Augustine Liew

Consultant & Head of Admiralty
Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore
Barrister-At-Law, England & Wales (Inner Temple)
Senior Accredited Specialist (Maritime & Shipping Law), Singapore Academy of Law

Tel: +65 6305 9074 / +65 9853 2418

Augustine is a Consultant & Head of Admiralty in Incisive Law.

Gus’ work comprises mainly all aspects of dry shipping and wet admiralty matters and related matters, including advisory work, court action, meditation and arbitration work, involving disputes concerning ship collisions, tug and tow incidents, oil pollutions, ship sinking, ship CTL/ATL, groundings, containers overboard, shipboard fires, cargo damage/loss, general average, salvage, charterparty issues, ship sale & purchase issues, bunker claims, shipyard work, shipmanagement issues, oil shortage and contamination claims, mortgage enforcements, crew injuries and fatal accidents, limitation actions and ship arrests. Other work which he has done include matters of general insurance, air cargo claims and general commercial litigation.

He assisted the Temasek Polytechnic to introduce subject of admiralty to their diploma course for para-legals, organised the course in Admiralty, lectured, tutored in the course and was the course examiner (1996-1997). In 2004, Gus was also a Guest Lecturer in the National Technological University MSc Degree Course for the Shipping Management Modules I and II (2004-2005) and lectured on the subjects of Admiralty Jurisdiction and Sovereign Immunity, Ship Registration, Limitation of Liability, Marine Insurance and Oil Pollution. He was also a trainer at the Wavelink Academy founded by the NTUC and SMOU. He has delivered papers at the Thai Shipping Association Conferences regularly.

Until year 2015, he tutored the Admiralty subject in the Practice Law Course of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education. More recently from 2018 onwards he taught and tutored the marine insurance subject of the Maritime & Shipping Specialist Accreditation Course organised by the Singapore Academy of Law and is an examiner for the subject.

Highlight matters include:

  • Neptank III – The first case in Singapore on oil pollution where the Owners of ship carrying oil in bulk had successfully invoked limitation under the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution) Act, 1985 Edition (now repealed).
  • MT Song San – Represented shipowner in a huge case of oil pollution, and of major public interest where, at the conclusion of the matter, the local newspaper disclosed the workings of sophisticated tracking systems of the MPA via satellite.
  • MV Patraikos II [2002] SGHC 103 – (Cargo claims value about USD23,000,000.00) Represented shipowners and the P&I Club in a case of serious grounding of the vessel off Horsburgh Lighthouse, involving claims from holders of more than 50 bills of lading, claims of tonnage limitation of liability and claims in relation to general average. Landmark decision in Singapore involving issues of competence of the officer on watch traversing aspects of passage planning, navigation, crew training and certification etc. This matter went through more than 100 interlocutory applications enroute to trial.
  • MV Marina Iris [2007] 1 Lloyds Rep. 66 – Represented shipowner in a marine hull and machinery insurance matter in which a tug sank during her voyage from Kobe to Singapore. The case went to the Court of Appeal and involved issues of Mixed policy vs. time policy, Express warranties and warranty surveyor, Routeing, Unseaworthiness and privity & Perils of the sea.
  • Scandinavian Bunkering Pte Ltd v MISC – Llitigation in Malaysia representing the bunker supplier, involving a fixed price bunker contract of value about USD 26,000,000.00, all the way to the highest appeal court.
  • MV Hansa Brandenburg – Represented Charterer and its P&I Club to obtain decree of limitation under the LLMC 1976 following a fire casualty. This is the first case in Singapore to be permitted to constitute the limitation fund by a P&I Club Letter of Undertaking. Limitation fund value about SGD6,000,000.00.
  • Explosion and fire at a waste disposal plant in Singapore. Represented the Assured in a Claim for indemnity under insurance policy. Value about SGD8,000,000.00.
  • MV Maersk Honam – Represented Shipowner and P&I Club in a fire casualty of recent times noted for its horrific consequences and Classification Societies to seek to introduce advanced fire detection and fire-fighting facilities for ship which would carry a special notation.
  • Re An Arbitration In Singapore – An arbitration in Singapore representing shipowner involving disputes over loss and damage to 52 containers off Cape Town and novel points in relation to clause 8 of the NYPE charterparty Form and the Inter-Club Agreement 1996.
  • Re An LMAA Arbitration In London – Representing the Seller of a newbuilding (ship) in a sale and purchase dispute of about USD34,000,000.00, going through a full-blown London arbitration.

Education (University):

  • LLB (Hons) University of Wales (UWIST)

Professional Associations and Memberships:

The Singapore Academy of Law
The Law Society of Singapore
Qualified as Barrister-at-Law, England & Wales (Inner Temple)

Awards, Memberships & Publications:

  • Received the Cecil Fifoot Common Law Prize from UWIST
  • Authored the chapter on the subject of “Arrest of Ships in Singapore” in the IBA Maritime Law Handbook (2005 to current)
  • Authored the chapter on the subject of limitation of liability under Singapore laws in the book “Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims” by Patrick Griggs, Richard Williams and Jeremy Farr (LLP, 4th Edition 2005)
  • Contributor to the practitioners’ publication, “Singapore Precedents of Pleadings” (Sweet & Maxwell Asia, 2006)
  • Editor for Halsbury’s Laws of Singapore Vol. 40 (Carriers) (Current)