President Biography

Francis Xavier SC PBM C.Arb FCIArb

Regional Head, Disputes Practices

Practice Areas :

  • International Arbitration
  • Treaty Arbitration
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Banking & Finance Disputes
  • Energy & Resources
  • Aviation

Francis was appointed Senior Counsel in January 2009 and practices international commercial and treaty arbitration and litigation. 

He is actively involved in cross-border commercial disputes in the areas of corporate banking, property, financial and investment related claims. He is currently acting in several cases before the Singapore International Court including representing an Australian energy entity in a very substantial dispute against an Indonesian conglomerate, being the very first case to be heard before the SICC.

He also specialises in aviation law and advised in the class-action suit resulting from the crash of the SilkAir flight (Indonesia) and the SIA crash (Taiwan).

Francis is recognised as a leading disputes lawyer – Asia Law Profiles (2017, 2018); Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2014-2018); Ranked Lawyers Chambers Global (2016-2018, 2019); Dispute Resolution Chambers Asia-Pacific (2016-2018); Best Lawyer in Litigation Practice, Best Lawyers International (2015-2017); Global Arbitration Review (2010); Best Litigation Lawyers in Singapore (2013); Asia Law Leading Lawyers (2009).  Francis was also recognised by Asia Business Law Journal 2018 as amongst Singapore’s top 100 lawyers and is the winner of a Business Excellence Award (2019) issued by Corporate Insider, the Gateway to the World of Business; and named as a dispute resolution star by Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific (2019).  He is recently ranked as a leading disputes lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific (2020); Labour, Employment & Benefits, Who’s Who Legal (2016, 2018, 2019); Who’s Who Legal : Arbitration (2020); The Best Lawyers (2020) Edition Singapore.  He has appeared as counsel and has acted as arbitrator (both party appointed and presiding) in a large number of arbitrations (both ad hoc and administered arbitrations including by ICSID, ICC, SIAC, AIAC, HKIAC and BANI).

Francis has acted for a number of parties in treaty disputes (including several Asian governments).  He is currently sitting as party-nominated arbitrator of a Mauritius entity in a bilateral investment treaty (ICSID) dispute with the government of India.  He is presently assisting several Asian governments in setting up their international arbitration framework.

He is the President of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association and President, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK).  He is a Chartered Arbitrator and also a Past Chairman of the Singapore branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK). 

He is the General Editor of two major publications - “Civil Litigation in Singapore” (Sweet & Maxwell, 2017) and “Arbitration in Singapore : A Practical Guide” (2nd Edition, Sweet & Maxwell, 2018).  He is a member of the Rules Committee, Singapore Academy of Law.

He has been re-appointed to the Singapore Appeal Advisory Panels (constituted under the Business Trusts Act, Financial Advisers Act, Insurance Act, Securities and Futures Act and Trust Companies Act) by Deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam for a further 2-year term (1 October 2019 to 30 September 2021).

He is the Chairman of the Listings Appeals Committee, Singapore Stock Exchange and Chairman of the Inquiry Panel of the Law Society of Singapore.  He is a member of the Rules Committee, Singapore Academy of Law.


Francis Xavier S.C., PBM, C.Arb