Danny Ong.JPEG

Danny Ong

Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Practice Area:

Commercial Litigation
Restructuring & Insolvency
International Arbitration
Fraud & Asset Recovery

LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore
DipArb (CiArb)
Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore
Solicitor of Hong Kong
Solicitor of England and Wales

T +65 6232 0260
E [email protected]

Danny specialises in complex international commercial disputes and investigations across a multitude of industries.  In particular, on the banking and finance front, he has led cross-border disputes involving complex financial products, cryptocurrencies, securitisation transactions, commodities, bonds, market manipulation, insider trading, layering and spoofing, and investigations into interest-rate fixing, currency fixing, and money laundering, to name a few.  Most recently, he is lead counsel in the first cryptocurrency dispute before the Singapore International Commercial Court, which raise raised novel and complex legal issues yet to be determined in the common law world. 

He has been recognised in these areas of expertise by international legal directories, with clients describing him as “a formidable force”, “an excellent litigator”, “our go-to guy"“outstanding lawyer”, “very switched on”, "good when you need someone to fight your corner"“very commercial, he knows when he has to be aggressive and commercially aware at the same time", and “excellent for contentious restructuring matters”

He is also deeply experienced and known for his work in cross-border fraud and asset recovery investigations and litigation.  Danny is regularly called upon to investigate and prosecute claims involving complex multi-jurisdictional corporate and commercial fraud, and the recovery of misappropriated assets globally, most recently arising from the 1MDB debacle.  He is the sole Singapore member of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Fraudnet, an international network of independent leading civil asset recovery specialists. Danny is the only lawyer in Singapore who is recognised by Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Global Elite 2019 in the field of asset recovery.

Danny has also acted and continues to act in some of the largest and most complex insolvencies in the region representing liquidators and creditors, including acting for the liquidators overseeing 45 Lehman entities across Asia (ex-Japan), MF Global Singapore, Dynamic Oil Trading (of the OW Bunker Group), and BSI Bank, and is particularly known for his expertise in complex cross-border contentious insolvency.

Danny is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, and formerly the firm’s Deputy Head of Dispute Resolution Practices.  He graduated from the National University of Singapore and is admitted to the Singapore Bar as well as the Rolls of Solicitors of the High Courts of Hong Kong and England and Wales. 

Danny is also a lead advocacy trainer of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education.   He is also a founding director of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) of Singapore and South-East Asia, and was recently appointed its Vice-President.  TMA is the leading organization dedicated to turnaround management, corporate restructuring and distressed investments. 

Experience
Financial Litigation and Regulatory Investigations
  • Acted for the world’s largest market maker in digital currencies in proceedings before the Singapore Courts into alleged misappropriation of bitcoins.  This was the first action before the Singapore Courts involving the trading of digital currencies.
  • Acting for Bank JTrust (formerly Bank Century Indonesia) in defending a US$110 million claim before the Singapore Court arising from English-law governed bonds, involving parallel proceedings in New York, Mauritius, and Japan. 
  • Acting for the liquidators of BSI Bank and separately, a US investment bank, in relation to investigations into alleged laundering and dissipation of some US$700 million purportedly belonging to Malaysian-state owned company, 1MDB, through various channels, which has spawned criminal investigations and legal proceedings in Singapore, Switzerland, New Zealand, and the US.
  • Acted for Lehman Brothers Singapore Private Limited in the defence of an action by individual investors alleging misrepresentations in the prospectus for the $10 billion notes programme issued by Minibond Limited.
  • Acted for global financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Nomura, in claims before the Singapore Court for the enforcement of syndicated loans and ancillary onshore and offshore securities, and resisting claims by private wealth clients arising from investments (including in offshore funds, equity-linked notes, structured bonds, accumulators and decumulators, leveraged foreign exchange, and commodities options). 
  • Acted for global financial institutions in investigating into alleged schemes to manipulate SIBOR interest rates and non-deliverable forward (NDF) rates, as part of a global investigation into such schemes across the major international financial markets, as well as investigations related to contingent convertible bonds (CoCos), and represented them in related claims. 
  • Acted for syndicated lenders in a claim against an Indonesian tycoon and his companies for the recovery of facilities granted of over $140 million to an Indonesian conglomerate and enforcement of security onshore in Indonesia, which involved proceedings in Singapore and Indonesia.
  • Acted and continue to act for some of the largest brokerages in the region in claims before the Singapore Courts arising from trading in equities, commodities, and foreign currencies, and in market manipulation and market rigging cases.     
  • Acted for WorldQuant (Singapore), one of the largest quantitative trading firms globally, in prosecuting a claim for alleged misappropriation of proprietary quantitative trading systems and algorithms. 
Corporate and Commercial
  • Acting for MAN Diesel Group, the world market leader for large diesel engines for use in ships and power stations, in defending an action before the Singapore Courts brought by Skaugen, a marine transportation services provider headquartered in Norway, for the recovery of damages for alleged fraudulent misrepresentation and manipulation on the part of MAN Diesel in relation to fuel consumption values of certain diesel engines manufactured and delivered by MAN Diesel in the early 2000s.  The dispute has spawned proceedings in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Singapore.
  • Acting for Suntech Power Singapore in defending a $270 million claim by a BVI company in relation to alleged financing provided for acquisition of assets in the solar industry, involving proceedings in Singapore, China, and BVI.
  • Acting for ST Microelectronics Asia, one of the largest global semi-conductor manufacturers, in a dispute relating to the supply of chips for a $600 million national identity card project in South-East Asia, involving parallel proceedings in Singapore and Indonesia. 
  • Advised and acted for various Indonesian parties in defending a $12 billion SIAC arbitration claim relating to natural resources projects in Indonesia, including one of the largest mines in Indonesia.
  • Acted for Eli Lilly Group, one of the largest global pharmaceutical groups listed on NYSE, in a contractual dispute with the Tempo Group of Indonesia, listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange, including successfully obtaining an anti-suit injunction from the Singapore Courts restraining PT Tempo Scan from continuing a claim brought by it before the Indonesian Courts against Eli Lilly.
  • Acted for a director of a property investment company in defending a $250 million claim for alleged breach of fiduciary duties and trust in respect of a project in the PRC. 
Insolvency and Restructuring
  • Acting for the liquidators of Dynamic Oil Trading (Singapore) Pte Ltd (“DOT”) in one of the most high-profile insolvencies in the shipping industry in Singapore in recent times, as part of the global collapse of the OW Bunker group.  Specifically, acted for the liquidators in respect of a dispute with ING Bank N.V. regarding the validity and entitlement of syndicated lenders to security rights over receivables of some US$250 million, as well as competing claims over the receivables of DOT which spawned extensive litigation across multiple jurisdictions. 
  • Acting for the liquidators of MF Global Singapore, the most high-profile insolvency in the financial industry in Singapore since Lehman Brothers involving thousands of MF Global customers and efforts in recovering customers’ proprietary funds of over US$400 million in Singapore and other jurisdictions, including in landmark proceedings before the Singapore Courts for the sanction of interim distribution of over US$350 million of customers’ funds, and for the determination of complex issues relating to the treatment of customers’ claims for profits arising from leveraged foreign exchange and bullion transactions under Singapore's regulatory framework.
  • Acting for the liquidators various Lehman Brothers entities across Asia, including in Nomura’s acquisition of Lehman’s franchises in Asia-Pacific following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, which included the distressed sale of assets and the migration of employees (approximately 3,000 employees in multiple locations) across the Asia Pacific region under a very tight time frame following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
  • Acting for various trustees and international bondholders in enforcement and restructuring of defaulted bonds issued by various Singapore, Indonesian, and Chinese corporations, including Ezra Holdings Limited, PT Barkieland Development, PT Berlian Laju, PT Blue Ocean Resources, PT Berau Coal.
Fraud Litigation and Investigations
  • Acting for over 4,000 investors of an investment ponzi scheme emanating out of Canada in investigations and prosecution of fraud claims against the perpetrators, which involves Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, and Singapore.
  • Acting in proceedings arising from a $160 million global ponzi scheme, which spawned proceedings in Cayman, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, UK. Recovery efforts have given rise to legal proceedings being brought in Cayman, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
  • Acting for DBS Bank in prosecuting claims before the Singapore Courts arising from a fraud perpetrated on the bank, and recovery of proceeds across Asia.
  • Represented companies owned or controlled by Yves Bouvier in relation to the dispute with Dmitry Ryblolovlev and companies associated with him arising from the sale of valuable art, and successfully procured the setting aside of freezing orders against these companies. 
  • Acted in a $500 million dispute before the Singapore Courts relating to an alleged fraud perpetrated on Suntech Holdings Limited, a US listed company, in respect of the financing of solar power plants in Europe, which involved proceedings in Singapore, England, Luxembourg, and Italy. 
  • Acted for a state-owned trading company in investigations into a $125 million fraud perpetrated by officers and controllers of that company in relation to its oil trading activities, and represented the state-owned company in civil claims brought before the Singapore Courts and related criminal complaints.
  • Defended a $4 billion fraud and asset recovery claim brought by Motorola Solutions before the Singapore Courts relating to an alleged fraud perpetrated by a wealthy family involving multiple jurisdictions including the Middles East, U.S. and Hong Kong. 
  • Advised and acted for the liquidators of an insolvent international company in respect of a civil action in Singapore for a US$1 billion fraud perpetrated on the company, including obtaining search and seizure and freezing orders against multiple parties.    
  • Advised and acted for a South American bank in respect of misappropriation of over $200 million and fraud and tracing claims arising therefrom against multiple parties in various jurisdictions, with worldwide freezing and disclosure orders obtained in various jurisdictions, including Singapore, Hong Kong, England, Switzerland, Nigeria, and the U.S.
  • Acted for an international bank in relation to a fraud perpetrated on the bank. The unknown fraudsters had caused monies to be siphoned out of the accounts of customers of the bank, and dissipated the monies to multiple parties across Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Vietnam, as a result of which proceedings were brought against recipients of the monies in Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • Acted for the liquidators of RBG Resources Plc, an insolvent English commodities trading company, in investigations into a massive cross-border fraud perpetrated on various international financial institutions in respect of trade financing transactions and prosecuting claims in relation thereto, which involved proceedings in England, Singapore, and US.
Memberships / Directorships
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member, International Chamber of Commerce’s Fraudnet