Singapore Branch - Shipping, The Law and Life: A dialogue with Jude Benny

Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2018

Singapore Branch - Shipping, The Law and Life: A dialogue with Jude Benny

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On Thursday night the branch hosted Dato' Jude Benny for the January bi-monthly presentation program at the SSA on Tuas Street. A mixed audience of members and guests attended the event, including representatives of the Institute London Head Quarters, Julie Lithgow (Director), Matt Gilbert (Head of Business & Partnerships) and Robert Hill FICS (Head of Membership) visiting the Singapore Branch during the week.

The audience was well entertained by the speaker who addressed "Shipping, The Law and Life" with his own inimitable style. Jude has true passion for his profession and discussed the topic in a punchy, informative and energetic way leaving few unclear of just how deep that passion runs.

We knowingly smiled inwardly as we learnt how, like many of us, he fell into his career, not being shipping educated, but taking advantage of an opening in the shipping team within his then employer (Drew & Napier) to find role fulfilment. Called to the Bar in Singapore in 1983 before many of those present started their shipping careers, he told of how Singapore through the offices of amongst others, the MPA, has striven to create the centre of excellence for shipping that we now enjoy the benefits of. From the early days of policy making and hard decisions on direction and indeed how to convince industry players that Singapore offered the facilities to develop a first class business opportunity; to today where whilst the job is far from finished, we can at least reflect on the fact that Singapore is now seen as a choice destination for shipowners, brokers, traders, charterers, operators, insurers, arbitrators, lawyers and barristers, and all manner of other support functions due in no small part to its stability, depth of expertise, educated and knowledgeable workforce and of course, location.

Whilst singing the praises for what has been achieved on our little red dot, Jude repeatedly reminded us of the importance of avoiding complacency, of remaining humble in our lives and most importantly that to ensure the longevity of our success, to remain steadfast honest and incorruptible. In the last few days we have read of incidents in the press both maritime and national relating to claims of cargo theft at one of the oil terminals in the port. Timely indeed, and welcome to see that the authorities are moving steadily to stamp out such practices that could easily unwind the hard work of the last 40 years by Jude and his peers.

It was a memorable evening and the talk finished with a healthy Q&A session befitting indeed the title 'dialogue', and with many refreshing and honest opinions shared.

Our sincerest thanks are to be extended to Dato' Jude Benny for his talk, to the branch committee for bringing the talk together and to the SSA for generously providing the venue.