Legal eagle Davinder Singh named best dispute lawyer

Drew & Napier, the firm he heads, also wins Law Firm of the Year award

Senior Counsel Davinder Singh (right) was named Singapore's "Disputes Star of the Year" at a Hong Kong event. Senior Counsel Cavinder Bull received Drew & Napier's awards.
Senior Counsel Davinder Singh (right) was named Singapore's "Disputes Star of the Year" at a Hong Kong event. Senior Counsel Cavinder Bull received Drew & Napier's awards.PHOTO: ASIALAW ASIA-PACIFIC DISPUTE RESOLUTION AWARDS 2015

Law heavyweight Davinder Singh has emerged as Singapore's best dispute lawyer at an awards ceremony to size up the brightest legal talents in the region.

The 58-year-old Senior Counsel was named the Republic's "Disputes Star of the Year" at Thursday's inaugural Asialaw Asia-Pacific (APAC) Dispute Resolution Awards held in Hong Kong.

Drew & Napier, the law firm he heads, also took pole position in being named Singapore Law Firm of the Year, warding off shortlisted local heavyweights such as Allen & Gledhill, Rajah & Tann and WongPartnership.

The firm was also named best in Singapore for domestic arbitration.

Asialaw, the awards ceremony host, is a research outfit that has produced 20 annual editions of Asialaw Profiles, which provides a guide to leading domestic and regional law firms in the Asia-Pacific region.

The awards build on Hong Kong-based Asialaw's expertise in uncovering leading lawyers and firms to celebrate the best in 12 practice areas across 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region,with individual award winners named for each country.

Spokesman Nickie Yeung told The Straits Times yesterday: "Each winner demonstrated his strengths in furthering and inspiring the growing field of dispute resolution around the region."

To select the nominees and winners, Asialaw editorial staff undertook detailed research beginning with submissions from regional and international firms. It also consulted private practice lawyers, in-house counsel and barristers for market feedback.

SC Singh, who beat off seven other nominees from local and international law firms based here, has handled a slew of high-profile cases over the years. They include representing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently in a successful defamation suit against blogger Roy Ngerng, and acting for the Brunei Attorney-General in prosecuting a US$2.5 million (S$3.2 million) corruption case.

He is currently helming a Drew & Napier team to defend Indonesian company PT Bayan Resources TBK in a US$800 million spat with BCBC Singapore, a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian company Binderless Coal Briquetting Company.

Dealing with alleged breaches of a joint venture pact, the case is set to be the first to be heard before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), launched in January.

SC Singh, who has been practising since 1983, said yesterday: "Drew & Napier and I are deeply honoured by these awards which justly belong to our excellent lawyers and staff. The firm owes a special debt of gratitude to all our clients for their unstinting support."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline 'Legal eagle named best dispute lawyer'. Print Edition | Subscribe