“He is an excellent advocate”
“An arbitration specialist”
“Very well known for arbitration in the region”
Francis is regional head of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s disputes group. He practises international and treaty arbitration and cross-border commercial litigation.
A veteran in the field, Francis has 32 years of legal practice and is actively involved in cross-border commercial disputes in the areas of corporate banking, property, financial, and investment-related claims. With his substantial experience in dispute resolution, Francis has a track record of being involved in novel and unprecedented cases.
Francis is recognised as a leading disputes lawyer by numerous publications, including: Asia Law Profiles (2017–2021); Asia Pacific The Legal 500 (2014–2019, 2021); Ranked Lawyers Chambers Global (2016–2021); Dispute Resolution Chambers Asia-Pacific (2016–2021); Best Lawyer in Litigation Practice, Best Lawyers International (2015–2020); Global Arbitration Review (2010); Best Litigation Lawyers in Singapore (2013); Asia Law Leading Lawyers (2009). He was recently named as one of Asia’s Top 15 Litigators by Asian Legal Business (2021).
Francis was also recognised by Asia Business Law Journal (2018) as amongst Singapore’s top 100 lawyers and is the winner of a Business Excellence Award (2019) issued by Corporate Insider, the Gateway to the World of Business; named as a dispute resolution star by Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific (2019–2020). He was recently ranked as a leading disputes lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific (2020); WWL: Labour, Employment & Benefits (2016–2021); WWL Thought Leaders: Labour & Employment (2019–2020); WWL: Arbitration (2017–2021); The Best Lawyers (2020) Singapore; the 5th Annual Global Business Edition of Best Lawyers (2020); and WWL: Litigation (2020).
He has appeared as counsel and has acted as arbitrator (both party-appointed and presiding) in a large number of arbitrations (both ad hoc and administered including by ICSID, ICC, SIAC, AIAC, HKIAC, BANI and the Permanent Court of Arbitration).
Francis has acted for a number of parties in treaty disputes (including several Asian governments). He is currently sitting as party-nominated arbitrator of a Mauritius investor in a bilateral investment treaty (ICSID) dispute with the government of India. He is presently assisting several governments in setting up their international arbitration framework.
He is the immediate past global president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and also the immediate past president of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association. He is a chartered arbitrator and also a past chairman of the Singapore branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
He is the general editor of two major publications – Civil Litigation in Singapore (Sweet & Maxwell, 2017) and Arbitration in Singapore: A Practical Guide (2nd Edition, Sweet & Maxwell, 2018).
He has been re-appointed to the Singapore Appeal advisory panels (constituted under the Business Trusts Act, Financial Advisers Act, Insurance Act, Securities and Futures Act and Trust Companies Act) by then-deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam for a further two-year term (1 October 2019 to 30 September 2021).
He is the chairman of the listings appeals committee, Singapore Stock Exchange. He is also the chairman of the inquiry panel of the Law Society of Singapore. He has been recently re-appointed as a member of the rules committee, Singapore Academy of Law for a further two-year term (from January 2020).