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Peter Doraisamy

Managing Partner   |  
Litigation & Arbitration Counsel

Raghunath Peter Doraisamy is the Managing Director of Peter Doraisamy LLC. Peter specialises in shipping and maritime law and complex litigation.

key areas of practice

  • Marine Trade & Energy
  • International Trade & Trade Finance
  • Civil & Commercial Disputes
  • Criminal Litigation
  • General Corporate Work

Due to Peter’s extensive expertise in shipping and maritime matters, he regularly advises large shipping companies on dispute resolution (including charterparty and bill of lading disputes, shipbuilding/repair, collisions, arrest and enforcement of maritime claims), marine insurance and international trade. For non-contentious matters, clients look to Peter for drafting in relation to joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, construction, repair, conversion, sale & purchase and chartering/operations/management of ships and onshore/offshore drilling platforms, ship finance and registration.

 

With close to 20 years of experience, litigious high net worth individuals, and big listed and private companies engage Peter’s services to handle their complex civil litigation and arbitration matters.

 

Peter is a highly commended lawyer and has been consistently ranked as a leading lawyer by the Asia Pacific Legal 500. He was most recently featured in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 2017 for his outstanding work in handling complex shipping litigation and advisory matters. Prior to founding Peter Doraisamy LLC, Peter established the Dispute Resolution practice group in Duane Morris & Selvam LLP when he joined the firm in 2011. He was Head of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group and the Shipping and International Trade Practice Group.

 

Peter has been specially appointed as a Senior Legal Consultant for HFI Consulting International Limited. He is also a Director of the RT ASEAN Network and sits on the Advisory Board of the National University of Singapore’s Centre of Maritime Law Inaugural Committee.

 

Peter read Law at the University of Nottingham where he graduated with Honours. Owing to his passion for shipping and maritime law, Peter received an LL.M. (Maritime Law) from the National University of Singapore. Peter was admitted to the Middle Temple as a Barrister-at-Law in 1997 and became an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore in 1999.

key areas of practice

  • Marine Trade & Energy
  • International Trade & Trade Finance
  • Civil & Commercial Disputes
  • Criminal Litigation
  • General Corporate Work

Areas Of Practice And Experience

Wet / Dry Shipping

  • Acted as Singapore counsel for P & I Club of owners of a Spanish-flagged vessel involved in litigation in the High Court of Singapore arising from the vessel’s grounding on the coral reefs off an island in the territory of the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • Acted as Singapore counsel in a three-way collision involving the vessels “Lord Vishnu”, “Hai Qing” and “Skua” in Singapore waters.
  • Acted as Singapore counsel for P & I Club on behalf of shipowners in a collision between 2 bulk carriers “Best Unity” and “Southern Explorer” in Singapore waters.
  • Acted as Singapore counsel for German shipowners of bulk carrier vessel “Mare Traveller” in collision with “Densa Jaguar” off Chittagong. Successfully obtained a stay of Singapore court proceedings.
  • Acted as Singapore counsel in an incident involving tug “ALM Eagle” which was towing barge “POE Giant 12”. In the course of towage, “POE Giant 12” ran aground off Pedra Branca.
  • Acted as Singapore counsel for P & I Club on behalf of shipowners in a collision involving product tanker “United Fortitude” and vehicle carrier “Oceanus Leader” near Singapore.
  • Ship agents in ad-hoc arbitration in Singapore for a claim in the sum of US$2 million against a Ukrainian-based ship owner for outstanding agency and management fees.
  • Cargo interests in arbitration proceedings for a claim amounting to US$500,000 against the owner of a barge for loss of a cargo overboard due to alleged unseaworthiness.
  • P & I Club to defend actions brought by cargo interests and an Indonesian based container terminal in the sum of approximately US$1.5 million for damage to cargo and containers caused by an explosion and resulting fire in the container terminal. The alleged source of the explosion was a wrongly declared dangerous cargo stuffed in a container carried by the member’s container vessel.
  • P & I Club and hull underwriters in coordinating the defence against actions brought in South Africa by cargo interests for loss and damage amounting to approximately US$5 million arising from an explosion and resulting fire on board the member’s container vessel at Durban.
  • Owners in a claim against bunker suppliers for substantial damage to the vessel’s main engines arising out of the supply of off-specification fuel oil. The claim was brought via arbitration in Singapore under the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s Bunker Claims Procedure (SBC) terms.
  • Owners in relation to the 2010 sinking of a tugboat off Pedra Branca. Work involved taking of statements from surviving crew, assisting clients in relation to MPA investigations and advice on policy coverage.
  • A Singapore listed company in a SIAC arbitration involving a US$85 million claim for breach of a long-term charterparty of a floating warehouse to PDVSA, the Venezuelan NOC.
  • A sub-contractor in a High Court suit facing a claim from owners and engine manufacturers for damages in excess of US$1.5 million resulting from an engine room fire.
  • An Indonesian shipping company, which is listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, in defending an US$11 million arbitration claim in the London Maritime Arbitrators Association in respect of an alleged breach of a bareboat charterparty. Separately, he acted as the coordinating solicitor in respect of proceedings brought against the client in the Commercial Division of the English High Court arising out of a guarantee given by the client in relation to the bareboat charterparty which is the subject of the arbitration mentioned above.
  • Represented VSC International Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of a leading Indian private sector shipping company, in the first ever prosecution brought by the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) under the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Act (Act 6 of 2014) (the Act). The client faced 15 charges under the Act for offences committed on board the vessel, M.V. Maharshi Bhavatreya, whilst anchored off the coast of Dubai. The client was charged under Section 14 (1) of the Act, which seeks to address the perennial issue faced by seafarers of arrears and/or non-payment of wages. Successfully mitigated the client’s exposure to the charges when the District Courts of Singapore levied a fine of S$12,000 as opposed to the maximum fine of S$ 75,000.

 

Shipbuilding, Repair And Conversion

  • Acted as lead counsel for a leading Mexican offshore drilling contractor on a US$60 million Singapore arbitration commenced against a world-renowned shipyard in connection with warranty claims arising under a US$500M semi- submersible building contract.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a Singapore mainboard listed company, in a High Court suit facing a claim amounting to approximately S$1 million brought by Indonesian- based subcontractors for invoices allegedly due and owing from the client’s subsidiary shipyard based in Batam. Successfully obtained a stay of the proceedings in the High Court of Singapore in favour of Indonesia on the basis of forum non conveniens, which was upheld on appeal.
  • A Singaporean shipyard in a claim for loss and damage in the sum of £800,000 brought by owners for alleged negligence in the conversion of their vessel to enable her to perform cable-laying works.
  • Owners in a claim against an UAE-based builder for damages arising from delay and negligence in the construction of an offshore platform built at a contract price of US$8 million.
  • Acted for owners in a claim against a manufacturer of controllable pitch propellers for loss and damage arising from defects in design.
  • Retained by a Thai shipyard to advise and assist with all of their contract drafting and litigation.

 

International Trade / Trade Finance

  • Acted for a local subsidiary of a large Japanese ship-owning and logistics company (“the Company”) in its defence of 6 separate High Court actions brought by international trade finance banks for losses amounting to approximately US$100 million in respect of the Company’s alleged issuance of warehouse receipts for non- existent metal cargo.
  • Acted for a commodities trader in the prosecution of 2 separate claims amounting to US$3 million brought by way of arbitration under the ICC Rules for non-delivery of sulphuric acid. Issues of law involved force majeure, repudiatory breach of contract and whether consequential losses were claimable.
  • Acted for a commodities trader in an arbitration in which it faces a claim for failure to deliver cargo valued at US$0.5 million.
  • Acted for a palm oil trader in a High Court suit involving a claim in excess of US$1.7 million involving allegations of fraud and conspiracy to defraud.
  • Retained as Counsel by a large Singapore-based petrochemicals trader to handle all contract drafting and disputes arising from their sale and purchase contracts.

Non-Contentious Matters In The Marine And Offshore Sector

  • Acted for a buyer in relation to 3 new building contracts for self-propelled jack-up barges for construction at a shipyard in the USA. The aggregate project cost amounted to approximately US$150 million. Work done included drafting and negotiating documentation in relation to the financing of the new builds and separate joint ventures to own and operate the vessels.
  • A buyer in relation to the purchase of 5 onshore drilling rigs manufactured in China at a project cost of approximately US$25 million. The rigs were leased on a long- term basis to various drilling contractors for deployment in the USA, the Middle East, North Africa and other jurisdictions. Work done included advising on the sale and purchase, leasing and operation of the rigs and reviewing the finance documentation for the purchase of the said units.
  • A buyer in relation to a construction contract for a Friede & Goldman Super M2 design jack-up rig to be built in an UAE based yard at a contract price of US$150 million. Scope of the advice included the financing of the construction cost, the drafting of all necessary documentation for a tripartite joint venture to own and operate the rig and the negotiation on the terms and conditions of the building contract.
  • A purchaser in its US$80 million acquisition of an Oslo OTC listed company active in the provision of management services, operation and supply of on and offshore drilling and accommodation units. Advice rendered was mainly in relation to an extensive due diligence exercise carried out on the target company’s management contracts and assets.
  • A purchaser in its US$30 million acquisition of an offshore jack-up drilling unit damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Advice was rendered on, among other things, the insurance/classification aspects for the rig, its dry towage to a yard to commence conversion works and the conversion contract itself.
  • A borrower in relation to a US$40 million term loan facility to finance the construction of an offshore platform in the USA.
  • A Singapore listed company in its purchase of 2 accommodation barges at a contract price of US$20 million and a subsequent joint venture to own and operate the barges.
  • A Singapore counsel for a US-based fund and its manager in a proposed US$300 million investment in a Singapore-based venture to acquire, operate and /or charter a large fleet of small tankers and other vessels.
  • A Singapore listed company in the sale and lease back of an oil tanker valued at US$18 million.
  • Acted as Singapore counsel for a UK based subsea oil and gas services group in its acquisition of a well intervention services provider.
  • A Singapore listed company in its US$6 million acquisition of an oil and gas project management services provider.
  • A Singapore listed company in its tripartite joint venture to supply offshore support vessels in respect of the Gorgon gas project in Western Australia. Work done included drafting and negotiating the JVA and the chartering contracts.
  • A Singapore listed company in port development projects in Western Australia. Work done involves, inter alia, drafting and negotiating lease and license documentation.

 

Civil And Commercial Disputes

  • Acting for a matriarch and her three sons in a family dispute with the patriarch and two other sons over three family-run companies valued at approximately over S$20 million.
  • Acted for a listed company in mediation proceedings for claims in respect of a failed joint venture to own and operate a vessel valued at US$120 million.
  • Acted for an engineering contractor facing a claim in the sum of US$0.8 million in relation to alleged negligence in the construction of certain offshore rig related equipment.
  • Acted for a subsidiary of a listed company in a claim for breach of contract which has proceeded to bankruptcy proceedings and arbitration proceedings.
  • Acted for former director in an alleged claim for misappropriated documents by his former company.
  • Acted for Australian mining group in a claim for unpaid monies under a share sale and put option agreement.
  • Acted for a US-based IT company as claimant in a SIAC arbitration against a local listed company involving a US$2 million dispute in relation to the establishment of an ERP system.
  • Acted for a claimant company in a High Court suit (and appeal to the Court of Appeal) against a financial institution for breach of a letter of offer.
  • Acted for tenants of the Singapore Flyer in a High Court suit against the landlord for breach of the tenancy agreements.
  • Acted as lead counsel for PT Pertamina EP, an Indonesian oil and gas exploration and production company, in arbitration proceedings under the ICC Rules commenced by a drilling contractor for US$4 million allegedly due and owing pursuant to a Technical Assistance Contract.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a Singapore based seismic data acquisition company in recovering US$3.5 million under an asset sale agreement entered into with a Gujarat-based shipbuilder. We, together with the support of a local law firm based in Mumbai, India, assisted to obtain an injunction from the Gujarat courts prohibiting the shipbuilder from installing and using the seismic equipment onboard its newly built vessel.
  • Acted for the landlord of a shipyard located in Malaysia, in arbitration proceedings under the SIAC Rules commenced by a Malaysian-based shipbuilder and the previous tenants of the shipyard for alleged unlawful termination of the lease. The client has a counterclaim amounting to RM$14 million for damages for breach of the lease, including damages caused to the shipyard.
  • Acted in an arbitration commenced by an American based company against a Petronas subsidiary for damages in a dispute relating to a Production Sharing Contract for oil wells in Vietnam. Damages, when quantified, will be in excess of US$30 million.
  • Acted as lead counsel for an Indonesian-based company in pending arbitration proceedings under the ICC Rules on recovery of US$1.5 million in outstanding invoices made out to an Indonesian based contractor for prefabrication and manufacture of a loading platform in Indonesia.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a Singapore based seismic data acquisition company in arbitration proceedings under the London Court of International Arbitration Rules to recover US$12.6 million in unpaid invoices under a seismic data acquisition contract from a Dubai-based company.
  • Obtained on behalf of a German-based claimant wide-ranging injunctive orders, in the High Court of Singapore against a Singapore-based accredited domain name registrar. The client also has a claim for approximately $5 million for damages arising from breaches of contract and unlawful interference its registered domain names.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a multi-national retail company, which has commenced a Singapore High Court action against an ex-employee and a co-conspirator for fraud and embezzlement of the company’s funds in the sum of S$15 million. In this suit, Peter successfully obtained on an urgent basis, a worldwide Mareva injunction against the Defendants.
  • Acted for a US scrap metal trading company in SIAC arbitration proceedings engaged in a dispute with a Singapore company over alleged breaches of contracts. Our client has also made a counterclaim in the same proceedings for the sum of around US$1.1 million.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a China-based iron ore trading company engaged in a contractual dispute with a Singapore-based company and successfully obtained a stay of court proceedings in favour of arbitration.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a director who commenced a High Court action in his personal capacity against the director of a rival company for the sum of USD 3 million plus contractual interest pursuant to a personal undertaking by the Defendant to be liable for the debt and successfully obtained summary judgment.
  • Acted for a Singapore based seismic data acquisition company (as instructing solicitor) which commenced an action in the New Zealand High Court against the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development for a breach of a seismic data acquisition contract and obtained a favourable settlement in mediation proceedings assisted by New Zealand counsel.
  • Acted as instructing solicitor to the firm’s Boston office in the representation of a Singapore mainboard listed company, in defending a claim and setting aside a TRO obtained by Adidas International Trading BV and the Rockport Company LLC (collectively, “AIT”) in Massachusetts, USA for alleged breaches of two distribution agreements entered into between our client and AIT for the territories of Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. Our client in turn has a counterclaim expected to amount to US$7 million for damages arising from AIT’s wrongful termination of the distribution agreements.
  • Acted for an individual in her deputy application over her aunt and to revoke a Lasting Power of Attorney made by her aunt in the Family Justice Courts. Further acted in a suit against the former deputy appointed under the Lasting Power of Attorney for conversion and knowing receipt of approximately the sum of S$10 million. In this suit, I successfully obtained on an urgent basis, a worldwide Mareva injunction against the Defendant.
  • Acted as counsel for a Singapore company listed in the SGX mainboard dealing with the ownership and chartering of offshore vessels and rigs against a Mexican credit company involving a dispute over standby letters of credit amounting to approximately USD 9 million issued pursuant to a charterparty agreement. As part of the proceedings, obtained an interlocutory injunction against the Mexican company preventing it from calling for payment under the letters of credit.
  • Acted in a directors’ dispute and obtained judgment for a claim involving a promissory note for USD 3.5 million.
  • Acted as counsel for a global automation technology company in a directors’ dispute involving issues of conspiracy and misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information. As part of the proceedings, obtained an Anton Piller Order against the Defendant directors.

 

Criminal Litigation

  • Acted for a former insolvency liquidator under investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department and facing criminal charges for the misappropriation of SGD 40 million.
  • Acted for an American-based holding corporation in the prosecution of claims in the region of US$1 million brought against a former Director of the corporation’s Indian and Singapore subsidiaries for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. Defending a cross action brought in the High Court by the Director under section 216 of the Companies Act.
  • Acted for a shipyard contractor in a Ministry of Manpower prosecution involving an industrial accident at a local shipyard.

 

General Corporate

  • Acted as lead Singapore counsel for an Indonesian-listed company in its purchase of a mobile offshore oil production unit for US$35 million. Peter handled the due diligence work and negotiated the S&P contract.
  • Retained as general counsel for a Japanese marketing firm.

Publications / Editorial Contributions

Peter’s publications include:

  • Author of the Singapore chapter of Shipping and International Trade Law 2 nd Edition (2015)
  • Author of the Singapore chapter of International Comparative Legal Guide on Shipping Law 2014
  • Author of “Future of Judicial Sale of Ships in Singapore” article contained in Benedict’s Maritime (2014 Edition)
  • Co-author of “A Review of the Road Map to Navigating Order 110 of the Rules of Court” published in January 2017
  • Contributing Author to the Singapore chapter of the American Bar Association International Discovery textbook
  • Contributing Editor to the Singapore Civil Procedure 2013
  • Quoted in “A Resolve for Insolvency,” Asian Legal Business, September 24, 2018
  • Quoted in “Unchartered Waters,” Asian Legal Business, March 2, 2018
  • Quoted in “Farid Khan explains why presidential bid was rejected,” The Straits Times, September 16, 2017
  • Quoted in “Wills gaining popularity in Asia but beware of issues over international assets, experts say,” CNBC, June 21, 2016
  • Quoted in “Wealthy widow’s estate can pay niece’s legal fees,” The Straits Times, April 11, 2016
  • Quoted in “Court freezes local assets of ex-tour guide’s wife,” TODAY Singapore, November 17, 2014
  • Featured in “1 st foreign lawyer in international dispute court here loses case,” The Straits Times, April 19, 2017
  • Featured in “$58m spat is ‘offshore’ case, rules commercial court here,” The Straits Times, July 5, 2016
  • Featured in “The extent of Yang Yin’s manipulation,” The Straits Times, August 30, 2015
  • Featured in “Public Guardian moves to cancel wealthy widow’s LPA granted to Yang Yin,” TODAY Singapore, November 24, 2014
  • Featured in “Widow to revoke guide’s control of her assets,” TODAY Singapore, September 24, 2014

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker at the Probate Seminar (Part 2) on Statutory Wills organised by the Law Society of Singapore
  • Co-presenter for Duane Morris’ key client seminar – The Global Arbitration Movement: Trends in Asia in October 2012
  • Co-Chair of the Maritime Panel of the 2009 Seasonal Meeting of the New York State Bar Association (International Section) held in Singapore from 26-29 October 2009
  • Under the invitation of the Indonesian National Shipowners’ Association (INSA), delivered a full-day seminar and workshop entitled, “Ship Finance from a Singapore Perspective” in Jakarta in January 2010 and a second seminar on sale and purchase of second-hand tonnage in June 2012

Appointments / Committees

  • Committee Member, Maritime Law Association of Singapore
  • Committee Member, Offshore Services Committee, Singapore Shipping Association
  • Member, Advisory Board, National University of Singapore Centre for Maritime Law
  • Committee Member, Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
  • Committee Member, Law Society of Singapore Probate and International relations sub-committees
  • Legal Counsel to the Mexican Embassy of Singapore and Bulgarian Embassy of Singapore
  • Senior Legal Consultant, HFI Consulting International Limited
  • Director, RT ASEAN Network

Memberships In Professional Bodies

  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, Catholic Lawyer’s Guild of Singapore
  • Member, The Catholic Business Network Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Maritime Law Association

Volunteering Work

  • Volunteer – Roman Catholic Free Legal Clinic
  • Volunteer lawyer for the Law Society Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS)
  • The Law Society of Singapore Defence Assist Scheme

Languages

  • English
  • Mandarin (Second Language)

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1 Coleman Street #08-02 The Adelphi Singapore 179803
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