Jainil Bhandari

Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
Partner, Christopher & Lee Ong, Malaysia
Director, Rajah & Tann NK Legal Myanmar Company Limited

Practice Area:

Shipping & International Trade

LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore 1988
Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore 1989
Advocate & Solicitor, High Court of Malaya 1992
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2015
Snr. Acc. Spec. (Maritime and Shipping), Singapore Academy of Law

T +65 6232 0601
E jainil.bhandari@rajahtann.com

Jainil Bhandari is qualified to practice law in Singapore and Malaysia. He is also a partner of Rajah & Tann’s Malaysian associate office Christopher & Lee Ong, and a director of Rajah & Tann NK Legal Myanmar Company Ltd.

Jainil has been consistently ranked as a leading lawyer in shipping law by The Asia Legal Pacific 500, Chambers Asia Pacific and Global, Asialaw Profiles and Who’s Who Legal: Singapore.

Jainil has been in active litigation and arbitration practice since 1989, appearing in both the Singapore and Malaysian courts and in ad hoc as well as institutional commercial arbitrations administered under SIAC, SCMA, KLRCA, LMAA and UNCITRAL Rules.  He is also experienced in arbitrations administered by various trade bodies such as GAFTA, FOSFA and PORAM.  He specializes in shipping and trading disputes relating among other matters to bills of lading, charter parties and transportation contracts, offshore construction projects, marine insurance, shipping casualties and international commodity contracts.

Jainil was an adjunct tutor for the basic advocacy course at the National University of Singapore from 1990 to 1997.  In addition, he tutors Admiralty law for the Preparatory Course Leading to Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations (formerly known as the Postgraduate Practical Law Course).


Jainil has represented and advised shipowners, cargo interests, insurers and traders in diverse shipping and commodity disputes.  Some significant cases which he has handled include:

  • Acted for one of the largest crude oil and petroleum traders in an arbitration against a Malaysian Government linked port operator arising from a fire incident at the port tank storage facility, which successfully resulted in an arbitration award  in excess of US$140 million.
  • Acted for an international oil major in relation to substantial claims arising from damage caused to an oil pipeline in Malaysia in the course of dredging operations.
  • Acted for the Malaysian national oil company in an oil contamination dispute which resulted in court proceedings in both Malaysia and London.
  • Acted for the Singapore subsidiary of an Indian state owned trader in a GAFTA Arbitration in London relating to defaults under contracts for the sale of wheat caused by force majeure.
  • Acting for a substantial Indian offshore operator in an arbitration in relation to disputes under contracts for the conversion of a Mobile Offshore Production Unit with a contract value in excess of US$40 million.
  • Acted for the Government of West Bengal in an arbitration relating to the sale of iron ore fines.
  • Advised a large Malaysian MNC in relation to disputes relating to the construction and delivery of a pipe laying barge and anchor handling vessels by a Chinese shipyard with contract value in excess of US$60 million.
  • Advised an oil major in respect of oil pollution claims arising from a collision in the Straits of Singapore resulting in the largest oil pollution incident in the history of Singapore.
  • Advising a leading Singapore insurer in respect of a claim against a Classification Society arising from the towage and sinking of a vessel.
  • Acted for the owners and insurers of a vessel involved in a collision in Chittagong port which resulted in damage to several Bangladeshi Navy vessels and claims in excess of US$30 million asserted by the Bangladeshi Government.
  • Acted for the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India in a dispute with a Hong Kong party involving the sale of iron ore.
  • Advised the owners and insurers in relation to the sinking of a vessel in the Yangon river, Myanmar, and subsequent successful wreck removal negotiations with the Myanmar Port Authority.
  • Acted for a major Swiss bank in the conduct of legal proceedings in Singapore caused by the liquidation of a London Stock exchange listed metals trader, in respect of a metal trading fraud perpetuated by the trader on various international banks.
  • Acted for a major Malaysian chemical terminal operator in an arbitration involving the contamination of MEG stored in their terminal tanks.
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Bar Council of Malaysia
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Teaching fellow, Singapore Institute of Legal Education
  • Member, Maritime Law Association of Singapore
  • Panel of Arbitrators in the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration