Qualifications & Professional / Academic History
- LL.M., Harvard Law School (2005)
- LL.B. (1st Class Honours), London School of Economics (2001)
- Admitted as Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore (2004)
- Admitted as Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (2013) and the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators (2017)
- Arbitrator – Korean Commercial Arbitration Board
- Arbitrator – Beijing Arbitration Commission
- Arbitrator, Chinese Arbitration Association (International)
- Adjunct Senior Research Fellow (Energy Financing), E.W. Barker Centre for Law and Business, National University of Singapore
Area of Practice
- Civil and commercial dispute resolution
- International commercial arbitration
- Renewable energy
- Oil and Gas
- Private equity
Approach / Methodology
Arvin takes a problem-solving approach to client issues, seeking to understand first their commercial objectives, then positioning his dispute resolution strategy accordingly. He has carved out a track record in winning under tight pressure of time and against significantly better-resourced opposing parties.
As his dispute resolution practice relates to Southeast Asia and Greater China, he has honed practical instincts to getting results across jurisdictions. For example, as lead counsel in a trademark licensing arbitration, he started off preventing opposing PRC parties from transferring out the trademark to third parties even though PRC Courts then did not have the power to grant interim relief in aid of foreign arbitrations, by an innovative strategy of causing revocation proceedings to be brought before the PRC Trademark Bureau, which imposed a de facto moratorium on such transfer. He ended the dispute by instructing PRC counsel who successfully enforced the award in its entirety before the PRC Courts (with finality). In another dispute, where parties to an arbitration involved BVI-incorporated entities, he worked with BVI counsel to take steps to bring about the winding up of these entities, causing opposing parties to drop the arbitration altogether.
Arvin is an early advocate of third party funding, maintains good working relationships with various third party funders through fair assessments, and works with claimant clients to obtain such funding for international commercial arbitrations that reduces their financial exposure and sends a strong signal about the merits of their claim(s).
Arvin seeks constantly to up his game. In early 2016, he was on special placement with Fountain Court Chambers, London, where he worked with several Queen’s Counsel on complex financial disputes and reinsurance matters.
Notable Cases and Transactions (includes experience from previous firms)
Energy and Energy-Related Disputes
Oil and Gas
- Lead counsel for a Chinese mining company on two SIAC arbitrations against a global Big 5 commodities trading house and a regional oil trading company in relation to disputes arising from sale and purchase of Light Cycle Oil
- Lead counsel for an Australian upstream oil and gas company in its dispute against floating production services provider including an SIAC arbitration in relation to a US$7M parent company guarantee, and another SIAC arbitration (including preliminary Emergency Arbitration) in relation to a charterparty with amount in dispute (claims and counterclaims) in excess of US$10 million.
- Lead counsel for an established Taiwan petrochemical trader against a major global oil major in relation to a sale and purchase dispute in excess of US$6 million in two consolidated SIAC arbitrations.
- Co-lead counsel for the Japanese subsidiary of a major Indonesian oil and gas company in relation to LC claims in excess of US$23 million against a major international bank before the Singapore International Commercial Court
- Acted for an Indian conglomerate in relation to an oil rig construction dispute before the Singapore International Commercial Court
- Lead counsel for a Southeast Asian wind power developer in its project finance claims against private equity investor in an SIAC arbitration, where total amount in dispute is in excess of US$20 million.
- Lead counsel for a Southeast Asian wind power developer in relation to attempts by private equity investor to exercise conversion rights to take over control of the developer at project level pursuant to an accelerated repayment provision.
- Lead counsel for a Singapore listed ship supply company in relation to a trademark licensing dispute against 2 PRC parties. Successfully ran an SIAC Expedited arbitration and obtained an award for all orders sought (pertaining to specific performance) and costs in full. This award was enforced by the Dalian Intermediate Court with finality. The client testimonial was in these terms: “…showed great strategic foresight in anticipating the moves of the counterparties…”
- Lead counsel for a global Chinese company to effect the termination of 2 of its most senior APAC executives. This matter promised to be considerably contentious, but we secured compliance by the two executives with all demands by clients within 2 weeks, obviating the need for use of significant management time.
Private Equity-Related Work
- Personally instructed by Shanghai Decent Co. Ltd to for deal negotiation advice in relation to a US$50 million private equity injection by the China ASEAN Fund into PT Sulawesi Mining Investama, an Indonesian company that holds Indonesia’s largest iron-nickel project and which is part-owned by the Shanghai Decent group.
- Lead counsel for a major Southeast Asian private equity company in relation to various disputes arising from and in relation to a shareholders’ agreement where amount in dispute exceeds US$50 million
Arbitral Award Setting Aside
- Acting for BVI-registered upstream oil and gas companies to set aside an arbitral award in favour of major PRC oil and gas companies before the Singapore International Commercial Court
- Acted for a major Korean automotive parts manufacturer to set aside an arbitral award in favour of a major US automotive parts manufacturer before the Singapore High Court
Third Party Funding Work
- Advised a major third party funder in relation to a professional liability claim in excess of US$100 million governed by Singapore law to enable the funder to make its assessment on buying over the claim
English and Chinese (both native), and rudimentary conversational Arabic.