Chambers Asia Pacific (2015) Edition

The rankings and editorials on Rajah & Tann Singapore, R&T Sok & Heng, Assegaf Hamzah & Partners, Christopher & Lee Ong, R&T NK Legal Myanmar, Rajah & Tann Thailand and R&T LCT Lawyers released by the Chambers are highlighted below. 

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Employment: Domestic - Singapore (Band 1)

What the team is known for 
Large team with recognised strength in contentious employment mandates. Active in non-contentious work, including the drafting of employment policies, advising on executive compensation arrangements, and handling the employment aspects of corporate transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"I'm very impressed by their advice and the way they navigate issues."

"They put their advice in layman's terms, and made it very easy to understand."

What's new? 
Cindy Seah was promoted to the partnership.

Work highlights 
Advised the Provisional Liquidators of MF Global Singapore on employment issues arising out of the collapse of the MF Global Group. This involved the potential transfer of more than 300 employees as part of the sale of the business, and claims made by former traders for the payment of large bonuses.

Advised AstraZeneca on the Singapore employment aspects of their acquisition of business assets from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Notable practitioners 
Francis Xavier SC and Desmond Wee lead the department.

Significant clients 
A. Menarini IFR, Unicos Partners, Robert Walters, Julius Baer, Thomson Reuters.

Private Client/Wealth Management - Singapore (Band 1)
Ranked Lawyers: Ronald Choo (Band 1), Michelle Yeo (Up and Coming)

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Provides a well-rounded service for private clients seeking Singapore law advice on estate, tax and trust structuring, business succession planning and immigration. Also houses a strong dispute resolution offering.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have thoroughness and efficiency, and are economically and commercially sensible."

"They give very practical advice, and are very tuned into the market and current practices."

Work highlights 
Advising an individual on their position as trustee and executrix of their father's estate following a SGD200 million claim on the assets of the estate by the trustee's siblings.

Notable practitioners 
Ronald Choo is praised for the depth of his experience in advising on trust structuring for high net worth individuals. One interviewee describes him as "extremely able and technically very good," while another appreciates that he "gives practical advice."

Michelle Yeo co-heads the private client practice and advises her clients on succession issues, including trusts and business succession plans. She specialises in immigration matters and in aiding clients with multi-jurisdictional wills.

Projects & Energy: Domestic- Singapore (Band 1)
Ranked Lawyer: Shemane Chan (Band 2)

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
An enhanced offering across the region, through a recently augmented presence in key South-East Asian countries. Demonstrates significant capabilities in respect of international projects, advising a range of clients in different industries and in relation to projects in varying jurisdictions, including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"R&T performed an excellent job and did well in negotiating the agreement."

"Professional and swift in responding."

"Very well experienced in the sector."

Work highlights 

Advised the selected bidder for the development, financing and operation of build-operate-transfer airport projects in Vanuatu. The concession agreement for the project is valued at approximately USD350 million.

Acted for Phu Bia Mining in negotiating transport contracts pertaining to copper ore mined in Laos. Contracts cover subcontracting and pricing and have significant cross-border elements in relation to Thai and Vietnamese ports.

Notable practitioners
"Great communicator" Shemane ChanFirst ranked in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014. has a rapidly growing profile in project development and significant experience in acting on major regional projects. She recently advised Panca Amara Utama on the development and financing of a USD750 million ammonia plant. One source enthused: "Shemane is a very intelligent lawyer who thinks through the myriad aspects of the project and drafts the agreement accordingly to best protect her clients."

Significant clients
Thiess Contractors, Downer Engineering, PEC, T-Systems Singapore, Obayashi.

Restructuring/Insolvency: Domestic- Singapore (Band 1)
Ranked Lawyers: Eng Beng Lee (Band 1), Patrick Ang (Band 1), Lionel Tay (Band 2), Kwan Kiat Sim (Band 3)

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Pre-eminent practice with a strong ability to undertake work across South-East Asia thanks to an expanding network of regional offices. Frequently handles both contentious and non-contentious work, with sector specialisms spanning the shipping, aviation and financial industries. Increasingly active on maritime insolvency cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Very decisive and capable. They have a strong history in terms of R&I; I think they're head and shoulders above others."

"One thing that sets them apart, really, is that they're very commercial with regards to challenging issues."

Work highlights 
Advising liquidators on ongoing matters pertaining to the insolvency of Lehman Brothers in Asia. This has included handling the winding-down and disposal of various assets, as well as managing disputes with external parties.

Acting for the bank lenders on the restructuring of a USD480 million loan granted to FSL Trust Management, the trustee-managers of First Ship Lease Trust.

Notable practitioners 
Deputy managing partner Patrick Ang has 20 years' experience acting for shareholders, receivers, judicial managers and creditors on a range of international matters. He continues to advise liquidators on various matters arising from the insolvency of Lehman Brothers, including disputes and disposal of assets. Clients describe him as "friendly, persuasive and excellent at working with creditors on schemes of arrangement." One particularly impressed interviewee cited him as "a real guru in the restructuring space; he has a holistic approach, offering a very sound legal assessment and looking at matters commercially."

Managing partner Lee Eng Beng advised on the Singaporean aspects of the multi-jurisdictional restructuring of TT International. This has involved handling debts totalling between SGD400 and 500 million. One source noted that he is "a very impressive practitioner; commercially and academically he is in the upper echelons."

Lionel Tay has been active in this area for 24 years now, and is regularly instructed by major Singaporean financial institutions, plus international accounting firms and listed companies. He is currently advising PwC on its investigations into major accounting discrepancies at Sinopipe Holdings.

Sim Kwan Kiat is the head of the business finance and insolvency practice. He is currently active on a number of matters, including the ongoing work for the liquidators of MF Global Singapore, an insolvency case with USD400 million in proprietary funds. Interviewees say: "He's extremely competent, he knows his rules and laws inside out and he is easy to negotiate with."

Significant clients 
PWC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, HSBC, Maybank

Shipping: Domestic- Singapore (Band 1)
Ranked Lawyers: Kah Wah Leong (Band 1), Kian Sing Toh (Band 1), Winston Kwek (Band 1), Ian Teo (Band 3), Jainil Bhandari (Band 3), Kendall Tan (Up and Coming)

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Widely recognised, market-leading practice with a strong focus on shipping litigation and arbitration. Has a good reputation in the market for its commercial awareness and fast turnaround times. Notable presence across the region, with offices across South-East Asia and in China.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"One of its strengths is its ability to listen to its clients, adopting and adapting strategies that meet client needs."

"First-rate firm with strength and depth in various aspects of shipping law. It provides excellent service with a reliable eye on commercial reality."

What's new? 
Winston Wong and Juliana Yap became partners through internal promotions.

Work highlights 
Acted successfully in the Singapore courts in securing the dismissal of all claims brought against shipowner Pacific International with regard to the grounding off Hong Kong of the vessel 'Kota Kado'. The matter involved over a hundred cargo interests and their insurers in numerous jurisdictions.

Successfully represented a Singapore shipbuilder in a High Court action against a marine engine supplier with regard to the provision of defective marine propulsion assets.

Notable practitioners 
Department head Toh Kian Singh SC has vast experience of cross-border contentious shipping matters, acting both as litigator and arbitration counsel, being particularly familiar with financial and insurance issues. He recently advised charterers Sea Consortium with regard to the collision of the 'Tiger Spring' with another vessel in India's Hooghly River.

Partner Winston Kwek is particularly adept at dealing with charter party disputes, marine insurance and shipping finance work, and recently advised Alpha Bank on a loan default by the owners of the vessel 'Sea Urchin' and ensuing court proceedings.

Partner Leong Kah Wah heads the disputes practice and is characterised as "a likeable and impressive lawyer" by interviewees, who also appreciate that "he is a pragmatic person and commercially aware, which makes his advice more realistic." He recently advised the owners and P&I club insurers of container vessel 'MOL Comfort' on Singapore law issues arising from its loss at sea.

Partner Jainil Bhandari is described by clients as "a very good Malaysia and Singapore-qualified lawyer." He acts across the full range of contentious shipping and trade issues and has some 25 years' experience.

Partner Ian Teo "has the ability to handle cases quickly and is a commercially sound lawyer," clients testify. A specialist in shipping and trade disputes with extensive litigation and arbitration experience, he recently successfully represented a Singapore shipbuilder in a highly technical High Court dispute with an engine supplier.

Partner Kendall Tan's "thoroughness and doggedness in examining all the evidence to pursue the client's case is exemplary for all lawyers," enthuse clients. They also praise his accessibility, clarity of expression and commerciality. His expertise in shipping disputes extends across both wet and dry issues.

Significant clients 
ANL, Britannia, Itochu, Marubeni, Trafigura.

TMT: Domestic- Singapore (Band 1)
Ranked Lawyers: Rajesh Sreenivasan (Band 1), Steve Tan (Band 3)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Top-tier firm with a strong focus in the data protection and TMT regulatory space. Growing client base includes state authorities and key commercial market players. The team has seen significant activity in M&A transactions over the past year.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are all experts in their own fields, and we are very happy with their services."

"We have been impressed with their timely and practical advice on all relevant issues."

What's new? Latest client wins include Groupon, Konami Gaming and Lucasfilm.

Work highlights 
Advised the Election Commission of the Government of Bangladesh on implementing the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services project.

Notable practitioners 
Peers highly recommend Rajesh Sreenivasan for his strong regulatory expertise. He is deeply involved in various TMT mandates in Singapore and across the region. For example, he represented the Election Commission of the Government of Bangladesh during the implementation of the IDEA Project, a framework designed to regulate various identity verification services, including the issuance of ID cards. Interviewees also highlight Sreenivasan's knowledge of data protection laws.

Steve Tan is acknowledged for his hard-working attitude and commercial acumen. A client adds: "He offers very good input on legal developments and knows the laws of the surrounding region, making him an invaluable asset." Tan heads the team advising the Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AiTi) on the development of media regulatory framework in Brunei.

Significant clients
Citibank, Facebook, IDA International, Singapore Technologies Electronics, Singapore Post.

Capital Markets: Domestic - Singapore (Band 2) 
Ranked Lawyers: Chia Kim Huat (Band 2), Evelyn Wee (Band 3), Danny Lim (Band 4)

Basic facts about the department
- 18 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Well-regarded team with impressive ability to handle cross-border transactions thanks to the firm's expanding network of offices, covering jurisdictions such as Malaysia, Indonesia and China. Highly experienced in advising on IPOs, MTN programmes and rights issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team's work is fantastic - they are very attentive and the turnaround of their response is very prompt."

"A reputable law firm with vast experience."

Work highlights 
Represented Gallant Venture in a SGD676 million rights issue to fund the takeover of an Indonesian corporate.

Advised GLL IHT as issuer and GuocoLand as guarantor of a SGD3 billion multicurrency MTN programme and perpetual securities programme.

Advised United Engineers on a SGD490 million rights issue for the purpose of funding a takeover bid for WBL.

Notable practitioners 
Regional head of corporate Chia Kim Huat wins praise for his experience in advising clients on IPOs and is particularly known for his work with PRC clients. One source says that he is "very sound technically," as well as being "very commercial," while another appreciates his "good project-management skills."

Danny Lim is noted as a "very professional and technical" practitioner. He often works with clients on Singapore IPOs and follow on offerings. Recently, he co-led as Singapore counsel to the guarantor of USD400 million senior capital securities.

Head of capital markets Evelyn Wee is highlighted for her ability to undertake a range of work, including IPOs, REIT-related matters, private equity and M&A. Clients describe her as someone who will always make an "extra effort" in transactions.

Significant clients 
OCBC, United Engineers, KMP Private, CIMB, China Minzhong Food Corporation.

Competition/Antitrust: Domestic - Singapore (Band 2)
Ranked Lawyers: Kala Anandarajah (Band 1), Dominique Lombardi (Band 3)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- 1 economist

What the team is known for 
Maintains a strong track record in merger notifications and CCS investigations. Offers regional expertise as well as experience of the European regime.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It impressed us that they were able to synchronise with our requirements and keep pace with our aggressive timelines."

"They were well-versed in antitrust and knowledgeable about the region. They were able to come back to us quickly with very sound advice."

"They give advice that is very much attuned to changes in the business landscape and the client's industry."

What's new? 
New clients include Media Development Authority, Samsung and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Work highlights 
Acted for Coca-Cola Singapore Beverages during its investigation by the CCS for alleged anti-competitive clauses in its distribution agreements.

Assisted Quantas Airways in gaining approval from the CCS for its co-ordination agreement with Emirates.

Notable practitioners 
Kala Anandarajah is known for her "wealth of knowledge" in behavioural and transactional matters. An interviewee described her as "one of the few practitioners who is truly at the cutting edge of Singaporean competition law."

Dominique Lombardi, who qualified in France, is able to bring her experience of the European regulator to bear. Clients regard her as "a very diligent lawyer" who "is flexible and understands where the client's priorities lie."

Significant clients 
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Singapore Airlines, United Overseas Bank, Holcim, Fresenius Medical Care.

Corporate/M&A: Domestic - Singapore (Band 2)
Ranked Lawyers: Goh Kian Hwee (Band 1), Serene Yeo (Band 4)

Basic facts about the department
- 28 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Offers expertise in high-value public and private M&A, with a strong track record on public takeovers. Recognised for its impressive capability to handle cross-border transactions, aided by the firm's network of offices across Asia.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Responsive, clever, sound and practical."

"Very hard working."

What's new? 
In the third quarter of 2014, the firm launched legal alliance Rajah & Tann Asia, which connects eight firms across South-East Asia.

Work highlights 
Advised Gallant Venture on its SGD1.6 billion acquisition of Indomobil Sukses Internasional, and on a SGD676 million rights issue to fund the takeover.

Advised United Engineers in its SGD780 million acquisition of WBL.

Advised New Oceana on its SGD1.37 billion voluntary conditional offer for People's Food Holding.

Notable practitioners
Senior partner Goh Kian Hwee is acknowledged by peers as "one of the market stalwarts" due to his impressive depth of expertise. He leads a number of the team's key matters, including advising United SM Holdings on its cash offer of SGD949 million for Guthrie GTS.

Serene Yeo handles both domestic and cross-border M&A and was one of the lead partners advising Gallant Venture on its SGD1.6 billion takeover of Indomobil Sukses Internasional. Markets sources say that she "is able to give advice, formulate strategy and solve issues even on the most complicated matters."

Significant clients 
OCBC, AXA Singapore, Great Eastern Holdings, GuocoLand, CIMB Bank.

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration - Singapore (Band 2)

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Substantial, long-established bench, respected for its dedicated focus, active in matters originating across the region, including many arbitrated in Europe. Core expertise in public international law (PIL), construction, energy and resources, hospitality and telecommunications, readily supplemented for other business sectors by specialists from the firm's other practice areas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"One of the best Singapore-based capabilities, with a consistent, quality product - and now developing an interesting and ambitious South-East Asian network."

"A formidable, experienced bunch of people, comprising a well-rounded practice."

What's new? 
Avinash Pradhan was made a partner through an internal promotion.

Notable practitioners 
Andre Yeap SC heads the practice.

Dispute Resolution: Litigation – Singapore (Band 2)
Ranked Lawyers: Eng Beng Lee SC (Band 1), Andre Yeap (Band 2), Francis Xavier (Band 2), Mohammed Reza (Up and Coming)

Basic facts about the department
- 20 partners
- 42 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Has a substantial international clientele and a network of law firms across Asia. Acts for blue-chip corporate clients, banks and other financial institutions in complex, high-value commercial and financial disputes, including many litigated at Supreme Court level.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Very competent lawyers with a good grasp of the law and commercial realities."

"One of the hard-hitters."

What's new? 
Jonathan Yuen and Vikram Nair joined the commercial litigation team as partners through lateral hires.

Work highlights 
Represented the liquidators of MF Global Singapore in complex proceedings concerning the extent to which its former customers can claim unpaid profits generated by principal-to-principal transactions. The case is of considerable significance with regard to the future treatment of segregated funds under Singaporean law.

Acted for one of the principal parties in a USD750 million joint venture dispute concerning a coal upgrading plant project in Indonesia. This complex, cross-border matter involved both an original action and a counterclaim in Singapore and related proceedings in Western Australia.

Notable practitioners 
Managing partner Lee Eng Beng SC is an insolvency specialist with a growing practice in private client disputes. Clients describe him as an "excellent practitioner with good advocacy skills," and he is regarded by peers as one of their most "widely respected" competitors.

Head of the regional disputes practice, Francis Xavier SC is recognised as an "excellent lawyer." He recently represented the original claimants in an Indonesian coal upgrading plant dispute with multi-jurisdictional elements, including concurrent Australian litigation.

Andre Yeap SC focuses on insolvency disputes and is viewed as a busy and effective litigator. He recently acted for the liquidators of MF Global Singapore in a landmark case concerning principal-to-principal transactions and segregated funds.

Mohammed Reza is described by sources as "very smart and capable" and is best known as a specialist in commercial and banking litigation. He recently represented the defendants in a civil fraud case, complicated by the fact that parallel criminal proceedings were underway in Indonesia.

Significant clients 
AXA, Bank Julius Baer & Co, BNP Paribas, China Construction Bank, Commerzbank.

Insurance: Domestic - Singapore (Band 2)
Ranked Lawyers: Simon Goh (Band 1), Elaine Tay (Band 3)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Has a long-standing reputation in this space and acts for a large client portfolio of insurers. Experienced in representing local and international insurance groups before the courts in disputed issues, and in policy development and transactional issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Well recognised in Singapore for handling regulatory insurance matters."

"Technically very sound; they obviously understand what they are talking about."

Work highlights 
Represented the UK P&I Club in the establishment of its new Singapore office, obtaining a marine mutual insurer licence and approval for a scheme of transfer in relation to its marine insurance business.

Defended MSIG Insurance (Singapore) in a property damage and business interruption case, with losses amounting to more than SGD10 million in the High Court.

Notable practitioners 
The "very commercially minded" Simon Goh moves into the top band following a wealth of praise from key clients. Market commentators point out his impressive knowledge of the regulatory framework: "He's got a good understanding of what regulators want to see." He is also experienced in handling disputes, recently representing United Overseas Insurance in a subrogated recovery action in the High Court.

Elaine Tay is lauded for her straightforward and balanced approach in handling contentious insurance matters. Recent work highlights include defending MSIG Insurance (Singapore) against property damage and business interruption-related losses.

Significant clients 
Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore, QBE, China Taiping Insurance (Singapore), Great Eastern Life Assurance, ACE.

Investment Funds: Domestic - Singapore (Band 2)
Ranked Lawyers: Arnold Tan (Band 1), Anne Yeo (Band 3), Lu Yueh Leong (Up and Coming)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
An established name in the market, especially recognised for advising clients on the formation and operation of private investment funds. Noteworthy regulatory practice that represents fund mangers in licensing issues and advises on relevant developments in Singaporean law.

What's new? 
Value Partners Asset Management (Singapore) is among the firm's latest client gains.

Work highlights 
Advised RV Capital Management on the formation of a US feeder fund.

Notable practitioners 
Arnold Tan is a trusted adviser to a multitude of fund managers, who endorse him as "a perfect choice - the top of the recommendation list." In addition to his "wealth of experience" in this area, sources state: "He is very commercial, knows the regulatory side well, and can tell you what you can or cannot do."

Anne Yeo is highlighted by market commentators for her specialism in offshore funds and has handled a number of significant launches over the past year. She is appreciated by clients for her clear explanations on the impact of regulatory changes.

The "excellent" Leong Lu Yueh advises fund managers on regulatory and compliance issues. Interviewees praise her "knowledge of regulations" and her grasp on the impact of legislative developments on fund management.

Significant clients 
Maybank Asset Management Singapore, Havenport Asset Management, Tahan Capital Management, BlueCrest Capital Management (Singapore), Whitefield Capital Management.


Banking & Finance: Domestic - Singapore (Band 3) 
Ranked Lawyers: Angela Lim (Band 2), Terence Choo (Band 3), Sey Ming Ng (Band 4), Regina Liew (Band 1 – Banking & Finance – Regulatory)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Advises on a broad range of banking and finance transactions. Clients benefit from the firm's strong presence across the region, which furthers the team's ability to handle cross-border matters in jurisdictions such as Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and Malaysia.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The partners are experienced, well versed in their area of speciality, and able to provide practical advice."

"They are commercially minded in negotiations."

Work highlights 
Advised DBS Bank, OCBC, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ as original lenders and mandated lead arrangers on the SGD2.6 billion refinancing of Senoko Energy.

Advised borrower Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust on a HKD12.15 billion syndicated loan for the purpose of financing its acquisition of Festival Mall.

Notable practitioners 
Angela Lim is praised by clients, one of whom highlights that "she's very responsive and detailed, and the quality of her work is very consistent." Recent work includes advising Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust on a HKD12.15 billion syndicated loan.

Terence Choo is well regarded for his work in acquisition, project and real estate finance. Recently he acted for a syndicate of banks on the refinancing of Senoko Energy's existing debt.

Ng Sey Ming handles a range of banking and finance work, and is experienced in cross-border transactions, particularly those involving Indonesia. He is described by a source as being "extremely commercial" and "very diligent." Recent work includes advising borrowers China Minzhong Food Corporation on a secured term loan facility.

Regina Liew is well known for her financial services practice, advising major banks and financial institutions on licensing and regulatory matters. Market sources appreciate that she is "prepared to take a view" when giving advice, and commend her strong commercial awareness.

Significant clients 
United Overseas Bank, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, CIMB, ABN AMRO Bank.

Intellectual Property: Domestic - Singapore (Band 3)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Wide-ranging practice with expertise in contentious and non-contentious IP matters. Regular advisers to clients in the entertainment, IT, sports, gaming and media industries. Increasingly involved in patent litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Very professional, competent and timely. We have not had any negative experience with them, nor have they ever failed to meet our expectations."

"The team is excellent; I found the team to be efficient and very effective in my experience. They always provided sound advice on the best course of action."

Work highlights 
Defended Verizon Global in a trade mark infringement claim brought by Verizon Communications, which related to the client's company and domain names as well as the mark 'Verizon'.

Notable practitioners 
Partner Lau Kok Keng heads the IP department.

Significant clients 
Lenovo Singapore, Taiyo Seiki Iron Works, ST Electronics, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong, Adobe Systems.

Asia Pacific Region – Arbitration (International) (Band 3)

What the team is known for 
Has a strong base in Singapore and can call on a comprehensive network of offices in the region to provide a pan-Asia service. Handles high-value matters and is particularly respected for conducting disputes emanating from a broad range of sectors, including construction, infrastructure, TMT and energy, plus bilateral investment treaty issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a very large number of arbitrations and seem to be able to build their team quickly. A dedicated arbitration group."

Notable practitioners 
Singapore-based Andre Yeap heads the team.

Gaming & Gambling - Asia-Pacific Region -Other Notable Practitioner – Lau Kok Keng

Construction – Ranked Lawyers:Soh Lip San (Band 2)

Soh Lip San of Rajah & Tann LLP regularly acts in a range of construction and energy disputes. A highlight saw him act for a party in arbitral proceedings related to an open-mouth mine project. He also represented a Chinese group in a dispute pertaining to the construction of a petrochemical facility in Shanghai, where claim values exceeded USD20 million.

R&T Sok & Heng 

General Business Law - Cambodia (Band 1)
Ranked Lawyers: Chhay Heng (Band 1), Sophonnora Tiv (Associate to watch)

R&T Sok & Heng has renowned capabilities in securities law alongside a growing profile in the Cambodian legal market. Market commentators speak highly of the firm's "very high level of understanding of both national and international laws, superb analytical capabilities, and outstanding judgement." Of late the team acted for E.SUN Commercial Bank on its USD69.3 million acquisition of a 70% shareholding in Union Commercial Bank.

Chhay Heng is an experienced counsel to financial institutions with respect to their Cambodian investments and operations. One impressed client enthuses: "He has a good knowledge of the Cambodian legal and regulatory environment; he is flexible, excellent at meeting last-minute requests, and able to work within tight deadlines."

Senior associate Sophonnora TivFirst ranked in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013. assists clients with a range of commercial transactions. He played a key role in advising RGB International on the formation and closure of its Cambodia subsidiaries, as well as providing counsel on licensing compliance work.

General Business Law - Cambodia (Desks Based Abroad) - Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP (Band 1)

Headquartered in Singapore, this renowned regional firm acts on a range of corporate mandates throughout South-East Asia. In 2013, the firm solidified its presence in the Cambodian legal market with the establishment of R&T Sok & Heng, created by an affiliation with well-known local practice Sok & Heng. The team on the ground is further supplemented by lawyers based in its head office who are well placed to advise on multi-jurisdictional matters involving Cambodia.

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners

Banking & Finance (Band 1) 
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 1), Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf (Up and Coming), Yanu Wiriasmoko (Other Noted Practitioners)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 23 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Impressive reputation for financing work, frequently acting on structured, acquisition and property finance. Skilled in handling syndicated loans. Sophisticated capabilities for financing in the coal, oil and gas sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm's advice greatly helps us in securing the required funds in a timely manner."

"One of my go-to firms for banking and finance."

Work highlights 
Advised Garuda Indonesia regarding a multicurrency term loan facility worth USD200 million from a syndicate of domestic banks.

Acted for the Reswara Group of coal mining companies as borrower of a term loan facility worth USD150 million from Qatar National Bank, Bank QNB Kesawan and Indonesia Eximbank.

Notable practitioners 
Managing partner Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is identified as "a good banking lawyer with a broad practice." He has developed much expertise over his many years acting for domestic and international borrower and lender clients. He is also identified for his expertise in restructuring.

Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf has an extensive knowledge base and advises on a range of complex financings. Recent work includes acting for the Reswara Group in its receipt of a USD150 million loan.

Significant clients 
HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank Mandiri, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse.

Capital Markets (Band 1) 
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 1), Bono Adji (Band 1), Putu Saryastuti (Up and Coming)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners

What the team is known for 
Superb record working on a variety of transactions, including various debt and equity offerings. Predominantly assists on Indonesia Stock Exchange listings, and commands an excellent reputation amongst clients and peers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We are very happy with services they have provided."

"They are very strong in capital markets."

Work highlights 
Advised Saratoga Investama Sedaya in a Regulation S IPO on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, valued at approximately USD131 million.

Acted as local counsel to the joint lead managers, Citibank, Deutsche Bank (Singapore branch) and Standard Chartered Bank, on as in the listing of a USD1.5 billion sukuk on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Notable practitioners 
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is lauded by one peer as "an outstanding partner at the firm." He earns consistent praise for his corporate and capital markets practices. Recent work highlights include advising Chandra Asri Petrochemical on its IDR1.4 trillion rights issue on the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Bono Adji is recognised by sources as an expert in this area. One satisfied client says: "He took the time to understand our concerns and is quite creative with ideas." He represented Mitra Pinasthika Mustika in its USD131 million IPO.

The "tireless" Putu Suryastuti exhibits "in-depth knowledge of the capital markets regulatory process," and has worked extensively in this area in recent years. She was part of the team which assisted the international selling agents in the USD87 million IPO of Sawit Sumbermas Sarana.

Significant clients 
Bank Mandiri, Standard Chartered Bank, RBS, BNP Paribas, Garuda Indonesia.

Corporate/M&A (Band 1) 
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 1), Bono Adji (Band 3), Eko Basyuni (Up and Coming)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners

What the team is known for 
Excellent reputation as a market-leading firm representing major Indonesian clients, predominantly advising on acquisitions and the creation of joint ventures. Also offers expert advice relating to corporate regulatory frameworks.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They have a very good commercial background for M&A transactions."

"A very good understanding of corporate issues, and are very up to date on any new developments."

"One of the best local counsel we've come across."

Work highlights 
Advised XL Axiata on its 100% acquisition of the share capital of AXIS Telekom Indonesia from Saudi Telecom. The deal was valued at USD865 million.

Represented Chandra Asri Petrochemical in a joint venture agreement with Compagnie Financière Michelin in order to develop a synthetic rubber plant, a USD435 million matter.

Advising Multimedia Nusantara on a proposed joint venture, in which it would be majority stakeholder, with Telstra.

Notable practitioners 
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is an acclaimed practitioner commended for his intelligence and good working relationship with major Indonesian conglomerates. He recently represented Chandra Asri Petrochemical in a USD435 million rubber plant joint venture.

Bono Adji is described by one source as "very professional and a pleasure to deal with," while another says that he "explains things well, even though Indonesian regulations can be unclear." He recently counselled XL Axiata in its acquisition of the entire share capital of AXIS.

One interviewee highlighted Eko Basyuni as being "knowledgeable on issues related to M&A transactions." He has been advising Multimedia Nusantara on a proposed joint venture with Telstra.

Significant clients 
Bank Mandiri, Trakindo Utama, HSBC, Holcim Indonesia, Garuda Indonesia.

Dispute Resolution (Band 2)
Ranked lawyer: Eri Hertiawan (Band 2)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Active on the full spectrum of commercial disputes and highly regarded for litigation relating to the mining and aviation sectors. Noted also for matters involving competition law, representing appellants in front of the Indonesian competition authority. Adept at handling arbitrations in addition.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They really understand the problems we face and the services they have provided have been excellent."

"It's rare that a firm offers the corporate side and dispute resolution - the 'marriage and divorce'! It is part of their strength."

Work highlights 
Acted for Petronas Niaga following a suit filed by an individual who ran one of the corporation's petrol stations, who alleged breach of contract when the corporation ended its licensing agreement with him during the withdrawal of its business in Indonesia.

Successfully represented Garuda Indonesia in the Supreme Court against Hutomo Mandala Putra (Tommy Suharto), who was suing for defamation over some content in Garuda's in-flight magazine. The award of damages of IDR25 billion was quashed by the Supreme Court.

Notable practitioners 
Eri Hertiawan is joint head of the firm's litigation and dispute resolution team and gains high praise from clients. One appreciates his "skills in framing an argument in court," which they declare "remarkable." Recent work includes advising NYK Line Indonesia in its appeal against its rejection from registering a vessel with the Directorate General of Martime Transportation.

Significant clients 
Vale, Holcim, Indosat, Bariot Group, BMW.

Employment (Band 2) 
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Maulana (Other Noted Practitioner)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Strong focus on expatriate employment contracts, unfair dismissals, and agency and contract labour cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They impress with the depth and breadth of their understanding of local legal issues."

Work highlights 
Advised Singapore-based CWT on the employment law aspects of its proposed acquisition of an Indonesian company.

Advised Orchard Link on the preparation of standard employment documents and disciplinary procedures for its Indonesian clients.

Significant clients 
Keppel Land, DBS Vickers Securities, HSBC, BMW.

Projects & Natural Resources (Band 3) 
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 2)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Particularly well regarded for oil and gas, geothermal and mining sector work, in relation to which it advises on project finance, project development, EPC contracts and upstream M&A. Attracts mandates from a range of clients, such as domestic energy companies, state-owned oil and gas firms, and banks acting as lenders on infrastructure projects.

Work highlights 
Advised Pupuk Sirwidjaya Palembang, a state-owned fertiliser producer, in negotiating the EPC contract for a new plant in South Sumatra.

Notable practitioners 
Ahmad Fikri AssegafFirst ranked in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2008. leads a number of the firm's most significant matters, ranging from advising banks investing into Indonesia to working with domestic corporates on project development. Market sources observe that when it comes to projects, "he knows his stuff."

Significant clients 
IFC, Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, Vale, Berau Coal, Medco Energi.

Real Estate (Band 2)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Well regarded for acting on land acquisition and development matters relating to infrastructure projects, particularly those involving the energy and hotel sectors. Skilled at advising on sales, acquisitions, leases and title searches.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"The firm has lawyers with expertise in specific areas."

Work highlights 
Advised state-owned fertiliser producer Pusri on the real estate aspects of the development of a new fertiliser plant.

Represented Bank Muamalat, a Shari'a-compliant bank, in the USD96.8 million acquisition of a commercial high-rise building in Jakarta.

Notable practitioners 
Department head Yogi Marsono is the key contact.

Significant clients
Holcim Indonesia, Petronas Niaga Indonesia, Vale, Chandra Asri, HSBC.

Telecommunications (Band 2)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Firm of choice for a number of major domestic telecommunications companies. Growing base of foreign and multinational clients. Skilled at handling M&A transactions in this sector, as well as related disputes and financings. Niche expertise in the domain of electronic money.

Work highlights
Advised XL Axiata, one of Indonesia's largest telecommunications providers, on the USD865 million purchase of Axis from Teleglobal Investments.

Advised Multimedia Nusantara, a subsidiary of Telekomunikasi Indonesia, on its proposed joint venture with Telstra.

Notable practitioners 
Bono Adji and Eko Basyuni are key contacts.

Significant clients 
Indosat, Telkom, Tower Bersama, Telenor, Jatis Mobile.

Malaysia - Christopher & Lee Ong

Banking & Finance (Band 3)
Ranked Lawyer: Christopher Lee (Band 2)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Established market player that recently bolstered its regional footprint following its membership of the Rajah & Tann Asia Network. Best known for acting as borrower's counsel in relation to various financing facilities. Also handles debt capital markets transactions. Offers particular expertise regarding financing matters in the projects and energy sectors.

Work highlights 
Acted for Sime Darby Healthcare and RSDH Asia on a MYR700 million financing granted by a syndicate of lenders.

Assisted Bumitama Agri with its MYR2 billion sukuk musharaka.

Notable practitioners
Christopher Lee is recognised for his diverse expertise in such matters as project finance and corporate finance, as well as in capital markets work. He is skilled in both conventional and Islamic finance.

Competition and Antitrust – Ranked Lawyer: Yew Chen Kuok (Band 2)

Corporate partner Yew Chen KuokFirst ranked in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015. of Christopher & Lee Ong - Member of Rajah & Tann Asia Network offers significant competition law expertise, advising clients across the board on compliance procedures and MyCC investigations. He advised AirAsia X on an investigation by the competition commission and its proposed MYR10 million fine.

Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
Ranked Lawyer: Christopher Lee (Band 3)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Strengthened corporate platform with an expanded regional network, following its recent three-way domestic merger and its membership of the Rajah & Tann Asian Network. Acts for private equity funds and publicly listed corporate clients on their various takeovers, joint ventures, reorganisations and regulatory compliance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Very knowledgeable about the law, but in particular they are very solution-driven and come up with ideas to bridge gaps between the buyer and seller."

What's new? 
Christopher Lee & Co, Kamilah & Chong and Lee Ong & Kandiah merged to form Christopher & Lee Ong, and subsequently formed a strategic alliance with Rajah & Tann.

Work highlights 
Acted for Sime Darby Healthcare on its MYR1.5 billion joint venture with Ramsay Health Care, targeting the expanding Asian market.

Represented Ausgroup in its MYR650 million reverse takeover of a property developer in Iskandar, in Malaysia.

Notable practitioners
Christopher Lee is a co-managing partner of this newly merged firm and is a well-known name in the market, particularly in the energy sector. He draws on over 25 years of experience handling a range of transactions. He led the team in Sime Darby Healthcare's joint venture with Ramsay Health Care.

Significant clients 
Sime Darby, Hong Leong Industry, HELP International, Itochu Techno-Solutions, Ausgroup.

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy (Band 1)
Ranked Lawyer: Christopher Lee (Band 3)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Widely recognised for its high standing in the power and energy sector, and regularly consulted on power generation projects, including solar power and hydroelectric plants. Increasing its presence in infrastructure projects, advising on various transport and property developments.

What's new? 
Christopher Lee & Co, Kamilah & Chong and Lee Ong & Kandiah merged to form Christopher & Lee Ong. Subsequently joined the Rajah & Tann Asia Network.

Work highlights 
Assisted Syarikat Prasarana Negara with its Bus Rapid Transit development project, a pilot project using eco-friendly electric buses.

Notable practitioners 
Christopher Lee is a prominent lawyer in the energy sector and a key contact.

Significant clients 
1MDB Real Estate, State Government of Penang, Syarikat Prasarana Negara.

Shipping (Band 2)
Ranked Lawyer: Ong Chee Kwan (Band 2)

What the team is known for 
Widely respected shipping practice strengthened by a recent three-way merger and offering extensive regional capabilities. Prominent presence in the shipping litigation arena, representing shipowners and P&I clubs.

What's new? 
Christopher Lee & Co, Kamilah & Chong and Lee Ong & Kandiah merged to form Christopher & Lee Ong, and subsequently formed a strategic alliance with Rajah & Tann.

Notable practitioners 
Ong Chee Kwan is a well-reputed figure in the shipping industry and is best known for his litigation practice. He is able to draw on over 25 years of experience acting on charter party and bill of lading disputes, cargo claims, marine insurance issues and ship arrests.

Rajah & Tann NK Legal Myanmar Company Limited

General Business Law: Myanmar (Band 3)General Business Law: International Firms – Myanmar (Band 3)General Business Law: International Firms - Myanmar - Other Notable Practitioner - Chester Toh (Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP)

Basic facts about the department
- integrated with local firm NK Legal in March 2013
- 4 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers 
- Myanmar group spread across regional network, including Singapore, Laos and Thailand

What the team is known for 
Offers strong expertise in advising multinationals on their entry into Myanmar, including on licensing and regulatory considerations. Varied client base includes well-known brands in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"It was a pleasure working with them. They were very knowledgeable."

"Bearing in mind this is a new frontier, they helped me to structure my business in a way I was happy with."

What's new? 
Associate director Kenneth Lim joined the firm's Yangon office. He is a fluent Mandarin speaker.

Work highlights 
Advising Coca-Cola on its entry into the Myanmar market, including on its joint venture with Pinya Manufacturing.

Acted for MediaCorp on its entry into the market, the first foreign news agency to do so following reforms by the Myanmar government.

Advised Tiong Seng on its joint venture with Shwe Taung Development for setting up a manufacturing plant.

Notable practitioners 
Chester Toh is the head of the Myanmar team, and divides his time between Yangon and Singapore.

Significant clients 
Coca-Cola, Canon, Abbott Laboratories, Ernst & Young, PwC.

Rajah & Tann (Thailand) Limited

Dispute Resolution (Band 4)

Ranked Lawyer - Surasak Vajasit (Band 3)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners

What the team is known for 
An expanding presence in the Thai market. Well versed in regulatory matters, handling government and internal investigations, as well as complex litigation. Experienced in industries such as tobacco, food and drink, telecommunications and energy. Also handles labour disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They're committed with their time."

What's new? 
Surasak Vajasit, Melisa Uremovic, Pakpoom Suntornvipat, Visitsak Arunsuratpakdee and Supawat Srirungruang recently joined as partners.

Notable practitioners
Managing partner Surasak Vajasit has a long-standing reputation in the disputes space, having previously worked as a member of the judiciary. "His experience is just enormous," stated one client.

Restructuring /Insolvency – Ranked Lawyer - Surasak Vajasit (Band 1)

Surasak Vajasit joined Rajah & Tann (Thailand) Limited in 2014 as managing partner of the Bangkok office. He has many years' experience and is highly regarded in this area, having represented many significant businesses and domestic banks in loan workouts and corporate restructurings.

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers

Corporate /M&A (Band 4)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Well reputed team that provides a full-service for M&A and regulatory matters, advising both domestic and international clients. Additional resources available to clients through Rajah & Tann's network of offices in South-East Asia.

Work highlights 
Advised Fortis Healthcare International on the USD80 million disposal of its interest in Fortis-Hoan My Medical to Viva Holdings Vietnam.

Assisted Agra Seafood in due diligence regarding its investment into Marine Farm Vietnam.

Notable practitioners 
Thi Que Vu heads the department and is a key contact.

Significant clients 
China Taiwan Petroleum, Kyoei Steel, Hitachi Asia, Novelis, Olympus.

Dispute Resolution (Band 2)
Ranked Lawyer - Huy Quang Chau (Band 2)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Advises clients on both domestic and cross-border disputes. Particular expertise on cases in the construction and real estate sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Able to think out of the box to propose creative and practical solutions."

"They know us and our requirements very well."

What's new? 
In February 2014 LCT Lawyers entered into a joint venture with Singapore-headquartered firm Rajah & Tann.

Work highlights 
Represented Mapletree Logistics Park Phase II at district and appellate level in a contract dispute with Tri Viet Steel Structure.

Successfully acted for VN Assets in a VIAC arbitration against Dongriwon, which was ordered to pay the client investment capital of USD7 million.

Notable practitioners 
Huy Quang Chau is considered to be effective both as courtroom litigator and in arbitration proceedings. In a recent highlight he secured a favourable judgment for Mapletree Logistics Park in a contract dispute with Tri Viet Steel Structure.

Significant clients 
People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, Luks Land International, PEB Steel Buildings, Mapletree Investment, Rals International Vietnam Company.

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy (Band 4)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Represents developers and construction companies on a variety of projects and infrastructure matters. Often instructed by Japanese and Chinese clients investing in Vietnam.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Their lawyers are good and have left a positive impression on me."

What's new? 
As of February 2014 LCT Lawyers combined with regional law firm Rajah & Tann.

Work highlights 
Advising Guangzhou Electric Power Design Institute on the construction of a jetty at the Duyên Hai Thermal Power Plant.

Notable practitioners 
Thi Que Vu is the head of department and a key client contact.

Significant clients 
PetroVietnam Technical Service, BaoSteel Engineering & Technology, Brotex Vietnam, China Harbour Engineering, Pau Jar Group.