Mayer Brown’s new Singapore chief focuses on energy disputes

Tay Yu-Jin

Mayer Brown’s head of international arbitration in Asia, Tay Yu-Jin, succeeds Pieter de Ridder as the new managing partner of its Singapore office. De Ridder, who helmed the Singapore office for the past four years, will continue his role as a member of the firm’s global tax group.

“Our disputes team in Singapore is currently the busiest with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a broad range of energy-related arbitrations and litigation,” Tay told Asia Business Law Journal.

“We expect this to continue to be a very busy area for several years to come given high LNG prices, volatility and still evolving global markets.

“We also expect big-ticket construction and infrastructure disputes to make a return, particularly in the transport and power sectors, and we continue to be busy with a wide range of commercial disputes, including private equity and business combination disputes across Asia.”

Furthermore, Tay also anticipated more dispute resolution-related thought leadership to emerge from Singapore. The Singapore International Arbitration Centre is expected to be out for consultation soon, as part of the centre’s periodic revisions to take in contemporary trends and users’ feedback.

“The Singapore courts are also making a concerted effort to take into account arbitration user feedback in connection with its arbitration-related caseload,” said Tay.

“We are involved in this process with both the high court and the Singapore International Commercial Court. This reflects a court system that is committed to remaining at the forefront globally.”

Having been advising or representing investors or states in investment treaty arbitrations since 2001, Tay has experience with most of the world’s leading arbitral seats as well as under the rules of key arbitral institutions. He specialises in international arbitration arising from a broad range of commercial disputes across various sectors.

“Singapore will be a key driver of our growth across Asia given the increasing prominence of Singapore law as a governing law and the attractiveness of Singapore as a disputes and regional hub,” Tay added.

“Our Singapore office has been a success story and now that our joint law venture is in place, we plan on significant investment in Singapore over the next two years.”

Since 1 January, Mayer Brown has entered a joint law venture with Singapore firm PK Wong & Nair to establish Mayer Brown PK Wong & Nair led by Tay and Mark Wong, co-managing director of PK Wong & Nair. The venture has more than 30 lawyers, including 17 partners, and plans to double the headcount in the next two years.