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  • Wole Olufunwa

    Wole Olufunwa
    Partner, Singapore

    Maritime, International trade & commodity finance, Energy & infrastructure

    T. +65 6538 6660
    M. +65 90110078 (SG) / +65 93658727 (UK)
    D. +65 6505 3456 (SG)

Wole is a Partner and an experienced contentious lawyer with strong drafting expertise.

He is an industry focused legal expert on matters relating to the shipping & logistics, international trade and energy (offshore / mining / LNG) sectors.
Of recent note, Wole has become a recognised international legal expert on matters pertaining to IMO 2020 sulphur regulations including drafting of contracts and dealing with bunker contamination and quality disputes. He also has particularly good experience in advising on and managing joint venture, profit pooling and shareholder disputes centred within the maritime and energy sectors.

Within the context of arbitration, Wole advises on both English and Singapore law, is based in the Singapore office whilst regularly working with and from the London office on his matters. 

Wole’s international practice spans several select jurisdictions which includes Singapore, London, West Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. Of particular note, Wole is spearheading the further development of Ince's West African international business where he has a strong network of local clients (particularly commodity traders and foreign law firms). He is also the Founder and President of the SALI Club (Singapore-Africa Law & Investment).

He is a regular on the lecture circuit and is a prolific author of legal articles and bulletins most recently co-authoring the Shipping Law Review 6th edition (Singapore Chapter).

Wole is a dual British and Nigerian citizen who qualified in England and Wales in 2008.

Prior to joining Ince in December 2019, Wole worked in the Shipping Offshore & Logistics department of a large international firm in Singapore where he had been based since 2010.

Wole has over a decade’s worth of experience advising on and managing international arbitrations typically governed by SCMA, LMAA, SIAC, ICC, GAFTA, LCIA Rules or Ad Hoc Rules generally with seats in Singapore and London.

Wole’s clients include Miners (and their contractors), P&I Clubs, Ship-Owners, Ship-Yards, Chartering Operators, Bunker Traders, Offshore Contractors as well as large and mid-sized Commodity Traders (oil & gas, coal, iron and nickel ore, cement and soft commodities such as rice, wheat, sugar etc.,).

Wole has undertaken 3 secondments:

  • Shell/STASCO (London): Wole acted as legal counsel undertaking drafting of mid and downstream oil and gas contracts.
  • Shipowners P&I Club (Singapore): Wole undertook claims handling duties dealing with, inter alia, cargo claims, collisions, chartering, bill of lading disputes and drafting of offshore Supplytime and  bespoke Floating Crane contracts.
  • Rio Tinto (Singapore): Wole acted as sole legal counsel for the marine division whilst also assisting the iron ore sales and marketing team.

Highlight Matters

  • Acting for Indonesian coal miner in a life of mine pricing and contract review arbitration against an Australian mining contractor. The dispute was worth over US$350m.*
  • Acting for a substantial Hong Kong shipowner in a shipping pool dispute against a German operator. The dispute was worth over US$10m.*  
  • Instructed and handled 5 separate arbitrations for medium sized Indian coal traders in relation to coal delivery, quality and quantity disputes. Each arbitration involved disputed sums in excess of US$2.5m.*
  • Acting for Nigerian EPC contractors against a Malaysian ship-yard in relation to a ship building dispute conducted under the auspices of the SIAC Rules. The dispute was worth over US$20m.*
  • Acting for a Singaporean conglomerate against a Nigerian bank in respect of a dispute arising under a corporate guarantee worth over US$5m.*
  • Acted for a Singaporean company in relation to a banking and currency dispute in Angola.*
  • Acted for Charterers in a charterparty dispute (the “Achilleas”) which reached the House of Lords addressing the English law position on remoteness of damages. The case settled the question of recoverable damages in circumstances where a vessel is redelivered late under a time charter.*

* Matters handled prior to joining Ince

Professional associations & memberships

  • Member of Law Society of England & Wales
  • President of the SALI Club
  • CIArb Membership

What you may not know about Wole

Wole is a former NEC Harlequin U21 rugby player. He is a keen swimmer, improving golfer and fanatic Arsenal FC supporter.

Wole is also an avid supporter of the global charity MTSS (Mission to Seafarers).

Wole is also married and a parent to 2 young and active children.

Maritime, International trade & commodity finance, Energy & infrastructure


Education (University):
LLM in Maritime Law & International Environmental Law (Merit), University College London, BA Classics (2:1), University College London ,GDL (Merit) & LPC – BPP Law School, London