Meet our lawyers


Ian Teo

Managing Director,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

One of the founding directors of Helmsman, Ian is an authority on commercial law with a unique blend of expertise in general commercial matters and specialised shipping and commodities work.

He has been named a Disputes Star by Benchmark Litigation and one of Asia’s 50 Super Disputes Lawyers by Asia Legal Business. He is also recognised in Who’s Who Legal and Legal 500 for his international arbitration and commercial litigation expertise.

In 2019, he became one of the first senior accredited shipping and maritime law specialists appointed by the Singapore Academy of Law. What’s more, he was recognised by Euromoney Expert Guides as one of the world's 30 Best of the Best Shipping Lawyers. In 2016, Best Lawyers Singapore named Ian as Trade Lawyer of the Year.

Qualified to practise in Singapore, England and Wales, Ian read law at the National University of Singapore (LL.B) and obtained his LL.M at Cambridge University. Awarded the Justice Tan Ah Tah Prize in his PLC class, Ian is a member of the adjunct faculty at the Singapore Management University, School of Law, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration, and an Adjunct Fellow of the NUS Centre for Maritime Law. He contributes to academia regularly, and has published in Lloyd's Maritime & Commercial Quarterly.

“Meticulous in his case preparation, effective and persuasive in his advocacy”
Legal 500

“Keen eye for details and whose advice is always commercially sound”
Chambers Asia-Pacific

“A specialist in shipping and trade disputes... (who) commands respect”
Chambers Global

“Ian Teo has built up an impressive shipping and commercial litigation practice in the region, where he receives praise as ‘a very reliable lawyer’.”

“Ian Teo is a go-to name in the market when it comes to complex shipping disputes”

“Ian Teo is a distinguished practitioner with a wealth of experience in shipping and trade disputes"
Who’s Who Legal: Commercial Litigation

“Ian Teo earns widespread endorsements for his 'exemplary and reliable work', with sources lauding him as ‘a pragmatic and friendly opponent’”

“Ian Teo is distinguished in the market by sources who consider him a top choice for contentious shipping proceedings."
Who’s Who Legal: Transport

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Tang Chong Jun

Executive Director, Helmsman LLC Singapore Managing Partner, Tang & Co. Hong Kong

A founding director of Helmsman and Tang & Co., Chong Jun specializes in shipping and commodities disputes as well as commercial advisory work.

Recently, Chong Jun successfully represented a Malaysian palm oil producer on two multi-million-dollar GAFTA arbitrations: and, an American trading corporation in its claim against a Chinese company for the latter’s failure and/or refusal to take delivery of corn shipments. He was also involved in “Apellis” [2018] Lloyds Law Reports Plus 11 and “Alas” [2015] 1 Lloyds Law Reports 211. 

Our executive director is regularly invited to speak at shipping and maritime law conferences, including at the recent International Congress of Maritime Arbitrators in Copenhagen, and the 2017 Shipping Law Seminar in Shenzhen on “One Belt One Road – International Shipping Law and Policy”.

Qualified to practise law in both Singapore and Hong Kong, he is a fellow and council member (Hon. Secretary) of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators.

"Very responsive, friendly and helpful"
Legal 500

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Maureen Poh

Director,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Maureen’s practice spans the range of shipping and commodities trading work, both contentious and advisory. 

She has significant experience with energy-related shipping and commodity-related matters, such as the transportation and off-take contracts for crude oil and LNG. Maureen was involved in drafting and negotiating the charter of the “MOL FSRU Challenger” on behalf of shipowners for the Hong Kong Offshore LNG Terminal Project.  

Qualified to practise law in Singapore, England and Wales, Maureen sits on the advisory board of the NUS Centre for Maritime Law.  She read law at the National University of Singapore, and before becoming a lawyer, worked in the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Maureen was cited in Legal 500 as “a key name for charterparty disputes, carriage of goods by sea and cargo claims”, and complimented for being “proactive, clear and fast in analysing specific points”.

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Chen Zhida

Director,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Zhida heads our Commodities Practice Group. He has an active practice in litigation and arbitration, with a specialisation in disputes regarding shipping and international trade. Besides regularly appearing in the Singapore courts, he also acts as counsel in international arbitrations. Zhida is qualified to practise law in Singapore and England and Wales. 

Zhida read law at the National University of Singapore graduating with First Class Honours and was also awarded with a number of academic prizes, including Oxford University Press Law Prize, Law Society of Singapore Prize, and the Koh Han Kok Prize. He also has a Masters of Law in International Legal Studies from New York University. Zhida is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law. 

Prior to joining private practice, Zhida was a Justices’ Law Clerk with the Supreme Court of Singapore.  

Zhida is fluent in English and Mandarin. 

“Chen Zhida is highly responsive despite regularly being in court. He has developed real tactical nous and a commanding demeanour in courtrooms, crystallised in his ability to present legal problems and solutions in clear and simple terms” 
Legal 500 

“He is user-friendly and gives clear, commercial advice” 
Chambers, Asia-Pacific 
 

“He is extremely intelligent and client-centric.” 
Chambers, Asia-Pacific 
 
“Strong legal acumen combined with a strong commercially minded approach. The combination of both traits are very rare in the legal world” 
AsiaLaw
 
“Very proactive in client management. Gives confidence that the lawyer is on top of the client's concerns” 
Benchmark Litigation

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Lynette Koh

Director,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Lynette’s expertise is in corporate banking and finance law. Lynette was legal counsel at two large international banks. Just before joining Helmsman, she was Head of Legal and Business Administration at Mizuho Bank, Ltd., in charge of corporate banking business in Singapore and the region. Lynette has deep expertise in the funding needs and structures across a wide spectrum of industries. She has worked on the full range of commodities and trade financing transactions with major trading houses across the world. Lynette is one of few Singapore lawyers who also has expertise in derivatives and structured products, including ISDA documentation. 

Besides her corporate inhouse experience, Lynette also spent a decade as a litigator specialising in banking and financing disputes, corporate insolvencies and debt restructuring at one of the largest law firms in Singapore. 

Lynette’s perspectives and experience as Head of Legal at an international bank and as a dispute lawyer make her a rare commodity amongst transactional corporate banking and finance lawyers.

Lynette was one of the two inaugural recipients of the Singapore Academy of Law Post-Qualification Overseas Attachment Award – set up to expose deserving lawyers to the best practices in litigation or arbitration. She spent time in London working alongside renowned Queen's Counsels with established banking practices.   

In her free time, Lynette runs a free legal clinic at the Singapore Association for the Deaf.

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Una Khng

Director,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Una heads our Commercial Disputes Practice Group. Her practice covers both domestic and international disputes across a broad spectrum - including complex financial structured products, cryptocurrencies, joint venture and shareholder disputes, breaches of trusts, contract, fraud, misrepresentation, white-collar crime and judicial review, amongst others. Una is experienced in litigation and arbitration – having appeared in the Singapore courts and international arbitrations (including SIAC, ICC, LCIA). She also advises clients on contentious and non-contentious matters.

She is a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. She is also a member of the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee.

Una began her career as a Justices’ Law Clerk in the Supreme Court of Singapore. After completing her clerkship, she went on to establish a disputes resolution practice at one of the largest law firms in Singapore.

Una has held appointments as District Judge and Assistant Registrar at the Supreme Court of Singapore – where she presided over civil hearings, and managed cases in the Companies, Insolvency, Trusts and Arbitration cluster. In April 2019, Una was appointed Deputy Divisional Registrar of the SICC.

Una was an integral member of the team behind the establishment of the Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”). She was also involved in the Court of Appeal Registry and the Secretariat of the Rules of Court Working Party.

Una read law at the University of Cambridge, graduating with First-Class Honours, and later obtained her MA from the university. She was named valedictorian of her Graduate Diploma of Singapore Law class at the National University of Singapore. She also won the prize for Commercial Practice in the Singapore Bar examinations.

Una has taught at the law schools of the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University.

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Matthew Teo

Director,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Matthew began his career in the largest legal practice in Singapore dedicated to banking and financing disputes, corporate insolvencies, business advisory, workouts and debt restructuring. He has advised and acted in practically all major shipping and oil-related restructurings and insolvencies in the past 10 years resulting from the downturn in the shipping and oil industry. 

Besides restructuring and insolvency, Matthew also specialises in shareholders’ disputes, directors’ duties and employment law - both contentious disputes, as well as advisory work on strategic and commercial issues. Matthew also routinely advises on security arrangements as well as insolvency risks on transactional matters.

Employment law is another area of Matthew’s specialisation. He often advises on restrictive covenants, contentious terminations of employment and non-contentious aspects such as drafting employment contracts and disciplinary policies.  Matthew acts regularly in employment disputes, and has been involved in high profile employment disputes in Singapore.

In 2017, the Supreme Court of Singapore appointed Matthew as amicus curiae under the prestigious Young Amicus Curiae Scheme. He assisted the Supreme Court as amicus curiae in a landmark decision on the registrability of contractual liens in charterparty contracts in the Diablo Fortune case. 

Matthew graduated summa cum laude amongst the pioneer batch of law students from the Singapore Management University, and was awarded a number of academic prizes during his time there. Unlike many lawyers, Matthew reads (and understands) financial statements as he also has a Bachelor of Business Management (Finance Major), from the Singapore Management University.

Matthew was cited in Legal 500 as a "highly rated lawyer". 

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Jonathan Tan

Director,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

An up-and-coming shipping and commodities lawyer, Jonathan has been involved in several landmark cases arising from insolvency of shipping and trading companies. Pragmatic and commercially minded, he is focused on finding efficient and effective solutions to address clients’ concerns.

Jonathan’s practice is focused on shipping and international trade – both disputes and advisory – ranging from commodities trading, trade finance, documentary credits, cargo claims, charter parties, ship sale and purchase to mortgage enforcement.

Equally adept at Chinese, Jonathan has represented and advised Chinese clients in court proceedings, arbitrations and non-contentious matters.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the National University of Singapore, and began his career in a leading shipping and commodity law practice.

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Constance Leong

Counsel,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Constance is a corporate, banking and finance lawyer.

She acts for large multi-national corporations, finance banks, ship owners, lessors and operators in a wide range of financing, and sale and leaseback transactions. Constance also regularly advises clients in banking and financial transactions involving loan and security documentation, and in corporate transactions, in relation to mergers and acquisitions, shareholder matters, service level agreements and commercial contracts.

Prior to joining Helmsman LLC, Constance was a legal counsel at Mizuho Bank, Ltd., where she worked on banking and finance matters, such as bilateral and syndicated financing agreements, trade finance agreements, documentary credits, participation agreements and bank-to-bank financing agreements, amongst others.

She is an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. Constance read law at the Singapore Management University.

Constance is fluent in English and Mandarin.

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Peter Huang

Counsel,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Peter is one of the leading shipping juniors in his batch, with a stellar track record both academically and professionally. Specialising in shipping and trade related dispute resolution, he regularly appears before the Singapore court in complex and high profile cases, and has extensive experience acting in arbitrations under the rules of SIAC, SCMA, LMAA, LCIA, ICC, CIETAC, AIAC. He also advises on disputes in other jurisdictions, including Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. In addition to his forte in shipping and trade, Peter is amongst a small circle of lawyers with real, first-hand knowledge and experience of the inner workings of the web3 industry, through his secondment and advisory work to a suite of clients in the entire life cycle of the blockchain and crypto industry.

At the National University of Singapore, Peter was awarded the M. Karthigesu Memorial Gold Medal for top shipping student, as well as the Maritime Law Association of Singapore Prize in Carriage of Goods by Sea. Peter pursued a further LLM degree at NUS and graduated as the top student of his cohort. He was a seasoned mooter and a member of the team which clinched the world champion in the 2015 Jean Pictet moot on international humanitarian law. Peter continues to coach mooting at NUS Law and is a guest lecturer at the Centre of Excellence International Trading at the Nanyang Technological University.

Peter is native Chinese and effectively bilingual, and deeply understands the Chinese culture and legal landscape. Before joining Helmsman, Peter worked as a solicitor in a leading international shipping firm, where he obtained qualification to practise English law, on top of his Singapore qualification.

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Kim Shi Yin

Counsel,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Kim is a commercial litigator. Besides shipping and commodity disputes, she routinely acts for clients in a broad spectrum of commercial disputes, including shareholders and company-related disputes, insolvency and employment law. Kim has represented clients in all levels of the Singapore courts as well as in arbitrations under the SIAC, UNCITRAL and SCMA Rules. 
 
Kim read law at Singapore Management University on an ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship awarded by the Singapore Government. She also obtained a second major in International and Asian Studies. Kim graduated Cum Laude (With Distinction). Her academic awards include, Dean List for Meritorious Performance and the Bird & Bird Prize for her research paper on international sales. Kim is also an accomplished mooter. She represented SMU at the 13th Willem C. Vis East International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Hong Kong, where they emerged First Runners-Up. 
 
Kim is fluent in English, Mandarin and Malay. She is an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

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Lester Ho

Senior Associate,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Lester’s practice focuses on corporate and commercial law. He had practised in leading international and local firms and started his legal career as a Justices’ Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Singapore. He regularly advises on contentious and non-contentious matters across a range of industries. Lester also acts for clients in shipping, commercial, and corporate disputes. He has deep experience in advising startups, institutional investors, and sovereign funds on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, and early-stage venture capital transactions.

Just before joining Helmsman, Lester was part of a legaltech startup headquartered in the UK focussed on automating and accelerating early-stage fundraising and corporate growth. Lester spearheaded the product-development efforts in Asia Pacific. He is one of a handful of lawyers in Singapore with firsthand experience in navigating legal, technical, and commercial quandaries of expanding a startup into new markets.

Lester’s professional experience is established on an outstanding academic foundation. Lester read law at the National University of Singapore, graduating as the Valedictorian of his LLB cohort, securing multiple academic awards including the Best Undergraduate Researcher Prize and the Wong Peng Koon Prize for his research paper on trusts and equitable compensation. He further obtained his graduate law degree, Bachelor of Civil Law (with distinction) from the University of Oxford and  was awarded the law faculty prize for being the top student in the Law and Computer Science course. During the Singapore Bar examinations, he was also awarded the prize for being the best student in the Advanced Corporate Practice course.

Lester is qualified to practise in Singapore, and England and Wales. He is proficient in English and Mandarin.

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Ong Chin Ngee

Senior Associate,
Helmsman LLC

Chin Ngee is a well-rounded non-contentious lawyer with broad-based experiences. She regularly advises on public and private mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity and capital markets transactions. She drafts and advises on legal documentation in English and Chinese.

Chin Ngee is also experienced in fund-raising projects, from early-stage company formation to late-stage venture capital financings to IPOs and beyond. She routinely advise clients on diverse corporate matters, including day-to-day company law and employment matters, commercial contracts, joint ventures, continuing listing obligations and corporate actions.

Prior to joining Helmsman, Chin Ngee trained and practised at leading local and international law firms. She read law at Singapore Management University, where she was placed on the Dean's List. She is also an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/A). Chin Ngee is an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Chin Ngee is proficient in Mandarin and English.

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Iris Ng

Senior Associate,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Iris specialises in commercial disputes. Prior to joining Helmsman, Iris was a Justices’ Law Clerk at the Supreme Court and State Counsel at the Attorney-General's Chambers where she worked on a broad range of contentious matters. Iris obtained her LL.M. from Harvard Law School after graduating from Singapore Management University as Valedictorian of her LL.B. cohort. She was the recipient of several academic prizes, including Dean’s Scholar Prizes for international trade law and the international law of the sea, and the Bird & Bird Prize for her research paper on commercial conflict of laws. 

Iris also excelled outside of academia. She was placed First in essay competitions organized by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (2021) and Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (2021), and Second in an essay competition organized by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (2019). 

Iris is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. She is qualified to practise Singapore and English law. 

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Ahmad Noorfahmy

Senior Associate,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Fahmy graduated from Singapore Management University with a Bachelor of Laws - Magna Cum Laude (with great distinction).  Fahmy is experienced in a wide-spectrum of shipping and commodity trading matters, both contentious and transactional. He was also awarded a Distinction for Advanced Corporate Practice in his Singapore Bar exams. Fahmy is effectively bilingual, fluent in Malay and English.

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Leanne Cheng

Senior Associate,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Leanne specialises in shipping, international trade and commodities disputes. She has represented clients in the Singapore courts as well as in arbitrations under the rules of the SIAC, ICC, LCIA and LMAA.

Prior to joining Helmsman, she was at the Supreme Court of Singapore, first as a Justices’ Law Clerk and then as Assistant Registrar. As Assistant Registrar, she heard and managed a wide variety of civil cases, appeals and applications in the Shipping, Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Tax cluster.

Leanne read law at the National University of Singapore, graduating with First Class Honours. She was placed on the Overall Dean’s List for academic distinction based on 4 years of undergraduate studies. She was also awarded the Tan Sook Yee Prize in Property Law and  the Singapore Mediation Centre Prize for Mediation. She placed Joint 3rd position in her Singapore Bar exams, having been awarded three Distinctions including a Distinction in Civil Litigation Practice.

Leanne is an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. She is also an Accredited Mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre.

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Sherry Ng

Associate,
Tang & Co. Hong Kong

Sherry specialises in commercial and shipping disputes. She regularly acts for clients in charterparty and ship sale and purchase disputes. She has represented clients in the Hong Kong courts as well as in international arbitrations under LMAA and HKIAC Rules.

Prior to joining Helmsman, Sherry was an associate at one of the leading independent law firms in Hong Kong, where she routinely handled broad spectrum of disputes in areas of fraud, company and employment matters.

Sherry read law at the University of Warwick. She obtained her Postgraduate Certificate in Laws with Dean’s List award at the City University of Hong Kong.

She is qualified as a solicitor in Hong Kong and England and Wales.

Sherry is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. 

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Natalie Ng

Associate,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Natalie is a specialist dispute lawyer experienced in commercial litigation and international arbitration, focusing on shareholder, corporate and insolvency related disputes.

She has represented clients in all levels of the Singapore courts, and acted in major local and cross-border insolvencies across various industries including civil engineering, shipping and oil. Prior to joining Helmsman, Natalie trained and practised at leading dispute resolution practices in Singapore. 

Natalie read law at the National University of Singapore, where she excelled academically. She was placed on the Dean’s List while maintaining a healthy portfolio of extra-curricular activities. She represented the university in and among others, the Monroe E Price Media Law Moot Court Competition and Stetson International Moot Court Competition. Natalie is qualified as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Natalie is fluent in Mandarin and English.

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Chloe Chan

Associate,
Helmsman LLC

Chloe Chan is a specialist shipping and commodities lawyer. At the start of her legal career, she was a trainee solicitor at an established commercial law firm in Hong Kong with presence in Mainland China and in Japan. Prior to joining Helmsman, Chloe practised law at a boutique shipping law firm in Hong Kong. 

She is experienced in a full range of shipping and commodities trading disputes, including charterparties and bills of lading disputes. She has represented clients in Hong Kong court proceedings as well as arbitrations under various institutional rules, including the LMAA and HKIAC.

Chloe was awarded the School of Law Admission Scholarship to pursue her Bachelor of Laws at the City University of Hong Kong.

Chloe is a registered Foreign Lawyer in Singapore and a qualified Solicitor in Hong Kong and England & Wales. Chloe is effectively trilingual in Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese and English.

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Marisa Tse

Head of Corporate Communications,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Marisa looks after our business development. She was previously employed by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat in Singapore as a programme executive and a leading shipping law practice where she was a senior legal executive in ship finance.

Marisa was admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland as a lawyer, and holds a dual Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) degree from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Marisa is proficient in Cantonese and English. 

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Low Tak Hay

Trainee Solicitor,
Tang & Co. Hong Kong

Tak Hay read law at University College London (LLB) graduating with First Class Honours. He subsequently joined Helmsman after completing his Postgraduate Certificate in Laws at the City University of Hong Kong in 2023.

Tak Hay has completed several internships at law firms and mini pupillages at chambers in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Helmsman, he was the Assistant Disciplinary Manager of The Hong Kong Chartered Governance Institute.

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Eleanor Wong

Counsel (Special Projects),
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Eleanor works on special projects involving highly complex, multi-disciplinary, cross-jurisdictional disputes and transactions. She started her career with the Commercial Affairs Department in Singapore, prosecuting complex commercial and securities frauds, a role that gained her national prominence. After her stint with the Commercial Affairs Department, she  joined international law firms Coudert Brothers and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where she  built a successful practice in international financial transactions. There, she helmed ground-breaking projects, such as challenging regional financial sector restructuring in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.  In 2002, she returned to her alma mater, the National University of Singapore, to launch the Law Faculty’s Legal Skills Programme as its Director. She is also Co-ordinator of the Faculty’s International Moots Programme, and currently serves as Vice Dean, Student Life & Global Relations and Director of the Centre for Pro Bono and Clinical Legal Education.

Eleanor is a recognised thought-leader in pedagogy and the mentor of a generation of young lawyers. She also happens to be an accomplished playwright.

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Cristina Bernasconi

Consultant,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Cristina has practised law in the energy and commodity sector since 2004 – at a major Swiss utility company, a European investment bank and an oil and gas conglomerate. She established her own legal consultancy firm in London in 2015.

Fluent in Italian, English, German, French and Spanish, Cristina has considerable experience in cross-border transactions.

Admitted to the New York and Zurich bars, Cristina holds a degree from Zurich University law school and an LLM in international law from George Washington University.

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Djakhongir Saidov

Consultant,
Helmsman LLC Singapore

Professor Saidov specialises in international commercial law, having joined The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London in August 2015 as Professor of Commercial Law. His expertise lies in the law of the international sale of goods, international commercial law instruments, remedies for breach of contract and law governing international oil and gas operations.

A consultant to Helmsman, he is the Editor of the English Sale of Goods Law section in the LMCLQ Yearbook of International Maritime and Commercial Law, and, an Academic Fellow at the Centre for Maritime Law in the National University of Singapore.

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