Jainil Bhandari

Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
Partner, Christopher & Lee Ong, Malaysia
Director, Rajah & Tann Myanmar Company Limited

Practice Area:

Shipping & International Trade

LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore 1988
Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore 1989
Advocate & Solicitor, High Court of Malaya 1992
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2015
Senior Accredited Specialist (Maritime and Shipping), Singapore Academy of Law

T +65 6232 0601
E jainil.bhandari@rajahtann.com

Jainil Bhandari is qualified to practice law in Singapore and Malaysia. He is a partner of Rajah & Tann Singapore, and Rajah & Tann’s Malaysian associate office Christopher & Lee Ong, and also a director of Rajah & Tann Myanmar Company Limited. 

Jainil has been named as a Senior Accredited Specialist for Maritime and Shipping Law by the Singapore Academy of Law’s Specialist Accreditation Scheme. He is also a qualified arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Insitute of Arbitrators.

Jainil is recently recommended as a global leader by Who’s Who Legal: Transport – Shipping 2022. He has also been consistently ranked as a leading lawyer in shipping law by Chambers, The Legal 500, asialaw Profiles and Best Lawyers.

Jainil has been in active litigation and arbitration practice since 1989, appearing in both the Singapore and Malaysian courts and in ad hoc as well as institutional commercial arbitrations administered under SIAC, SCMA, AIAC, LMAA and UNCITRAL Rules.  He is also experienced in commodity contract arbitrations administered by various trade bodies such as GAFTA, FOSFA and PORAM.  He specializes in shipping and trading disputes relating among other matters to bills of lading, charter parties and transportation contracts, offshore construction projects, marine insurance, shipping casualties, oil pollution and international commodity contracts involving shipments of coal, iron ore and oil.

Jainil was an adjunct tutor for the basic advocacy course at the National University of Singapore from 1990 to 1997.  In addition, he tutored Admiralty law for the Preparatory Course Leading to Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations (formerly known as the Postgraduate Practical Law Course).


Jainil has considerable experience in diverse shipping and commodity disputes. Some significant cases which he has handled as lead Counsel include:

  • Acted for a large Singapore insurer in a claim before the Singapore International Commercial Court for constructive total loss and sue & labour expenses incurred relating to damage caused to a Single Point Mooring buoy located in an offshore gas field in Myanmar.
  • Acted for a large international liner operator in Court proceedings in Malaysia in relation to two major oil pollution incidents in Tanjong Pelepas port that affected more than 50 vessels and resulted in significant claims brought for clean up costs, loss of revenue and other consequential losses.
  • Acted for the buyers (large Singapore commodity trader) in a dispute arising out of a sale and purchase agreement for non coking coal which was allegedly off specifications for certain quality parameters. Successful SIAC arbitration award obtained in favour of the client.
  • Acted for a Philippines buyer in an SIAC arbitration relating to alleged repudiatory breaches of a term contract for the supply of LPG. The issues involved inter alia the Claimant’s alleged failure to obtain imports customs clearance for the LPG under Philippines law.
  • Acted for a large crude oil and petroleum trader in an AIAC arbitration against a Malaysian Government linked port operator arising from a fire incident at the port tank storage facility, which resulted in significant claims for cargo loss and loss of use of the facility. Successful outcome with an arbitration award in excess of US$140 million.
  • Acted as lead Counsel for a large Chinese offshore engineering company in an AIAC arbitration in respect of claims for liquidated damages, delay and variations/additional costs arising from a contract for the installation of offshore pipelines and platforms.
  • Acted for a large international freight forwarder in an AIAC arbitration relating to claims for damage to project cargo caused by a fire on board a vessel during loading.
  • Acted for a large oil major in relation to a claim for damage caused to its undersea pipeline in Malaysia by a vessel dragging its anchor.
  • Acting for a European trader in a dispute before the Malaysian Court relating to breach of a contract for sale of crude oil of Venezuelan origin involving allegations of breach of warranties and specifications of the cargo.
  • Acted for the Singapore subsidiary of an Indian state owned trader in a GAFTA Arbitration in London relating to defaults under contracts for the sale of wheat caused by force majeure. Appeal against the award was successful.
  • Acted for the Government of West Bengal in an SIAC arbitration relating to a dispute under a contract for the sale of iron ore fines. Successful award in favour of the client.
  • Acted for a substantial Indian offshore operator in an arbitration in relation to disputes under contracts for the conversion of a Mobile Offshore Production Unit with a contract value in excess of US$40 million.
  • Advised an oil major in respect of oil pollution claims arising from a collision in the Straits of Singapore resulting in the largest oil pollution incident in the history of Singapore.
  • Acted for the owners and insurers of a vessel involved in a collision in Chittagong port which resulted in damage to several Bangladeshi Navy vessels and claims in excess of US$30 million asserted by the Bangladeshi Government.
  • Acted for the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India in a dispute with a Hong Kong party involving the sale of iron ore which was allegedly off specifications.
  • Advised the owners and insurers in relation to the sinking of a vessel in the Yangon river, Myanmar, and subsequent successful wreck removal negotiations with the Myanmar Port Authority.
  • Acted for a major Malaysian chemical terminal operator in an arbitration involving the contamination of MEG stored in their terminal tanks.
  • Member, Bar Council of Malaysia
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Panel of Arbitrators in the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) & Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
  • Teaching fellow, Singapore Institute of Legal Education
  • Member, Maritime Law Association of Singapore