Chambers Asia Pacific (2016)

R&T Sok & Heng - Cambodia 

General Business Law - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Chhay Heng - Band 1, Sophonnora Tiv - Up & Coming

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Up-and-coming team that works in co-operation with colleagues from the wider Rajah & Tann network. Regularly assists international clientele with strategic investments and local operations. Key industry sectors include financial services and food and beverages. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Rajah & Tann has provided very good advice and service via its network of offices in the region, which is a real strength of the firm."

"Committed to perfection!" 

Work highlights
Advised Zurich on the regulatory framework in Cambodia pertaining to life and
non-life insurance and reinsurance businesses.

Conducted local due diligence for Massimo Zanetti Beverage related to investment into the local market. 

Notable practitioners
Chhay Heng has provided "invaluable local experience" to international clients on a range of local mandates and is praised for being "very business-minded." He has a wealth of experience encompassing capital markets, banking and M&A. Highlights include advising the National Bank of Canada on local regulatory matters.

Sophonnora Tiv is credited for "increasing confidence in dealing with international investors." He advised Massimo Zanetti Beverage on due diligence, and also acted for Visa on local money laundering policy. One client reports that he is "skilful and knowledgeable." 

Significant clients
Thomas Lloyd Global Asset Management, Zurich, Donaco International, S&P International Foods, Thai Samsung Electronics. 

 

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners - Indonesia

Banking & Finance - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 1), Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf (Band 4), 
Yanu Wiriasmoko  (Other Noted Practitioners)

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

What the team is known for
A popular choice for both domestic and international banks looking for high-quality advice on lending. Offers expertise in acquisition financing, credit facilities and syndicated lending, with additional experience in debt restructuring. Notable presence in the financing of major real estate, power and telecoms projects. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are a good-quality firm with good people."

"A law firm with very good technical skills - they have given us very sound legal advice." 

Work highlights
Represented a group of lenders including Bank Negara and Bank ANZ Indonesia on two revolving credit facilities with a combined value of approximately USD381 million granted to Telekomunikasi Selular.

Assisted CIMB Bank Singapore and Qatar National Bank Singapore on their USD100 million loan to Plaza Indonesia Realty for the purpose of refinancing a facility and funding expenditure. 

Notable practitioners 
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is described as "knowledgeable and reliable"by clients, who appreciate that he always makes himself available to answer their queries. He has a strong reputation for his financing work and also advises on M&A and capital markets matters.

Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf is viewed by market sources as "a good operator" and "very helpful commercially." He recently advised a syndicate of lenders including BNP Paribas and ING on the financing of a hydropower plant in Lampung, in Sumatra. 

Significant clients
Bank Mandiri, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, The World Bank, Deutsche Bank. 

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
- 4 partners 

What the team is known for
Premier player in the capital markets sector widely regarded as a popular choice for issuers and arrangers. Adept at handling both debt and equity transactions, offering expert advice on rights issuances, convertible bonds and private placement exercises, with a particularly strong reputation for IPO work. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are one of the top-tier firms for capital markets."

"They understand the goals of the parties and can help reach a workable solution." 

Work highlights
Advised Japfa Comfeed, an Indonesian agri-food company, on its SGD198 million IPO.

Represented Tower Bersama Infrastructure as the issuer in a USD350 million notes offering via its subsidiary, TBG Global. 

Notable practitioners 
Leading practitioner Ahmad Fikri Assegaf has an excellent reputation for his work advising significant clients on both public and private listings, in addition to Shari'a-compliant transactions. He is considered a "high-quality lawyer" and a "problem solver" by market sources. He was recently involved in the Japfa Comfeed IPO.

Co-head of department Bono Adji is endorsed by clients as"knowledgeable, reachable and able to respond promptly." He is well respected for his work representing issuers in sophisticated equity offerings, and is also known for his strong corporate practice. He advised Graha Layar Prima on its USD17.2 million IPO.

Up-and-comer Putu Suryastuti is building a reputation for acting for high-profile financial institutions as underwriters on a range of fund-raising activities. Interviewees describe her as "a very practical lawyer," and praise her "understanding of the law and regulations." She formed part of the team acting for Saratoga Investama Sedaya on its USD72.5 million issuance of notes through private placement. 

Significant clients
Bank Mandiri, XL Axiata, Garuda Indonesia, Indosat, Chandra Asri Petrochemical. 

Corporate/M&A - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf - Band 1, Bono Adji - Band 2, Eko Basyuni - Up and Coming 

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 17 other ranked lawyers 

What the team is known for
Leading corporate team widely acknowledged for its work on a range of significant mergers and acquisitions. Advises major Indonesian clients and prominent international companies on joint ventures, foreign direct investment and private equity. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We are very happy with their service."

"Its quality of work is outstanding."

"They provided very good counsel and took care of me very well." 

Work highlights
Advised XL Axiata on its USD577 million sale of 3,500 telecommunications towers and linked business, which involved a complex bidding process.

Represented Multimedia Nusantara in its establishment of a joint venture with Telstra, a major Australian telecom company. 

Notable practitioners
Founding partner Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is highly praised by sources, who note his "deep knowledge and ability to manage complex matters." His broad practice incorporates acquisitions and investment, and he is regularly instructed by blue-chip clients as both buyer and seller.

Bono Adji is considered a skilled practitioner in the corporate space and is especially adept at handling acquisitions that involve publicly listed companies. Interviewees enthuse that they "love working with him" as he "always provides sound opinions on ways to close a transaction." 

Up-and-comer Eko Basyuni is emerging as a solid lawyer with a strong specialism in corporate matters. He advises clients from a number of sectors including telecommunications and e-commerce. 

Significant clients
Bank Mandiri, Barito Group, Garuda, HSBC, Indosat. 

Dispute Resolution Band 1
Ranked lawyer: Eri Hertiawan - Band 2, Chandra M Hamzah - Other noted practitioners 

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

What the team is known for
Enjoys an excellent reputation for handling a diverse range of contentious matters, including commercial disputes, competition litigation and international arbitrations. Also active in aviation and tax disputes. Clients include international corporates and government organisations. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're very good and very committed."

"The firm has strong capabilities in litigation." 

Work highlights
Successfully represented the Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, and the General Elections Commission and the Jakarta Provincial Elections Commission, in a dispute concerning a challenge to the election results over allegations that certain ballot boxes had been opened prematurely.

Defended The World Bank in a civil action brought by 22 private individuals who alleged that they were adversely affected by the Kedung Ombo Dam development in the 1990s, which was financed by The World Bank. 

Notable practitioners
Co-head of the team Eri Hertiawan receives widespread recognition for his deft handling of contentious matters, with clients endorsing him as "highly expert and trustworthy." His recent highlights include assisting Goodyear with a IDR25 billion dispute, brought before the Competition Commission involving various cartel allegations.

Significant clients Bank Mandiri, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Holcim, Petronas Niaga Indonesia. 

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
Frequently handles a range of advisory and litigation work. Expertise spans a spectrum of issues including unfair dismissals, retrenchment and redundancy packages. Additionally offers expertise in outsourcing and expatriate matters. 

Work highlights
Acted for several employees of Indo Cipta Harmoni as witnesses for the prosecution in a corruption case involving a government-owned bank in Java. 

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Maulana heads the department and is a key contact for this practice. 

Projects & Energy - 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
Diverse practice acting for a variety of clients, including government entities, export credit agencies and major power companies, on project financing and development. Also experienced in investment and M&A in the oil and gas and infrastructure sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their strength is deep knowledge about Indonesian law."

"They are always available to meet the clients on short notice and always make us the priority." 

Work highlights
Acted for Mass Rapid Transit Jakarta on the tender process for the first phase of the mass rapid transit development, advising on local regulatory issues and negotiations with bidders.

Instructed by a consortium of banks, including Export-Import Bank of Korea and BNP Paribas, as the lenders in the USD142 million financing of a hydropower project in Lampung province. 

Notable practitioners
Co-head of department Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is active on significant infrastructure and power project matters. He recently advised Export-Import Bank of China on the USD1.2 billion financing of the Sumsel-8 coal-fired mine-mouth power project. Sources particularly applaud him for his strength in negotiations. 

Significant clients
Pertamina, Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, Sarana Multi Infrastructure, Petronas Naga Indonesia, Medco Indonesia. 

Real Estate - Band 2 

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

What the team is known for
Well-established real estate team, offering comprehensive expertise in a range of advisory matters. Excellent M&A and financing capabilities, especially with regard to land acquisitions and infrastructure projects. Other areas of strength include foreign investment and leasing. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It's a top-notch firm." 

Work highlights
Assisted XL Axiata with various real estate matters, including conveyancing and preparation of agreements, in relation to its IDR5.6 trillion sale of 3,500 telecommunications towers.

Advised Eneres International Indonesia on its purchase of land in the Dumai Industrial Zone, which included reviewing a conditional sale and purchase agreement. 

Notable practitioners
Head of department Yogi Marsono is a key contact for clients. 

Significant clients
Holcim, Tower Bersama, Vale. 

Telecommunications - Band 2

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

What the team is known for
Widely recognised for its deft handling of M&A and capital markets transactions in the telecoms arena, acting for a largely multinational client base. Also assists a growing number of IT and media entities with transactional matters. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A good-quality firm with good people."

"They have good knowledge and experience in TMT transactions." 

Work highlights
Assisted XL Axiata with its USD577 million sale of 3,500 telecommunications towers and related businesses to Solusi Tunas Pratama.

Advised Tara Cell Intrabuana in connection with a USD110 million investment by Telekom Infranusantara. 

Notable practitioners 
Head of department Bono Adji is a key contact for the firm. 

Significant clients
Indosat, Telenor, Rocket Internet, Tower Bersama, Qtel. 

 

Christopher & Lee Ong - Malaysia 

Banking & Finance - Band 3
Ranked Lawyer: Christopher Lee -Band 3 

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

What the team is known for
Respected expertise in the projects sector makes this team an attractive choice for banks and other market players involved in high-profile project financing matters. Also well qualified to advise on sukuk issuances and other debt instruments, as well as term loans and syndicated facilities. 

Work highlights
Instructed by various Cagamas subsidiaries, acting in a variety of capacities, in relation to a USD2.5 billion MTN programme and a USD2.5 billion sukuk issuance. 

Notable practitioners 
"Experienced practitioner" Christopher Lee is noted for his highly versatile practice, encompassing the banking, corporate and projects sectors. He is particularly commended for his experience in project financing, and also handles debt capital markets work. 

Competition and Antitrust
Ranked Lawyer: Yew Chen Kuok - Other noted practitioners  

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

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

What the team is known for
Strong corporate team best known for advising on acquisitions and takeovers and conducting due diligence, often on transactions related to the natural resources sector. Well placed to advise on cross-border transactions in the region given its ties to the Rajah & Tann network. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They adopt a very practical approach." 

Work highlights
Acted as local counsel to Massimo Zanetti on its USD85 million acquisition of a controlling stake in the beverage company Boncafe Group.

Advised Citic on the acquisition of a majority stake in a Singapore-listed clean technology services company. 

Notable practitioners 
Christopher Lee has a diverse practice which incorporates corporate, banking and projects work. He draws on his significant experience to advise clients on M&A and is seen in the market as"a great practitioner." 

Significant clients
Prasarana, Sime Darby, Deloitte, Hong Leong Group, City Refrigeration Holdings. 

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 1

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

What the team is known for
Highly regarded practice known as a key player in the market, especially for its work on renewable energy projects. Regularly advises a range of high-profile clients and is adept at handling both project development and financing. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"For projects I would rate them highly."

"Very solid, I'm impressed." 

Work highlights
Assisted the Energy Commission of Malaysia with the competitive bid processes for the development of two new coal facilities.

Advised 1MDB Real Estate on the infrastructure aspects of the MYR26 billion development of Malaysia's first international financial district. 

Notable practitioners 
Christopher Lee is a noted name in the field and a key contact for this practice. 

Significant clients
1MDB Real Estate, Syarikat Prasarana Negara. 

Shipping - Band 2
Ranked Lawyer: Ong Chee Kwan - Band 2

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

What the team is known for
Respected shipping practice, noted for its handling of both contentious and non-contentious maritime issues in addition to ship financing. Particularly well known for its cross-border capabilities and ability to offer advice on shipping issues across the region thanks to its membership of the extensive Rajah & Tann network. 

Notable practitioners
Ong Chee Kwan is especially respected for his contentious work and widely recognised as an "experienced litigator." He handles a range of shipping disputes, including marine insurance and cargo claims, and he also maintains an active arbitration practice. 

 

Rajah & Tann NK Legal Myanmar Company Limited – Myanmar

General Business Law: Myanmar - Band 3

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

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners across various offices
- 16 other qualified lawyers across various offices
- mainly acts out of Singapore and Yangon offices 

What the team is known for
Highly effective regional platform able to provide domestic and international law capabilities from its Yangon and Singapore offices. Particularly active in advising the consumer products sector on market entry and local franchising issues. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very knowledgeable and responsive, and brought a business-minded approach."

"They're fantastic - they have a commitment to building a presence in the region." 

Work highlights
Assisted Japanese drinks business Asahi Group on establishing a local presence through the client's joint venture with Loi Hein Company.

Advised OCBC on acquiring a foreign bank licence to offer products and services in Myanmar - one of only nine international banks to achieve this. 

Notable practitioners 
Clients endorse Chester Toh for his attentiveness and business savvy. One interviewee reported that "his knowledge of the regulations is excellent!" He harnesses this expertise to assist major corporates in market entry, listing Coca-Cola, Yum! Brands and OCBC among his recent clientele. 

Significant clients
PwC, Ball Corporation, Visa, Procter & Gamble.  

 

Rajah & Tann Singapore – Singapore 

Asia Pacific Region – Arbitration (International) - Band 3

What the team is known for 
Leading Singapore firm, acclaimed for its specialist arbitration practice and impressive regional range, with especially notable offerings in or covering Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Further noted for handling investor-state, construction and energy cases and regularly instructed in matters involving the operations of Chinese companies in South-East Asian jurisdictions.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very big in international arbitration and certainly amongst the leaders in Singapore. In many firms, the litigators will do arbitration, but Rajah & Tann have a dedicated international arbitration team." 

"They do a good range of international arbitration work." 

What's new? 
Senior counsel Tan Chuan Thye recently joined the Singapore practice in a lateral hire from Morgan Lewis Stamford.   

Notable practitioners  
Andre Yeap SC is the firm's head of international arbitration.

Significant clients 
Courts Madagascar, Dynamic Oil Trading Middle East, Republic of Indonesia, Sinopec, Thiess.

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

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 8 associates 

What the team is known for
Sought after by major banks and corporates for a range of finance transactions, extending into mandates covering banking regulation. Impressive ability to handle cross-border transactions as a result of the firm's expanding network of offices across the region, including in Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and China.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very experienced, and they give a simple, common sense approach."

"They are very thorough, as well as being able to meet the urgent timelines we give them."

Work highlights 
Advised Genting Singapore's Resorts World at Sentosa on a SGD2.27 billion syndicated financing for refinancing and general corporate purposes.

Represented a syndicate of major banks, including Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and Citibank among others, on a SGD2.1 billion loan to Singtel Group Treasury.

Notable practitioners 
Angela Lim leads the banking and finance group and is widely regarded as a "true blue banking lawyer." Clients note that she was "very calm, very composed right through the negotiation, and very professional - she was quite firm but polite in conveying our position." She advised Panca Amara Utama on its USD800 million financing to build an ammonia production plant in Indonesia.

Terence Choo has a wide-ranging practice, covering trade, project, property and acquisition finance. He is also adept at handling restructurings.

Ng Sey Ming is well-versed in cross-border financings, with a particular focus on transactions involving China and Indonesia. He additionally maintains an emphasis on property and acquisition financing.

Regina Liew is highly regarded for her work in the regulatory space, with sources commending her as "one of the leading authorities on Singapore banking regulatory matters." She is recommended for advising on transactional and enforcement matters for banks and other financial institutions.

Significant clients 
DBS Bank, OCBC, Gallant Venture, Standard Chartered Bank, CIMB. 

Capital Markets - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Chia Kim Huat - Eminent Practitioner), Evelyn Wee - Band 3, Danny Lim - Band 4

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

What the team is known for 
Robust offering across debt and equity capital markets with a good deal of recent activity in IPOs, including Catalist work. Often involved in bond deals and MTN programmes. A spread of offices across ASEAN and beyond adds to the team's ability to handle cross-border work. 

Work highlights 
Advised Japfa on its SGD1.38 billion IPO on the SGX-ST.

Acted as Singapore counsel on Accordia Golf Trust's IPO, working with Citigroup Global Markets Singapore and Daiwa Capital Markets Singapore as the joint global coordinators, bookrunners, underwriters and issue managers.

Notable practitioners  
Chia Kim Huat heads the regional corporate team and is especially well regarded for his experience working with PRC clients. He often advises on IPOs, dual listings and de-listings. Chia gains praise from market sources for his commercial attitude to transactions.

Head of capital markets Evelyn Wee is adept at handling equity capital markets matters, including considerable experience on IPOs. In a highlight she led the team advising Japfa on its IPO on the SGX-ST.

Danny Lim is noted for his work on IPOs, de-listings and fundraisings, and is also known for his work acting for PRC clients. Recently, he worked with Super Group on its issuance of SGD2.17 billion of shares.

Significant clients 
Gallant Venture, OCBC, GuocoLand, KMP Private, Fortis Healthcare Group.

Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives - Band 1

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

What the team is known for Well known for advising on derivatives matters, providing the full suite of regulatory advice as well as counsel on futures and securities. Clients include financial institutions, regulators, clearing houses and corporate investors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They know their stuff, they've been in the business a long time!" 

Notable practitioners
Regina Liew and Larry Lim are the key contacts.

Significant clients Energy Market Company, Citibank, Philips Futures, Senoko Energy, Development Bank of Japan.  

Competition/Antitrust - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Kala Anandarajah - Band 1, Dominique Lombardi - Band 3

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

What the team is known for 
Highly reputed team that advises multinational and local clients on competition issues, with regular involvement in landmark decisions. Recognised for its prowess on behavioural work, and also very active on merger filings before the CCS.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are extremely flexible and responsive - an excellent firm."

"Very client-oriented, resourceful and knowledgeable." 

"They acted very quickly and were able to liaise effectively with the local authority."

Work highlights 
Advised Yusen Logistics, and its Singapore subsidiary, in a cartel investigation in the air freight forwarding sector.

Advised Lafarge S.A. and Holcim on their merger notification to the CCS.

Notable practitioners  
Head of department Kala Anandarajah offers exceptional depth of expertise for competition issues, including acting in a number of high profile cartel investigations. In one such matter she advised Yusen Logistics in an air freight forwarding cartel investigation. Clients give her exceptional praise, deeming her "superbly responsive, very hard-working, solution-oriented and reliable."

EU-qualified Dominique Lombardi is praised by sources as "a skilled professional with a pragmatic approach." She draws upon a wealth of experience relating to European and ASEAN region competition issues, including acting for Nippon Express in the recent air freight forwarding cartel investigation.

Associate Kimberly Tan comes recommended by clients, one of whom reports they were "very pleased with her work," and her ability to "focus on the key points." She has played an important role in the firm's work for Nippon Express, Lafarge and Daifuku Group amongst others.

Significant clients 
Jtekt, Koyo Singapore, Coca-Cola, Yusen Logistics, Nippon Express Singapore.  

Construction - Band 3
Ranked Lawyers: Sop Lip San - Band 2

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

What the team is known for 
Respected team of disputes experts with considerable experience advising on construction matters for project sponsors, developers and contractors. Regularly acts on mandates across South-East Asia, and also handles non-contentious construction work.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have the ability to put us at ease and take us through the steps to help us prepare."

"Pleased with their performance and the outcome they delivered."

Work highlights 
Assisted PEC with the EPC contract, procurement structure and subcontract agreements for its SGD300 million tender for oil storage facilities in the United Arab Emirates.

Notable practitioners  
Sources appreciate that Soh Lip San is able to see "the big picture, is exceptionally knowledgeable and patient and makes things simple and precise." He is also recognised as "pragmatic and action-oriented. He doesn't show off with legal knowledge, but looks at how he can apply it in an effective way." He has extensive experience acting on large energy and infrastructure project disputes, and also has an established front-end practice.

Significant clients
Obayashi Corporation, Siemens, Johnson Controls, Genting Oil & Gas, Marubeni. 

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

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

What the team is known for
Strong showing for both public and private M&A, acting for major banks and corporate clients. Active in a range of sectors, including banking, insurance and healthcare. A network of offices across Asia ensures the firm is well placed to handle cross-border matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Client focused, good knowledge of Singapore market and South East Asia."

"They go the extra mile." 

Work highlights 
Represented Goodpack Holdings on its SGD1.39 billion acquisition by IBC Capital, including its delisting from the Singapore Exchange.

Advised the Lee Rubber Companies on the sale for SGD450 million of shares in Anson Company to Halcyon Rubber Company.

Notable practitioners  
Clients say Goh Kian Hwee is "a stalwart, a go-to guy for M&A who has a wealth of experience." He is active on major transactions, and in a recent highlight advised KMP Private on its acquisition of a stake worth USD37 million in Vietnamese company Hiep Thanh Group.

Serene Yeo has more than 25 years of experience in M&A and corporate financing. Peers laud her as "the technical expert putting things together" on transactions.

Significant clients 
OCBC, Salim Group, GuocoLand, CIMB Bank, Religare.

Dispute resolution: Arbitration - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Chuan Thye Tan - Band 2, Andre Yeap SC - Band 4, Paul Tan - Up and Coming

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

What the team is known for 
Robust and expanding team of arbitration specialists handling a huge caseload of matters before tribunals in Singapore as well as across Asia and Europe. Very good slate of work in energy disputes, and recent involvement in BIT arbitration. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Very big in international arbitration. They're certainly amongst the leaders in Singapore."

"A firm that I highly appreciate." 

What's new? 
Tan Chuan Thye joined the firm as senior counsel in April 2015.

Notable practitioners 
Sources confirm that Tan Chuan Thye has an established name for cases in the banking, construction and energy spheres. Commentators give a positive evaluation of his capabilities, one explaining "I found him quite impressive, he absorbs things quickly." He is also frequently in demand as an arbitrator.

Andre Yeap is heavily focused on arbitration work and is especially active in the areas of commercial and project-related disputes. He is hailed by a source as "an impressive person, very mature, a good tactician and a very capable advocate."

Interviewees single out Paul Tan as a rising star in commercial arbitration, with notable expertise in the construction and energy industries. One source found him "really excellent and certainly as good as anybody I'd worked with in Singapore before," whilst another said he was "diligent and always available to provide opinion and recommendations."

Significant clients 
Sinopec International, Dynamic Oil Trading Middle East, Thiess, Courts Madagascar SARL, Republic of Indonesia.

Dispute Resolution: Litigation - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Eng Beng Lee SC - Band 1, Francis Xavier SC - Band 2, Andre Yeap SC -Band 3, Danny Ong - Band 4, Chuan Thye Tan SC - Other Noted Practitioners 

Basic facts about the department
- 34 partners 
- 52 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Prolific litigation team with plentiful expertise on big-ticket domestic and cross-border disputes. Especially well versed in financial, shareholder and joint venture cases. Well placed to act on multi-jurisdictional matters due to its network of offices and alliances in the wider region. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"It's an outstanding firm."  

"It's doing big disputes and it is very active." 

Work highlights 
Represented White Energy in a USD750 million joint venture dispute concerning a coal upgrading plant in Indonesia.

Defended AXA Life Insurance against allegations of defamation, malicious falsehood and breach of duty of care regarding reference check responses for an ex-financial services director.

Notable practitioners 
Lee Eng Beng has a notable specialism in financial and insolvency disputes including acting for Equatorial Marine Fuel in its USD22 million bunker claim against MISC Berhad. As one client stated: "He's very, very strong technically and always goes down the route of the law."

Francis Xavier concentrates on corporate and commercial disputes, especially in the banking, property and investment funds industries. He has led many of the firm's top matters including acting for EHPL and its subsidiary EPL in an investment dispute against seven defendants, including parties from Australia and Malaysia.

Andre Yeap is a highly experienced litigator with a standout practice in banking, securities and shareholder disputes. In a highlight, he advised the liquidators of MF Global Singapore regarding issues around customers' claims for profits from OTC-leveraged foreign exchange and bullion transactions.

Danny Ong has a prominent name in the area of Singapore insolvency litigation, and also handles a range of other corporate and commercial cases. His business awareness is noted by sources who say, "he's very commercial, he knows when he has to be aggressive and commercially aware at the same time." In a highlight, he acted for the liquidators of Dynamic Oil Trading in a high-profile insolvency case.

Significant clients 
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, American Express, Genting Group, BHP Billiton, Hewlett-Packard.

Employment - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Desmond Wee - Band 2

What the team is known for 
Has a leading reputation for contentious employment matters, and is also well regarded for non-contentious work. Notable experience in handling trade union issues. Additionally well placed to handle regional work due to its network of offices.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Provides great advice and is very sharp in negotiations."

"They are very professional, responsive and offer great advice."

Work highlights 
Representing AXA Life Insurance Singapore in a suit brought by an ex-employee claiming defamation and breach of duty of care during his employment.

Worked with UST Global following an asset acquisition, advising on employment due diligence and transfer of employees.

Notable practitioners 
Desmond Wee comes recommended by clients for his "pragmatic, commercial advice" and responsiveness. Focusing on the non-contentious side of employment law, he advises on matters such as the structuring of employment agreements, terminations of employment and trade union law.  

Significant clients 
Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, MF Global Singapore, Thomson Reuters, Julius Baer.  

Gaming & Gambling - Asia-Pacific Region 
Ranked Lawyer: Lau Kok Keng - Other Notable Practitioner

Insurance - 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 
Well-established firm with recognised expertise across a variety of transactional and contentious insurance issues. Offers extensive courtroom experience and a deep understanding of both local and international insurers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a multitude of specialists within the firm and are able to easily tap into each other's expertise."

"They have in-depth understanding of the insurance market and regulatory requirements in the region and are highly commercial in helping clients find solutions."

Notable practitioners  
Simon Goh is held in high esteem by peers, who describe him as"a class act." Clients praise him as a "very attentive, approachable and well-informed" practitioner and point to his commerciality and client care as other key strengths. He handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, and has an impressively broad knowledge of the Singapore regulatory regime.

Clients appreciate Elaine Tay's ability to take a balanced view and "provide commercially viable advice." They enthuse: "She is meticulous yet doesn't lose focus - she provides attention to detail but also keeps the big picture in mind at all times." Her previous experience as a construction lawyer affords her good insight into property-related insurance matters.

Significant clients 
Great Eastern Life Assurance, MSIG Insurance (Singapore), QBE, Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore, United Overseas Insurance.

Investment Funds - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Arnold Tan - Band 1, Anne Yeo - Band 2, Lu Yueh Leong - Band 3

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

What the team is known for 
Well-respected practice offering expertise in the formation of various investment structures including hedge, private equity and real estate funds. Caters to an impressive list of both international and domestic fund managers. Also frequently advises on regulatory developments and licensing matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"The firm has a deep bench of talent."  

"The advice has been detailed, thorough and delivered within stipulated deadlines."

Work highlights 
Assisted Longlead Capital Partners with the formation of the Longlead Market Neutral Fund.

Acted for the trustee manager in the formation and listing of the Religare Health Trust.

Notable practitioners
Arnold Tan is lauded by commentators as "one of the brightest minds in the local funds market." Numerous clients are quick to highlight his "familiarity with industry trends" along with his"commercial approach and good relationship with the MAS."

Anne Yeo has an excellent reputation in the offshore funds space. Interviewees enthuse about her "extensive experience" as well as her "deep understanding of the Singapore regulatory framework." She regularly advises on the establishment of private equity and hedge funds. 

Leong Lu Yueh is frequently mandated on fund formation and regulatory matters. Sources report that she is "well versed in local law and MAS regulations." She has recently been active in the hedge space, advising on the formation of master and macro funds.

Significant clients 
Longlead Capital Partners, Mizuho Asia Partners, New Silk Road Investment, Nuvest Capital, Tahan Capital Management.

Intellectual Property - Band 3
Ranked Lawyers: Lau Kok Keng - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners 
- 4 associates

What the team is known for 
Fields an experienced team with broad capabilities across both contentious and non-contentious issues. Particularly active on trade mark and copyright infringement mandates, frequently assisting clients from the technology sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Commerciality is a key strength. I can be confident I will get solutions that are practical and executable."

Work highlights 
Advised ABS-CBN Global on IP rights and regulatory issues concerning the production and promotion of live entertainment events.

Acting for the Singapore Sports Council on matters concerning the SEA Games 2015, including related trade mark registrations and copyright ownership issues. 

Notable practitioners  
Lau Kok Keng receives praise from clients for his "excellent command of the law and ability to turn that into client-focused solutions." He frequently acts for clients from the sports, technology and gambling industries and, in a recent highlight, he advised FIFA in relation to multiple rights enforcement matters associated with the 2014 World Cup.

Significant clients 
Adobe Systems, Lenovo Singapore, RMS Titanic, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong, ST Electronics.

Private Client/Wealth Management - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Ronald Choo - Band 1

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

What the team is known for 
Well reputed for its impressive depth of knowledge regarding trust work. A go-to firm for private client disputes, and also offers advice to high net worth individuals on immigration, residency issues and tax matters. Additionally commended for its considerable cross-jurisdictional experience.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"I have been impressed with them; the work is timely and the pricing is fair."

"We have a good relationship with them and they have been very professional."

"They are always very accommodating with giving us preliminary advice that gives us a starting point." 

Notable practitioners 
Ronald Choo is considered by market sources to be "one of Singapore's leading experts on trust law." Clients appreciate his "impressive drafting skills" as well as his "friendly disposition and practical advice." Choo regularly advises banks, trust companies and private individuals on a range of wealth management issues. 

Projects & Energy  - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Shemane Chan - Band 2

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

What the team is known for
Well known for its comprehensive regional network, with an established presence in Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia. Comes recommended for handling mandates involving the oil and gas and power sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They were very professional and accommodating. No doubt I will go back to them."

"I was impressed with their services in terms of their professionalism and thoroughness."

Work highlights 
Acted for Panca Amara Utama regarding the development of an USD800 million ammonia plant in Indonesia. The team supported PAU on a number of aspects of the project including procurement and financing.

Assisted CITIC on its bids for infrastructure projects in Myanmar following the Myanmar government's issuance of requests for proposal of projects in the Bay of Bengal for a deep sea port facility, industrial park and residential area.  

Notable practitioners  
Shemane Chan is well regarded for acting on infrastructure projects and construction matters, including acting for developers 1MDB Real Estate on the Tun Razak Exchange, a financial district to be built in Kuala Lumpur. She frequently advises clients in Malaysia and Indonesia and is praised by interviewees as "very dedicated to supporting us, very client-focused and very confident in her knowledge."

Significant clients 
Government of Myanmar, IMDB Real Estate, BG Group, Panca Amara Utama, KrisEnergy.  

Real Estate - Other Noted Firm

Restructuring/Insolvency - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Eng Beng Lee SC - Band 1, Patrick Ang - Band 1, Lionel Tay - Band 2, Kwan Kiat Sim - Band 2, Chuan Thye Tan SC - Band 2, Danny Ong - Up and Coming

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Offers expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters, and has been involved in many of Singapore's most prominent restructurings. Experience advising on liquidations, judicial managements and complex schemes of arrangement. Particularly well regarded for work in the shipping and financial services sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A local firm with a true Asia-wide footprint."

"It's a known fact that it is considered a market leader in banking and accounting circles."

Work highlights Advised liquidators in the USD300 million liquidation of Dynamic Oil Trading, a subsidiary of OW Bunker.

Represented Bumi Resources in the restructuring of roughly USD1 billion of bonds and notes in Singapore.

Notable practitioners
Department co-head Lee Eng Beng is described by impressed clients as "always two steps ahead: he can envisage what the opponent is thinking." He picks up accolades for his work on contentious insolvencies. He advised TT International in its restructuring, which concerned debts of almost SGD500 million, and entailed a landmark ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Patrick Ang is "known to be a leader in the industry," offering a range of expertise and experience. One interviewee is particularly impressed: "He's very careful - he thinks through everything." He has acted on a string of high-profile restructurings, advising creditors and distressed companies. Lately, he has advised the liquidators through the winding down of certain entities and assets of Lehman Brothers.

Sim Kwan Kiat co-heads the restructuring team and is regarded in the market as "very senior and experienced." He is praised by one source as "a technically very sound guy who knows his stuff." Recently, he has been advising Bumi on its USD1 billion restructuring.

The "user-friendly" Danny Ong is hailed by interviewees as "a great person to work with: he's extremely responsive" and "good when you need someone to fight your corner." He has acted on a number of high-value insolvencies, including representing the liquidators in the winding down of DOT, which was connected to the restructuring of OW Bunker.  

Tan Chuan Thye is widely recognised as a key practitioner in this field with 25 years' experience under his belt. His expertise covers in-court proceedings as well as arbitration. His work on restructuring has seen him acting for receivers, liquidators and judicial managers.

Lionel Tay has a great deal of experience advising financial institutions and accounting firms on high-value insolvencies. Acknowledged by interviewees as "a go-to person and trusted adviser," he is "quick to respond and pragmatic." Recently, he advised the liquidators of MF Global Singapore, including regarding the recovery of USD400 million of proprietary funds.

Significant clients 
Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Standard Chartered, Maybank, PwC. 

Shipping - Band 1

Ranked Lawyers: Kah Wah Leong - Band 1, Kian Sing Toh SC - Band 1, Winston Kwek - Band 1, Ian Teo - Band 3, Jainil Bhandari - Band 3, Kendall Tan - Band 3

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

What the team is known for
Standout team highly recommended for its deep bench and impressive contentious capabilities. Expert at handling both litigations and arbitrations involving collisions, charter party disputes and cargo claims, especially those with a cross-border element. Growing strength in financing matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"For maritime matters they are second to none. The depth and breadth of their knowledge and service is not easy to surpass."

"They are very client-oriented." 

"They provide commercial solutions to resolve claims." 

Work highlights 
Instructed by a P&I Club on claims arising from a collision between a crude oil carrier and a bulk carrier in disputed territorial waters, with the claims totalling approximately USD20 million.

Advised various creditors and debtors regarding the collapse of O.W. Bunker, including cross-border issues relating to ship arrests and title clause retention.

Notable practitioners 
Toh Kian Sing is widely renowned for his vast experience handling matters across the contentious spectrum, ranging from bills of lading to charter party disputes. Interviewees enthuse that he is "an outstanding shipping lawyer." He recently acted for China Shipping Container Lines on unpaid bunker charges relating to the collapse of O.W. Bunker.

Winston Kwek is praised by clients for his tenacious litigation style and regularly acts on disputes involving marine insurance, restructuring and enforcement work. He recently represented the Meranti Group as an expert witness in the South African courts, where the court set aside the arrest of the 'Agatis' following false claims by the managers.

Leong Kah Wah is highly experienced in shipping and trading disputes, including acting for Transocean Oil in the striking out of a claim for unpaid bunkers and the setting aside of an arrest warrant. Clients enjoy working with him, one stating that "he is a smart lawyer - he knows his stuff when it comes to the legal side and I also appreciate his practicality."

Ian Teo garners extensive praise from his clients, who suggest:"He has the ability to think outside the box and his legal advice is sound." He is highly active on a variety of shipping litigations and arbitrations, particularly those in the dry sector. He recently acted on a substantial charter party dispute.

Kendall Tan's practice covers the full spectrum of wet and dry work ranging from bills of lading to wreck removal. In a recent case he represented the owners of 'Pacific Intrepid', a vessel damaged by an allision. Interviewees are impressed by his "amazing tenacity and stamina in prying apart the complexities in any matter.

Malaysia and Singapore-qualified lawyer Jainil Bhandari is recommended for his handling of matters as diverse as cargo damage, groundings and oil pollution. Clients rate him highly, one describing him as "my go-to man in Singapore." He was recently instructed by an energy company in a dispute over an undersea oil pipeline that burst during power plant construction works.

Significant clients 

American President Lines, BP, Britannia, Itochu, UK P&I Club. 

South-East Asia – International Trade/WTO - Band 1

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners

What the team is known for Offers in-depth expertise on trade matters concerning South-East Asian countries. Excels in handling customs regulatory compliance for international companies operating in the high-technology sector.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm's responsiveness and communications have been top-notch. They combine deep knowledge of the law with an awareness of commercial realities and the market. Their general operations are very smooth and seamless."

Notable practitioners
Kala Anandarajah leads the team from Singapore. 

Tax - Other Noted Firm
Ranked Lawyers: Vikna Rajah - Other noted practitioners

TMT - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Rajesh Sreenivasan - Band 1, Steve Tan - Band 3

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

What the team is known for 
An experienced ensemble especially well versed in personal data protection compliance issues in Singapore for both domestic and international clients. Also adept at advising on IT outsourcing and regulatory advice in the telecoms and media spheres. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very good, very professional, and advice-wise, they know what they are talking about."

"They have the local expertise and are willing to give the necessary attention to their clients." 

Work highlights
Advised Wing Tai Holdings on complying with the Personal Data Protection Act across their various business operations.

Assisted Fitness First in setting up a personal data protection compliance program throughout their clubs in Singapore.

Notable practitioners  
Partner Rajesh Sreenivasan is co-head of the TMT department, whose recent work illustrates a specialisation in data protection and IT outsourcing. He comes recommended by peers and clients alike and attracts praise among sources for being "a commercial lawyer who understands where our business is coming from and can give practical advice" as well as being "very professional and easy to work with."

Co-head of the TMT team Steve Tan offers experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters in this sphere. His workload of late points to operational and regulatory issues in the media industry and data protection issues as core areas of strength.

Significant clients 
Xiaomi Singapore, Red Bull Media House, Google Asia Pacific, Avaloq Evolution, Essilor Amera. 

 

R&T Asia (Thailand) Limited – Thailand

Banking & Finance - Band 3
Ranked Lawyer: Surasak Vajasit - Band 2

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

What the team is known for
Leverages off the firm's regional strength, often advising Thai banks on cross-border financings. Notable areas of expertise include ship finance. Additional experience acting as counsel to international lenders on local issues. 

Notable practitioners 
Surasak Vajasit has significant experience providing local law advice on ship financing, and also advising on the acquisition and construction of vessels. In the past year, he has also worked with clients on financing in the resources sector and corporate guarantee issues. 

Dispute Resolution - Band 3
Ranked Lawyer - Surasak Vajasit - Band 2

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

What the team is known for
Sizeable disputes practice, especially busy representing international clients on civil and administrative cases. Particular expertise in international trade, advising on contentious customs and anti-dumping issues. Additional capabilities in employment matters. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I think they're good, making aggressive moves in Thailand." 

Work highlights
Advised Philip Morris on a THB460 million dispute with the Thai Customs Department concerning historical imports from Indonesia.

Represented Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal in safeguarding and anti-dumping proceedings. 

Notable practitioners
Surasak Vajasit has acted on a number of high-value disputes. He is described by a market source as "a very senior guy whose expertise runs across many practice areas." He is especially skilled on contentious cross-border matters and recently took the lead representing Philip Morris in its THB460 million tax and customs dispute. 

Significant clients
Glow Group, DTAC, Semperit Technische Produkte. 

Restructuring /Insolvency
Ranked Lawyer - Surasak Vajasit - Band 1 

Surasak Vajasit is the managing partner of Rajah & Tann (Thailand) Limited, and is widely considered to be an eminent figure in the market. Peers consider him "a standout lawyer," and report that he is "very good at restructuring work."

 

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers - Vietnam 

Corporate /M&A - Band 3
Ranked Lawyers: Thi Que Vu - Other noted practitioners

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

What the team is known for
Accomplished Vietnamese offering supported by the broader Rajah & Tann network. Counsel to an impressive range of regional and global clients on investment into Vietnam. Especially active working with manufacturing clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've bolstered their regional presence - a dynamic Asian firm." 

Notable practitioners
The key contact is Thi Que Vu, who heads the corporate and M&A department. 

Significant clients
Kyoei Steel, Olympus, Hitachi Asia, Mitsubishi, Novelis Group. 

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

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

What the team is known for
Predominantly advises on international arbitration, but also has significant experience in litigation concerning insurance, intellectual property and labour disputes. Especially active on cross-border construction and shipping matters. 

Notable practitioners 
Head of the dispute resolution team, Huy Quang Chau is recognised as "a very good lawyer who looks after his clients very well." He has handled international and domestic disputes arising from a range of industries, recently advising an international company on a multimillion-dollar cross-border arbitration. 

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

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 4

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

What the team is known for
Skilled construction and infrastructure team advising developers and contractors on a range of projects, notably including port infrastructure and real estate developments. Additional capabilities in cross-border investment in the sector. 

Notable practitioners
Thi Que Vu is head of the infrastructure and construction team and the key contact for project matters. 

Significant clients
PTSC, Hitachi Asia, China Harbour Engineering Corporation, Baosteel, Tokyu Corporation. 

Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) - Vietnam - Other noted firms