Karnan is a Partner with Kennedys Legal Solutions who qualified in Singapore and in England and Wales.

Karnan specialises in international arbitration and multi-jurisdictional disputes in the commodities, shipping and marine insurance sectors. Having worked in Asia for over 20 years, he has extensive practical experience handling matters involving jurisdictions across the region. He also speaks and reads Malay and Bahasa Indonesia.

His clients include trading houses, vessel owners / charterers, offshore energy contractors, P&I Clubs and marine insurers. He acts for and advises clients on a range of trade and shipping related matters including those involving commodity sale contracts, offtake agreements, contracts of affreightment, marine insurance, shipping / commodities related derivatives contracts and shipping and trade related fraud. He also assists clients in the shipping, trade and marine insurance sectors with trade sanctions compliance and related regulatory issues.

Karnan regularly represents clients in international arbitrations in London, Singapore and Hong Kong and also appears as Counsel in Singapore Court proceedings.

He is a member of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitrators Procedure Committee and was appointed by the Singapore Academy of Law in January 2020 as a Senior Accredited Specialist in Maritime and Shipping Law in recognition of his extensive expertise and experience in maritime and shipping law.

Karnan is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is on the SCMA Panel of Arbitrators and the SIAC Reserve Panel of Arbitrators.

He has been consistently ranked as a leading individual by Chambers Global and clients describe him as someone who is noted for his "excellent understanding of the shipping industry and the complexities of doing business across the region". In Chambers Asia Pacific, Karnan is described by clients as being "very measured and a calm operator," offers "helpful, practical advice" and is "willing to go the extra mile". In addition, Legal 500 Asia Pacific has identified him as providing "clear and measured responses in difficult situations and under tight deadlines".

Karnan has also been recognised as one of the top legal practitioners in Singapore for Arbitration & Mediation Law and Insurance Law practitioners by Best Lawyers and is identified as a leading lawyer in the category of 'Transport - Shipping' by Who’s Who Legal.

Karnan Thirupathy is highly recommended by clients.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2022

Market recognition


  • Notable practitioner for 'Shipping international: Litigation (Singapore)'
    Karnan Thirupathy is "highly recommended" by clients and regularly assists with both wet and dry shipping matters, including ship detentions and cargo disputes. He is also notably active on arbitration matters.
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2022
  • Leading professional for ‘Transport – Shipping’ (Singapore)
    Who’s Who Legal Transport 2022


  • Notable practitioner for 'Shipping international: Litigation (Singapore)'
    He attracts praise from clients for being "user-friendly, commercially minded, reliable, patient and, most importantly, very technically sound."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2021
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Shipping: Foreign Firms (Singapore)'
    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021
  • Global Leader for ‘Transport – Shipping’ (Singapore)
    Who’s Who Legal Transport 2021


  • Notable practitioner for 'Shipping international: Litigation (Singapore)'
    "Karnan Thirupathy advises on a wide range of shipping disputes, including both wet and dry matters. One client reports: He is straightforward and able to come up with effective case strategies. He provides clear advice and is always calm and gives you the comfort that things are always under control."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2020
  • A Recommended Lawyer for 'Shipping: Foreign Firms (Singapore)' 
    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020


  • Notable practitioner for 'Shipping international: Litigation (Singapore)'
    Karnan Thirupathy, has “a no-fuss and no drama approach to managing disputes, is thoughtful and measured…'
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2019


  • Notable practitioner for 'Shipping international: Litigation (Singapore)'
    Karnan Thirupathy has an “Excellent understanding of the shipping industry and the complexities of doing business across the region”
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2018

Work highlights

  • Acted for a Singapore based energy company and its insurers in relation to claims in the Singapore courts for damage caused by a vessel to pipelines and which involved the establishment of a limitation fund under LLMC 1976.
  • Acted for charterers in multiple arbitration and court proceedings in London, Singapore, Mauritius, Indonesia and the US in disputes arising from the loading of an Indonesian nickel ore cargo and the vessel’s 15 month detention in Indonesia following the implementation of a government restriction on the export of the cargo.
  • Acted for New York listed shipowners in obtaining injunction orders against charterers to freeze over US$60 m in assets in Singapore in aid of London arbitration and Court proceedings.
  • Acted for an international commodities trader in the defence of a series of claims brought in Hong Kong arbitrations by Chinese buyers under coal supply contracts as well as in pursuing related claims against an ex-employee in Indonesia who had fraudulently misappropriated the employers’ contracts and monies.
  • Advised a leading producer and exporter of oleochemicals and biofuels on setting up its internal sanctions compliance procedures and in responding to investigations regarding specific transactions.



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