Sarbjit Singh Chopra

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Selvam LLC
16 Collyer Quay #17-00
Singapore 049318

Sarbjit Singh Chopra practices in the area of commercial litigation and arbitration. He has handled a wide range of cases from construction disputes to defamation suits.

Mr. Chopra has acted in numerous matters in the High Court and the Court of Appeal over the years. He has undertaken substantial projects for various clients and these include involvement in tenders for structural projects (eg. The Mass Rapid Transport (MRT), telecommunication contracts and construction of power plants) and matters related to joint ventures. He has conducted numerous arbitration, mediation, adjudication and Court proceedings.

Mr. Chopra was admitted as a Barrister-at-Law (Gray’s Inn) and has been in practice as an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore since 1984. He has successfully completed the course in arbitration law and practice conducted by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. Mr. Chopra can speak English, Malay and Punjabi.

Duane Morris LLP is a law firm based in the United States founded in 1904. We use "Duane Morris" to refer to Duane Morris LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, and affiliated entities that practice under the name Duane Morris or a similar name. Reference to a "partner" means a person who is a partner, or person with the equivalent standing and qualifications thereto, in the Duane Morris entities.

In Singapore, Duane Morris Singapore LLP and Selvam LLC operate a Joint Law Venture serving clients throughout Asia, Duane Morris & Selvam LLP, pursuant to Licence 2/2010 granted by the Attorney General of Singapore. Selvam LLC lawyers may provide services to clients of Duane Morris & Selvam under secondment from Selvam LLC pursuant to Licence 2/2010.

To the extent that the representative matters listed above fall outside the context of “permitted areas of legal practice” within the meaning of Section 36A of the Legal Profession Act (Chap. 161), they have been conducted by the abovenamed lawyer in his/her capacity as an Advocate & Solicitor of Selvam LLC, a Singapore law practice of the Joint Law Venture.

Representative Matters

    Corporate

  • Assisted in drafting and reviewing of Employment Agreement.
  • Provided advice on Transfers of Shares.
  • Assisted in reviewing of Franchise Agreement.
  • Assisted in the review of Joint Venture Agreement.
  • Assisted in drafting and providing advice on an Indemnity Agreement.
  • Acting for a Mexican offshore drilling contractor in an arbitration against a shipyard for US$35 million.
  • Assisted in reviewing of Employment & Labour Policy Documents.
  • Drafting of Convertible loan agreement.
  • Acting for a foreign embassy in negotiating for a variation of a lease.
  • Reviewing of Letter of Guarantee involving Malaysian loan agreements and given by a Singapore entity.
  • Finance

  • Acted for a bank in the High Court in relation to claims on Letters of Hypothecation. The matter was settled.
  • Acted for a bank in the High Court in relation to trust receipt claims which involved personally conducting investigation in the U.S. in relation to tracing of the goods secured under the trust receipts. The matter was settled.
  • Acted for a bank in the Court of Appeal where it was successfully argued that the bank had priority in relation to its charge vis-a-vis another bank notwithstanding the bankruptcy of the customer and claims of set off.
  • Acted for a company against a bank in the Court of Appeal wherein it was the customers' position that the bank had computed its claims wrongly. The bank settled the matter.
  • Acted for a customer of a bank in the Court of Appeal disputing the computation of the bank's claims. The bank settled the matter.
  • Represented a financial institution at trial in the High Court in relation to claims on assignment of receivables and to establish estoppel against a defence of set-off.
  • Acted for a financial institution in the Court of Appeal to protect its confidential information by restraining an employee from working for competing institutions. An injunction was successfully obtained.
  • Acting against a bank in relation to the setting aside of a bankruptcy order made against its customer on the basis that the bank documents, on which the claim was based were forged. This matter is settled.
  • Acting against a bank for two separate claims for sums of $7.5 million and $800,000.00 in relation to unauthorized transactions relating to dual currency investments. The banks reached a settlement.
  • Prepared the letters of offer, facility documents, guarantees and related documents in the establishment of a new factoring house in Singapore.
  • Rendered various opinions to banks and financial institutions in relation to facilities and documents.
  • Delivered various seminars and lectures in relation to conduct of factoring facilities, recovery process and priorities including a seminar for bankers in Vietnam. Anti-Money Laundering legislation and Personal Data Protection legislation.
  • Acted for a client in striking out a claim brought by the U.K. government in Singapore for alleged VAT fraud in the sum of S$83 million.
  • Construction

  • Negotiated the terms for the construction of a power plant (value approximately S$500 million) wherein he acted for the main contractor, negotiating with a government related body.
  • Acting for a contractor in respect of a claim for tunneling works done for underground railways tracks. The claim was against the main contractor.
  • Acting for a main contractor in an arbitration resisting a claim by a sub-contractor for works done at a public school.
  • Acting for a specialist contractor for solar energy against claims by a sub-contractor in respect of installation works in a newly constructed School.
  • Acted for an Austrian based formwork company in respect of claims for formwork works.
  • Acted in Court to restrain the filing of a winding-up petition by a sub-contractor against a main contractor.
  • Acted in Court for a sub-contractor against a main contractor for cable laying, earthworks, sand filling and related works for work done.
  • Acted for a professional engineer in a criminal charges under the Engineers Act.
  • Acted for a contractor in defending a claim brought by a sub-contractor for underground piping works.
  • Numerous Adjudication matters in Singapore Mediation Centre under the Security of Payment Act from approximately $300,000 to $11 million.
  • Arbitration

  • Acted for an Austrian Company against a noted engineering company in relation to the construction of sewage tank covers for a sewage plant in Singapore.
  • Acted in an arbitration resisting a claim in relation to a joint venture in the establishment and operation of a spa in Sentosa, Singapore.
  • Acted in an arbitration involving damage to construction equipment being loaded onto a barge from an offshore island.
  • Acted for a contractor for M&E works relating to air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems in a government complex.
  • Acted in an appeal in relation to enforcement in Singapore of an Arbitration Award made in Germany.
  • Acted in the setting aside of an Arbitration Award on the grounds of breach of natural justice.
  • Acted in an arbitration for a Myanmar company and a Singapore company in relation to the construction of a gas pipeline in Myanmar resisting a claim brought by a joint venture partner.
  • Acted for a Colombian national in relation to an arbitration brought for misrepresentation concerning various commercial agreements.
  • Acted in resisting the enforcement of a Partial Award made for a construction project in Malaysia.
  • Acted in an arbitration representing the owners of an oil rig in relation to claim against the oil rig builders for defects and breach of warranty. The oil rig had commenced operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Currently involved in GAFTA arbitration involving in claim relating to sale of soya beans.
  • Acted in various construction related arbitrations.
  • Miscellaneous

  • High Court suit involving breach of copyright and fraud. Matter settled before trial.
  • High Court suit relating to fraud and breach of a financial agreement involving fine arts - matter settled.
  • High Court suit involving a claim for wrongful termination by a managing director of a multi-national company, wherein we represented the MNC. The matter was resolved before trial.
  • Representing a prominent local company in relation to claims by another company relating to alleged theft of semiconductors.
  • Representing shipbuilders in relation to claims for work done.
  • Representing a shareholder in a shareholding dispute involving a company having an estimated value of about $80 million.
  • Representing a beneficiary of an estate worth about $15 million in relation to defamation and advise on the positioning of his various claims.
  • Acting in a High Court matter involving lifting of corporate veil.
  • Represented a local prominent Chinese temple in relation to potential fraud and removal of office bearers.
  • Representing a widow in relation to her claim as a shareholder through her husband's estate against a very prominent group of companies in the music industry.
  • Acted in a High Court trial involving cashew trade wherein the potential claims exceed US$5 million. Matter was resolved during the course of the trial. This involved gathering of evidence in India.
  • Acting for a shareholder of a group of pawnshops involving claims for breach of fiduciary duties and wrongful allotment of shares.
  • Acted in a High Court trial and at the Court of Appeal in relation to claims for recovery of shares involving a well-known budget hotel in Singapore.
  • Acting as counsel in resisting an application for an injunction by a local airline against a pilot to restrain him being employed by an another airline.
  • Acting in a High Court suit subject matter of which is the rights over domain names.
  • Acting in a Settlement of a substantial Estate to remove a trustee and to appoint new trustees.
  • Acting for various investors against an escrow agent for breach of duty.
  • Acted for a foreign airport operator against media for defamation.
  • Appeared as counsel receiving instructions from other law firms in various matters.
  • Acting for a "nominee director" against claims by a liquidator for breach of fiduciary duties. Matter is pending appeal in the Court of Appeal.
  • Representing a defendant against a claim for breach of trust involving a potential claim for SGD 300 million.
  • Representing an action resisting a claim for minority oppression involving assets in the region of SGD 70 million.
  • Acting in resisting two related claims involving money lending/investment claims for sums exceeding $10 million.

Areas of Practice

  • General Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Disputes

Education

  • University of London, LLB., 1982
  • Gray's Inn, London, Barrister-at-Law, 1983

Experience

  • Duane Morris & Selvam LLP/ Selvam LLC
    - Managing Director, 2013-present
  • Lim & Lim LLC (merged with Duane Morris & Selvam)
    - Managing Director, 2007-2013
    - Attorney, 1984-2013

Honors and Awards

  • Nominated for Dispute Star of the Year by Asialaw Dispute Resolution Awards 2017

Professional Activities

  • Law Society of Singapore
  • Singapore Academy of Law

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Singapore as a Launchpad for Vietnamese Businesses," Vietnam Chamber of Commerce Singapore, August 19, 2017
  • Panelist, "The ASEAN Economic Outlook for 2015," The Asian Legal Business ASEAN Integration Summit, March 26, 2015