Contact details

Durai Shunmugam

T: +65 6226 1600 Email Durai | Vcard Office: Singapore

Awards

 Recommended Lawyer for Shipping: Foreign firms

Recommended Lawyer for Shipping: Foreign firms

Leading individual for Shipping: International: Litigation - Singapore

Leading individual for Shipping: International: Litigation - Singapore

Winner - The i-law Maritime Law Award

Winner - The i-law Maritime Law Award

Durai Shunmugam Partner

Contact details

Durai Shunmugam

Durai Shunmugam
Partner

T: +65 6226 1600 Email Durai | Vcard Office: Singapore

Durai heads our disputes practice in Singapore. His particular expertise is in complex finance restructuring, insolvency matters and related regulatory matters, transportation, aviation, energy, offshore and construction but is equally adept in shipping and marine and international trade.
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Noted for his strong advocacy and litigation skills as well as first-hand knowledge of Asia, he is most recently listed in the Euromoney's Shipping Expert Guide 2017 as a leading practitioner in Shipping. He is also recommended for international arbitration and shipping by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 and Chambers Asia Pacific 2018. Durai is also identified in Who's Who Legal 2018 as being among the world's leading shipping lawyers.

Durai's general practice extends to complex finance restructuring, insolvency matters, regulatory and compliance matters including dealing with sanctions, export controls, dawn raid, corruption and anticompetitive behaviour. He uses his experience across a wide range of sectors to develop innovative bespoke solutions to meet his client's needs.

Durai’s shipping practice covers issues surrounding offshore exploration, drilling, construction and production projects, shipping, casualties and incidents, shipbuilding, conversions and commodities, as well as international trade.

In aviation, Durai has assisted and advised in the sale and purchase of aircrafts and the disputes arising therefrom as well as disputes relating to unpaid lease rentals, non-delivery/acceptance of aircraft, maintenance issues and aircraft damage. Durai is also familiar with seeking pre-emptive relief from the courts in assisting in obtaining security for such claims.

Durai is called both to the UK and Singapore Bar and has appeared as lead counsel before the Supreme Court of Singapore and arbitration tribunals on numerous occasions. He is a qualified arbitrator and a fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and a regular mediator for the Singapore Mediation Centre.

"He is phenomenal - very fast, very commercial and very focused."
Chambers Global 2015

  • Restructuring and insolvency
  • Aviation litigation and regulation
  • Commercial litigation
  • Marine and international trade
  • Shipbuilding and offshore construction
  • Marine casualty response

Acting on various issues arising out of the Hanjin rehabilitation proceedings in Korea and elsewhere, including acting for lenders, mortgagees, shipowners, freight forwarders and cargo owners on a multitude of issues such as enforcement of securities, transhipment and delivery of cargoes, termination of charters, settlement of bunker claims, etc.

Acting on various finances granted by DVB Group Merchant Bank (Asia) Ltd to various vessel owning companies operating under the Pan Ocean banner following the application by Pan Ocean for rehabilitation in the Korean courts. This involved complex issues requiring careful consideration resulting in the sale/taking back of certain vessels and remains on-going.

Assisting a European bank and related entities in recovering assets and vessels stuck in different jurisdictions when the charterers filed for insolvency protection in Indonesia and Singapore.

Advising various creditors of Swiber after Swiber collapsed and applied first for winding up and then judicial management in 2016.

Advising various creditors of Swissco, including lenders and joint venture partners, since Swissco started facing signs of trouble in the declining oil & gas market.

Acting for and advising creditors which included various banks against EMAS-AMC Pte Ltd (part of the EMAS Chiyoda Subsea Limtied group undergoing restructuring under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code) regarding a stay order granted in Singapore and also acting for creditors against EMAS-AMC AS.

Advising on the sale and purchase of aircrafts and disputes arising therefrom.

Advising disputes relating to unpaid lease hire, non-delivery/acceptance of aircraft, maintenance issues and damage.

Assisting in seeking pre-emptive relief from the courts and in assisting in obtaining security for such claims. 

Advising Panalpina World Transport Ltd on a claim by PSS Consultants Pte Ltd for consultancy fee pursuant to an alleged agreement worth over US$1.4 million. PSS Consultants claim that there was an agreement by which Panalpina had agreed to pay commissions for assistance in securing a deal with Modec group of companies.

Assisting in indemnity claims brought against our client in three jurisdictions, Singapore, United Kingdom and New Zealand, in respect of potential claims by a third party against the Plaintiffs for damages arising from a defective mooring system that it had purchased from the Plaintiffs, and installed by our client.

Assisting in alleged tort of conspiracy case against our clients and their directors with respect to breaches of various vessel management agreements between parties.

Acting as mediator in relation to various disputes including Copyright Act breaches, Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act disputes, breach of contract matters in relation to construction services, tenancy disputes, company and shareholder disputes and shipping matters.

More: Commercial litigation

Advising shipowners on a claim for damage to an LPG cargo and consequential delays in discharge and cargo loss claims.

Assisting a listed offshore operator in arbitration proceedings for their claims for unpaid charter hire against an Egyptian charter, in excess of US$5 million. 

Acting on a 20 year Contract of Affreightment for shipowner clients with the operators of a power plant in India for the carriage of coal from Indonesia to India.

Helping world's 2nd largest container leasing company with their recovery efforts of leased containers, dues and demurrage in India, Vietnam, Iran, Singapore, Malaysia and elsewhere.

Drafting charter clauses and dealing with contamination, short delivery and other related issues with regards to LNG and LPG cargoes.

Acting for owner of 2000+ containers in its claim against its sub-lessee for unpaid rental hire.

Assisting in claim under a contract for international sale of goods of iron ore. The buyer failed to take delivery of several consecutive shipments and clients terminated the contract and brought a claim before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre seeking loss of bargain and other damages.

Acting for shipowners in a claim for contamination of cargo.

Assisting owners/operators of a chemical product tank that is alleged to have contaminated cargo of naphtha.

Advising clients in obtaining release of vessel where it was detained by local port agents on the basis of non-payment of Indian service tax on freight which was recently introduced. Further advising clients in passing tax liability on to the charterers and in bringing a claim against the agents for unlawful detention.

Assisting in arbitration claims in respect of demurrage claims where the demurrage claims arose due to delays in loading and delivery of cargo on board the vessels.

Assisting to urgently commence arbitration in Singapore and seek immediate injunction relief from the Singapore High Court for unconscionable conduct in relation to a claim by owners for non-payment of hire in a bareboat charterparty and where the security in the form of a bank guarantee was called upon by the owners.

More: Marine and international trade

Acting for the buyers under various shipbuilding contracts with Chinese shipyards. The disputes involves rescission of the contract, claims for return of installments, claims on refund guarantees, issues on delays, design responsibilities and construction milestones.

Assisting a global shipping and logistics company on negotiating a US$1.2 billion shipbuilding contract for ten container ships from one of the world's largest shipbuilders.

Acting for offshore platform owner on a shipbuilding dispute with international yard for repair costs and defects which include numerous construction and delivery issues requiring extensive rework of the vessel. Dispute involves complex factual issues regarding paint specifications and the manner in which it was applied, fire damage incidents and late delivery.

Acting for a multi-national owner in claiming rescission of a shipbuilding contract for delays in delivery, dealing with claims on refund guarantees against a Chinese shipyard.

Advising and assisting on extension of time and additional works claims on the delays in delivery of an FPSO by a major shipbuilding client to an oil major client.

Negotiating and/or restructuring day work contracts and Supply Time Charters for various oil and gas owners and operators.

Acting for shipbuilding company in a claim against a Singaporean company for the construction and sale of a multipurpose offshore support vessel involving wrongful termination of the shipbuilding contract.

Acting for rig owners in complex multi-million dollar disputes under with errant charterers under ICC, LMAA and ad hoc arbitration proceedings, successfully obtaining an arbitration award in excess of US$30 million.

Acting for shipyard in respect of shipbuilding dispute with an Australian governmental organisation claiming for costs of variation works, damages for the failure to take delivery of the vessel, prolongation costs and extension of time for owners' delays.

Acting for a Singapore listed offshore company on disputes involving the cancellation of the purchase of three high speed craft newbuildings.

Acting for leading dry bulk shipowner SIAC arbitrations over shipbuilding contracts with a Chinese shipyard with total claims exceeding US$25 million.

The dispute involved rescission of the contract, claims for return of instalments, and on refund guarantees, issues on delays, design responsibilities and construction milestones.

Acting for and advising Chinese shipyard in a SCMA arbitration on termination of shipbuilding contract for non-payment of instalments by the Buyer and dealing with the cross-claims of delay and breach of contract.

Leading negotiations on behalf of multi-national corporations for the construction of two conventionally moored drillships to be built in a Chinese shipyard.

More: Shipbuilding and offshore construction

Advising an oil major and its insurers on the issues and claims arising out of the collision between the chartered vessel and a jetty and pipeline at a wharf operated by an affiliate in North Asia with oil pollution, property damage and business interruption claims in excess of US$170 million.

Representing shipowners in a collision with an Indonesian ferry with resulting in significant loss of life and property. Dealt with all aspects of the matter, including compensation to various parties involved, dealing with local authorities, Indonesian civil and criminal proceedings and extraction of vessel from local arrest.

Representing Norwegian shipowners in a collision case involving seismic survey cables and a Chinese container vessel in the Bohai Gulf in China.

Representing Singapore shipowners in a collision claim between a dumb barge and a Malaysian container vessel.

Assisting Singapore shipowners on a claim arising from a collision with a jetty in Vietnam.

Assisting hull insurers on a grounding of a product tanker on a beach off Surabaya.

  • International trade
  • Oil and gas
  • Shipping
  • Shipowners and operators
  • Offshore

Advising shipowners on a claim for damage to an LPG cargo and consequential delays in discharge and cargo loss claims.

Assisting a listed offshore operator in arbitration proceedings for their claims for unpaid charter hire against an Egyptian charter, in excess of US$5 million.

Acting on a 20 year Contract of Affreightment for shipowner clients with the operators of a power plant in India for the carriage of coal from Indonesia to India.

Helping world's 2nd largest container leasing company with their recovery efforts of leased containers, dues and demurrage in India, Vietnam, Iran, Singapore, Malaysia and elsewhere.

Drafting charter clauses and dealing with contamination, short delivery and other related issues with regards to LNG and LPG cargoes.

Acting for owner of 2000+ containers in its claim against its sub-lessee for unpaid rental hire.

Assisting in claim under a contract for international sale of goods of iron ore. The buyer failed to take delivery of several consecutive shipments and clients terminated the contract and brought a claim before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre seeking loss of bargain and other damages.

Acting for shipowners in a claim for contamination of cargo.

Assisting owners/operators of a chemical product tank that is alleged to have contaminated cargo of naphtha.

Advising clients in obtaining release of vessel where it was detained by local port agents on the basis of non-payment of Indian service tax on freight which was recently introduced. Further advising clients in passing tax liability on to the charterers and in bringing a claim against the agents for unlawful detention.

Assisting in arbitration claims in respect of demurrage claims where the demurrage claims arose due to delays in loading and delivery of cargo on board the vessels.

Assisting to urgently commence arbitration in Singapore and seek immediate injunction relief from the Singapore High Court for unconscionable conduct in relation to a claim by owners for non-payment of hire in a bareboat charterparty and where the security in the form of a bank guarantee was called upon by the owners. 

More: International trade

Advising an American oil trading conglomerate on various aspects of building an oil storage terminal in Singapore and drafting its terms of operations.

Assisting a Monaco-based multi-national in New York arbitrations against an American conglomerate on various oil trading and shipping disputes.

Acting for the world's largest independent oil trader in many of its financing contract restructuring and disputes for the sale and purchase of oil and gas.

Assisting a global shipping and logistics company on a US$1.2 billion shipbuilding contract for ten container ships from one of the world's largest shipbuilders.

Assisting multi-national shipyard on its US$300 million contract with an oil major to build, deliver and commission an FPSO for work off Indonesia.

Advising an international trading company on a number of oil cargoes, each worth over US$100 million, which were detained in Sudan due to internal conflicts between the government of Sudan and South Sudan.

More: Shipping

Assisting Singapore shipowners in investigating the disappearance of their barge in Indonesia when it broke loose from its mooring during bad weather.

Representing shipowners in a collision with an Indonesian ferry with resulting in significant loss of life and property. Dealt with all aspects of the matter, including compensation to various parties involved, dealing with local authorities, Indonesian civil and criminal proceedings and extraction of vessel from local arrest.

Representing Norwegian shipowners in a collision case involving seismic survey cables and a Chinese container vessel.

More: Shipowners and operators

Advising Opus Offshore Ltd on the acquisition of the 'Songa Mercur' and 'Songa Venus', two semi-submersible drilling units totalling over US$200 million, and their existing commitments from Songa Offshore SE (Marine Money Offshore M&A deal of the year 2015). It was on Euromoney "Offshore Deal of the Year in 2014.

Assisting Posh Semco Pte Ltd in arbitration proceedings for their claims for unpaid charter hire against Efadco Petroleum Services in excess of US$5 million.

Advising offshore marine support services company on alleged breaches of various vessel management agreements as well as alleged tort of conspiracy.

Assisting multi-national shipyard on its US$300 million contract with an oil major to build, deliver and commission an FPSO for work off Indonesia.

Advising on various issues relating to the construction and delivery of the first of a string of semi-submersible drilling rigs in Singapore on behalf of listed Norwegian shipowning clients and on various subsequent bareboat charter issues.

More: Offshore

Awards

 Recommended Lawyer for Shipping: Foreign firms

Recommended Lawyer for Shipping: Foreign firms

Leading individual for Shipping: International: Litigation - Singapore

Leading individual for Shipping: International: Litigation - Singapore

Winner - The i-law Maritime Law Award

Winner - The i-law Maritime Law Award

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