Michelle Yong

Partner

Michelle's core areas of specialisation are energy, shipping, international trade and insolvency and enforcement in the offshore sector.

Michelle has experience acting for banks in finance litigation matters, ship yards in complex ship and rig building disputes, oil majors, wind farms, national airlines and other multi-national corporations. She also regularly provides risk management and litigation advice on corporate and ship finance matters. Michelle's experience in disputes is beneficial in negotiating, drafting and advising on potential risks in commercial contracts on shipbuilding, ship charters, ship sale and purchase, offshore contracts and commodities contracts.

Being dual-qualified in both Singapore and in England and Wales has placed her well to advise on international disputes as well acting in Singapore-based arbitrations. She is knowledgeable in the law, but is always mindful to adopt a commercial and sensible approach in finding solutions for clients. Having specialised since the inception of her career, she is recognised by the shipping market as credible and committed to the industry. 

Michelle is regularly invited to speak at industry seminars, sit on panel discussions and assist in events to boost Singapore's reputation as a maritime hub.

Michelle has been named an ‘Acritas Star’ 2021 and in ALB 40 under 40 2016, SBR Singapore's 40 most influential lawyers aged 40 and under in 2015, and often cited in legal directories, most recently named as a Recommended Lawyer for International Arbitration and Shipping in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021. 

She is also a committee member of Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), Law Society Women In Practice and Law Society Alternative Dispute Resolution.


Michelle Yong is sharp, focused, patient, has a good sense of timing and is a great strategist.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020

Expertise

  • Advising Opus Offshore Ltd on the acquisition of the 'Songa Mercur' and 'Songa Venus', two semi-submersible drilling units totalling over US$200 million, and their existing commitments from Songa Offshore SE (Marine Money Offshore M&A deal of the year 2015).

  • Assisting a listed offshore operator in arbitration proceedings for their claims for unpaid charter hire against an Egyptian charter, in excess of US$5 million.

    Helping world's 2nd largest container leasing company with their recovery efforts of leased containers, dues and demurrage in India, Vietnam, Iran, Singapore, Malaysia and elsewhere.

    Acting for shipowners in a claim for contamination of cargo.

    Advising an international energy company on the issues and claims arising out of the collision between the vessel and a jetty and pipeline at a wharf in South Korea, with oil pollution, property damage and business interruption claims in excess of US$170 million.

  • Acting for the owner/lessor of certain offshore vessels which were on bareboat charter to certain Emas entities, some of which were subject to protective restructuring under the new restructuring and insolvency regime in Singapore.

    Advising various creditors of Swiber after Swiber collapsed and applied first for winding up and then judicial management in 2016.

    Advising various creditors of Swissco, including lenders and joint venture partners, since Swissco started facing signs of trouble in the declining oil & gas market.

    Assisting Posh Semco Pte Ltd in arbitration proceedings for their claims for unpaid charter hire against Efadco Petroleum Services in excess of US$5 million.

    Acting for rig owners in complex multi-million dollar disputes under with errant charterers under ICC, LMAA and ad hoc arbitration proceedings. These included the repossession or early redelivery of the rigs due to the inability of the charterers to pay hire in the challenging oil and gas market.

  • Acting for rig owners in relation to a claim by ship repairers. Proceedings commenced in London and attempted to be served on clients in Singapore. Michelle successfully deflected the claim by challenging the jurisdiction of the English courts over Singaporean clients and succeeded in the High Court at first instance and also the Court of Appeal in London. The case is provides clarification on a key point of law regarding jurisdiction which the English courts have grappled with for the past 20 years, and is therefore now an important part of jurisprudence on the issue.

    Acting for rig owners in complex multi-million dollar disputes under with errant charterers under ICC, LMAA and ad hoc arbitration proceedings, successfully obtaining an arbitration award in excess of US$30 million.

    Acting for shipyard in respect of shipbuilding dispute with an Australian governmental organisation claiming for costs of variation works, damages for the failure to take delivery of the vessel, prolongation costs and extension of time for owners' delays.