Call: 2009

Frederico Singarajah

Practice overview

Frederico has developed a successful practice in international dispute resolution that encompasses commercial litigation and international arbitration.  He is a specialist in international trade and investment disputes.  He practiced law as a solicitor and in-house lawyer before being called to the bar and that experience leads him to undertake highly complex, high value and high-profile cases.

Frederico is especially sought out for his unique expertise, drafting and advocacy skills in matters involving emerging markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia, by English, international and foreign firms as well as third-party funders and government entities.  Many of his instructions have been borne from his unique profile.  Frederico’s practice spans across a wide spectrum of industry sectors including banking & finance, corporate, M & A, commodities, maritime, aviation, energy, mining, infrastructure and insurance cases.

He is an experienced trial advocate, having advised and acted for states, state entities, public and private companies in English court proceedings.  In international arbitration he acts both as counsel and arbitrator and has substantial experience (including under the institutional rules of the LCIA, ICDR, ICC, LMAA, DIAC, CAM-CCBC, AIAC, ACICA and UNCITRAL).  As well as his practice he also teaches international arbitration for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Gray’s Inn and other education bodies and universities.

Frederico is recognised in the International Arbitration Powerlist by Legal 500 and Whoswholegal, amongst the most experienced and notable international arbitration practitioners at the English bar.  A considerable proportion of his practice consists of acting as an arbitrator and he is included in the lists or panels of arbitrators in many institutions across the world including the CBMA, LCIA, ICC, ACICA, AIAC, KCAB, VIAC, CACM to name a few.

In 2017, Frederico was appointed by the Ministry of Justice as a Court Examiner, undertaking depositions predominantly for the district courts of New York, Texas and California.  Frederico is also an accredited mediator and is happy to accept appointments.  He is one of the first barristers to become an accredited Digital Dispute Resolution Specialist.

Areas of expertise

  • Commercial dispute resolution
    • Banking & finance

      Banking & finance

      Frederico has advised and represented parties in respect of finance and banking cases involving mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracts, securities and insolvency.  His work includes contractual disputes, fraud, bank and financial market disputes and investor disputes, often with an international element and typically complex and high value in nature.

      Recent Work:

      • RE: Interest Rate Swaps Antitrust Litigation 2018 WL 2332069 (SDNY)[2019] QBD – sitting on one of the largest claims in the Southern District of New York, resulting from the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) adverse findings that a consortium of banks withheld information on buy-side interest rate swaps on an electronic exchange platform.
      • Commerzbank AG v Bank of New York Mellon & Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company[2019] QBD – sitting on a multi-million claim for breach of trustee obligations in respect of a securitisation.
      • Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) – advising and representing D in a multi-million arbitration brought by a Swiss entity against a Colombian counterparty in a contract for the purchase of carbon credits arising from a project in Colombia.  Arbitration seated in Zurich, Switzerland, governed by English law.
      • Brazilian Stock Exchange Arbitration Chamber (CAM-B3) – advising a third-party funder on a multi-billion arbitration, governed by Brazilian law, relating to wrong calculations and redemption values of a FIDC non-real estate backed securitisation.  Arbitration seated in Sao Paulo, Brazil, governed by Brazilian law and in Portuguese.
      • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – advising and representing C in a multi-million arbitration brought by an English commodities broker claims against a Bangladeshi state-owned company and its bank, over the wrongful issue of a letter of credit for the purchase of ICUMSA 45 sugar from Brazil to Bangladesh, seated in Dhaka, governed by UCP 600 and English law.
    • Civil fraud & asset tracing

      Civil fraud & asset tracing

      Working with emerging markets, Frederico’s work inevitably encompasses claims of fraud and corruptions.   So much so that he has written extensively on dealing with these allegations in the context of international arbitrations.  He has acted in international disputes and the location, freezing and recovery of misappropriated assets involving emergency relief procedures and the management of legal teams from many jurisdictions.  His work often involves multi-jurisdictional that extend into America, continental Europe and worldwide.

      Recent Work:

      • Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) – advising and representing C in a multi-million fraud claim for payment of price of buyer’s failure to produce evidence of loss as alleged.  Seated in London and governed by English law.
      • National Crime Agency (NCA) & Department of Justice (DoJ US) [2018] – advising the NCA’s International Corruption Unit assisting the US DoJ in a multi-billion investigation in the oil & gas sector in an African state.
      • Serious Fraud Office (SFO) v AS & Anr [2018] – advising in a prosecution of a multi-million international fraud involving an unregulated collective investment scheme in an opaque company and trust structure involving Brazil, UAE, US and England.
      • KDB (Receiver of Rex Venture Group LLC) (US) v SS & Ors [2016] – advising and representing the US SEC appointed receivers’ in the enforcement of multi-million judgments of a North Carolina court relating to fraudulent payments from a ‘Ponzi’ scheme.
      • RE: SB Property Investment (Brazil) [2014] – advising and representing over 80 private investors in the UK, UAE, NZ and US, in a multi-million class action involving the purported acquisition, parcelling and development of land in the northeast of Brazil.  The claim for fraudulent representation involved an opaque corporate structure involving companies in Brazil, Belize, Jersey and England
    • Commercial arbitration

      Commercial arbitration

      Frederico conducts arbitrations as counsel and arbitrator under all the major institutions including the PCA, LCIA, ICC and SIAC and ad hoc arbitrations.  For his experience as arbitrator, you can view his dedicated arbitrator He has advised and represented parties in international arbitrations under ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, SCC, CAM-CCBC and LMAA rules in a wide variety of sectors including M & A, international sale of goods, upstream oil, renewables, mining, reinsurance, infrastructure, distribution & franchising and technology.  His practice has involved foreign as well as English law on a regular basis and he is accustomed to working with civil and common law and procedure.  He can accept instructions and appointments in English and Portuguese.

      As well as acting in arbitrations, Frederico is also experienced in applications in the Commercial Court pursuant to Part 62 of the Civil Procedure Rules, ancillary to arbitrations, such as anti-suit injunctions, challenges to awards and arbitrators, extension of limitation, enforcement and section 9 stay applications and resistance.

      Recent Work:

      • Grain and Feed Trading Association (GAFTA) – advised and represented a C in a multi-million claim against a BVI subsidiary of a multinational group, for breach of payment term on the sale of maize under the standard from of Brazilian cereal association ANEC.  Arbitration seated in London and governed by English law.
      • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) – advised and represented C, an English subsidiary of a US emergency disaster company for the recovery of a debt arising from a contract governed by English law against an airline for services where a Boeing 737 landed in the sea in southeast Asia.  Arbitration seated in London and governed by English law.
      • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) – advised and represented a Maltese, UAE and Indian organic certified sugar producing group of companies in a 5-day trial between against a multinational trader in a multi-million dispute governed by two marketing agreements governed by English law and seated in London. Led by Paul Reed QC.
      • Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) – advised and represented C, a subsidiary of a Russian entity in an arbitration against a Swiss manufacturer of time pieces, pursuant to a contract governed by Swiss law/CISG and seated in Stockholm, for failure to deliver on the basis of an invalid variation entered into with the end-buyer.
      • Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CAM-CCBC) – advised C, a Brazilian entity in the renewables sector with claims against a syndicate of US banks in a multi-million claim arising from the acquisition of shares in a Spanish special purpose vehicle, seeking declaratory relief on the interpretation of a clause in a contract governed by Brazilian and English law, in the form of an indemnity for withholding tax applied by Brazilian tax authorities.  Arbitration seated in São Paulo, in Portuguese.
      • Ad Hoc – advised and represented a Thai company and its Ghanaian subsidiary in a multi-million dispute on the breach of a collateral management agreement against a Ghanaian state-owned bank, governed by English law seated in Accra.
      • London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association (LMAA) – advised and represented D, a Honduran mine in a 3-day trial against a US broker in a multi-million cargo claim for breach of an agreement to supply iron ore lumps and fines to China under an amended FOB contract, governed by English law and seated in London.
      • United Nations Committee on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) – advised and represented C, a Brazilian exclusive distributor 5-day trial against a Chinese state-owned principal in a multi-million claim for breach of an implied duty of good faith, governed by Brazilian law and seated in London.
      • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – advised and represented D, a Turkish exclusive franchisee against a Dutch principal in a multi-million dispute in the retail food sector, governed by English law and seated in Istanbul.
    • Commercial litigation

      Commercial litigation

      In the international context, Frederico is particularly experienced at advising and representing in interim hearings and trials in the Commercial Court and TCC, contesting jurisdiction and conflict of laws, emergency interim injunctions and security for costs applications.  Before coming to the Bar, he worked in very large multi-billion-dollar disputes such as a trademark dispute between TEVA and GSK and a joint venture between Odebrecht and Maersk.  He is accustomed to working in large teams either led or as a leading junior.

      Recent Work:

      • FPSI BV (Netherlands) v Vulcanic Ltd [2021] (Comm) – advising a representing C against a UK subsidiary of a French company in the design, engineering and construction of heaters for gas dehydration units (GDU) and thyristor panels installed in floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels off the coast of Brazil.  The claim is for defective goods and services which resulted in two explosions onboard two separate vessels.
      • Roundshield Partners LLP v CRIA SL (Spain) & Ors [2019] EWHC 2733 (QB) – advised and represented D in a claim for breach of contract and defamation relating to a multi-million facility agreement for the acquisition and operation of an airport in Spain.
      • NDT (Brazil) v Sunseeker International Ltd [2019] (Comm) ­– advised and represented C in a multi-million claim for breach of a framework agreement for the manufacture of luxury motor yachts.
      • Cestrian Imaging Ltd v MTex Technologies Ltd [2017] EWHC 3142 (Ch) – advised and represented D in a 5-day trial against a silk in a dispute on whether the goods were compatible with pre-existing software and workflow.
      • Domingo Penayo-Vaida (Paraguay) v Intertransfers Inc (USA) & Ors [2012] EWHC 410 (Comm) – advised and represented D1 and D3, English subsidiary of a US company and its sole shareholder, trading in the currency exchange sector, against a Paraguayan company and its owner in a multi-million dispute.  Claim brought in respect of alleged debts arising from a deficit caused by the compulsory insolvency of a bank, by the US government following the financial crisis.
      • Phione Ltd v Intercol Ltda (Colombia) [2012] (Ch) – English company in a debt action against a Colombian company for payments due following the supply of metal coils engineered to specification.
      • Michael Radford & Anr v Gheko Productions (Spain) & Ors – QBD [2011] – advisd and represented Ds, alleged to have loaned monies to a Spanish company in the film production sector, in a multi-million claim brought by director Michael Radford, in a dispute relating to funding for his film ‘La Mula’.
      • Mediterranean Shipping Company SA (Switzerland) v Worldwide Biorecyclables Ltd & Ors [2010] (TCC) – advised and represented D in a claim brought by the MSC for breach of warranties of the charterparty agreement, relating to the exporting of allegedly toxic waste to Brazil, in breach of Basle Convention.
    • Companies, joint ventures & partnerships

      Companies, joint ventures & partnerships

      Frederico has advised and represented clients in respect of disputes involving JVs and SPVs whether in the form of private limited companies or limited liability partnerships.   His experience is both domestic and international.  He has advised and represented clients in unfair prejudice and derivative actions, shareholder disputes and claims against rogue directors.  He has developed a special niche in representing Brazilian administrators for claims against international holdings.

      Recent Work:

      • Refco Group LLC v Cantor Fitzgerald LP [2019] QBD – sitting on derivative claim for a multi-million claim brought by a corporate minority shareholder for the unlawful or unfair disposition of technology for mobile gambling representing the initial seed investment.
      • Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CAM-CCBC) – advised C, a Brazilian entity in the renewables sector with claims against a syndicate of US banks in a multi-million claim arising from the acquisition of shares in a Spanish special purpose vehicle, seeking declaratory relief on the interpretation of a clause in a contract governed by Brazilian and English law, in the form of an indemnity for withholding tax applied by Brazilian tax authorities.  Arbitration seated in São Paulo, in Portuguese.
      • Alexander v Willow Court (2016) Ltd & Ors [2018] EWCH 597 (Ch) – advised and represented the shareholders and nominee purchaser in a 2-day trial in a section 994 of the Companies Act 2006, unfair prejudice claim relating to the disposition of real property.
      • Pinto & Ors v John Menzies Plc (Scotland) & Ors (settled) [2012] QBD (Commercial Court) – advised and represented Cs, “administrators” of a Brazilian subsidiary against its English parent for compensation following the lifting of the corporate veil by a Sao Paulo court in enforcement proceedings.  The multi-million claim was brought against the English, Scottish and US entities within the group for concurrent tortious liability. 
      • Odebrecht SA v MAERSK [2010] (Comm) (settled) – advised and represented C in a multi-million claim in respect of a JV company, formed to design and construct a new type of floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.
    • Private international law

      Private international law

      Frederico’s work is international.  His niche expertise in Brazil & Latin America, and more generally, emerging markets related disputes is well known and involves him in legal opinions, litigation and arbitrations governed by English and foreign law.  His ability to speak native Portuguese and knowledge of Spanish combined with the high quality of his legal work gives him a significant advantage over his counterparts.

      He acts as counsel and arbitrator in disputes all around the world and has conducted cases in English, Portuguese and Spanish, including written and oral submissions, memorials, cross-examination and drafting of arbitral awards.

  • Construction & engineering
    • Energy & renewables

      Energy & renewables

      Frederico has strong experience as counsel and arbitrator of energy and renewables cases often with an international element.  He has advised on risk and liability, conflicts of laws issues, calls on bonds and limitation of liability provisions.  He has acted for owners, EPC contractors, subcontractors and insurers in relation to disputes in upstream oil, wind, photovoltaic, hydro, nuclear and ethanol sectors.  He is experienced in floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) construction and leasing disputes.

      Recent Work:

      • FPSI BV (Netherlands) v Vulcanic Ltd [2021] (Comm) – advising a representing C against a UK subsidiary of a French company in the design, engineering and construction of heaters for gas dehydration units (GDU) and thyristor panels installed in floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels off the coast of Brazil.  The claim is for defective goods and services which resulted in two explosions onboard two separate vessels.
      • Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CAM-CCBC) – advised C, a Brazilian entity in the renewables sector with claims against a syndicate of US banks in a multi-million claim arising from the acquisition of shares in a Spanish special purpose vehicle, seeking declaratory relief on the interpretation of a clause in a contract governed by Brazilian and English law, in the form of an indemnity for withholding tax applied by Brazilian tax authorities.  Arbitration seated in São Paulo, in Portuguese.
      • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – advising Norwegian C in a multi-million delay claim against Brazilian operator relating to the contracting of subsea umbilical risers and flowlines (SURFs) provided for the exploration and production of oil in the pre-salt Santos basin in Brazil.  Arbitration seated in Paris, governed by English law.
      • Odebrecht SA v AP Moller-Maersk SA [2010] (Comm) (settled) – advised and represented C in a multi-million claim in respect of a JV company, formed to design and construct a new type of FPSO vessel as a research and development project.
    • Construction & engineering

      Construction & engineering

      Frederico is familiar with standard form (FIDIC, NEC, ICE, ACA, JCT) and ad hoc contract disputes and has experience of issues including delay and disruption, variations and defects in design, engineering and construction as well as related commercial issues including issues relating to project finance, guarantees and performance bonds.  He has been involved in disputes of widely varying size, value and scope.  He has appeared before a variety of tribunals including in the technology and construction court (TCC) and chancery division (ChD).  His experience of construction and engineering disputes encompasses a wide range of industry sectors. He has extensive international experience as well as in domestic cases.

      Recent Work:

      • Panamanian Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (CeCAP) – advised C, a Costa Rican consultant company in a multi-million arbitration against a Spanish respondent on commission payments due and owing for consultancy services relating to the tender, construction and operation of a water and sewage treatment plant in Panama.  Arbitration seated in Panama, governed by Panamanian law and in Spanish.
      • Kentish International Trader (BVI) v Ganter Interior GmbH & Anr [2018] – advised and represented C in respect of breaches of contract governed by German law for design supply and manufacture of bespoke interior design.
      • RE: Limassol Port [2017] – advised a syndicated banking structure investing in a SPV for the grant of a concession agreement for the construction and operation of a multi-purpose port in Limassol, Cyprus.
      • Bolingo Hotel & Towers Ltd v Legacy Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd [2016] – advised a Nigerian corporate landowner in a claim for delay in respect of a series of contracts for the construction, operation and management of a hotel complex in Abuja.
  • International

    International

    When a dispute involves two or more countries, issues of applicable law, competent jurisdiction, enforcement of judgments or awards, international procedure and service or evidence are likely to arise.  The rules of law which govern these issues are the conflict of laws.  Almost all of Frederico’s work has an international element.  He has made extensive appearances in the English courts and in many international arbitration/commercial matters for and against individuals, corporations states and state-entities.  His international practice encompasses both private and public, civil and common law.  Please see commercial litigation and arbitration for a list of recent cases.

Recognition

Languages

  • Native Portuguese
  • Spanish

Professional associations

  • Member of International Committee of the Bar Council
  • Member of Gray’s Inn Barristers’ Committee (2018-19)
  • Founder and Co-chair of Lex Anglo-Brasil
  • Honorary Member of the Instituto de Advogados do Brasil (IAB)
  • Associate Member of the American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS)
  • Member of International Bar Association (IBA)
  • Member of Society of Construction Law (SCL)
  • Member of Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
  • Member of Technology & Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
  • Member of London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (LCLCBA)
  • Member of Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in London
  • Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
  • Fellow of Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA)
  • Supporting Member of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA)
  • Member of London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
  • Member of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitration & ADR Committee
  • Member of International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)
  • Member of Comitê Brasileiro de Arbitragem (Cbar)
  • Member of Panel of Arbitrators of Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC)
  • Member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the Mozambique Centre for Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation (CACM)
  • Member of the List of Practitioners, Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC)
  • Member of the Panel of International Arbitrators for Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) International
  • List of Arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
  • List of Arbitrators of the Centro Brasileiro de Mediação e Arbitragem (CBMA)

Qualifications

  • BA (Hons)
  • Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of England & Wales
  • Admitted to the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB)
  • Ministry of Justice Appointed Court Examiner
  • Accredited Mediator
  • Accredited Full SFO Security Clearance
  • Digital Dispute Resolution Specialist (DDRS)
  • Sits on ADR ODR’s DDRS panel

Directory recommendations

Legal 500 International Powerlist
Who’s Who Legal – Arbitration

News

Frederico Singarajah taking part in Legal Cheek’s summer vac scheme

12/07/2021

Frederico Singarajah speaks at an online event hosted by Disputes Europe & Latin-America (DELA)

19/02/2021

M/T Prestige litigation and arbitration: key takeaways

17/02/2021

Halliburton with a Brazilian Twist: Supreme Court assistance on the hot topics of conflicts of interest and arbitrator’s duties

09/12/2020

Hardwicke Construction, Real Estate and Arbitration Team Members in Who’s Who Legal Top Barristers

15/01/2020

Articles

Unconscious Bias in International Arbitration

17/06/2021

M/T Prestige litigation and arbitration: key takeaways

17/02/2021

Halliburton with a Brazilian Twist: Supreme Court assistance on the hot topics of conflicts of interest and arbitrator’s duties

09/12/2020

Battle of the Virtual Hearing Protocols

04/11/2020

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Virtual Hearings

03/07/2020

Past events

Frederico Singarajah taking part in Legal Cheek virtual vac scheme on litigation/arbitration

15/07/2021

Frederico Singarajah chairs panel at Legal Week’s Dispute Resolution Forum

16/06/2021

Frederico Singarajah speaking at Lex Anglo-Brasil event

14/06/2021

Brazilian Arbitration Chapter: Disclosure of circumstances and impartiality of arbitrators – lessons learned from Halliburton v Chubb

25/02/2021

Battle of the Virtual Hearing Protocols

08/10/2020

CAR Seminar Series: The meaning of damage and inherent vice – what is the difference?

16/09/2020

J2J Commercial: Obtaining and resisting injunctions: strategies, pitfalls and the duty of full and frank disclosure

18/06/2020

#HardwickeBrew – Break the log jam with online ADR – Online arbitration part I: the practicalities of putting on and running an online arbitration

03/06/2020

Frederico Singarajah to speak on comparative international arbitration

27/05/2020

Frederico Singarajah speaks at CIArb Brazil Branch launch

23/10/2019

Frederico Singarajah speaking at VI Congresso CAM-CCBC de Arbitragem Arbitration Conference

21/10/2019

Cultural differences in international arbitration

14/10/2019

Arbitrations involving states and state entities in Latin America

23/08/2019

J2J Commercial Fraud Conference

05/06/2019

Frederico Singarajah sitting as arbitrator at 26th Vis Moot, Vienna

12/04/2019

Arbitration in Brazil: A Practical Guide

14/11/2018

Frederico Singarajah speaks at Legal Business Arbitration Summit

07/11/2018

Videos

J2J – an introduction to commercial fraud

25/09/2019