IFLR 1000 (2016 Edition)
The rankings and editorials on Rajah & Tann Singapore, R&T Sok & Heng, Assegaf Hamzah & Partners, Christopher & Lee Ong, R&T NK Legal Myanmar and R&T LCT Lawyers released by the IFLR are highlighted below.
Rajah & Tann Singapore
Banking – Tier 1
Capital markets – Tier 2
Energy & Infrastructure – Tier 2
Mergers and acquisitions – Tier 2
Restructuring and insolvency – Tier 1
Angela Lim – Banking, Project Finance
Chia Kim Huat – Capital Markets
Goh Kian Hwee – Capital Markets, M&A
Evelyn Wee - Capital Markets, M&A
Lim Wee Hann – M&A
Ng Kim Beng – Energy & Infrastructure: Disputes
Sim Chee Siong – Energy & Infrastructure: Disputes
Soh Lip San - Energy & Infrastructure: Disputes
Lee Eng Beng – Restructuring & Insolvency
Patrick Ang – Restructuring & Insolvency
Tan Chuan Thye – Restructuring & Insolvency
Sim Kwan Kiat - Restructuring & Insolvency
Danny Ong – Restructuring & Insolvency
Rajah & Tann has strength across the board but is particularly well known for its restructuring work. Significant deals in the past year results in the firm moving up to Tier 1 in the banking and finance rankings.
Head of banking and finance Angela Lim acted on several highlight deals in 2014 including the $2.1 billion loan facilities to Singtel Group on behalf of a syndicate of banks. Also, the team advised Panca Amara Utama on the $800 million financing facility for the development of a greenfield ammonia production plant, the largest of its kind to be built in Indonesia. The team advised Resorts World at Sentosa on the takeout of $2.27 billion in senior secured credit facilities.
In the capital markets Evelyn Wee and Teo Yi Jing advised on the IPO of Japfa on the Singapore stock exchange that raised S$1.38 billion. In another IPO deal worth $1.1 billion of Accordia Golf Trust, the firm acted for Citigroup Global Markets Singapore and Daiwa Capital Markets Singapore.
In M&A, noteworthy deals in 2014 saw Goh Kian Hwee and Lawrence Tan acting for Goodpack on its acquisition by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Elsewhere, Hwee, Cynthia Goh and Cheng Yoke Ping advised Lee Latex, Selat and Singapore Investments in the sale of their entire shareholding interests in Anson Company.
In restructuring and insolvency, the firm continues to advise MF Global Singapore in its insolvency, said to be the most high-profile in the financial industry since Lehman Brothers. Elsewhere in the shipping industry, the team represented Dynamic Oil Trading (Singapore) in its liquidation as part of OW Bunker group’s global collapse. And in debt restructuring, the firm advised Bumi Resources and its Singapore Subsidiaries in its $5 billion worth of debt restructuring and in Singapore more specifically, the restructuring of bonds and notes of up to $1 billion.
R&T Sok & Heng
Financial and Corporate – Tier 1
Energy and infrastructure - Tier 2
Heng Chhay – Corporate and M&A, Energy & Infrastructure, Banking, Project Finance
R&T Sok & Heng is a member of Rajah & Tann Asia and thus is supported by a vast regional network. It is one of the first few firms that were authorised by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) to advise on IPOs and securities.
Clients are happy with the firm’s commitment to its work. One foreign client says, “I've been using this firm since I first arrived in Cambodia several years back. I've had nothing but positive experiences with them.” Another depicted the firm as “committed to perfection that is truly delivered”.
The firm has been working on M&A projects in different sectors. One public matter saw Chhay Heng advise Massimo Zanetti Beverage on the acquisition of Boncafé Group for $85 million.
Another transaction highlight was the acquisition of a 30% stake in Advanced Bank of Asia, a leading commercial bank in Cambodia. The firm assisted National Bank of Canada in matters such as due diligence, compliance with Cambodian regulatory requirements and reviewing transactional documents. The $20 million transaction was headed by Chhay Heng.
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners
Banking – Tier 2
Capital markets – Tier 1
Energy and infrastructure – Tier 3
Mergers and acquisitions – Tier 1
Project Finance - Tier 2
Restructuring and insolvency – Tier 3
Fikri Assegaf – Capital Markets, Corporate and M&A, Energy & Infrastructure, Banking
Bono Daru Adji - Capital Markets, Corporate and M&A, Energy & Infrastructure, Banking
Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf – Corporate and M&A, Banking
Eri Hertiawan – Energy and Infrastructure
Yanu Wiriasmoko – Financial Restructuring
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners joined the network of the South East Asia regional firm Rajah & Tann in 2013. The veteran partners keep the firm at the forefront of Indonesia market and provide clients with profound insights. “The firm has deep knowledge and provided our company with opinions to enable management to make decisions,” a client explains and praises the firm’s managing partner: “Fikri Assegaf is our only corporate lawyer and his advice goes beyond what is needed. Always makes time to meet clients and I am always able to meet him for urgent matters.”
The firm added Zacky Husein, who previously worked for Indosat, to the M&A practice as partner in late 2014.
The firm advises clients regularly on different banking and finance deals, including shariah-compliant investments and project finance. The firm’s highlight deals in recent months include Fikri Assegaf advising Export-Import Bank of China on its arrangement of financing for the Sumsel-8 mine-mouth coal-fired power plant construction in South Sumatra to Huadian Bukit Asam with a deal value of $1.2 billion.
Elsewhere Ibrahim Assegaf advised CIMB Bank (Singapore branch) and Qatar National Bank (Singapore branch) in preparing documentation related to a $100 million loan facility to Plaza Indonesia Realty for the purpose of refinancing existing facilities.
The firm’s project finance team is on retainer with PT Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Jakarta in relation to the tendering out of Phase 1 of rail construction, civil and sub-contractors’ work. The firm has already begun preparatory work on four more tenders to be held this and early next year on a development that is said to be the largest construction project ever undertaken in Indonesia.
Elsewhere the firm acted as Indonesian counsel for a group of banks in relation to a $143 million financing facilities for the construction of a hydropower plant in Indonesia’s Lampung province.
In the capital markets, head of department and partner Bono Adji advised Tower Bersama Infrastructure in relation to a $350 million notes issuance through TBG Global. Adji was also legal counsel to Graha Layar Prima in its IPO and listing on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. In another IPO deal, Fikri Assegaf was Indonesian legal advisor to Japfa in its S$198 million offering which comprised of an international offer of over 231 million shares and a Singapore public offer with a near 17 million shares.
One of the firm’s more prominent deals in 2014 in M&A was the 3,500 telecommunication towers sale by XL Axiata to winning bidder, Solusi Tunas Pratama (STP). Adji and partner Valerie Ngooi advised XL Axiata as sole legal advisor on this complex tender with an enterprise value of around $577 million, which involved several high profile bidders including the three largest Indonesian companies in the tower business.
Staying in the TMT sector the firm also advised on a joint venture for Multimedia Nusantara (Metra) with Australia-based telecommunications provider Telstra Corporation, with Metra being the majority shareholder.
Christopher & Lee Ong
Banking and finance – Tier 3
Capital markets – Tier 3
Energy - Tier 1
Infrastructure – Tier 1
Mergers and acquisitions – Tier 4
Oil and Gas – Tier 1
Shemane Chan – Energy and Infrastructure, Project Development
Christopher Lee – Corporate and M&A, Energy & Infrastructure, Banking, Project Finance
Christopher & Lee Ong continues to be a force in the energy and infrastructure areas. Lawyers of note include managing partner Christopher Lee. Partner David Ong Chan Tong who was mentioned in last year’s review left the firm in June 2014. The firm’s association with Singaporean law firm Rajah & Tann in the same year broadened its presence in and beyond Malaysia. Partner Shemane Chan who specialises in construction & projects, and energy and resources supports the Christopher & Lee Ong team out of the Rajah & Tann office in Singapore.
In infrastructure, the firm continues to advise 1MDB Estate as the master developer of the Tun Razak Exchange development – which is set to become Malaysia’s first international financial district with specialist infrastructure projects worth RM26 billion.
In transportation, Christopher & Lee Ong is also involved with the Light Rail Transit Line 3 project in the drafting, negotiating and finalising of related documents, and advising on the tender exercise.
Best known for its energy work, the firm is acting on behalf of the Energy Commission of Malaysia regarding its competitive bidding process in procuring new power generation capacities to meet forecasted energy demand between 2016 and 2019.
Christopher & Lee Ong is also no stranger to advising on renewable energy projects. Client Sun Edison mandated the firm in undertaking several solar photovoltaic projects under the current feed-in tariff system introduced by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority of Malaysia. The firm also represented Malaysian renewable energy company Getsol in the building, commissioning and operating of a 150MW solar photovoltaic power plant.
In recent months, the firm has also completed a project between Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation in establishing the first integrated oil country tubular goods supply.
Rajah & Tann NK Legal Myanmar
Financial and corporate – Tier 2
Energy & Infrastructure – Tier 3
Chester Toh – Financial Services Regulatory
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers
Banking and finance – Tier 3
Energy and infrastructure – Tier 3
Mergers and acquisitions – Tier 3
Huy Quang Chau - Energy and infrastructure : Disputes
Vu Thi Que - Energy and infrastructure, Project development, Corporate and M&A