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GAR 100 - 10th Edition

Dan Tan Law

01 March 2017

A US boutique with links to Singapore

Pending cases as counsel 12
Value of pending counsel work US$1.3 billion
Treaty cases 1
Current arbitrator appointments 6 (of which 5 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 1

Singaporean Dan Tan launched Dan Tan Law in 2011 and operates it from New York and San Francisco, along with a fully licensed affiliate firm in Singapore.

A member of the bars of New York, California, the District of Columbia, Singapore, and England and Wales, Tan has a decade of arbitration experience at three leading firms: Latham & Watkins and O’Melveny & Myers in New York, and Lovells in London. In addition, he teaches international arbitration at Harvard Law School and at the Singapore Management University School of Law, where he is an adjunct faculty member. Since 2013, he has been a professor at Stanford Law School where he teaches international investment law.

Tan initially brought in three other international arbitration specialists, of whom one remains: Martin Endicott, formerly of the international arbitration and financial litigation group at Lovells and the World Bank in Washington, DC. The practice has since acquired Jennie Lin, a graduate of Harvard who has represented clients in ICC and LCIA arbitrations.

Tan says the thinking behind the boutique was “to establish a flexible platform capable of delivering specialist advice and representation on cost-effective and value-driven terms”. He says the firm tailors the service offered – as well as the rates – to suit the client.

Those who have worked with Tan pay tribute to his impressive attention to detail and strategy and “easy to work with” approach. “Clients love him,” one former Latham partner told GAR.

Network

In 2013, the boutique established its fully licensed affiliate firm in Singapore law firm, JLC Advisors, which is headed by Shem Khoo, a former partner at Rajah & Tann.

Who uses it?

One of the world’s largest electronics companies, Future Electronics, is a client. The firm also acts for companies from Canada and the US, Singapore and Hong Kong, central Europe, Russia and China in arbitrations under ICDR, ICC and LCIA rules seated in London and New York.

It has acted for the Palestinian Water Authority in an UNCITRAL case where the other side was represented by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Track record

The firm is known for successfully settling disputes. In its first six months of action, it settled an AAA arbitration in California – reportedly for 10 times what the client was previously offered to settle the case. A dispute with a well-known US pharmaceutical company represented by Winston & Strawn also settled on the client’s terms.

In addition, Dan Tan Law has successfully defended listed US and Canadian companies in an ICDR arbitration seated in New York. Claims by Singaporean parties for more than US$35 million were fully dismissed.

It previously won the liability phase in an UNCITRAL arbitration against a South East Asian state-owned entity represented by White & Case. The contractual claims alone were in excess of US$500million.

Recent events

Dan Tan Law has lately been involved in two SIAC cases and related court proceedings in a US$50 million dispute between shareholders in a well-known entertainment company in South East Asia. It also acted for a Hong Kong commodities trader in a dispute over a coal agreement at the LCIA.

The firm is acting in two Singapore-seated ICC claims over intellectual property and a US$10 million ICC case in São Paulo relating to an indemnity claim for environmental clean-up costs. Other clients include a Turkish contractor with claims worth US$150 million; and parties from Argentina and Panama in a case at the American Arbitration Association involving claims for patent infringement and false marking.

In addition, it is working alongside Fangda Partners representing Chinese, BVI and Cayman entities in an HKIAC case against a major Hong Kong private equity fund for fraud and breach of contract. The case is worth around US$25 million.