Yong Hong specialises in “dry” shipping, commodities and trade finance. He is regularly instructed by major commodities players, as well as various international banks to act in high-value claims before the Singapore Courts and in international arbitrations.
His expertise includes bills of lading, charterparty, ship sale and purchase, commodities, and trade finance disputes. Yong Hong has also frequently been instructed by both banks and trade creditors to advise on and coordinate complex cross-border litigation in connection with the corporate insolvencies of major commodities players, bunkers suppliers and shipowners. Many of these cases involve investigating complex commercial / banking fraud.
Not limited by his specialisation, Yong Hong acts in a wide range of other contentious matters, including disputes in the hospitality industry and in joint venture disputes.
He also regularly assists his clients in drafting and reviewing all manner of commercial documents, including sale and purchase contracts, charterparties, as well as facility agreements, security documents and other loan documentation.
As an advocate, Yong Hong has argued cases before all levels of the Singapore Courts, receiving praise from a full bench of the Court of Appeal for his “candour and tenacity” in advancing his clients’ case. He is well-versed in international commercial arbitration, having acted as counsel in SIAC, SCMA, HKIAC, LMAA and LCIA arbitrations.
Yong Hong is amongst the distinguished and select group of experts to be recognised as an Accredited Specialist in Maritime and Shipping Law by the Singapore Academy of Law’s Specialist Accreditation Scheme. He is also a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and listed on the SCMA panel of arbitrators.
Recently, Yong Hong has been identified as among Singapore’s 30 Most Influential Lawyers Under 40 in 2022 by the Singapore Business Review.
Notable Cases & Transactions
International Trade/ Trade Finance
Acting for a financial service provider, as owners of metals commodities worth more than US$300 million, in various Singapore and English Court proceedings arising in connection with forged warehouse receipts put in circulation by third party fraudsters to obtain trade finance.
Acted for a Vietnamese SOE in Singapore Court and LCIA proceedings involving claims, exceeding US$30 million, in connection with a deliberate circle-out transaction purportedly for the sale and purchase of crude oil. Issues include questions relating to the sellers’ entitlement to purchase price and potential bank fraud.
Acted for trade creditors and banks with collective exposure in excess of US$20 million in relation to collapse of Kyen Resources, including advising on investigation of complex banking fraud, asset tracing, and multi-jurisdictional recovery actions (Singapore, England, Korea, China and Turkey).
Acting for a major European bank in Singapore Court proceedings in a US$5.2 million dispute in connection with an indirect guarantee transaction (URDG 758) in which the client was the guarantor bank.
Acting for a major Japanese bank to draft templates for accounts receivables purchase master agreements for general use in its transactions.
- Acting and advising judicial managers and liquidators in the insolvency of Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd one of the world’s largest tanker fleet operators.
- Acted for a major Chinese bank in proceedings before the Singapore International Commercial Court successfully obtaining damages in excess of US$32 million for breaches of best endeavors obligations by the issuer of letters of support in connection with sale-and-leaseback ship financing provided by the bank.
- Advised shipowners on multi-million-dollar demurrage claims and other matters arising in connection with prolonged waiting of their tankers off Yemen caused by Saudi blockade in 2016.
- Acted for a major oil rig operator in a US$105 million claim brought in the Singapore Courts against the hirer of a rig for breach of its obligations in a rig hire transaction.
- Advised and acted for shipyards and owners in various newbuilding disputes, including a dispute in connection with owners’ right to refuse delivery of a vessel valued at US$110 million.
- Advised and acted variously for shipowners, banks and trading houses in connection with cargo claims in connection with the collapse of Aavanti Industries in 2016.
Selected Reported Cases
- Acted for Judicial Managers / Liquidators of Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd (“OTPL”) in an application to strike out in rem writs filed without leave of court against vessels bareboat chartered by OTPL – The “Ocean Winner”  4 SLR 526.
- Acted for subsidiaries of ICBCL to successfully claim for damages of US$32 million for breach of best endeavours obligations in a letter of support – Hai Jiao 1306 Ltd v Yaw Chee Siew  5 SLR 21 /  3 SLR 142.
- Acted for Straits (Singapore) Pte Ltd to successfully injunct use of documents obtained in pre-action discovery in UK proceedings – ED&F Man Capital Markets Ltd v Straits (Singapore) Pte Ltd  2 SLR 695.
- Acted for a Vietnamese SOE to successfully defence a companies winding up application brought against it for an alleged debt of around US$30 million. The case determined the threshold for raising disputed debt where dispute is subject to arbitration – BWG v BWF  1 SLR 1296.
- Acted for Mitsubishi Corp RTM International Pte Ltd in a multi-million dollar claim involving issues arising in connection with rights of unpaid seller under the Sale of Goods Act and issues arising in the UK Supreme Court decision of The Res Cogitans  AC 1034) – Mitsubishi Corp RTM International Pte Ltd v Kyen Resources Pte Ltd  SGHCR 06.
- Acted for PTT International Trading Pte Ltd in a landmark Court of Appeal decision on when court proceedings will be stayed in favour of a foreign contractual forum – Vinmar Overseas (Singapore) Pte Ltd v PTT International Trading Pte Ltd  2 SLR 1271.
Memberships / Directorships
- Panel of Arbitrators, Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration
- Fellow, Singapore Institute of Arbitrators
- Accredited Specialist, Maritime and Shipping Law
- Member, Law Society of Singapore
- Member, Singapore Academy of Law
Other Professional Activities
- Adjunct Faculty (Shipping & Admiralty), Singapore Management University (since 2020)