Chambers Asia Pacific (2017)

R&T Sok & Heng - Cambodia

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

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

What the team is known for
Impressive Phnom Penh-based team working with the wider Rajah & Tann network. Regularly advises international clientele on domestic law. Retains a strong market reputation for work on cross-border transactions, including project finance and joint ventures. Banking and real estate sectors constitute key areas of expertise.

Strengths
"They perform very well. They are very efficient, experienced and creative in dealing with issues. It is a very slick and well-optimised practice. They're quite good at keeping clients informed about legal developments in Cambodia as well."

"Their commercial awareness of the local environment outclasses any other local or international law firm I have encountered in Cambodia thus far."

Work highlights
Acted for Donaco International on its USD360 million acquisition of Star Vegas Resort & Club, advising on due diligence and transactional documentation, as well as the registration and security for the financing by Mega International Commercial Bank.

Assisted Sunrise Healthcare Service with its application for investment and tax incentives from the Royal Government of Cambodia. Also provided advice on the construction and financing of the client's hospital project.

Significant clients
E.Sun Commercial Bank, HAGL Group, Malayan Banking, S&P International Foods, Thai Samsung Electronics.

Notable practitioners
Managing partner Chhay Heng focuses his practice on banking and finance, M&A and real estate mandates, and is particularly skilled in project finance. Work highlights include advising Teho International on its USD500 million real estate development. He attracts praise from clients for his "professional skill, communication and intuition" as well as "the calibre of his character, which plays a pivotal role in galvanising his team and staff."

Sophonnora Tiv comes recognised by peers as "definitely an up-and-comer in this space." He handles a range of work covering M&A, financing and real estate projects. In a highlight, he assisted TA Corporation with its real estate development project 'The Gateway', including advice on tax issues.

 

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners - Indonesia

Banking & Finance -Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf -Band 2, Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf - Band 3, Yanu Wiriasmoko - Other Noted Practitioners

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf and Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf
- 4 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
A highly reputed team that provides high-level advice to both borrowers and lenders across a range of offshore and onshore bank financings. Known for advising a cohort of major banks, it offers expertise across project, trade and structured finance, as well as sophisticated Shari'a-compliant transactions.

Strengths
One of the team's key strengths is efficiency: "My work is about how fast I can do things. AHP can keep up with what I need" reports one source.

One client also appreciates how well the firm knows its businesses: "They really understand the nature of our business operations."

Work highlights
Assisted CAS Group in negotiating a working capital and term loan facilities agreement with HSBC.

Advised BSI on the USD130 million financing of a gold mine at Banyuwangi in East Java. 

Significant clients
ABN AMRO, The Bank of New York Mellon, Bank Mandiri, Bank Permata, CIMB.

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf has a broad practice that covers financing work alongside M&A and capital markets. In a recent highlight he advised Export-Import Bank of China on the proposed financing of a 2x600 MW power plant in South Sumatra.

Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf is described as "amazingly efficient and hard-working" by one client. He advises both domestic and international institutions across a range of financings. Commentators are quick to highlight how much they value his input on their work: "His explanations of structures and legal risks give us understanding and comfort."

Capital Markets - Band 1

Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf -Band 1, Bono Adji -Band 1, Putu Saryastuti -Up and Coming, Tunggul Utomo - Up and Coming

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Bono Adji
- 3 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Maintains its top ranking after working on several high-profile debt and equity issuances. Team is especially noted for handling complex sukuk issuances, high-profile IPOs, and convertible and exchangeable bonds.

Strengths
Clients single out the team's wealth of knowledge: "Each lawyer has an in-depth knowledge of the field they are assigned to."

Additionally, its friendly and approachable attitude is a key strength: "Some firms are not as helpful and friendly when we go to them with issues - we can always go and check things over at AHP."

Work highlights
Assisted the Indonesian government with issues surrounding Series 5 and 6 of the USD10 billion Trust Certificates Issuance Program.

Represented XL Axiata with regards to its issuance of Tranche I of its Sukuk Ijarah Program.

Significant clients
Bank Mandiri, Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Garuda, Indosat, HSBC.

Notable practitioners
Bono Adji is co-managing partner of the team and a well-recognised figure in the capital markets area. His work includes assisting Merdeka Copper Gold in its IPO. Clients appreciate his depth of expertise, with one interviewee lauding him as "the main man for capital markets in Indonesia."

Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is well-versed in handling complex issuances, and is considered a leading practitioner by interviewees. Recently he acted as local counsel to a group of high-profile banks on a USD2 billion issuance as Series 4 of the government's Trust Certificates Issuance Program.

Putu Suryastuti is a dedicated capital markets lawyer with deep experience of the technical and regulatory issues associated with the area. She plays a key role in many of AHP's matters, earning praise from clients for being "smart and firm." Recently, she advised Saratoga Investama Sedaya in relation to Delta Investment Horizon's issuance of USD100 million exchangeable bonds.

Up-and-coming practitioner Tunggul Utomo has a well-rounded practice that spans both M&A and capital markets. In a recent highlight he advised Sumber Alfaria Trijaya on the issue of new shares. 

Competition and Antitrust - Spotlight Table
Ranked Lawyer: Rikrik Rizkiyana

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Rikrik Rizkiyana
- 3 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Possesses expertise across a wide range of competition and anti-trust work, including representing clients in major cartel investigations before the Indonesian Competition Commission (KPPU). The team is also well-versed in handling merger filings and internal competition audits.

Strengths
Commentators highlight the helpful overlap between litigation and competition work at the firm: "They have a lot of litigators who also handle competition."

Work highlights
Advised Japfa Comfeed Indonesia with regard to a KPPU investigation into anti-competitive practices concerning the arrangement and production of chicken stock.

Acted for Indosat during an appeal of the offline SMS cartel finding before the District Court and Supreme Court.

Significant clients
Asahimas Chemical, Asahi Glass, Danone Asia, Goodyear Indonesia, Itochu.

Notable practitioners
Rikrik Rizkiyana is notable for the breadth and depth of his experience, having previously worked for the KPPU. His recent work includes filing the pre-merger consultation of Holcim's acquisition of shares in Lafarge. 

Corporate/M&A - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf - Band 1, Bono Adji - Band 2, Eko Basyuni -Band 4

Basic facts about the department
-Head of department: Eko Basyuni
-6 partners
-19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Frequently cited as a market-leading firm in this area, owing to
its activity on some of the largest and most complex M&A transactions in the region. Advises major Indonesian clients and prominent international companies on joint ventures, foreign direct investment and private equity.

Strengths
Clients value the team's commerciality: "They really understand the way our business works."

Work highlights
Advised Saratoga Investama on the potential purchase of Rajawali Corpora's shares in Express Transindo Utama. 

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is "very well known" for his high level of activity in M&A transactions. He is credited for his experience advising both private and public Indonesian companies across a variety of sectors, including banking and mining.

Bono Adji possesses a wealth of experience in the M&A space, advising on a steady stream of domestic transactions, including recent deals in the telecoms and natural resources sectors. "He's a very good lawyer," reports a source, adding: "He assists in most of our transactions."

Eko Basyuni is considered by sources to be a "very smart" lawyer. He has a broad practice that includes banking and finance, capital markets and M&A, and he is especially noted for work on corporate transactions in the telecoms sector. 

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

Basic facts about the department
-Heads of department: Chandra Hamzah and Eri Hertiawan
-6 partners
-18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Maintains an excellent reputation for handling a diverse range of contentious matters, from commercial disputes to competition litigation. Areas of focus include aviation law, tax and IP. Clients further benefit from the firm's membership of the Rajah & Tann Asia Network.

Strengths
The firm is singled out for its pre-eminent position in the market. "Definitely a very strong disputes practice," notes one interviewee.

Work highlights
Successfully represented Indosat Ooredoo before the District Court in relation to USD6 million worth of fines imposed by the KPPU for the alleged operation of a cartel to fix text message prices.

Represented Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia before the District Court in relation to water pollution and a water extraction licence.

Significant clients
Vale Indonesia, Bank Mandiri, HSBC, World Bank Indonesia, Goodyear.

Notable practitioners
Co-head of department Eri Hertiawan is noted for his expertise in
contentious cases, particularly in relation to banking, corporate and criminal issues. He recently led the team representing Holcim in a land dispute before the Administrative Court and the Supreme Court. 

Employment - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Maulana - Other Noted Practitioner

Basic facts about the department
-Head of department: Ahmad Maulana
-1 partner
-5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Recognised for advising an impressive range of domestic and foreign clients on a variety of employment issues, including unfair dismissals, fraud and retrenchment. Additionally offers expertise in outsourcing and expatriate matters.

Strengths
The team earns praise from clients who have benefited from its solution-driven advice: "They consider a problem from several perspectives, then suggest solutions to us."

Work highlights
Advised NYK Line on issues pertaining to a working visa for a foreign national who was recently imprisoned in the USA.

Assisted with negotiations between Toyobo Knitting and its employees after the transfer of its rights and obligations to Toyobo Manufacturing.

Significant clients
Vale Indonesia, Holcim Indonesia, HSBC, Lotte Group.

Notable practitioners
Head of department Ahmad Maulana is a key contact for clients. 

Projects & Energy - Band 2
Ranked Lawyer: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf - Band 2

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf, Ibrahim Assegaf and Kanya Satwika
- 4 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Noted for advising some of the region's largest energy and resources companies, including government entities and export credit agencies. The team advises extensively on project financing and development, and is also experienced in investment and M&A in the oil and gas and infrastructure sectors.

Strengths
Clients appreciate the firm's forward-looking approach: "They're flexible and dynamic - it's a more modern style of Indonesian legal work."

Work highlights
Acted for Korea Export Import Bank on the USD142 million financing of the Semangka hydroelectric plant on the Tanggamus River. 

Represented BSI in the USD130 million financing of the Bukittujuh Project.

Significant clients
Guangdong Power Engineering, Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, LNG Japan, Lotte Chemical Titan, Medco Energi International.

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is a "very sensible lawyer" who leverages his cross-practice expertise to advise on complex projects deals for a range of clients. "He does everything," notes one source, adding: "He's a good operator and a good lawyer." 

Intellectual Property - Other Noted Firms

Real Estate - Band 2

Telecommunications - Band 1

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Zacky Husein and Bono Adji

What the team is known for
A thriving team that has added a number of blue-chip clients to its roster, attracting recognition for its growing bench strength. It remains well known for its deft handling of M&A in the telecoms sector. The team is also noted for regulatory expertise.

Work highlights
Acted for the Indonesia Infrastructure Guarantee Fund on the Palapa Ring Project, which aims to connect the whole of Indonesia with a fibre optic cable network.

Represented the lenders and facility agents in two revolving credit facilities to Telkomsel, worth USD150 million and USD231 million respectively.

Significant clients
Indosat, Telekomunikasi Indonesia, XL Asiata, Infineon, Tower Bersama.

Notable practitioners
Head of department Zacky Husein is a key contact.

 

Rajah & Tann (Laos) Sole Co., Ltd - Lao PDR

General Business Law - Other Noted Firms

 

Christopher & Lee Ong - Malaysia

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

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Fiona Sequerah and Christopher Lee
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Established and experienced team handling a comprehensive range of finance matters. Assists with multiple loan transactions, as well as offering expertise on complex debt and Islamic finance structures. Also handles asset finance and securitisation mandates, as well as finance related to the projects, infrastructure and energy spheres.

Notable practitioners
Christopher Lee is well regarded for a broad finance practice, offering particular strength where projects and infrastructure matters are concerned. He is also well placed to advise clients on debt capital markets, including such Islamic structures as sukuk. 

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

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

What the team is known for
Robust corporate team, advising on a broad range of transactional and regulatory issues. Well placed to advise on cross-border deals in the region thanks to its membership of the Rajah & Tann network. Particularly active in the resources sector and noted for its representation of private equity funds.

Work highlights
Acted as lead counsel to Donaco International in its USD360 million acquisition of Star Vegas Casino.

Represented Platinum Appreciation and Brothers Coffee Ventures in their acquisition of shares in Lyndarahim Ventures.

Notable practitioners
Christopher Lee's broad corporate practice encompasses the handling of M&A, joint ventures, reverse takeovers and other transactions. He frequently represents clients from the projects, infrastructure and energy sectors. Clients note "his deep experience" and the useful insights conferred by his "big-picture" view, one reporting: "I appreciate his thoughtful approach in dealing with potential issues." 

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 1

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Lee Hock Chye, Christopher Lee, Eileen Yeoh and Lim Siaw Wan
- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Leading projects team, known in the market for its extensive regional expertise in power and infrastructure. Frequently advises on contractual and operational issues relating to projects in the oil and gas, renewable energy and transport infrastructure sectors, among others.

Strengths
Sources note its strong market presence: "For projects and infrastructure, Christopher & Lee Ong is very active now."

Work highlights
Assisted Janakuasa with all aspects of a 1,200 MW coal-fired power plant development in Vietnam, including the construction and operation of the plant.

Acted for Olive Energy in relation to the construction of a 12.1 MW biomass electricity plant in Sarawak.

Notable practitioners
Christopher Lee is a key contact for the department.

Significant clients 
Energy Commission, Gas Malaysia, Puncak Niaga, Sarawak Hidro, SunEdison. 

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

What the team is known for
Frequently represents clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings, as well as handling ship arrests. Also active in 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 well respected by peers, who describe him as "very sound, very bright and very fair." He acts on a range of matters, including contentious international trade, ship arrests and charter party cases. He is also very active in arbitration.

 

Rajah & Tann NK Legal - Myanmar

General Business Law - Band 2
Ranked Lawyer: Chester Toh - Band 2

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

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. Also has experience handling banking, project finance and joint venture matters in the region.

Strengths
"We presented them with a very specific set of issues, and they were really focused and responsive."

"We consider them to be such a nice find for us; reliable, locally aware counsel tuned to Western concerns.''

Work highlights
Counselled Fraser & Neave on the local law aspects of its USD560 million disposal of a 55% shareholding in Myanmar Brewery to Kirin Holdings.

Significant clients
Procter & Gamble, Visa, Coca-Cola, Yum! Asia Franchise, EY.

Notable practitioners
Myanmar co-head Chester Toh is "commercially savvy and also technically sophisticated," according to a client. He led the team advising HG Metal Manufacturing on its subsidiary's USD24.9 million proposed purchase of shares in Min Dharma Steel Structures, as well as a proposed joint venture between the two entities.

 

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) - Philippines

Corporate/M&A - Band 2
Ranked Lawyer: Jaime Renato B Gatmaytan - Band 3

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

What the team is known for
Talented team concentrating on foreign investments and share and asset acquisitions, as well as regulatory and compliance issues. Also experienced in assisting clients with the establishment of local businesses. Frequently advises on a range of corporate matters in the energy and mining sector.

Strengths
"They have been very good at working collaboratively and offering knowledge on Philippine law."

"They are knowledgeable and extremely helpful. They are exactly what we need."

Work highlights
Acted for Holcim Philippines on the USD11 million restructuring of its investment in Holcim Mining and Development Corporation.

Assisted Ayala Healthcare Holdings with its acquisition of 50% equity of a generic pharmaceutical company.

Significant clients
Aboitiz, Ayala, Pearson.

Notable practitioners
The "well-connected and knowledgeable" Jaime Renato Gatmaytan is endorsed for his skilful handling of corporate mandates such as asset acquisitions and equity investments. Interviewees praise him for his hands-on approach to matters, with one commenting: "He slotted into the team, rolled up his sleeves and mucked in. It's been a very positive experience." 

Dispute Resolution - Band 3
Ranked Lawyer: Anthony Mark A Gutierrez - Band 3

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration - Band 2
Ranked Lawyer: Ben Dominic R Yap - Band 2

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

What the team is known for
A robust team, able to advise on the full life cycle of a dispute. Noted for arbitration expertise, assisting particularly frequently with ICC-administered arbitrations, and recognised for its representation of leading conglomerates. Also well equipped to handle Supreme Court litigation.

Work highlights
Represented First Philec Solar and First Philippine Electric in a Hong Kong-seated arbitration against SunPower, arising from disputes over a joint venture agreement and a solar wafer slicing agreement.

Acted for SN Aboitiz Power-Magat, SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet and AP Renewables in a Supreme Court dispute involving a challenge to the constitutional validity of various regulations related to electricity generation.

Significant clients
Aboitiz, Holcim, Green Cross, OceanaGold.

Notable practitioners
Department head Ben Yap is an arbitration expert with considerable experience in the energy, construction and employment sectors. A source remarks that "he was superb" on a recent case, and peers extol him as "extremely bright and very experienced." Of late, he has represented Bac-Man Geothermal in arbitration proceedings against Weir Engineering Services, stemming from disputes over a repair and rehabilitation contract.

Anthony Gutierrez is well versed in litigation and offers additional expertise in tax. Lately, he acted for Holcim Philippines in dispute proceedings against Malayan Bank Savings and Mortgage, relating to the enforcement of a letter of credit. 

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 2
Ranked Lawyer: Jaime Renato B Gatmaytan - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Jaime Renato Gatmaytan
- 4 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
The team continues to garner recognition and respect in the market for its activity in the infrastructure and energy arenas. It is particularly highlighted for its project finance know-how along with its noteworthy experience in PPP projects. It advises both public and private sector clients, including government bodies, significant financial institutions and major corporates.

Strengths
According to commentators, the firm is particularly "well known for infrastructure and PPP work."

Another interviewee says that it is "the best local firm I have ever worked with in the region!"

Work highlights
Acted for a consortium of real estate conglomerates, including Aboitiz Equity Ventures and SM Prime Holdings, in a bid for the financing, construction, and operation of an expressway-dike project worth USD2.73 billion.

Advised Ayala Land on the USD88 million South Integrated Transport System PPP project in Southern Manila.

Significant clients
IFC, Development Bank of the Philippines, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP, Pw, Aboitiz Power.

Notable practitioners
Jaime Renato Gatmaytan is identified as a "good guy" who is "very competent in the field." Principally, he acts on corporate and financial transactions in this space, including loans, M&A and equity investments. His recent work includes assisting Therma Visayas with a PHP31.97 billion credit facility for the purpose of financing a 300 MW power plant in Toledo City. 

Tax - Band 3
Ranked Lawyer: Anthony Mark A Gutierrez - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Anthony Mark Gutierrez
- 3 partners 
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Remains prominent in tax disputes, with notable experience in challenging tax assessments. Also offers considerable expertise in advising clients from the energy, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.

Significant clients
Aboitiz, CalEnergy, Holcim, Sanofi-Aventis, OceanaGold.

Notable practitioners
Anthony Mark Gutierrez is especially well recognised for his deft handling of tax disputes, maintaining a solid track record in challenging tax assessments. Interviewees praise his "hard-working and fastidious"approach.

 

Rajah & Tann Singapore - Singapore

Asia Pacific Region – Arbitration (International) - Band 3

What the team is known for
Leading Singapore firm, highlighted for its specialist arbitration practice and impressive regional range, with especially notable coverage of Indonesia, 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 other Asian jurisdictions.

Strengths
Sources allude frequently to the team's specialised arbitration capability, with one calling it "a bona fide practice, doing really well," and another testifying to its "deep and extensive professional knowledge."

Work highlights
Represented the Republic of the Philippines in ICC arbitration proceedings, initiated by Chevron and Shell and concerning those companies' claims that the Philippines government is contractually obliged to pay all their income tax obligations in the Republic, a sum amounting to approximately USD15 billion.

Acted for Nepal-based conglomerate CG Group in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration of a SGD100 million dispute with African Eagle over the development of a luxury hotel project in Rwanda. The case involves issues of both English and Rwandan law and also has aspects involving the BVI, Kenya and Singapore.

Significant clients
China New Machinery Corporation, Kingdom of Lesotho, Rio Tinto, Siemens, Sinopec.

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

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

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Angela Lim and Regina Liew
- 15 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Sought after by major banks and corporates, with an excellent track record in high-end deals, from traditional banking and syndicated lending matters to project and real estate finance. Well placed to handle complex cross-border instructions thanks to its network of offices across the region, including in Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Noted for its impressive regulatory expertise.

Strengths
The client service on offer is highly thought of among clients: "They're always available to help, and able to work to tight timeframes," remarks one interviewee. "They're commercial, practical, and good at coming up with solutions."

Sources also commend the depth of the team's regulatory knowledge: "Their advice on regulatory matters is some of the best in the market for sure - they have strong relationships with regulators."

Value for money Clients report that the firm offers significant value for money. "They're certainly very competitive," notes one such commentator, "I am never charged an arm and a leg, and I always receive work I am happy with."

Work highlights
Acted for Bank of China, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank as lead arrangers in the SGD1.17 billion facilities to finance the acquisition of an oil tanker storage business granted to UT Singapore Services.

Significant clients
OCBC, Citibank, CIMB, ABN AMRO, Maybank.

Notable practitioners
Regina Liew "has the right mix of sound regulatory expertise and commercial savvy," according to a satisfied client. She heads the firm's financial institutions group and is known for her focus on financial services regulation.

Clients describe Angela Lim as "very business-oriented" and "responsive," adding: "She's able to deal very calmly with everything." She is active in cross-border financings across the Asia-Pacific region, including in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Terence Choo is recognised for his expertise in acquisition, project and trade finance, on both the borrower and lender side. Clients identify his efficiency as a key strength.

Clients describe the "commercially sound" Ng Sey Ming as "client-oriented and willing to go the extra mile." He regularly advises on cross-border transactions involving projects, real estate and acquisitions. 

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

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Serene Yeo, Chia Kim Huat, Evelyn Wee, Cheng Yoke Ping and Howard Cheam
- 23 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Offering expertise across both debt and equity capital markets, the team is recognised for being involved in many complex transactions in the market. Its network of offices across ASEAN and beyond adds to the team's ability to handle cross-border work in jurisdictions such as Vietnam, Japan and Myanmar. The team harbours particular proficiency in Indonesia-related work.

Strengths 
The team's client service is highly thought of among interviewees: "They're very focused on understanding the client's needs."

Its practicality is another key feature noted by clients: "The most important thing is that they give very practical advice, which is something we really appreciate."

Work highlights
Advised BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and DBS Bank, the joint lead managers and underwriters, on the SGD238 rights issue of new securities.

Advised Jeffries LLC and Leerink Partners LLC as book-running managers of Wave Life Sciences' USD102 million listing on NASDAQ.

Significant clients
Gallant Venture, OCBC, Japfa, KPM Private, UOB.

Notable practitioners
Chia Kim Huat advises clients on a diverse range of issues, including joint ventures, private equity investments, and public and private M&A. He has deep experience in PRC-based capital markets work. "He has great relationships in the market and really understands the regulations surrounding our work," says one client. "You can really rely on his judgement due to his depth of experience."

Evelyn Wee is valued by clients for her "dedication and commerciality." With a practice encompassing capital markets and corporate/M&A, she is adept at advising on REITs, business trusts and listings. She advised Grofers during a subscription by Softbank, Internet Fund III, Sequoia Capital, Apoletto Asia and Mr Rahul Mehta for preference shares in its capital.

Danny Lim is highly regarded for his expertise in IPO work, and is further lauded by clients for getting work done "in record time." He is recognised for proficiency in M&A work as well as capital markets matters, and is picked out for his expertise in advising PRC clients on cross-border transactions. Lately, he acted for SAC Capital Private on the listing of CMC Infocomm on the Catalist board. 

Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Regina Liew - Other noted Practitioners, Larry Lim - Other noted Practitioners

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Regina Liew, Larry Lim and David Yeow
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
The firm commands an excellent reputation for advising on derivatives and structured products, as well as for providing a full suite of regulatory counsel. Regularly assists with bespoke and innovative solutions. Its clientele includes high-profile banks, clearing houses, regulators and exchanges.

Strengths
Interviewees are impressed by the team's creative approach: "They're constantly pressed to find new solutions for clients - it's a difficult thing to do and they do it well."

Client service is also also highlighted by commentators. "They're a very professional outfit. We get everything that we want on time and they tap into resources across all industries," reports one source.

Significant clients
Citi, HSBC, UOB Group, OCBC Group, The Phillip Group. 

Notable practitioners
Heads of department Regina Liew and Larry Lim are key contacts. 

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

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

What the team is known for
Highly regarded team with in-depth experience of advising international and local clients on merger control issues, cartel investigations and market studies. Recognised for actively advancing the awareness of international competition standards across Singapore.

Strengths
Clients appreciate the firm's robust advice: "I value the fact that they give practical advice and are confident in taking a stance."

The firm is praised for its client service: "We were just very happy and it was a very smooth co-operation. The service level was excellent."

Work highlights
Acted for a conglomerate of Singapore companies including Keppel Infrastructure Trust and CitySpring Infrastructure Trust on their consolidation application to the IDA.  

Significant clients 
AITI, Coca-Cola, Jtekt.

Notable practitioners 
Head of department Kala Anandarajah is renowned for her expertise in competition issues, especially for her antitrust work. Clients praise her clear explanations and practical advice, with one commenting that "she has very wide vision," adding that "this kind of 'one-stop shop' advice is very precious for us."

Dominique Lombardi's strength lies in her experience of both European and ASEAN region competition issues. Several clients praise her responsiveness, and one highlights the fact that "she is able to provide the information in a very clear way."

Construction - Band 2
Ranked Lawyer: Soh Lip San - Band 2

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Andre Yeap SC, Soh Lip San and Shemane Chan
- 11 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Respected disputes team 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. Rises in this year's rankings following a successful year acting for major contractors in the region on a number of high-profile disputes.

Strengths 
Clients are quick to praise the team's client focus: "They have been tremendously dedicated to us as a client and have really taken the time to get involved in our business, to the point that we consider them more of a partner in what they do for us."

Another client praises the firm's bench strength, remarking: "Rajah & Tann has an amazing team which works cohesively. The team of juniors was always eager to learn and able to assist efficiently."

Work highlights 
Advised 1MDB on the drafting of the construction contract for a joint venture with Lendlease for the development of the USD1.9 billion Lifestyle Quarter in Kuala Lumpur.

Acted as primary legal adviser to 1MDB on procurement structures, regulatory issues, drafting and reviewing project documents with regard to the projects and infrastructure aspects of TRX City in Kuala Lumpur.

Significant clients
Obayashi, Kajima Overseas Asia, Marubeni, Siemens, Johnson Controls.

Notable practitioners
Soh Lip San comes highly recommended for his excellent track record in large-scale energy and infrastructure disputes. Clients praise his "in-depth knowledge and experience in the field of infrastructure," adding: "He is not only quick to understand the issues but also has a very practical and customised approach to resolving them." 

Corporate Finance – (Expertise based abroad) Indonesia - Band 4

What the team is known for
Leverages its network of offices across the Asia-Pacific region to advise on a significant volume of cross-border mandates. Provides Indonesia law advice through its associate firm, Assegaf Hamzah & Partners. Expertise covers banking and finance, dispute resolution, M&A and projects.

Work highlights
Advised Japfa Comfeed Indonesia on its USD81.2 million investment by a fund managed by KKR.

Notable practitioners
Cheng Yoke Ping oversees the firm's Indonesia corporate practice and is a key contact.

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

Basic facts about the department
- 32 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Highly regarded team that leverages the strength of its network of Asian offices to handle complex cross-border mandates. Active in a range of sectors, including banking, insurance and healthcare, it acts for major banks and corporate clients on public and private M&A matters.

Strengths
One interviewee reports that "the R&T team is professional and dedicated and their client service is excellent."

"We are almost 100% reliant on them now," adds another. "They've given us fantastic support."

Value for money
Client consensus is that the team offers good value in this space. "Their fees are fair and reasonable, especially compared with other top law firms in Singapore," one client says. Another comments: "They are clear on fees prior to engagement on a matter."

Work highlights 
Advised China Merchants Property Development on its CNY57.3 billion merger with China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings.

Instructed by Sinochem International Corporation with regard to the SGD847.7 million merger between GMG Global and Halcyon Agri Corporation.

Significant clients 
Salim Group, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, United Overseas Bank, CIMB Bank, Religare/Fortis Healthcare Groups.

Notable practitioners
Serene Yeo is described as "a very steady pair of hands" with a solid track record in M&A, capital markets and corporate finance. Counting multinational corporates and high net worth individuals among her clientele, she led the team advising Gallant Venture on its USD330 million investment in the Lao Xi Men project.

Goh Kian Hwee acted for United Overseas Bank regarding its SGD351 million offer to acquire the capital shares in Far Eastern Bank. A hugely well-regarded figure, he offers a wealth of experience on complex cross-border hybrid capital markets and M&A transactions. 

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration - Band 2

Ranked Lawyers: Chuan Thye Tan SC - Band 2, Andre Yeap SC - Band 4, Paul Tan - Band 4

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Andre Yeap

What the team is known for
Impressive line-up of experienced arbitration practitioners with deep connections throughout the Singapore and Asian markets. Very good slate of work in energy disputes, and recent involvement in BIT arbitration.

Strengths
Clients are quick to praise the firm's overall offering, one noting: "I find Rajah & Tann to be world class in terms of the quality of their work, delivery and overall handling of the matters, especially in international and cross-border cases."

Another source declares: "I like them a lot. I use them very regularly."

Work highlights
Acted for the Republic of the Philippines on a USD15 billion ICC arbitration involving breach of contract and estoppel claims brought by Chevron and Shell.

Represented the Kingdom of Lesotho on an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning a dispute over liability for closure of the SADC tribunal.

Significant clients
Sinopec, Leighton Contractors, China New Machinery, Tan Chong Group, Genting.

Notable practitioners 
Tan Chuan Thye SC represents companies in the energy and private equity sectors in significant commercial arbitrations. One peer reveals: "I like working with him on difficult legal questions. He's a lawyer's lawyer in that respect."

Department head Andre Yeap SC maintains a broad-based disputes practice and has advised on many high-profile arbitrations across Asia in the last 25 years. He is often instructed by clients in the financial services industry.

Paul Tan continues to build his reputation as an arbitration practitioner, proving "outstanding for his scholarship and intellectual strength" while advising on high-stakes mandates. He draws a glowing review from one client, who describes him as "senior counsel in-waiting, a standout and gifted advocate, a devastating cross-examiner who possesses a first-class brain for financial disputes and runs circles around his opponents. He certainly stands head and shoulders above his peers." 

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

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Francis Xavier SC, Leong Kah Wah, Chandra Mohan and Adrian Wong
- 34 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers 

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

Strengths
Clients appreciate the firm's ability to "provide very prompt, reliable and sound advice."

"They are a solid all-round firm," a market source confirms. 

Work highlights
Acted for MAN Diesel in a High Court case brought by Skaugen, seeking damages for MAN Diesel's allegedly fraudulent misrepresentation of certain engines' fuel consumption values.

Successfully represented Airtrust in a breach of contract claim against PH Hydraulics & Engineering before the Singapore High Court. Airtrust was awarded SGD30 million in punitive damages.  

Significant clients
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, American Express, Genting Group, White Energy, BHP Billiton.

Notable practitioners 
Managing partner Lee Eng Beng SC First ranked in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2008. He is highly regarded by peers for his depth of experience and expertise. He specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, including insolvency, shareholder and joint venture disputes.

Francis Xavier SC handles a range of commercial disputes, regularly instructed to appear on banking, real estate and financial cases. Peers acknowledge him as "a good lawyer who is well liked by clients."

Andre Yeap SC has a broad practice that covers commercial litigation and international arbitration. His work highlights include representing siblings Peter and Juanita Fu in disputes against their sister and brother-in-law relating to the enforcement of a share-swap agreement.

Danny Ong frequently advises on insolvency, fraud and banking disputes, as part of his wider commercial litigation practice. Commentators report: "He is excellent in pleadings and examination; he is able to show his client what is in their best interest, and is also creative in his approach."  

Employment - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: K. Muralidharan Pillai - Band 2, Desmond Wee - Band 2,
 Jonathan Yuen - Other noted practitioner

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Jonathan Yuen, K. Muralidharan Pillai and Desmond Wee
- 27 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Market-leading reputation for contentious employment matters, with further strength in non-contentious work. A large team able to provide a full-service offering with notable expertise in trade union issues. Well placed to handle regional work due to the firm's network of offices throughout Asia.

Strengths
Clients laud the team's strength in depth and knowledgeable practitioners: "They are very easy to work with because they can do everything from transactional work to disputes. The entire firm has expertise in every aspect of disputes that I could need. They are brilliant."

Another client adds: "They are excellent, absolutely top-notch. They are very quick to deal with issues. They are very well respected throughout the region and I can see why."

Work highlights
Defended AXA Life Insurance Singapore against a claim by a former director for alleged defamation and breach of duty of care in respect to his employment. The plaintiff has sought payment of SGD22.5 million.

Successfully defended ApexPeak against a claim brought by an ex-employee who had alleged ApexPeak had engaged in discriminatory employment practices against Singaporeans.

Significant clients
Thomson Reuters, Hewlett-Packard, MF Global Singapore, Procter & Gamble, WPP Group.

Notable practitioners
K. Muralidharan Pillai enters the rankings for the first time this year, having worked on several high-profile complex employment disputes. He is a commercial litigation specialist who often represents multinationals in employment disputes including restricted covenants, terminations and breach of fiduciary claims.

Desmond Wee specialises in non-contentious employment issues. Clients say: "He is amiable and extremely approachable - not like your typical lawyer." His broad practice covers trade union matters, restraint of trade, employment structures and retrenchments. One client notes: "He is able to put complex legal points into layman's terms and always explains things very clearly." 

Gaming & Gambling - Asia-Pacific Region 
Ranked Lawyer: Lau Kok Keng - Other Noted Practitioners

Insurance - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Simon Goh - Band 1, Elaine Tay - Band 2

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Simon Goh
- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Well-established local firm with strength in both contentious and non-contentious insurance matters. Especially active assisting clients with regulatory and corporate insurance work.

Strengths
Clients are impressed by the team's problem-solving abilities, saying: "What sets Rajah & Tann apart is that they are very commercial, understand the business objectives and are proactive in coming up with solutions." This is also echoed by another interviewee: "I value the fact that they give practical advice and are confident in taking a stance on an issue."

Further interviewees appreciate that: "They are very strong on attention to detail; they are really outstanding on that."

Work highlights
Successfully represented the underwriters of Singapore's Land Transport Authority in a claim made against it concerning damage to shophouses following construction work.

Assisted Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe in relation to the reorganisation of its business in Singapore, which included moving over its insurance work to a newly established subsidiary company.

Significant clients
AIG, Great Eastern Life Assurance, MSIG Insurance, Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore, United Overseas Insurance.

Notable practitioners
Clients describe Simon Goh as a technically strong lawyer who is very familiar with insurance regulations and the insurance sector as a whole. Interviewees add: "He is highly commercial and pragmatic in helping clients find solutions." He assists high-profile clients with both transactional and contentious insurance matters, recently defending Veolia in the Singapore High Court against a liability claim from Fabristeel for an explosion at a chemical plant. 

Clients praise Elaine Tay for her 'thorough and concise" opinions, adding: "She renders advice which is both relevant and practical, with minimal fluff. She thinks ahead and addresses issues, the relevance of which may not even be apparent at the time." Her work includes defending the insurers of Woodlands Properties against a liability claim following an accident experienced by a tenant. 

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

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Lau Kok Keng
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Acts on advisory and contentious matters relating to patents, trademarks and copyrights. Particularly adept at copyright and patent infringement cases, as well as licensing issues. Active in sectors such as media, gaming and technology.

Strengths
Clients highlight the firm for its timeliness, with one source observing: "They are very responsive to requests."

Work highlights
Represented Fuji Transport Systems, Taiyo Seiki Iron Works, Moby Dick Supplies and ISS Equipment in a patent infringement dispute against a German ship equipment company, regarding the sale of freight coupling devices.

Acted for Microsoft in a copyright infringement dispute with Singapore Press Holdings relating to online content.

Significant clients
Adobe Systems, PayPal, Philip Morris Singapore, Resorts World at Sentosa, The Esplanade Company.

Notable practitioners 
Head of department Lau Kok Keng centres his practice on IP litigation and possesses depth of knowledge in the media, sports and gaming sectors. He assisted Software Radio Technology with negotiating licensing agreements for its patented technology. "He has deep knowledge of the gaming industry and we are very comfortable working with him," comments one client. 

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

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Arnold Tan
- 5 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Well-established funds group with an excellent reputation in the Singapore market. Especially active on the formation of hedge, private equity and real estate funds. Regularly provides expert regulatory and corporate advice to leading investment groups and fund managers.

Strengths
The department wins praise from clients for its excellent levels of service and technical expertise: "They are extremely responsive and clear on topics that they are dealing with, and the work is always well documented and of a very high standard."

Another client adds: "They are great; they are very knowledgeable and proactive."

A further client enthuses: "They provide first-rate, premier service and knowledge in the regulatory area of fund management."

Value for money Clients agree that the firm provides good value for money. Sources note: "They are very good at providing a sensible level of detail; I have no questions or concerns about billing. I have actually been rather impressed."

Significant clients
Longlead Capital Partners, Mizuho Asia Partners, Nuvest Capital.

Notable practitioners
Group head Arnold Tan is widely regarded as a leading name in the domestic funds space. Clients describe him as "one of the pioneers of the Singapore funds industry," adding: "He's very friendly and very helpful," while further interviewees praise his "ability to provide valuable insight into the interpretation and application of regulations."

Clients describe Anne Yeo as "very hands-on, and extremely reliable, capable and thorough." She regularly advises fund managers on matters such as fund formation, structuring and restructuring.

Clients say of Leong Lu Yueh: "She is a fantastically pragmatic lawyer whose advice is succinct, commercial and always practical." She regularly assists fund managers and investment groups with the formation of hedge and private equity funds, as well as providing regulatory expertise. 

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

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Andre Yeap SC and Soh Lip San 
- 12 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. Highly sought after for its expertise in power and oil and gas matters and strong experience on PPP infrastructure projects.

Strengths
The firm earns praise for its experience in cross-border matters, with one client noting: "They are familiar with market practice on an international level."

Significant clients
TRX City, Energy Market Company, Panca Amara Utama, Government of Myanmar, T-Systems.

Notable practitioners
Clients describe Shemane Chan as "very good from a commercial standpoint," and "very easy to deal with." Interviewees also commend her "excellent negotiation skills." She handles all aspects of project development and has been active of late advising on utilities, telecommunications and infrastructure mandates. 

Real Estate - Band 4
Ranked Lawyer: Norman Ho - Band 2

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Margaret Chin and Elsa Chai
- 4 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
A new entrant to the table this year, the real estate team is noted for its deft handling of work for major developers, financial institutions and REITs. Covering the full suite of real estate issues, the team is adept at handling acquisition, lease agreements and conveyancing issues for both domestic and foreign clients.

Strengths
Clients highlight the strength of the team's reputation: "It's a well-respected local law firm with highly qualified and well thought-of partners and associates." 

Work highlights
Advised a major Singapore-based developer regarding the SGD301 million acquisition and financing of a mixed commercial and residential site in Bukit Batok.

Acted for Southernwood Property in the SGD550 million purchase of 79 Robinson Road.

Notable practitioners
Norman Ho joined the firm from Dentons Rodyk & Davidson in January 2017. He is well versed in a wide range of property transactions, such as investment sales and project development. Clients applaud him for his "balance of commercial acumen with the legal side of things." 

Restructuring/Insolvency - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Eng Beng Lee - Band 1, Patrick Ang - Band 1, Lionel Tay - Band 2, Kwan Kiat Sim - Band 2, Chuan Thye Tan - Band 2, Danny Ong - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Sim Kwan Kiat
- 16 partners
- 22 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Stellar restructuring and insolvency practice, noted for its deep bench of lawyers. Assists clients involved in high-value restructuring matters, including debtors, creditors, judicial managers and liquidators. Often active in the finance and shipping sectors. Draws on its regional network to advise on cross-border matters. 

Strengths
The department attracts widespread praise in the market. Clients note: "They are well known for their strength in litigation matters."

Another respondent adds: "We get the best service from Rajah & Tann."

Work highlights
Acted for the liquidators of Dynamic Oil Trading on the insolvency of parent company OW Bunker Group.

Represented Punj Lloyd and Sembawang Engineers & Constructors in their applications to initiate schemes of arrangement with their creditors.

Significant clients
Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG, PwC.

Notable practitioners
Lee Eng Beng SC is highly respected in the market, acting on both litigation and arbitration relating to restructuring and insolvency in the financial sector. He acted for TT International on a court case regarding its restructuring.

Patrick Ang has an excellent reputation in the market and frequently assists clients from the finance sector with corporate restructuring and insolvency cases. He recently advised Nortel's Asia-Pacific operations on the company's USD427 million debt restructuring.

The "very responsive and technically very sound" Sim Kwan Kiat has a burgeoning reputation in the restructuring and insolvency space. Clients add: "He is easy to work with, and very conversant in Mandarin." His work highlights include assisting the lenders to Mercator Lines with various multi-jurisdictional issues, including insolvency proceedings.

Lionel Tay is highly experienced in large-scale insolvencies, where he frequently represents companies in the finance and accountancy sectors. He advised the judicial managers of Environmental Holding on its restructuring and the cross-border implications of the judicial management process.

Danny Ong has a growing reputation in the market, and often acts on high-profile insolvency proceedings relating to finance and investment funds. He assisted the liquidators of Dynamic Oil Trading with the insolvency of parent company OW Bunker Group. Sources describe him as "bright, but also energetic," adding: "I like him because he is willing to fight his client's corner."

Tan Chuan Thye SC's practice centres on litigation relating to restructurings involving the financial sector. He recently acted as part of a team advising JTC Corporation on the commercial implications of the restructuring of Jurong Aromatics, with specific regard to its lease of a site at Jurong Island. Clients say: "He is a very good legal strategist who is pragmatic in his risk assessments." 

Shipping - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Kah Wah Leong - Band 1, Kian Sing Toh - Band 1, Winston Kwek - Band 2, Ian Teo - Band 2, Jainil Bhandari - Band 3, Kendall Tan - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Toh Kian Sing
- 14 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Pre-eminent shipping practice which is renowned for the size and strength of its litigation team. Covers the full range of contentious matters, including ship arrests, bunker payment claims and vessel collisions. Clients benefit from its regional network of offices in South-East Asia. Offers additional strength in ship financing.

Strengths
The firm receives an impressive amount of praise for its client service, with sources saying: "They have very strong attention to detail."

One client praises the department's technical capabilities, noting: "They are extremely good at what they do and handle complex matters well."

Work highlights
Successfully represented bunker supplier Transocean Oil in litigation before the Court of Appeal regarding its arrest of the 'STX Mumbai' vessel in anticipation of non-payment of bunkers. The initial decision by the High Court to set aside the arrest was reversed in the Court of Appeal.

Successfully defended China Shipping Container Lines against a claim from Big Port DMCC for unpaid bunkers concerning the client's 'Xin Chang Shu' vessel.

Significant clients
Britannia P&I Club, Japan P&I Club, Phillips 66 International Trading, Trafigura.

Notable practitioners
The highly experienced Toh Kian Sing SC maintains an excellent reputation in the market, with clients describing him as "very knowledgeable, commercially minded, meticulous and approachable." He has a strong contentious practice covering both litigation and arbitration and represented ABN AMRO Bank in the enforcement of its security over aluminium supplies held by the bank at Qingdao Port.

Leong Kah Wah offers expertise in dry and wet shipping disputes as well as general commercial litigation. He represented the LNG carrier 'Hanjin Ras Laffan' in a dispute regarding liability for its collision with bulk carrier 'Mount Apo'.

Jainil Bhandari is a highly experienced shipping litigator, with particular expertise in claims relating to collisions, charter parties and oil-related damage and accidents.

Clients describe Kendall Tan as "very commercially minded and responsive." He assists clients with a wide range of contentious matters, including bill of lading and charter party disputes, ship collisions and wreck removals. He recently assisted the owners of the 'Raissa' ship with claims for well blowout incidents at a gas field off the Indonesian coast which had resulted in the vessel's total loss.

Ian Teo is well respected in the market, regularly handling arbitration and litigation proceedings relating to charter party and shipbuilding disputes. Sources regard him as "a very competent lawyer who is meticulous in his case preparation, and effective and persuasive in his advocacy."

Clients say that Winston Kwek "understands the issues, commercial implications and challenges and is therefore able to provide legally sound and practical solutions." His recent work highlights include assisting the lenders and financial institutions involved in the restructuring of Mercator Lines with the enforcement of their security over the fleet. 

Tax - Other Noted Firms
Ranked Lawyers: Liu Hern Kuan - Band 3, Vikna Rajah -Other noted practitioners

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

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Rajesh Sreenivasan and Steve Tan
- 6 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Highly regarded outfit, well placed to provide expertise on telecoms and technology regulatory matters, as well as licensing, data protection, broadcasting and distribution issues. Acts for an impressive roster of high-end domestic and multinational social media, electronics and telecoms companies.

Strengths
Clients are quick to praise the team for its work ethic and depth of expertise. One notes: "Their strengths are their knowledge, their dedication and how friendly they are. I found them to be exceptionally knowledgeable."

Another points to its top market standing, declaring: "They are the best TMT team in Singapore."

Work highlights
Acted for Infocomm Development Authority on agreements relating to the provision of two-factor authentication services.

Assisted Fitness First Singapore with its compliance with personal data protection regulations across its branches nationwide.

Significant clients 
Google Asia Pacific, Red Bull Media House, Sony Mobile Communications International, Wing Tai Holdings, Xiaomi Singapore.

Notable practitioners
Head of department, Rajesh Sreenivasan maintains a standout reputation in fintech, telecoms regulation, data protection and cybersecurity. Clients appreciate that he is "sensible, extremely intelligent and gives practical legal advice that takes into account the client's goals." He acted for Xiaomi on data protection compliance matters, including advice on personal data breach claims.

Deputy head Steve Tan offers prowess in IT and data protection. Cybersecurity matters are a core area of expertise. He also handles commercial and regulatory mandates in the digital media and entertainment space. 

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

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

What the team is known for
Offers in-depth expertise in trade matters concerning South-East Asian countries. Excels in handling customs regulatory compliance for international companies operating across a number of sectors, with particular expertise in the hi-tech space.

Strengths
"I was very happy to find Rajah & Tann - I can go to one place for all my work in South-East Asia."

 "Their work quality is second to none. Our first port of call in South-East Asia every time."

Work highlights
Represented a number of Japanese steel mills, including Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal and Kobe Steel, in an application to the Thai government to gain exemptions from safeguard measures concerning hot-rolled steel flat products.

Represented Philip Morris in a dispute with the Thai customs authorities concerning the valuation of imports from Indonesia going back over ten years, a matter valued at THB460 million.

Significant clients
Glow Group, JFE Steel

Notable practitioners
Kala Anandarajah is a key point of contact. 

 

R&T Asia (Thailand) Limited - Thailand

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

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Surasak Vajasit, Parama Saovabha and Saroj Jongsaritwang
- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Adept at handling a diverse range of transactions, especially acting for domestic banks on cross-border matters. Also highlighted by sources for its capability in ship financing and when representing international lenders on local issues.

Notable practitioners
Surasak Vajasit elicits praise for his knowledge of ship financing and transactions in the resources and corporate sectors. He is also singled out for his expertise in the acquisition and construction of vessels on behalf of Thai clients. 

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

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Surasak Vajasit and Sui Lin Teoh
- 8 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Respected player in the litigation arena covering a wide range of matters, including international trade and employment litigation. Offers expertise in administrative and civil disputes, and increasingly active in investigations work.

Strengths
Clients praise the firm for its efficiency: "The firm is very quick to understand complex matters, and the lawyers follow up on the strategy and add valuable comments from a legal perspective."

Significant clients
Coca-Cola, Siam Chaophraya Holding, Philip Morris Thailand, Standard Chartered Bank Thailand, Total Access Communication.

Notable practitioners
Interviewees describe Surasak Vajasit as an "exceptional lawyer" who is a highly visible figure in the Thai market. He represents international clients in disputes against both private companies and government agencies. He also handles arbitrations and was previously a judge. 

Restructuring/Insolvency
Ranked Lawyer: Surasak Vajasit - Band 2

Market commentators recognise Surasak Vajasit of R&T Asia (Thailand) Limited for his visibility in the market. He advises clients on a range of restructuring and bankruptcy-related work. 

TMT - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Supawat Srirungruang and Saroj Jongsaritwang
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Respected firm with an excellent reputation for advising clients from the telecommunications sector on regulatory issues and litigation. Offers additional expertise in data protection and privacy issues connected with investigations. Advises multinational as well as Thai clients.

Significant clients
Total Access Communication, Telenor.

Notable practitioners
Supawat Srirungruang and Saroj Jongsaritwang are key contacts for the team.

 

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers - Vietnam

Corporate/M&A - Band 3

Basic facts about the department:
- Head of department: Thi Que Vu
- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Well-regarded firm that combines local expertise with the support of the firm's network of offices in the region. Regularly assists foreign clients in setting up companies in Vietnam using recently developed business structures. Especially strong following amongst clients headquartered in Singapore and advises in key industries such as real estate and pharmaceuticals.

Strengths
Market sources describe the team's work as "excellent," explaining that "their response has always been quick and good."

Work highlights
Advised Fairfax Financial Holdings on the acquisition of a 35% stake in BIDV Insurance.

Significant clients
Cengage Learning, China Taiwan Petroleum, Excel, Itochu, Hitachi.

Notable practitioners
Thi Que Vu is a key contact for the practice. 

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

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Huy Quang Chau
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Advises on both international arbitration and litigation, with special insights into SIAC arbitral rules. Maintains numerous relationships with regional and domestic clients, representing them in cross-border construction disputes. Additionally active on contentious insurance and white-collar fraud matters.

Strengths
Clients appreciate the team's technical and client-facing abilities. One says: "The firm always responds in a timely manner and with deep and extensive knowledge. With its experience and professional knowledge, we highly value its legal services."

Significant clients
Ireka Engineering & Construction, Mega International Commercial Bank, PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation, Tung Feng Construction, Xindadong Textiles.

Notable practitioners
Head of the dispute resolution team, Huy Quang Chau has an excellent track record of representing international clients in cross-border and domestic disputes. A satisfied client observes: "We were particularly impressed by Mr Chau Huy Quang, whom we directly dealt with most of the time. Mr Quang knows how to deal with legal projects in both Vietnamese and international dispute bodies." 

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 4

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Thi Que Vu
- 3 partners
- 10 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 infrastructure and real estate developments. Also offers experience advising clients on market entry into the Vietnamese oil and gas sector.

Significant clients
PetroVietnam Technical Services.

Notable practitioners
Head of infrastructure and construction Thi Que Vu is a key contact for project matters. 

TMT  - Other Noted Firms