Wole Olufunwa, FCIArb

Director and Head of Africa Practice,
Tel: +65 6505 3456

Wole is Director of Incisive and an experienced contentious lawyer with strong drafting expertise.

Wole is an industry focused legal expert on matters relating to the shipping/energy offshore/international trade and investment sectors. Of recent note, Wole has become a recognised international legal expert on matters pertaining to IMO 2020 including drafting of contracts and dealing with bunker contamination/quality disputes. Within the context of arbitration, Wole advises on both English and Singapore law, is a regular on the lecture circuit and is a prolific author of legal articles and bulletins most recently co-authoring the Shipping Law Review 6th edition (Singapore Chapter). Wole’s international practice spans several select jurisdictions which includes China, West Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Wole is a dual British and Nigerian citizen who qualified in England and Wales in 2008.

Prior to joining the firm in December 2019, Wole worked in the Shipping Offshore & Logistics department of a large international firm in Singapore where he had been based since 2010.

Wole has over a decade’s worth of experience advising on and managing international arbitrations typically governed by SCMA, LMAA, SIAC, ICC, GAFTA, LCIA Rules or Ad Hoc Rules generally with seats in Singapore and London.

Wole plays a key role in the development of the firm’s West African international business where he has a strong network of local clients and contacts. He is also the Founder and President of the SALI Club (Singapore-Africa Law & Investment).

Wole’s clients include miners, P&I Clubs, shipowners, ship-yards, chartering operators, energy offshore contractors as well as large and mid-sized bulk commodity traders. Wole has particular expertise with coal commodity arbitrations having handled numerous arbitrations over the past few years.

Wole has undertaken 3 secondments:

  • Shell/STASCO (London): Wole acted as legal counsel undertaking drafting of mid and downstream oil and gas contracts.
  • Shipowners P&I Club (Singapore): Wole undertook claims handling duties dealing with, inter alia, cargo claims, collisions, chartering, bill of lading disputes and drafting of offshore Supplytime and bespoke Floating Crane contracts. 
  • Rio Tinto (Singapore): Wole acted as sole legal counsel for the marine division whilst also assisting the iron ore sales and marketing team.

Wole was recently appointed as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the UK.

Highlight matters include:

  • Acting for Indonesian coal miner in a life of mine pricing and contract review arbitration against an Australian mining contractor. The dispute was worth over US$350m.*
  • Acting for a substantial Hong Kong shipowner in a shipping pool dispute against a German operator. The dispute was worth over US$10m. *
  • Instructed and handled 5 separate arbitrations for medium sized Indian coal traders in relation to coal delivery, quality and quantity disputes. Each arbitration involved disputed sums in excess of US$2.5m. *
  • Acting for Nigerian EPC contractors against a Malaysian ship-yard in relation to a ship building dispute conducted under the auspices of the SIAC Rules. The dispute was worth over US$20m.*
  • Acting for a Singaporean conglomerate against a Nigerian bank in respect of a dispute arising under a corporate guarantee worth over US$5m. *
  • Acted for a Singaporean company in relation to a banking and currency dispute in Angola. *
  • Acted for Charterers in a charterparty dispute (the “Achilleas”) which reached the House of Lords addressing the English law position on remoteness of damages. The case settled the question of recoverable damages in circumstances where a vessel is redelivered late under a time charter.

** Matters handled prior to joining the firm.


LLM in Maritime Law & International Environmental Law (Merit), University College London
BA Classics (2:1), University College London
GDL (Merit) & LPC, BPP Law School, London

Professional Associations and Memberships:

Member of The Law Society of England & Wales
President of the SALI Club
CIArb Membership