Malaysia

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Adnan Sundra & Low

Active since 1975, Adnan Sundra & Low (ASL) is one of the most well-known names in the Malaysian legal market. The firm’s head office is in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm boasts market-leading banking and finance and capital markets practices and also has well established corporate and M&A and projects practices. Its banking and finance team is one of the largest in Malaysia.

The firm advises across a diverse range of sectors including oil and gas, real estate, construction, transport, renewable energy, technology and telecommunication, and logistics.

 

Key clients

Big-name clients include CapitaLand, Paramount Corporation, PTT Exploration and Production, CIMB Investment Bank, AmInvestment Bank, United Overseas Bank, and RHB Investment Bank.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, in banking and capital markets, the firm was predominantly active on the side of banks, advising on Islamic and conventional debt issuances. A highlight saw the firm advising on the first Shariah-compliant structured transaction in the world to monetise progress billings from multiple development projects.

The M&A team had a standout year with highlights such as advising CapitaLand on the acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge and representing PTT Exploration and Production on acquiring Murphy Oil Corporation’s oil and gas assets in Malaysia.

A staffing change saw the retirement of banking and finance lawyer Dato’ Mohammed Adnan bin Datuk Shuaib, who served as a consultant.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company acquisition of 10% stake in Vitol Tank Terminals International

CapitaLand S$11 billion acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge

CIMB Bank $680 million sustainable development goals bonds issue

Exsim Capital Resources RM2 billion sukuk musharakah

PTT Exploration and Production Public Company $2.13 billion acquisition of Murphy Oil Corporation’s oil and gas assets in Malaysia

Furukawa Electric / Superior Essex joint venture

IJM Land RM2 billion sukuk programme

Petronas Chemicals Group €163 million acquisition of Da Vinci Group

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

“The lawyers at ASL are very responsive and thorough, and we trust them to provide accurate advice and not simply what the client would like to hear.”

 

Capital markets : Debt

“Responsive with good business acumen, high quality of documentation drafting, and appropriate advice with in-depth knowledge on issues at hand.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Able to work within the timeline imposed.”

 

Adrian Chair

“Adrian is responsive, thorough and efficient, and has a strong understanding of the energy industry in Malaysia.”

 

Deepak Sadasivan

“Responsive with in-depth knowledge and practical experience.”

 

Albar & Partners

Active since 1981, Albar & Partners excels in banking and finance and capital markets work and also has strong corporate and project offerings. The firm is located in Kuala Lumpur and is led by Lily Tan Chea Li and Chung Swee Loong who serve as the joint managing partners.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The banking team advises local and international financial institutions including investment banks, commercial banks, insurance companies, as well as borrowers on matters such as asset finance, project finance, real estate and REIT finance, leveraged and acquisition finance, and structured finance.

The capital markets team has experience in handling an array of matters including sukuk, asset-backed securities, perpetual instruments, IPOs, rights offerings and secondary offerings.

The corporate team is experienced in advising across the spectrum of corporate and M&A mandates.

 

Key clients

Notable clients include Malakoff Corporation, Leong Hup International, Maybank Investment Bank, RHB Investment Bank, CIMB Investment Bank, Public Investment Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period the frim was active in work in the capital markets and M&A.

The firm’s capital markets team was typically active for banks on the establishment of medium term note programmes. A recent highlight saw the firm act for the issuer on the largest IPO in Malaysia for the past two years.

On the corporate side the team was active for vendors as well as purchasers. Malakoff Corporation featured as a repeat client.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Damansara Uptown RM999 million medium term notes programme

Leong Hup International MYX IPO

Malakoff Gulf US$70 million acquisition of Desaru Investment

Tropicana Corporation RM2 billion sukuk programme  

Tunas Pancar RM869 million acquisition of 97.37% stake in Alam Flora

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking and finance

“The firm is very attentive and responsive. The turnaround time is excellent, and often, advice and references are rendered on a gratis basis.”

 

Capital markets : Debt

“Committed, diligent and responsive with in-depth knowledge and experience in debt capital markets.”

 

Seet Hooi Ping

“Sensitive and knowledgeable of the client's needs and requirements. Excellent communication skills and problem-solving attributes.”

 

Lily Tan

“Committed, in-depth knowledge and experience.”


Foong & Partners

Boutique law firm Foong & Partners was founded in 2003 by managing partner Chee Meng Foong.

The firm maintains an office in Kuala Lumpur and is a member of the WPG Law Network.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is noted for its banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A and project development work.

Sectors of focus include manufacturing, financial services, real estate, healthcare, hospitality and technology.

 

Key clients

Key clients include Bain Capital, Carlyle Investment 4, Under Armour Europe, Compart Systems, ECM Libra Group and Daya Materials.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, the banking team acted for clients such as guarantors and borrowers on several financing transactions. 

The capital markets team was active for issuers on several domestic and cross border IPOs and listings. 

In the past year, the corporate team primarily acted for acquirers. A high-value deal saw the firm advise a consortium of acquirers on the acquisition of a German company. The firm also notably acted for the acquirer in a cross border acquisition in the healthcare sector.

On the projects side, the firm notably acted for the owners on landmark power projects.

A staffing change saw the firm welcome projects partner Sharifah Sazita Syed Hamzah from Azmi & Associates. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Bain Capital and Carlyle Investment 4 €3.4 billion acquisition of OSRAM Licht

Lion Industries Corporation RM607 million acquisition of Megasteel’s flat steel assets

 

Medialink Group HKSE IPO

 

Setia Hicon RM449 million disposal of real estate assets

Under Armour Europe $30 million acquisition of Triple

 

Rahmat Lim & Partners

Founded in 2010, Rahmat Lim & Partners has quickly established itself as one of the leading firms in Malaysia and is ranked among the top tier firms across the financial and corporate area. The firm’s membership of the Allen & Gledhill allows it to cater to clients across the region. The firm maintains an office in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is ranked among the market leaders for its banking and finance and M&A practices and also has capital markets and project development offerings.

The firm is active across a variety of sectors including energy, fintech, real estate, aviation, automotive, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and infrastructure.

 

Key clients

Big-name clients include CIMB Bank, United Overseas Bank, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Carousell, and OCBC Bank.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Recently the banking team was most active for borrowers and lenders on refinancing and acquisition financing mandates.

The capital markets team was often active for issuers on establishing asset-backed securitization programmes and bond issues. The firm also advised on domestic IPOs and the establishment of real estate investment trusts. A highlight saw the firm advising the issuer on a landmark solar socio – agricultural sukuk (Islamic bonds) issuance.

In terms of corporate and M&A, the firm was primarily active for acquirers across a variety of industry sectors.

A projects highlight saw the firm advising a private utility company on the development of a gas power plant in Northern Malaysia.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Carousell $278 million acquisition of 701Search

Edra Solar MYR245 million sukuk murabahah issue

Jollibee Foods Corporation / Viet Thai International $350 million acquisition of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Kim Hin Joo MYX IPO

Regal Path MYR1.11 billion syndicated financing

Semangkuk 2 MYR5 billion asset backed securitisation programme

Semangkuk MYR445 million notes issue

YTL Cement MYR1.625 billion acquisition of 51% stake in Lafarge Malaysia

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets : Equity

“Detailed, dedicated and very structured.”

 

M&A

“They are very responsive and practical in their responses/positions in helping a client understand the legal position and the best way forward. Always willing to help, even with short notice.”

 

Ho Wei Lih

“Dedicated and hardworking (remembered we even had our conference call till 1 am the day). Commercial enough as in she knows what to defend and what to let go when comes to negotiations with sellers.”

 

Moy Pui Yee

“Extremely responsive, and helpful in her responses. Practical and commercial-minded.”

 

Shearn Delamore & Co

Founded in 1905, Shearn Delamore & Co is one of the oldest law firms in Malaysia and is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. It is part of regional alliance, Drew Network Asia, with Drew & Napier from Singapore and Makarim & Taira S from Indonesia.

 

Focusses / specialisms

While the firm is a strong performer in banking and finance, capital markets, and project development, its core strength lies in its market-leading corporate and M&A practice.

The banking and capital markets team advises on matters related to Islamic finance, acquisition finance, project finance, refinancing and derivatives.

The corporate team takes on work form local clients and has a special focus on inbound work.

Sectors of focus include pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, real estate, technology, energy, and banking and financial services.

 

Key clients

The firm counts big names such as Korea National Oil Corporation, China Railway Engineering Corporation, Tricor Group, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Saudi Aramco, Ernst & Young, and HNA Group among its clients.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period the banking and capital markets teams took on a mix of roles for lenders, borrowers, issuers and arrangers on bond issues and financings.

The M&A team took on work for both buyers and sellers. An interesting mandate saw the firm advising Sony Interactive Entertainment on its entry into Malaysia.

Staffing changes saw the corporate and M&A team lose Swee-Kee Ng.

In 2020, the firm boosted its regional capabilities by entering into an alliance with Drew & Napier from Singapore and Makarim & Taira S from Indonesia to launch Drew Network Asia.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Bynder Holding acquisition of WoodWing Software

China Railway Engineering Corporation and Iskandar Waterfront Holdings RM7.41billion acquisition of a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia

HOPE Education Group $140 million acquisition of INTI Education Holdings

KBJ HECMY RM150 million financing

Mammoth Empire Group RM970million divestment of real estate assets

Telekosang Hydro One RM470 million Islamic bond issue

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Project development

“Responsive, accessible, timely, clear, and concise advice. Has knowledge of the education sector in Malaysia.”

 

Nicholas Tan

“Responsive, accessible, knowledgeable, well connected, and timely.”

Wong Beh & Toh

Founded in 2002, Beh & Toh is a commercial firm with offices in Kuala Lumpur and Sungai Petani, Wong.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm opened with a focus on corporate finance and M&A but now has a broader remit and especially recognised for work in the capital armlets area.

Sectors of focus for the firm include logistics, professional services, industrials and manufacturing, technology, and engineering.

 

Key clients

Key clients include UWC, Tashin Holdings, Wegmans Holdings, Easyparcel, Unimech Group, Pentamaster Equipment Manufacturing, RGT, Swift Haulage, and JHM Consolidation.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period in capital markets work the firm was primarily active for issuers on domestic IPOs.

In the corporate area the firm was mainly active on acquisitions, taking on buy and sell-side roles.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

AME Elite Consortium MYX IPO

MTAG Group MYX IPO

ST Group Food Industries SGX IPO

Tashin Holdings MYX IPO

TT Vision Holdings MYX IPO

UWC MYX IPO

 

Zaid Ibrahim & Co

Established in 1987, Zaid Ibrahim & Co is a well-known name in the Malaysian legal market. The firm has seven offices across the country and is led by managing partner Gilbert Gan. The firm is a member of the ZICO Law network and extends its presence throughout the region with offices in jurisdictions including Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is particularly strong in capital markets and also has robust banking and finance, corporate and M&A and project development offerings.

The banking team acts for corporates, banks, hedge funds and financial institutions across a wide spectrum of financing transactions. The firm is notably a member of the Aviation Working Group.

The capital markets team is experienced in acting for an array of clients including issuers, underwriters, managers, arrangers, investors and trustees on both domestic and international debt and equity transactions. The firm has particular expertise in securitisation and structured finance, having acted on first securitisation transaction approved by the Securities Commission.

The projects team is experienced advising on high profile mandates throughout Asia. The firm often acts for promoters and advises clients throughout the project life cycle. Sectors of expertise include energy, utilities, transport, real estate and environment. 

 

Key clients

Notable clients include Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, HSBC Bank Malaysia, GE Commercial Aviation Services, Wings Capital Partners, Tenaga Nasional, SD International Sukuk and Macquarie Capital Securities.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The banking team recently acted on several cross border financings and aviation financing transactions.

In capital markets, the firm notably acted in the majority of structured warrants issuances in the market. Another notable deal saw the firm advise the issuer on the landmark issuance of the first US dollar high-yield rated sukuk offering in Asia-Pacific and the first US dollar high-yield rated sukuk globally in 2019.

One highlight on the corporate side saw the firm advise Khazanah Nasional on a high-value divestment. Another high-value mandate saw the firm advise Campbell Soup Company on the sale of certain of its international operations to KKR. The firm also notably acted on the reorganisation of the largest utility company in Malaysia.

The projects team was recently active in sectors including oil and gas, energy, transport, and environment. An interesting deal saw the firm advise on the development of the first large scale solar power plant in the state of Kelantan.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Khazanah Nasional $2 billion divestment of a 16% stake in IHH Healthcare

Kuala Muda 30MWac large scale solar PV plant

Light Rail Transit Line 3

Machang 30MWac large scale solar PV plant

Tenaga Nasional restructuring

             

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets : Debt

“Responsive, quick turnaround and provide good advice and consultation to the company.”

Zul Rafique & partners

Located in Kuala Lumpur, Zul Rafique & Partners founded in 1999 by Zulkifly Rafique, who also serves as the managing partner and head of corporate.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm excels in banking and finance and capital markets and has strong offerings in corporate and M&A and project development.

The firm advises domestic and international clients on transactions such as asset-backed securitisation, Islamic financing, international issuance of debt instruments, debt restructuring, project financing, and domestic and offshore loan syndication.

 

Key clients

Key clients include CIMB Investment Bank, Maybank Investment, United Overseas Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Saadiq, RHB Investment Bank, Kuwait Finance House and Genting.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period the firm was most active in banking and finance and debt capital markets.

The firm took on roles for arrangers, lenders, borrowers, managers, issuers, guarantors on the establishment of MTN programmes, sukuk (Islamic bond) programmes, bond issuances and financings.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Dayang Enterprise Holdings RM682.5 million Islamic MTN programme

Genting RM10 billion MTN programme

Konsortium KAJV RM1 billion sukuk programme

Resorts World Las Vegas $1 billion 4.625% notes issue

Semangkuk 2 RM5 billion MTN programme

Serba Dinamik Holdings RM1.2 billion financing

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Very responsive, good legal awareness and expertise.”

“Fast feedback, thorough assessments, and attention to details.”

 

Ashela Ramaya

“Ashela is very responsive and aware of relevant legal issues.”

“Fast feedback, thorough assessments, and attention to details.”

 

Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff

Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff is the product of the 2018 merger between Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff. The firm is a member of Advoc and Nextlaw Global Referral Network and has two offices in Kuala Lumpur. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a consistent performer across the financial and corporate space.

In banking, the firm covers both conventional and Islamic finance and advises domestic and international financial institutions and corporate borrowers.

On the capital markets side, the firm works with stakeholders such as issuers, lead arrangers and managers, trustees, facility and security agents, and credit rating agents on an array of debt and equity mandates.

The corporate team has experience in sectors including real estate, construction, shipping, logistics, and automotive.

In the projects space, the firm is particularly known for its focus on the power sector.

 

Key clients

Recent clients include Impiana Hotels, Tenaga Nasional, Sime Darby Brunsfield Damansara, OCBC Bank, Kenanga Investment Bank, and Complete Logistics Services.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The banking team recently took on roles for both borrowers and lenders on several financings.

Recent capital markets highlights include advising on several domestic IPOs and listings, warrant issues, and the issue of Islamic notes.

On the corporate and M&A side, the firm advised on regulatory compliance, joint ventures and restructurings, and took on roles for acquirers and sellers. 

The projects team continued its focus on the power sector in the past 12 months, notably advising on the development of a thermal power plant in a high-value cross border mandate.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

DPI Holdings Berhad MYX IPO

Gagasan Nadi Cergas RM158 million acquisition of Konsortium PAE Sepakat

InNature MYX IPO

Perdana ParkCity RM500 million MTN programme

Pulau Indah 1200MW power plant

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Financial and corporate

“Detail and accuracy.”

 

 

Christopher & Lee Ong

Founded in 2013, Christopher & Lee Ong is a member of the Rajah & Tann Asia network and is located in Kuala Lumpur. Key figures include partners Christopher Lee, Chor Jack, Eileen Yeoh and Shemane Chan. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is known for its market-leading projects practice and has strong offerings in banking and finance, capital markets and corporate and M&A.

The banking team is experienced in advising on a range of financing transactions such as acquisition financing, project financing, and real estate financing and also takes on financial services regulatory work.

The corporate team advises a diverse array of clients including domestic and multinational companies, government-linked corporations, private equity clients, and SMEs from various sectors such as energy, retail, logistics, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, technology and telecommunications.

The firm has a track record of advising on landmark transactions in the projects space and is experienced in advising on matters including EPC contracts, power purchase agreements, OAM agreements, concession agreements and construction contracts.

 

Key clients

Key clients include BNP Paribas, HSBC, Hong Leong Healthcare, Maybank Investment, CIMB Investment Bank, Guoline Investments, SH Cogent Logistics, Johnson Control, and Air Liquide Malaysia.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

A standout banking deal saw the firm advise the lenders on a landmark project financing of the largest downstream petrochemical plant in Asia.

The corporate team often acted for the buyers with one newsworthy cross border deal seeing the firm advisie Guoline Investments on a high-value acquisition in the healthcare sector.

The projects team was recently active on several confidential mandates for stakeholders such as sponsors, developers, and bidders, in sectors including energy, transport, industrials and manufacturing, and social infrastructure.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Air Liquide Malaysia RM226 million acquisition of  Southern Industrial Gas

Hong Leong Healthcare Group $385 million syndicated financing

Hong Leong Group $1.2 billion acquisition of Columbia Asia Hospitals

Pengerang Refining Company and Pengerang Petrochemical Company $10.4 billion financing

Tra Vinh 78MW wind power plant

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Forward-thinking on what needs to be addressed and be in place plus also sharing concerning matters to note even though we ourselves have not thought about even though we are in the direct operation itself.”

“Partners are knowledgeable, responsive and understand our needs.”

“Timely response, relevant and appropriate legal guidance, facilitate constructive discussions with the borrower and their legal counsel, and good rapport.”

“Accommodating.”

 

Financial services regulatory

“Professional advice and fast turnaround.”

 

M&A

“Competent partners and team. The firm has a good range of expertise and experience at the partnership level to provide advice on various matters when required. The commitment of the deal team members is also commendable.”

 

Project development

“Efficient and practical feedback on execution of PPA under the current legal framework.”

“Professionalism, honest and evaluative opinion, efficient and truly understands the clients changing needs.”

“Good service and attention to detail. Practical solutions and timely responses.”

“Highly competent and knowledgeable in their field of work, and provides valuable insight from their vast experience in advising on similar project development.”

“Precise and consistent advice with a deep look into situation case by case.”

“Their understanding of the market policies and the market dynamics, which translates into a clear and concise workflow and conditions for the contractual parties.”

“Pro-active communications and expertise in their field with ample resources for timely responses.”

“This firm is very responsive, attentive and understands as well as appreciate the company's needs, goals and values. These positive attributes make us comfortable and confident to liaise with them for any matters.”

“Diverse expertise available, quick turnaround and friendly.”

“They are very clear in terms of legal and business.”

“The firm provides bespoke and comprehensive legal advice. In terms of turnaround timing, they always adhere to the deadlines provided and still maintain the quality of work despite the constraint of limited time. This is crucial in the project development industry.”

“The legal expert that I was working with has extensive experience and provided the right advice.”

Donovan & Ho

Local law firm Donovan & Ho was founded in 2014 and is noted for its corporate and M&A work. The firm is located in Kuala Lumpur and its corporate and commercial practice is led by partner Shawn Ho.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is capable of advising clients on mergers, acquisitions, fundraisings and joint ventures. It is experienced in sectors including retail, e-commerce, mining and insurance.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The firm was recently active on several confidential mandates, taking on roles for clients such as sellers, targets and investees.

A recent development saw the firm expand its office space.

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Investment funds

“Meticulous, responsive and forwarding-thinking approach. The firm also provided value-added advice as and when required.”

HL Lee & Co

HL Lee & Co has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Key figures at the firm include partners King Hoe Ng and Lay San Ng.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is recognised for its banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A and project development practices.

Sectors of focus include hospitality, retail, real estate, manufacturing, insurance and agriculture.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The banking team advised financial institutions as lenders on matters such as acquisition financing, refinancing, and asset financing. The firm also advised on regulatory compliance matters and assisted a financial institution with the introduction of a first-of-its-kind product.

Other highlights include advising the originator on an asset-backed securitisation transaction and acting for acquirers in the insurance and manufacturing sectors.

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Financial and corporate

“Good detailed advice. Knowledge covers a wide spectrum.”

“Ability to turn around the comments/ input in the deal within a short period of time.”

HL Tan Lim & Partners

HL Tan Lim & Partners maintains an office in Kuala Lumpur and is helmed by managing partner Ronald Tan.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is active in the financial and corporate space and is best known for its M&A work.

Sectors of activity include healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, industrials and chemicals.

 

Key clients

Recent clients include Synergy Group Holdings International, Songful Holdings, Anakku, GME Chemicals, GT Asia Consulting, and Scaleup Accelerator.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, the capital markets team advised issuers on matters such as domestic IPOs, restructuring of notes programmes, and the transfer of listings. 

The corporate team recently acted for acquirers and sellers and was also active in the private equity space. An interesting deal saw the firm advise a Singaporean company on the sale of a majority stake to a German company.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Anakku RM200 million Islamic debt restructuring

Biesterfeld Internationale Beteiligungen $40 million acquisition of majority stake in GME Chemicals

Synergy Group Holdings International debt restructuring

Synergy Group Holdings International $5 million financing

Hung & Partners

Established in 2019, boutique law firm Hung & Partners is led byK.H. Hung and is located in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is noted for its projects practice.

The firm has experience in the renewable energy sector.

 

Key clients

Recent clients include Energy China TEPC.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the past 12 months, the firm advised an EPC contractor on the development of a solar photovoltaic plant.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Kuala Ketil 50MWac solar PV plant

Kadir Andri & Partners

Active since 1976, Kuala Lumpur-headquartered local law firm Kadir Andri & Partners is known for its strong capital markets team. Key figures at the firm include senior partner Abdul Kadir Kassim and partner and head of corporate Tan Kong Yam.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm boasts a strong capital markets practice and has strong banking and finance, corporate and M&A, and projects offerings as well.

The banking team offers a wide spectrum of services including Islamic finance, structured finance, securitisations, syndicated finance, asset and acquisition finance and debt restructuring advice.

The capital markets team has a track record of advising on landmark debt and equity transactions.

The corporate team has experience in a range of sectors including food and beverage, financial services, media and hospitality.

 

Key clients

Key clients include Maybank Investment Bank, RHB Investment Bank, Credit Suisse, AmInvestment Bank, Hong Leong Investment, Kenanga Investment Bank, Aerodyne Ventures and WorleyParsons.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Recent highlights include advising the underwriters on the largest poultry-related IPO in Southeast Asia and advising WorleyParsons on its global acquisition of Jacob Engineering Group’s energy chemicals and resources division.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Aerodyne Ventures series B financing

HL Cement and Ridge Star $33 million acquisition of Tasek Corporation

Leong Hup International MYX IPO

WorleyParsons $3.2 billion acquisition of Jacob Engineering Group’s energy chemicals and resources division

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

Founded in 1993, Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill is one of the largest firms in Malaysia with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Pulau Pinang. The firm holds membership of the Multilaw and Interlaw global networks.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a consistently strong performer across the financial and corporate space.

The banking practice handles the full spectrum of conventional and Islamic banking and finance matters, acting for both lenders and borrowers.

The capital markets team is experienced in advising on equity offerings and also on both conventional and Islamic debt offerings.

The corporate team acts for clients from sectors such as real estate, food and beverage, insurance, manufacturing, and technology.

The projects team is experienced in advising international and Malaysian sponsors, lenders, governments, contractors, developers, and other project stakeholders.

 

Key clients

Key clients include Hang Seng Bank, Standard Chartered Saadiq, RHB Bank, Maybank Islamic, Sabah Credit Corporation, Malaysian Airline System, Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad and Serba Dinamik International.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The banking team primarily took on roles for financial institutions on matters such as regulatory compliance, debt restructuring, project financing and refinancing. 

The corporate team was active for buyers and sellers across a variety of industries and also advised on restructuring and joint venture mandates.

An interesting capital markets highlight saw the firm advise the government on the issue of Japanese denominated yen bonds.

On the projects front, the firm was notably active on the development of the Pan Borneo Highway. Other interesting mandates saw the firm advise repeat client Serba Dinamik International to develop chemical manufacturing plants in Tanzania and Uzbekistan.

A staffing change saw the departure of partners Ong Eu Jin and Ooi Bee Hong who joined Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Chip Eng Seng Corporation S$24 million acquisition of Excelsior International School

Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group $150 million financing

Government of Malaysia ¥100 billion sovereign bond issue

Pan Borneo highway project

Sapura Energy RM4 billion rights issue

Lim Jo Yan & Co

Founded in 2017, boutique law firm Lim Jo Yan & Co is focussed on corporate and M&A work. The firm is fronted by name partner Lim Jo Yan and is located in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is often engaged as local counsel for cross-border work with international law firms, primarily related to inbound acquisitions and advising on regulatory compliance. It has a Japan desk and acts for Japanese clients on a varied range of advisory and inbound transactional deals.

Sectors of focus include healthcare, manufacturing, fintech, financial services, technology and shipping.

 

Key clients

Key clients include ACA Investments, Way Assets and Cashlez Worldwide Indonesia.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, the firm acted for acquirers and investees on matters including acquisitions, fundraisings, restructuring, and regulatory compliance matters across several confidential mandates.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Cashlez Worldwide Indonesia IDX IPO

OpenLearning ASX IPO

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Very proactive and positive attitude with a very pragmatic approach to the issues faced. Able to provide preemptive advice on an evolving problem.”

 

M&A

“Jo Yan is knowledgeable, and his law is solid. His advice is robust and comes with real commercial consideration and not just legalistic.”

“They led DD works and negotiation with the target company efficiently.”

“Responsive, technically competent, and commercially sensible.”

“LJY & Co and its team of lawyers are highly responsive and commercial.”

“Communication is very clear and professional. Our case may be rather complex with parties from other countries involved, but they handled it all very well.”

“Very proactive, responsive, timely and business like.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Prompt response.”

 

MahWengKwai & Associates

Founded in 1985, local law firm MahWengKwai & Associates is located in Petaling Jaya. The firm is led by managing partner Raymond Mah and is a founding member of the League of Lawyers international network.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is active in banking and finance, corporate and M&A, and project development.

In M&A the firm has experience advising a diverse group of clients, ranging from public listed companies to SMEs and is often mandated to assist on inbound investments.

In the projects space, the firm is particularly experienced in the construction and energy sectors and has acted for both domestic and international clients.

 

Key clients

Clients include Sime Darby Elmina Development, Eco World Development Group, Lembaga Pembiayaan Perumahan Sektor Awam and BPP Agraria.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Recent highlights include advising on a joint venture in the technology sector and advising an international client on a proposed acquisition in the oil and gas sector.

Murad Yee Partnership

Boutique practice Murad Yee Partnership has been active since 2007 and is best recognised for its M&A work. The firm maintains an office in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is experienced in advising listed companies, government-linked entities, and multinational corporations. Sectors of activity include energy, healthcare, real estate and technology.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Recent highlights include acting for a bidder in the Large Scale Solar 3 scheme; advising on a joint venture in the healthcare sector; advising on a restructuring; and acting for a borrower in obtaining financing from an international lender.

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Financial and corporate

“Very responsive and informative.”

Raja Darryl & Loh

Founded in 1964, full-service law firm Raja Darryl & Loh is located in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a well-established financial and corporate practice.

The banking team advises on both conventional and Islamic finance transactions and also has experience in aviation finance and the fintech space.

The corporate team often acts on mergers and acquisitions for foreign clients and has a focus on the technology and industrials sector.

The projects team is experienced in sectors such as construction, transport and energy.

 

Key clients

Clients include WPP, SAP, BBAM, Mizuho Bank, Citibank, Prasarana Malaysia and Mass Rapid Transit Corporation.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The banking team advised on matters including regulatory compliance advice, aircraft financing, asset-backed securitisation and project financing.

A standout M&A highlight saw the firm advise a multinational company on a high-value divestment to a private equity group. Another notable mandate saw the firm act for a multinational technology company on the impact of a high-value divestment on the client’s Malaysian interests.

One projects highlight saw the firm advise government-owned companies on the Light Rail Transit 3 and the Mass Rapid Transit 2 projects.

The firm bid farewell to partner Chang Wei Mun, who retired from practice.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Gemas-Johor Bahru Double Track Electrified Rail Line

Light Rail Transit 3

Mass Rapid Transit 2

SAP $2.4 billion acquisition of Callidus Software

WPP $3.1 billion sale of a 60% stake in Kantar

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Very responsive, practical advice, and knows local issues.”

 

M&A

“I am regularly working with Tai Chu Wei. He is an exceptional lawyer who has a great response time and is always on point. Furthermore, Tai is technically very well experienced and is always looking for a practical solution that is easy for the client.”

Shook Lin & Bok

Founded in 1918, Shook Lin & Bok is the oldest local law firm in the country. The firm has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Key figures include senior partners Ivan Ho Yue Chan, Jalalullail Othman and Khong Mei Lin.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Shook Lin & Bok is known for its banking and Islamic finance work. The firm also has well-established capital markets, M&A and project development practices.

The firm has experience advising on a wide range of conventional and Islamic financing transactions such as project and asset financing, cross border and domestic syndications in foreign and local currencies, ship and aircraft financing, and Islamic capital markets instruments.

The corporate team is experienced in a wide array of matters including market entry, entity formation, restructuring, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

 

Key clients

Key clients include FGV Holdings, Urusharta Jamaah, DanaInfra Nasional and Icon Offshore.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, an interesting cross border M&A deal saw the firm advise a seller in disposing of its subsidiary incorporated in China.

The firm often acted on the side of financial institutions as lenders. A noteworthy deal saw the firm advise the financiers in a high value refinancing transaction.A standout banking deal saw the firm act for the borrower in a high value project financing transaction. The firm also advised on the landmark issuance of sukuk murabahah as part of a restructuring deal.

During the research period, partners Karen Kaur and partner Ling Chi Hoong left the firm.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Bumi Armada Capital Offshore and Bumi Armada Holdings Labuan $660 million debt refinancing

Icon Offshore debt restructuring

Pan Borneo Sarawak highway project

Urusharta Jamaah RM28 billion sukukmurabahah issue

Skrine

Founded in 1963, Skrine is one of the largest and best known law firms in Malaysia. The firm’s office is located in Kuala Lumpur. It is the exclusive Malaysian member for Lex Mundi and the Pacific Rim Advisory Council.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Skrine is the firm of choice for top quality M&A and projects work in Malaysia. The firm also has well-established banking and capital markets practices.

In capital markets, the firm often acts for issuers, underwriters, guarantors, investors, sponsors, trustees, rating agencies and financial institutions.

The firm’s prized M&A team has extensive experience advising on high-value cross border and domestic mandates with a special focus on the insurance and energy sectors.

In projects, the firm provides advice throughout the project life cycle and is known for its work in real estate, infrastructure, energy (traditional and renewable), industrials and transport.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acts for financial institutions and the insolvency practitioners of the Big Four accounting firms.

 

Key clients

Clients include SapuraOMV Upstream, Murphy Oil Corporation, HSBC, Hope Education Group, Panasonic, Carlyle International Energy Partners, London Stock Exchange Group and BP.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, the banking team was active for borrowers and lenders across several financing transactions.

A confidential capital markets highlight saw the firm advise a foreign client on the listing of its local company.

True to its reputation as an M&A powerhouse, the firm advised on several high profile transactions. Examples include advising the seller in the largest oil and gas deal in Southeast Asia for over five years; advising Carlyle International Energy Partners in acquiring a stake in Europe’s largest privately-owned oil and gas company; and advising HSBC on the disposal of its Malaysian takaful business.

One projects highlight saw the firm act for BP on moving its oil trading business to Malaysia.

During the research period, the firm was hit with the departures of partners Philip Chan, Sim Miow Yean, Theresa Chong and Quay Chew Soon.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Hope Education Group $140 million acquisition of Inti Education Holdings

HSBC disposal of 49% stake in HSBC Amanah Takaful

London Stock Exchange Group $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv

PTT Exploration and Production $2.13 billion acquisition of Murphy Oil Corporation’s Malaysian portfolio

SMARTPIPE Technology / Menteri Besar Kedah Incorporated joint venture

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Financial services regulatory

“Very good track record and experience on financial services corporate transactions.”

 

M&A

“Responsiveness and quality of work are outstanding.”

“Very responsive, hands on approach, straight to the point advice, very client oriented service, and always available.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Technically sound, efficient and quick to respond to queries/issues.”

“Dependable, technically very sound, fast response and its partners/associates are accessible and approachable.”

 

Tay & Partners

Founded in 1989, Tay & Partners is a full-service law firm with offices in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is active in banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A and project development.

Sectors of focus include aviation, real estate, transport, technology, energy and telecommunications.

 

Key clients

Recent clients include Telenor, AirAsia Group, Grand Venture Technology, Topwin Investment, Avery Dennison Corporation, and IKEA Supply.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, the banking team notably acted on the restructuring of aircraft leasing agreements for multiple aircraft.

Capital markets highlights include advising international companies on cross border listings.

The corporate team had a busy year with roles for both buyers and sellers. An interesting mandate saw the firm advise an airline on the high-value sale of a portfolio of aircraft.

One projects highlight saw the firm advise IKEA Supply on the development of the world’s third-largest IKEA regional distribution centre.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

AirAsia Group $768 million disposal of a portfolio of aircraft

Carousell / Telenor Group merger

Grand Venture Technology SGX IPO

Pulau Indah IKEA distribution centre

Topwin Investment Holding $80 million acquisition of Food Junction Management

 

Teh & Lee

Boutique law firm Teh & Lee was founded in 2000 and has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Billy Lee Chong Hoe leads the firm as managing partner.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is noted for its work in the financial and corporate space.

In addition to advising domestic clients, the firm is often engaged by international clients, particularly from China.

The firm has experience in sectors such as mining, energy, telecommunications and manufacturing.

 

Key clients

Recent clients include Kenanga Investment Bank, Solarvest Holdings and Sino Hua-An International.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, the firm was active in the capital markets practice area. Highlights include advising a solar company on its listing on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities and advising a manufacturing company on the issue of notes.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Sino Hua-An International RM150 million bond issue

Solarvest Holdings MYX IPO

 

Wong & Partners

Founded in 1998, Malaysian law firm Wong & Partners is a member of Baker McKenzie International. The firm has an office in Kuala Lumpur and boasts a team of 25 partners.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is known for its high-quality M&A work and also has strong banking, capital markets and projects practices.

The firm notably sits on the panels of several local and international banks and financial institutions.

The capital markets team advises clients such as investment banks and issuers on a range of debt and equity capital markets transactions, including IPOs, sukuk issuances, listings, and regulatory compliance.

On the corporate and M&A side, the firm has a particular focus on the financial services, infrastructure, consumer goods and services, and technology sectors.

 

Key clients

Key clients include Maybank Investment Bank, DRB-HICOM and Sime Darby Plantation.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The banking team primarily acted for financial institutions on several project financing, refinancing, aircraft financing and acquisition financing transactions.

During the research period, the capital markets team was often active in the Islamic finance space. An award-winning deal saw the firm advise repeat client Maybank Investment Bank on the issue of Islamic medium-term notes for financing the largest twin floating solar photovoltaic project in the world. Another notable deal saw the firm act for the arrangers and managers on establishing an Islamic medium-term notes programme for Southeast Asia's largest integrated aluminium producer.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Cypark Ref RM550 million Islamic MTN programme

DRB-HICOM RM3.5 billion MTN sukuk wakalah programme

MISC RM566 million block trade

Press Metal Aluminium Holdings RM5 billion Islamic MTN programme

Sime Darby Plantation RM3.9 billion refinancing

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Their juniors are very driven and take ownership of their work. They are also very knowledgeable in their respective fields and specialization areas. Their turnaround times are good and they are committed to driving through arguments.”

“Very prompt and knowledgeable. Dealt with matters with speed.”

“They respond in a timely manner and advise us professionally. Since we are a foreign investor, we do not know much in Malaysian law. They always provide good advice and consultation.”

“The firm has a team of competent and professional lawyers who are well versed with industry knowledge and have good business acumen to be able to provide holistic advice to the clients.”

“Attentive.”

“Partners and lawyers are proactive and able to work within a tight timeline. Good quality work.”

 

Capital markets : Structured finance and securitization

“Give valuable input.”

 

Financial services regulatory

“Commercial first and a can do approach.”

 

M&A

“Very professional and quick to respond.”

“Wong & Partners have excellent client management skills.  They are highly skilled, very professional and capable of providing very sound and practical legal advice.”

“Great client service. Engagement partner makes an effort to understand client situation and engage accordingly. The team also takes an extra effort to explain the pros and cons, with multiple potential scenarios in the future that could impact the transaction, as well as potential mitigants in both drafting and negotiation.”

“Highly commercial and prioritizes key commercial issues as well as provides solutions to address said issues.”

“Extremely responsive, with a lot of practical experience in Malaysian M&A deals. The team has a lot of initiative and is pro-active and forthcoming in providing solutions, managing timelines and pushing the deal forward. The team is also not afraid of taking commercial positions. Legal fees are expensive for Malaysia but competitive when compared globally.  The firm has an excellent international network.”

“As we are a venture capital investment firm, we're always looking for lawyers that understand our risk appetite, can identify what's material against what's nice to have, can provide legally creative solutions, and can move fast. Wong & Partners has all of these strengths - despite our industry being nascent, they've demonstrated a willingness to invest their promotional time in learning up the technical aspects of our work in order to better serve our matters, can identify and distinguish salient legal and commercial issues, and are always responsive and communicative.”

“Quick, always attending to the key points, and providing good quality advice and support.”

 

Private equity

“Responsive, prompt, efficient, highly professional and competent team.”

 

Project development

“Full of knowledge, market understanding, and enthusiasm in the process of negotiation.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Prompt responses, good follow up, constructive legal advice, possessed good document and information tracking systems.”

Zain & Co

Founded in 1970, full-service law firm Zain & Co is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. In September 2018, Zain & Co combined with Dentons, the world’s largest law firm.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm performs consistently across the financial and corporate space.

The firm has a well-established conventional banking practice and also has expertise in Islamic finance matters advising Maybank Islamic and RHB Islamic Bank.

The capital markets team has particular expertise in the entertainment and media sector.

The corporate and M&A team boasts more than four decades of experience and takes on clients from sectors such as food and beverage, oil and gas, technology, agriculture, real estate and hospitality.

The projects team’s expertise covers an array of matters including PPPs and regulatory compliance in sectors such as oil and gas, energy, chemicals, real estate and telecommunications.

 

Key clients

Notable clients include Sime Darby Melawati Development, Bank Pembangunan Malaysia, MUFG Bank, China Zhejiang Construction Group, DBS Bank, RHB Islamic Bank and PNB Value Homes.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The banking team acted for financial institutions on regulatory compliance matters and also acted on cross border financing transactions. 

An interesting deal saw the capital markets team advise a fund management company on a privatisation.

A notable development on the corporate side saw the firm advise an international media company on expanding its presence in Malaysia. Other highlights include acting on acquisitions and disposals and advising on corporate restructurings.

A significant projects highlight saw the firm advise on a confidential undertaking in the oil and gas sector. The firm was also notably active in the education sector and advised on the development of schools.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Chew’s Agriculture S$8.3 million financing

Informa acquisition of IHS Markit’s TMT information business

Permodalan Nasional affordable homes development

Raiz Invest Australia / Jewel Digital Ventures joint venture

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

“Teams are very approachable and knowledgeable in their respective areas of practice. Able to deliver within the required deadline.”

 

Project development

“Thorough research, knowledgeability and competitive pricing.”

“Very thorough in review and drafting the agreements. Accessible for discussions and meetings.”

“The firm provides very thorough industry practice and in-depth legal knowledge.”