Kendall Tan (cropped).jpg

Kendall Tan

Head, Shipping & International Trade
Head, Brunei Business Unit, Rajah & Tann Asia

Practice Area:

Shipping & International Trade
Brunei Business Unit

Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore
Advocate & Solicitor, Brunei Darussalam
Solicitor, England & Wales (Practising)
Senior Accredited Specialist (Maritime and Shipping), Singapore Academy of Law
Adjunct Professor (Shipping & Admiralty), Singapore Management University
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)

T +65 6232 0634

Kendall Tan is the Head of the Shipping & International Trade Practice at Rajah & Tann Singapore, and concurrently leads the Brunei Business Unit of Rajah & Tann AsiaClients seek out Kendall to advise on disputes both locally, and across borders. He has dual admission as an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and of the Bar of Brunei Darussalam. Kendall is also a qualified and practising Solicitor on the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales. A “lawyer’s lawyer”, he garners a steady stream of instructions from international law firms and in-house counsel teams.

Kendall features in the rankings by successive editions of Chambers Global and other esteemed journals, in the shipping disputes space, notably for “amazing tenacity and stamina in prying apart the complexities in any matter”. He is lauded by clients for his “astute mind”, and ability to process “a massive amount of data across different types of evidence to still pull linkages together and to even pinpoint which ones may be fraudulent.” Kendall is feted in the peer review publications of Best Lawyers in Singapore as well as Euromoney’s Asialaw Leading Lawyers, in the practice area of Shipping, Maritime & Aviation Law, and for being “exceptionally knowledgeable in both dry and wet matters” and “very commercially minded and responsive”.

He finds time for academia as a university adjunct professor in shipping law. He has given expert evidence on maritime law which found endorsement both in decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Kendall's key areas of practice straddle ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ shipping. He advises on charterparty disputes, cargo/bill of lading claims, specialised carriage such as containerised, combi-transport and refrigerated cargoes, “D.G.” shipments and chemical tanker shipping, ship sale & purchase issues, shipbuilding, ship management, bunkering and tug-&-tow related disputes. Kendall represented the owners of a specialised drillship in a CTL incident and well blowout spawning a series of very high stakes disputes, which were favourably resolved. He advises on the full spectrum of P&I and defence cover disputes, specialist cargo and energy package insurance matters, as well as issues relating to hull & machinery policies.

For casualty-work, he has represented and advised shipowners, underwriters and cargo interests in mooring and berthing accidents, collisions and allisions, collapse of container stow, fires and rig / drillship incidents. Kendall acted as counsel to a major container line on a general average incident afflicting the fully laden container vessel “Tiger Cliff” off Kolkata, that was then litigated in the Singapore High Court. He again acted as a counsel in two major collisions during 2016-2017 resulting in transboundary oil pollution occurrences and substantial damage claims. His experience includes acting in rig allisions/collisions spanning Singapore to the Gulf of Mexico. His expertise allows him to ably advise builders on rig conversions in high-value disputes.


Kendall has regular involvement – for shipowners and cargo interests alike – in arrest and other security-taking measures locally and across jurisdictions.  He has an especial interest in complex jurisdictional disputes, having, even as a young associate, led negotiations for a major Thai commodities exporter in a complex multi-jurisdictional dispute spanning London-Dubai-Bangkok-Singapore-Shanghai-Um Qasr, involving state interests, shipowners and cargo financiers.  Conversant in Mandarin, he has regular involvement in disputes litigated in the PRC courts, and other North Asian jurisdictions.  He is active as counsel in the Singapore courts, and in handling substantial maritime arbitrations in Singapore and London.  His wider experience includes acting in the Singapore chapter of the "ACONCAGUA" litigation for which he was instructed in a very substantial claim from total loss of the vessel due to DG cargo.

Arising from the 2008-2010 drybulk crash, Kendall acted for claimants and respondents in high quantum shipbuilding and Capesize charter disputes that were arbitrated in Singapore and London, including a high-value recovery for Hanjin Shipping.  He also advised and pursued claims for a major North American chartering entity by arrests of ships associated with Libyan state-owned companies in the aftermath of the Gaddafi regime collapse.

For non-marine and trade, Kendall has acted in international sale ICC and GAFTA arbitrations.  He is counsel of choice to a national oil company, leading global traders in crude and fuel products, as well as a state-owned LNG carrier fleet. On the energy front, Kendall advises on oil-trading and LNG long-term supply and transportation contracts. He is active as counsel to one of the largest pulp and paper manufacturers in the world, in advising on the group’s operations in Asia.  Kendall is also counsel to a leading tobacco company on regulatory matters.

  • Board member, Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
  • Member, Law Society of England and Wales
  • Fellow, FCIArb
  • Uberrimae Fides In Marine Insurance Contracts — Demarcating The Boundaries Of An Insured’s Continuing Duty Of Utmost Good Faith [1999] 20 Singapore Law Review 281 – 336.
  • Key Developments in Singapore Ship Arrest Laws: A Practitioner’s Perspective [2015] 1 Tur. Com. L. Rev. 253-264
  • Co-author, The Shipping Law Review (UK Edition, 2014, 2015)
  • Author, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Shipping Law 2015, 2016
  • Author, Expert Guide, Shipping & Maritime Law 2016
  • Featured in HFW Litigation’s report on the future of dispute resolution (2021)