The matter was heard before the Singapore High Court and before the Singapore Court of Appeal. The underlying dispute arose out of an EPC contract.
- Acting for an international hotel chain in an application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain proceedings in Maldives which were commenced after an award had been issued; Related application to defend service of court process on the Maldivian entity in the Maldives. The underlying dispute arose out of a hotel management contract.
- Advising on an application to set aside award before the Mauritius Supreme Court and subsequent appeal to the UK Privy Council.
- Acting for a Mauritius investment company to defend an application before the Singapore High Court to resist enforcement of an arbitral award.
- Acting for a German company to defend an application before the Singapore High Court to set aside an arbitral award. The underlying dispute arose out of an aviation industry contract and German law applied.
- Acting for a party to defend an application to stay court proceedings before the Singapore High Court on the basis that there was an arbitration agreement between the parties. The application addressed the issue of different dispute resolution clauses in two contracts.
- Acting for the successful applicant in an application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain threatened proceedings in Indonesia in favour of Singapore-seated ICC arbitration
- Acting for the successful applicant in an application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain bankruptcy proceedings in Indonesian in favour of Singapore-seated ICC arbitration
- Acting for an Indian shipping company in application to resist enforcement of arbitration award
- Acting for the successful applicant in an application to obtain deposition of a foreign witness for the purposes of an LCIA arbitration seated in Singapore; application was made pursuant to Article 27 of the UNCITRAL Model Law
- Defending an application pursuant to Article 14 of the UNCITRAL Model Law to terminate the mandate of a sole arbitrator in an ad-hoc arbitration
- Representing the successful applicant in an application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain litigation proceedings in Iran in favour of Singapore-seated arbitration
- Advising on a possible restraining injunction application before the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts. The underlying dispute arose out of a hotel management contract relating to a hospitality project in Rwanda.
General Commercial Litigation
- Acting for a party in a Singapore High Court claim arising out of a share purchase agreement. The issue in dispute was the interpretation of the tax indemnity clause in the agreement.
- Acting for and advising a social media influencer on a claim for defamation and application under the Protection from Harassment Act in relation to Instagram posts
Notable Reported Judgments
- China Machine New Energy Corp v Jaguar Energy Guatemala LLC  1 SLR 695: Appeal arising out of an application to set aside an ICC arbitration award. The appeal addressed the novel issue of the effect of attorney-eyes-only orders on due process in international arbitration proceedings.
- Sun Travels & Tours Pvt Ltd v Hilton International Manage (Maldives) Pvt Ltd  4 SLR 776: Appeal arising out of an application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain post-arbitration litigation proceedings in the Maldivian courts.
- BXS v BXT  SGHC(I) 10: First SICC arbitration-related decision. The SICC addressed the issue of time limits to set aside an award under Article 34(3) of the UNCITRAL Model Law.
- Swissbourgh Diamond Mines (Pty) Ltd and others v Kingdom of Lesotho  1 SLR 263: First successful application before the Singapore courts to set aside an investment treaty award.
- Josias Van Zyl v Kingdom of Lesotho  SGHC 104: The decision addressed the novel issue of procedure for service of originating process on a State.
- Re Landau, Toby Thomas QC  SGHC 258: Application for ad-hoc admission of Queen’s Counsel.
- Re Wordsworth, Samuel Sheratt QC  5 SLR 179: Application for ad-hoc admission of Queen’s Counsel.
- Co-author, “Trends and Developments in Singapore”, Chambers and Partners International Arbitration 2020
- Co-author, Singapore chapter in Chambers and Partners International Arbitration 2020
- Co-author, Singapore chapter in The International Arbitration Review (7th and 8th editions)
- Co-author, “Anti-Suit Injunction in Aid of Arbitration Proceedings: Principles and Practice”, (July 2015), Singapore Law Gazette
- Co-author, “Does the Issuance of an Award before the Conclusion of an Arbitrator Challenge for Delay frustrate the Challenge?” (2015), Kluwer Arbitration Blog
Speaking Engagements and Events
- Facilitator at SIAC Academy: The Making of an Advocate and an Arbitrator (6 November 2020)
- Speaker (as a Judge) at SIArb Debate: This House believes that Artificial Intelligence will have Replaced Arbitrators within 25 Years (6 December 2018)
- Speaker at YSIAC Club: The 2016 SIAC Rules Revision (10 March 2016)
- Member, Law Society of Singapore
- Member, Singapore Academy of Law
- Member, ICC YAF
- Member, YSIAC