Kay Kian Tan



T: +66 2665 7800/7878
D: +66 2665 7807
M: +66 89 815 0466

EmailE: kktan@wfw.com

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Kay Kian Tan>


Summary Open

Kay Kian is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution group of Watson Farley & Williams, based in Bangkok. He advises corporate and multinational entities in international commercial disputes (both arbitration and litigation) and has sector expertise in power and energy, international trade, and maritime transportation.

Kay Kian is cited by Chambers as a leading practitioner in International Arbitration. He has worked in London and in Singapore and has been based in the firm’s Bangkok office since 2001. He is a barrister and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1995. He has also been admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales and as an Advocate and Solicitor in Singapore.

Experience Open

    Kay Kian’s experience includes:
    • Representing a Thai power producer in a claim against a Chinese contractor for breach of EPC contracts (governed by English law) for a biomass power generation plant, the first of its kind in Thailand. The claim exceeded US$40m and was successfully resolved through ICC arbitration in Singapore. Related proceedings in China for fraud were also successful.
    • Advising reinsurers on liability exposure and quantum issues arising out of a high-profile oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand involving the Thai national petroleum corporation, including in respect of 15 civil and environmental claims filed in the Thai courts by businesses and individuals for losses arising from the oil spill. The amounts in dispute exceed THB3bn.
    • Acting for a subsidiary of a major Thai public company regarding disputes from investments in the Indonesian palm oil sector. The disputes concern land intended for palm oil cultivation and include allegations of fraud and corruption. They are part of a series of wider disputes relating to the failure of similar ventures in Indonesia and an overall exit strategy for these ventures. Arbitration has commenced in Singapore under SIAC Rules to recover losses which exceed US$75m.
    • Representing the owners/operators of the largest integrated petrochemical refinery in Thailand in disputes with a Hong Kong company concerning alleged breaches of the duty of confidence, infringement of intellectual property rights and trade secrets, and breaches of contracts of exclusivity under both English and Thai law. There were 21 concurrent arbitrations in London, in which the client’s defences were a complete success. An appeal to the English High Court by the unsuccessful claimant was successfully resisted.
    • Advising a subsidiary of a major Thai public petroleum company regarding claims against a Singapore company and Indonesian nationals in connection with the transfer of Indonesian coal mining companies and assets. Arbitration was commenced in Singapore under UNCITRAL Rules and led to a successful recovery of damages in the region of US$20m.
    • Advising shipowners and operators in the wake of the insolvency of the OWB Group entities, in connection with the supply of bunkers through OWB. As OWB has not paid the physical suppliers of the bunkers, these suppliers have threatened to pursue claims in different jurisdictions against the relevant vessels.
    • Acting for the Government of a Northeast African nation in two separate disputes with the national petroleum companies of three Asian countries over ownership, design, construction and maintenance of a crude oil pipeline. The relevant contracts and the quantification of loss are subject to Sharia law. The ownership dispute is worth in excess of US$1bn and was referred to arbitration in London before successfully settling. The design and construction dispute is worth over US$300m.
    • Representing a subsidiary of the Thai national oil corporation in LMAA arbitrations in London for claims totalling US$10m in connection with disputes under two contracts of affreightment for the carriage of product from Arabian Gulf to Thailand.
    • Advising one of the largest pulp and paper producers in Asia in three ICC arbitrations conducted in Singapore (under Thai law) relating to a US$80m investment by one of the largest paper makers in Europe.

Education Open

  • 1998: Admitted as a Solicitor England and Wales
  • 1998: Admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore
  • 1995: Called to the Bar of England and Wales
  • 1994: University of Nottingham (LLB Hons)

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • Arbitration – What You Need to Know, In-House Congress legal seminar
  • Alternatives to Litigation & Arbitration
  • Liquidated Damages in Asia
  • What You Should Know About Arbitration Clauses, Asia Business Forum seminar on Negotiating & Managing Construction Contracts
  • Asia Dispute Resolution – Choosing a Dispute Resolution Process, In-House Congress legal seminar
  • Dispute Resolution and Mediation, Asia Business Forum seminar on Contract Risk Management
  • ICC Arbitration, Panel Discussion – Arbitration in Thailand, Present State, Future Needs & Prospects
  • Leading Practitioner in Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration, Chambers & Partners
  • 2012, External Counsel of the Year, Asian-MENA Counsel

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • Law Society of England & Wales
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Employment Record Open

  • 2004 – present: Partner, Watson Farley & Williams
  • 2000 – 2004: Associate, Watson Farley & Williams (Singapore 2000 – 2001; Bangkok 2001 – 2004)
  • 1996 – 2000: Associate, Sinclair, Roche & Temperley (Singapore 1996 – 1998; London 1998 – 2000)

Publications Open

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