Sylvia Tee

Senior Registered Foreign Consultant

Personal Profile

Sylvia Tee is a Senior Registered Foreign Consultant of Karas LLP. Sylvia is a dual-qualified, bilingual commercial arbitration and litigation practitioner who has acted in cases involving a variety of industries, with a particular focus on multi-jurisdictional proceedings in the financial services, infrastructure and resources sectors. She has experience making submissions and conducting cross-examinations in multiple dispute resolution fora, including court, arbitration and expert determination proceedings.

Sylvia is recognised as a specialist in the field of international arbitration. Besides having advised on and acted in arbitration proceedings conducted under a variety of procedural rules including those of the ICC, SIAC, ACICA, AAA and UNCITRAL, Sylvia has also been a regional director at the ICC and worked on Singapore’s 2012 amendment of its International Arbitration Act and Arbitration Act while seconded to the Singapore Ministry of Law. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is regularly invited to speak on arbitration-related topics in conferences and workshops around the world.

Sylvia is a native English and Mandarin speaker.

Key Experience

Royal Adelaide Hospital Construction Dispute
Represented the South Australian Government in arbitration and other proceedings regarding various strategic, legal and commercial issues concerning defaults, delays and potential disputes arising out of the AU$2.5 billion PPP arrangements for the design, construction and operation of the State’s new state owned health facility. Acted/acting for the State in five separate sets of multi-party proceedings at various stages of the tiered dispute resolution process, including arbitration, expert determination and litigation, the total value of which is in excess of $1 billion. Successfully obtained a stay of proceedings brought by the builder against the State in the Federal Court of Australia. (ACICA Rules; Adelaide seat)

China Medical Technologies, Inc
Representing the Hong Kong and Cayman Island liquidators of a NASDAQ listed medical technology company, which collapsed following the alleged theft of US$500 million by senior management through concealed related party transactions. Acting for the liquidators in investigating and pursuing a number of claims on behalf of the company, including claims in the Hong Kong courts for breach of fiduciary duty and negligence against auditors and other professional advisors.

Shareholders’ Dispute (parties confidential)
Represented a group of 23 shareholders in a complex shareholders’ dispute, arising out of a joint venture company with a paid-up capital exceeding S$100 million, involving two sets of arbitration proceedings, as well as applications to the Singapore High Court for urgent injunctive relief in aid of arbitration. (SIAC Rules; Singapore seat)

Shareholders’ Dispute (parties confidential)
Represented the minority shareholders of a multi-national conglomerate in a shareholders’ dispute involving five different associated companies. The dispute involved two sets of arbitration proceedings, as well as court proceedings in Singapore and the British Virgin Islands, including an application to the Singapore High Court for urgent injunctive relief in aid of arbitration. (SIAC Rules; Singapore seat)

Coal Trading Dispute (parties confidential)
Represented the Singapore subsidiary of an NYSE-listed international coal company in arbitration proceedings under the ICC Rules relating to disputes arising out of a series of long and short-term contracts with a coal mining company. Also acted as instructing counsel in parallel litigation in the New Delhi High Court. (ICC Rules; Singapore seat)

Deutsche Bank v Beckkett
Represented Deutsche Bank in a dispute with an Indonesian mining company arising from a bridge loan agreement. The claim involved proceedings in both Singapore and Indonesia for damages exceeding US$130 million, as well as for the transfer of shares with an alleged value exceeding US$600 million, and extensive expert evidence on issues ranging from political risk to coal pricing. Successfully obtained an anti-suit injunction restraining the plaintiff from pursuing parallel proceedings in Indonesia, leading to a settlement of all claims.

Norwest v Newport Mining
Represented an Australian mining company in an aborted offer to purchase the shares of a Chinese mine operator, arising from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and resulting destruction of the Chinese operator’s assets. Submissions on the legal effect of an offer made “subject to contract” were accepted by the Singapore Court of Appeal and formed the basis of the landmark decision on the point.

Jane Rebecca Ong v PricewaterhouseCoopers
Jane Rebecca Ong v PricewaterhouseCoopers - Represented the Singapore-based and London-based offices of PwC in a claim exceeding S$23 million commenced by its former client for alleged professional negligence.

Career History

  • Senior Registered Foreign Consultant (South Australia), Karas LLP (2021-present)
  • Senior Registered Foreign Consultant (South Australia), Lipman Karas, Hong Kong (2020-2021)
  • Special Counsel, Lipman Karas, Australia (2016-2020)
  • Regional Director, Arbitration and ADR, Asia, ICC Dispute Resolution Services (2013-2016)
  • Senior Associate, Allen & Gledhill LLP (2008-2013)
  • National University of Singapore, LLB (Hons)
  • University of South Australia, LLB (non-award)

Admissions

  • Supreme Court of South Australia, 2017
  • Supreme Court of Singapore, 2009

Articles and Publications

  • The insolvency and arbitration intersection: A review of recent regional approaches to the question of arbitrability, The Arbitrator & Mediator (2021) 40 (1), pp51-62 (with Andy Lau, Karas LLP)
  • Disclosure of arbitrators’ conflicts: IBA guidelines versus ICC guidance note, China Business Law Journal (2016) Vol 7 Issue 6, pp22-23
  • ICC arbitrations in China – myth versus reality, China Business Law Journal (2014) Vol 5 Issue 7