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David Isidore Tan


Practice Area:

International Arbitration
Construction & Projects

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

T +65 6232 0218

David is a Partner in the firm's International Arbitration and Construction & Projects Practice. 

He has experience with litigation in the Singapore courts, as well as arbitration and arbitration-related court proceedings involving SIAC, ICC, UNCITRAL and LCIA arbitrations (both commercial and investor-State). He often advises on the handling of disputes prior to the formal commencement of legal proceedings. His matters have concerned projects, joint ventures, intellectual property rights, and other commercial and civil disputes. He has been described as “hardworking”, “always up to date on the research”, and “always taking the initiative for efficient case management” (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2024).

David is the author / a co-author of various articles on international commercial and investor-State arbitration, and a co-drafter of the CIArb Guidelines for Witness Conferencing in International Arbitration (with Explanatory Notes) (named the ‘Best Innovation by an Individual or Organisation’ at the 2019 Global Arbitration Review Awards). He is currently an Assistant Editor for Technology with Kluwer Arbitration Blog and a Young ICCA Regional Representative. He also previously spent time in Seoul, South Korea seconded as a foreign lawyer to the International Arbitration & Cross-Border Litigation Group of one of the largest law firms in South Korea.

He graduated with an LL.M. in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration from New York University in 2016, graduating in the same year with an LL.B. (Hons) from the National University of Singapore. While a student, David was a recipient of multiple scholarships.

He has won prizes in international and domestic competitions for his writing and advocacy. This includes winning the Christopher Bathurst Essay Prize, the CIArb International Arbitration Competition (Singapore branch), an Honourable Mention for the Nappert Prize in International Arbitration, and the Advocacy Cup. While in university, he was awarded the HL Wee Scholarship for his interest in and ability for advocacy.


International Commercial Arbitration

  • Representing Hilton in Singapore proceedings to obtain a permanent anti-suit injunction and/or anti-enforcement injunction to restrain a collateral attack on arbitration awards, the breach of arbitration agreement(s) and/or their effects, related relief, and in the enforcement of the arbitration awards.
  • Represented three affiliated companies in Singapore proceedings to resist an application to set aside awards issued in two related ICC arbitrations arising out of the sale and purchase of one of Southeast Asia’s leading renewable energy companies, and involving claims of over USD 1 billion. Also providing advice on Singapore law for related proceedings worldwide, including two further Singapore-seated ICC arbitrations and English court proceedings.
  • Represented a Mauritian company in Singapore proceedings to resist an application to set aside an arbitral award, and to obtain a permanent anti-suit injunction to restrain a collateral attack on the arbitral award in Thailand.
  • Represented the seller in an energy contract in ICC arbitration proceedings in respect of claims over USD 170 million, involving contracts governed by English and New York law.

Investor-State Arbitration

  • Representing a South Korean company in Singapore proceedings commenced by a State to challenge the tribunal’s ruling in an investor-State arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules on the applicability of a multilateral free trade agreement.
  • Represented the Kingdom of Lesotho in proceedings to set aside an investor-State award resulting from a Singapore-seated UNCITRAL arbitration (which concerned the alleged wrongful expropriation of rights relating to diamond mines), and in related Singapore court proceedings.
  • Represented a State in defending claims of over USD 3 billion in an ICC investor-State arbitration in relation to tax indemnity issues arising from an oil exploration service contract (dispute includes claims under international law).


  • Represented a shipbuilding company in an ICC arbitration against a components supplier of vessels to be supplied under a military procurement contract, in respect of claims arising out of the supply of defective components.
  • Represented a State in an ICC arbitration against a components supplier for vessels to be supplied under a military procurement contract in relation to claims in excess of EUR 60 million arising out of the delay caused by the supply of defective components.
  • Represented an Indonesian coal company in an SIAC arbitration against American and Indonesian construction / engineering companies over an EPC contract, with sums in dispute in the range of USD 60 million.
  • Acted for / advised an insurance company in a dispute with a global consulting firm arising out of a contract for the latter to design and implement a software solution compliant with a new accounting standard, and concerning the latter’s allegations that it was entitled to change orders (and the associated additional fees / compensation) and excused from delays in delivery.
  • Represented the employer of a project in a construction adjudication with the main contractor concerning payment claims and disputes over the performance of obligations to supply and manufacture prefabricated components.

Joint Ventures / Shareholders

  • Representing a multinational technology company in a SIAC arbitration with another multinational technology company, concerning a dispute over the latter’s alleged entitlement to a subcontract for the provision of biometric identification products and services with a price exceeding USD 100 million.
  • Representing a South Korean company in an ICC arbitration against a Canadian company over claims arising from a failed joint venture and the abandonment / mismanagement of patent applications around the world.
  • Represented the seller in an ICC arbitration concerning the alleged breach of representations and warranties of a share purchase agreement concerning the electric vehicle industry. The agreement was valued in excess of USD 450 million.
  • Advised a group of Southeast Asian companies involved in the business of air-cooled heat exchangers, optimization, refurbishment and repairs works in respect of a dispute with a European joint venture partner concerning the management and operation of their joint venture vehicle and joint venture generally.
  • Advised a South Korean private equity firm on the governing law and dispute resolution provisions of a share swap agreement.

Technology / Intellectual Property / Telecommunications

  • Acted for / advised a telecommunications company in a dispute with a data systems solutions provider over delays in the extraction and cleansing of legacy data arising out of a data migration project.
  • Advised a telecommunications company on its rights and obligations under a telecommunications services agreement for the purposes of a contemplated sale and acquisition of its business.
  • Represented a multinational technology company in a Singapore-seated ICC arbitration with another multinational technology company, concerning a contract governed by Singapore law and involving an inventorship dispute over patents in North America, EU, Africa, and Asia.
  • Acted for / advised a telecommunications company in disputes with landowners concerning the costs of relocation of data cables.

Civil Litigation

  • Represented relatives of a high net worth individual in their defence against claims alleging that they had exercised undue influence, breached fiduciary duties and/or abused fiduciary relationships of influence and/or confidence in relation to the establishment of a trust. Claims involved issues of res judicata arising out of a Singapore Court of Appeal decision in relation to the Mental Capacity Act.
  • Represented a child’s natural mother in a dispute with the child’s legal guardian over a change in the child’s name.

Pre-disputes / Advisory

  • Advised a global synthetic rubber company in a dispute with the supplier of water and water-related products over the latter’s entitlement to a price increase as a result of an allegedly unforeseeable change in its operating circumstances.
  • Acted for / advised a multinational company delivering e-wallet solutions in relation to its implication in potential miscoding and/or illegal gambling as a result of third parties, including to revoke its delisting from the high-risk merchant list of a global payment merchant.
  • Advised a multinational technology company on the listing of one of its key corporate officers as a politically exposed person on a database.
  • Advised on Singapore law with respect to an EPC contract (and related agreements) for use in Chapter 11 proceedings in Delaware, US.
  • Advised an aerospace company on the termination of a contract for the supply of a training system and any consequential relief.
  • Winner, Christopher Bathurst Essay Prize (2020)
  • Best Innovation by an Individual or Organisation’, 2019 Global Arbitration Review Awards (co-drafter of the CIArb Guidelines for Witness Conferencing in International Arbitration (with Explanatory Notes), which was awarded this accolade)
  • Best Memorandum / Quarter-Finalist, Essex Court Chambers – SAL International Moot Competition (2019)
  • Winner, CIArb International Arbitration Competition (Singapore branch) (2017)
  • Honourable Mention, Nappert Prize in International Arbitration (2016)
  • HL Wee Scholarship (2016)
  • Champion, Advocacy Cup (2015)
  • Author, “It’s No Secret(?) – Two Recent Singapore Cases on Confidentiality in the Context of International Arbitrations”, Kluwer Arbitration Blog (2023)
  • Author, “Parallel Proceedings”, Jus Mundi (last updated in 2021)
  • Co-drafter, “CIArb Guidelines for Witness Conferencing in International Arbitration (with explanatory notes)” (2019)
  • Co-author, “Heated Debates: Giving Concurrent Evidence in the Hot Tub”, SAL Practitioner (2019)
  • Author, “‘Enforcing’ National Court Judgments as Arbitration Awards under the New York Convention”, Arbitration International (2018)
  • Co-author, “Fair and Equitable Treatment”, The Investment Treaty Arbitration Review, 3rd to 6th editions (2018 to 2023)
  • Author, “No Reservations, Hong Kong: A ‘Choice of Remedies’ if the Tribunal Makes a Preliminary Ruling on its Jurisdiction?”, NYU Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration, and Commercial Law Transnational Notes (2016)
Memberships & Others
  • Assistant Editor for Technology, Kluwer Arbitration Blog
  • Regional Representative, Young ICCA, International Council for Commercial Arbitration
  • Member, Witness-Conferencing Drafting Sub-committee, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators