Suresh is Head of the firm’s International Arbitration Practice.
Suresh is highly regarded for his expertise in international arbitration. His cases have involved disputes on technology transfer projects, joint ventures and distributorships in the automobile, construction, pharmaceuticals, energy and retail industries, across jurisdictions including the United States of America, Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand and Indonesia.
He has experience in both ad-hoc arbitrations as well as institutional arbitrations governed by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Rules, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) Rules and UNCITRAL Rules where the substantive laws of the contracts have included Swiss law, Japanese law and Indonesian law.
In addition to arbitration, he also practices complex commercial litigation in the Singapore High Court.
Outside of legal practice, Suresh holds the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Singapore Armed Forces and currently serves as the Chief of Staff of an Armoured Brigade. In the 2015 Singapore National Day Awards, Suresh was conferred the Commendation Medal (Military) for exceptional service to the Singapore Armed Forces.
- A successful international arbitration for several tens of millions of USD in damages and legal costs between a global car manufacturer and its national sales company in a large Asian country. The claim was for wrongful termination, involving complex issues of materiality of breaches, damage to reputation, good faith obligations and assessment of damages. As lead arbitration counsel, Suresh coordinated and led a team which included law firms from Japan and India as well as expert witnesses from the United States, England, Japan and India. Suresh defeated an opposing team of lawyers comprising a large Japanese law firm and a “magic circle” English law firm led by a Queen’s Counsel.
- Suresh successfully defended the Respondent South Korean construction company against their Thai joint-venture partner Claimant in an ICC arbitration concerning a Build-Operate-Transfer project for a power plant in Thailand. The case involved issues of force majeure and rejection of goods due to quality and fitness for purpose.
- Acted as lead counsel in the successful defence and enforcement of a USD 500 million arbitration award at the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal against setting aside proceedings, on behalf of a Japanese pharmaceuticals conglomerate against Indian sellers. In both the High Court and Court of Appeal, Suresh defeated opposing teams of lawyers lead by local Senior Counsel.
- Acted as lead counsel in a multi-million dollar international arbitration between a prestigious South Korean cosmetics company and its Chinese joint-venture partner in a claim for rescission of contract, involving issues of misrepresentation, conspiracy and force majeure as well as jurisdictional issues of the effect of assignments and mergers on arbitration clauses.
- Acted as lead counsel in a multi-million dollar SIAC arbitration governed by English law on behalf of a South Korean party against an Indonesian party on a coal supply and shipment contract involving issues of force majeure, implied terms and misdelivery / short delivery due to poor quality of goods.
- Chambers Asia Pacific has quoted sources referring to Suresh as being “a very competent counsel and a good advocate: certainly a rising star” an “assured practitioner who comes across very well” in legal proceedings and a “reliable pair of hands”.
- Legal 500 Asia Pacific commends Suresh for his “outstanding reputation, particularly with Japanese clients that he represents in disputes throughout Southeast Asia and India”.
- Asia Business Law Journal published a quote by a client who commented that “Suresh was instrumental in advising us on a dispute with a former distributor in Singapore. Through his insightful guidance we were able to resolve a potentially time consuming dispute in our favour quickly, and at a low cost. He is also a really nice guy.”.
- Asia Business Law Journal ranks Suresh as one of Singapore’s top 100 lawyers.
- Chambers Global & Asia Pacific ranks Suresh as a Recognised Practitioner for his work in Arbitration.
- Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific recommends him as a Dispute Resolution Star in International Arbitration.
- Expert Guides ranks Suresh as a Rising Star in Commercial Arbitration.
- Suresh was praised by High Court Judge Quentin Loh “for acting in the best traditions of the bar in presenting his client’s case with fairness and candour. Our bar will continue to retain the respect from the public and bench alike if it is peopled by counsel like Mr Divyanathan.” (The Business Times, 19 September 2011).
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