22 February 2021

HFW secures second Reed Smith commodities partner this year in Singapore

Cargo ships entering Singapore port

Arrival of disputes specialist Dan Perera's boosts UK-based firm's specialist Asia team to seven partners

HFW has bolstered its energy and commodities practices with the hire of partner Dan Perera from Reed Smith in Singapore. 

Perera, who specialises in disputes and contractual arrangements, is the second commodities and energy law specialist to join the UK-headquartered firm in Singapore this year from Reed Smith following the arrival of climate change finance expert Peter Zaman last month.

The duo double the number of specialist commodities partners in Singapore to four; HFW says its seven-partner Asia team makes it one of the largest of any international law firm in the region. The global offering boasts 28 partners and more than 80 lawyers.

HFW’s global head of commodities, Alistair Feeney, said: “Dan's physical commodities expertise – particularly in the oil, LNG and mining sectors – further strengthens our client offering in the key hub of Singapore and creates significant opportunities across our global team.” 

Perera has a broad-based disputes practice, centred on energy claims – particularly relating to liquefied natural gas (LNG) –as well as commodities, international trade, shipping, construction and mining. He also brings in-house nous, having previously spent three years at Australian commodities giant, BHP.

His multi-jurisdictional experience extends to key commodities hubs, being qualified as a lawyer in London, New York and Australia. He trained and qualified with Norton Rose Fulbright, working at the firm for eight years before his stint at BHP, returning to NRF for just shy of three years, later joining Reed Smith on promotion to partner in April 2018.

Perera’s experience also extends to advising on disputes before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the London Court of International Arbitration and the ICC International Court of Arbitration thereby adding heft to HFW’s international arbitration practice, which is led by Damian Honey in London

His advisory practice gives him a holistic approach to risk management. He has crafted bespoke offtake agreements for LNG sale and purchase agreements and master sale and purchase agreements, as well as devising complex market-based pricing mechanisms and managing standardisation projects. He has helped to develop several commodities contracts that have been adopted as industry standards.

Perera said he was attracted by HFW’s “sectoral excellence”. Singapore office head Mert Hifzi added that the hires were “a clear sign that HFW’s commitment to the market – and the strength of our ambition – remains undimmed”.

Last month, Squire Patton Boggs hired Singapore-based Clifford Chance (CC) partner Kate Sherrard along with a senior associate as it continued to invest in the commodities and shipping practice it launched in November 2019 with the hire of partners Barry Stimpson and Jessica Kenworthy from Reed Smith.

Reed Smith, meanwhile, last month said it would continue to grow its Singapore office in line with its clients' "evolving needs" following the hire of an eight-strong corporate and transport team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

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