Nick Francis

Nick is a Partner with Kennedys Legal Solutions in Singapore and is also a Partner in our Hong Kong office. He is qualified in England, Hong Kong and New Zealand, and speaks conversational Mandarin and Japanese.

Nick has been recognised as a leading shipping and international trade lawyer, having extensive cross-border experience, with over 20 years in Asia - having lived and worked in Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Although based in Singapore, the majority of his clients are in North Asia – particularly Japan and Korea, but also Hong Kong, Taiwan and the PRC.

Nick handles the full range of dry shipping disputes, as well as ship construction and ship sale and purchase disputes. He handles arbitrations in London, Singapore and Hong Kong – including as counsel. His clients includes P&I insurers, owners, operators and marine insurers.

Nick regularly speaks at seminars and has been recognised as one of the top Shipping and Maritime Law practitioners in Singapore by Best Lawyers 2021. He has also been recognised as "one of the names to note" by Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

Nick Francis is "very sharp, hands-on and always on top of what is going on, and will go to great lengths in order to get a positive outcome for his clients."

Chambers Asia Pacific 2021

Market recognition

  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Shipping: Foreign Firms (Singapore)'
    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021
  • Notable Practitioner for 'Shipping international: Litigation (Singapore)'
    Nick Francis is "very sharp, hands-on and always on top of what is going on, and will go to great lengths in order to get a positive outcome for his clients."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2021
  • Notable Practitioner for 'Shipping international: Litigation (Singapore)'
    Nick Francis advises clients on a full range of dry shipping disputes, including shipbuilding disputes and sale and purchase disputes. He regularly advises insurance companies on shipping-related matters.
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2020
  • A Recommended Lawyer for 'Shipping: Foreign Firms (Singapore)' 
    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020
  • A client notes that he "is very pragmatic and straight to the point, I like the fact that he never tries to drag things out unnecessarily and is very knowledgeable in his field." Another client highlights his "expertise, efficient work and customer-oriented approach."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2019
  • Singapore-based Nick Francis is praised as “quick and responsive, and he has a good rapport with his clients”.
    Chambers Asia Pacific
  • Described by sources as a "very perceptive, commercial and cost-effective" practitioner, who is well known for his regional shipping litigation capabilities.
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2018

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for Singaporean Owners in a London Arbitration dispute in relation to a COA recovering in excess of USD 20 million from a large PRC Steelmaker.
  • Acting for Korean Charterers in multi-party London and Singapore arbitration proceedings up and down the charter chain in relation to an explosion on board a tanker during loading operations.
  • Acting for various NVOCC’s in Hong Kong Court proceedings arising out of the sinking of the MOL COMFORT.
  • Successfully acted for Singaporean Buyers in Hong Kong arbitration proceedings in relation to a cancellation dispute with a PRC shipyard recovering in excess of USD 20 million.
  • Acting for Japanese Owners defending Singapore arbitration proceedings brought by Charterers in relation to high value project cargo that was lost overboard in heavy seas.
Market recognition
  • ap-recommended-lawyer-2021.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

  • APL 500 - 2020 Recommended lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020

  • 2017 - The Legal 500 - EMEA_recommended lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 EMEA 2017

  • 2016_Legal 500_AP 2016_recommended_lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016