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Max Lim

Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Practice Area:

Shipping & International Trade

LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore
Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore

T +65 62320698

Max is a Partner of Rajah & Tann with an active practice in the areas of shipping, commodities, and energy matters.

Max graduated from the National University of Singapore and was placed twice on the Dean’s List for outstanding academic performance.

He acts for corporates, banks, P&I Clubs, insurers, owners, commodity traders, oil & gas, and offshore players, among others on commercial matters and on their most challenging problems.

In Legal 500, he is recognised as “outstanding for his breadth and depth of knowledge and the speed and accuracy with which he applies it”.

He is also noted for “giving importance to detail and tries to find a solution to a problem, rather than focusing on the problem”.

He regularly appears as counsel before the court and arbitration tribunals and has secured significant wins. He is a problem solver, adept at dealing with crisis situations and finding effective solutions.

Max’s practice often has a cross-border dimension, leveraging on the Firm’s regional footprint in Southeast Asia.

Max also brings with him fluency in Mandarin, both written and spoken.

Aside from practice, Max is Professor at a global management school. He also teaches classes in arbitration and civil litigation as part of the Singapore Bar Preparatory Course.  

He is frequently invited to speak at industry-specific events and by publications and media outlets to provide his views on topics relating to shipping, global trade, and commodities.

Notable Cases & Transactions
  • Acting successfully for a trade finance bank in the cross-jurisdictional pursuit and recovery of multi-million dollar claims, in the wake of the collapse of a substantial commodities player. This included ship arrests and a series of successful London maritime arbitrations.
  • Acting successfully for a ship finance bank in a successful mortgage enforcement before the Singapore Court that was concluded from arrest to payment out in record time.
  • Acting successfully for shipowners in a complex maritime arbitration (SCMA) under a bareboat charterparty for a top-end offshore support vessel, securing a substantial award of damages.
  • Acting successfully for shipowners and their Club in a rare setting aside of arrest. The case resulted in a reported decision and stands as the latest instance of a successful setting aside in recent memory. 
  • Acting for a leading shipping conglomerate in a claim for damages (US$20m), for repudiatory breaches of a charterparty for a container vessel.
  • Acting successfully for a global commodity player in substantial claims under a letter of credit against the issuing bank. This is the leading case on letters of credit in Singapore.
  • Acting successfully for a Chinese trading house in a warehouse fraud claim >US$40 million.
  • Acting successfully for an Indonesian tin producer-trader in a cargo fraud and misdelivery action before the Singapore Court.
  • Acting successfully for tanker owners to re-possess their vessel in China from recalcitrant bareboat charterers, and in related arbitration proceedings.
  • Acting successfully for a container line in defending claims following a large-scale grounding incident off-Hong Kong.
  • Acting successfully for a Chinese shipowner in securing substantial recovery against charterers for wrongful termination of a long-term charter, and in a related arrest action in India.
  • Successfully representing the owners of various underwater/subsea assets (including fibre optic cables, power cable tunnel) in technical structural damage claims.
  • Acting successfully for an oil trader against its counterparty in high-value pre-insolvency and subsequent insolvency-related proceedings.
  • Advising and representing traders, cargo owners, and tanker owners in various high-value, complex oil contamination claims.
  • Advising and acting for various liquidators, restructuring managers and turnaround consultants on shipping and commodity trading-related issues.
  • Acted for a shipyard in an arbitration relating to the construction and outfitting of a state-of-the-art pipelay construction vessel (US$25m), and in related arrest actions.
  • Advising a Chinese shipyard on its termination dispute with buyers relating to the construction and delivery of a jack-up drilling rig valued at US$250m.
  • Advising on commercial shipping matters, including due diligence, structuring, and drafting chartering arrangements.
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Professor, SP Jain School of Global Management