Bhavish Advani

Bhavish Advani
Of Counsel

BANGKOK

T: +66 2665 7800/7878
D: +66 2665 7810

Summary Open

Bhavish is Of Counsel in Watson Farley & Williams’ Dispute Resolution group. He has a specialised focused on Asia-based international commercial arbitration and is a key member of the team in dealing with disputes from the ASEAN region, China and South Asia.

Before joining Watson Farley & Williams in 2012, Bhavish spent five years working in one of the largest and most prestigious disputes practices in Singapore.

Bhavish has extensive experience as lead counsel in international commercial arbitrations under the UNCITRAL, ICC, SIAC, HKIAC and ICDR regimes. He has also acted for parties at the trial and appellate levels in commercial cases before the Singapore courts. Bhavish’s matters are run in compact teams and prioritise cost efficiency and expeditious disposal. His diverse range of clients include major regional corporations and multinationals, financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, governments and state-linked entities, along with high net worth individuals.

Bhavish is admitted to the bar in Singapore and the State of New York. He is fluent in English, Mandarin and French. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Experience Open

    Bhavish’s experience includes:
    Advisory
    • Advised major New York-listed investment banks on issues with their joint-venture in a landmark real estate project located in Bangkok’s Central Business District. Claims valued in excess of USD300m were involved under a suite of shareholder and financing agreements. Issues were governed variously by New York, Thai and Singapore law, subject to the jurisdiction of the Thai courts and SIAC arbitration.
    • Advised a major Thai electricity company on issues with their joint-venture hydroelectricity project in Laos triggered by a dam collapse. Claims valued in excess of USD500m were involved under a suite of contracts including shareholder agreements, EPC and O&M contracts, syndicated financing agreements and insurance policies. Issues were governed variously by English, Laos, Thai and Singapore law, subject to the jurisdiction of the Laos and Thai courts, along with SIAC arbitration.
    • Advised a Thai investor group in disputes with their Thai joint-venture partners and an American entertainment corporation over the organisation and broadcast of a renowned international beauty pageant. Claims in contract, breach of partners’ fiduciary duties, breach of non-disclosure obligations and confidentiality, conspiracy and tortious interference were involved. Issues were governed variously by Thai, New York, English and Singapore law, subject to the jurisdiction of the Thai courts, as well as New York JAMS and SIAC arbitration.
    • Advised a Singapore-listed F&B company in a highly publicised takeover dispute raising issues of compliance with provisions under the Singapore Takeover Code concerning equality of treatment of shareholders.
    Arbitration
    • Acted for telecommunication companies of an Indonesian conglomerate in shareholder disputes with a Malaysian conglomerate concerning failure of a Pay-TV joint-venture as part of a wider commercial falling out. Jurisdictional challenges and restitutionary/contractual claims amounting to US$400m were involved. (SIAC; Singapore law)
    • Represented Thai state-linked energy corporations in various commercial disputes including asset acquisition disputes with Indonesian entities/individuals over coal mining and renewable energy projects, disputes with an American energy corporation over the pricing of oil and gas products, and contractual disputes with Singaporean trading partners over the sale and purchase of oil and gas products. Claims totalling more than USD100m were involved along with procedural applications including jurisdictional challenges and compelling constitution of tribunals. (SIAC/ICC/Ad-hoc UNCITRAL; Singapore/English/Thai law)
    • Acted for the defence ministry of a South-East Asian government in disputes with an Australian engineering consultancy and a sub-contractor over failures in the construction of a naval base. Contractual and tortious claims worth S$24m were involved together with jurisdictional challenges as well as setting aside and award enforcement applications (SIAC/Ad-hoc; Singapore law)
    • Acted for a Thai paper manufacturer in disputes with a Chinese machinery manufacturer and a Chinese state-linked corporation over supply of deficient machinery. Claims in excess of US$50m were brought for breach of contract, misrepresentation and enforcement of guarantee obligations. (HKIAC Administered UNCITRAL; Chinese law)
    • Represented former officers of a California corporation’s Singapore subsidiary against claims amounting to US$95m for misrepresentation, conspiracy and breach of directors’ fiduciary duties. (Ad-hoc; Singapore law)
    • Represented a Singapore-listed property developer in contractual and negligence claims amounting to S$20m against a statutory authority for losses occasioned by the collapse of a highway under construction. (Ad-hoc; Singapore law)
    • Acted in disputes between Thai affiliates of a Dutch renewable energy solutions consultancy and a Dutch food conglomerate over wrongful contractual termination and consequential damages claims. (ICC; Thai law)
    • Represented a Thai airline in various arbitrations concerning breaches of aircraft charter agreements and related litigation (ICDR; Thai law)
    Litigation
    • Advised/acted as counsel/instructing solicitor in various arbitration-related litigation involving:
      • Setting aside and enforcement of arbitral awards in the Singapore and Thai courts, including related insolvency proceedings in multiple jurisdictions (e.g. VV and another v VW [2008] SGHC 11; Prometheus Marine Pte Ltd v King, Ann Rita and another [2017] SGCA 61);
      • Anti-suit relief in support of an ICC arbitration between Middle-Eastern and Pakistani entities;
      • Striking out of claims against a Chinese steel corporation in breach of a CIETAC arbitration agreement; and
      • Seeking repudiation of an arbitration agreement for breach of confidentiality (AAY and others v AAZ [2009] SGHC 142; [2010] SGHC 350).
    • Represented a Singapore brewery against S$117m in claims brought by international banks over fraudulent bank transactions. Claims in restitution, vicarious liability and negligence were involved. (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken v Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore) [2009] SGHC 197; [2011] SGCA 22).
    • Acted for a shareholder/managing director of a Singapore corporation in various proceedings concerning minority shareholder oppression, shareholder derivative actions, breach of directors’ fiduciary duties and setting aside of Anton Piller orders and Mareva injunctions. Claims in excess of US$50m were involved (Carolyn Fong v Airtrust and Linda Kao [2011] SGHC 88).
    • Represented an Indonesian HNWI seeking invalidation of forex transactions amounting to US$16m entered into with an American bank for absence of authority. Issues pertaining to agency and authorisation as well as appellate procedure were involved. (Susilawati v American Express Bank Ltd [2009] SGCA 8).
    • Represented a European bank in restitutionary claims worth US$8m against a Malaysian bank for issuance of fraudulent promissory notes, and related stay applications based on multiplicity of proceedings and forum non conveniens (CIMB Bank Bhd v Dresdner Kleinwort Ltd [2008] SGHC 59; [2008] SGCA 36).
    • Represented an advocate and solicitor before the Court of Three Judges in a landmark case on ambit of solicitors’ duties (Law Society of Singapore v Ahmad Khalis [2006] SGHC 143).

Education Open

  • 2018: Diploma in International Arbitration (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators)
  • 2006: Bachelor of Laws, 2nd Class Honours Upper (National University of Singapore)
  • 2004-2005: McGill University, Faculty of Law (Student Exchange Programme)

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • “National Courts and International Arbitration: Judicial Assistance in International Arbitration” – Panel Moderator, THAC and UNCITRAL RCAP 1st International ADR Conference 2018, May 2018
  • “Managing Costs of Dispute Resolution” – Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce Business Talk, 21 March 2018
  • “Effective Counsel in International Arbitration – Skills that Make a Difference” – ICC Young Arbitrators Forum Panel Speaker, 19 October 2017

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Singapore Academy of Law

Employment Record Open

  • 2012 – present: Watson Farley & Williams
  • 2006 – 2011: Drew & Napier LLC, Singapore, Senior Associate