Yu Zheng.jpg

Yu Zheng

Partner (Foreign Lawyer)

Practice Area:

Shipping & International Trade

LL.M, National University of Singapore
LL.B in Maritime Law, Dalian Maritime University, China
PRC Lawyer’s Qualification

T +65 6232 0613
E yu.zheng@rajahtann.com

Yu Zheng is proficient in both English and Mandarin. In addition to being a qualified Chinese lawyer, Yu Zheng is well-grounded in Singapore law (and the common law generally) through his LLM and experience working in Rajah & Tann. Being familiar with both common law legal system and Chinese legal system, Yu Zheng is frequently engaged by Chinese parties in arbitration in Singapore, London, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, as well as by non-Chinese parties to manage litigations and arbitrations in China.

Yu Zheng has a wide range of contentious experience having acted as counsel in international arbitrations in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, London, and the People's Republic of China. These arbitrations involve varied issues such as, shipping, international trade, hotel management, sale and purchase of shares, joint venture agreement, etc.

Further, Yu Zheng also frequently acts for clients in assets tracing and debt recovery.

Experience
International Trade / Trade Finance / Letters of Credit
  • Acted for the liquidator of Sinosteel (Singapore) Pte Ltd in recovery of assets in Singapore, Germany, Turkey, China and Zimbabwe, and claim against the directors and the shareholders of the company.
  • Acted for Kolmar Group to enforce a Singapore court judgment against Jiangsu Textile in the People’s Intermediate Court of Nanjing. This is the first case where a Singapore court judgment is enforced in China.
  • Acted for an European bank (Singapore branch) in the investigation and litigation relating to a fraud scandal relating to warehouse receipts allegedly issued by Qingdao port for alumina stored in the tax-bonded warehouse in Qingdao port. The value of the cargoes involved is around US$25 million. Tens of Chinese and foreign banks were involved in this scandal. The same cargoes were pledged or sold to various banks and/or traders. This European bank was the only one who successfully obtained the release of some cargoes of about US$12 million value within 6 months from the breakout of the scandal. In contrast, most of the other banks and traders have not obtained any of the pledged cargoes even after 3 years.
  • Acted as the lead counsel in an SIAC arbitration between H&C and Anhui Uni-Pacific. This arbitration award was later on enforced in the People’s Intermediate Court of Hefei, China. This is the first case where a Chinese court enforces a foreign arbitration award where the arbitration agreement was reached through an online anonymous platform.
  • Acted for a trader in Jiangsu Province, China, in several SIAC arbitrations against a nickel ore mine and an insurance company both in Indonesia. The total amount of these claims exceeds US$16 million. The disputes arise from a long-term supply contract for nickel ore and a letter of guarantee. He also assisted the clients to apply to a Chinese court for a court order of attachment. This is the first case where a Chinese court issued an order of attachment against the potential defendant to assist a foreign arbitration.
  • Acted for a state-owned company in Anhui Province, China, in a Singapore arbitration arising from a contract of sale and purchase of Mauritanian iron ore, and eventually succeeded in defending the claimant’s claim of US$4.5 million.
  • Acted for a subsidiary of a listed company in China in defending a claim in a SIAC arbitration. The dispute amount is estimated to be more than US$20 million. The dispute relates to a contract for long term sale and purchase of refrigerated propane.
  • Advised the defendant in Top Gains Minerals Macao Commercial Offshore Limited v TL Resources Pte Ltd, HCMP 1622/2015, and acted for the defendant in a related ICC arbitration.
  • Acted as a sole arbitrator in an arbitration hearing in Langfang. The dispute arises from two contracts for sale and purchase of equipment.
Shipping and Maritime
  • Acted for ICBC Leasing Finance in a series of ship finance disputes following the scheme of arrangement of ESRA group, including various court proceedings in China, Singapore, America and United Arab Emirates. The claim total amount in dispute is around US$200 million.
  • Acted for ICBC Leasing Finance in a series of ship finance disputes following the scheme of arrangement of OTTO group, including various proceedings in Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Acted for the judicial manager in a scheme of arrangement for EMS Energy Limited, a listed company in Singapore.
  • Acted for Qingdao Shunhe Shipping in a tri-partite arbitration in London regarding the sale and purchase of the Lacerta. The value of the claim is US$32 million.
  • Acted for a private shipyard and a stated owned export and import company, both in Shandong Province, China, in three SIAC arbitrations relating to disputes arising from three shipbuilding contracts. The amounts in these three cases add up to about US$35 million.
  • Acted for a shipyard in Liaoning Province, China, in two arbitrations in Singapore relating to two shipbuilding contracts. The amount in disputes in the two cases adds up to about US$23 million.
  • Acted for a Chinese shipyard in Jiangsu Province for two arbitration cases at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Arbitration Centre. The disputes arise from two shipbuilding contracts and the claim amount in total is about US$28 million.
  • Acted for a shipyard in Zhejiang Province in a London arbitration and succeeded in its claims against a Cyprus shipowner for an estimated US$ 160 million. The claims arose from six identical shipbuilding contracts.
  • Acted for Xixiakou Shipyard and a stated owned export and import company in China, as co-claimants, in two London arbitration cases relating to disputes arising from two shipbuilding contracts. The amounts in disputes in the two cases add up to about US$40 million. Also advised Xixiakou Shipyard in Xixiakou Shipyard v. Wartsila, Spliethoff’s and others (Supreme People’s Court). He successfully advised the plaintiff in resisting the stay application by Wartsila and obtained a global injunction against Bank of China from paying any money to Spliethoff’s under two refund guarantees. This is the first case decided by the Supreme People’s Court where the court admits the validity of foreign arbitration clauses, but still hold that the court shall nonetheless have jurisdiction over the disputes that are subject to the arbitration clauses.
  • Successfully assisted a Singapore company challenge jurisdiction of Fuzhou Intermediate Court in favour of Singapore arbitration in MV Magnum Force, and distinguished the above-mentioned Xixiakou case.
  • Acted for Minmetals in two London arbitrations again Glory Wealth and Transfield respectively regarding a chain of charters of the Iron Miner. The total claim amount in both cases is about US$ 130 million.
  • Acted for a stated-owned enterprise in China against a Hong Kong company in a Hong Kong arbitration relating to a contract of affreightment. The claim amount is about US$18.5 million.
  • Assisted a Singapore law firm to defend a claim against the law firm by its previous clients for an alleged professional negligence in failure to sue the cargo carrier “Jian She 33” within the time limit.
  • Acted for a Hong Kong listed bunker supplier in claiming against and tracing the assets of a major Chinese shipping company in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Eventually, the bunker supplier successfully recovered more than US$12 million principal claim amount, plus interest and legal costs.
  • Assisted a German KG in claiming against, and searching assets of a Chinese shipping company (listed in Shenzhen Stock Exchange) in various countries, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Africa.
  • Acted for the cargo interest against the shipowners in the Oinoussian Strength (in Wuhan Maritime Court). The claim amount is US$16 million, which was at that time the largest cargo damage claim in China.
  • Assisted Malaysian buyers to obtain the vessels ‘Sealink Maju 4 & 5’, which were wrongfully detained in China for ten months, and are involved in disputes of ownership. This case was eventually retried by the Supreme People’s Court of China.
Hotel Management / Construction
  • Acted for an internationally renowned hotel management group in HKIAC arbitration against a Chinese hotel owner. The disputes arise from alleged repudiation of a 20-years brand license agreement, and the claim amount exceeds CNY 24 million.
  • Acted for an international renowned hotel manager in a CIETAC arbitration in Shanghai against a major tourism group in China. The claim amount is approximately US$9 million.
  • Acted for an international renowned hotel manager in various disputes with different hotel owners. These hotels locate in China, the Republic of Laos and Indonesia.
  • Acted for Golden Landmark against Siemens in Singapore arbitration relating to a construction contract carried out in Shanghai.
Investment Dispute / Share Transfer Dispute
  • Acted for an SOE in Tianjin in an arbitration proceeding in Singapore International Arbitration Centre against a Canadian company. The dispute arises from a joint venture agreement of a joint venture company in Tianjin. The claim and the counterclaim in the arbitration add up to more than USD 100 million.
  • Acted for a Hong Kong listed real-property developer in two Singapore arbitration proceedings arising from a joint venture agreement. The disputes relate to shareholder’s preempt right. The claimants seek an order for forced sale of shares which are around CNY 1.5 billion in value.
  • Advised a Chinese listed company in Singapore Court of Appeal litigation (DyStar v. Kiri [2018] SGHC(I) 06), which is an appeal from Singapore International Commerce Court. It is a claim by an Indian listed company against the Chinese listed company for alleged minority oppression arising from a joint venture in Singapore. The Indian company’s claim is a buy-out order of around USD 200 million.
  • Acted for a Chinese shareholder of a Singapore listed company to defend a claim by the listed company in Singapore court. The claim amount is about SGD 30 million. The background of this litigation is the fight between two groups of shareholders, both trying to take over the control of the listed company.
  • Acted for Orient Thai Airway against Mr. Mick Davis (aka Lan Shili) in a claim against the latter for breach of director’s fiduciary duty and successfully obtained a mareva injunction.
  • Acted for a famous Chinese dentist in an SIAC arbitration and successfully defended a claim brought up by a subsidiary of a listed company in Singapore. The claim amount is about CNY 15 million. The dispute arises from a VIE investment in China.
  • Acted for two Singaporeans (sellers) in an SIAC arbitration against a Singapore company (buyers). The disputes arise from an agreement for sale and purchase of a company registered in Shanghai (the “Target Company”). The Target Company's main asset is a land-use title in Shanghai FTZ, the value of which is around CNY 130 million. The buyer sought a specific performance order against the sellers but eventually lost the case.
  • Advised the defendant in Fan Heli v Zhang Shujing [2015] SGHC 327 (a minority oppression case).
  • Acted as the chief arbitrator in an arbitration hearing in Langfang. The dispute arises from a contract for sale and purchase of a gas station.
Other Disputes
  • Acted for a petrochemical company listed in China to defend a claim by a Mexico company in an ICC arbitration. The underlying disputes arise from a technology license agreement. The claim amount exceeds US$22 million.
  • Acted for the owner of “Mobike” trademark against the owner of “Obike” trademark. The two trademarks are famous trademarks for bicycles-sharing in China.
Non-contentious Matters
  • Acted for a Jiangsu shipyard and its financier in the negotiation for restructuring of six shipbuilding contracts following the economic crash in 2009. Successfully novated the contracts to another shipyard for the latter to take over the construction of the six vessels. The original price of the six vessels adds up to about US$120 million.
  • Advised a leading collateral manager company in Asia on a new structure of commodity finance in China.
  • Assisted a commodity trader in Shanghai in the negotiation and drafting of a five-year supply contract of Indian iron ore. The contract value is about US$95 million.
  • Advised and assisted a major steel mill in China in the attempted acquisition of Lion Group and other steel mill in Malaysia. These two steel mills are among the largest steel mills in Malaysia.
  • Advised and assisted a major steel mill in China in the negotiation of a joint venture and acquisition of mine resources in Indonesia.
Memberships/Directorships
  • Commissioner of the Shipping and Maritime Special Professional Commission of China National Lawyers’ Association
  • Mediator of Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in the areas of investment and hospitality disputes
  • Arbitrator in the Panel of Arbitrators, Langfang Arbitration Commission, China
  • Arbitrator in the Panel of arbitrators of China Maritime Arbitration Centre
  • Invited Expert of Professional Committee on Investment Arbitration of China Academy of Arbitration Law
  • Research Fellow of Institute of Marine Insurance Law of Dalian Maritime University
  • Research Fellow of Research Centre of International Shipping Law and Politics of South China Normal University
Publications
  • “Creating an Amicable Cooperation Environment in International Rule of Law – Analysis and Recommendation on Nanjing Court’s Judgment relating to the Recognition and Enforcement of Singapore Court Judgment”, Co-Author: Ge Huangbin and Wu Zhengkun, People’s Court Daily, 11 August 2017, page 8.
  • “Comments on SIAC Arbitration Rules of 2010 Version”, co-author with Yang Anshan, published at page 104 of Annual of China Maritime Law, Vol. 22, No 2, 2011.
  • “May Claimants Arrest the Guarantor’s Vessels for Claims Arising from a Performance Guarantee under a Charterparty?”, co-author with Yang Anshan, published on page 103 of Annual of China Maritime Law, Vol. 21, No 3, 2010.
  • “The Discretionary Power of the English Court in Recognizing and Enforcing Foreign Arbitral Awards”, co-author with Yang Anshan, published on page 114 of Annual of China Maritime Law, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2010.
  • “Supreme People’s Court of China Has Denied the Effectiveness of an Arbitration Clause in a Bill of Lading”, co-author with Yang Anshan, published on page 10:404 of 2010 Annual Review of International Banking Law & Practice.
  • “Recent Amendments to Civil Procedure Law”, published on page 22 of Sea Venture, 11th issue, a periodical by Steamship Mutual (Also online: http://www.simsl.com/SeaVenture.html)
  • “The Enforcement of China Judgment in Singapore”, Co-author with Toh Kian Sing, SC, presented at China Lawyers Maritime Law Forum, November 2007, Ningbo, China, also published in Guangxi Lawyers, 1st Vol of 2008.