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Harish Kumar

Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Practice Area:

Commercial Litigation
Employment & Benefits

LLB (Hons.), National University of Singapore
Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore

T +65 6232 0360
E harish.kumar@rajahtann.com

Harish Kumar is a Partner in the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice.

Harish has been in legal practice for more than 35 years and is one of the most senior litigators in the firm. He joined the firm in 2008 and brings with him a wealth of experience in complex commercial litigation. 

In his early years, Harish specialised in shipping and admiralty work with an emphasis on marine casualty work. He served attachments with various leading protection and indemnity clubs in London.

Over time, Harish’s practice has evolved into a broad-based commercial practice, and he has litigated cases both in court and in arbitral proceedings over a wide spectrum of areas including banking and finance, company law, company and partnership disputes, commodities, corporate fraud, equity and trust, employment and executive compensation, insolvency, intellectual property, landlord and tenancy, professional negligence and insurance. Many of these cases have made their way into the law reports with not a few being leading cases.

Harish has also now begun to accept appointments to sit as arbitrator.

Notable Cases & Transactions
  • Acting in various substantial claims involving fraud, vicarious liability and equity spanning various industries and sometimes several countries. Most recently successfully acted for victims of a fraudulent foreign real estate project marketed in Singapore to hold the Key Executive Officer of the real estate agency personally liable for their loss. Claim upheld by Court of Appeal (CA).
  • Acting in various cases involving legal proceedings in several countries or acts that took place in several countries and dealing with several issues arising such as founding Singapore jurisdiction, forum non conveniens and the proper law. Most recently successfully stayed an action in favour of PNG.
  • Successfully acted for plaintiffs in a claim against a Malaysian businessman to personally recover substantial monies advanced to secure a long-term supply of LNG for Macau from Indonesia. Claim was sustained and upheld by CA.
  • Successfully acted for a multinational healthcare provider headquartered in Malaysia in a substantial claim for damages against Singaporean sellers arising from the purchase of a hospital and nursing academy in Medan, Indonesia. Claim upheld by CA.
  • Successfully acted for a Canadian mining concessionaire in a substantial claim against a Myanmar national for diverting oil proceeds to Singapore obtained from working an oil field in Myanmar to herself. Acting in many substantial shareholders’ and partnership disputes both in familial and purely commercial contexts often involving complex questions of legitimate expectations, duties owed, breach, damages and the valuation of shares in private companies.
  • Successfully acted for a leading capital markets licensee in several complex disputes over losses incurred on clients’ trading accounts resulting inter alia from unforeseen market events.
  • Successfully acted for a construction company in a claim against a bank to obtain a floor of an office building in the Central Business District when the mortgagee bank sought to foreclose on the building because of the developer’s insolvency, which is now the leading case on proprietary estoppel. Claim upheld by CA.
  • Acted in a contest between related parties over whether an order for the sale of a property could or should be made, which is now the leading case (CA) on equitable accounting.
  • Routinely acting for and advising both employers and employees on issues arising from employment and executive compensation including in several successful court and arbitral proceedings.
  • Successfully acted for the employer to defend a claim by an employee to the benefits of a group insurance policy, which is now the leading case on when an employee will be entitled to claim the benefits. Succeeded in CA.
  • Successfully acted for a bank in unusually having a claim against it summarily dismissed on points of law.
  • Acting in various contentious insolvency matters involving winding up, judicial management and schemes of arrangement.
  • Successfully acted for a French bank to obtain 100% recovery against a Korean chaebol rocked by a financial scandal where a consortium of other banks took a significant haircut on the debts owing to them
  • Successfully acted in the Singapore aspect of a trademark infringement case by successfully resisting an application by the plaintiff to send some of the goods seized to various other jurisdictions where proceedings were ongoing, which is a leading case on the application of the Riddick principle.
  • Acted in one of the largest family settlement disputes in Singapore involving 3 generations of the family that gave rise to multiple legal actions over almost a decade.
  • Acting in various disputes arising from commodity trades. Among them, successfully acted for Indian clients in two separate arbitral proceedings and obtained awards for damages in contracts for the sale and purchase of coal from Indonesia.
  • Successfully acted in a company name dispute defending the decision of the Registrar of Companies to allow a change of name of a foreign company to a name that was the same as that of a Singapore company in the first case of its kind under the Companies Act.
  • Successfully defended an application for a witness to be compelled to answer questions in the context of proceedings to take evidence pursuant to letters rogatory from a US court where he had refused to answer those questions claiming the privilege against self-incrimination available to him under US law.
  • Acting in various substantial charterparty disputes, marine insurance claims and marine casualties often involving preliminary investigative work.
  • Member, Advocacy Committee, Law Society of Singapore
  • Singapore Chapter of Enforcement of Foreign Judgments (2021) published by Kluwer Law International
  • Singapore Chapter of International Succession (5th Ed, 2021) published by Oxford University Press
  • Singapore Chapter of International Labor and Employment Law (5th Ed, 2018) for the International Labor and Employment Law Committee, Section of Labor and Employment Law, American Bar Association published by Bloomberg Law
  • Singapore Chapter of Asian Conflict of Laws: East and South East Asia (2015) published by Kluwer Law International