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WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Davinder Singh is "a very well known practitioner and one of the big players in the market" who is "among the most feared litigators in Singapore".

Questions & Answers

Davinder is executive chair of Davinder Singh Chambers LLC; chair of the SIAC; and vice chair of the ICC Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption. He is widely considered to be Singapore’s most revered advocate and counsel of choice. Davinder has consistently been ranked as the only “Star Individual” in dispute resolution: litigation (Singapore) by Chambers. He was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration by The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific (2020). 

After almost 40 years at Drew & Napier, what inspired you to establish your own dispute resolution boutique? 

It was time to move on, after having appointed the new leadership at Drew & Napier. I was given the freedom to lead when I became the CEO. Even though Drew & Napier exempted me from the retirement age, I felt strongly that the new team should have the same freedom.

My plans were to work as a barrister, with help from a couple of juniors. However, after I announced that I was leaving, a number of people who are very dear to me asked if they could join me. One thing led to another, and I soon found myself setting up this firm with them, focusing on litigation and international arbitration.

What are you enjoying most about building and growing your new firm? 

I am enjoying the warmth and camaraderie of a smaller outfit. Our size gives more opportunities for training and nurturing. 

What effect has the opening of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) had on the practice of dispute resolution in the region? 

I declare my interest as the chairman of SIAC. It has had an enormous and significant impact on the practice of dispute resolution in the region. The number, complexity and value of cases, both in Singapore and from the region into Singapore, have grown significantly. This has given younger practitioners so much more exposure, including working with and against top international lawyers. 

What are the key qualities that clients look for in an effective trial lawyer? 

Trust, integrity and dedication to the client’s cause within the bounds of ethics.  

To what extent does your work in arbitration enhance or affect your approach in litigation proceedings?

International arbitration may have its own pace and rhythm but it holds very valuable lessons about managing time in cross-examination. Guillotines in arbitration force a practitioner to learn how to focus on the key points in cross-examination. These lessons can be very usefully and effectively applied in court proceedings.

How do you anticipate the Singaporean legal market changing in the next five years? How might this affect your practice?

Singapore remains an oasis of stability and predictability in an increasingly uncertain world. These attributes, the integrity of our institutions, and the Singapore government and judiciary’s continuous efforts to enhance the country’s attractiveness as a centre for dispute resolution (including international arbitration, mediation and cross-border insolvency and restructuring) hold out great promise. There is a strong sense that Singapore’s position and standing as a centre for the resolution of disputes can only grow, and that will ensure a continuing stream of complex and high value international disputes. This means that there will be opportunities for young lawyers to train and grow in stature.

What has been the most memorable case you have worked on? 

There have been many, for different reasons.  

What advice would you give to lawyers looking to establish a career in commercial litigation? 

Devote yourself to your work. Half measures won’t do.  

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Davinder Singh is a top choice for counsel, and highly active in the market with extensive experience defending clients.

Questions & Answers

Davinder is executive chair of Davinder Singh Chambers LLC, chair of the SIAC and vice chair of the ICC Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption. He is widely considered to be Singapore’s most revered advocate and counsel of choice. Davinder has consistently been ranked as the only “Star Individual” in dispute resolution: litigation (Singapore) by Chambers. He was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration by The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific (2020).

What are the challenges from a reputational viewpoint when advising clients facing investigation from the authorities?

The authorities must know that they are dealing with lawyers whose word they can trust. It is in the clients’ interests for the lawyers to maintain their integrity. If the authorities have doubts about the lawyers, it will be the clients who suffer.  

What do clients look for when selecting their counsel?

Reputation, track record, trust, integrity and personal attention to the clients’ issues.

What are the main challenges for enforcement agencies in your jurisdiction and why?

As people are better informed about their rights, complaints increase. As criminal activities become more difficult to track, and many are committed in more than one country, investigations become increasingly difficult, not least because of the need for multi-jurisdictional collaboration. It is not always the case that all the countries affected by a crime have the same interests. All of these aspects make for an increasingly challenging mission.

To what extent is remote working as a result of covid-19 highlighting the importance of face-to-face interaction in regulatory investigations? 

There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction in regulatory investigations. These investigations require an in-depth understanding of the client’s personal and professional history, track record; involve fact finding; and entail management of different stakeholders with differing interests. Judgement calls and decisions have to be made and strategies revised, depending on nuances in communications. The exercise is simply too complex and demanding to be conducted virtually.   

To what extent is the increasingly virtual nature of investigations in a covid-19 landscape making for a more efficient process? In what aspects is it falling short? 

There are some efficiencies in terms of interviews with foreign parties or uncontroversial hearings. While it is a relief that it can facilitate interaction in the present landscape, it is still second-best. 

How has increasing coordination among enforcement authorities globally impacted your practice?

We are seeing more investigations arising from foreign countries’ requests to the Singapore government for legal assistance, and that in turn has resulted in an increase in work. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own firm?

Start modestly and stick to the knitting. 

In which direction would you like to steer your practice in the next five years?

To remain focused on dispute resolution, international arbitration and investigations. The more time we spend on limited areas, the more we learn about them.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Davinder Singh SC is “a very well-known practitioner and one of the big players in the market” who is “among the most feared litigators in Singapore”.

Questions & Answers

Davinder Singh SC is executive chair of Davinder Singh Chambers LLC, chair of the SIAC and vice chair of the ICC Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption. He is widely considered to be Singapore’s most revered advocate and counsel of choice. Davinder has consistently been ranked as the only “Star Individual” in dispute resolution: litigation (Singapore) by Chambers. He has also been inducted into the “Hall of Fame” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration by The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific.

What inspired you to pursue a legal career?

It was probably due to a passing comment by my school principal, which, intended or otherwise, I happily assumed was encouragement to be a lawyer, and the fact that the law allows you to be self-reliant.

What are you enjoying most about building and growing your dispute resolution boutique?

That there is more opportunity to interact with the lawyers and staff.

To what extent does your work in arbitration enhance or affect your approach in litigation proceedings?

International arbitration may have its own pace and rhythm but it holds very valuable lessons about managing time in cross-examination. Guillotines in arbitration force a practitioner to learn how to focus on the key points in cross-examination. These lessons can be very usefully and effectively applied in court proceedings. 

How have you seen the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) develop over the past year? As its chairman, do you have any highlights? 

The number, complexity and value of cases, both in Singapore and from the world into Singapore, have grown significantly. This has given younger practitioners so much more exposure, including working with and against top international lawyers. I am very happy that the SIAC has moved from keeping pace with developments around the world to influencing and shaping them.

How effective would you say virtual hearings and arbitration proceedings are compared to their in-person alternative? Do you see them becoming the “new normal”?

They are very effective. Of course, juniors do not get as much opportunity to see and learn from the dynamics of physical interaction, but they still get a chance to learn.

How do you anticipate the commercial litigation market to develop in Singapore over the next year?

Singapore remains an oasis of stability and predictability in an increasingly uncertain world. There is a strong sense that Singapore’s position and standing as a centre for the resolution of disputes can only grow, and that will ensure a continuing stream of complex and high-value international disputes. This means that there will be opportunities for young lawyers to train and grow in stature. 

What advice would you give to lawyers looking to establish a career in commercial litigation?

Devote yourself to your work. Half measures won’t do. 

What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

The wish list is long and amusing.

Global Leader

Arbitration 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

"The fastest thinker I have ever come across - seriously intelligent"
"The top counsel of choice in Singapore among all local counsel by a long way"
"His impeccable reputation is truly deserved"
"The best advocate in Singapore"

Biography

Davinder Singh, Senior Counsel, is the executive chairman of Davinder Singh Chambers LLC.

Davinder's experience spans more than three decades. He has litigated cases in almost every area of the law, including landmark cases. He has an active international arbitration practice involving complex commercial disputes, international clients and multiple jurisdictions. He has advised and/or acted in numerous institutional and ad hoc arbitrations. Davinder has time and again been recognised by various local and international publications as a top litigator and arbitration counsel.

He is the only litigator in Singapore to be ranked by Chambers Asia-Pacific as a “Star Individual” for dispute resolution: litigation (Singapore), a category above Band 1, for 10 years running (from 2011 to 2020). He is also ranked in Band 1 for dispute resolution: arbitration in Singapore.

In the inaugural South-east Asia Legal Awards by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2020), Davinder was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration. He has also been ranked by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific as a “Leading Lawyer” in dispute resolution for 19 consecutive years, and in international arbitration for 8 consecutive years.

According to Chambers Asia-Pacific (2020), “Davinder Singh SC is a highly sought-after practitioner who clients describe as a ‘star performer with a sixth sense for knowing what the opponent is up to, sometimes with unmatched accuracy, and an ability to suss out how best to position, drive and argue your case.’" In The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2020), he has been noted as a “leading individual” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration. Sources have stated: “Davinder Singh SC is in a class of his own. He is not only a bona fide star performer, but a star performer with an X factor that is hard to put your finger on.” According to further praise, “Davinder Singh SC is without peer at the Singapore Bar. His cross-examination skills are razor sharp. It is a joy to watch him in court.”

Davinder has also been described by one client as an “exceptional advocate” with an “ability to grasp the facts and distil them into a very cogent and persuasive argument” in the Global Arbitration Review (13th edition).  

Davinder was the first lawyer in Asia-Pacific to be inducted into the “Hall of Fame” at Benchmark Litigation's 2019 Asia-Pacific Awards. According to Benchmark Litigation, this honour is in recognition of his distinguished legal career and achievements in dispute resolution in the Asia Pacific.

In Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (2020), Davinder has been ranked as a “Litigation Star” in dispute resolution, international arbitration as well as commercial and transactions. A client commented: “He is by far the best litigation lawyer in Singapore”.

Davinder was named “Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year” by Asian Legal Business's South-east Asia Law Awards 2020. He was also named as “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation by Best Lawyers (2020). He has also won the “Lawyer of the Year” Award for various years in arbitration and mediation, as well as international arbitration.

He is the chairman of the board of directors of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He is vice chairman of the ICC commission on corporate responsibility and anti-corruption. Davinder is a senate member at the Singapore Academy of Law and has served and continues to serve as a trustee or board member at various companies and organisations.

WWL Ranking: Recommended
Investigations 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say:

"One of if not the top advocate in Singapore"
"He frequently goes way beyond what is requested of him, to protect the best interest of the clients"
"The best in the country"
"He is meticulous in the details and has shown great patience and compassion to the clients"

Biography

Davinder Singh, Senior Counsel, is the executive chairman of Davinder Singh Chambers LLC.

Davinder's experience spans more than three decades. He has litigated cases in almost every area of the law, including landmark cases. He has an active international arbitration practice involving complex commercial disputes, international clients and multiple jurisdictions. He has advised and/or acted in numerous institutional and ad hoc arbitrations. Davinder has time and again been recognised by various local and international publications as a top litigator and arbitration counsel.

He is the only litigator in Singapore to be ranked by Chambers Asia-Pacific as a “Star Individual” for Dispute Resolution: Litigation (Singapore), a category above Band 1, for 11 years running (from 2011 to 2021). He is also ranked in Band 1 for Dispute Resolution: Arbitration in Singapore.

In the inaugural South-east Asia Legal Awards by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2020), Davinder was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration. Davinder continues to be recognised in the “Hall of Fame” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2021). Davinder was also ranked as a “Recommended” lawyer in White-Collar Crime. He has also been ranked by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific as a “Leading Lawyer” in dispute resolution for 19 consecutive years, and in international arbitration for 8 consecutive years.

In Chambers Asia-Pacific (2021), Chambers and Partners quote sources who describe Davinder as “unsurpassed in this area of work” and clients who say that Davinder “provides critical insight with his sharp thinking and his awareness of the facts” and offers “deep and sound thinking”. In The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2021), sources have stated “Davinder has been and is one of Singapore’s best advocates. He has the ability to distill the essence of a case and knows precisely the attack points that are required to win a case.” According to further praise “Davinder stands next to no one when it comes to arbitration practice.”

Davinder has also been described by one client as an “exceptional advocate” with an “ability to grasp the facts and distil them into a very cogent and persuasive argument” in the Global Arbitration Review (13th edition).  

Davinder was the first lawyer in Asia-Pacific to be inducted into the “Hall of Fame” at Benchmark Litigation's 2019 Asia-Pacific Awards. According to Benchmark Litigation, this honour is in recognition of his distinguished legal career and achievements in dispute resolution in the Asia Pacific.

In Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (2020), Davinder has been ranked as a “Litigation Star” in dispute resolution, international arbitration as well as commercial and transactions. A client commented: “He is by far the best litigation lawyer in Singapore”.

Davinder was named “Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year” by Asian Legal Business's South-east Asia Law Awards 2020. He was also named as “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation by Best Lawyers (2020). He has also won the “Lawyer of the Year” Award for various years in arbitration and mediation, as well as international arbitration.

He is the chairman of the board of directors of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He is vice chairman of the ICC commission on corporate responsibility and anti-corruption. Davinder is a senate member at the Singapore Academy of Law and has served and continues to serve as a trustee or board member at various companies and organisations.

Litigation 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Davinder Singh is "a very well known practitioner and one of the big players in the market" who is "among the most feared litigators in Singapore".

Biography

Davinder Singh, Senior Counsel, is the executive chairman of Davinder Singh Chambers LLC.

Davinder's experience spans more than three decades. He has litigated cases in almost every area of the law, including landmark cases. He has an active international arbitration practice involving complex commercial disputes, international clients and multiple jurisdictions. He has advised and/or acted in numerous institutional and ad hoc arbitrations. Davinder has time and again been recognised by various local and international publications as a top litigator and arbitration counsel.

He is the only litigator in Singapore to be ranked by Chambers Asia-Pacific as a “Star Individual” for dispute resolution: litigation (Singapore), a category above Band 1, for 10 years running (from 2011 to 2020). He is also ranked in Band 1 for dispute resolution: arbitration in Singapore.

In the inaugural South-east Asia Legal Awards by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2020), Davinder was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration. He has also been ranked by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific as a “Leading Lawyer” in dispute resolution for 19 consecutive years, and in international arbitration for 8 consecutive years.

According to Chambers Asia-Pacific (2020), “Davinder Singh SC is a highly sought-after practitioner who clients describe as a ‘star performer with a sixth sense for knowing what the opponent is up to, sometimes with unmatched accuracy, and an ability to suss out how best to position, drive and argue your case.’" In The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2020), he has been noted as a “leading individual” for both dispute resolution and international arbitration. Sources have stated: “Davinder Singh SC is in a class of his own. He is not only a bona fide star performer, but a star performer with an X factor that is hard to put your finger on.” According to further praise, “Davinder Singh SC is without peer at the Singapore Bar. His cross-examination skills are razor sharp. It is a joy to watch him in court.”

Davinder has also been described by one client as an “exceptional advocate” with an “ability to grasp the facts and distil them into a very cogent and persuasive argument” in the Global Arbitration Review (13th edition).  

Davinder was the first lawyer in Asia-Pacific to be inducted into the “Hall of Fame” at Benchmark Litigation's 2019 Asia-Pacific Awards. According to Benchmark Litigation, this honour is in recognition of his distinguished legal career and achievements in dispute resolution in the Asia Pacific.

In Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (2020), Davinder has been ranked as a “Litigation Star” in dispute resolution, international arbitration as well as commercial and transactions. A client commented: “He is by far the best litigation lawyer in Singapore”.

Davinder was named “Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year” by Asian Legal Business's South-east Asia Law Awards 2020. He was also named as “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation by Best Lawyers (2020). He has also won the “Lawyer of the Year” Award for various years in arbitration and mediation, as well as international arbitration.

He is the chairman of the board of directors of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He is vice chairman of the ICC commission on corporate responsibility and anti-corruption. Davinder is a senate member at the Singapore Academy of Law and has served and continues to serve as a trustee or board member at various companies and organisations.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended
WWL Ranking: Recommended
WWL Ranking: Recommended
WWL Ranking: Recommended
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