GAR 100 - 8th Edition

Rodyk & Davidson

Professional notice

Won a rare set-aside in the Singapore courts

People in Who’s Who Legal:2
Pending cases as counsel:59
Value of pending counsel work:US$1.77 billion
Treaty cases:0
Current arbitrator appointments:19 (of which 12 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator:5

Rodyk & Davidson was established in 1861, making it Singapore’s oldest law firm. With a team of 200 lawyers, it is also one of the city state’s largest full-service outfits, with five main groups – corporate; finance; IP and technology; real estate; and litigation and arbitration – that possess specialists in construction, aviation and maritime law.

Its most prominent arbitration practitioner is managing partner Philip Jeyaretnam SC, who is also chairman of Singapore’s well-known arbitration venue, Maxwell Chambers.

Other names to know are Lawrence Teh, who co-chairs the IBA’s Asia–Pacific arbitration group and the Asia Pacific Regional Forum, and was elected in 2014 to the 18-strong council of the IBA’s Legal Practice Division for a four-year term; and Lok Vi Ming SC, the current president of the Singapore Law Society who sits on the eight-strong board of directors at the new Singapore International Mediation Centre.

Some 10 partners in total work in the practice area, with several of its members listed on the arbitrator panels of the SIAC, the KLRCA and Chinese institutions in Shanghai, Chongqing and Huizhou. Its arbitration cases are all contract-based.


The firm has offices in Singapore and Shanghai, and strategic alliances throughout the region, enabling it, in its own words, to provide “effective representation across Asia”.

Who uses it?

Known clients are Indonesian state gas transmission company Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN); Symrise Asia Pacific, one of the leading suppliers of fragrances, flavourings and active ingredients for the perfume, cosmetics and food industries; and Everfirst Mining. Other clients are in the banking, chemicals and shipping sectors. Its government clients include Laos.

Track record

The firm successfully handled the fastest arbitration in the SIAC’s history on behalf of a clean energy company that brought a claim against Indonesian respondents in relation to the purchase of nickel mines. Rodyk obtained interim injunctive relief and then a favourable arbitration award for specific performance within 60 days of the notice of arbitration. This time period included an evidential hearing lasting five days.

In 2011, the firm also acted for PGN in a court application to set aside an arbitral award, ordering it to pay US$17 million. The case raised novel and difficult questions concerning the dispute resolution clause in the FIDIC Red Book and resulted in the Court of Appeal giving valuable guidance to international construction lawyers dealing with dispute adjudication board decisions. The decision has since spawned another award against PGN, which was recently upheld by the Singapore courts.

Going back to 2010, the firm successfully enforced a Danish Arbitration Institute award against Singapore investment group Ultrapolis in the Singapore Court of Appeal on behalf of a Danish company contracted to design a mega yacht. The High Court decision in the same case was the first in Singapore to have considered the UK Supreme Court judgment Dallah v Pakistan.

Recent events

The firm hired new partner Ganesh Chandru, formerly of Clyde & Co, who is qualified in India, England and Wales, and Singapore. Early in 2015, it also hired the managing partner of Bryan Cave’s Singapore office, Iain Sharp – a trade and commodities arbitration specialist. Senior associate Melissa Thng was promoted to partner and joined the leadership committee of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s young practitioners group, YSIAC.

In the Singapore High Court, a team led by Jeyaretnam helped two investment funds win the set-aside of an SIAC award (estimated to be worth over US$200 million) rendered in 2012 in favour of companies owned by Indian steel magnate Pramod Mittal. Other GAR 100 firms were involved as counsel to co-applicants in the set-aside.

The firm is currently advising a Chinese state-owned enterprise in a case arising out of the construction of an extension to Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit system. Other current work includes shipbuilding, IT system services and coal supply disputes.

Rodyk's Arbitration Practice comprises practitioners who are experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of industries and business sectors. Our arbitrators have handled large and complex disputes that require specialist insight into the client’s industry and are sensitive to the client’s specific business concerns.

Rodyk offers a comprehensive range of services from advising and representing clients in arbitration hearings to drafting the arbitration clauses, selecting the appropriate venue and arbitral process, and advising on the appointment of arbitrators, to enforcing arbitral awards.

We have represented our clients in both domestic and international arbitrations and have advised on the major arbitral institutions and arbitration rules, including ICC, SIAC, CIETAC, HKIAC, ICSID, AAA, LCIA, LMAA, SCC, UNCITRAL and WIPO.

Our lawyers are appointed Fellows of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and members of the Regional Panel of Arbitrators of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. Our senior practitioners who frequently serve as local and international arbitrators, arbitrate in all areas of law, including commercial, construction, aviation and marine cases.

They serve in both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations.

Our expertise includes:

  • Domestic arbitration
  • International arbitration
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

About Rodyk & Davidson LLP Established in 1861, Rodyk & Davidson LLP is Singapore's oldest law practice. A full service firm with offices in Singapore and Shanghai, Rodyk has an established regional presence and is particularly respected for our China Practice, India Practice and Indonesia Practice.

For more information, please visit

Contact Partner:
Philip Jeyaretnam, SC
Managing Partner
+65 6885 3605 (Direct)
[email protected]

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