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Devathas Satianathan

Partner

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 and started his legal career as a Justice's Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Since joining Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP in 2016, he has acted in, and advised on, SIAC, ICC, JCAA and LMAA arbitration proceedings, court-related arbitration matters, SICC proceedings and general litigation ranging from criminal to intellectual property to insolvency matters. He also advises regularly on non-contentious matters. Outside of practice, he has taken on stints 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), and teaches at the Singapore Management University School of Law. He has worked with the Migrant Workers’ Centre, FAST, and SMU Pro Bono Centre to conduct legal clinics, has served as a Young Amicus Curiae with the Supreme Court (2017-2018), was an assessor under the COVID-19 Temporary Relief legislation, and is a CLAS (criminal law pro bono) volunteer.

Notable Cases
International Arbitration
  • Representing a Vietnamese entity in (SIAC) arbitration proceedings, in respect of claims of over US$2bn in respect of an EPC contract. Claim in relation to force majeure arising from UN sanctions. Vietnamese law applies.
  • 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 the seller in an energy contract in (ICC) arbitration proceedings, in respect of claims over US$170m. English law and New York law apply. Matter settled.
  • 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.
  • Represented a Villa owner and manager in (ICC) arbitration proceedings against a purchaser. Maldivian law and Singapore law apply. Successfully settled after a jurisdictional challenge.
Litigation
  • Representing two companies in relation to a shipyard dispute involving four suits before the High Court valued around S$30m. Singapore law applies.
  • Successfully represented a developer in an en bloc dispute valued around S$5m. Singapore law applies, dispute involving equitable rectification of the Sale and Purchase Agreement: [2021] SGHC 249. Case update accessible here: https://eoasis.rajahtann.com/eoasis/lu/pdf/2021-11_When_Contracts_May_Be_Rectified.pdf
  • 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: [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 around US$1m, 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. Case 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: [2021] SGHC 69. Case update accessible here: https://eoasis.rajahtann.com/eoasis/lu/pdf/2022-03_Nature-Extent-Overlap-Necessary.pdf
  • Successfully represented defendants in a dispute valued at US$10m. Obtained a stay of proceedings on the basis of forum non conveniens, upheld on appeal by the High Court.
  • Successfully represented Facebook Singapore in resisting pre-action discovery and interrogatories.
  • 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 liquidators of Hin Leong involving claims by storage facility.
  • Represented various defendants in proceedings before the Singapore High Court in relation to a conspiracy claim arising from shipping transactions. Successfully settled after pleadings were filed.
  • Young Amicus Curiae in PP v Thompson Matthew [2018] 5 SLR 1108, which concerned sentencing considerations in respect of an outrage of modesty charge where the offence was committed on an aircraft in flight.
Pre-disputes / Advisory / Mediation
  • 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 worth 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 worth 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.
  • Successfully mediated a dispute between a contractor and client under the auspices of Singapore Mediation Centre (March 2022).
 Achievements
  • 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.
Recent Speaking roles / events
  • Speaker, Resolving ESG Disputes Through International Arbitration (9 November 2021)
  • Speaker and Moderator, YSIAC Webinar – Arbitration: Setting Off on the Right Foot (22 October 2021)
  • Speaker, Asia Pacific Roundtable: Regional Developments in International Arbitration (10 June 2021)
  • Moderator, Arbitration in India and Singapore: Practitioners’ Views (16 April 2021)
  • Speaker, 10th, 12th, and 13th SAL Junior College Law Programme, Introduction to the Singapore Legal System (2018, 2020, 2021).
Awards / Memberships / Directorships / Appointments 
  • Member, SAL Journals Advisory Committee (2022-2025).
  • Trainer, Part B Advocacy Workshop 2021, 2022.
  • SMU School of Law Practice Advisory Committee (April 2021 to present).
  • Young Singapore International Arbitration Centre Committee (1 January 2021 to present).
  • Assessor under the COVID-19 Temporary Relief legislation 2020-2021.
  • SILE Committee for the Professional Training of Lawyers Working Group – Practice Training Framework.