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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Davinder Singh SC

Davinder Singh SC

DAVINDER SINGH CHAMBERS LLC1 Wallich StreetGuoco Tower #20-02 SingaporeSingapore078881
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Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

Questions & Answers

Davinder is executive chairman of Drew & Napier LLC, chairman of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and vice chairman of the ICC commission on corporate responsibility and anti-corruption. According to the 2018 editions of Chambers Asia-Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific, clients regard Davinder as “number one in Singapore” and “a bona fide star performer” who is “in a class of his own”. His multiple industry accolades include being named Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year at the 2018 Asian Legal Business SE Asia Awards. Davinder was in the pioneer batch of Senior Counsel appointed in 1997 by the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Describe your career to date.

I have been extremely fortunate. From the moment I walked into Drew’s office in 1982, I’ve been exposed to exciting work and have had the privilege of working with the best lawyers.

How has international litigation changed since you started your career?

It is now more complex and requires us to be familiar with new developments in the law in different countries as well as cultural and other issues. With the Singapore International Commercial Court and the rise of international arbitration, one finds oneself increasingly before decision makers who are from different countries with different backgrounds.

How do you prepare for court in a high-pressure case?

It is essential to have a team of good lawyers and to listen to their perspectives. I am fortunate to have a great team at Drew & Napier.

After 20 years as CEO of Drew & Napier, what was your proudest achievement in the role?

Drew & Napier has maintained its position as the leading dispute resolution firm in the face of increasing competition.

How does Drew & Napier distinguish itself from the competition?

Drew’s value proposition is our focus on doing our very best for the client. This philosophy is embedded in Drew’s DNA and is consciously transmitted to our lawyers, generation after generation. Our lawyers know from the day they join us that, first, they must be completely professional and ethical in their work; and second, they have a responsibility to uphold Drew & Napier’s reputation for uncompromising standards. The seniors are expected to lead by example. The juniors are expected to emulate and surpass the seniors.

How has your role as the chairman of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre intersected with your work as a litigator?

My experience in litigation has helped shape some of my views about what SIAC must continue to do in order to make Singapore the most attractive place for international arbitration.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

You are only as good as the decision maker’s view, and the client’s view, of how well you did in your last case.

What trends do you expect to see in litigation in Singapore in the next few years?

Singapore will continue to grow as the pre-eminent centre for international dispute resolution. The number, complexity and value of dispute resolution and international arbitration cases in Singapore will grow as the centre of economic gravity continues to shift to Asia.

Thought Leaders - Litigation

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Biography

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. Clients quoted in Chambers Asia-Pacific (2019) and The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific (2018) say: “When it comes to court craft, court presence and a certain amount of killer instinct in court, he is the one”, and describe him as “a bona fide star performer” who is “in a class of his own”. Davinder was in the pioneer batch of Senior Counsel appointed in 1997 by the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Describe your career to date.

I have been extremely fortunate. From the moment I became a lawyer in 1982, I’ve been exposed to exciting work and have had the privilege of working with the best lawyers.

What do you enjoy most about working in litigation?

That it keeps you on your toes, literally and otherwise, all the time.

How has the market changed since you first started practising?

It is now more complex and requires us to be familiar with new developments in the law in different countries, along with cultural and other issues. With the Singapore International Commercial Court and the rise of international arbitration, one finds oneself increasingly before decision makers who are from different countries with different backgrounds.

The clients are better informed, take ownership of the disputes and, therefore, reasonably expect to be involved in strategic and tactical decisions as the case progresses.

How do you think third-party funding will impact the litigation market?

It will not make a huge impact in the foreseeable future.

What trends are you currently seeing in litigation?

Singapore will continue to grow as the pre-eminent centre for international dispute resolution and mediation. The number, complexity and value of dispute resolution and international arbitration cases in Singapore will grow as the centre of economic gravity continues to shift to Asia.

How important is it for a general commercial trial lawyer to have sector- or industry-based expertise concerning the case they are handling?

Although industry-based expertise would be helpful, it is not a prerequisite. Such things can be, and often are, learnt for cases with the help of industry experts. The trial lawyer would need to have a crash course on the subject, and master the details which are often all but forgotten after the trial.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

You are only as good as the decision maker’s and client’s views of how well you did in your last case.

What advice would you give to a younger practitioner hoping to one day be in your position?

Aim high, but know that without integrity and hard, back-breaking work, your ambition will leave your achievements trailing far behind.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended
WWL Ranking: Recommended
Investigations

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Davinder Singh SC is highlighted as a practitioner who “deals with clients on the key issues associated with investigation matters” and is commended as a “top-notch, hard-working lawyer who will get it done for you or your client if you have issues in Singapore”.

Biography

Davinder Singh is the executive chairman of Drew & Napier LLC.  

Davinder's legal experience spans more than three decades. He has litigated cases in almost every area of the law, including landmark cases. He has time and again been recognised by various local and international publications as a top litigator and arbitration counsel. 

Davinder 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.

According to Chambers Asia-Pacific (2019) and The Legal 500: Asia-Pacific (2018), clients say, "When it comes to court craft, court presence and a certain amount of killer instinct in court, he is the one" and regard Davinder as the “number one in Singapore” and “a bona fide star performer” who is “in a class of his own”. His multiple industry accolades include being named Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year at the Asian Legal Business SE Asia awards 2018. He is the only litigator in Singapore to be ranked by Chambers and Partners as a “Star Individual” for nine years running, from 2011 to 2019.

Davinder is the chairman of the board of directors of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). He is a vice chairman of the ICC Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption. Davinder also sits as director on various boards.

Davinder was in the pioneer batch of senior counsel appointed in 1997 by the Supreme Court of Singapore.

WWL Ranking: Recommended
WWL Ranking: Recommended
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