Dan Thompson
Partner

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

SINGAPORE

T: +65 6532 5335 or +65 6551 9188
D: +65 6551 9174
M: +65 9648 1409

EmailE: dthompson@wfw.com

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Dan Thompson

Summary Open

Dan Thompson joined Watson Farley & Williams Singapore in July 2010, having previously worked at major law firms in London and Melbourne. Dan has been a specialist in the construction, maritime, energy and natural resources sectors since qualifying in September 2002. He became a partner in May 2012.

He advises state-owned entities, public and private companies, developers, owners, contractors, traders, insurers and investors on projects and disputes involving: oil and gas production, storage and processing facilities; drilling, accommodation and exploration units; oil and gas field developments and infrastructure; all varieties of seagoing vessels; mining and commodities; power plants; and, port, logistical and general industrial facilities.

Dan has substantial experience of working in the offshore energy industry, having spent approximately 18 months on secondment in South Korea at one of the world’s largest shipbuilding and offshore construction companies. Dan has also worked for extended periods on shipbuilding and offshore construction sites in Europe, advising at senior levels in relation to a wide range of contentious and non-contentious commercial and legal issues. He has also developed a reputation for his expertise in relation to projects and disputes with an Indonesian, South East Asian or Asia-Pacific connection.

“Outstanding client service” – PRAISE Award (2009)

“An expert in shipbuilding and offshore oil and gas” – Fairplay Magazine (2012)

“Versatile lawyer Dan Thompson punches well above his weight” – Legal 500 (2014)

Shortlisted for “Project and Energy Deal of the Year” – ALB Indonesia Law Awards (2015)

“Strong technical knowledge” – Legal 500 Asia (2016)

Dan is a member of the Law Society of England & Wales.

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Experience Open

    Selected Contentious Experience:
    Shipbuilding and Offshore Construction:
    • Advising a Thai-listed bulk carrier owner/operator in relation to a shipbuilding dispute with a Chinese shipyard. The dispute relates to alleged design defects in the propulsion system and excessive fuel oil consumption.
    • Representing a Malaysian FPSO owner/operator in relation to disputes arising out of an incident which occurred during the cross-tensioning of a spread moored FPSO.
    • Assisting a Malaysian FPSO owner/operator in relation to claims brought by an Italian topside manufacturer in respect of alleged breaches of contract by our client. The alleged breaches related to the award of a construction and installation contract to another manufacturer.
    • Assisting a South East Asian state-owned shipping company to defeat a claim for force majeure brought by a Korean shipbuilding company under a shipbuilding contract for the construction of an LNG carrier.
    • Advising a major Hong Kong-based bulk carrier owner/operator in relation to a shipbuilding dispute with a Chinese shipyard. The dispute relates to quality and delay issues
    • Representing a Singapore-based platform support vessel owner/operator in a shipbuilding dispute with a Chinese shipyard. The dispute related to quality and delay issues. The governing law of the contract was English law.
    • Assisting a South East Asian-state owned shipping company with a series of warranty claims against a Korean shipyard. The warranty claims arise out of alleged defects in the main engines of two newbuilding LNG carriers.
    • Acting for the owner of a drillship and storage facility in relation to a dispute under a turnkey construction arrangement (EPC) with a state-owned Chinese offshore contractor. The dispute is subject to LCIA arbitration in London.
    • Acting for a major independent oil exploration and production company in relation to a US$750m dispute with an FPSO owner/operator. The dispute related to the sub-standard conversion and performance of the FPSO resulting from various defective process and equipment systems. The dispute was subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.
    • Acting for an Indian shipowner in relation to a US$60m dispute with a Chinese shipyard in relation to the backdating of contracts in order to avoid the retrospective application of regulations relating to the coating requirements for double hull vessels. This was an ad hoc arbitration in London.
    • Acting for a bank in relation to dispute under a construction contract between its borrower and an Indian shipyard in respect of the delayed delivery of three bulk carriers. The dispute was subject to LMAA arbitration in London.
    • Advising a major South East Asian-state owned shipowner in relation to a dispute with a South Korean shipyard over the defective construction of a newbuilding LNG carrier. The dispute arose out of the defective installation of low-voltage cabling with resulting delay and cost overruns. The dispute was subject to LMAA arbitration in London.
    • Advising the Singaporean contractors and the Dutch sub-contractors in relation to a US$150m dispute regarding the conversion of a semi-submersible accommodation unit into a drilling unit. This involved renegotiating various English law project documents and attending on site at the construction yard in Holland for a period of three months to advise on contentious issues arising during the construction programme.
    • Representing the Singaporean head contractor in a US$100m construction and warranty insurance dispute involving a Norwegian principal and a US oil major. The dispute centred on a floating production storage and offloading vessel built in Singapore. The main proceedings took place in Norway and represented that country’s largest ever court case.
    • Representing the Korean EPC contractor in a US$500m London arbitration in relation to two ultra-harsh environment jack-up drilling rigs. Acting against a major Danish drilling and exploration owner/operator. The dispute centred on prototype drilling technology and involved several industry market leaders. The matter was successfully settled.
    • Advising the Korean head contractors on a range of legal and commercial issues arising out of various EPC contracts for the construction of a series of floating production storage and offloading vessels, including advice on the operation, renegotiation and amendment of contractual clauses in respect of variation procedures, LD regimes, extensions of time, force majeure issues, termination mechanisms and design obligations.
    • Representing the Korean contractor in relation to the design, construction and commissioning of an LNG carrier in an expedited US$50m LMAA arbitration against the Norwegian principal in London. The dispute involved very technical expert witness arguments in relation to the dual-fuel propulsion system and the matter successfully settled.
    • Acting for a British offshore contractor against a major US drilling company in the Technology and Construction Court of the Royal Courts of Justice in the United Kingdom. The principal area of dispute focused on delay and disruption to the design and construction of the living quarters and heli-deck of a fixed offshore platform. Before settlement the matter was set for a TCC mediation under the pilot scheme.
    • Advising the Korean contractor in an English law arbitration in Malaysia against the Canadian owner/operator of a semi-submersible drilling rig that was upgraded in Vietnam.
    • Representing the US buyer of two drillships against the Northern Irish contractor in the High Courts of Belfast and London. The matter was high profile because it caused one of the last remaining British shipyards to enter administration.
    Mining and Commodities:
    • Representing a state-owned Chinese conglomerate in English High Court proceedings commenced under a letter of indemnity in connection with the alleged misdelivery of a cargo of iron ore.
    • Acting for a state-owned Chinese conglomerate in relation to a dispute under a contract for the supply of coal from a Malaysian coal trading company. The dispute is subject to ICC arbitration in Singapore.
    • Acting for a state-owned Chinese conglomerate in relation to a dispute under a series of contracts for the supply of feedstock from a US soft commodity trading company. The dispute is subject to GAFTA arbitration in London and NAEGA arbitration in New York.
    • Acting for a state-owned Chinese conglomerate in relation to a dispute under a contract for the supply of coal from one of the largest commodity trading houses in the world. The dispute was subject to ad hoc arbitration in London.
    • Acting for a state-owned Indonesian nickel mining company in relation to a dispute with a US corporation under a contract for the supply of mining equipment. The dispute is subject to ICC arbitration in Singapore.
    • Acting for a state-owned Indonesian nickel mining company in relation to a US$90m dispute under a long-term supply contract with a UK-listed company. The dispute arose out of allegations of short-supply and off-spec consignments over a period of several years. The dispute was subject to ICC arbitration in London.
    • Acting for a state-owned Chinese conglomerate in relation to a dispute under a contract for the supply of coal from a Thai coal trading company. The dispute was subject to ICC arbitration in Singapore.
    Shipping and Insurance:
    • Advising a Singapore-based platform support vessel owner/operator in relation to a dispute with an oil company under an English law SUPPLYTIME time charter.
    • Assisting a Singaporean ship management company to recover debts owed to it under an English law ship management agreement.
    • Assisting a Hong Kong-based investment company to recover debts owed to it pursuant to the security arrangements under a loan agreement in connection with a ship sale and purchase contract.
    • Acting for a bank in relation to a dispute under a loan agreement and a guarantee agreement in connection with the charter of two bulk carriers. The dispute is subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts and is ongoing.
    • Advising a Malaysian FPSO operator in relation to proceedings that were issued in the English courts in connection with a charterparty arrangement with a major Norwegian shipowner. The matter is ongoing.
    • Acting for an Indian offshore services company in relation to a dispute with a state-owned Brazilian oil and gas company and various local Brazilian suppliers in relation to the charter of a fleet of offshore support vessels. The applicable law and jurisdiction are being contested and the matter is ongoing.
    • Acting for a shipowner in relation to a bareboat charterparty dispute arising out of the non-payment of hire. The dispute is subject to SIAC arbitration in Singapore and is ongoing.
    • Representing a US drilling company against a US owner/operator in a multi-jurisdictional dispute in respect of a jack-up drilling rig that sank during wet tow in the Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings were threatened in several jurisdictions, including Texas, London and Luanda. Advising the client in respect of the potential proceedings in London.
    • Acting for the Lloyds-based claimant underwriters in an insurance dispute against a British shipping company in the High Court. Drafting pleadings and witness statements. Managing and driving the timetable. Conducting a concurrent mediation that ran parallel with the Court timetable.
    • Representing one of the largest commodity traders in the world against various Lloyds-based underwriters in a US$30m political and credit risk insurance LCIA arbitration. The matter centred on the avoidance of a declaration in respect of the sale of crude oil by reason of material non-disclosures and/or misrepresentations.
    • Acting for both owners and charterers in many international shipping arbitrations, mediations and court proceedings in relation to various contentious issues, including damaged or off-spec cargo, vessel casualties, non-payment of hire, unseaworthiness and bill of lading and charterparty contract issues.
    Selected Non-Contentious Experience:
    Oil and Gas:
    • Acting for a national oil company in South East Asia in relation to the development of an oil and gas field in Central Java, Indonesia. Drafting and negotiating applicable licenses, process guarantees and engineering agreements. Reviewing and commenting on the EPC contract for a gas processing facility and related infrastructure. Dealing with issues arising in relation to an Integrated Development Agreement for the simultaneous production of gas and re-injection of carbon dioxide.
    • Drafting a standard form shipbuilding contract for one of the world’s largest rig owner/operators (Houston based).
    • Acting for a national oil company in South East Asia in relation to a unitisation agreement and a unit operating agreement. Drafting and negotiating these agreements and all related ancillary documentation, including a gas marketing agreement and an integrated development agreement. The main counterparty is a US-based oil major.
    • Acting for a major independent oil exploration and production company in relation to the renegotiation of an FPSO charter arrangement.
    • Acting for a major independent oil exploration and production company in relation to the sale and purchase of an FPSO.
    • Acting for a major independent oil exploration and production company in relation to the repair and upgrade of an FPSO. Drafting the repair contract, assisting the client to put together a bid package for a competitive tender process. Evaluating the bids. Negotiating and finalising the repair contract with the preferred contractor.
    • Acting for a major independent oil exploration and production company in relation to the sale and purchase of a barge and integrated port expansion project.
    • Acting for a major independent oil exploration and production company in relation to the development of a standard form jack-up drilling rig leasing contract.
    • Acting on behalf of the British principal in a transaction for the construction of a product (oil-based chemicals) tanker. Assisting to draft a bespoke build-only construction contract and reviewing and amending the accompanying design specification and ancillary documents.
    • Negotiating the sale and purchase of a £25m FPSO on NSF terms for a leading commodity trading company and subsequently drafting the related commission agreement.
    • Acting for one of the world’s leading offshore marine safety equipment providers in relation to the production of its standard form contracts. Drafting its fleet service and after sales service agreements. Advising on potential liability issues and applicable legislation. Liaising with Norwegian lawyers in relation to the company’s operation in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
    Power and Infrastructure:
    • Acting as English counsel for a global utilities company in relation to the construction contract and bid package for the development of a desalination plant in Singapore.
    • Advising the successful bidding consortium in relation to the PPP project documentation for the design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of a AUS$4.5bn desalination plant in Victoria, Australia. Drafting and negotiating various project documents, including the D&C Contract and associated ancillary and risk analysis documents.
    • Advising the Victorian Government and a University in relation to the Biosciences Research Centre PPP project in Victoria, Australia. Assisting with the preparation of key project and ancillary agreements together with legal evaluation and negotiation of the project agreement with the successful tenderer.
    • Advising the Australian principal in respect of a AUS$1bn project for the design, construction and commissioning of a 600 MW IGCC power plant in Victoria, Australia. Providing advice on contract strategy and delivery methods given that the major plant was being supplied from China and construction and installation was taking place in Australia. Drafting and negotiating the EPC contract and associated documentation.
    • Advising the Japanese contractor in respect of a AUS$800m project for the design, construction and commissioning of a 400 MW IGCC power plant in Tasmania, Australia. Advising the Japanese contractor in relation to various project management issues arising out of the insolvency of the Australian principal, including advice in relation to liquidated damages and design risk.
    • Acting for an Australian offshore supply company in relation to the development of a suite of contracts for the expansion, use and management of a port facility in Victoria, Australia. Drafting bespoke contracts dealing with the particular requirements of the principal and providing advice in respect of the port standards and procedures.
    • Acting for the Australian head contractor in respect of the design, construction and commissioning of a AUS$100m manufacturing plant in South Australia. Drafting and negotiating the main EPC contract together with a tripartite international supply agreement and various domestic subcontracts for services, works and the supply of materials.

Education Open

  • 2002: Advocacy Skills Course: CEDR, London
  • 2001: Professional Skills Course: BPP Law School, London
  • 2000: Legal Practice Course: Nottingham Law School
  • 1998: 2:1 LLB Bachelor of Laws: Durham University

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

Conference speaker

“Oilmageddon: Termination and Repudiation in Today’s Economic Climate” – Client Seminar, Kuala Lumpur

“FPSO Cost Black Holes and How to Avoid Them” – FPSO Congress, Singapore

“Commercial Stream” discussion host – FPSO Roundtable, Singapore

“Exclusion and Limitation Provisions” – Client Seminar, Xiamen

“Construction Law Masterclass” – EPC World 2013 Kuala Lumpur

“Commodity Price Softening and Cold Feet – a Case Study” – In-House Client Seminar, Singapore

“Shipbuilding Disputes” – Tower Club Singapore

“Indonesia – law and business” – South East Asia In-House Counsel Summit

“Jack-Up Oil Rigs” – INAMARINE 2012, Jakarta

“Offshore Construction Law” – ALB In-House Summit, Kuala Lumpur

“Contract Law Masterclass” – LexisNexis Business Law Conference, Melbourne

“Recovery of payment for variations in the absence of written instructions” – Construction Law Seminar, Melbourne

“Offshore Construction Contracts” – Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Delegation, London

Published Materials

“Innovation and the use of technologies in major construction projects” – Project Insights, published by Clayton Utz, Melbourne

“Shipping” – The Training Contract & Pupillage Handbook, pages 272-273 (published in association with The Trainee Solicitors’ Group)

“The Happy Ranger and the duty of due diligence” – Lloyd’s List

“Megaship era ramps up risk management” – Lloyd’s List

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • Law Society of England & Wales

Employment Record Open

  • 2000 – 2002: Ince & Co
  • 2002 – 2008: DLA Piper
  • 2008 – 2010: Clayton Utz
  • 2010 – Date: Watson Farley & Williams

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