Hill Dickinson has further strengthened its leading commodities practice by hiring established professional Iain Sharp as Partner in the Singapore office. As well as significantly enhancing the firm’s commodities practice in Singapore, Iain will work closely with Hill Dickinson’s shipping and trade lawyers in London, Hong Kong and Greece.
Well-renowned in the shipping and trade communities, Iain is a commodities disputes specialist and joins directly from a position as Asia-Pacific head of legal at a major trading house. His principal areas of practice are international trade and commodities, and international dispute resolution including arbitration. He has a wide range of in-depth experience (both contentious and non-contentious) and has been involved in matters ranging from international trade and commodities, oil and gas, shipping, banking and finance disputes, civil fraud, intellectual property and technology and insurance/reinsurance.
In addition to resolving disputes through litigation and alternative dispute resolution (including mediation), Iain has conducted major arbitrations in Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Scandinavia, Continental Europe, Dubai, Japan and South Korea under institutional rules ICC, LCIA, DIFC-LCIA, LMAA, HKIAC, SIAC, CIETAC, CMAC, Swiss Rules and ad-hoc arbitrations (UNCITRAL). He has also conducted arbitrations under trade association rules including LME, GAFTA, FOSFA and ICA.
Iain regularly advises on a wide range of legal issues, including contracts for the sale and purchase of commodities, agency/distribution agreements, general trading terms and conditions, charterparties, letters of indemnity, trade and economic sanctions and anti-money laundering, operational and legal risk management, trade finance (including facility agreements and guarantees) and letters of credit.
As well as being a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb), he is also a member of the LCIA Asia Pacific Users’ Council, the Groupe ASA des Jeunes Praticiens de l’Arbitrage (part of the Association Suisse de l’Arbitrage), the Association for International Arbitration (AIA), and a General Council Member of the Asia-Pacific Forum for International Arbitration (AFIA). Iain was ranked in the Legal 500 GC Powerlist – Southeast Asia 2019 and in Shipping and International Arbitration – Legal 500 Asia Pacific (Singapore) in 2016 and 2017, and he is a contributing author to Oil and Gas Trading: A Practical Guide published by Globe Law and Business.
Hill Dickinson’s Singapore office head, Andrew Lee, said: “Singapore is one of Asia’s busiest trading ports and is the largest commodity trading hub in Asia, with a supportive regulatory framework, lenient tax regime, well-developed financial centre and established infrastructure. Home to more than 280 global trading companies, Singapore is a natural fit for Hill Dickinson’s legal services. We have known and worked with Iain for many years. He is an excellent lawyer and we welcome his arrival to boost our expertise for this vibrant maritime and trading community.”
Tony Goldsmith, head of the firm’s Marine and Trade Group commented: “We are delighted that Iain is joining the firm. Iain is a true commodities expert, with such broad yet industry focused experience that he stands out among a relatively rare cohort. His experience will augment our current Singapore offering extremely well. He also shares our vision for growth in this sector, and together we will soon be welcoming additional colleagues, with complementary skills, enabling us to offer our clients the widest possible range of maritime and trade legal services from Singapore.”
Iain commented: “Commodities trading law has emerged as a specialist practice area. As I have seen over the past several years, commodity trading companies
need experienced commodities trading lawyers who are accessible and can provide timely, clear and commercial advice. Being able to provide a joined-up service to clients across time zones, with strength and depth in key jurisdictions, is increasingly important.
“Based on my own positive personal experience of working seamlessly in collaboration with the Hill Dickinson team in Singapore and London on a number of complex, high-value and multi-jurisdictional cases, I consider the firm is superbly placed to develop its commodities practice further. I look forward to helping to enhance that strength and depth.”