NG JERN-FEI KC


 Ng Jern Fei KC

Arbitration (as advocate and arbitrator)
Civil Fraud and Property
Commercial Dispute Resolution
Commodity Disputes
Conflict of Laws
Energy and Natural Resources
Offshore Disputes
Shipping

Career Summary

Ng Jern-Fei KC is an experienced counsel specializing in commercial litigation and arbitration, with extensive experience appearing before courts and tribunals and sitting as arbitrator in different jurisdictions, including England, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. He has acted as counsel in some 350 cases and as arbitrator in some 30 cases (as presiding, sole and coarbitrator) pursuant to, amongst others, ICC, HKIAC, LCIA, LMAA, SIAC, PCA and UNCITRAL Rules. Mr. Ng is also the fourth English King’s Counsel to be admitted to the Singapore bar and is the only English King’s Counsel to have triple affiliation to London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In September 2022, Ng Jern-Fei was described as "legal hotshot" in Singapore's Straits Times. In an article published in the South China Morning Post in December 2022, Mr. Ng was described as the "top lawyer." In August 2022, Jern-Fei was awarded the Singapore Academy of Law’s Merit Award by Chief Justice for his contribution in raising the profile of foreign lawyers in Singapore, as well as his initiatives in promoting access to the English Bar for Singaporean law students and to applicants from underrepresented groups in general. In January 2023, Mr. Ng was appointed by the Chief Justice of Singapore in to the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee which chaired by a Singapore High Court judge.

He is also described as a “highly skilled strategist and terrific advocate” with “first-class advocacy skills” that is both “smooth and persuasive”; “one of the most talented counsel I have worked with on issues of strategy, where he is always several steps ahead of the current state of proceedings”. He is “a very talented silk” who is "already in the zone of a leader in international arbitration" and who has an ability to “present practical legal solutions that not only win you the battles, but also the war.”

“Extremely intelligent and tactically astute, he is one of a kind and is highly sought after.” He shows tenacity in fighting his client’s corner and has the ability to swiftly produce forceful oral rebuttals”; “will fight like a gladiator to win the case”; “very proactive and, once instructed, takes control of a case and pushes it forward to the advantage of the client”; “super intelligent, very knowledgeable”.

Appointments

  • Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2002
  • Appointed as Queen's Counsel in England and Wales in 2018
  • Admitted as a barrister in the British Virgin Islands in 2021
  • Admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore in 2022

RECENT CASES

  • Lead counsel for the Chinese respondents in a US$1.5bn private equity dispute involving a failed acquisition of a company. Important point of law as to whether the doctrine of repudiatory breach applies to partnerships. Secured an award of damages of US$180m for clients in respect of their counterclaim for breach of confidence. Seat: Hong Kong (HKIAC Rules). Governing law: Cayman Islands law.
  • Lead counsel for Chinese investors against a US company in a share sale and purchase dispute involving sums in excess of US$20m relating to the noncompletion of an equity investment agreement in the mining industry. Took over the case from one of England’s most senior KCs and was up against two senior KCs on the other side. Secured an award, pursuant to which the Tribunal ordered that clients’ investment is reinstated and costs of close to US$3.4m was awarded in favour of clients. Seat: Hong Kong (HKIAC Rules). Governing law: Hong Kong law.
  • Lead counsel for a leading Korean pharmaceutical company. Successfully defended claims for US$53m following a two-week hearing and secured a costs award of approximately US$3.1m in the client’s favour. Seat: Singapore (ICC Rules). Governing law: English law.
  • Lead counsel for a leading Chinese manufacturer of consumer products. Successfully resisted a claim worth US$25m relating to the manufacture and sale of air-conditioners. Seat: Singapore (SIAC Rules). Governing law: PRC law.
  • Lead counsel for a Chinese company faced with claims for breach of contract by an Israeli joint venture partner. The client was ultimately successful in resisting a claim for approximately US$10m. Seat: Singapore (SIAC Rules). Governing law: PRC law.
  • Lead counsel for an Indian company in a joint-venture dispute relating to claims for earn-out payments under a share sale and purchase agreement, culminating in three evidentiary hearings. Seat: Singapore (SIAC Rules). Governing law: Mauritius law.
  • Lead counsel for a Qatari company in a relation to entitlement to dividends arising out of a share sale and purchase agreement. Clients succeeded entirely in their claim for dividends in the sum of US$3m plus interest. Seat: London (LCIA Rules). Governing law: Nigerian law.
  • Lead counsel for a Chinese company in relation to a claim brought by a US claimant for breach of a strategic alliance agreement, in which claims of intellectual property theft were brought against my client. Clients succeeded in defeating an application for interim measures, as a result of which the US claimant was compelled to agree a consent award, pursuant to which it ended up recovering no damages from my client. Seat: Hong Kong (HKIAC Rules). Governing law: Hong Kong law.
  • Lead counsel for a Thai respondent in relation to a claim for damages by an international trading house in the sum of US$4m. Succeeded in defending the claim entirely, with clients awarded US$600,000 in costs in its favour. Seat: Singapore (SIAC Rules). Governing law: Singapore law.
  • Lead counsel for a SOE respondent in relation to a claim for damages by an international trading house in the sum of US$2m. Succeeded in defending the claim entirely, with clients awarded costs in its favour. Seat: London. Governing law: English law.
  • Currently acting as lead counsel for a Chinese state-owned enterprise defending a US$53 million claim in a joint venture dispute involving two shipbuilding projects. Successfully defended clients against a request for emergency arbitration relief filed by a Dutch applicant. Place of arbitration: Singapore (SIAC Arbitration Rules); Governing law: Dutch law.
  • Currently acting as lead counsel for a Chinese SOE in a dispute with a Korean conglomerate in relation to a hydrocarbon supply contract. Award pending. Seat: Singapore. Governing law: Singapore law.
  • Currently acting as lead counsel for a Chinese SOE in defending a US$53m claim in relation to a joint venture dispute concerning two shipbuilding projects. Succeeded in defending the clients against claims brought by the Dutch claimants for emergency arbitral relief. Seat: Singapore. Governing law: Dutch law.
  • Appointed as arbitrator by a Chinese SOE in two arbitrations concerning an alumina supply contract. Seat: Hong Kong. Governing law: Hong Kong law.

OTHER MATTERS

  • Member of the HKIAC Proceeding Committee, which is the standing committee of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) on procedural matters
  • Member of the board of directors of Maxwell Chambers, Singapore
  • Member of the Core Committee of the ICC Singapore Arbitration Group
  • Appointed to the panel of arbitrators of the Hainan International Arbitration Court
  • Appointed by the Chief Justice of Singapore to the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee
  • Teaches arbitration and advocacy at leading universities across the globe, including East China University of Political Science and Law, National University of Singapore, Renmin University School of Law, Peking University School of Law

AWARDS

  • Legal 500 2023, United Kingdom – The Bar – London Bar: International Arbitration: Counsel (Leading Silks - Ranked: Tier 3)
    “Jern-Fei is a highly-skilled advocate with a brilliant legal mind. He is uniquely excellent at balancing law, logic, and strategy as an advocate. He also brings a multicultural and multilingual background that further sets him apart. On top of being a best-in-class advocate, he is a pleasure to work with.”
  • Legal 500 2023, United Kingdom – The Bar – London Bar: Shipping (Leading Silks - Ranked: Tier 5)
    “Jern-Fei is exceptionally talented. He has first class legal knowledge, tremendous judgment and is a master both of the detail and broader questions of strategy.”
  • Legal 500 2023, United Kingdom – The Bar – London Bar: Energy (Leading Silks - Ranked: Tier 4)
    “Jern-Fei is extremely responsive, intelligent, and hardworking, and his legal knowledge is second to none. He is also a great strategist and leader.”
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, Global – Dispute Resolution: Arbitration: The English Bar - Singapore (Band 1)
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is respected for his talents in commercial arbitrations in Singapore and Malaysia. He is especially sought out for international commodities, energy and shipping disputes.

    Strengths

    "Jern-Fei has an excellent reputation in the market and gets a lot of complex and high-profile work in the Singapore market."

    "Jern-Fei is a real leader in the field who is very experienced, culturally attuned to clients in Asia and an excellent advocate."
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, Global – Offshore (Bar) - UK (Band 3)
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is highly regarded for his broad proficiency in international commercial law and arbitration matters. His practice spans several key offshore jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands and the BVI, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore.

    Strengths

    "Jern-Fei Ng is extremely impressive, both tactically and as an advocate."

    "He is well regarded for his Hong Kong and Singapore work."

    "He is a fighter for his clients."
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, Global – Energy & Natural Resources - UK (Band 4)
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is admired for his diverse practice and ability to handle disputes in the mining and metals, oil and gas, and renewables arenas. He is particularly noted for his expertise in Asian jurisdictions and for his adroit handling of international arbitrations.

    Strengths

    "He is very experienced and an excellent advocate."
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, Global – Shipping & Commodities - UK (Band 4)
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is a dry shipping expert who is well accustomed to arbitration hearings at the LMAA. He has significant experience in a range of matters involving such issues as charter party and vessel construction disputes, as well as matters involving force majeure.

    Strengths

    "Jern-Fei has a keen legal mind and is able to very quickly understand disputes and the issues involved."
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, Global – International Arbitration - The Bar - Asia-Pacific Region
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is typically cited by commentators for his versatility, in terms not only of the jurisdictions in which he operates, including both Singapore and Hong Kong, but also the range of subject matter he covers, including commodities, energy and resources, and shareholder dispute-related matters. He is widely recognised as a key name in this market.

    Strengths

    "Jern-Fei is someone quite valuable in International Arbitration in Asia as an Asian lead counsel and a top practitioner. He is critical for future development of International Arbitration in the region."

    "Jern-Fei is a real leader in the field; he is very experienced, culturally attuned to clients in Asia, and an excellent advocate."
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, UK Bar Guide 2023 – UK Bar: Offshore-London (Bar) (Band 3)
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is highly regarded for his broad proficiency in international commercial law and arbitration matters. His practice spans several key offshore jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands and the BVI, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, UK Bar Guide 2023 – UK Bar: Energy & Natural Resources-London (Bar) (Band 4)
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is admired for his diverse practice and ability to handle disputes in the mining and metals, oil and gas, and renewables arenas. He is particularly noted for his expertise in Asian jurisdictions and for his adroit handling of international arbitrations.
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, UK Bar Guide 2023 – UK Bar: Shipping & Commodities-London (Bar) (Band 4)
    Jern Fei KC is a dry shipping expert who is well accustomed to arbitration hearings at the LMAA. He has significant experience in a range of matters involving such issues as charter party and vessel construction disputes, as well as matters involving force majeure.
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, Asia-Pacific – Dispute Resolution: Arbitration: The English Bar – Singapore
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is respected for his talents in commercial arbitrations in Singapore and Malaysia. He is especially sought out for international commodities, energy and shipping disputes.

    Strengths

    "Jern-Fei has an excellent reputation in the market and gets a lot of complex and high-profile work in the Singapore market."

    "Jern-Fei is a real leader in the field who is very experienced, culturally attuned to clients in Asia and an excellent advocate."
  • Chambers and Partners 2023, Asia-Pacific – International Arbitration - The Bar - Asia-Pacific Region
    Jern-Fei Ng KC is typically cited by commentators for his versatility, in terms not only of the jurisdictions in which he operates, including both Singapore and Hong Kong, but also the range of subject matter he covers, including commodities, energy and resources, and shareholder dispute-related matters. He is widely recognised as a key name in this market.

    Strengths

    "Jern-Fei is someone quite valuable in International Arbitration in Asia as an Asian lead counsel and a top practitioner. He is critical for future development of International Arbitration in the region."

    "Jern-Fei is a real leader in the field; he is very experienced, culturally attuned to clients in Asia, and an excellent advocate."
  • WWL Arbitration 2023: Leader

    "Jern-Fei is one of the leading lights of the English bar for Asia-related disputes"

    "In difficult cases he still somehow manages to present an oral argument that is very convincing"

    "He is a real superstar!"
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 UK as a leading practitioner in five areas: Commodities; Energy; International Arbitration; Offshore; Taxation.
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific as a leading practitioner in three areas: Commercial; Shipping and Commodities; Construction, Energy and Infrastructure;
  • Recommended by Chambers UK as a leading practitioner in Energy and Natural Resources.
  • Recommended by Chambers Asia as a leading practitioner in International Arbitration: The English Bar in the Asia-Pacific Region; International Arbitration; The English Bar in Singapore.
  • Recommended by Who's Who Legal as a Global Leader in Arbitration 2022.
  • Recommended by Who’s Who Legal as a National Leader in UK Bar Arbitration – Mixed practice or mainly acting as counsel 2022

EDUCATION

  • 2005 Master of Arts from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College)
  • 2002 Bar Vocational Course (Inns of Court Law School)
  • 2001 Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Law, University of Cambridge (Trinity College)

SCHOLARSHIP AND PRIZES

  • 2003 Levitt Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn 
  • 2002 Holland Scholarship, Trinity College
  • 2001 Whittaker Scholarship, Trinity College
  • 2002 Sir Thomas More Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn
  • 2000 Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn

LANGUAGES

English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay, Indonesian

Ng Jern-Fei KC practises in Singapore from JFN Chambers LLC (UEN No. 202309397C), and London from 7BR (regulated by the Bar Standards Board)