Daniel is a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and also a director at Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC, a Singapore law corporation affiliated with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Based in Singapore, Daniel Chia is the leader of Morgan Lewis’s disputes practice in Asia, covering contentious matters relating to dispute resolution, restructuring and insolvency, and government investigations and enforcement. He is sought for his experience—both as legal advisor and trial counsel—in devising and executing strategies for disputes relating to commercial crime, white collar proceedings, professional indemnity insurance, shareholder litigations, insolvency claims, and securities and regulatory enforcement in Asia. In his personal practice, he has over 15 years of experience as a corporate and commercial trial and appellate litigator representing clients in complex, cross-border, and multidisciplinary disputes in court hearings, international arbitrations, and other dispute resolution forums.
Daniel provides clients with tailored, tactical advice that adds value to their corporate strategy. He regularly handles matters relating to regulatory, commercial fraud, and business crime defense, including fraudulent fundraising, and prosecutes and defends against allegations of corruption, money laundering, and commercial crime.
As a trial lawyer, Daniel regularly acts in professional liability cases where he represents professionals, consultants, and insurers in all matters relating to professional negligence suits. He also acts for clients in the epayment industry and advises on various regulatory and competition legislation. In all these matters, he acts as lead trial and appellate counsel arguing both in court and international arbitration cases. Daniel is also an active member of the firm’s crisis management team and its labor and employment practice, which specializes in global mobility issues of clients.
Daniel is recognized as a leading lawyer in major legal directories like Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500, and Benchmark Litigation where clients have commended him for not just his technical ability in the law but also his business acumen and his ability to manage disputes and problems and structure solutions efficiently and effectively.
Client and peer accolades across legal directories recognize that he is “excellent” and “a terrific litigator” who is “able to hold his own against much more senior advocates, including senior counsel.” He has been praised as being a partner who is “hands on,” “diligent and has a great work ethic" and a “delight to work with.” The Legal 500 additionally recognizes his “strategic vision and on the ground advocacy” and his deep knowledge of “big ticket litigations.” He is also credited for leading an “outstanding team” that provides an “impeccable service.”
Daniel was recognized by Asian Legal Business in its inaugural Asia Super 50 Disputes Lawyers list, which recognizes the top arbitration and litigation practitioners based in Asia. He was also named a “Future Leader” in Litigation by Who’s Who Legal in 2018 to 2020 and was ranked for three consecutive years as the most highly regarded in the Asia-Pacific region. He was also quoted by clients in the publication as being an “experienced commercial litigator” who “provides valuable strategic advice to corporate clients which considers both legal and commercial realities.”
Daniel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and was recently mentioned in the 2022 edition of Global Arbitration Review (GAR) 100 for his work in the arbitration space.
The Supreme Court of Singapore appointed Daniel as a Young Amicus Curiae in 2009.
He is also regularly appointed as lead pro bono counsel by the Law Society of Singapore and the Supreme Court of Singapore in a wide variety of criminal matters.
The following are cases handled by Daniel in the last five years as lead counsel:
Corporate & Commercial
Successfully defended a globally renowned consulting engineering firm against a Singapore High Court claim brought by renowned commercial building owners for alleged defect façade design in “grade A” office building. The trial of the matter involved six parties, some 30 factual and expert witnesses, and led to one of the longest running trials in Singapore. Also successfully represented the same client in the attendant appeal.
Successfully defended a globally renowned consulting engineering firm against a Singapore High Court claim initiated by Global Switch, a worldwide operator of data centers in a claim relating to power and cooling systems of a data center involving issues of compensation for alleged defective design, replacement costs, loss of profit, and revenue. Also successfully represented the same client in the attendant appeal and obtained one of the largest sums of attorney costs ever awarded by a Singapore court.
Successfully represented asset managers in a claim for deceit and fraud with respect to the acquisition of an African cryptocurrency-friendly bank in the Singapore International Commercial Court. Issues include the regulatory regime for SWIFT payments, cryptocurrency payments, and wallets, as well as the bank licensing regime in several African jurisdictions.
Successfully represented a water solutions company in derivative proceedings initiated with minority shareholders who have been taking issue with the listed companies’ dealings with a capital raise and the exploratory acquisition of two wastewater concessions in China and Indonesia.
Successfully acted for over 20 shareholders in a government-sponsored Global Investor Program fund in oppression, derivative, and insolvency proceedings against the management of the fund for fraud and misuse of monies in claims close to $80 million. The series of proceedings included the first known “pre-pack” scheme for claims which were sold to the shareholders to enable them to take direct action against the former management.
Advised a leading electrical retailer for homes and businesses in Singapore as the appointed crisis management counsel, on all matters relating to the worldwide energy crunch and surge in prices of power, including numerous litigations threatened by former customers and regulatory issues arising from the open market electricity regulatory regime administered by the Energy Market Authority in Singapore.
Acted for various fund managers and investment funds with respect to their investment into investee companies located in China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Issues included founder mismanagement, accounting fraud, misrepresentation, and corporate actions, depending on the form of the instrument of investment.
Labour & Employment
Successfully defended client in a claim involving alleged theft of trade secrets and confidential information as well as breach of non-compete clauses.
Acted for a leading talent agency in connection with the overhaul of various employment policies and documentation used across its Asia operations. The overhaul included anti-bullying and harassment policies, sales incentive schemes, equal opportunity and diversity policies, substance abuse policies, and general code of conduct.
Acted for various clients advising on restrictive covenants and anti-poaching activities, policies, and disputes.
Acted for various clients across Asia Pacific on claims relating to theft of confidential information and trade secrets.
Coordinated and conducted investigations with respect to issues relating to employee misconduct and fraud along with the attendant termination and civil claim issues.
Successfully represented an investment management company in both arbitration and setting aside proceedings with a series of related entities trading linked to a cryptocurrency exchange. Secured a rare setting aside of an arbitration award for client in the Singapore High Court on the grounds of breaches of nature justice, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeal of Singapore.
Successfully represented a large state-owned Chinese shipbuilding yard, in SIAC arbitration proceedings against Singaporean ship-owning entities with respect to contracts to build several offshore drilling rigs, the value of which exceeded $350 million. Technical issues included defective design of components, construction, liquidated damages, and wrongful termination. Also acted in the attendant setting aside applications, and successfully resisted the ship-owning entities’ attempts to set aside the award both at the High Court and appellate court stages.
Successfully represented 21 Chinese preference shareholders in a quasi-class action case in SIAC arbitration for the recovery of a $45 million investment a Singapore Global Investor Program Fund, which invested in entertainment assets throughout the world.
Successfully represented international investors in an SIAC arbitration involving a shareholder dispute with respect to investments in a Pharmaceutical and diagnostic company majority owned by a Chinese conglomerate. Issues included oppression, diversion of business, and trade secret theft in China.
Represented a Cambodian telecommunications company in ICC arbitral proceedings against a Chinese component part manufacturer for loss of potential profits up to $50 million. Technical issues include telecom frequency, equipment design, and suitability and customs.
White Collar & Crime
Successfully acted as coordinating counsel for an Algerian-based businessman with respect to corruption proceedings and government asset seizures in Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, and France. Secured the unfreezing and release of nearly $200 million in assets following the client’s acquittal.
Acted for the chairman of a leading shipbuilder in Singapore in corruption proceedings and investigations in Singapore.
Acted for a government-linked entity with respect to a fraud committed by its sales representatives in Southeast Asia
Acted for various listed companies on the Singapore Stock Exchange with respect to regulatory issues arising from purported breaches of securities regulation and disclosure requirements.
National University of Singapore, 2005, LLB, Hons, Overall Deans List
Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Private Client Global Elite Directory, American Lawyer Media (2022)
Recognized, Arbitration and Mediation, The Best Lawyers in Singapore (2022)
Recognized, Asia Super 50 Disputes Lawyers, Asian Legal Business (2021)
Litigation Star, Commercial and Transactions, Singapore, Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (2022)
A-List, Top 100 Lawyers in Singapore, Asia Business Law Journal (2019)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017)