Devathas Satianathan


Practice Area:

International Arbitration
Construction & Projects

Bachelor of Laws (LL B), Summa cum Laude, Singapore Management University
Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore
Accredited Associate Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre

T +65 6232 0238
E devathas.satianathan@rajahtann.com

Devathas graduated as valedictorian of the class of 2013 at Singapore Management University. He started his legal career in the Justices’ Law Clerk programme, spending six months at the Attorney-General’s Chambers as a Deputy Public Prosecutor followed by two years clerking at the Supreme Court of Singapore.

He joined Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP in February 2016 and has acted in and advised on a range of matters including SIAC, ICC, JCAA and LMAA arbitration proceedings, court-related arbitration matters, SICC proceedings and general litigation including criminal, intellectual property, and insolvency matters. He has also advised on non-contentious matters. Outside of practice with the firm, he has been teaching at the Singapore Management University School of Law (for semesters commencing August 2014, January 2015, January 2018 and August 2019) and has spent time on attachments at Essex Court Chambers (as part of the winning team of the ECC-SAL International Mooting Competition 2016) and Fountain Court Chambers (as a prize winner of the Christopher Bathurst Essay Competition 2016). He also works with the Migrant Workers’ Centre, FAST, and SMU Pro Bono Centre to conduct legal clinics, is a CLAS volunteer, has served as a Young Amicus Curiae with the Supreme Court (2017-2018), and is an assessor under the COVID-19 Temporary Relief legislation.

Notable Cases
International Arbitration
  • Representing a Villa owner and manager in (ICC) arbitration proceedings against a purchaser. Maldivian law and Singapore law apply.
  • Representing a state in (SIAC) arbitration proceedings, in respect of claims of over US$124.5m in relation to a joint venture agreement. English law applies.
  • Represented a state in (ICC) arbitration proceedings, defending claims of over US$3bn in relation to tax indemnity issues arising from an oil exploration service contract. Philippine law applies.
  • Represented a distributor in a dispute over a distributorship agreement, involving coordination of related litigation and (JCAA) arbitration proceedings in multiple jurisdictions including Japan and Thailand, with claims in the region of US$300m. Japanese law and Thai law apply.
  • Successfully represented an individual in expedited (SIAC) arbitration proceedings in a S$3.2m claim for breach of a share sale agreement. Singapore law applies.
  • Successfully represented a Chinese company in an application to set aside an arbitral award before the Singapore High Court and represented the same party in its response before the Court of Appeal: GD Midea Air Conditioning Equipment Co Ltd v Tornado Consumer Goods Ltd and another matter [2018] 4 SLR 271.
  • Successfully represented a BVI company in a US$150m claim in relation to wrongful disposal of shares intended for use as collateral before the Singapore International Commercial Court and represented the same party in the cross-appeal to the Court of Appeal.
  • Successfully represented an individual in asset recovery following a fraud involving more than US$700,000, involving coordination of related litigation proceedings in Canada and Hong Kong.
  • Successfully represented various individuals connected with Brazilian entities in connection with a shareholder dispute over a pulp production business. Established that case should not be heard in Singapore for want of jurisdiction. Client update accessible here: https://eoasis.rajahtann.com/eoasis/lu/pdf/2020-03_SG-Court-Jurisdiction-SFA-Related-Dispute.pdf
  • Successfully represented an individual in securing a case management stay in respect of Court proceedings commenced before the Singapore courts in the midst of a pending arbitration.
  • Represented a Singapore company and an individual in a trademark dispute before the Singapore courts.
  • Represented an Indian entity in Singapore court proceedings to resist enforcement of an arbitral award valued in excess of US$45m on the basis of an arbitration agreement that contained an exclusive jurisdiction clause for enforcement proceedings.
  • Represented various defendants in proceedings before the Singapore High Court in relation to a conspiracy claim arising from shipping transactions. The claim was successfully settled after pleadings were filed.
  • Represented an individual in a claim against a society registered under the Societies Act in Singapore court proceedings.
  • Young Amicus Curiae in PP v Thompson Matthew [2018] SGHC 179, which concerned sentencing considerations in respect of an outrage of modesty charge where the offence was committed on an aircraft in flight.
  • Successfully represented Facebook Singapore in resisting pre-action discovery and interrogatories.
  • Representing a developer in an en bloc dispute. Counterclaim valued around S$5m. Singapore law applies, dispute involving equitable rectification of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
Pre-disputes / Others
  • Advising a prominent hotel operator in relation to a potential dispute with the hotel owner in Vietnam. Vietnam law applies.
  • Advised a Japanese conglomerate in relation to a contract for supply of equipment and services worth more than S$110m. Singapore law applies.
  • Advised an aircraft manufacturer in relation to two contractual disputes valued cumulatively around US$77m. Singapore law applies.
  • Advised in the sale of a property worth S$90m.
  • Advised and represented an individual facing disciplinary proceedings within a local university.
  • Advised Facebook Singapore in various pre-dispute matters relating to requests for information, prospective defamation proceedings, Protection from Harassment Act proceedings, etc.
  • Advised a prominent IT services and consulting company in relation to its rights under an ICT Contract. Singapore law applies.
  • Advised an Australian company in relation to its rights against a Japanese company over a contract for the supply of underwater cooling water intake / outfall pipes. Contract valued around US$30m, Singapore law applies.
  • Advised an events company in relation to the applicability of force majeure in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic in respect of an event to be organised in Singapore. Contract valued around S$1.3m, Singapore law applies.
  • Advised an architecture firm in relation to the applicability of force majeure in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic in respect of development of a plot of land in Sri Lanka. Contract valued around US$9.5m, Singapore law applies.
  • Advised a Singapore company in relation to an appeal against a decision by the local regulators disallowing the company from applying to renew work permits of its employees.
  • Excellence in Advocacy Award, Singapore International Arbitration Academy 2019.
  • Winning team, ECC-SAL International Mooting Competition 2016.
  • 2nd runner up, Christopher Bathurst Essay Competition 2016.
Speaking roles / events
  • Speaker, 10th and 12th SAL Junior College Law Programme, Introduction to the Singapore Legal System (2018, 2020).
  • Panelist, CARDS’ Tour De Arbitration, Session 6: Appointment of Arbitrators (14 December 2017).
  • Associates’ Management Committee – elected leadership representing associates in Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP (May 2017 to March 2021).
  • ICC Singapore Arbitration Group, Member (June 2019 to present).
  • Young Singapore International Arbitration Centre Committee (1 January 2021 to present).
  • Singapore Academy of Law Journals Advisory Committee, Member (16 August 2022 to present).