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Prakash Pillai

Managing Director of Clasis LLC


Prakash Pillai

Prakash Pillai

Managing Director of Clasis LLC


Prakash Pillai

Prakash Pillai

Managing Director of Clasis LLC

Full Profile

Described as "measured and strategic" by Chambers Asia Pacific and "recommended as a leader in India" by Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Prakash is recognised as a leading lawyer for his expertise in international arbitration. Leading industry journals such as Chambers Global, Chambers Asia Pacific and Global Arbitration Review and Legal 500 have commended his knowledge and expertise consistently.

Prakash’s experience also encompasses top tier insolvency work. He has advised and acted for liquidators, judicial managers, receivers and managers in complex restructuring and insolvency matters, focusing mainly on contentious insolvency matters including court challenges to rehabilitation and liquidation proceedings, claims by liquidators against directors of the insolvent company and/or third parties. He has represented clients in litigation involving tort, medical negligence, professional liability, product liability, fraud, personal injury, employee compensation, and shareholder disputes.

Prakash speaks regularly in conferences and seminars focusing on international arbitration. He is the chairman of the Public and International Law Committee of the Law Society and an adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore’s Law faculty teaching international arbitration law and practice. Prakash is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is an established legal author and writes and publishes regularly articles on arbitration and insolvency related issues.

Prakash graduated from Queen Mary College, University of London and further obtained a Master's degree in law from Cambridge University where he specialised in public international law including investment treaty law. Prakash qualified as a Barrister-at-law at the Middle Temple in London and as an Advocate and Solicitor in Singapore. He has also previously worked in the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Foreign Service Officer. Prakash is also the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Iceland in Singapore.

  • International arbitration - Acting for a Swiss multinational in an ICC arbitration involving a long- running complex financial fraud in Indonesia. The amount defrauded is estimated to be in the region of US$30 million.

  • International arbitration - Acting for a UK subsidiary of an American architecture and design firm in contemplation of a SIAC arbitration against a Vietnamese property developer. The dispute arises out of the architectural and interior design of a luxury resort project in Vietnam, and involves issues of the vesting of intellectual property of the designs created by the firm, licensing of the intellectual property, and infringement of copyright in the unauthorised use of designs and marketing material created by the firm.

  • International arbitration - Acting for an Indian company in an SIAC arbitration against a Malaysian conglomerate arising out of an aborted share purchase agreement to purchase the client's shareholding in one of the largest pulp and paper mills in Malaysia. The dispute involved the call on a performance guarantee, and the claim value is US$50 million.

  • International arbitration - Advised a Chinese SOE on its dispute with a Latin American government arising out of a rail infrastructure project.  The dispute involved a potential investment treaty arbitration.

  • International arbitration - Representing a Singapore company against a consortium of international private equity firms incorporated in Mauritius in an SIAC arbitration seated in Singapore in relation to disputes arising from joint venture agreements involving development of major hydroelectric and thermal power projects in India with an estimated aggregate claim of USD 600 million. The joint venture agreements are governed by Singapore law.

  • International arbitration - Advising a leading Indian chemicals company on a potential SIAC arbitration in relation to a dispute over an investment agreement, the potential claims being in the region of USD 270 million. The agreement was governed by Singapore law.

  • International arbitration - Representing a major Indian company engaged in the business of establishing and operating satellite system infrastructure in an ICC arbitration involving defending the Indian company against claims amounting to approximately USD 200 million by a Bermuda-based satellite operator arising from alleged breaches of a satellite capacity agreement. The agreement was governed by English law.

  • International arbitration - Acting for a Mauritian company against a Singapore company in a SIAC arbitration in respect of disputes arising out of a complex transaction involving the sale and purchase of shares in an Indian company (with funds to be held in escrow). The sums in dispute are approx. SGD 80 million.

  • International arbitration - Representing a Singapore company in an SIAC arbitration involving a major contractual dispute with its Indonesian joint venture partner over an Indonesian plantation project. The contract was governed by Indonesian law.

  • International arbitration - Representing a US multinational company and its Indian subsidiary against an Indian company in an SIAC arbitration seated in Singapore in respect of disputes arising from joint venture agreements involving manufacturing and distribution of frozen agricultural products in India and transactions involving sale and purchase of manufacturing equipment. The estimated claim for damages approximately USD 15 million. The agreements are governed by Indian law.

  • Commercial and corporate litigation - Advising an IT software company based in the United States in a potential dispute with a global computer hardware and software company, arising out of a contract for the development of codes using multiple programming languages. The dispute involves complex issues of IP law, including the ownership of the copyright in the developed codes, whether the ownership has been assigned or transferred, and copyright infringement.

  • Commercial and corporate litigation - Representing Singapore Telecommunications Limited, in its defence against a claim in restitution in the High Court by the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore, a statutory body, for the sum of SGD 388 million. This was a landmark case in the area of restitution, in particular the doctrine of mistake, and was the first such litigation of its kind in Singapore involving a statutory body against a government-linked company.

  • Commercial and corporate litigation - Represented The Wellness Group and the founder of TWG Tea, a well-known tea company in Singapore in a shareholders' dispute with the other shareholders of TWG Tea - OSIM International and Paris Investments.  The value of the dispute was about SGD100 million. The Suit also involved a counterclaim for defamation brought by OSIM International and the other defendants.  The Wellness Group and he founder of TWG Tea also sued OSIM and each member of its Board of Directors for defamation in a separate suit (which has been consolidated with the main suit).

  • Commercial and corporate litigation - Representing Pacific Century Regional Development Ltd in its defence against a claim in the High Court (and subsequent appeal in the Court of Appeal) for damages based on an alleged breach of a shareholders’ agreement, amounting to approximately HKD 300 million.

  • Commercial and corporate litigation - Acted for JVL Agro Industries Ltd in a successful application against Agritrade International Pte. Ltd. to set aside an arbitration award on the basis of a breach of natural justice.

  • Commercial and corporate litigation - Representing Xpress Print Pte Ltd in its appeal in the Court of Appeal against Monocrafts Pte Ltd in relation to damage caused by the latter’s excavation works carried out at an adjoining property. The Xpress Print case has been acknowledged internationally by foreign commentators as an important development in the legal regime concerning adjoining properties. It has, in particular, been referred to in the leading land law text “Elements of Land Law” (4th edition), published by the Oxford University Press, as a decision to be followed by courts in other jurisdictions.

  • Insolvency - Representing Garuda Airlines in its application in the High Court under the Singapore Companies Act for sanction of a scheme of arrangement, involving a scheme debt of more than USD 350 million. The scheme of arrangement was sanctioned in parallel by both the English and Singapore courts, and involved litigation in both these jurisdictions initiated by an opposing creditor of the company.

  • Insolvency - Acting for a major creditor in relation to the collapse of OW Bunkers.We have advised on issues relating to approximately 100 different contracts, covering the entire spectrum of international sale and transportation of goods and the parties involved are fuel oil producers/physical suppliers, bunker barge operators, bunker traders and charterers and owners of ocean going vessels.The contracts on which we are advising are bills of lading, charterparties and sale contracts.

  • Insolvency - Acting for a major creditor on their claims against Swiber Offshore Construction, Swiber's applications in Court for voluntary liquidation and the judicial management and in the judicial management proceedings in the Singapore High Court.

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Prakash focuses on dispute resolution and international commercial arbitration across a multitude of sectors, including corporate, commercial, insolvency, trade and commodities, construction and engineering, and employment sectors. He has appeared before various arbitral tribunals in both ad-hoc arbitrations and arbitrations governed by the leading institutional rules. As managing director of Clasis LLC, he also represents clients in commercial litigation matters before the Singapore Courts.

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