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
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

The Singapore team of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is focused on banking and project development. The firm advises on transactions in sectors including mining, construction and energy.

In the past year, the firm advised Zoetic Capital on the development of a modular hydrokinetic technology project at Ghana’s Akosombo Dam. Elsewhere, the firm assisted J-Power on a project involving the production of hydrogen from brown coal reserves in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Australia.

Michael Joyce from Norton Rose Fulbright joined the practice over the research period.

Key clients include Toyota Tsusho, Mitsui & C, and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy.

Allen & Gledhill

Allen & Gledhill is a market leader in Singapore. Best known for its flagship banking and finance practice, the firm is equally strong in its other practices. The firm has an established regional presence with its Malaysian associated firm Rahmat Lim & Partners and an office in Myanmar.

In the banking and finance area, the firm advised major clients like DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB) on a variety of matters, in particular within the property development and real estate sectors.

The firm has a strong practice in both the debt and equity capital market spaces as well as REITs, with highlight deals including acting for NetLink Trust on its complex IPO, the largest in Singapore since 2011, and advising UOB on a dual-currency bond.

The M&A team has seen an increase in activity over the past year, with key areas of interest including the real estate, logistics, and consumer sectors. The team acted for Broadcom in both its redomiciliation to the US and its attempted acquisition of Qualcomm.

In the project development space the firm has also been active in a number of cross border projects involving Malaysia and Myanmar given the limited capacity for greenfield projects in Singapore.

The restructuring and insolvency team lost head partner Edwin Tong following his appointment as Senior Minister of State, but had a strong year acting for clients like UOB and Jurong Town Corporation.

Client feedback

"Committed team with experienced partners and ability to provide relevant advice in most situations." – Capital markets

"The firm has reinforced its unique position for working on Singapore capital market deals, both on corporate and REIT/BT side, with particular strength acting for issuers  We have worked with and alongside Allen & Gledhill on multiple deals this year, and their depth of team as well as collective experience and expertise in Singapore is unrivalled. Tze Gay Tan, in particular as senior partner for capital markets is a stand-out lawyer and go-to-person for all complex or otherwise complicated matters. Rhys Goh is another senior partner whose judgement we trust and appreciate greatly. They are hands-on, have most or all relevant experience in the market, and are willing to work through complex issues constructively and efficiently, irrespective of which side of a deal they are on." – Capital markets

"Allen & Gledhill's team led by Jerry Koh is highly professional and responsive. We are totally satisfied with the services rendered.  The team has been able to offer very invaluable solutions to the problems we faced." – Capital markets

"A highly professional firm with in-depth knowledge of the REIT market and regulations. Support is exemplary and advice provided is excellent. Work is promptly delivered." - Investment funds

"Arguably, the de facto 'go to' firm when it comes to Singapore law. Allen & Gledhill lawyers are well versed on technical legal issues, while at the same time being able to put a commercial perspective on issues." - Project development, M&A       

"Well-established leading firm with comprehensive range of expertise areas. Deep expertise and up to date knowledge of market developments." - Project development

Leonard Ching

"Best in class- provides sensible and practical solutions. He is in the trenches fighting for his clients. He knows the regulators and how they think. This has proved invaluable."

Chua Bor Jern

"Very professional and always provide us with very helpful solutions."

"Very reliable and knowledgeable."

"Very good knowledge of the law and has a good relationship with regulators, and therefore is able to give us some insight on our matters from the regulators' perspective."

Tan Tze Gay

"Tze Gay Tan, Rhys Goh are excellent and are probably among the Top 4 general corporate and IPO lawyers for Singapore."

"Very experienced and technically competent. Responsive and fast turn around."

Rhys Goh

“His analysis of the issues is clear, and solutions are sound and practical. He is completely professional in his conduct, and this helps him get his points across. When the other side listens to his advice as well, one knows that he is in safe hands. Accessible and responsive at all times of the day."

"Tze Gay Tan, Rhys Goh are excellent and are probably among the Top 4 general corporate and IPO lawyers for Singapore."

"Sound advice and responsive. Singapore standard for advice on listing rules and regulatory compliance to give senior management and Boards comfort with compliance."

"Extremely well versed in the Singapore IPO market with strong practical knowledge of the regulators. Commercially sharp and sensitive to clients' needs."

"Astute in identifying issues and demonstrates considerable expertise in subject matter. Reliable and efficient in dealing with clients. Offers thoughtful and holistic advice and solutions."

Christopher Koh

"Commercially savvy and conscientious."

Jerry Koh

"His deep and extensive legal knowledge of the REIT industry is unsurpassable. Additionally, his familiarity and good relationships with the monetary authority, stock exchange as well as other authorities are extremely helpful. Above all, Jerry is a professional, of high integrity and humility."

Lim Mei

"Excellent, and it is comforting to know that she will watch out for my interests on a transaction or a tricky situation."

Aloysius Ng

"Strong articulation skills and very clear headed on the points in negotiation when engaging with the opposing counsel; does very well in explaining legal matters in layman language to his clients; strong knowledge of banking matters and operations which allows for clear and precise drafting of documents."

Lim Wei Ting

"Strong ability to understand highly complex transactions and underlying commercial considerations. Sharp legal mind with an astute appreciation of commercial considerations. Strong ability to forge consensus and deliver persuasive and robust arguments."

"He is extremely knowledgeable - public "buyouts" and mega-scale real estate developments projects are his pet transactions. His ability to temper legal constructs with a commercial lens and synthesise them for our ease of consumption is one of his strong suits."

Kok Chee Wai

"Timeliness, accessibility, ability to provide sound recommendation/solutions."

"Very knowledgeable in the area of financing."

Kelvin Wong

"Has vast knowledge about projects and infrastructure work."

 

 

 

Allen & Overy

Serving as the firm’s Southeast Asia hub, the Singapore office of Allen & Overy is highly regarded for projects, capital markets, banking, M&A and restructuring work.

The banking team has worked on numerous high-profile deals, primarily for banks. The firm advised JP Morgan Securities, Citibank, Deutsche Bank and Nomura International in financing the acquisition of shares in Axis Bank by Bain Capital. The firm also advised HSBC on the acquisition financing of EPK Acquisition Limited’s acquisition of ePAK Holdings.

In capital markets, the firm advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas and Citigroup in a landmark liability management transaction by PTT Exploration and Production.

The project team was particularly active in oil and gas, energy and infrastructure and natural resources. A highlight deal saw the firm advising Vopak, Petronas and Dialog Group on the financing of a new deep-water oil terminal in Malaysia. The firm also acted for Total and Siemens on the development of a gas-fired power project in Myanmar.

The firm underwent a number of staffing changes. Prakash Raja Segaran from Shook Lin & Bok and Ron Tan from Rajah & Tann joined the practice, while Kayal Sachi and Ian Roebuck from the banking and finance team left for Mayer Brown JSM. Also, Tristan Iredell from the project team moved to Allens.

Key clients include Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, Maybank Investment Bank, Itochu Petroleum and HSBC.

 Client feedback

"Allen & Overy are definitively a leading counsel for Indonesian structured corporate and acquisition finance. We have used them as the lenders' counsel on numerous financings over the last five years and receive quality and consistent work and advice. I would particularly highlight Gautam Narasimhan as an excellent operator in this space." – Banking and finance

"Allen & Overy has the advantage of an extensive network of offices and alliances in the SE Asia region including in Indonesia and Vietnam. They are therefore able to provide a more co-ordinated service than other law firms. The level of service provided has generally been of a very high standard." – Banking and finance, Capital markets

"Exceeds expectations, always." – Capital markets

"Very responsive, and provide good commercial advice." – Capital markets

Ashurst

Ashurst's office in Singapore specialises in project development and finance, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The firm is also active in M&A, capital markets, banking and restructuring, and insolvency.

Boasting one of largest teams of specialist projects and infrastructure partners, Ashurst’s Singapore office has been involved in mandates across various Asian jurisdictions. Financing highlights include acting for the China Development Bank in the financing of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and advising a syndicate of lenders on financing Golden Concord Group’s first coal-fired power project in Indonesia. In another noteworthy matter, the firm advised Tokyo Gas on the development and financing of the Thi Vai LNG receiving terminal and the Nhon Trach 3&4 power plant in Vietnam.

On the project development side, the firm advised a confidential client on its proposed development of a number of solar power projects in Vietnam. Another notable deal saw the firm acting for EGP on its proposed development of a number of hydropower plants in Indonesia. 

The corporate and M&A team has a particular focus on the mining, oil and gas, and natural resources sectors. Most of the work has been confidential but one interesting public matter saw the firm acting for Total and INPEX in negotiations with the Government of Indonesia and Pertamina for the transfer of the Mahakam gas block, the largest gas field in Indonesia.

The firm underwent a sizeable shift in staff in the past year. The project team was strengthened by the additions of Anthony Ong from Baker McKenzie, Priya Shah from Clifford Chance, Christopher Sheridan from VDB Loi and Alfred Ng, as partner, from Shearman & Sterling. The FLA banking team welcomed Lifen Tang from Allen and Overy and Kai Loon Loh from Linklaters. Naomi Vidler returned from a secondment at BHP to join the corporate and M&A team, while Kunal Kapoor left the team for Dentons Rodyk & Davidson.

Key clients include Mitsubishi, LafargeHolcim, GPC Asia Pacific, Spirax Sarco Engineering, Asia Development Bank and China Development Bank.

Ashurst entered into a formal law alliance (FLA) with Singapore firm ADTLaw in May 2017. The FLA, known as Ashurst ADTLaw, now combines Ashurst's global resources with the litigation, corporate and finance practices of ADTLaw.

Client feedback

"The firm's strengths include the high quality of its work and its good insights into transactions from a legal perspective." – Banking and finance

"Practical and commercial team who understand the client's business and their objectives which helps in structuring finance deals. Generally, very responsive and eager." - Banking and finance

"We engage Ashurst mainly for corporate financing deals. The Singapore partners are largely responsive and open." - Banking and finance

"Ashurst is a good firm, and its lawyers take the time to explain their concerns." – Financial services regulatory

"The firm has a strong banking and finance practice, particularly in China and India."- M&A, Capital markets

 

 

Asia Practice

Asia Practice is a banking and finance focused practice with experience in the projects space and M&A.

In banking, the firm advised on matters such as acquisition financing, real estate financing and refinancing. The firm was particularly active in shipping and real estate. Interesting work done in the past year includes advising a Malaysian bank on financing granted to a real estate developer for the acquisition of a mixed-development building, and advising on the financing of a joint venture between a property group and a hotel chain. 

Standout M&A work includes advising on the acquisition of an oil palm plantation located in central Indonesia by an Indonesian corporation, and acting for a vendor on the acquisition of its business and assets by a Japanese technology distributor. 

Client feedback

“The firm is responsive and reasonable.” – Banking and finance

“It is responsive and able to provide business oriented solutions, while the partners were approachable.” – Project finance

 

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

The Singapore office of Baker McKenzie is known for its strength in projects, banking and finance, capital markets and M&A. The firm is active in sectors including energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, insurance, and mining.

In the projects space, the firm was involved in a number of notable mandates. The firm advised Energi Bayu Jeneponto on the financing of the Tolo wind farm in Indonesia. Elsewhere, the firm assisted Sembcorp North-West Power and other sponsors in the financing of a gas and fuel oil-fired combined-cycle power station in Bangladesh. Another highlight saw the firm advising Kereta Cepat Indonesia China on the development and financing of Indonesia's first high-speed railway. 

The Singapore office is at the center of Baker McKenzie’s Southeast Asia and South Asia M&A practice. The firm advised the likes of Julius Baer on a joint venture with Siam Commercial Bank for the offering of wealth management services to Thai clients. Other highlights include advising Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance on the acquisition of First Capital Insurance from Fairfax Asia and acting for MUFG in the acquisition of a majority stake in Bank Danamon Indonesia. The latter mandate was one of the largest acquisitions in the Indonesian banking and financial sector in recent years.

Andrew Zaw from Linklaters and Lim Sun Kyun from BP joined the projects practice in the research period.

The firm has an impressive client list including LGT Group, Allied World Assurance, Kirin Holdings, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and HSBC.

Client feedback

"Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow is very responsive, client-centric and strong on technical aspects of deals." – Banking and finance

"Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow generally provides a value for money proposition in the Singapore market - particularly for volume based work, where there is more price sensitivity on legal fees. A strength is that their Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur offices work closely together." – Banking and finance

"Efficient and pragmatic." – Banking and finance

"The capital markets team in Singapore has a broad breadth of coverage, covering transactions in Southeast Asia and South Asia. As such, they have a good understanding of market practice and norms across multiple jurisdictions. It is also helpful that they have local partnerships and affiliates in certain jurisdictions (e.g. Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia) that have strong practices and bolsters their capability and ability to provide a more seamless service offering in cross-border transactions involving these jurisdictions." – Capital markets

"Very customer-focused, and dedicated to our needs." – M&A

 

Bird & Bird ATMD

Bird & Bird ATMD’s core strength is its work in the projects space and it is one of the few Singaporean firms to have a specialist practice for energy management and energy efficiency projects. 

The capital markets team has experience providing advice on both domestic and cross-border matters. An interesting mandate saw the firm assist C&N Holdings on its IPO on HKSE’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) board. Elsewhere, the firm acted on Clearbridge Health’s proposed IPO on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange.

The M&A team has a special focus on sectors such as pharmaceuticals and technology. Highlight deals in the past year include QuEST Global Services’ takeover of Agreeya Mobility and Singapore Press Holdings’ acquisition of Orange Valley Healthcare.

In the projects space, the firm advised Juwi Renewable Energies on lease and project development agreements for two solar farm projects in Australia. The firm also worked for EREN Development Asia on the financing of solar projects in India. 

Kim Kit Ow from RHTLaw Taylor Wessing joined the firm’s banking and finance team as a partner.

Key clients include Dow Chemical Pacific, Singapore Press Holdings, Cityneon Holdings and Eyeota Holdings.

Client feedback

“Marcus Chow is highly professional and proficient. The firm is also proactive in developing structuring solutions for us and helping us think out-of-the-box." – M&A 

 

BlackOak

An independent boutique firm specialising in restructuring and insolvency, BlackOak prides itself on its small size which allows for a high level of senior involvement.

In the past year, the firm took on work in sectors including real estate, telecommunications, shipping and natural resources. Notable work includes advising Kreuz Subsea Group on its restructuring; acting for BLD Investments in a cross-border restructuring of bonds; and assisting Glencore Singapore on the restructuring of Jurong Aromatics.

The firm has worked for clients such as Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Lehman Brothers.

Client feedback

“It is very knowledgeable and has good client management.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“Small firm, but very, very good. Ashok Kumar always provides excellent strategy, good paperwork and performs great litigation work." - Restructuring and insolvency

“Commercially astute. Quick responses. Specialised knowledge.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“It is excellent in restructuring and insolvency matters.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“Best in class in Singapore. Combines technical excellence with commercial acumen and a creative approach to the law. Comparable, and better than, the best restructuring and insolvency practices globally.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“BlackOak is extremely client-orientated and a very 'user friendly' firm. Its work quality is excellent and it is able to consistently deliver high quality, and incisive legal advice which takes into account the commercial situation.” - Restructuring and insolvency

 

Clifford Chance

The Singapore office acts as a regional hub for Clifford Chance and excels in project finance, restructuring and insolvency, banking and M&A. Clifford Chance has one of the largest cross border finance practices in Singapore. The office works on deals in a number of sectors with a special focus on banking, energy, and aviation.

In banking the firm acted for DBS Bank in relation to a credit facility to Trafigura. The firm also advised Mizuho Bank on financing the acquisition of the Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation.

In the projects space the firm has been particularly active and has picked up a number of confidential mandates in sectors including oil and gas, aviation, energy, and transport. 

On the M&A side, the firm acted on a number of high profile deals. Highlights include advising Unilever on its acquisition of Carver Korea and advising ABN AMRO on the sale of its private banking operations in Asia and the Middle East to LGT.

The firm underwent significant staffing changes. Hui Ting Phua and Clarisse Fong joined the capital markets team, James Clark from Herbert Smith Freehills joined the project development team and Luke Grubb from Latham & Watkins joined the M&A team. While Lee Taylor left the M&A team to join King & Spalding and Kamil Gerard Ahmed left the banking team to join K&L Gates.          

Key clients include National Australia Bank, Shell, Unilever, Lotte Chemical, Eco World and DBS Bank.

Client feedback

"Always solid. One of the top international firms in Singapore." – M&A, Investment Funds

"Excellent at structuring and executing complex and multi-jurisdictional transactions." – Banking and finance

"Exceptional. Quality drafting based on precise understanding to the issues and ability to go straight to the solutions without posturing and positioning. Not only saving time and money, but also preserves impetus in the transaction process, critical to getting deals across the line. Responsive and flexible in approach. Has experienced partners who are able to bring to bear those aspects of their experience that are relevant to your own situation rather than shaping your transaction to fit their experience." - M&A

"Generally very good. Capable asset finance and restructuring teams that work well together. Very user-friendly and responsive." – Restructuring and insolvency

"Their lead partners are quite hands-on and good at explaining complex issues in simple terms. They are also good at grasping and reconciling the different objectives of parties involved in a restructuring." – Restructuring and insolvency

 

Colin Ng & Partners

Best known for its restructuring and insolvency work, Colin Ng & Partners is active across the board in financial and corporate matters and holds membership of international networks such as State Capital Group Legal, Interlaw, and International Referral.

The banking team worked on both domestic and cross-border mandates. Examples include acting for Fournaise in obtaining financing from the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland; and advising RHB Bank on a deal involving funding for Diamond Glass Enterprise.

In capital markets, the firm was primarily involved in listings. An interesting example saw the firm act for Shuang Yun Holdings on the Singapore law aspects of its HKSE listing. The firm also advised clients on proposed IPOs on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange.

In M&A, the firm has experience in a broad spectrum of sectors including manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and technology. Recent deals saw the firm mainly working on joint ventures and acquisitions for both vendors and buyers. Examples include advising Silverlake Axis on its acquisition of a group of Malaysian-incorporated private companies; assisting Cheung Woh Technologies in the disposal of equity interest in Jiangsu Tysan Precision Engineering; and advising Edmund Tie & Company in connection with its joint venture with OrangeTee Holdings.

Staffing changes saw banking and finance partner Kenneth Szeto leave the firm for Withers Khattarwong, while senior associates Xiaomeng Ge and Zhi Ni Low joined the corporate team.

Key clients include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Silverlake Axis, and Omnibridge Holdings.

Client feedback

“Knowledgeable and responsive with deep bench strength.” – Banking and finance

“Overall a good level of service. Hands on practical advice. Responsive.”- Banking and finance

“Understands our business and was able to ensure our interests were protected both legally and commercially.”- Capital markets

“Thorough, diligent and patient.”- M&A

“Colin Ng & Partners continue to represent the legal industry at the highest level. The commitment to its client's interests is of utmost priority, as reflected in its consistent work, as well as in the competencies of its legal representatives.” - M&A 

“The team has done a pretty satisfactory job within the timeframe agreed. Issues were raised and resolved efficiently with the team.”- M&A

 

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson has a well-established practice in banking, capital markets, project development, M&A, and restructuring. The firm operates in a variety of sectors including construction, oil and gas, technology, real estate, healthcare and consumer products.

The banking team had a busy year and worked on matters primarily involving project financing and lending. A noteworthy project financing deal saw the firm advise Dharma Hydro Nusantara on the financing of a hydropower plant to be located in Indonesia. Elsewhere, the firm advised China Huadian Engineering on all aspects of the development and financing of a mine-mouth coal-fired steam power plant in Indonesia.

Capital markets highlights saw the firm advise Centurion Corporation on its dual listing and share offer on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE), and LY Corporation on its IPO and listing on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange.

In project development, the firm advised Pertamina on the development of the new Tuban refining and petrochemical complex in East Java, the largest refinery in the world under development.

The banking team underwent changes with Roderick Howell from Herbert Smith Freehills joining as senior partner and Kunal Kapoor from Ashurst joining as partner. Also senior partner Ho Wah Lee retired from practice.

Key clients of the firm include Pertamina, Standard Chartered Private Equity, Perpetual and FMC Corporation.

Client feedback

“Strong expertise and knowledge in the areas we have worked with it, such as conventional banking and Islamic finance. It is quick to respond, pro-active, and dedicated with a professional team. A pleasure to work with.” -  Banking and finance

“It’s fast and strikes a good balance between risk management and achieving commercial objectives.” – Banking and finance

"The firm offers precise and timely solutions." – Banking and finance

“Excellent technical skills and commercially minded.”- Capital markets, M&A 

“It has excellent legal knowledge, with lawyers being commercial and pragmatic.” – M&A

Junming Tong

"Excellent and easy to deal with for the technical matters."

Kunal Kapoor

"He is very useful to have when engaging in cross-border negotiations as he takes charge of the conversation and always has the client's interests at the forefront."

Valerie Ong

"Concise and innovative solutions."

"Excellent legal knowledge, commercial and pragmatic."

Herman Jeremiah

"Very knowledgeable, experienced with expertise in the areas of banking and banking litigation and arbitration. Responsive, professional, reasonable and good to work with."

    

 

 

Drew & Napier

Drew & Napier is strong in restructuring and insolvency. With desks in Indonesia and China, the firm is well situated to take on cross-border transactions.  

In M&A, the firm advised Sealed Air Corporation on sale and transfer of assets and shares to Bain Capital and is acting for China Mining International on a reverse takeover. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm has extensive experience dealing with contentious and non-contentious matters and is experienced acting for both debtors and creditors. The firm was active on a number of complex cross-border restructurings involving the shipping and maritime sector. Highlight deals saw the team represent key clients like Ezra Holdings and Pacific Andes Resources Developments on cross-border debt restructurings. 

Key clients include Bank of China, CWT, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Hyflux, CapitaLand, PwC, CVC Partners, and PT Bumi Resources.

Client feedback

"Highly accessible, easy to work, and possesses in-depth knowledge." – Banking and finance

"Responsive, sound technical knowledge and has the ability to deliver good advice." – Banking and finance

"Excellent work. A pleasure to work with." – Capital markets

"Very high level legal service, quick, efficient and very much comprehensive." – M&A

"Always provides professional advice promptly on information for the related issues. The firm pays attention to details and are supported by committed team members." – M&A

Sin Boon Ann

"Top notch."

"Overall excellent work."

Pauline Chong

"Diligent, knowledgeable and responsive."

Petrus Huang

"He is extremely knowledgeable in legal, commercial and corporate, technology, etc. He is a great team player, bringing in his colleagues & network."

Lim Chong Kin

"Very much quick response and comprehensive legal advice. Deep understanding of the industry."

Kenny Kwan

"Responsive and proactive. Good understanding of technical issues and provides sound and commercial views with a legal backdrop."

Steven Lo

"Understands client's needs, addresses issues incisively and shows a breadth of experience in handling matters."

Renu Menon

"Friendly and easy to work with, thorough knowledge and provides quick solutions."

"She's efficient, detailed and experienced in her field of work."

Sushil Nair and Julian Kwek

"Sushil Nair and Julian Kwek are both extremely intelligent, diligent and creative -- which leads to great results in the complex debt restructuring matters that they deal with."

Tony Yeo

"Pays attention to details and is creative."

 

 

Duane Morris & Selvam

Having capital markets as a core practice area, the Singapore office of Duane Morris & Selvam serves as a regional hub. The firm takes advantage of its structure as a joint venture to provide advice on both domestic and foreign law.

Details regarding banking and finance work are confidential; however, one public matter saw the firm advise a Singapore investment holding company on its use of a convertible loan to invest in a New Zealand start-up.

In capital markets, the firm was involved in a number of deals, especially in India. One highlight saw the firm act as legal counsel to the President of India on the sale of shares in Hindustan Copper. The firm also advised Prince Pipes and Fittings on its IPO in India and concurrent private placements outside India.

In M&A the firm worked on both domestic and cross-border transactions. An interesting example saw the firm advise Professional Telekomunikasi Indonesia on its acquisition of Solusi Tunas Pratama.

On the projects side, the firm uses its regional presence to cater to international clients. A representative mandate saw the firm acting for Sembcorp Utilities on the implementation of the largest gas-fired power plant in Myanmar to date.

A staffing change saw Gerard Hekker from Sidley Austin join the firm’s corporate team.

Key clients include Oil India, Red Dot Power, Prada Far East, PetroChina International, Korea Development Bank, Samsung Reinsurance and the President of India.

Client feedback

“Duane Morris & Selvam has been extremely professional in its advisory and capital raising services. Krishna Ramachandra, the director of Duane Morris & Selvam has been the major force behind the firm and his in-depth knowledge and fair advice has been outstanding.” – Banking and finance, Capital markets, M&A

"We have worked with the firm on a deal involving a challenging jurisdiction. However, the partner Mark Wong was very meticulous and knowledgeable in his work and showed great client handling skills and was commercially savvy. He is spot on in anticipating legal and commercial issues, probably as a result of his extensive experience in M&A work previously in France and China. I fully recommend him." – M&A 

Krishna Ramachandra

"Excellent ethos and fast passed response with positive solutions."

Equity Law

Capital Markets and M&A are Equity Law’s key practice areas.

The firm had a very active year in capital markets and advised on multiple equity fundraising deals. Highlights saw the firm act on ISP Global’s IPO on HKSE’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) board; and advise on LY Corporation’s listing on the Singapore Exchange’s Catalist board. The firm also acted on MTQ Corporation's rights issue.

In M&A, the firm advised MTQ Corporation in its acquisition of In-Line Valve Company and In-Line Valve ME.

Client feedback

“The team was able to keep to various tight IPO deadlines.” – Capital markets     

“Very professional and always act in the best interests of the company, highlighting risks from all angles. Never fail to meet deadlines, experienced in what it does and offers practical solutions.” – M&A 

 

Eversheds Harry Elias

Eversheds Harry Elias is best known for its capital markets and M&A practice.

In M&A the firm worked on local and international transactions in sectors such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, mining, infrastructure, technology and transport. Rich Capital was a repeat client. 

The insolvency team advised Twin Asset on private restructuring and successfully negotiated a settlement with its creditors. The firm was involved in a significant amount of contentious work. 

The capital markets team brought in Derick Ting from WongPartnership as a partner.

Client feedback

“We are impressed and extremely satisfied with the quality of services offered to us. Some of the firm's strengths include a reliable and high quality service, flexibility in terms of solutions offered, timely service, and a good network of ancillary service providers.” – M&A

“My impression is that it is professional, efficient and competent when working on matters upon receiving my instructions. I can trust the firm to carry out my instructions promptly and act in the best interests of my company.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Justin Chia

"I appreciate that Justin is very commercial-minded and always able to articulate clearly the options available to the company and how best to achieve the desired outcome for my company."

Sze Hui Goh

"We are extremely satisfied with the quality of services provided to us. She makes herself available and offers practical solutions. She is knowledgeable and provides quality advice in a timely manner."

 

 

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Project development, especially in the energy, mining, and oil and gas sectors, is at the core of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s Singapore practice.

The firm provides banking and finance advice on matters including project financing, lending, acquisition financing and restructuring across multiple jurisdictions such as Singapore, Indonesia, India and Vietnam. A notable deal saw the firm advise JBIC, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank on the restructuring of a project financing loan to Indonesia Chemical Alumina.

The projects team has experience working with high profile clients such as Chevron, Pertamina, Murphy Oil and Energi Indonesia. Recent highlights saw the firm advise Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara on the development of a precious metals refinery and associated facilities in Indonesia.

Noteworthy clients include UBS, Bank of America, Medco Energi Internasional, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Investcorp and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee

A well-established firm with a strong market presence, Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee is recognised for its work in projects and M&A.

In M&A the firm was active in the energy sector and advised Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and Arran Investment in taking a minority stake in Energy Development Corporation. The firm also acted for Blue Ant Media in the acquisition of RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network.

As part of the Asia Projects and Infrastructure team, the Singapore team is strategically placed to work on cross border transactions for international firms in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Highlights include advising Exelon Corporation on the formation of a joint venture with the Japan Atomic Power Company and advising PT PLN on the development of Jawa 9 and 10 power projects in Indonesia.

A staffing change saw Matthew Leigh from Norton Rose Fulbright join the projects practice as partner.

Key clients include Sarawak Energy, Sojitz Corporation, Blue Ant Media and HSBC Institutional Trust Services.

Client feedback

"I highly recommend Hogan Lovells for the legal expertise and the high level of communication of their practitioners in the debt capital markets space." – Capital markets

"Excellent. Good legal knowledge combined with strong commercial sense." - Investment funds, M&A

K&L Gates

While K&L Gates Singapore offers advice on matters related to M&A, capital markets, and banking, project development is the strongest aspect of the practice.

The banking team is very active in the aviation space and often collaborates with the banking team in Tokyo on aviation transactions. A representative mandate saw the firm act for Tokyo Century on the due diligence and financing aspects of Tokyo Century’s acquisition of a stake in Aviation Capital.

Most of the details provided on the M&A side are confidential, however, one public matter saw the firm advise Keresa Plantations on its investment in EE-Terrabon Biofuels.

The project development team worked for various high profile clients such as Taiwan Power on its purchasing, importing and transporting of liquefied natural gas, and it acted for MRT Corporation on the construction and financing of its Line 3 in Kuala Lumpur.

The firm fortified its banking team with the hires of James Bradley as a partner from Norton Rose Fulbright and Kamil Ahmed as of counsel from Clifford Chance.

Client feedback

“Excellent work headed by Nick Hanna.” - Capital markets

“The firm's strengths include having a great network and being extremely intelligent, perceptive and knowledgeable on current business and industry trends. It also comes across as likeable and trustworthy.” -  Investment funds

“It has an excellent team, who know international law very well.” – Investment funds

Nicholas Hanna 

"Superb all-round ability - good listener with great commercial understanding and very practical."

 

King & Wood Mallesons

M&A is the core practice area of King & Wood Mallesons in Singapore and the firm advises on the full spectrum of corporate and M&A work, including joint ventures, acquisitions and divestments. The firm takes on work in a wide variety of sectors including real estate, infrastructure, financial services, funds management, energy, resources, telecommunications and healthcare.

Highlights from the past year include advising Macquarie Group Holdings on the sale of all interests in Macquarie APTT Management; acting for Goldman Sachs on the sale of its Australian equity and fixed income funds management business; and assisting China Merchant Bank in financing the acquisition of the Real Pet Food business in Australia by an international investment fund.

The firm welcomed Chi Ha from Allens and Elizabeth Blanch from Maddocks to the M&A team.

Key clients include Goldman Sachs, ENGIE, Equis, LendLease, Amazon, Ascendas, GE, Macquarie, PAG, Telstra, Primary Health Care, Telemedia, Manulife and Pontiac.

Client feedback

“Very good at providing broad legal and commercial advice. The firm also takes a detailed, pragmatic and logical approach, while tending to always look for a way to help our business achieve its goals.” - M&A

Latham & Watkins

The Singapore office of Latham & Watkins acts as a hub for the firm in Southeast Asia and the team is especially known for quality work in project financing. The team is also a top choice for high-end work in M&A, project development and capital markets.

In capital markets, the firm advised Vinhomes on its IPO and listing on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange. Elsewhere, the firm acted for Kotak Mahindra Capital, Axis Capital and Goldman Sachs (India) Securities on the IPO and listing of Aster DM Healthcare in the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.

In M&A the firm was active in a number of cross-border transactions in sectors including energy, healthcare and banking. The firm acted for Fullerton Healthcare Corporation in its acquisition of a majority stake in Intellicare Group. The firm also advised SMC Global Power Holdings on the acquisition of Masin-AES in the largest publicly announced M&A deal in the Philippines in 2017.

The firm underwent staffing changes, with Shihani Soysa from Wells Fargo and Monsiree Jirasarunya from Ropes & Gray joining the capital markets practice as partners.

Key clients include Golden Energy and Resources Limited, Fullerton Healthcare Corporation, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse Securities. 

Lee & Lee

Although Lee & Lee takes on capital markets and M&A work, the firm’s key strength lies in its banking and finance practice. Team leader Louise Tan takes the lead on most mandates.

Most transactional details provided were confidential, but it can be said that the firm primarily works for banks, merchant banks, investment banks, financial institutions, and borrowers advising on a full range of debt and debt-related transactions.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown in Singapore has a well-established practice in the projects space, banking and M&A. 

The firm’s banking team has been growing rapidly and recently acted for a number of domestic and international clients in multi-jurisdictional confidential mandates.

In M&A, the firm has significant experience in energy and infrastructure, insurance, real estate and hospitality. Notable work in the past year includes advising Principal International on its proposed acquisition of control of CIMB-Principal Asset Management Group and CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management from its joint venture partner CIMB Group Holdings.

The projects team is recognised for work in energy and infrastructure and oil and gas. A high profile deal saw the firm acting for a syndicate of lenders—including Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DBS Bank—providing financing to Sembcorp for developing and operating the Myingyan gas-fired independent power project in Myanmar.

The firm strengthened its roster significantly with the hires of partners Angelia Chia from Standard Chartered, Ian Roebuck from Allen & Overy, Kayal Sachi from Allen & Overy and Benjamin Sandstad from Standard Chartered.

Key clients include TPG Capital, CT Corp, Qatar Airways, Mitsubishi, Caterpillar, HSBC and Nestlé.

Client feedback

"Ben Thompson from the Singapore practice provides excellent advice to the banks and multilaterals. He was insightful and was able to distill complex legal issues for all parties. He has great commercial acumen and is able to work out solutions to complex legal issues.” – Project finance

“Great quality and superb.” – Project finance 

Benjamin Thompson

"Great commercial understanding of complex legal issues in a frontier market - Myanmar. Able to resolve issues for all parties involved in the transaction. Attentive to clients' needs and able to respond to all queries and issues in a timely and succinct manner."

Rod Brown

"Superb."

Kayal Sachi

"One of the best Lawyers."

Morgan Lewis Stamford

Morgan Lewis Stamford is the Singapore arm of Morgan Lewis international. The firm is reputable for its M&A and capital markets practices. 

Both the capital markets and banking and finance teams had a busy year that included representing client Ezion Holdings on a number of financing matters relating to the company’s months-long debt refinancing exercise.

In the M&A space, a notable deal saw the firm represent SK Holdings on its proposed acquisition of LG Siltron. 

The firm saw partner moves during the research period. Most notably the restructuring and insolvency practice lost partner Justin Yip to Withers KhattarWong. Other departures included M&A partner Elizabeth Kong (to Clifford Chance) and capital markets partners Arnaud Bourrut-Lacouture and Kim Seng Lo.  

Key clients include UOB, Samsung C&T, Citigroup, Barclays, and Credit Suisse.

Client feedback

"One of the leading law firm in Singapore that is known and recognised for their works in capital market transactions and corporate deals. The Singapore office is led by very experienced partners and supported by a team of aspiring lawyers. They are capable in handling all types of securities transactions and regulatory issues." – Capital markets

"The firm has a strong commercial sense, with a good attitude to solve problems together and arrive at commercially desired outcome. They display good practical knowledge on execution of transactions." – Capital markets, M&A

"Excellent know-how and a high level of customised and responsive service level." - Investment funds

"We are satisfied with the service provided by Morgan Lewis Stamford. Their team is very committed, and they attended to all our needs without hesitation." – M&A

 

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster in Singapore is recognised for its M&A practice, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

In banking, the firm is capable of acting for both lenders and borrowers and usually handles matters such as acquisition finance, leveraged finance, and real estate finance. A standout deal saw the firm act for Global Logistic Properties, a repeat client, on financing the formation of two new European funds. Another high profile deal saw the firm assisting BlackRock in the acquisition financing of two blocks of grade-A office buildings in Shanghai from PGIM Real Estate.

In the M&A space, the firm focuses on technology and telecommunications, financial services, life sciences and real estate. An interesting deal saw the firm advise JT International on its acquisition of the assets related to the tobacco business of Mighty Corporation. The firm also advised Axiata Digital Services on its investments in Milvik, a provider of micro-insurance products, and Etobee, an Indonesian delivery app and logistics company.

Client feedback

“The lawyers that I have worked with for the transactions are competent and knowledgeable in financing matters. They are also friendly counterparts to work with and have no issues with discussing documentation matters at very flexible timing.” – Banking and finance

“Very knowledgeable and responsive in the area of acquisition finance, where time is of the essence.”- Banking and finance

“They have extensive relevant experience that helped with deal structuring and negotiation, they are able to effectively advise on negotiation strategies on top of technical legal considerations and have clear expertise in the digital sector.”- M&A

“Top tier corporate practice. Has the ability to seamlessly dovetail with its international offices to deliver a comprehensive offering to clients.”- M&A

Nair & Co

Nair & Co is a boutique firm specialising in restructuring and insolvency. Managing director Suresh Nair is heavily involved in the practice and leads most of the firm’s mandates. During the research period, the firm was primarily engaged in contentious work.

The firm expanded its practice with the hire Jean Foo from Fortis Law Corporation as a director.

Client feedback

“This is a solid firm with exceptional expertise, good response time, and a practical and personable service.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“Very professional. The firm’s advice is clear and commercial.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“Nair & Co is a top firm in the areas of financial restructuring and insolvency. The team is very client focused and highly capable in these areas. Suresh Nair is a very experienced restructuring and insolvency lawyer and leads the team with a strong emphasis on team play. Nicole Foo is a very capable associate who is hard-working and driven.” - Restructuring and insolvency

“Great firm. Suresh Nair is an incredible lawyer.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Suresh Nair

"Asolutely outstanding advocate and highly experienced lawyer. A joy to deal and interact with."

"He is among the best insolvency practitioners in Singapore. An exceptional advocate, he is razor sharp and precise and provides timely and practical advice in the most personable way possible."

"Sound legal knowledge and practical advice."

"Impeccable."

 

Oon & Bazul

Oon & Bazul focuses its practice mainly on banking and finance and restructuring and insolvency.

The banking team works on matters including acquisition financing, real estate financing and asset financing, and it is particularly active in the shipping industry.

In M&A, most of the firm’s clients operate in the healthcare and technology sectors. The firm advised the management shareholders of Accel Systems & Technologies in an acquisition by StarHub.  Elsewhere, the firm advised Adhouse Indonesia Cipta in its joint venture with Clarion Events.

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice is relatively new but has already picked up a significant number of deals. Examples saw the firm act for liquidators in the liquidation of Ricebowl Technologies and Otonomos BCC.

The firm was hit by the departure of banking and finance and corporate partner Faezah Omar for the American Bureau of Shipping.

Key clients include Tokutei Mokuteki Kaisha, Shinhan Bank, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Bank, Diamond Star Shipping, NYK Bulkship and MOL Chemical Tankers.

Client feedback

“Good firm. Good expertise. Timely response.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Tan Mei Yen

"Strong technical and interpersonal skills."

 

Providence Law Asia

A boutique restructuring and insolvency practice, Providence Law provides independent advice on various cross-border and domestic restructuring and insolvency matters. Managing director and founder Abraham Vergis serves as the lead on most matters.

Standout deals in the research period saw the firm advise Ernst & Young Solutions in the liquidation of Griffin Real Estate Investment Holdings, and Borrelli Walsh on the liquidation of Kamadhenu Ventures.

One staffing change saw Eugene Lim from Baker & McKenzie Wong & Leow join the firm.

Ernst & Young Solutions is a key client of the firm.

QED Law Corporation

QED Law Corporation is active in banking and finance and M&A.

In the past 12 months, the banking team primarily worked on mandates involving lending and refinancing.

In the M&A domain, the firm advised Kajima Development on a joint venture with Singapore Press Holdings for mixed-use real estate development.

Key clients include Hong Leong Group, Mapletree Group, Ascott Group, United Overseas Bank, Bank UOB Indonesia and the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ.

Client feedback

“Efficient, effective and professional. Ability to understand the client's request and needs within a short time.” - Banking and finance

“Good relationship management, vast and up-to-date legal knowledge.” - Banking and finance

“Partners are able to provide advice specifically tailored to our needs.” - Banking and finance

Quahe Woo & Palmer

Quahe Woo & Palmer is a rapidly growing boutique practice focused on M&A and it is active in sectors such as technology, healthcare, logistics and food & beverage. As one of the few Singaporean law firms to have a Hong Kong office, Quahe Woo & Palmer is ideally placed to capitalise on the Belt and Road initiative by handling transactions that feature both North Asia and Asean elements.

During the review period, the firm advised Accuron MedTech Group, a repeat client, on its investments in Awak Technologies and Advent Access. 

Notable clients include RRJ Capital, Accuron MedTech, SeaTown Lionfish, Heliconia Capital, Célavi Group, Crystal Jade Group and SingEx Exhibitions.

Client feedback

“I greatly appreciate that the Quahe Woo & Palmer team is very practical in its legal advice, instead of just providing pros and cons. It is also very responsive with quick turnaround on drafting and reviewing agreements and documents, highlighting key points and changes to note. It is also refreshing to work with a legal team that speaks the common language and not in legal jargon.” - M&A

“Strong practice in M&A, and very responsive.”- M&A

“Compared to the other firms, we were able to receive very close support that is most valuable and hard to find in law firms today as QWP’s lawyers are commercially savvy. Some lawyers will protect clients with prohibitive terms and leave the clients to make the tough decisions on how to negotiate as they are afraid of the responsibility to make tough calls. But Quahe Woo & Palmer was able to appreciate the commercial considerations and give legal advice that balanced both protecting the client and closing the deal.” – M&A

“Extremely responsive, willing to go the extra mile and often provides practical solutions without being overly technical or legal. Able to provide commercial input as well, based on experience.” – M&A

“I have found Quahe Woo & Palmer to be a great legal firm to deal with, across a variety of jurisdictions and on a number of commercial aspects affecting our business. It is timely in its responses, thoughtful and thorough in its advice, and commercial in its dealings. The firm are our true partners and have a great understanding of our business and requirements.” – M&A

“The firm is knowledgeable and responsive.” – M&A 

 

Rajah & Tann Singapore

Rajah & Tann is best known for its restructuring and insolvency practice as well as its strong regional network. 

The firm’s banking and finance team most notably worked on real estate and property finance recently.

In the capital markets the firm advised Sea, one of Singapore’s leading start-ups, on its IPO and listing on the NYSE.

In the M&A space, a deal highlight saw the team act for GIC on the acquisition of Global Logistics Property (GLP).

The scope of the firm’s regional strength is apparent in its multiple cross-border project development deals, namely in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. The firm is involved in the One Bangkok commercial property development advising One Bangkok Holdings.

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency team is one of the largest in the region. The team was involved in a high-profile deal advising the judicial managers of Swiber Holdings and Swiber Offshore Construction. Another key deal saw the firm acting for major banks like DBS, UOB, and HSBC on the restructuring of the Ezra Group.

Key clients include DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, CIMB Bank, PT Bumi Resources, Credit Suisse, and Neste Singapore.

Client feedback

"Rajah & Tann's joint English and Singapore law capability has been extremely efficient and helpful. We greatly appreciate the quick response and savvy commercial minds of the banking and regulatory partners." – Banking and finance

"The partners who dealt with us are hands on, and supervise their associates. Their strong Asia network is also very useful." - M&A

"Extensive industry sector knowledge. Deep legal expertise. Strong reputation." – Restructuring and insolvency

Lee Eng Beng

"Deep technical expertise and a strong reputation."

Nicholas How

"His extremely commercial advice helps us navigate newer and less certain structures. Having had cross-continental and jurisdictional outlook allows him to give reliable and balanced analyses." 

Angela Lim 

"Speed, responsiveness and clarity of advice. Definitely understands/caters for clients' needs on a technical/commercial basis."

Cheng Yoke Ping

"Has extensive cross-border experience and excellent country knowledge for Indonesia; has also dealt with Vietnam transactions."

 

Reed Smith

Reed Smith’s expertise in Singapore lies in capital markets and restructuring and insolvency.

The banking team worked on a significant number of confidential mandates in the energy and natural resources sectors. 

In capital markets, the firm advised on the IPOs of Aries Telecoms and Davictus on the standard segment of the London main market and associated placings.

The M&A practice has a focus on the energy, natural resources, transportation, logistics, media, technology, life sciences and financial services sectors. Highlights from the past year include advising China Vanke on its joint venture with Banyan Tree and advising the shareholders of Novus Asia on the sale of Novus Asia to the Dentsu Aegis Networks.

Bree Miechel from Simmons & Simmons joined the firm as a partner, adding a project development component to the already established transaction based energy and natural resources offering in Southeast Asia.

Key clients include Avenue Capital, Steppe Capital, InfraCo Asia Development and Asiatic Group.

 

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling has experience across the board in financial and corporate work and is highly regarded for top-tier work in project finance and project development. The firm has a particular focus on oil and gas and power.

A significant deal saw the firm act for Petronas on the development of the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Malaysia. This project involves the development of a refinery, cracker, and multiple downstream joint-venture petrochemical projects. The firm also advised Petronas in connection with an investment by the Saudi Arabian Oil Company in the RAPID project.

In capital markets, a significant mandate saw the firm advising the initial purchasers and the lenders on all aspects of Paiton Energy’s debt refinancing. Elsewhere the firm assisted B Grimm Power on its IPO and listing.

On the M&A side, notable mandates include advising Capital Square Partners on the acquisition of ESM Holdings and in the potential acquisition of a controlling interest in StarTek.

Staffing changes saw Felipe Duque from Allen & Overy join the projects team while Alfred Ng left for Ashurst.

Key clients include Capital Square Partners, Petronas, Credit Suisse, Bunge, Citigroup, JP Morgan, ANZ, HSBC, ING and Emirates.

Client feedback

"Shearman & Sterling has delivered good work for many deals in previous years. Their advice is valuable to us in order to get the best deal." – Capital markets, M&A

Shook Lin & Bok

As a well-established firm in the region, Shook Lin & Bok has maintains a solid presence in the market.

The firm has one of the largest transactional banking and finance teams in Singapore and also draws strength from collaboration with its financial services regulatory practice team. The team was primarily involved in cross-border acquisition financing deals, with a notable one including advising Bank of China on the financing of COSCO Shipping International’s acquisition of Cogent Holdings.

In the capital markets space, a key equity capital markets deal saw the team advise KaKao Corp on its listing.

As for M&A, this past year saw the firm advise its client TDK Corporation on a joint venture with Qualcomm. Additionally, the team also acted for Dormakaba International Holding on a complex cross-border acquisition involving South American and ASEAN jurisdictions.

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency team has a long history of expertise as one of Singapore’s oldest insolvency practices. The firm is currently advising on a proposed pre-packaged scheme of arrangement for a listed company.

This past year, the firm lost banking and finance partner Prakash Raja Segaran to Allen & Overy but hired Ng Yeow Khoon from Withers KhattarWong as a new restructuring and insolvency partner.

Key clients include Swiber Holdings, Bank of China, Citibank, ING Bank, Yanlord Land Group, DBS Bank, and Tsingshan Holding Group.

Client feedback

"Reliable, responsive and knowledgeable. Always provides alternative solutions." – Capital markets, Banking and finance

"Responsive, commerical, and innovative." – Restructuring and insolvency

"Has strong Chinese and Indian language expertise and an understanding of cultural aspects when dealing with such clients." – Restructuring and insolvency

Debby Lim

"She is responsive, commercial and a true leader in her field. An absolute pleasure to work with."

"She is very experienced and knowledgeable about developments in the insolvency law and is able to advise clients on the most cost-effective solutions to resolve disputes."

Liew Kai Zee

"Very professional, knowledgeable and able to explain in layman terms, fast and charges reasonably."

 

 

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom Singapore is active in banking, capital markets, M&A and project development. The Singapore office serves as a base for the firm’s Southeast Asia corporate finance practice, which covers a variety of industries, including financial services and banking, energy and natural resources, real estate, media and telecommunications, and consumer goods.

In capital markets, a standout mandate saw the firm assist UBS, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank and Citi with the offering of senior notes, listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, by Modernland Overseas.

Interesting work done on the M&A side includes advising Nesta Investment Holdings in its acquisition of Global Logistic Properties, which was Asia’s largest private equity buyout; assisting Equis Funds Group in the sale of Equis Energy to Global Infrastructure Partners and co-investors, which was the largest ever renewable energy acquisition; and acting for Kenon Holdings in the sale of IC Power's Latin American and Caribbean businesses to I Squared Capital Advisors.

Key clients include Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, AIA Group and Medco Energi Internasional.

 

Straits Law Practice

Straits Law Practice is best known for its work in banking and finance and M&A.

The banking team works in sectors such as energy, financial services, real estate, government and construction. A public matter saw the firm act for the State Bank of India, Indian Bank, ICICI Bank and UCO Bank on the insolvency and judicial management of Sembawang Engineers & Constructors.

In the M&A domain, the firm advised Europtronic Group on its delisting from the Singapore Exchange and the exit offer made by Project Goodwill.

The restructuring practice had a busy year; a highlight saw the firm act for Ferrier Hodgson in the liquidation of One Asia Investment Partners. 

Key clients include the State Bank of India, ICICI, Societe Generale, Bank of Nova Scotia, EFG Bank, Julius Baer Private Bank, Eng Lee Engineering, Wai Fong Construction, Stamford Tyres Corporation and the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises.

Client feedback

“Fast response, professional skills and reasonable fee.”- Banking and Finance

“Quick, easy to deal with, cheap, and very helpful.”- M&A

 

Tan Kok Quan Partnership

Tan Kok Quan Partnership specialises in restructuring and insolvency work, particularly in the shipping and energy industries.

During the research period, the firm acted on a number of confidential liquidation mandates, primarily on the sides of creditors and liquidators.

TSMP Law Corporation

Recognised for its strength in restructuring and insolvency, TSMP Law Corporation also offers services in banking and finance, capital markets and M&A.

In banking the firm specialises in the real estate sector. Headlines saw the firm advising Oxley Holdings in obtaining financing for the acquisition of Chevron House; and assisting Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, a repeat client, on lending to the SingHaiYi Group for the acquisition of housing developments at How Sun Park and Sun Rosier.

The firm also takes on capital markets work including Singapore equity and debt listings, reverse takeovers, foreign IPOs and secondary fundraisings. A standout deal saw the firm act for Zico Capital, the sponsor, on the IPO of World Class Global on the Singapore Exchange’s Catalist board.

The restructuring practice provides advice to creditors, debtors and insolvency professionals. The firm acted for high profile clients such as DBS, UOB, KPMG and Deloitte & Touche. A recent highlight saw the firm act for Aavanti Industries on restructuring its debt.

The corporate team saw staffing changes with partner Wun Wen-Na leaving to join the Ministry of Defence and Chee Chin Wi from Lee & Lee joining as associate director.

Key clients include HNA Holding Group, Credit Suisse, OUE, Halcyon Agri Corporation, DBS Bank, Maybank Kim Eng Securities, LOGOS Southeast Asia, mm2 Asia, Perennial Real Estate Holdings and the Singapore Medical Group. 

Client feedback

“The firm is very accommodative towards costs and aware of budget issues.” - M&A

Watson Farley & Williams

Watson Farley & Williams has a diversified practice and offers advice in banking and finance, M&A, capital markets, and project development.

The firm has a strong banking practice in the transport, oil and gas and energy sectors. A standout deal saw the firm assist Sapura TMC with the restructuring of its group-wide debt facilities.

In the projects space, the firm advised Sunseap Cambodia and sponsors on the documenting, structuring and financing of the first utility-scale solar power project in Cambodia.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm has significant experience working with banks and borrowers in the restructuring of debt, bond and leasing facilities. During the research period, the firm was particularly active in shipping and oil and gas. A notable deal saw the firm act for the facility agents, including BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole, of seven different syndicates of lenders on the large-scale restructuring of SK Shipping.

Staffing changes saw Nick Dingemans from Norton Rose Fulbright join the firm, while Ivan Chia left the firm for Holman Fenwick Willan.

Key clients include Macquarie, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, ABN AMRO, ANZ, Citibank, DBS, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and HSBC.

In December 2017, Watson Farley & Williams and Singapore law firm Wong Tan & Molly Lim entered into a formal law alliance dubbed WFW & WTL.

Client feedback

“High efficiency with a strong ability to address the client's needs and concerns.”- Banking and finance

“We use Goh Mei Lin very often on restructuring work. Mei is a trusted adviser to us, and is extremely responsive and knowledgeable about the industry. She is willing to travel at very short notice, and always helpful in providing commercially viable solutions. Mei is contactable at all times, very patient and is always able to identify and address our issues in a practical manner.” – Restructuring and insolvency

WongPartnership

As one of the big four domestic law firms in Singapore, WongPartnership has established itself as a market leader in each of its practice areas. The firm’s regional WongPartnership Group (WPG) network is spread across the ASEAN region and offers support in cross-border matters.

Known for its banking and finance practice, the firm has experience acting for both borrowers and lenders. A landmark deal saw the firm’s banking and finance and M&A teams acting as counsel for Nesta Investment Holdings on the financing of its acquisition of Global Logistics Property (GLP), the largest ever public acquisition in Singapore. 

On the equity capital markets side, the firm was kept busy this year with a number of IPOs on the Singapore Stock Exchange, including Sasseur REIT and Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust.

In addition to the acquisition of GLP, the M&A team has undertaken a number of other notable M&A and private equity deals. The team was particularly active in the real estate sector, and a key deal saw the team advising Yanlord Perennial Investment on its acquisition of United Engineers.

The project development team is well versed in PPP projects and also had key deals advising Keppel Corporation and RB Corp (RBC) on large infrastructure and energy projects. 

On the restructuring and insolvency side, a landmark deal saw the firm act as Singapore counsel to EMAS Chiyoda Subsea on its cross-border debt restructuring. This deal was particularly notable for the unprecedented nature of the proceedings that challenged prior laws regarding foreign insolvency proceedings and Chapter 11 law. 

Key clients include OCBC, DBS, Hyflux, Singtel Groups, Orochem, Nesta Investment Holdings, and PwC Advisory Services. 

Client feedback

"Good overall team quality." – Banking and finance

"Efficient, quick response time, strong legal understanding yet commercial and understands from client's perspective." – Capital markets

"They provide good quality advice and work, and will try their best to work with the clients to meet their request and objectives. Lawyers and associates are experienced and competent and provide good suggestions for solutions." – Capital markets

"They are one of the nation's best firms in the area of M&A, with encyclopedic knowledge of local regulations, as well as the talent to tailor solutions, based on such knowledge. They are always seeking commercial solutions, and always prepared to take a confident stand when advising clients during negotiations. Partners and associates form cohesive deal teams that always work swiftly and nimbly." – M&A

"Always has the client's interest at the top of their agenda, and will not compromise on their integrity. The firm works tirelessly to ensure the best legal and commercial outcome is achieved." - M&A

"Insightful advice, timely response, excellent drafting and good client management." - Project development

Mark Choy

"We have engaged him for M&A work. He is helpful and knowledgeable in his advice."

Sing Yee Chan

"She is also to meet our expectations to the extent of understanding our requirements."

Jason Chua

"Commercial and negotiates well."

Tay Peng Cheng

"Knowledgeable and provides prompt responses to questions."

Wei Ren Lim

"Dedicated and good attitude."

Smitha Menon

"Great communicator, acts with integrity and will not be bullied by aggressive counterparts. Stands side by side with the client. Practical and commercial. Brings in the rest of her team to provide the best solution when dealing with multiple legal issues requiring specific expertise."

"Excellent understanding of the issues, our objectives and the drivers behind those objectives. She understands that what we want are not legal solutions to legal issues. Rather, what we want are practical solutions to commercial and legal challenges, and she delivers by offering practical, sensible and innovative solutions, highlighting the pitfalls to us. She is a very skilled negotiator. Very calm when dealing with counterparties. Very strong people skills, which she brings to the table every time. It was a pleasure working with her."

Wai-King Ng

"He is a leader in his field and has trained a strong bench of partners who are also passionate and competent. He is calm, approachable and humble."

Colin Ong 

"Strong technical knowledge yet commercial and understands the client's perspective."

Sin Wei Ong

"Excellent support."

Manoj Sandrasegara

"Excellent technical knowledge, deep experience and commercial in decision making."

Susan Wong

"Ms Wong is one of the best minds in her field and the one that we seek for consultation."

Wong Ee Kean

"Responsive and gives clear advice."

Annabelle Yip

"She provides prompt and good quality advice. She goes all out to help her clients even working at night as well as weekends to get work done for the clients. Very experienced and competent lawyer."

Chou Sean Yu

"Excellent professional with insightful advice and experience."

 

ZICO Insights Law

ZICO Insights Law in Singapore has experience in capital markets and M&A. 

The firm flexed its capital markets muscle in the technology and cryptocurrency sector and worked on the initial coin offerings (ICO) of HelloGold Foundation and Cloud Moolah Foundation. Elsewhere, the firm advised Golden Energy and Resources on its capital reduction exercise to eliminate accumulated losses.

In M&A, the firm advised Huan Hsin Holdings on its proposed acquisition of Huangshan Zhongtian Weiliang Mining. The firm also acted for Serba Dinamik Holdings in its acquisition, and related financing, of a strategic stake in GSE Global.

The firm underwent movement in staff with the hire of partner Yau Khai Ling from Loo & Partners. 

Key clients include Huan Hsin Holdings, Golden Energy and Resources, AEI Corporation, AirAsia and Mercurius Capital Investment.

Client feedback

“Excellent client relationship and support.” – Capital markets

“The team is prompt in delivery and professional.”- M&A

“Very well-versed in terms of Singaporean Law.”- M&A