Elaine Tay.jpg

Elaine Tay

Partner

Practice Area:

Insurance & Reinsurance
Commercial Litigation

LLB, University of London
BBA, National University of Singapore
Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore
Barrister of Law, Middle Temple

T +65 6232 0673
E [email protected]

Elaine is a Partner with 20 years’ experience in the Commercial Litigation Practice / Insurance and Reinsurance Practice.

As independently evaluated by Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide for Singapore, “(c)lients praise Elaine for her ‘thorough and concise’ opinions … ‘(s)he renders advice which is both relevant and practical, with minimal fluff.’”

Elaine is highly regarded as one of the top lawyers in Singapore in the commercial litigation practice with special emphasis on insurance and construction law. 

Experience

Well known in the field of insurance law, Elaine has represented and acted as coverage counsel and defence counsel for insurers in and/or from Singapore, Australia, Japan, Korea, France, Switzerland, Germany, United States of America and Bermuda.

In the first case of its kind in Singapore, in 2011, Elaine successfully represented a Korean insurer in its claim under an open cover reinsurance programme before the High Court in Singapore (Hanwha Non-Life Insurance Co Ltd v Alba Pte Ltd [2011] SGHC 271).

Elaine is also sought after by clients (insurers, insureds and brokers) for her advice on various classes of insurance, including property and energy, casualty, liability, financial lines, credit and surety, life and personal lines; and compliance and regulatory issues including obtaining the requisite licences, transfers of insurance business and advising on policy wording for various classes. 

Elaine has advised and represented property developers in the construction industry, local and international contractors, EPC contractors, professional consultants relating to projects in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, China which include power plant projects and mining projects.

A firm believer in giving back to the community, Elaine is the CSR partner of Rajah & Tann and volunteers by giving free legal advice at various legal clinics in Singapore. 

Her experience includes:

Insurance / Reinsurance
  • Acted for AXA in the consolidation of its life and general insurance business via a transfer of AXA Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd’s general insurance business to AXA Life Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd.
  • Acted for AXA Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd in their acquisition of the general insurance portfolio of HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd which included advising and representing AXA on the transfer of the portfolio pursuant to section 49FB of the Insurance Act (Cap 142) which was the most widely publicised insurance business acquisition in 2012. Also acted for AXA Life Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd in their acquisition and transfer of the EB portfolio of HSBC Insurance. (Transfer of Insurance Business)
  • Acted for Groupama in setting up relevant branches in Singapore and obtaining the requisite license under the Insurance Act to carry out general insurance business and in the transfer of their business between branches of entities within their group as part of the group’s restructuring exercise in anticipation of Solvency II. (Transfer of Insurance Business)
  • Successfully represented Korean insurers in their claim against a reinsurer registered to carry out reinsurance business under the Lloyd's Asia Scheme in Singapore. The case involved complex issues of fact and law pertaining to an open cover reinsurance policy for the construction of model houses in Korea for an annual estimated sum insured of KRW 70 billion (around S$78.5 million) negotiated through Korean insurance brokers and is the first Singapore reported decision on reinsurance. (Reinsurance coverage dispute)
  • Advising and representing insurers against a claim under a Product Liability Policy; case established for the first time in Singapore that insurers need not prove that they have suffered prejudice before they can decline policy liability for late notification of an event which may give rise to a claim, if notification is a condition precedent under the policy. (Insurance coverage dispute; Condition precedent clause)
  • Advised insurers on their insured’s claim under a CAR Policy on an incident which occurred during the construction of a 1,600 meters long, 12 meters wide bridge which was budgeted to cost US$56 million linking the borders of Thailand and Laos. (Insurance coverage issues)
  • Advised insurers in respect of insured’s claim in excess of S$20 million under an Industrial All Risks of Physical Loss or Damage and Machinery Breakdown Policy in respect of a fire which occurred in a power plant. (Insurance coverage issues)
  • Advised and represented luxury resort owner in its claim against their insurer for property damage and business interruption claims in excess of US$35 million due to the 2004 tsunamis. (Insurance coverage issues)
  • Advised insurers in respect of insured’s claim arising from an incident involving the strutting system for A&A works to a monumental building in Orchard Road. (Insurance coverage issues)
  • Advised reinsurers on Inherent Defects Insurance. (Reinsurance coverage issues)
  • Acted for insurer in its claims against insureds under ILPs and its former agents. (Fiduciary duties; Conspiracy)
Construction and Engineering / Commercial Litigation
  • Advised and represented an Australian Integrated Engineering and Services Contractor in its claims against an Oil, Gas and Electricity major in respect of geothermal plant in Asia where the total amount in dispute was in the region of US$60 million. Advising and representing the same contractor in claims against its design engineer consultant in an ICC arbitration.
  • Advised and represented an Australian integrated engineering and services contracts in its claims in the region of US$25 million against an Oil & Gas, Mining and Energy SEA company relating to coal mining works in Asia.
  • Advised and represented the owners of a US$68 million joint-venture hotel and service apartment project in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in defending and counterclaiming against the main contractor in an arbitration.
  • Represented a government linked company in a EUR 50 million ICC arbitration relating to the acquisition of a Danish company.
Reported Judgments
  • Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza SpA v Rals International Pte Ltd [2015] SGHC 264 (Stay of court proceedings; Promissory Notes)
  • Hermes Capital Limited v Mark Anthony Tonta [2015] SGDC 267 (Employment)
  • Pacific Chemicals Pte Ltd v MSIG Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd and another [2012] SGHC 198 (Insurance coverage issues)
  • Hanwha Non-Life Insurance Co Ltd v Alba Pte Ltd [2011] SGHC 271 (Reinsurance coverage issues)
  • American International Assurance Co Ltd v Wong Cherng Yaw and others [2009] 3 SLR 117 (Fiduciary duties; Trust; Conspiracy)
  • American International Assurance Co Ltd v Wong Cherng Yaw and others [2009] SGHC 89 (Fiduciary duties; Trust; Conspiracy)
  • Ong Jane Rebecca v Pricewaterhousecoopers and others [2009] 2 SLR 796 (Professional negligence)
  • Jurong Town Corp v Sembcorp Engineers and Constructors Pte Ltd [2009] SGHC 93 (Construction dispute; Breach of contract; Negligence)
  • Stork Technology Services Asia Pte Ltd (formerly known as Eastburn Stork Pte Ltd) v First Capital Insurance Ltd [2006] 3 SLR 652 (Insurance; Condition precedent clauses)
  • Chia Kin Tuck v Leong Choon Kum and another [2003] SGDC 268 (Trust)
  • Haco Far East Pte Ltd v Ong Heh Lai Francis [1999] SGCA 84 (Civil procedure; Issue estoppel)
  • Fasi Paul Frank v Specialty Laboratories Asia Pte Ltd [1999] 4 SLR 500 (Employment dispute; Constructive dismissal; Stay of proceedings)
Memberships / Directorships
  • Member of Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Vice President of the Insurance Law Association, Singapore