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GAR 100 - 5th Edition

Dan Tan Law

05 March 2012

New York has a new international arbitration boutique with a Singaporean at its helm

This recent addition to the New York market was launched by former Latham & Watkins lawyer Dan Tan in July 2011. Although it should be emphasised that the firm hasn’t yet had a chance to prove itself in terms of results, there’s no question mark over Tan’s credentials.

He is a member of the bars of New York, California, District of Columbia, Singapore and England and Wales, and has a decade of arbitration experience at three leading firms: Latham & Watkins and O’Melveny & Myers in New York, and Lovells (now Hogan 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 on the adjunct faculty. Tan has also lectured in law at Oxford University (2002 to 2004), where he taught contract law.

He is a member of the ICC task force on arbitration involving states or state entities.

Tan has brought in three other experienced international arbitration specialists: Cody Constable, formerly of Waesche Sheinbaum & O’Regan in New York; Martin Endicott, formerly of the international arbitration and financial litigation group at Lovells and the legal department of the World Bank in Washington, DC; and Jennifer Cabrera Cammarota from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. In March 2012, they will be joined by Yousuf Aftab from Canadian law firm Torys, who has worked on several ICSID arbitrations involving Latin America.

Tan says the thinking behind the project is “to establish a flexible platform capable of delivering specialist advice and representation on cost-effective and value-driven terms.” He says the firm will tailor the service offered – as well as the rates – to the client. Those who have worked with him 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.

Track record

In its first six months of action, the firm has successfully settled an AAA arbitration in California – reportedly for 10 times what the client was previously offered to settle the case.

Other current clients include companies from the US and Canada, central Europe, Russia and China in arbitrations under ICDR, ICC and LCIA rules seated in London and New York (one case is worth US$30 million).

The firm is also advising on two large investor-state claims: against a central Asian country in respect of a US$300 million investment and against a central American company in relation to the expropriation of a resort worth US$195 million.

A likely source of clients in the future is Asia, where Tan is already sitting as the chair of an HKIAC arbitration. Tan is of Singaporean extraction and speaks fluent Mandarin. He is also said to have superb contacts in South East Asia.

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