New Trade Patterns: It was the perfect storm: a world of pandemic supply chain bottlenecks, jolted by the invasion of Ukraine. Together with the ensuing sanctions and blockades affecting the Black Sea, commodity prices across the board skyrocketed. Energy security and inventory stockpiling became a political necessity as the macro events of the past 2 years have changed the face of international trade more than in recent memory. Russian oil has found new destinations, the renminbi is increasingly prominent in international trade and China’s relentless need for raw materials took a pause with Covid lockdowns. If there is one contracting philosophy that traders had to learn, it is to expect the unexpected. Often overlooked clauses like force majeure clauses are now heavily scrutinized to cover events once thought of as remote – pandemics, port closures, export bans and sanctions. Contracting and credit assessments in a volatile world require far more analysis than ever before as traders are learning there is no such thing as a complete back-to-back contract: relationships are not always linear and even when they are, events affecting your supplier may not necessarily excuse your performance. Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a uniform view on 2023. For most commodities, prices are receding to reflect a fading war premium and a global economy teetering on recession (although some analysts are still bullish on the thirst for “green metals” from a chronically underinvested mining sector). Contracts hurriedly cobbled together in the exuberance of a runaway market, can start to look very different in a recessionary climate. Due Diligence: Ponzi schemes are particularly prevalent in international trade because of the difficulty behind verification of invoices or trades. Receivables can easily be conjured up to give the impression of steroidal growth, with some traders using credit insurance to unlock access to mountains of capital looking for a yield. The recent debacle at FTX serves as a reminder of the many blind-spots when it comes to investing or lending money. There are many inherent human biases at play – the confidence gained from other participants in a deal; the comfort from the face value of financial documents; the reluctance to test numbers or the transaction for fear of missing out and the ability of hype around a company or individual to seduce seemingly sophisticated players. Of the many commodities financing cases that went wrong, it is sometimes bewildering how lenders of hundreds of millions of dollars did not even visit the offices of their borrowers. Digitization: Digitization of international trade is increasingly becoming a reality, with the benefits of fraud reduction, costs efficiency and greater access to liquidity. The laws around digital assets are trying to catchup in a borderless world, where traditional concepts such as jurisdiction, governing law and possession are tested (as seen from early crypto cases). But digital assets in international trade will continue to face headwinds in the absence of uniform laws or practices around its use. Electronic BLs for example now have the same legal status as their paper counterparts with changes or imminent changes to the laws in Singapore and UK but questions remain as how foreign courts would treat such assets and the receptiveness to change old mercantile practices around paper documents. Carbon Credits: The carbon market is at the cross-roads balancing the need to scale with caution over the quality of credits as various bodies jostle to set the standards of carbon credits. Concerns revolve around the issuance, monitoring of underlying projects and subsequent use of credits across fragmented registries, although the introduction of the Climate Action Data Trust in December 2022, holds the potential of reducing multiple use of the same credit by harmonising information across various registries. Carbon claims and offsets are a developing area in need of industry uniformity and legal regulation to facilitate a liquid market.
Our clients are the world’s largest MNCs including mining companies, oil conglomerates and trading houses with head offices listed in Australia, Europe, India and China. We advise traders in metals, minerals and softs on their operations across the world and advise lenders, insurers and borrowers on power, trade and investment structures, defaults and investigations. Bangladesh Power Producer Listed Australian Mining Group Listed European Energy Co. Middle East Oil Producer State Owned Company Global Trade Finance Banks Japanese Oil Trader Trade Finance Fund European Invesment Fund Global Petrochem Company Global Oil Producer/ Trader Indian Steel Producer London Credit Insurer Listed Bangladesh Steel Co. Listed Agri Commodity Trading House Australian Steel Producer European Credit Insurer Swiss Trade Finance Fund Norwegian Maritime Contractor SG Coal Trader
Managing Director Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore Solicitor, England & Wales Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK E: firstname.lastname@example.org Baldev is dual qualified in Singapore and England with more than 15 years of international experience across the world’s leading global law firms. He was previously at UK Energy specialist law firm, Ashurst LLP and US arbitration heavyweight, White & Case, before he set-up Blackstone & Gold in 2019 as Singapore’s first energy and commodities law firm. Baldev is a leading expert in O&G and Commodities and advises on all aspects of the supply chain from trading and trade finance arrangements to international recoveries and arbitration. He is a leading name in trade fraud cases and his views have been featured in the Singapore Business Times, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNA and the Financial Times. He is a regular speaker at the Financial Times Asian Commodities Conference alongside industry titans and ministers as well as a contributing writer to the Singapore Business Times. Baldev is recognised as a trailblazer in the legal sector: he was nominated as Asia’s top “40 under 40” lawyers by Asian Legal Business, as one of 20 rising Singapore legal luminaries in the Singapore Business Review and in Prestige Magazine’s top 40 list of leaders. He is also ranked for his work in international arbitration and trade by the legal directories of Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation and Who’s Who Legal. “Baldev Bhinder is 'exceptional, 'understands the practicalities of international trade', is 'well connected in the commodities market', knows the arbitration process inside and out' and 'instinctively knows where the pressure points are and can map out an effective strategy from the get go” Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 “Baldev is stellar. He is plugged into the cases, the commodities market and has a great instinct for his cases. He is able to measure up his opponent as well as the judge when running the cases.” “Baldev Bhinder is a quality lawyer, who is technically and strategically adept.” Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 “Baldev Bhinder is well known in the market for his commodities work and network. His understanding of international trade is second to none and he brings that expertise to any claim or arbitration” “Baldev Bhinder is the first person I contact if I have a question about the commodity market. He has immense knowledge regarding that topic and he is unquestionably an expert in that field. Whilst I appreciate his technical ability, the thing I admire the most is his integrity and his willingness to help regardless of whether there is a financial incentive. He cares about people and that shows in his work. It is a pleasure to know and deal with him.” Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022
Shortlisted: Legal 500 SEA Awards Intl Arb Firm of the Year Rising Law Firm of the Year Ranked: Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific Ranked: Legal 500 Singapore International Arbitration ‘Customised approach to service levels where you able to engage them for a quick response and timely advice. Both Baldev and Shane Sim are well versed in matters related to our request and go the extra mile to ensure our requests are professionally addressed whether it is a Singapore-related matter or abroad. In present times, where quick turnaround and sound advice is key to our business, our stakeholders are extremely pleased with their level of expertise.’ ~ L500 2022 Ranked: Who's Who Legal Trade & Customs ‘Blackstone & Gold provide a bespoke legal service with a personal touch that some of the bigger law firms can’t match or take for granted. Even when we are not sending B&G cases, they will always look for opportunities to educate us about what is going on in the markets and how to spot potential pitfalls. B&G are simple to deal with, they are flexible in terms of billing and most importantly, they are pragmatic.’ ‘Subject matter expertise is key besides their reach to other legal teams as we manage an international business. Besides the services levels and taking matters as a priority and urgent stands out as a quality compared to others especially when you are dealing with many stakeholders.’ ~ L500 2022 ‘Excellent knowledge of the industry, in particular on commodity-related disputes. Very practical advice.’ ‘We were recommended BG because they are a specialist commodities law firm. They have a strong reputation in the sector and their experience in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia was very helpful to our business.’ ~ L500 2022 ~ L500 2022 ~ L500 2022
Investigations Global Commodities SG Arbitration Hacking / Spoofing Commodities
Receivables Financing Commodities Letters of Indemnity Security Enforcement Oil Trading
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