Recent successes

Successfully acted for claimants in US$500m++ arbitration

In the past few months, successfully acted as lead counsel in SIAC-administered UNCITRAL arbitration representing South-East Asian company against Asian state-owed entity in oil and gas dispute. Opposing party represented by one of the leading international law firms. Obtained complete victory for client in liability phase both on contractual liability (liability on this count alone exceeding US$500m) and for breach of obligation of good faith and fair dealing (yet to be quantified but liability expected to be quantified in the hundreds of millions). Amount in dispute US$500m++. (UNCITRAL arbitration, Singapore seat, New York, Singapore and third Asian country law.)

Successfully defended listed respondent companies in US$35m+ arbitration

Successfully acted as Counsel for NYSE-listed US and Canadian companies defending claims brought by Asian claimants. Obtained complete defense on behalf of clients and dismissal of US$30m claim without any liability on part of client. (ICDR arbitration; New York seat; New York, Singapore and Canadian laws.)

Obtained complete settlement on client's demanded terms in US ad hoc arbitration

Successfully represented Asian-based research company in ad hoc arbitration against well-known U.S. pharmaceutical company. After jurisdictional briefing and argument, obtained favorable settlement on all of client’s terms. (Ad hoc arbitration; US seat; New York law.)

Counsel for Respondent Indian client in ICC arbitration

On engagement, quickly stepped in to protect the client's position and organized defense. Wrote extensive correspondence to address each claim advanced by Claimant to expose weaknesses in Claimant's case, and to demonstrate strength of our client's positions. Formulated counterclaims against Claimants.

Result: Led settlement negotiations and quickly settled case for less than 1/3 of initial claim demanded by claimants that claimants had insisted they would not negotiate down from.

Counsel for Claimant in AAA Arbitration

Commenced arbitration asserting patent infringement and breach of license agreement.

Result: After filing Statement of Claim, quickly settled arbitration for 10 times what client was previously offered to settle the case before Dan Tan Law was engaged.

Obtained ex parte attachment in support of foreign judgment in New York

Represented Taiwanese plaintiff in enforcement proceedings in New York courts to enforce foreign judgement. Successfully obtained preliminary attachment over US$4m of U.S. assets (which the New York courts have called an “extraordinary remedy”)

Other representative and ongoing cases

In the past few months, the firm has been entrusted with the following cases.

Commercial Arbitration

Counsel, representing South-East Asian companies against Asian respondents.
UNCITRAL arbitration, Asian seat, New York law.
Amount in dispute: US$500m+

Counsel, representing US and Canadian companies against Asian claimants.
ICDR Arbitration, New York seat.
Amount in dispute: US$35m.

Counsel, advising Russian clients against European respondents.
LCIA Arbitration, London seat, English law.
Amount in dispute: US$8m.

Counsel, representing Indian Company against European Claimants.
ICC Arbitration, London seat, Indian law.
Amount in dispute: US$2m.

Counsel, representing South-East Asian entity in relation to development project in Africa.
SIAC Arbitration, Singapore Seat.
Amount in dispute: US$15m.

Counsel, advising South-East Asian contractor in potential arbitration against UAE development owner.
ICC Arbitration, Dubai seat, UAE law.
Amount in dispute: US$10m.

Counsel, advising Central European company against US company.
ICC arbitration, New York seat, New York law.
Amount in dispute: US$2m.

Counsel, advising Central American clients over potential US$2m ICC arbitration over industrial service contract. (Work done almost entirely in Spanish.)

Counsel, represented claimant Californian patent-holder in AAA Arbitration in California.

Court litigation

Enforcing arbitration award and court judgments from a Latin-American country in the United States.

Filed suit for US$14m fraud claim in Central District of California.

Retained in relation to case in New York for fraudulent payments involving contract for performance by international artiste in Asia.

Acting for plaintiff in suit in New York courts for over US$1m in unpaid commission payments.

Acting for plaintiff in suit in New York courts against major upscale hotel chain. Successfully settled claim after filing case on all of client's terms.

Representing long-time client, a US$5B a year company with world-wide operations in 40 countries, in several court actions in California.

Challenging enforcement of US$4m adverse arbitration award obtained against client in US courts. (Firm not involved in prior arbitration.)


Advising investors on US$300m claim against Central Asian country in respect of a joint venture investment.

Advising investors on US$195m claim against Central American country involving expropriation of holiday resort.

Arbitral appointments

Chair in 3-person Tribunal in HKIAC arbitration, Hong Kong seat.


10 - 15 December 2012

Dan Tan teaches "Cross Examination in International Arbitration" as instructor at Beijing Arbitration Commission and Shanghai Arbitration Commission

Dan Tan was part of an international faculty that taught cross examination in the context of international arbitration in Beijing and Shanghai. Dan taught his sections in both English and Mandarin.

22 October 2012

Dan Tan to speak at ICC Young Arbitrators Forum in Boston on "Building an Arbitration Practice"

Dan Tan will share his experiences on building a boutique arbitration practice at the ICC Young Arbitrators forum held at Wilmer Hale, Boston.
Details of the event can be found in this

10 May 2012

Martin Endicott acts as arbitrator in oil field decommissioning dispute on
annual ILI arbitration course

Martin Endicott recently joined Ray Bender, technology and complex business
disputes arbitrator, as an arbitrator in an arbitration exercise held at the
International Law Institute in Washington DC. The tribunal heard submissions
from participants, including legal counsel and business executives, from ten
countries in Africa and Asia on issues such as arbitrator challenges,
jurisdiction over non-signatories, and interim measures. Details of the
course can be found here:

9 May 2012

Dan Tan to speak at ICC Young Arbitrators Forum in Brazil on "Global Perspectives on Local Issues"

Dan Tan will speak at the ICC Young Arbitrators forum held at Ferro, Castro, Neves, Daltro & Gomide Advogados.
Details of the event can be found in this

7 May 2012

Dan Tan to speak at Global Arbitration Review GAR Live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dan Tan will speak at GAR Live in Rio on "Hot Topics" focussing on arbitration developments in China and Asia.

Details of the event can be found in this

8 March 2012

Dan Tan to speak at ICC Young Arbitrators Forum in San Francisco

Dan Tan will speak at the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) in San Francisco on the topic of "What the Opposing Party Might Be Thinking--A Comparative Discussion of Arbitration Practice in Asia and North America."

Details of the event can be found in this

26 February 2012

Dan Tan speaks on panel with Jan Paulsson (Freshfields) and Cristina Cardenas (Astigarraga Davis) in Miami

Dan Tan spoke on "Access to Arbitration, Are We Going in the Right Direction?" at the 9th Colloquium organized by the Young Arbitration Practitioners ("YAP") in Miami.

Details of the event can be found in this

9 February 2012

Dan Tan comments on opening of ICC New York office

Global Arbitration Review

ICC Court to open in US

The Paris-based secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration is to open an office in New York, to add to its existing overseas offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.

According to a statement put out today the plan is “to increase the ICC’s presence in North America and to make the services of the secretariat directly available to parties, their counsel and arbitrators in their region”.

The statement adds that the opening of the office – in several months time – will mean the secretariat covers all major time zones.

John Beechey,
the chairman of the ICC Court, says: “The opening of an office of the secretariat in New York is the ICC’s response to calls to establish a presence in one of the court’s most important markets. It is a very significant development for the court and a reaffirmation of its commitment to North America”.

Secretary general
Jason Fry says: “North American parties have for a long time comprised one of the largest constituencies of users of ICC arbitration. It is an important region for the court and we hope that having a presence in North America will increase the local appeal of our renowned, high-quality arbitration services in the region.”

In 2011, over eight per cent of parties to ICC arbitration were from the US or Canada and nine per cent of arbitrations took place in those jurisdictions. Over 11 per cent of arbitrators appointed to ICC tribunals were North American.

Latin America is also a major market for the court, which has over 200 active cases relating to the region.

Established in Paris in 1923, the ICC Court saw no overseas expansion until the secretariat opened an office in Hong Kong in 2008. This was followed soon afterwards by a representative office in Singapore, which does not handle cases.

ICC arbitration has, however, long been promoted in the US by the United States Council for International Business, the ICC's US national committee. The council has headquarters in New York, where
Josefa Sicard- Mirabel, the ICC Court’s director of arbitration and ADR for North America, has been based since 2006.

It is understood that Sicard-Mirabel and her team will now move across from the USCIB and continue their representative role - but will not be responsible for managing cases at the new branch of the secretariat. This task will fall to a new (yet to be appointed) case management team, the secretariat's ninth worldwide.

Fry tells
GAR that the secretariat in Paris will continue to have its own North America team for the foreseeable future. It will also maintain a strong Latin America team, although some cases relating to the region “may naturally gravitate towards New York".

As in Hong Kong, staff in New York are expected to have daily video conferences with Paris and to exchange documents via a secure intranet. The New York office will, however, be a separate legal entity, which may necessitate some changes in the way it interacts with parties and arbitrators.

New York practitioners today welcomed a development that will make their working life easier.

Grant Hennessian,
the head of international arbitration at Baker & McKenzie, says: "Having ICC secretariat staff in New York - and in our time zone - will provide significant benefit to counsel and arbitrators in ICC matters not just in the US but in the entire hemisphere. This is also of course underscores the importance of New York as a major arbitration centre."

Dan Tan,
the founder of boutique firm Dan Tan Law, calls the news “a huge boost to the arbitration community in New York” and “an endorsement of the city as a major seat of international arbitration”. He says Sicard-Mirabel has already done “an outstanding job in promoting arbitration, educating users, and bringing together the arbitration community in North America”.
“With the latest move, we can only expect more from the ICC,” he says.

22 August 2011

Dan Tan comments on New York arbitration bill

Global Arbitration Review

New York bill attracts criticism

A proposed amendment to New York state legislation allowing the courts to set aside an arbitral award because of an arbitrator's affiliations or financial interests has been condemned by the local arbitration community.

Bill S.5798-2011, already passed by the New York Assembly, proposes that an award should be set aside "where the arbitrator has been affiliated in any way with any party to the arbitration, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates; or where the arbitrator has a financial interest, directly or indirectly, in any party or in the outcome of the arbitration."

The bill is entitled, "An act to amend the civil practice law and rules in relation to grounds for vacating an arbitration award on the basis of partiality of the arbitrator". The proposal is to add the requirement to article 75 of the law, at section 7511. This currently sets out six grounds on which courts can vacate New York arbitration awards, including if the rights of the parties were prejudiced by the "partiality of an arbitrator appointed by a neutral". An exception is made "where the award was by confession" (where the party admitted fault).

A "justification" accompanying the bill states that "the presumption that an arbitration clause is enforceable has [. . .] become a sword to wield against parties of lesser means rather than a shield to protect against unnecessary litigation." It says that the current requirement that a party "must prove [...] that the arbitrator was biased even if the arbitrator clearly has an economic stake in the outcome of the dispute" is "in direct opposition to the reasons (efficiency and fairness) why arbitration is favoured".

Under New York State's bicameral legislative system, the bill must now be passed by the New York Senate, to which it has been referred. However, the Senate is out of session for most of August and is only likely to be reassembled for one more session before the end of the year. If the bill is not considered at that session, it will have to be reintroduced in both the Assembly and the Senate again next year.

Arbitration specialists GAR spoke to were overwhelmingly against the bill.

Dan Tan, principal at Dan Tan Law in New York, says that the ambiguous nature and "lack of clarity" of the proposed amendment seems designed to lead state courts to develop their own tests on partiality over a prolonged period, which he says is "not ideal." The grounds laid out in the bill are "too broad and too vague" and "will incentivise parties to try their luck in challenging unfavourable awards in New York courts," he continues.

Tan adds that the proposed language raises a lot of unanswered questions. He asks: "Would an occasional social relationship, rather than a professional connection, count as an affiliation according to the language of the proposal? And would holding shares in competitors of one of the parties qualify as an indirect financial interest in the outcome of the arbitration?"

Washington, DC-based arbitrator
Mark Kantor agrees that the legislation is "ambiguous and overly broad" and risks "throwing the baby out with the bath water."

Edna Sussman, a New York arbitrator and the immediate past chair of the New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section says that "the bottom line" is that the dangers of partial tribunals can be removed if arbitrators simply disclose any conflicts. Parties should be able to consent to an arbitration proceeding despite such disclosures, she says.

Sussman adds that the New York State Bar Association is currently writing a position paper on the bill and looking into educating the legislators about the defects and consequences of the bill. She says the association will first seek to persuade the legislature "to drop the bill" and, failing that, to modify it significantly. Ultimately though, she does not believe that the bill will "go anywhere."

6 July 2011

Dan Tan Law, boutique international arbitration firm, launches in New York

Global Arbitration Review

Dan Tan Law Opens in New York

International disputes specialist and Harvard law lecturer Dan Tan has left Latham & Watkins to launch a boutique international arbitration and litigation firm in New York.

Tan is a member of the bars of New York, California, District of Columbia, Singapore, and England and Wales and has a decade of arbitration experience at Latham & Watkins and O'Melveny & Myers in New York, and at Lovells (now Hogan Lovells) in London. He teaches international arbitration at Harvard Law School and at the Singapore Management University School of Law, where he is on the adjunct faculty. He was lecturer in law at Oxford University from 2002 to 2004, where he taught contract law.

Tan has now teamed up with two other international arbitration specialists to form Dan Tan Law. His colleagues are Cody Constable, formerly of Waesche Sheunbaum & O'Regan in New York, and Martin Endicott, formerly of the international arbitration and financial litigation group at Lovells and the legal department of the World Bank in Washington, DC. Both are experienced international arbitration counsel.

Tan explains that their aim in creating the boutique was 'to establish a flexible platform capable of delivering specialist advice and representation on cost-effective and value-driven terms.'

'Almost all international arbitration and international litigation specialists in New York practise with big firms,' he says. 'While they serve the needs of large clients with high-value cases well, some clients want specialist expertise that is customised to their needs and the needs of their case, particularly in terms of rates and fee arrangements. We now have the flexibility to meet that market need.'

Dan Tan Law will also focus on building relationships and teaming up with law firms looking for specialist arbitration counsel or US counsel to work together on their client's cases: 'We regard law firms as our clients and partners. Our boutique platform allows us to develop deep collaborative relationships, avoids conflicts issues, and gives us the flexibility to play a variety of roles in support of US and foreign law firms,' Tan says.

Tan adds that he hopes that his firm's dedication to client service will set it apart: 'Our dedication to service is exemplified by our commitment to being responsive and accessible 24/7, 365 days a year and to be there for clients and law firms all over the world operating in different time zones.'

The venture has been enthusiastically greeted by the legal community – including leading arbitrators. 'Dan is a real up-and-comer, his boutique should be on everyone's shortlist,' says WilmerHale partner Gary Born. Barry Garfinkel of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, calls him a 'talented and knowledgeable practitioner' whose firm is likely to be a 'stunning success'.

Singaporean arbitrator Michael Hwang SC says that Tan is 'one of the best qualified lawyers in practice, with academic credentials that testify to his deep knowledge of the law and a wealth of practical experience which he has used to great advantage in front-rank arbitration practice with one of the leading firms in the world.' Speaking as Tan's co-counsel on a recent trans-Atlantic dispute, Gautham Bhattacharya, a partner at Reed Smith in London, predicts that his 'easy-to-work-with attitude' will draw clients as much as his 'rigorous legal analysis'.

Robert Volterra worked with Tan at Latham & Watkins before setting up London-based disputes boutique Volterra & Fietta with another former Latham partner, Stephen Fietta, in March. He describes Tan as 'a great guy with a brilliant mind and a wonderful attention to detail and strategy - clients love him'. Volterra also highlights his former colleague's Singaporean background, fluent Mandarin and 'superb contacts in South-East Asia'. With such advantages, he is capable of 'straddling two markets', Volterra says.

Mark Beckett, with whom Tan worked closely at Latham & Watkins, says: 'Dan has grown up in our global arbitration team and counts a number of our partners across the world as his friends and mentors. We share many of the client-focused principles which his new firm's website expounds and these should place him on the right track to make a success of his exciting new venture. I wish him all the best.'

Tan has acted in high-value arbitrations under ICC, LCIA, AAA, ICDR, BANI, SIAC and Swiss rules seated in New York, California, London, Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Indonesia and Singapore involving disputes governed by a variety of national laws, as well as in litigation before the US and foreign courts. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the ICC taskforce on arbitration involving states or state entities. He has written extensively on many aspects of international arbitration and international litigation practice.