Joseph Tan

Joseph Tan

Partner Singapore, Singapore

Joseph is a Partner at Kennedys Legal Solutions. He is qualified in Singapore in 1998 and specialises in various aspects of shipping and admiralty practice, international trade and trade finance, and has handled numerous disputes involving commodities comprising of both bulk dry cargoes as well as liquid cargoes.

He represents oil traders, mineral commodity traders, ship owners, charterers and operators on a wide range of matters arising from the sale of commodities.  The type of work ranges from advising clients on upstream oil and gas matters, seismic and other offshore oil and gas support services, to the sale of goods across jurisdictions, the related trade finance aspects arising from the international sale of goods, as well as the shipment of goods and all the related shipping disputes.

Joseph is fluent in Mandarin and has represented a number of Chinese traders, both State Owned Enterprises, as well as private companies, in numerous matters, including arbitrations in Singapore and Hong Kong as well as managing and coordinating litigations across numerous jurisdictions.

Joseph has also been mentioned in the category of shipping of The Legal 500 and is a member of Law Society of Singapore, Singapore Academy of Law and Maritime Law Association of Singapore.

“Joseph Tan is [a] key figure…”

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a client in the oil and gas industry from a claim by his joint venture partner.  The claim was an application for leave to commence a derivative action against the ship manager that was owned by the client for alleged breaches of the ship management agreement.  The claim raises a novel point of law at trial as to the calculation of time for the purposes of the Limitation Act.
  • Advised a Chinese State Owned Enterprise and coordinated litigations across several jurisdictions to seek recovery of the loss of about US$80 million in connection with a series of contracts for the international sale of goods.  The claim arose due to a fraud committed on the clients.  The various claims include instructing foreign counsel to claim against the carriers for delivery without presentation of the original bills of lading, as well as claims against the rouge counterparts and seeking to trace their assets internationally.
  • Successfully represented the Singapore subsidiary of a listed Chinese commodity trader as counsel in an arbitration in Hong Kong against another Chinese State Owned Enterprise before a tribunal of 3 arbitrators.  The claim arose due to the default of the other party in fulfilling a sale contract for a cargo of coal, and we successfully obtained a Final Award in favour of client notwithstanding the fact that the client failed to establish a letter of credit within the time stipulated in the contract.
  • Defended the Singapore subsidiary of an Indian commodity trading house in the High Court of Singapore for a claim by another international commodity trading house for the sum of US$75 million.  The claim arose from an arbitration award made in favour of the Indian commodity trader, and it was alleged that the Indian commodity trader fraudulently transferred its assets to its Singapore subsidiary.  This brief involved the detailed examination of a series of complex financial transactions involving a number of legal entities from Singapore, India, Dubai and London.
  • Successfully defended the owners of a VLCC in a claim in the High Court of Singapore for personal injuries sustained by a stevedore whilst mooring the vessel.  The cable on board the vessel holding the hose snapped and seriously injured the stevedore.  However, the stevedore’s job was that of a safety officer and his specific duty was to ensure nobody stood below the cable during the operations and he was injured because he was standing at the exact spot where no one was supposed to be standing.