Darius Chan

Darius is Director of Breakpoint LLC, and specialises in dispute resolution.  He is concurrently Associate Professor of Law (Practice) at Singapore Management University School of Law.  In that capacity, he is also the Deputy Director of the Singapore International Dispute Resolution Academy, and the Director of the Singapore Management University Law Academy.  Darius is fully bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese. Having read computer science at junior college, Darius has been increasingly approached for technology disputes.

Darius’ practice and teaching interests focus on international commercial and investment arbitration, private and public international law. In addition to commercial arbitration, Darius is especially well-regarded for his expertise involving States and State-Owned Entities.

Darius is consistently recommended by legal directories, which includes being ranked by Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration Future Leaders as a “Most Highly Regarded Individual” in Asia-Pacific since the inception of the publication to date. Darius speaks and publishes widely, and his writings have been cited by the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal. Darius is accustomed to collaborating with local counsel on both advisory and contentious mandates.

Prior to commencing independent practice, Darius spent a decade practising with international law firms in London and Singapore. He served as a Justices’ Law Clerk and Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court of Singapore between 2007 to 2009. In 2014, Darius was appointed amicus curiae in an appeal, where the Chief Justice of Singapore described Darius’ contribution in the judgment as being “careful”, “excellent and invaluable”.

Clients have also praised Darius for being  “a tireless thinker and eloquent advocate”, “an astute and commercial advocate”, “always available, responsive and clear”, “practical, proactive and conscientious”, adding that “his knowledge, demeanor and promptness are all reasons I would not hesitate to call him on future matters”.

Accolades & Awards

  • Consistently identified as a “Most Highly Regarded Individual” in Asia-Pacific by Who’s Who Legal‎: Arbitration Future Leader 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

  • Darius Chan is highly esteemed as “a sagacious and knowledgeable lawyer” who “responds quickly to enquiries while remaining direct and to the point”.  He possesses “in-depth knowledge of arbitration” and is considered “first-rate as counsel”, Who's Who Legal 2022

  • Darius Chan “is a bright legal mind who regularly navigates his clients through complex legal issues” with his “incredibly thorough understanding of international arbitration”, Who's Who Legal 2021

  • ‘Darius Chan is extremely diligent and very experienced for his age. He is not only good at communication and people skills, he reverts promptly and is a caring human being', Legal 500 2020

  • Darius Chan is regarded as a “standout practitioner” with a “great analytical mind”. He is “very attentive to client needs”, while sources also comment that he is “extremely smart and stays calm under pressure”, Who’s Who Legal 2020

  • “Darius Chan has ‘a great future ahead of him’, is ‘excellent with clients’, ‘hard working’, ‘bright’ and ‘very articulate’”, Legal 500 2019

  • “Darius Chan stands out as ‘a very bright, hardworking and articulate lawyer’ who ‘always knows how to fight and keep calm when facing complex cases’. Clients note he ‘is meticulous about every detail and demonstrates dedication throughout’”, Who’s Who Legal 2019

  • “Darius Chan impresses peers with ‘his sharp legal insight, client-friendly manner and consistently high work ethic’’, Who’s Who Legal 2018

  • “a very, very smart guy and a great all-round lawyer who is building a strong reputation in the market”, Who’s Who Legal 2017

  •  “very clever” with “collaborative, clear communication on sensitive arbitration mandates”, Chambers Legal 2017

  • Most Outstanding Adjunct Award, Singapore Management University (2018)

  • Singapore Business Review, Top 40 under 40 most influential lawyers in Singapore (2016)

  • Excellence in Advocacy Award, Singapore International Arbitration Academy (2012)

  • Ranked 3rd in the nationwide qualifying exams for admission to the Singapore Bar (2008)

  • Lai Kew Chai Prize for the best candidate in the Commercial Practice examination for admission to the Singapore Bar (2008)

 

Representative Experience

Energy

  • Represented a State in the challenge of a PCA arbitration award worth over USD1.3 billion obtained by an European listed oil and gas exploration company over various tax assessments.

  • Represented an oil major in an UNCITRAL arbitration against an Asian state regarding the unlawful assessment of taxes and penalties imposed for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in a disputed area of seabed jointly administered by two states under a treaty, in violation of a tax stability agreement.  Sum in dispute in excess of USD230m.

  • Represented a European buyer in two gas price review arbitrations involving a Central Asian seller of natural gas. Disputes governed by Swiss law seated in Stockholm. Sum in dispute in excess of €1 billion.

  • Represented one of Asia’s largest independent power producers in an ICC arbitration against a South Asian government in relation to breaches of a long term Power Purchase Agreement.

  • Represented one of Asia’s largest independent power producers in an ICSID arbitration against a South Asian government in relation to breaches of a long term Power Purchase Agreement.

  • Represented a Malaysia-based energy company in a SIAC arbitration against a US customer in relation to breaches of sales and consignment agreements and guarantees. Dispute governed by English law and involved competing lawsuits filed in Texas, USA.

  • Advised a European tanker and storage conglomerate on a product storage dispute before the Singapore courts against a Singapore trading company involving competing claims of ownership, bailment and conversion. Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Advised a US marine logistical and operational support company on a Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) dispute against an Asian listed company arising out of the provision of services over a LNG project.  Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Advised an Indian conglomerate on a dispute against Indonesian joint venture partners in the gas aromatics sector.  Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Advised an oil major on a dispute, subject to LMAA arbitration in London, with a shipper’s protection and indemnity club insurers concerning commingling by the shipper of various oil products delivered in Singapore. Dispute governed by English law.

  • Advised a client in an arbitration concerning an English buyer and a Middle East supplier concerning the supply of an oil rig and other equipment for use in the Middle East. Dispute governed by English law.

Projects / Infrastructure

  • Represented a South-East Asian investor in a investor-state arbitration against an Asian state concerning the expropriation of land use rights and other breaches of a bilateral investment treaty.

  • Represented a US listed provider of marine dredging services in setting-aside proceedings before the Singapore courts to defend an ICC expedited arbitration award obtained against a Korean main contractor.

  • Represented an Indian infrastructure conglomerate in a SIAC arbitration against a Korean main contractor in relation to a power project in India.  Sum in dispute in excess of USD100m. Dispute governed by Indian law.

  • Represented a Korean multinational conglomerate in a SIAC arbitration against a Korean listed company in an EPC dispute relating to various greenfield electricity power plant projects in the Middle East. Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Advised an European export credit agency on a Singapore High Court dispute against a Burmese counterparty in the tele-communications sector involving Bills of Exchange. Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Represented a Korean conglomerate in an UNCITRAL arbitration between and a Malaysian sub-contractor in relation to a clean-room building project in Singapore.  Dispute governed by Singapore and international law.

  • Advised a consortium company on multiple disputes involving a major PPP (Public-Private Partnership) infrastructure project in Singapore, ranging from infrastructure defects and delays, landlord-tenant, employment and cyber-security issues.

Joint Venture / Corporate

  • Represented a financial investment company and its management in proceedings brought by foreign investors over complex investment arrangements involving a listed company. Dispute involved interim and freezing injunctions.

  • Represented a cryptocurrency trading institution in a SIAC arbitration seated in Singapore against an overseas customer regarding the freezing of assets ordered by the domicile court of the customer.

  • Represented an European beverage multinational conglomerate in multiple SIAC arbitrations against a joint venture party over joint venture and loan agreements concerning operations in India and Nepal. Sum in dispute in excess of USD1.1 billion, involving emergency arbitration and parallel court proceedings in Singapore. Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Represented an European multinational conglomerate in the confectionery and beverage industry in an UNCITRAL arbitration against its Thai joint venture company in relation to its breaches of contract, allegation of collusion and misconduct arising out of a co-manufacturing agreement governed by Thai law. Sum in dispute in excess of USD600m, involving competing lawsuits filed in Thailand.

  • Represented a global bank in a post-M&A SIAC arbitration against an Asian bank arising out of an acquisition in Brunei. Dispute governed by Brunei law.

  • Represented a Taiwanese food and beverage multinational conglomerate in a SIAC arbitration against a Malaysian master franchisee in relation to breaches of the franchise agreement and non-competition covenants.  Dispute governed by Singapore law and involved competing lawsuits filed in Malaysia.

  • Represented a US client in an UNCITRAL arbitration arising out of a share sale and purchase agreement in the precision engineering sector, and involving fraud, conspiracy and assessment of damages. Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Represented a client in an ICC arbitration concerning a technology licensing and distributorship agreement between a South American corporation and an European multinational in the industrial gear unit business. Dispute governed by English law.

  • Advised a European glass and building material company in an ICC arbitration against a Korean company over an alleged entitlement to an uplift on the price payable under a Share Purchase Agreement.

  • Advised a global trade financing group on the enforcement and insolvency proceedings before the Singapore High Court against various India-based trading entities arising out of various post-dated cheques. Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Advised a Scandinavian precision engineering conglomerate on a dispute against its Singapore sales agent over breaches of corporate governance under Singapore law.

  • Advised a global bank on its rights and obligations under Singapore law as a bond trustee of a note issuance by a Malaysian issuer.

  • Advised a Swiss multinational company in a Netherlands Arbitration Institute arbitration against a US multinational company in relation to a joint venture for the production and distribution of a new line of luxury watches.

  • Advised a Canadian private equity fund company in a technology dispute concerning the setting up of competing business in Asia by a venture partner.

  • Advised a Russian financing company in a dispute concerning the setting up of competing business in Asia by a venture partner.

Commodities

  • Advised a Middle Eastern entity in a dispute  against a financial institution over a hedging master agreement on issues arising out of US sanctions. Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Represented a senior employee of a multinational energy company in white-collar investigations following the insolvency of one of Asia’s largest oil traders.

  • Advised a Chinese-Indonesian mining and smelting company in a force majeure dispute against a US manufacturer concerning the design, manufacture and sale of severe service valves.  Dispute governed by Singapore law and subject to SIAC arbitration.

  • Represented an Indian commodity trading conglomerate in a SIAC arbitration against a Spanish seller regarding the non-receipt of mining raw materials due to certain export restrictions at the place of origin (Zimbabwe).  Dispute governed by Convention for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).

  • Represented a Chinese commodity trading company in a SIAC arbitration against an Indian buyer of copper cathodes over breaches of a sales and purchase agreement.  Sum in dispute in excess of USD20m. Dispute governed by Singapore law.

  • Represented an Indonesian client in a SIAC arbitration against a Chinese joint venture partner in the nickel mining industry.  Dispute governed by Indonesian law.

  • Advised a Chinese commodity trading company in disputes against Taiwanese and Vietnamese agents involving the sale and purchase of ferrous metals.

  • Tribunal Secretary in a class action arbitration between 814 claimants and a South East Asian government-linked corporation concerning 12,000+ hectares of palm oil plantation land in South East Asia.

Transport

  • Advised a US multinational aviation company in a dispute against two French-based aviation leasing companies in relation to breaches of warranty claims over engine repairs.

  • Advised a South East Asian national flag carrier airline on a dispute against another airline arising out of an aircraft accident at an international airport. Dispute governed by Brunei law.

  • Advised a multinational ground handling company in a multi-jurisdictional dispute against an airline arising out of a ground handling agreement.

  • Advised an European client concerning the sale and purchase of vessels from an Asian ship-maker. Dispute governed by English law.

  • Advised a European carmaker in an ICC arbitration against a Japanese carmaker in relation to a joint venture concerning the Indian car market. Dispute governed by English law.