Contact details

Matthew Seah

T: +65 6622 9632 Email Matthew | vCard Office: Singapore

Awards

Recommended lawyer for Restructuring and insolvency: Singapore/ Shipping: Singapore

Recommended lawyer for Restructuring and insolvency: Singapore/ Shipping: Singapore

Winner - The i-law Maritime Law Award

Winner - The i-law Maritime Law Award

Matthew Seah Managing associate

Contact details

Matthew Seah

Matthew Seah
Managing associate

T: +65 6622 9632 Email Matthew | vCard Office: Singapore

Matthew is a managing associate in our highly ranked and market leading shipping and offshore finance team based in Singapore.
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His particular focus extends to working with clients on asset finance and restructuring transactions related to a variety of asset classes within the maritime sector. Having built up close to a decade's experience, Matthew is known in particular for his dedication in project managing cross-border transactions, his sensible and commercial approach to developing client solutions and his commitment to helping clients achieve their commercial goals.

Matthew acts for both financiers and ship owners on a broad range of projects including, amongst others, syndicated and bilateral financings, ECA backed financings, green and sustainability linked loans, JOLCOs, sale and leaseback transactions, loan facility restructurings as well as highly structured vessel sale and purchase transactions. Matthew has experience across a wide variety of asset classes and regularly deals with matters in relation to newbuild vessels, second-hand vessels, container boxes as well as other offshore maritime assets.

Matthew frequently engages with matters spanning multiple jurisdictions and has experience in dealing with the key stakeholders in the shipping and offshore financing sector including financial institutions, ship owners, shipyards, brokers, local lawyers in key jurisdictions as well as maritime authorities and shipping registries.

In particular, Matthew is especially familiar with the Korean shipping market having worked on numerous instructions in Korea over an extended period of time. He is well versed in Korean ship finance structures utilised and has experience working with a broad cross-section of Korean owners, yards, local counsel, junior lenders as well as other relevant entities such as K-SURE and KOBC.

Matthew has extensive experience advising on distressed loan facilities and has advised numerous financiers in relation to the coordination of Borrower defaults and ultimately enforcement of security. As part of this body of work, Matthew has assisted clients to coordinate multiple ship arrests as well as private, hybrid and judicial sales of secured vessels in a number of different jurisdictions, often taking a leading role in coordinating cross border and cross practise teams with litigation focused colleagues and overseas lawyers.

Whilst at Stephenson Harwood, Matthew has also enjoyed the experience of a client secondment with a major international bank through its Singapore office. He also maintains a keen eye on the firm's ability to innovate through both its technology and processes so as to be able to better serve our clients and was a member of the first cycle of the firm's 'Innovation Network'.

"Proactive, available, good commercial and legal approach."

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022

  • Restructuring and insolvency
  • Ship and offshore finance

Hanjin shipping insolvency

Acting on a multi-year process on behalf of over 20 international and domestic Korean financiers (across numerous syndicated and bilateral facilities) in relation to the rehabilitation and ultimately insolvency of Hanjin Shipping.

This project involved multiple matters, advising initially on Hanjin's initial loan defaults, lenders' reservation of rights and ultimately through to loan acceleration and enforcement involving the arrest and sale of over 20 secured vessels. Concurrent to this, and in conjunction with Korean lawyers, Matthew was actively involved in guiding the affected financiers through and interpreting the Korean rehabilitation and bankruptcy process.

Distressed offshore vessel facility

Advising a well-known international Swiss bank in connection with payment default in connection with a facility to finance two offshore supply vessels, and in conjunction with the same advising on the enforcement of a personal guarantee, arresting and selling the vessels whilst concurrently defending and resisting a third party freezing order against the sale of vessels. 

Secured financing of five (5) VLOCs

Acting for Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in relation to a secured syndicated loan facility to Polaris Shipping Co., Ltd. to finance the acquisition of five (5) very large ore carriers bound to serve a contract of affreightment for the Brazilian mining entity Vale.

This facility was part of a larger series of facilities (totalling over US$1 billion) acting on for a number of Korean owners/operators to finance the construction of over 20 ore carriers (VLOCs and Newcastlemax sizes) to serve long term contracts of affreightment also with Vale.

Financing of two LNG carriers

Acting for a well-known global maritime group in connection with its borrowing of a secured loan facility in excess of US$300 million in order to finance its acquisition of two LNG carriers in order to service charter obligations with a Singapore based LNG organisation.

Accommodation jack up rig

Acting for a US based investment firm (as owner/borrower) in relation to a US$104 million secured loan facility in relation to the financing of an offshore accommodation jack­up rig.

More: Ship and offshore finance

  • Banks and banking
  • Shipping

Container-box revolving credit facility

Representing a well-known international bank on a US$50 million revolving credit facility to a recognised Hong Kong based container leasing entity for the financing of a portfolio of container boxes.

Hong Kong based international bank

Acting for the Hong Kong branch of a major European brank in connection with a $67 million secured loan facility to finance the acquisition of two containership vessels for a well-known Singapore based owner including RFR rate switch terms.

Three VLGC financing

Acting for a Hong Kong based affiliate of a major international bank in relation to a syndicated US$180 secured loan facility for a Korean operator for the financing of three VLGCs. The facility was also notable as the client acted as security trustee not only for the syndicate of lenders but also for the providers of subordinated debt as well.  

More: Banks and banking

CVC backed financing

Acting on behalf of a well-known European based bank in relation to a syndicated loan facility exceeding US$109 million to a leading Korean based shipping company to facilitate construction of a number of general cargo vessels to serve consecutive voyage charters with a well-known South American pulp and paper producer.

Sale and purchase of bareboat chartered vessels

Acting for a US based investment firm in relation to the complex sale of two tanker vessels serving bareboat charters including advising the sellers on issues related to its outgoing loan facility as well as issues relating to the bareboat charterer registrations of the Vessel.

Container box JOLCO

Advising a well-known European shipping company (as seller and lessee) in relation to a US$30 million Japanese Operative Lease with Call Option (JOLCO) transaction.

More: Shipping
  • Korea

Secured financing for LNG bunkering vessel

Acting for Société Générale in connection with a US$34.09 million secured facility for Pan Ocean Co. Ltd. for the purposes of financing a 6,500 cbm LNG bunkering vessel intended for service under a charter with an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell.

Sustainability linked loan

Acting for a well known European based bank in relation to a $125 million sustainability linked loan for the sake of financing two (2) LPG dual fuel LPG carriers for a well-known Korean owner/operator. The facility involved a margin ratchet linked to performance as against AER and TRIF targets.

LIBOR transition

Acting for a series of international and Korean financiers in connection with a portfolio project relating to the amendment of six (6) facilities for a well-known Korean owner involving the transition away from LIBOR based floating interest rates.

Awards

Recommended lawyer for Restructuring and insolvency: Singapore/ Shipping: Singapore

Recommended lawyer for Restructuring and insolvency: Singapore/ Shipping: Singapore

Winner - The i-law Maritime Law Award

Winner - The i-law Maritime Law Award

Latest news & insights

12 Apr 2021

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank on financing of five VLOCs

Law firm Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance has advised long-standing client, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, in relation to a significant senior s..

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10 Nov 2020

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises NAB on a US$178 million limited recourse financing

Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance has advised National Australia Bank Limited (NAB) on the structuring and documentation of a US$178 million limited recourse fin..

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