Davis Tan is a dispute resolution lawyer who specializes in shipping and commodities disputes.
Davis accepts instructions covering a wide range of disputes. He regularly acts in complex and high-value commercial disputes before the Singapore Courts and in international arbitrations. He has particular experience in shipping, commodities and energy disputes, fraud cases, joint ventures and shareholder disputes and banking disputes involving letters of credit, performance bonds and bills of exchange. Davis also advised on and acted in a number of cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters, including appearing as Young Amicus Curiae in an application for the recognition of a Chapter 11 plan before the High Court of Singapore.
Davis has been recognized in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2019) for possessing a ‘sharp legal mind’ and praised for his ability to ‘punch above his weight considering his PQE’. In 2020, he advised a Singapore company in obtaining the recognition of a moratorium relief by the English High Court and the case won the Benchmark Litigation APAC Impact Case Award 2021.
Davis graduated with First Class Honours and was awarded the Best Candidate in the Singapore Bar Examinations for Civil Litigation Practice. He was emplaced on the Supreme Court’s Young Amicus Curiae Scheme in 2021 to assist the Court on novel points of law.
Davis has an interest in technology and disruptive innovations. He is part of the firm’s Technology Interest Group and was conferred a Higher Certificate in Technology and Legal Innovation by the National University of Singapore.
Davis is fluent in Mandarin and written Chinese, and has studied in Beijing, China on exchange for a few months. He regularly acts for Chinese state-owned and private enterprises.
Beyond his private practice, Davis teaches civil litigation and arbitration to law graduates in the Singapore Bar Examinations Part B Course. He is a member of the Law Society’s Admissions Committee and Civil Practice Committee, and volunteers with the Law Society Pro Bono Services at the Youth and Community Legal Clinic to assist those who are less fortunate.
Notable Cases & Transactions
- Successfully represented subsidiaries of a Chinese bank before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) in a US$170 million claim against a director, shareholder and executive chairman of a Singapore-listed company for breach of his obligations under letters of support.
- Advised a Singapore oil trading company in its high-profile restructuring with liabilities of more than US$4 billion involving serious allegations of fraud and misconduct.
- Successfully acted for a Singapore bank in a dispute with its customer over banking facilities, letters of credit and performance guarantee in excess of US$40 million. Obtained judgment and an anti-suit injunction against the customer before the Singapore Court, and instructed foreign counsel in respect of parallel proceedings in China, Indonesia and the BVI.
- Acted for a Singapore commodity trading company in a US$300 million fraud claim involving financing based on forged warehouse receipts. Successfully resisted pre-action discovery and interrogatories applications before the Singapore Court and obtained an injunction against the adverse parties. Instructed foreign counsel in respect of parallel proceedings brought in the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
- Acted for a Singapore fund and fund manager in a US$80 million fraud committed by its Chinese counterparties. Successfully resisted pre-action discovery and interrogatories brought by fund investors before the Singapore High Court, successfully obtained an arbitration award against the counterparties, and advised the fund and fund manager on queries from government regulators, MAS and CAD.
- Acted for a Chinese state-owned entity in a joint venture and shareholder dispute concerning heavy machinery and road repair technologies in an SIAC arbitration. The complex claim for approximately US$600 million was amicably settled by the parties after alternative dispute resolution.
- Member, Admissions Committee of the Law Society of Singapore (2017 – Present)
- Member, Civil Practice Committee of the Law Society of Singapore (2017 – Present)
- Member, Singapore Academy of Law (2016 – Present)
- Award, Singapore Institute of Legal Education Prize for the Best Candidate in Civil Litigation Practice (2016)
- Award, University of Nottingham Law Graduates Association Moot Prize (2014)
- Award, Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Honourable Mention (2014)
- Award, Mills & Reeve Prize for Best Candidate in Understanding Law (2012)