Mahesh acts for clients in litigation, international arbitration, construction and investigation matters. He has particular expertise in construction, infrastructure, information technology, telecommunications, oil & gas, shipping and commodities disputes.
Mahesh’s expertise has been recognised by several publications. The Asia Pacific Legal 500 recommends Mahesh for International Arbitration and Projects & Energy (2019 edition). He won the Young Lawyer of the Year Award at the Asian Legal Business SE Asia Law Awards 2019. He is ranked as a Future Leader by Who’s Who Legal (Investigations) in 2018 and 2019, and by the Global Arbitration Review in 2016. He has been praised by clients for being a lawyer who “is quick on his feet, pays attention to detail and is clear and concise in his explanations”. Asialaw ranked him as a Leading Lawyer in Dispute Resolution & Litigation in 2017 and 2018. Asia Legal Business identified Mahesh as an outstanding young lawyer in the “40 under 40” survey in 2018 and the Singapore Business Review selected Mahesh as one of the most influential lawyers under 40 in 2017.
In 2014, Mahesh was selected by the Supreme Court to be placed in the Young Amicus Curiae list and he appeared as amicus curiae in a High Court matter involving money laundering.
Mahesh’s experience also includes stints at two ‘magic circle’ barristers’ chambers, Fountain Court Chambers (as a Singapore Academy of Law Scholar) and Essex Court Chambers (as the first winner of the Essex Court Singapore moots), where he worked on complex commercial litigation and arbitration matters.
Mahesh graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) as a Shaw Foundation Scholar. He earned an LL.M. in International Arbitration & Litigation from University College London (UCL) where he represented the United Kingdom as an oralist in the UCL team that was the runner-up in the prestigious Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
For his pro bono work and increasing access to justice, Mahesh was highlighted as one of Asia-Pacific’s Innovative Lawyers at The Financial Times’ annual FT Innovative Lawyers Asia-Pacific 2018 awards. He was also shortlisted for the 2018 IBA Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for his pro bono representation of accused persons facing the death penalty in Singapore and civil party victims before the United Nations Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
Mahesh has handled various high profile matters. Here are just a few:
- Industrial boiler dispute in Thailand - Represented a Malaysian public-listed company in a US$21 million ICC arbitration, where Thai law applied, against a Thai public-listed company over the design, construction and commissioning of an industrial steam boiler for the palm oil industry.
- Maritime accident in the South China Sea - Represented a €6 billion Norwegian company in a US$20 million maritime arbitration, where Swiss law and Chinese law applied, against a Chinese public-listed company for project delays arising from a tug and tow accident in the South China Sea. The dispute involved issues of seaworthiness of vessels, obligations under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 and gross negligence.
- Disputes over the design, installation and operation of a nationwide telecommunications network - Represented a leading multinational information technology and telecommunication company in an SIAC arbitration against the telecommunication of a Malaysian conglomerate over contractual disputes relating to the design, commissioning and operation of a telecommunication network, and the supply of hardware and software.
- Litigation involving SEA’s largest pipe trading company - Representing the Managing Director and a shareholder of Southeast Asia’s largest oil pipe trading company in a complex S$100 million dispute resulting in 5 suits involving 7 sets of solicitors.
- Maritime telecommunications network dispute - Represented a Filipino public listed company in an ICC arbitration against an American multinational corporation over a dispute involving the setup of a voice and data telecommunications network for maritime vessels and seafarers.
The Asia Pacific Legal 500
International Arbitration 2019 – Recommended lawyer (debut)
Projects & Energy 2019 - Recommended lawyer (debut)
“wonderfully engaging to deal with and has an incredibly relaxed manner”
Asian Legal Business SE Asia Law Awards 2019
Young Lawyer of the Year- Mahesh Rai
Asian Legal Business
Identified as one of 40 bright legal minds in the region under the age of 40 – “40 Under 40 list” (October 2018 issue)
Financial Times Innovative Lawyers APAC 2018 awards
Mahesh was commended for his commitment to pro bono advocacy, highlighting his work with HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics) and AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research) that led him to challenge laws that disadvantage migrant and refugee workers.
Who’s Who Legal: Investigations – Future Leaders
Ranked as an eminent lawyer under 45 in the field of investigations, anti-corruption and white-collar crime in the 2018 and 2019 editions.
Mahesh Rai is "truly a leader in this area"… He provides specialist insight into disputes in the telecommunications and energy sectors.
“Mahesh is quick on his feet, pays attention to detail and is clear and concise in his explanations.”
Asialaw Leading Lawyers
Dispute Resolution & Litigation 2018 – Leading lawyer for 2 consecutive years
Global Arbitration Review 9th edition (2016)
A client said Mahesh “expressed a commendable level of personal engagement and was always available to provide support, guidance and direction from start to end.”
Singapore Business Review
Singapore’s 70 most influential lawyers aged 40 and under in 2016 – Listed lawyer
Excellence in Advocacy Award (2012)
Awarded by the Singapore International Arbitration Academy
Winner of Essex Court Chambers-Singapore Academy of Law Moot Competition for Singapore lawyers (2012)