Singapore

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Law Society of Singapore

Competition authority: Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS)

Financial regulator: Monetary Authority of Singapore

IFLR1000 ranking categories: 

Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking, Capital markets, M&A, Project finance, Project DevelopmentRestructuring and insolvency

Jurisdiction overview

As one of the world’s financial centres, Singapore is home to some of the most business-friendly regulations in the world and is ranked at the top of the World Bank’s ease of doing business index. Its strong government is ranked fifth in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and the city-state has enjoyed a triple-A rated economy for years. 

Despite some restrictions, the legal market is open to foreign players. Since 2008, global law firms have been able to apply for Qualifying Foreign Law Practice licences (QFLPs) and can employ Singapore admitted lawyers to practice Singapore law in corporate and commercial areas. This development initially allowed six international law firms to practice in the country. 

Four among the six were UK based firms, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills and Norton Rose Fulbright, largely because the legal system in Singapore is rooted in English law and the country has strong ties with the UK as a commonwealth country.

Other law firms that followed suit included Linklaters, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Sidley Austin, Jones Day, DLA Piper, Ashurst and Berwin Leighton Paisner. Others like US firm Morgan Lewis adopted strategies such as joint law ventures and foreign law alliances. It soon merged with local outfit Stamford Law Corporation to form Morgan Lewis Stamford.

The overcrowded legal market has traditionally also included the four largest domestic firms: Allen & Gledhill, Drew & Napier, Rajah & Tann and WongPartnership, as well as other key local players such as Colin Ng & Partners, Shook Lin & Bok and TSMP Law Corporation. 

The market is very competitive not only among the major international law firms opening offices in the city-state, but among the ‘Big Four’ domestic law firms that are expanding across the region and competing with each other and western law firms for new clients in emerging markets.

To further consolidate its position as a legal hub in the region, the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) and Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) both opened in 2014 to expand the range of dispute resolution services available and attract more high-value disputes.

Candy Chan - Journalist - Asia-Pacific

Financial and corporate
Allen & Gledhill

One of the clear market leaders in Singapore, Allen & Gledhill, is ranked Tier 1 throughout the financial and corporate space. The firm has established itself as a regional player with an office in Myanmar, an associate firm in Malaysia and an alliance in Indonesia.

The firm’s flagship banking practice has maintained its position in the research period and has been active on several high profile transactions. The firm primarily advised international banks acting as lenders, arrangers, book-runners, and facility agents on several refinancing, acquisition financing and project financing mandates.

In addition to traditional capital markets work, the firm has extensive expertise in REIT and business trust related capital market transactions. The firm has been involved in almost all IPOs, introductions, listings, secondary offerings, and bonds issued by Singapore REITs and property business trusts. In the research period the firm was particularly active in debt capital markets. A noteworthy deal on the equity side saw the firm advise the sponsors and managers on the IPO of ARA US Hospitality Trust.

The firm houses one of the largest M&A teams in Singapore, which was recently active for both acquirers and sellers in sectors such as healthcare, power, real estate, technology and telecommunication, and logistics. In a newsworthy mandate the firm advised Allianz on its first core office investment in Singapore.

In the projects space the firm is often mandated by sponsors, financiers and government authorities to act on high profile projects across the region. Recent noteworthy work includes advising the project company in the development of the New Yangon City project.

On the restructuring front the firm advised has advised various creditors in the high profile restructuring of the debt of Hyflux.

Recent Deal Data highlights

• ARA US Hospitality Trust SGX IPO

• CapitaLand S$11 billion acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge

• Facebook Asian data centre

• Hyflux Group S$1.5 billion debt restructuring

• Jewel Changi Airport mixed-use development

• Mitsui & Co $2.05 billion acquisition of a 16% stake in IHH Healthcare

• New Yangon City

• Sim Lian S$1.3 billion loan facility

 

Client feedback

“They provide a high quality of work that we have come to expect from this law firm.“ – Banking

“Highly competent with a good dose of commercial sense to resolve issues.” – Banking

“A&G has a strong banking team. We can always tap on their vast resources and industry knowledge to obtain consistent sound advice/solutions in a timely manner.” - Banking

“A very strong, talented bench with deep expertise in equity capital markets. With the firm having participated in almost all noteworthy transactions in Singapore, it is clearly the go-to firm for both issuers and banks. The partners provide balanced advice on legal solutions without losing sight of commercial considerations. They also have a close working relationship with regulators and are able to provide regulatory insights. Based on past working experience, I would say the firm does not seem to have any identifiable weakness.” - Capital markets

“The partners in A&G are all technically very sound and knowledgeable in their respective areas of specialities. Because they are involved in many landmark transactions in Singapore, they can call on the vast experience of the various partners within the firm to give sound legal advice.“ - Capital markets

“The services have been prompt and excellent and the quality has been very good. Sathia the main partner I deal with is very responsive and very practical in his thoughts and views. I would highly recommend Sathia.” – Financial and corporate 

“Total command of all aspects of the law relevant to the transactions. A trusted law firm that has nurtured a very strong bench of younger partners who deliver consistently strong advice.” – M&A

“Trusted Lawyers who are able to provide you end to end value chain ("total package") advice especially in the areas of construction and commercial/contract law. They have lawyers who understand the clients' needs and limitations and make an earnest effort. The legal advice provided is of the highest standards and doesn't fall short of expectations.” - Project development

“High-quality legal advice; good value for the professional services rendered. Strengths: Professional, responsive, experienced (in both legal and construction/project management issues) and patient with the client.” - Project development

“A&G is a top tier firm and combine both excellent legal advice and commercial insights.” - Restructuring and insolvency

 

Anil Changaroth

“The construction industry at second level value chain has grown to know him for his ability to represent the needs of smaller contractors and subcontractors.” 

Rhys Goh

“Rhys is a very professional lawyer who possesses very strong expertise in equity capital market transactions. He is very responsive (even outside normal working hours) and provides legal solutions that take into account commercial objectives.”  

“Technically and commercially astute and sharp and direct. Able to build good relationships and rapport with both issuers and underwriters.”

Chien Mien Ho

“Probably the best in the field, very balanced thoughts and pro-solution.”

“Knowledgeable and commercially savvy.”

Sathiaseelan Jagateesan

“The quality has been consistently excellent. He is a leading lawyer in his field.”

“Works as a team, very knowledgeable and provides quality advice in the matters that concern my company. The client management and relationship are known to be one of the best and he makes an effort to understand the needs and wants of the clients on a regular basis.”

“Very impressive legal and industry knowledge; responsive and experienced; able to identify legal and practical issues that should be considered and addressed by the client in making a commercial decision.”

Christopher Koh

“A highly competent legal adviser who is trusted to guide and execute transactions from inception to completion, thus minimising stress for his clients.”

Chee Wai Kok

“We appreciate his responsiveness, and we can always count on his experience to come up with sound advice consistently based on what we need to achieve.”  

Bernie Lee

“Nothing to improve on. The attention and quality of advice were good.“

Magdalene Leong

“I can't think of a better and more accomplished professional than Magdalene.”    

Wei Ting Lim

“An excellent legal practitioner who takes a practical approach to the law - balancing legalistic rigour with the commercial requirements of lenders and borrowers.“

“Excellent counsel with a brilliant legal mind. Has an astute understanding of commercial considerations. Strong ability to forge consensus with the party across the table. Has established himself as the go-to counsel for complex landmark transactions.“ 

Jafe Ng 

“Excellent. Understands our legal and commercial requirements. Able to provide solutions/alternatives to issues, pro-active, responsive and quick turnaround.”

“Jafe excels in his field of banking finance and has worked on numerous financing for our company as well as acting for banking counterparts. He can always be counted on putting his sharp legal mind to resolve difficult issues that were present in our past undertakings.”

Christopher Ong

“Christopher is an impressive and trusted adviser who readily considers multiple aspects of each legal question, and renders a considered response that balances legal requirements with commercial objectives. He is a humble person, yet highly effective in advising senior clients.”

Tze Gay Tan

“Excellent.”

“She is one of the top equity lawyers in Singapore, the go-to lawyer in solving difficult legal transactions. Very experienced and can think of innovative solutions. Always calls a spade and spade and gives direct and clear advice.”

“Tze Gay is a very experienced practitioner. She provides sound legal advice and views while taking into account commercial considerations. She is also able to convince clients to follow her advice.” 

Wee Meng Tan

“Works as a team, very knowledgeable and provides quality advice in the matters that concern my company. The client management and relationship are known to be one of the best and he makes an effort to understand the needs and wants of the clients on a regular basis.”

Jo Tay

“She is an excellent lawyer who has been able to seamlessly provide advice by gathering it from the relevant other lawyers at her firm. She is always available and willing to help. She has an interest in foreign insolvency law.”

Ashurst

Ashurst in Singapore is known for its banking and projects work. 

The strength of the firm’s banking team can be gauged by its appointments to the global panels of Credit Suisse and BNP. During the research period the firm acted on the side of arrangers, lenders, financiers, and borrowers on matters including acquisition financing and refinancing. In terms of project financing the firm notably advised the lender on the financing of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail Project - the largest infrastructure project in Indonesian history.  

Recent highlights in the M&A space include advising the acquirer on the acquisition of a majority stake in the world’s largest gold mine and second-largest copper mine – the largest M&A transaction in Indonesia in the last 10 years and the largest-ever acquisition by an Indonesian SOE. Another highlight saw the firm act for acquirer on Malaysia's largest oil and gas M&A deal of 2018

In projects the firm is particularly strong in advising on the financing and development of power projects. An eye-catching mandate saw the firm acting on the financing and development of Vietnam's first integrated LNG to power project. 

On the restructuring front the firm advises lenders, debtors, potential purchasers and insolvency officeholders across a variety of sectors.

The firm fortified its corporate practice with the hires of new partners Waltter Kulvik from Sidley Austin and Michelle Phang from Shook Lin & Bok. Additionally, Alfred Ng joined the projects team as a partner from Sherman & Sterling, while banking partner Kate Allchurch retired form practice.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      BGC European Holdings acquisition of Ginga Petroleum

•                      Government of the Republic of Indonesia $3.85 billion acquisition of Freeport Grasberg

•                      Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Railway

•                      Kalbar 1 IPP Project

•                      Keppel Infrastructure Trust A$1.1 billion acquisition of Ixom HoldCo

•                      OMV Aktiengesellshaft $500 million acquisition of a 50% stake in Sapura Energy assets

•                      Sentek Marine & Trading $400 million financing

•                      Thi Vai LNG Receiving Terminal and Nhon Trach 3 & 4 power plant

Clifford Chance

The Singapore office Clifford Chance serves as a base for operations across the region and ranks among the market leaders in banking, M&A, restructuring and project finance.

In banking and finance the firm boasts one of the largest cross-border finance practices based in Singapore. Its diverse client base includes commercial and investment banks, funds and public and private corporations and international bodies. Noteworthy recent mandates saw the firm advising the sponsors on the financing of Taiwan's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm and acting for a lender on the financing of the largest solar power project in Vietnam to date. The firm also has extensive expertise in financial services regulatory and advises on regulatory issues affecting all parts of the financial sector.

A highlight in capital markets saw the firm acting for the issuer on the IPO of India’s first REIT.

The firm houses the largest dedicated M&A team amongst the international law firms in Singapore and focuses on corporate and M&A matters across South East Asia. The team has experience in acting for corporates, banks, private equity houses, sovereign wealth funds and real estate and infrastructure funds. During the research period the team took on a mix of buy and sell-side work, including on private equity mandates, across the region. The firm advised the acquirer in the management buyout of Standard Chartered Bank's private equity unit.

The restructuring team focuses on sectors such as oil and gas, telecommunications, construction and transport, maritime and shipping. The team has expertise in representing stakeholders such as creditors, lenders, coordinating committees, private equity sponsors, insolvency practitioners and debtors. Recently, the firm acted for a creditor in the high profile restructuring of Noble Group.

New hires saw Ross Howard joined the banking team from Clifford Chance Tokyo. Andrew Brereton left for King & Spalding and Andrew Gambarini retired from practice.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Aboitiz Equity Ventures $550 million acquisition of a majority stake in Gold Coin

•                      Embassy Office Parks REIT NSE IPO

•                      Evolution Wellness acquisition of Fivelements

•                      Nam Theun 1 hydroelectric power plant

•                      Nghi Son 2 coal-fired power plant

•                      Noble Group restructuring

•                      Payra coal-fired power plant

•                      PSA / Ocean Network Express joint venture

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson in Singapore has a diverse practice across the financial and corporate space and is recognised for its strength in project development.

A recent eye-catching banking transaction saw the firm advise the lender on providing the first and largest sustainability-linked loan in Asia’s real estate sector. The team has a wealth of experience in acting for both lenders and borrowers on the financing of enbloc acquisitions.

The capital markets team had a busy year and took on roles for an array of clients including arrangers, issuers, managers, trustees, and sponsors on matters such as rights issues, listings, IPOs, notes issues and private placements. A notable deal saw the firm advising Civmec on its dual primary listing on the ASX.

The firm’s recent M&A activities were a mix of buy and sell side work across a diverse range of industries. A highlight saw the firm acting for the target in a high value acquisition in the retail space. Another highlight saw the firm acting for an SOE in forming a joint venture to build the first oil refinery in Indonesia in over 20 years.

In projects work the firm advised on several cross-border mandates and was active in sectors including energy (conventional and renewable), oil and gas, mining, and utilities. An interesting deal saw the firm advising a consortium of Indonesian and Chinese entities on the development of a hydropower plant in Indonesia.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Batang Toru 510MW hydropower plant

•                      CapitaLand S$300 million sustainability-linked loan

•                      Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co $275 million acquisition of a 90% stake in Lang Xang Minerals

•                      OUB Centre $370 million financing

•                      Peranap 2 x 300MW coal fired power plant

•                      Sulut-3 coal-fired steam power plant

•                      Walmart $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart

•                      Petroliam Nasional acquisition of a 100% stake in Amplus Energy Solutions

Client feedback

“DRD was excellent in its knowledge of Islamic finance and was instrumental in putting across Shariah requirements in an understandable manner to the other parties. They kept us abreast of developments and did an excellent job in filtering the necessary actions required on our part. This allowed us to focus on the actionable items and helped to reduce the amount of review required for each draft. The approach that DRD took to simplify Islamic financing for the client was commendable.” – Banking and finance

“Commercial and efficient.” – Capital markets

“The law firm is highly professional and took great initiative to help complete the tasks and to resolve all unexpected and difficult problems.” – Capital markets

“Very professional and mindful of client's needs and interest.” – Capital markets

“Sound knowledge of industry practices and standards, strong awareness of trustees' concerns and pragmatic approach to issues and strong partner involvement in transactions.” – M&A

"They provide excellent services, are very responsive and deliver the work on time."- Project development

Nicholas Chong

“Detailed review and analysis of issues, strong awareness of key considerations. Pragmatic approach to problems and solutions.”

Jonathan Guwe

“Very responsive.”

Chuan Li

“Very diligent.”

“Highly responsive and professional, provided solutions and accommodated all requests willingly.”

Nicholas Lim

Very responsive.”

Janice Ngeow

“Janice brought an immeasurable expanse of knowledge to the table and her counsel was key in highlighting potential pitfalls which we would not have foreseen. Her ability to communicate clearly to all parties helped to facilitate negotiations around the commodity murabahah facility as not everyone had prior experience in Islamic finance.”

“A lawyer with vast experience in her areas of focus, very responsive and great customer service. Understand clients' requirements.”

Joo Thye Tan

“Very sharp.”

 

Drew & Napier

Drew & Napier is a solid performer across the financial and corporate space, but its prized restructuring and insolvency practice sets it apart from competitors. 

The banking team has particular expertise in project financing. Recently the firm took on roles such as lenders and borrowers counsel on financing transactions for firms active in sectors such as real estate, shipping, oil and gas, and renewable energy.

In capital markets work the firm recently acted for issuers and underwriters on matters including IPOs, bond issues, rights issues, and overseas listings.

On the M&A side the firm’s clients include private and publicly listed corporates, venture capital funds, financial institutions, multinationals, and government entities. Highlights include advising on the first merger of two REITs in Singapore; advising on the formation of one of Asia’s largest cybersecurity companies; and acting for SoftBank Vision Fund in the disposal of its interests in Flipkart to Walmart.

In restructuring, the firm took on roles for lenders, agents, bondholders, and creditors and notably advised firms such as Nam Cheong and TT International on debt restructuring exercises. The firm was particularly active in oil and gas and shipping.

A significant staffing change saw Kenny Kwan leave the capital markets team for Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. The restructuring team was boosted by the hire of Gary Wan from Prolegis.

Recent Deal Data highlights

·         eBay International $573 million acquisition of Giosis’ Japan business

·         ESR-REIT merger with Viva Industrial Trust

·         Haidilao International Holding HKEX IPO

·         IAG Holdings HKEX IPO

·         Nam Cheong $1.35 billion debt restructuring

·         Perennial Real Estate Holdings S$1.028 billion acquisition of a 50% stake in Capitol project

·         Starhub joint venture with Leone Investments

·         Walmart $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart

Client feedback

“Solid knowledge of local and international laws and regulations. Solid legal advice on commercial considerations from banking and legal perspectives. Solid advice on market standards from a banking perspective.“ – Banking

“Quality advice, quick turnaround time, reasonable rates and flexible charges. Offering to teach my banking staff in legal matters and update them on the latest developments in the legal arena.” - Banking

“The work is of the highest quality. “ - Capital markets

“Excellent. The law firm understands legal and commercial requirements.” - Capital markets

“It provides the full range of legal services to the clients. It is resourceful in helping the clients arrive at effective solutions in a timely manner when handling corporate work. The team exhibits a strong understanding of the business and provides value-added solutions.” - Capital markets

“Very high level of legal services of all kinds, as required by public companies and fund managers.” – Financial and corporate  

“Superb response and turnaround time; very good knowledge and understanding of the brief; easy to communicate and always available to discuss; very good fee structure; and approachable partners and associates.” - Investment funds

“Extremely professional, efficient and responsive given Take-over Code and Securities & Futures Act time constraints and several other issues which arose during the pre-Offer, Offer and post-Offer period.” - M&A

“The team from Drew & Napier in charge of our M&A work was detailed, thorough and quick in producing results. I was very satisfied with the outcome.” – M&A

“We have depended on the professional services of Drew & Napier's restructuring and insolvency team for more than 10 years and have never been disappointed. Overall, the quality of work (legal knowledge as well as an understanding of the market environment) has been outstanding. One aspect which we appreciated most is the team's ability to go beyond the legal aspects and advise us on the commercial implications.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“Drew & Napier's work is exemplary. Their strength is turnaround time, and I cannot point any weaknesses so far.“ - Restructuring and insolvency

“Extremely commercial and competent. Able to grasp issues affecting not just the legal position but those which relate to the commercial, political and reputational concerns of the clients.” - Restructuring and insolvency

 

Ron Cheng

“Highly professional, responsive and knowledgeable.” 

Pauline Chong

“Highly professional, responsive and knowledgeable.”

“Excellent legal and commercial advice on banking matters which is current and practical for business purposes.”

“Strong in corporate banking matters, understands trade and treasury products very well, always giving ideas for better ways of structuring financing lines, innovative in helping the find suitable solutions, and willing to walk the extra mile, clocking extra hours to rush out urgent cases.“

“One of the better legal professionals around, she is helpful, knowledgeable and professional in her dealings.”

“She is quick to respond with precise input. Use of associates for routines is very helpful in reducing the cost without compromising the quality. I could not see any weakness during our interaction.“

“Pauline is very detailed when she reviews documents. She brings in a local perspective and provides the best practice in the market for such documents. She gives easy to understand examples so that we can understand why certain clauses needed to be worded in a certain way. This really made my job so much easier. It is so pleasant to be working with Pauline.”

Blossom Hing

“Blossom stands out at her firm as a highly dedicated, conscientious and thoughtful. Blossom has a wealth of experience in insolvency and litigation in Singapore and is very versatile. She brings all her experience to bear in solving complex legal issues.”

“Extremely competent and commercial. Addresses not just the legal problems facing the client, but provides solutions tailored to the client's needs.”

Petrus Huang

“Very good lawyer with a lot of legal and business knowledge; very receptive.”

Michael Kwan

“Michael is highly responsive to any queries raised and is always contactable, which is an important attribute. In addition, he dispenses practical advice which takes into consideration both compliance and commercial factors for the client.”

Julian Kwek

“Both Sushil and Julian are excellent lawyers in all respects: intelligent, hardworking, responsive to client needs and creative.”

“Julian has a tremendous depth of understanding and knowledge of the Indonesian market which we are operating from. This knowledge had been most useful when assisting us to make major divestment decisions. He is able to think outside of the box and highlight to us, apart from legal issues, the commercial implications.“

Grace Lai

“Completely professional and highly responsive.”

“Excellent work. She delivers timely and effective solutions and advice to the client, and really understands the needs of the business and owner. Great time management.“

Renu Rajan Menon

“Absolutely wonderful to work with. Solid knowledge of the subject matter and superb attention to the deadlines.”

“Very strong commitment and ability to deliver. Excellent skills in communication and delivery.“

“Responsive and effective.”

Jon Nair

“Good at giving practical solutions in a timely manner.”

“He was very detailed, quick to respond and overall did a fantastic job.”  

Sushil Nair

“Both Sushil and Julian are excellent lawyers in all respects: intelligent, hardworking, responsive to client needs and creative.”

 

Duane Morris & Selvam

Duane Morris & Selvam’s Singapore office is best known for its capital markets work and serves as a hub for the firm’s regional practice. Since the firm is structured as a joint law venture, it can offer both foreign and local law advice.

The firm has significant experience in representing issuers, underwriters, placement agents, investment banks and investors in public and private offerings across the region. During the past year the firm had a special focus on India and acted mainly for the book running lead managers on numerous IPOs and private placements.

Key sectors of focus for the M&A team are technology and telecommunications, oil and gas, energy, utilities, consumer goods, media and entertainment, and pharmaceuticals. Although the firm was mainly mandated to act for acquirers this research period, it also worked on joint ventures and general corporate advisory matters. A highlight saw the firm advise a US private equity firm on its acquisition of an SGX-listed electronics manufacturer.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Affle Holdings NSE IPO

•                      Anmol Industries NSE IPO

•                      Fine Organic Industries NSE IPO

•                      IndusInd International Holdings $205 million rights issue

•                      NCC $79.8 million qualified institutions placement of shares

•                      Platinum Equity Advisors International S$203 million acquisition of PCI

•                      Prince Pipes and Fittings NSE IPO

•                      White Lodge Education Group Services acquisition of Invictus International School

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee in Singapore is recognised for its banking and project finance work. The firm is particularly strong in the aviation industry and acts for banks, financial institutions, domestic and international airlines, aircraft leasing and finance companies, aviation service and maintenance companies, and aircraft manufacturers.

The banking team has experience in advising clients on matters related to pre-delivery payment financings, export credit supported financings, and securitisations. During the research period the firm acted for lenders, leasing companies and banks on a number of confidential aviation-related transactions.

In capital markets area the firm is well known for representing issuers and arranging banks on establishing and operating EMTN programmes. The firm recently advised arrangers, issuers, and managers on bond issues and on updating EMTN programmes.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Agile Group Holdings $500 million 6.7% senior notes issue

•                      Ausgrid Finance $3 billion EMTN programme

•                      Brisbane Airport Corporation €1.5 billion EMTN programme

•                      Ezra Holdings S$150 million debt restructuring

•                      Incitec Pivot $1.5 billion EMTN programme

•                      RHB Bank $5 billion EMTN programme

•                      Transurban Queensland Finance $500 million fixed rate note issue

•                      Transurban Queensland Finance CHF200 million fixed rate note issue

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is ranked among the market leaders in banking, capital markets, M&A and projects.

The banking team has experience in representing banks, financial advisors, private equity firms, hedge funds, borrowers, sponsors, syndicates and government institutions.

During the research period the firm acted for a mix of lenders and corporate clients on an array of matters including cross-border syndicated loans, leveraged and acquisition finance. Key sectors of focus included telecommunication, mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, and banking.

The firm was active on a number of landmark mandates recently, such as advising the sponsor on the first infrastructure project finance securitisation in Asia and acting for the acquirer on the financing of the one of the largest ever-public acquisitions in Indonesia.

The firm increased its banking strength with the hire of Farhana Sharmeen as a partner from Withers Khattarwong.

Recent Deal Data highlights

·         Bayfront Infrastructure Capital infrastructure project finance securitisation

·         Barito Pacific $200 million loan facility

·         Chandra Asri Petrochemical $191 million export credit facility

·         Energi Mega Persada debt refinancing

·         Golden Energy and Resources AU$150 million financing

·         MyRepublic Group $60 million structured credit facility

·         Rantau Dedap Geothermal Power Project

·         Semen Indonesia $1.31 billion acquisition financing

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown’s clear strength lies in its projects work.

The firm’s banking offering covers all key products relevant to international banks and borrowers in the region and has a special focus on India related acquisition and leveraged financing. The team also has experience in advising on structured trade and commodities financing and financial services regulatory work. During the research period the firm mainly acted for international banks and financial institutions on an array of confidential financing mandates.

In the projects space the firm is known for working on oil and gas projects regionally and has a particular focus on energy and infrastructure in emerging jurisdictions, including Myanmar, Pakistan and Indonesia. In the recent past the firm acted for clients including developers, lenders, and sponsors on several confidential oil and gas and power projects throughout the region.

The banking team hired partners Ian Roebuck and Kayal Sachi from Allen & Overy recently.

Client feedback

"Extremely professional, good industry experience and ability to understand clients situation well. I am impressed with their willingness to go the extra mile to ensure our interests in the transaction are well protected."– Banking

“Very analytical and good quality.” – Banking

“Strengths - subject matter experts on this topic. Clear and responsive dialogue with the firm's partners.” - Banking

Angelia Chia

”Insightful and innovative. Has depth in the subject matter.”

Ben Sandstad

“Excellent in all aspects.”

Providence Law Asia

Providence Law Asia is a boutique law firm specialising in cross-border and domestic restructuring and insolvency matters.

The firm recently acted for liquidators and creditors on the liquidation proceedings of firms’ active in sectors such as real estate, technology, financial services and real estate.

Rajah & Tann Singapore

Rajah & Tann in Singapore is a consistent performer across the financial and corporate space and excels in project and restructuring work.

The banking team acts for domestic and international banks, financial institutions, and corporates on a wide variety of instruments and cross border transactions. During the research period the firm acted for an array of stakeholders such as lenders, arrangers, and financiers on several real estate finance, project finance, acquisition finance, Islamic finance and structured finance transactions. A highlight mandate saw the firm act for the lender on the world’s largest Islamic bilateral hotel financing deal and Singapore’s first Islamic real estate financing in the core central business district.

In capital markets work the firm has experience in acting for issuers, issue managers, underwriters, and originators on deals from across the spectrum of capital markets transactions. A recent highlight saw the firm advise on the issue of the first catastrophe bond in Singapore.

In M&A the firm took on both buy and sell-side roles in acquisitions and advised on mergers. Recent highlights include acting for sell-side in the award-winning, high profile acquisition of Global Logistics Properties and acting on the first merger between two real estate investment trusts in Singapore.

In the projects space a noteworthy mandate saw the firm advising the developer on the largest private sector property development initiative undertaken in Thailand.

The firm’s restructuring team was the first dedicated restructuring and insolvency practice group in Singapore and remains the largest of such dedicated practice groups in the jurisdiction. The team has acted for a wide range of clients, including lenders and creditors ( both secured and unsecured), debtors, and liquidators, judicial managers, receivers, scheme managers and independent financial advisors. The firm notably acted on the debt restructuring of Nam Cheong - one of the largest debt restructuring exercises in the oil and gas industry locally.

Staffing changes saw the appointments of new partners Eugene Lee from Prolegis to the capital markets and M&A teams, and Loh Chun Kiat from WongPartnership to the M&A team.

Recent Deal Data highlights

·         ESR-REIT / Viva Industrial Trust merger

·         Hong Leong Asia S$202.3 million rights issue

·         Koufu Group SGX IPO

·         Nam Cheong $1.35 billion debt restructuring

·         Nesta Investment Holdings $11.87 billion acquisition of Global Logistics Properties

·         One Bangkok

·         SIT multi-energy microgrid

 

Client feedback

“The counsels are precise and meticulous in the approach and offer comprehensive, prompt and strategic M&A and banking/finance advice.” - Banking

“Shemane Chan was thorough in drafting, providing for all possibilities in the first cut, and determined and dogged in the negotiations that ensued.” - Project development

Shemane Chan

“Thorough in providing the first cut of the draft. Determined and dogged in the ensuing negotiations. Always flexible to accommodate calls and discussions with clients.“

Xin Mei Lee

“She is perfect for our company needs and requirements. We could not have breezed through the past challenging transactions without her help.”

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling in Singapore is known for its expertise in project finance and project development. Key sectors of focus include infrastructure, oil and gas, power, renewable energy, utilities and petrochemicals.

Recent highlights include advising on the financing and development of the high profile RAPID project in Malaysia; the financing and development of the Jawa 1 LNG to power project - the first and largest of the LNG-to-power projects in Indonesia and one of the most high profile projects in the region. The firm also advised the lender on the financing of Vena Energy Solar Projects – the first solar projects to be financed in Indonesia.

The capital markets team has a wealth of experience in IPOs, particularly in relation to India, Indonesia and Thailand. In the past year the firm primarily advised international banks and financial institutions in their roles as initial purchasers, arrangers, dealers, and solicitation agents on matters including bonds and notes issues.

In the corporate and M&A space the firm boasts one of the few pure private equity specialist teams in Singapore. The firm also focuses on insurance M&A and bancassurance matters. A newsworthy M&A deal saw the firm act for Petronas in an investment by Saudi Aramco in the RAPID project in Malaysia.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec acquisition Rs26.4 billion of a 40% stake in CLP India

•                      GMR Hyderabad International Airport $300 million 5.375% bond issue

•                      Golden Energy and Resources $150 million 9% bond issue

•                      Jawa 1 LNG to power plant

•                      Project RAPID

•                      Saudi Aramco $7 billion acquisition of a stake in Petronas' RAPID project 

•                      Vena solar power plant

•                      Vinh Tan 3 BOT power plant

Shook Lin & Bok

Shook Lin & Bok in Singapore is strongest in M&A and restructuring work. The firm is also skilled in advising on real estate matters across all practice areas

The firm has had a strong period across financial and corporate. It acted on the first sustainability-linked loan in Asia's real estate sector; the listing of a South-Korean internet company on the Official List of the SGX; the proposed acquisition by a Chinese steel-maker in a bid to become the world’s third-largest steelmaker; and the restructuring of a foreign bank.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      CapitaLand Treasury S$300 million loan facility

•                      CapitaLand Retail China Trust Management S$130 million 3.25% bond issue

•                      Grab $1.46 billion Series H financing round

•                      Hyperion Refinance $115 million loan facility

•                      Kakao Corp $1 billion SGX listing

•                      Logan Property Holdings S$200 million 6.125% bond issue

•                      Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment S$128 million acquisition of Semiconductor Technologies and Instruments

•                      Yanlord Land $350 million 6.75% bond issue

 

Client feedback

“The partners and their team are very responsive and provide clear advice to the bank as well as alternative solutions.” – Banking

“Patient and diligent; willing to go the extra mile.” – Banking

“Knowledgeable and experienced in the sector with continuous interaction and involvement of senior partners.” - M&A

“Professional and provides timely advice with excellent support.” – M&A

“Shook Lin & Bok has the necessary capabilities for complicated matters at an equivalent if not better level than the larger law firms in Singapore and at a lower cost.” - Restructuring and insolvency

David Chong
“Very forthcoming, competent and thorough in looking at innovative ways.”  

Kai Zee Liew

“Kai Zee is very helpful and always provided us with very good advice. Despite his senior position, he still attended to the staff personally whenever we approached him. He is very knowledgeable in the legal field and conducts periodic training and seminars.”

Debby Lim

“Debby is a very responsive and commercial lawyer who is able to advise insolvency practitioners on the most cost-effective route to be taken to resolve complicated dispute matters.”

Stanley Lim

“Dedicated.”

Zhi Ming Tan

“Zhi Ming is very hardworking and always reachable. He is reliable and always stretching out for the client. He is also patient and able to explain clearly any legal issues encountered to our clients and their legal advisers.”

 

TSMP Law Corporation

TSMP Law Corporation is recognised for its work in M&A and restructuring and insolvency.

In the banking area the firm specialises in acquisition and project financing in the real estate sector and has experience in advising both lenders and borrowers. A notable cross border mandate saw the firm acting as the lead counsel to an international bank in extending a facility to a hospitality firm.

An interesting recent capital markets highlight saw the firm acting as the Singapore listing agent in the first state government-backed bond issuance in India. Another highlight saw the firm advising a Malaysian car manufacturer and dealership operator on its cross-border IPO and listing on the catalist board of the SGX.

On the M&A front the firm is known for top quality work in public company takeovers and has recently been focused on media, real estate, and technology and telecommunication. An eye-catching mandate saw the firm acting for the financial adviser to Viva Industrial Trust on Singapore’s first-ever trust scheme, which resulted in the merger of two REITs.

The restructuring team has a wealth of experience in acting for creditors, debtors and insolvency professionals. The firm notably acted for a creditor on the high-value restructuring of Hyflux.

The firm strengthened its banking and corporate practices by bringing in June Ho as a partner from Wikborg Rein.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      ESR-REIT / Viva Industrial Trust merger

•                      HPL Resorts $225 million financing

•                      Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board Rs21.5 billion 9.7% masala bonds issue

•                      MeGroup SGX IPO

•                      mm2 Asia $300 million MTN programme

•                      OUE Commercial REIT S$6.8 billion merger with OUE Hospitality Trust

•                      Oxley Holdings $225 million financing

•                      Oxley Beryl S$483 million term loan facility

Client feedback

“Very responsive and knowledgeable.” - Banking

“Excellent work standard. Sufficient resources dedicated to the transactions to meet deadlines.” – M&A

“The team was very responsive. The leadership provided by the partners was exemplary.” – M&A

“Good program management and good work output.” – M&A

“It starts with them knowing or paying careful attention to know us, our business and the transaction well. Taking the care and trouble in doing so. Listening carefully, asking questions and the occasional probing. From there, with careful deliberation, they provided sound legal advice. As a discerning consumer, we are attuned to sound advice. There's sound advice that's not immediately useable. And there's sound advice that we know is practical (no need to unbox) and can be used straightaway - TSMP are good practitioners of this school. Also like their own seamless interface between Senior Associate and Partners - clients like this because things move quickly and it is cost effective. Kudos to them too as they are letting their young talent run and develop with actual hard-nosed work.” - M&A

“TSMP went over and above to ensure we signed the transaction in the short time frame demanded by the vendor. The team always had a positive attitude no matter the hour.”

"Good, thoughtful advice. Holistic, including reputational and regulatory considerations.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Jennifer Chia

“Excellent quality.”

“Great work with good strategic and is responsive and attentive. Understands issues involved in M&A and is responsive in solving them.”

“Jennifer understood our needs, was commercial without compromising on the legal protection that we needed to ensure we got over the line. She was calm throughout the fast paced complex transaction.”

Shen Yi Thio

“A very holistic thinker with a good company, which really helps on long engagements.”

“Great work with good strategic and is responsive and attentive. Understands issues involved in M&A and is responsive in solving them.”

Stefanie Yuen Thio

“Engages the client proactively and is reasonably priced.”

Chee Chin Wi

“Engages the client proactively and is reasonably priced.”

 

 

 

 

WongPartnership

 Ranked in tier 1 across all practice areas, WongPartnership is one of the foremost law firms in Singapore.

The firm’s banking team acts for domestic and international banks, financial institutions and corporations on a mix of both bank lending and corporate borrowing mandates. In a notable recent mandate the firm acted for the borrowers on the refinancing of the development of a landmark real estate project. In another interesting mandate the firm advised the lenders on a first of its kind green loan.

In capital markets work the firm maintained its reputation for cutting edge work by acting on mandates such as the SGX IPO of Sasseur REIT- the first outlet mall REIT to be listed in Asia. On the debt capital markets side a noteworthy mandate saw the firm acting for the issuer on the first retail perpetual convertible capital securities offering in Singapore since 2013 and the first retail offering of debt securities in Singapore since 2016.

In the M&A space an eye-catching mandate saw the firm advising on the first time a merger of two real estate investment trusts in Singapore.

On the projects front the firm’s key sectors of focus include construction, infrastructure, oil and gas, power (conventional and renewable), utilities, social infrastructure and transport. A recent highlight saw the firm advising the developer on the construction of an iconic mixed development.

In a significant mandate in the restructuring area the firm acted for Hyflux on its high profile restructuring. Another highlight saw the firm assisting one of Singapore’s leading ground engineering solutions providers with its restructuring.

A significant staffing change saw the departure of Rachel Eng for Eng and Co.

Recent Deal Data highlights

·         CapitaLand S$11 billion acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge

·         Commons Residential S$925 million financing

·         ESR-REIT merger with Viva Industrial Trust

·         Frasers Property Aquamarine Trustee S$1.2 billion green loan

·         Hyflux Group S$1.5 billion debt restructuring

·         Sasseur REIT SGX IPO

·         Stockland Trust Management €300 million 1.625% notes issue

·         Wallich Residence and TPC Hotel S$1.54 billion loan facility

 

Client feedback

‘Responsive and commercial-minded.” – Banking

“Clearly experienced; displayed deep technical knowledge. Alvin Chia, in particular, is always helpful and very knowledgeable.” – Banking

“Extremely satisfied with professional advice.” - Capital markets

“Good advice and very detailed.” – M&A

“WP offers holistic advice, which is a result of working seamlessly across functions. The counsels listen to clients' requirements and are able to offer good practical solutions to achieve outcomes.” - M&A

“Quick to respond to questions, good documentation, good and prompt liaising with the counterparty.” - M&A

“Rigorous adherence to rendering correct advice, in a dynamic and often ambiguous situation that continuously evolved over 12 months. The firm consistently advised the bidder to avoid conduct that would breach regulations, even though the bidder was tempted to walk into regulatory grey areas.” – M&A

“The WP team has always accommodated requests to turnaround documents with high levels of efficiency while meeting the tight datelines. Their services and work provided have always been professional and commercial, which is very important in my business. They are able to break down the legal jargon to simple layman terms such that the rest of the deal team can comprehend. They have been transparent with their work hours and fees. Strengths - legal knowledge, ability to identify risks and mitigants, considering commercial terms and challenges, meeting datelines, high level of efficiency and professionalism.” – M&A

“Very prompt service, meticulous review, and detailed.” - Project development

“The firm is highly regarded for its project development expertise. Ms Lesley Tan, in particular, stands out for her clear, prompt and strategic advice to the business. In this, she is able to leverage her close understanding of our business objectives and practices to provide highly commercial and practical advice.” - Project development

“One of Singapore's top law firm in this space. Deep technical capabilities in restructuring and insolvency. Responsive, practical, commercial and reliable.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“Very knowledgeable, responsive and reverts with options.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“WP is always a safe bet, in terms of ease of access to lawyers, response time to client requests and knowledge of the law.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“Generally, very well versed in local restructuring laws and practices. Provides sound legal advice and good guidance on dealing with various creditor groups. Good performances at court hearings.” - Restructuring and insolvency

 

Andrew Ang

“Andrew Ang is a principled lawyer who is unafraid to render tough yet correct advice. He is much appreciated for his strong commercial nous. Warm, approachable manner, and well-liked by clients.”

Sing Yee Chan

“Chan Sing Yee, who headed the M&A team for this project, offered sound practical advice, was available at all times (and all hours) for the cross border transaction and co-ordinated well in providing holistic advice with inputs from WP's other teams and also UK specific advice from the UK counsels.”

“Ms Chan is a lawyer that grew with the group. From a legal assistant to a partner in the WP Team. She is able to relate to the client and make a complex matter much easier for the client.“

Weiling Chen

“Good follow up action.”

Alvin Chia

“Alvin is very experienced and knowledgeable. He is approachable and is a very technically sound lawyer.”

Joel Chng

“Jason's and Joel's expertise are on handling regulatory issues and dealing with authorities, sales and purchase agreements, term sheets, and handling creditor groups.”

“Good lawyer; provides innovative solutions and is client-focused.”

“Very approachable and an effective communicator. Displays tactical acumen - ability to think and advise over and above just the legal issues. Ability to not only look at the strategic picture but also is comfortable across the day to day details.”  

Mark Choy

“Very responsive, provides good and commercial recommendations, and does good quality work.”

Jason Chua

“Jason's and Joel's expertise are on handling regulatory issues and dealing with authorities, sales and purchase agreements, term sheets, and handling creditor groups.”

Lawrence Foo

“He is very approachable, attentive and very detailed in his work. He reverts in a timely manner and prepares to consider other proposals.”

Joseph He

“Liang Weitan and Joseph He have been our key points of contact with WP, and they are in the M&A space. Both individuals displayed an exemplary level of professionalism and provided advice by combining legal and commercial perspectives, which I find rare in other lawyers that I have worked with in the past. They were able to identify and bring to our attention legal and economic risks/mitigants during the due diligence phase and negotiation stage. They would never hesitate to meet us physically to take us through all the issues and changes in the documents.”    

Dawn Law

“Dawn is very responsive and is able to provide solutions. She also provides good referrals to other experts within the firm when necessary.“

Weitan Liang

“Liang Weitan and Joseph He have been our key points of contact with WP, and they are in the M&A space. Both individuals displayed an exemplary level of professionalism and provided advice by combining legal and commercial perspectives, which I find rare in other lawyers that I have worked with in the past. They were able to identify and bring to our attention legal and economic risks/mitigants during the due diligence phase and negotiation stage. They would never hesitate to meet us physically to take us through all the issues and changes in the documents.”    

Christy Lim

“She has proven to be a tough yet practical negotiator for her client and never failing to exceed our expectations.“

“Very competent and qualified partner.”

Kah Keong Low

“He is practical, knowledgeable and readily available.”

Smitha Menon

“Smitha's expertise are on overseeing legal agreements and documentation, affidavits and court work.”

“Strong legal skills, commercial, and good interpersonal skills.”

Sin Wei Ong

“Detailed and attentive.”

Gail Ong

“Gail is a very experienced lawyer whose professional advice and excellent client service I will always be happy to rely on.”

Fi Ling Quak

“Smart and a strong negotiator.”

“Highly appreciated for her comprehensive advice which addresses risks that can be overlooked by others. She is a highly capable lawyer who has gained the trust and a following of an increasing retinue of clients. She is unflappable despite handling several high-pressure transactions concurrently. She is well-liked due to her warm and approachable personality.”

Jennifer Sadeli

“Excellent.”

Manoj Sandrasegara

“Manoj's expertise are the overall leadership on the restructuring effort, negotiations with investors and creditor groups, restructuring strategy and designing new corporate structures.”

“Team leader, excellent legal knowledge and very commercial.”

Daniel Tan

“Sound legal knowledge, approachable and commercial.”

“Daniel Tan is an excellent lawyer with a solid understanding of the law and its nuances. Daniel goes above and beyond what is expected of him to ensure that a project is completed well and in a timely manner. Having Daniel in my corner for a file is reassuring.”

Lesley Tan

“Good follow up action.”

“Lesley Tan stands out for her clear, prompt and strategic advice to the business. In this, she is able to leverage her close understanding of our business objectives and practices to provide highly commercial and practical advice.”

“Confident in her advice as she is thorough and practical. My go-to person for construction-related advice.“

Susan Wong

“Susan is a banking and finance guru in Singapore. She is very strong in her legal knowhow, and it is always advisable to have her acting for you rather than on the opposite side.”

“Very knowledgeable and competent.”

Karen Yeoh

“Excellent professionalism.”