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GAR 100 - 12th Edition

Dan Tan Law

05 April 2019

A US boutique with links to Singapore

People in Future Leaders 1
Pending cases as counsel 14
Value of pending counsel work US$1.5 billion
Treaty cases 2
Current arbitrator appointments 7 (5 as chair or sole)
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 cases. The firm has also added Paul Barker, an English barrister with Doughty Street, to the San Francisco office.

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.


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. 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$500 million.

It has also won an ICC arbitration based on an environmental indemnity claim  on behalf of a Brazilian company against a US entity and hedge fund.

Recent events

Recent instructions for Dan Tan Law include an AAA arbitration worth US$110 million brought by a Panama company against a leading US manufacturer over patent infringement; and a confidential US$1.1 billion arbitration concerning projects in China.

The firm continued its work in two SIAC cases and related court proceedings in a US$60 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 also reports advising a Turkish contractor in a US$150 million ICSID claim against a Middle Eastern state.

Other work includes 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.

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$50 million.

In 2018, the firm worked on an ICDR arbitration in a dispute involving US and Asian parties over a military contracting agreement, as well as acting in an ICC arbitration between the licensor and the distributor/representative in the medical devices industry.

Dan Tan Law is also acting in an SIAC arbitration which involves a dispute involving the acquisition and operation of a company in the educational services industry.



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