Chambers Asia Pacific (2018)

R&T Sok & Heng - Cambodia

General Business Law - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: 
Heng Chhay (Band 1), Sophonnora Tiv (Band 3)

What the team is known for 
Impressive Phnom Penh-based team working with the wider Rajah & Tann network, regularly advising 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. Acts for a broad mix of Asian and global clients as well as domestic Cambodian corporations.  

Strengths
One client says that "the level of service was unmatchable," and highlights the firm's "access to a regional pool of resources," as well as appreciating that "they are diligent and responsive." Other commentators also laud the team's quality of service, with one saying: "The firm delivers the work with ethics, professionalism and consistency," and adding: "The firm always tries to understand the client’s needs and requests and provide us with good support."

Work highlights 
Acted for DKSH on the acquisition of 100% of the equity of Europ Continents.

Advised Thai Samsung Electronics on domestic regulatory compliance regarding its new applications, products and features.

Notable practitioners 
Chhay Heng is active advising on transactional financing and real estate. Clients praise him as "extremely professional, with an excellent working relationship and a great turnaround." He assisted Donaco International with the refinancing of a USD20 million working capital facility provided by Mega International Commercial Bank.

Sophonnora Tiv is a well-regarded practitioner in the market, active advising on corporate and property transactions, as well as capital markets mandates. "He provides a high quality of work and is always very knowledgable about the situation in Cambodia," remarks one client. He represented Phnom Penh SEZ in its IPO on the Cambodia Securities Exchange of Cambodia.

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners - Indonesia

Banking & Finance - Band 2
Capital Markets - Band 1
Competition and Antitrust - Band 1
Corporate/M&A - Band 1
Dispute Resolution - Band 1
Employment - Band 2
Projects & Energy - Band 2
Real Estate - Band 2
Telecommunications - Band 1

Ranked Lawyers:
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 3) - Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Corporate/M&A, Projects & Energy
Ahmad Maulana (Recognised Practitioner) - Employment
Bono Adji (Band 1) - Capital Markets, Corporate/M&A
Chandra M Hamzah (Recognised Practitioner) - Dispute Resolution
Eko Basyuni (Band 4) - Corporate/M&A
Eri Hertiawan (Band 2) - Dispute Resolution
Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf (Band 3) - Banking & Finance
Putu Suryastuti (Band 2) - Capital Markets
Rikrik Rizkiyana (Band 1) - Competition and Antitrust
Tunggul Utomo (Up and Coming) - Capital Markets
Yanu Wiriasmoko (Recognised Practitioner) - Banking & Finance
Yogi Sudrajat Marsono (Recognised Practitioner) - Real Estate


Banking & Finance

What the team is known for
Notable full-service firm, regularly advising borrowers and lenders on a broad range of conventional and Shari'a-compliant deals. Assists clients with acquisition, leveraged and structured financings, regularly assisting leading Indonesian and overseas groups. Also well placed to handle project and infrastructure finance, as well as restructuring and insolvency mandates.  

Strengths 
The team's thorough approach is appreciated by clients, who compliment its "strong legal knowledge and deep analysis."

Work highlights 
Advised Barito Pacific on the negotiation of a USD250 million loan from Bangkok Bank.

Advised Indonesia Infrastructure Finance on its receipt of a USD200 million loan. The loan was originally granted by the World Bank Group to the Indonesian government, before being handed on to Saran Multi Infrastruktur and then to the client.

Notable practitioners 
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf has extensive knowledge of debt restructuring, project finance and Shari'a-compliant deals, regularly advising notable Indonesian and international clients. He was recently involved in advising Bank CIMB Niaga on a loan of approximately USD113 million to Net Mediatama Televisi.

Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf maintains a busy practice, ably assisting clients with bilateral and syndicated loans, debt restructuring and project finance. He advised Coöperatieve Rabobank on a corporate guarantee provided by Japfa relating to the client's loan from Nusa Prima Logistik.

Capital Markets

What the team is known for
Offers a full suite of services, including advising on convertible and exchangeable bonds, IPOs and private placements. Particularly active for issuers, advising several of Indonesia's largest corporates in the energy, manufacturing, real estate and agribusiness sectors.

Strengths
One impressed source commends the firm's "ability to meet every deadline and solve our problems."

Another interviewee adds that "the firm meets all client needs" and has "lots of resources and very well-known partners."

Work highlights
Acted for Sri Rejeki Isman and its subsidiary Sinar Pantja as guarantors to a USD350 million 8.25% senior notes issuance by Golden Legacy.

Advised Credit Suisse as the initial purchaser of USD150 million in 5.5% senior notes issued by Japfa Comfeed Indonesia.

Notable practitioners
Bono Adji wins acclaim among market sources for his ECM and DCM expertise, with clients attesting that he is "definitely a problem solver and a great communicator." He was involved in assisting Indonesia Infrastructure Finance with a IDR1.5 trillion bond issuance.

Ahmad Fikri Assegaf maintains a market-leading position, frequently advising top-drawer clients on public and private offerings. Clients laud him as "one of the most experienced lawyers in this sphere." He played a key part in advising Japfa Comfeed Indonesia on the first tranche of its IDR1 trillion shelf offering.

Putu Suryastuti is admired by clients as a "very helpful and hard-working" lawyer who is "always accessible 24/7." She is highly active in the capital markets space, recently playing a key role in advising Alam Sutera Realty in connection with an issuance of USD245 million in 6.625% senior notes by Alam Synergy.

Tunggul Utomo is highly active in this space, regularly acting for issuers and underwriters on both DCM and ECM issuances. He represented Medco Energi Internasional in relation to a tranche of its shelf offering, in a deal worth IDR1.5 trillion.

Competition and Antitrust

What the team is known for 
Possesses expertise across a wide range of competition and antitrust work, including representing clients in major cartel investigations before the Indonesian Competition Commission (KPPU). Also handles abuse of dominance and price-fixing cases, alongside merger notifications and competition audits. Entrusted by multinational and domestic clients from the automotive, technology, finance and manufacturing sectors, among others.

Strengths 
Interviewees appreciate the team's collaborative approach to dealing with clients, describing the lawyers as "co-operative and understanding of what we need."

Work highlights 
Advised Nissan Motors on its post-merger notification to the KPPU, concerning its acquisition of Mitsubishi Motors.

Acted for Technip FMC on its post-merger notification to the KPPU, linked to the merging of its operations with Technip S.A.

Notable practitioners 
Rikrik Rizkiyana is renowned as a leading competition expert in Indonesia, regularly handling cartel investigations, post-merger filings and compliance training. Market commentators laud him as "pretty much hands down the go-to guy, particularly on contentious matters." He assisted MUL Asset Finance with its post-merger notification to the KPPU, arising from its acquisition of shares in Beacon Intermodal Leasing.

Corporate/M&A

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. Valued also for its work in real estate, particularly on hotel development deals and lease agreements.

Strengths
The firm is recommended by a client for its extensive network of contacts and turnaround times: "They possess experience in M&A, they have a vast network, which is useful, and its individuals respond quickly."

Another source remarks: "They are very professional in handling queries and very prudent in giving advice."

Work highlights 
Advised Warburg Pincus on its investment in Go-Jek, which after the last round of fund-raising was valued at USD1.3 billion.

Counselled Tokopedia on its sale of shares to private equity investors as part of its fund-raising round.

Notable practitioners
"Brilliantly talented and very professional," Bono Adji is accredited for his corporate and M&A practice, with a strong focus on representing companies in large investments. His work of late includes advising Saratoga Investama Sedaya and its local subsidiary on their IDR450 billion investment in Famon Awal Bros Sedaya, a holding company that operates hospitals throughout the country. A client also expresses praise for his responsiveness to queries: "He was responsive to our needs and questions."

Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is renowned among clients and peers for his seniority in cross-border corporate and M&A matters, one source saying he maintains a "sound reputation and is a problem solver." In one work highlight, he co-led the team that advised Holcim Indonesia on the USD165 million acquisition of the entire share capital of Lafarge Cement Indonesia and the post-acquisition restructuring of Lafarge Group in Indonesia.

Head of department Eko Basyuni is recognised for his work across a variety of practice areas, with a particular focus on banking, finance and M&A. Also noted for his transactional work for clients in the financial services and telecoms sectors.

Dispute Resolution

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 employment law, corporate fraud and real estate. Clients further benefit from the firm's membership of the Rajah & Tann Asia Network.

Strengths
Interviewees note the firm's "formidable" strength in this area, highlighting its expert handling of competition disputes as a key strength.

Work highlights
Successfully defended Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia before the District and High Courts against charges of extracting ground water without a permit.

Represented Indosat in a case against the Ministry of Telecommunications and Informatics regarding the wrongful issuance of a fine for unpaid spectrum frequency usage charges.

Notable practitioners
Eri Hertiawan is joint head of the firm's dispute resolution practice and is well placed to advise on a range of commercial disputes. Sources are quick to highlight his expert knowledge of contentious antitrust matters. In a recent highlight, he represented Bermuda-based technology company BluTether in a USD35 billion arbitration case against two Indonesian companies for breach of contract.

Employment

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. Also assists national and multinational clients in cases concerning migrant-worker permit disputes.

Strengths
The team is appreciated for the quality of service it provides. One client says: "My overall impression of the team is very nice and I'm comfortable with the legal services they have provided to us."

The team is identified by market sources as being "highly rated and attracting many international companies."

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

Projects & Energy

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. Proficient in handling project-related transactions, financings and development in the renewable energy space, as well as rail and telecommunications infrastructure developments. Frequently involved in cross-border matters for both lenders and project companies.

Work highlights
Acted for Korea Development Bank, Société Générale and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking on the USD147.5 million financing of a river hydropower project in North Sumatra.

Advised Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia on the USD1 billion Palapa Ring Project, aiming to construct a telecommunications fibre optic cable across Indonesia.

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is adept in handling project finance and M&A deals, with notable experience in the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors. He was involved in advising MRT Jakarta on the development of Jakarta's underground railway network, including advice on financing aspects, procurement agreements and regulatory issues.

Real Estate

Analysis pending

Telecommunications

What the team is known for
Thriving team that has added a number of blue-chip clients to its roster, attracting recognition for its growing bench strength. Instructed by leading telecommunications companies on commercial and regulatory mandates in this space. Often advises on internet connectivity, mobile applications, e-commerce and data centre establishment matters.

Work highlights 
Acted for Warburg Pincus on its USD556.6 million private equity investments into Go-Jek.

Assisted Tokopedia on fund-raising for its online retail operations, which was achieved via the sale of shares to private equity investors.

Notable practitioners 
Co-heads of department Zacky Husein and Bono Adji are key points of contact for clients.

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

General Business Law - Other Noted Firms

Christopher & Lee Ong - Malaysia

Banking & Finance - Band 3
Corporate/M&A - Band 3
Intellectual Property - Other Noted Firms
Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 1
Shipping - Band 2

Ranked Lawyers:
Christopher Lee - (Band 3) Corporate/M&A, (Spotlight Table) Projects, Infrastructure & Energy 
Ng Kim Poh (Recognised Practitioner) - Intellectual Property
Ong Chee Kwan (Band 2) - Shipping
Yon See Ting (Band 3) - Competition & Antitrust

Banking & Finance

What the team is known for 
Established and experienced team handling a comprehensive range of finance matters. Particularly well placed to advise on energy-related project finance, the team also handles syndicated loans, acquisition and asset finance, restructuring and Islamic finance.

Strengths 
Clients commend the team's adaptability, reporting that its lawyers are "flexible and attentive."

Notable practitioners 
Christopher Lee and Fiona Sequerah co-head the department and are key contacts.

Corporate/M&A

What the team is known for 
Robust corporate team, advising on a broad range of transactional and regulatory issues. Acts for domestic and international clients on M&A, including cross-border deals, with particular activity in the real estate and private equity sectors. Also handles equity capital market offerings.

Strengths 
Clients pinpoint the firm's swift service as a strength, with clients commenting: "Our experience with them has been extremely pleasant. They have been professional, accessible and very responsive."

The team is also admired for its business acumen. Sources report: "They are commercial, client-focused and have a good attention to detail."

Value for Money 
Clients are satisfied with the firm's billing process, noting that its fees are "very competitive."

Work highlights 
Acted for SILK Holdings on the MYR380 million sale of its interest in Sistem Lingkaran-Lebuhraya Kajang to Permodalan Nasional.

Assisted TH Plantations with the disposal of shares in THP Gemas to Dupont & Leosk Enterprises, worth a total of MYR152 million.

Notable practitioners 
Christopher Lee is highly regarded among clients, who report that he "understands complex transactions and is highly versatile." He is well placed to handle M&A, joint ventures, reverse takeovers and infrastructure projects. He advised Mega First Corporation on its MYR250 million rights issue, which was used to finance the Don Sahong hydropower project in Laos.

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy

What the team is known for 
Leading projects team, known in the market for its extensive regional expertise in power and infrastructure. Able to advise on both project finance and development, it particularly acts on renewable energy projects, including waste and solar energy, as well as infrastructure projects. Well placed to assist clients with construction and O&M agreements.

Strengths 
Clients appreciate the department's extensive sector knowledge, noting that "the firm is strong in the energy sector, mainly in power and gas, holding strong connections with regulatory entities and authorities." This interviewee also reports that the team "works very hard and always think about the client."

Further clients agree, describing the lawyers as "flexible and attentive."

Work highlights 
Advised Pengerang Power on all documentation, including the EPCC contract, for the development of an electricity and steam generation plant in Johor.

Acted for Janakuasa on the ongoing development of a coal-fired thermal power complex in Vietnam, advising on the power purchase and EPC contracts.

Notable practitioners
Christopher Lee is renowned in the market and respected by commentators for his "long-standing reputation" in Malaysia's projects, infrastructure and energy markets. He is highly experienced in advising on infrastructure projects, ably assisting clients with power purchase and concession agreements, as well as EPC and O&M contracts.

Shipping

What the team is known for 
Frequently represents clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings, as well as handling ship arrests. Handles both wet and dry disputes, including collisions, salvage and marine pollution cases, alongside charter party and cargo matters. Also handles maritime insurance and ship finance, regularly acting for shipowners.

Strengths 
Clients praise the team's business-savvy approach, noting that the team "has always been good and very commercial." Further clients concur, reporting that "the firm has given a lot of valuable advice to us."

Work highlights 
Acted for Jatim Perkasa Lines on the setting aside of the arrest of its vessel by Rei Management.

Represented Helios Petroleum in relation to the attempted winding up of IES Energy Marine, linked to a bunker payment dispute.

Notable practitioners
Ong Chee Kwan earns plaudits among market commentators as an "excellent and very sound lawyer," with further sources noting that he "picks things up very quickly and has the right temperament." His maritime practice extends across charter party, cargo and bill of lading disputes, while he also acts as an arbitrator. He assisted NYK Line with a dispute involving a cargo consignee, relating to container demurrage payments.

Rajah & Tann NK Legal - Myanmar

General Business Law - Band 2
General Business Law: International Firms - Band 2

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. Represents an impressive array of Myanmar corporates as well as blue-chip international clients.

Strengths 
Commentary emphasises the team's ability to advise on difficult areas of Myanmar law, with one client saying: "The lawyers are all very, very good. They've navigated the local legal landscape very well, so they're my go-to lawyers for a market where we are very challenged."

Clients laud the firm's comprehensive offering, with one effusing: "They are a lot quicker as they have a local lawyer on the ground and don't need to second work. They work well with the rest of R&T under the umbrella."

Work highlights 
Advised Creation Myanmar Group on forming an USD18.1 million joint venture with AEON to develop AEON-branded supermarkets in Myanmar.

Acted for Viz Branz in undertaking a joint venture with Myanmar GR for the manufacture and distribution of instant beverages in Myanmar.

Notable practitioners 
Chester Toh is recognised for his high levels of activity and broad range of work. He is popular with clients, one explaining: "He's great to work with, very informal and able to advise you on the customs and practices in Myanmar, as well as the law. He offers more than just the basic legal stuff, he gives a comprehensive look at things." He represented Myanma Awba Group as transactional and regulatory counsel regarding a USD10 million convertible facility from IFC.

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

Corporate/M&A - Band 2
Dispute Resolution - Band 2
Dispute Resolution: Arbitration - Band 1
Employment - Other Noted Firms
Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 2
Tax - Band 3

Ranked Lawyers:
Anthony Mark A Gutierrez (Band 3) - Tax
Ben Dominic R Yap - (Recognised Practitioner) Corporate/M&A, Dispute Resolution, (Band 1) Dispute Resolution: Arbitration
Jaime Renato B Gatmaytan (Band 3) - Corporate/M&A, Projects, Infrastructure & Energy
Norma Margarita B Patacsil (Band 3) - Corporate/M&A

 

Corporate/M&A

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, food, technology and mining sectors across multiple jurisdictions, including Myanmar, Japan and Vietnam.

Strengths 
Market commentators laud the firm for its cost-efficient approach and ability to provide high-quality service at a lower cost.

Work highlights 
Advised Cargill on its PHP1 billion joint venture agreements with Jollibee Foods, formed in order to set up a large poultry processing plant.

Assisted Nishihara Shokai in its acquisition of a major interest in FoodZone, a domestic food distribution business.

Notable practitioners 
Jaime Renato Gatmaytan is a well-respected practitioner who regularly handles a variety of corporate work, including asset acquisitions and equity investments.

Department co-head Norma Margarita Patacsil specialises in corporate and commercial transactions, in addition to possessing further expertise in competition and antitrust law. Clients praise the quality of her advice, appreciating that she does not "just provide dry legal advice, but takes into consideration practical concerns as well."

Dispute Resolution

What the team is known for 
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. Well equipped to handle the full range of litigation matters, including Supreme Court litigation. Also experienced in conducting audits for compliance checks and leading internal investigations into the activity of personnel.

Strengths 
Clients appreciate the lawyers' willingness to "go over and beyond what we ask for," noting their ability to instantly get "clued up" on matters and exceed clients' expectations. Peers acknowledge them as "specialists in litigation."

Work highlights 
Acted for First Philec Solar and First Philippine Electric in an international arbitration with SunPower concerning the clients' joint venture agreement and a solar wafer slicing agreement.

Represented Aboitiz Power-Magat, Aboitiz Power-Benguet and AP Renewables against the Energy Regulatory Commission before the Supreme Court challenging the validity of certain regulations concerning issues such as anti-competitive behaviour and the automatic adjustment mechanism for collecting electricity generation charges.

Notable practitioners
Ben Yap is a renowned arbitration specialist with a wealth of experience representing clients in the energy, construction and employment sectors. As head of the firm's disputes practice, he is also well equipped to handle Supreme Court litigation. Clients appreciate that he is "very approachable and easy to talk to, despite his seniority." In a work highlight he led the team representing Ferraro Asia in an arbitration before the ICC in Hong Kong concerning a formerly exclusive distributor that wished to continue in its role despite the exclusivity agreement having come to an end.

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy

What the team is known for 
Recognised and respected 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. Also acts for domestic businesses on outbound investments in the region.

Strengths
One client highlights a particular area of specialism: "They have legal depth and expertise in the field of solar power purchase agreements that not many firms have."

Work highlights
Acted for Prysmian Powerlink on its EUR90 million submarine power cable link project to connect the islands of Negros and Panay.

Advised the Light Rail Transit Authority, the Department of Transportation and Communications, IFC and the Development Bank of the Philippines on the USD215.6 billion LRT Line 2 operations and maintenance PPP project.

Notable practitioners 
Jaime Renato Gatmaytan is respected by peers in the market for his work in the power space, and is also skilled at taking on a variety of financing and projects-related M&A matters. Recently, he acted for Ernst & Young Solutions, acting as an adviser to the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Manila International Airport Authority, in connection with the NAIA development project to maximise capacity at the Manila airport, a PHP74.56 billion matter.

Tax

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. Recently increased its activity on advisory matters, assisting clients with the tax aspects of transactional matters.

Work highlights 
Represented Sanofi Aventis Philippines on the domestic tax aspects of its USD25 billion business swap with Boehringer Ingelheim.

Acted for Baiyin International Investment on identifying potential tax exposures concerning a USD20 million loan to Ipilan Nickel.

Notable practitioners 
Anthony Mark Gutierrez is well known for his contentious tax skills, regularly representing clients in tax litigation and in challenging tax assessments. In one work highlight, he advised Steag State Power on a tax deficiency assessment by the government, relating to VAT.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP - Singapore

Banking & Finance - Band 2
Capital Markets - Band 2
Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives - Band 1
Competition/Antitrust - Band 1
Construction - Band 2
Corporate/M&A - Band 2
Dispute Resolution: Arbitration - Band 2
Dispute Resolution: Litigation - Band 2
Employment - Band 1
Insurance - Band 2
Intellectual Property - Band 3
Investment Funds - Band 2
Projects & Energy - Band 1
Real Estate - Band 4
Restructuring/Insolvency - Band 1
Shipping - Band 1
Tax - Other Noted Firms
TMT - Band 1
South-East Asia – International Trade/WTO – New - Band 1
Asia Pacific Region – Arbitration (International) - Band 3
Asia Pacific Region – International Trade/WTO - Other Noted Firms

Ranked Lawyers:

Andre Yeap - (Band 3) Dispute Resolution: Litigation, (Band 4) Dispute Resolution: Arbitration
Angela Lim (Band 2) - Banking & Finance
Anne Yeo (Band 2) - Investment Funds
Arnold Tan (Band 1) - Investment Funds
Chia Kim Huat (Eminent Practitioner) - Capital Markets
Chua Choon King (Band 2) - Shipping: Domestic: Finance
Danny Lim (Band 3) - Capital Markets
Danny Ong - (Up and Coming) Dispute Resolution: Litigation, (Band 3) Restructuring/Insolvency
Desmond Wee (Band 2) - Employment
Dominique Lombardi (Band 3) - Competition/Antitrust
Elaine Tay (Band 2) - Insurance
Evelyn Wee (Band 3) - Capital Markets
Francis Xavier (Band 2) - Dispute Resolution: Litigation
Hamidul Haq (Band 2) - Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption
Ian Teo (Band 2) - Shipping
Jainil Bhandari (Band 3) - Shipping
Jonathan Yuen (Recognised Practitioner) - Employment
Kala Anandarajah (Band 1) - Competition/Antitrust
Kendall Tan (Band 3) - Shipping
Larry Lim (Other noted Practioners) - Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives
Lau Kok Keng - (Band 3) Intellectual Property: Domestic: Litigation, (Other Noted Practitioners) Asia-Pacific Region: Gaming & Gambling
Lawrence Tan (Recognised Practitioner) - Corporate/M&A
Lee Eng Beng SC (Band 1) - Dispute Resolution: Litigation, Restructuring/Insolvency
Lee Weilin (Recognised Practitioner) - Banking & Finance
Leong Kah Wah (Band 1) - Shipping
Leong Lu Yueh (Band 3) - Investment Funds
Lionel Tan (Recognised Practitioner) - TMT
Lionel Tay (Band 3) - Restructuring/Insolvency
Murali Pillai (Band 2) - Employment
Ng Kim Beng (Band 4) - Construction
Ng Sey Ming (Band 4) - Banking & Finance
Norman Ho (Band 2) - Real Estate
Patrick Ang (Band 1) - Restructuring/Insolvency
Paul Tan - (Band 3) Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, (Band 4) Dispute Resolution: Litigation
Rajesh Sreenivasan (Band 1) - TMT
Regina Liew - (Band 1) Banking & Finance – Regulatory, (Band 2) Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives
Sandy Foo (Band 4) - Banking & Finance, Corporate/M&A
Shemane Chan (Band 2) - Projects & Energy
Sim Kwan Kiat (Band 2) - Restructuring/Insolvency
Simon Goh (Band 1) - Insurance
Soh Lip San (Band 2) - Construction
Steve Tan (Band 3) - TMT
Tan Chuan Thye SC - (Band 2) Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, (Recognised Practitioner) Dispute Resolution: Litigation, (Band 2) Restructuring/Insolvency
Terence Choo (Band 4) - Banking & Finance
Toh Kian Sing SC (Band 1) - Shipping
Vikna Rajah (Recognised Practitioner) - Tax
Winston Kwek (Band 2) - Shipping

 

Banking & Finance

What the team is known for 
Sought after by major banks and corporate borrowers, with an excellent track record in both large and mid-size work, from traditional banking and syndicated lending to project and real estate finance. Well placed to handle cross-border instructions due to its network of offices across the region, including in Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Additionally offers notable expertise regarding fintech issues.

Strengths 
Clients have confidence in the firm's commercial awareness, one saying that it is "in tune with what the market wants." It is also commended for its responsiveness and ability to "resolve issues very quickly and communicate with us clearly."

Work highlights 
Advised Myanma Awba regarding a USD10 million financing from IFC in the form of a convertible facility. The financing was provided to support the client's expansion in the agriculture sector in Myanmar.

Acted for OCBC and UOB on the USD40 million financing of the first commercial component of the Junction City development in dow Regina Liew is praised for her regulatory knowledge, a source explaining that she is "highly experienced in the Singapore market and has her finger on the pulse of financial institutions and regulators." She handles advisory, transactional and enforcement matters for various financial institutions.

Notable practitioners
Angela Lim is dual-qualified in Singapore and England and Wales, and is commended for her depth of experience on cross-border financing. Her practice covers acquisition financing, project financing and debt restructuring, among other areas.

Terence Choo is recognised by commentators as an established practitioner with sound financing expertise. His practice has a focus on trade and real estate financing, and he is also regularly instructed on debt restructuring work.

Sandy Foo has a good track record on transactional mandates spanning banking and finance, capital markets and M&A. On the finance side, she is best known for her experience on project finance and acquisition finance.

Ng Sey Ming is acknowledged by peers for his activity arranging financing facilities across the region, including project, real estate and acquisition financing. Of late he has been especially active advising Indonesian banks and borrowers.

Capital Markets

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. Highly regarded for advising on IPOs and listings, as well as rights offering and hybrid issuances. A 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 
Clients consider the firm a top-end choice, with one stating: "They are very good, excellent. A premium firm, you select them for the big stuff."

Work highlights 
Advised Sinochem International on the USD90 million issuance of bonds exchangeable into shares of Halcyon Agri Corporation.

Represented SAC Capital in the SGD38.1 million IPO and listing of Advancer Global on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Exchange.  

Notable practitioners 
Chia Kim Huat has a vast body of experience advising on China-related ECM deals. He acted for China Jinjiang Environment Holdings in its IPO and listing on the Singapore Exchange.

Danny Lim is well regarded for his assured handling of Singapore IPOs, with additional experience advising on exchangeable bonds. "I do recommend Danny, he's excellent," says a peer. He advised DBS Bank on the approximately SGD156.8 million IPO and listing of Procurri Corporation.

Evelyn Wee is the head of the firm's capital markets practice group and frequently advises corporate clients on equity transactions. "She's excellent, I like working with her," remarks one client. She advised Top Glove on its secondary listing by way of introduction on the Singapore Exchange.

Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives

What the team is known for 
Commands an excellent reputation for advising on derivatives and structured products, as well as for providing a full suite of regulatory counsel. Experienced advising on margin requirements for OTC derivatives covering a full range of asset classes. Regularly assists with bespoke and innovative solutions. Clients include high-profile banks, clearing houses, regulators and exchanges.

Strengths 
Client appreciate the team's experience interacting with regulatory bodies, with one saying: "They understand what is appropriate for us and have been exemplary in all of their communication with the regulator, which has really impressed me."

Another client remarks: "Our experience has been very positive. They provide strong legal advice and a good relationship."

Notable practitioners 
Practice head Regina Liew is praised for her in-depth knowledge of derivatives and securitisation regulations. A pleased client states: "She's excellent in terms of her technical knowledge – really, really good. She's been in this field for more than two decades and the content of her knowledge is very strong. She's able to offer practical advice and is always available to pick up a call or meet."

Competition/Antitrust

What the team is known for 
Highly regarded team with in-depth experience 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. Increasingly involved in multi-jurisdictional merger control cases.

Strengths 
Clients praise the team for its business acumen, saying: "They know how to balance the law with the market conditions and are quite commercially driven. They understand our business really well."

Work highlights 
Advised Ley Choon Constructions & Engineering on the competition law aspects of the sale of one of its properties to Samwoh Premix.

Assisted a major non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer with the reorganisation of its regional business structures, which involved using a potential competitor as a distributor, ensuring that no competition laws were violated.

Notable practitioners 
Department head Kala Anandarajah has deep expertise in cartel investigations and merger controls. Clients praise her ability "to explain complex issues and also offer practical solutions," with one source enthusing: "She has an excellent understanding of competition law and regulations in Singapore and the region." She advised Cyclect on managing a proposed infringement decision issued by CCS against the company for its alleged involvement in bid-rigging two tenders.

Dominique Lombardi advises on the full scope of competition law matters, including merger control, international cartels and vertical restraints. Clients benefit from her knowledge of European competition and antitrust law, and sources describe her as "approachable and easy to deal with." She was part of the team assisting a multinational bank in reviewing documentation from a competition law perspective in response to a review of trading matters and swap transactions carried out by CCS.

Construction

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. Dedicated construction project risk analysis and mitigation capability, able to assist in markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and China.

Strengths 
One interviewee comments: "They are very client-oriented, extremely responsive and very efficient."

Another client notes: "We find the firm dependable. They are able to deliver good-quality work and legal advice within relatively tight deadlines."

Work highlights
Advised 3M on the SGD135 million expansion of its facilities in Singapore assisting with the negotiation of the letter of acceptance and the construction contract with the main contractor.

Acted for Ikano on the construction of a new shopping centre in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The team assisted with drafting and negotiation of the construction contracts, subcontracts and other construction-related documentation.

Notable practitioners 
Soh Lip San is lauded by clients for being "very practical" and possessing "deep knowledge about both construction and arbitrations." Clients also single him out for being "very good at drafting and good at strategising." He specialises in handling major construction and engineering disputes both in Singapore and across the region.

Ng Kim Beng attracts praise for being "respectful, responsive, knowledgeable and adept at handling all queries." He is a dispute resolution practitioner who frequently acts on building, engineering and construction mandates. He is frequently sought to advise on construction-related arbitrations across the region, acting for major international corporations.

Corporate/M&A

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 transactions.

Strengths 
Clients praise the firm for its "good commercial sense" and "reliable client care and service."

Sources also highlight the team's strong regional presence.

Work highlights 
Acted for OSIM International during its SGD1.03 billion acquisition by Vision Three and subsequent delisting from SGX.

Acted for Shanghai-listed Sinochem International on the SGD847.7 million merger of Singapore-listed companies GMG Global and Halcyon Agri.

Notable practitioners 
Sandy Foo is a well-respected lawyer whom interviewees describe as being "knowledgeable on the local regulations," with a "commercial approach to things that makes her advice user-friendly." Her past work includes privatisations, competing takeover bids and share acquisitions.

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration

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 and shipping disputes, and recent involvement in BIT arbitration. Clients include government entities and major international oil companies.

Strengths 
Interviewees are quick to praise the team's commercial approach and fast turnaround. "They are very responsive and practical at a business level," one source reports, while another appreciates that "they are proactive in giving advice and offered practical solutions."

Clients also find the team easy to work with, one source explaining: "They had a very personable approach and were nice to deal with."

Work highlights 
Represented the Republic of the Philippines in arbitration proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in relation to claims of breach of contract brought by Manila Water Services.

Notable practitioners 
Tan Chuan Thye's broad practice encompasses the full spectrum of commercial arbitrations. He is particularly experienced in insolvency-related proceedings. An interviewee says he is "very quick to grasp the nuances of the case" and appreciates that he is "very clear in his thinking." Sources also praise his "no nonsense" and "efficient" approach to managing cases.

Paul Tan is frequently mandated to advise on high-value commercial and investor-state arbitrations as well as arbitration-related court proceedings. Peers describe him as"a rising star" on the Singapore arbitration scene. Client praise his "ability to think tactically" and "anticipate the moves of the opposing party." He is also hailed by sources as "very smart" and "great for bouncing ideas off."

Department head Andre Yeap has over 25 years of experience advising on international arbitrations in the Asia-Pacific region. He is equally well versed in commercial arbitrations and investment treaty cases.

Dispute Resolution: Litigation

What the team is known for 
Prolific litigation team with plentiful expertise on big-ticket domestic and cross-border disputes. Represents clients at all levels of the Singapore courts with particular experience in financial disputes, though it 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 praise the team for its responsiveness. "They are responsive and practical," a client reports, with another adding: "They are available and always happy to answer questions and advise." Interviewees also highlight the team's creativity, saying: "They are very innovative in their approach."

Work highlights 
Acted for Hi-Power in High Court proceedings against Korean electrical manufacturing company Iljin Electric relating to liability for explosions in 14 power stations in Singapore.

Represented the liquidators of Dynamic Oil Trading in an insolvency dispute with ING regarding the validity and entitlement of syndicated lenders to security rights over receivables of USD250 million.

Notable practitioners
Managing partner Lee Eng Beng SC remains a leading disputes practitioner in the Singapore market. He is particularly well versed in banking disputes, debt enforcement and insolvency litigation. "He is really outstanding," a market source reports, while another describes him as "very able and intelligent." He acted for International Healthway Corporation in a dispute related to the use of credit facilities in contravention of Section 76 of the Companies Act.

The "excellent"Francis Xavier SC provides clients with expert advice on a broad range of commercial litigation matters in sectors including banking and real estate. Lately this has included acting for the majority shareholders of the Samwoh Group against claims brought by minority shareholders seeking an order to buy out their shares, valued at approximately SGD300 million.

Andre Yeap SC's expertise spans the full scope of commercial litigation, including banking, securities and shareholder disputes as well as fraud and contentious estate matters. He regularly acts on cross-border mandates and is also well placed to handle international arbitration. Of late, he advised PB Tankers on a dispute with Rotary Engineering in which the client sought to transfer liability for delays and structural defects in 24 tanks that had been built by Rotary Engineering then leased to Shell and TOTSA.

Paul Tan joins the rankings this year on the back of strong market feedback and work. He has an active commercial litigation and arbitration practice, and is regarded as a "rising star" with a bright future ahead. One client explains: "Paul's main strength lies in his ability to think tactically in terms of legal procedure and anticipate the moves of the opposing party." Another interviewee notes that he "went the extra mile," praising his ability to provide quick responses.

Danny Ong regularly assists clients with fraud matters and asset recovery as part of his wider commercial litigation practice. He advised the liquidators of BSI Bank on potential claims involving the alleged laundering and dissipation of USD700 million belonging to Malaysian state-owned company 1MDB. Sources describe him as "very client and service-oriented."

Employment

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

Strengths 
Interviewees value the team's broad-ranging expertise and responsiveness, saying: "They have a lot of people who can cover the full spectrum of what we need. They are very responsive and quick to get back to us."

Work highlights
Represented former CarVal president John Brice in a USD60 million employment termination dispute with Cargill.

Advised law firm CMS Cameron McKenna LLP on the Singapore employment aspects of its merger with Nabarro and Olswang.

Notable practitioners 
Murali Pillai focuses his practice on employment-related disputes, assisting clients with litigation and arbitration cases. He recently acted for Prudential Assurance Company Singapore in an action filed against its former financial services director for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties.

Desmond Wee advises client on a broad range of non-contentious matters, including terminations, structuring of employment terms and performance plans. Clients value his ability to "explain the details of Singapore labour law to the layman." He recently led the team advising CMS Cameron McKenna LLP on employment issues relating to its merger with Nabarro and Olswang.

Insurance

What the team is known for
Long-standing local firm with strength in both contentious and non-contentious insurance matters. Especially active assisting clients with regulatory and corporate insurance work. Local law capability and rights of audience before Singapore courts allows for a full-service offering.

Strengths 
One client highlights the group's local knowledge, saying: "The team has a strong understanding of the Singapore insurance regulations and its applications to the business, and a deep understanding of how the insurance market works, its challenges and issues."

Another notes: "We're extremely happy with them. We've tried a couple of other insurance practices in Singapore, if there's conflict, but we keep going back to Rajah & Tann because we find they're the best fit."

Work highlights 
Acted for United Overseas Insurance and their insured, a hardware company, in a SGD2.6 million subrogated recovery action after a fire in the insured's office and warehouse.

Represented China Taiping Insurance in subrogated recovery proceedings in the Singapore High Court in the name of its insured, HPC Builders.

Notable practitioners 
Simon Goh leads the practice and acts on a suite of contentious and non-contentious work for major insurers, including international arbitration and matters before the Singapore High Court. He wins plaudits from one client who describes him as "a consummate professional who understands the need that insurance clients have for accurate, commercially pragmatic and timely advice" with "an innate understanding of the Singapore insurance market and the legal and regulatory environment in which it operates."

Elaine Tay recently acted for Lendlease in defence of a property damage claim of around SGD3 million made by Marina Bay Financial Centre. One effusive client notes: "We really love Elaine, we've had a good relationship with her for a long time," concluding that "her key strength is she's just quite practical and down-to-earth with her course of action.

Intellectual Property

What the team is known for 
Acts on advisory and contentious matters relating to patents, trade marks and copyrights. Particularly adept at copyright and patent infringement cases, as well as licensing issues. Active in sectors such as media, gaming and technology, manufacturing and renewable energy, representing multinational clients on cross-border IP litigation.

Work highlights
Successfully commenced a series of enforcement actions for Singapore Pools against cybersquatters and illegal operators in relation to the registrations of identical or very similar domain names.

Advised Philip Morris on the effects of Singapore's proposed introduction of plain packaging laws on the IP rights of brand owners.

 Notable practitioners
Department head Lau Kok Keng is an IP litigation specialist who is highly valued for his responsiveness and quality of service, with one client noting: "He gives quick responses to queries and provides a depth of analysis, fleshing business issues out for our consideration." He represents clients from a range of industries including the technology, media, sports and gaming sectors. He advised ST Electronics on protecting an invention relating to an intelligent robot trainer by way of patent applications.

Investment Funds

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. Especially noted for its work on the formation and management of private funds.

Strengths 
The department is known for its breadth of knowledge and commercial nous, being described as "very flexible, very entrepreneurial and extremely knowledgeable about regulatory matters."

Another client comments that the team is "capable of delivering quality services."

Notable practitioners 
Arnold Tan is the head of the department and a lawyer of extensive experience within the funds space. He advises on the establishment of various investment funds, including hedge, private equity and real estate funds, as well as assisting on regulatory matters. "He is very good on everything," says a client. "Arnold is very savvy and understands how managers have to run their businesses."

Anne Yeo is a popular choice for funds managers with regard to structuring, formation and restructuring of funds. A client notes: "She's a phenomenal person in a phenomenal firm," going on to say: "She's a super strong person and she makes everything work for us."

Deputy head Leong Lu Yueh advises investment funds and financial institutions in relation to fund formation and structuring, fund management and IPOs of hedge funds, funds of funds and hybrid funds. One client comments: "We had a positive experience working with her, she knows her work.

Projects & Energy

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. Noted for its focus on the construction and development aspects of projects, with additional expertise regarding project finance.

Strengths 
A client praises the efficient service provided by the team: "They provided the good value that we wanted on a big deal such as this."

Another client simply reports being "very pleased with their work."

Work highlights
Acted for Jurong Town Corporation on issues arising from negotiations with Jurong Aromatics Corporation surrounding the USD2.4 billion Jurong Aromatics Plant, working on commercial, infrastructure and restructuring elements.

Advised National Express on an issue relating to the tender released by the Land Transport Authority with respect to the Seletar Bus Package, an example of a new bus ownership and operation model in Singapore.

Notable practitioners 
Shemane Chan handles the whole gamut of project development and front-end construction work, having advised on a number of major infrastructure and energy projects in Singapore. She is praised by one client for her "ability to change the mindset of customers" as well as her "understanding of our business model, what we want and how we want to negotiate.

Real Estate

What the team is known for
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 acquisitions, lease agreements and conveyancing issues for both domestic and foreign clients.

Work highlights
Acted for a developer on the SGD240.95 million acquisition and financing of a condominium land parcel at Anchorvale Lane.

Acted for Qingjian Realty on its SGD301.2 million acquisition and financing of a mixed-use land parcel at Bukit Batok.

Notable practitioners 
Norman Ho has over 30 years of experience in corporate real estate advising property developers, investors and financial institutions on a range of transactions. He is particularly well known for his involvement in collective sales

Restructuring/Insolvency

What the team is known for
Stellar 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, and offers specialist expertise from within the firm in areas such as shipping and financial services.

Strengths 
Clients emphasise the high quality of the team's work, one noting: "They're very good, very commercial, very responsive, and the quality of the advice is on the spot."

Similarly, another client says: "They are the best; the whole team is very good, very fast and very good quality."

Work highlights 
Advised the joint and several judicial managers of Swiber Holdings and Swiber Offshore Construction on matters arising following the companies' entry into judicial management.

Engaged by the Port of Singapore Authority, in its role as both creditor and port authority, in relation to matters surrounding the insolvency of Hanjin Shipping.

 Notable practitioners 
Patrick Ang is a widely respected practitioner, described as "one of the leaders in the area," focusing on corporate restructuring and insolvency. He is sought after by financial institutions and corporate borrowers, and he assisted the noteholders of SGD125 million fixed-rate notes with regard to Malaysia-based Perisai Group's default on the notes and the scheme of arrangement proposed by the group.

Lee Eng Beng SC has an outstanding reputation in the market for insolvency litigation, with one commentator describing him as "one of the best-known insolvency lawyers in Singapore." He acted for Malayan Banking regarding Pacific Andes Resources Development application for a moratorium seeking protection under Section 210(10) of the Companies Act.

Practice head Sim Kwan Kiat focuses on corporate insolvencies, enforcement of creditors' rights and workouts and debt restructurings, with one source noting: "He's a very good lawyer, he tries to work out a particular solution in the most cost-efficient manner for all parties." He acted for DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank as lenders in relation to the restructuring and refinancing of Emas Offshore, a subsidiary of Ezra Holdings.

Tan Chuan Thye SC has a strong practice in financial dispute resolution, focusing on the restructuring of insolvent corporate groups. He was engaged by JTC Corporation to advise regarding its rights and obligations in relation to the lease of a site to Jurong Aromatics at Jurong Island following Jurong Aromatics' placement into receivership.

Danny Ong is a recognised figure in the market, specialising in complex cross-border insolvencies and restructurings, particularly those involving distressed financial institutions and hedge funds. He was engaged to advise the liquidators of BSI Bank in relation to issues arising from the liquidation.

Lionel Tay is a highly experienced practitioner who focuses on major insolvencies in the region. He advised the liquidators of JV Fitness, with potential claims of more than SGD25 million.

Shipping

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. Additionally has significant expertise in collision and casualty dispute cases.

Strengths
Peers highlight the "sheer size" of the firm's maritime department and its subsequent host of offerings within the practice area. One source says: "A Band 1 ranking is correct, we come across them often."

Work highlights 
Acted for the owners of 'Eurohope' after the vessel was arrested in Singapore by DSA Consultancy, challenging the arrest based on the fact DSA Consultancy filed the admiralty claim in an English court.

Also represented the owners of bulk carrier 'Silvia Ambition' in opposing the vessel's arrest by a Singapore bunker supplier in Lebanon.

Notable practitioners
Leong Kah Wah acts as counsel in maritime and trade arbitrations before both ad hoc and institutional tribunals. Known predominantly for wet work, he represents owners, clubs and hull underwriters from both Singapore and the wider Asia-Pacific region. He represented the owners of 'Silvia Ambition' in a vessel arrest case before the Singapore Court of Appeal.

Toh Kian Sing SC possesses a wealth of expertise in contentious and non-contentious disputes in both dry and wet shipping matters. Clients recognise him for being "a leading authority in maritime law." He acted for PSA on the insolvency of Hanjin Shipping and the arrest of the 'Hanjin Rome' in the port of Singapore.

Chua Choon King handles both wet and dry shipping matters, and has experience in dealing with sales and purchases, finance leases and loan transactions for a variety of Singaporean and international banks. He is also active in solvent restructuring and port and terminal contracts for clients.

Winston Kwek works closely with both domestic and international financial institutions on insolvency, restructuring and mortgage enforcement cases. A recent work highlight includes advising the judicial managers of Swiber Holdings and Swiber Offshore Construction surrounding the issues of the management of the two companies, whose assets collectively totalled more than USD1.6 billion.

Ian Teo commands respect in the maritime sphere due to his strong reputation for trade and dry shipping work. Amongst a number regional and European company on an arbitration concerning a number of complex offshore regulatory disputes between them.

Jainil Bhandari has over two decades' experience handling litigation matters regarding heavy lift, oil contamination and cargo damage, as well as commodity contract claims. He is skilled at taking on cross-border matters, and has frequently acted for clients in Malaysian courts.

Kendall Tan is praised for being "unbelievably responsive" to a whole host of shipping-related issues, including providing advice on shipping arrests, settlement rates and acting as lead counsel on high-value disputes. Another client affirms: "He is absolutely reliable and can be trusted not to let anything slip when managing a case." He acted for the owners of 'APL Denver' in a casualty case after a collision with 'Wan Hai 301.

TMT

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. Increasingly sought to provide advice in relation to cybersecurity issues, including drafting of cyber-breach readiness and response plans.

Strengths 
Clients praise the firm's "great full-service" capabilities and describe the team as "leading" Singapore's TMT legal services industry, saying: "They are proactive and respond to clients' needs."

One client lauds the team's "excellent insight and ability to give us consolidated advice," calling the firm a "convenient one-stop shop" and noting its "extensive" regional connections.

Work highlights 
Assisted Astro GS Shop in all aspects of launching its 24/7 shopping platform on TV, online and mobile. The team advised on all regulatory aspects, including licensing, media regulations and consumer protection laws.

Assisted Ascendas-Singbridge in setting up its online vendor and tenant portals by providing advice relating to data protection issues, electronic transactions, the validity of e-signatures and the use of electronic records as evidence.

Notable practitioners 
Department head Rajesh Sreenivasan is highly prized by multinational technology companies for his expertise in data protection, telecoms regulation and cybersecurity. Clients describe him as "incredibly well informed, practical, responsive and a pleasure to work with." He acted for Liberty Wireless providing assistance with the drafting of contracts and regulatory issues for the provision of Circles.Life's mobile virtual network operation service.

Steve Tan is appreciated by his clients for "taking the time to understand the client's business and needs" and is described as being both "responsive" and "meticulous." He has a strong reputation for his work in IT and data protection, with cybersecurity constituting the primary focus of his practice. He also advises on regulatory issues in the digital media space and led the team that assisted Astro GS Shop on the launch of its 24/7 shopping platform.

South-East Asia – International Trade/WTO

What the team is known for 
Offers in-depth expertise in trade matters concerning South-East Asian countries. Excels in a range of areas, including anti-dumping, export controls, safeguards and the structuring of trade flows, as well as handling customs regulatory compliance for international companies operating across a number of sectors, with particular expertise in the hi-tech, healthcare and agrifood spaces. Has attained a strong reputation for its handling of Thailand-related matters.

Strengths
One client notes the firm's regional strength: "I received great support from them, and their offices across South-East Asia," while another interviewee declares: "If there is a firm to recommend in South-East Asia, it is always Rajah & Tann."

Work highlights 
Advised T Star Global on tariff reductions, import permits and import taxes in connection with the importation of its products into Malaysia from China.

Defended Philip Morris's Thailand subsidiary in a dispute with the Thai Customs Department and the Board of Appeal over the valuation of imports from Indonesia, dating back to 2002. The case is valued at THB460 million.

Notable practitioners
Kala Anandarajah, of the firm's Singapore office, is the key contact for this practice.

Asia Pacific Region – Arbitration (International)

What the team is known for
Leading Singapore firm, highlighted for its specialist arbitration practice and impressive regional range, extending to the Middle East, including especially notable coverage of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam and demonstrating a rising profile in Philippines-related matters. 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 
The practice is notable for the praise it receives, not only from Singapore-based referees, but also from clients across the region. One such interviewee observes: "We would rely on them for cross-border disputes, especially international arbitration. They take a practical and thorough approach in their work." Another reports: "They were always available when needed, I should say 24/7. Despite the different time zones, we could always catch up and move things forward smoothly."

Work highlights 
Continued to represent the Republic of the Philippines in an ICC-arbitrated dispute with multinational oil and gas companies Chevron and Shell arising from the claim by the latter parties that under the terms of the contract governing their oil and gas exploration operations in the country, the Republic is liable to pay their income tax obligations of over USD15 billion.

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

R&T Asia (Thailand) Limited - Thailand

Dispute Resolution - Band 3
TMT - Band 2

Ranked Lawyers:
Surasak Vajasit - (Band 1) Dispute Resolution, (Band 2) Restructuring/Insolvency
Melisa Uremovic (Other Noted Practitioners) - TMT


Dispute Resolution

What the team is known for
Regional firm with a solid reputation in the litigation space, regularly advising on a variety of corporate and administrative cases. Especially active on disputes involving customs and tax, employment, telecommunications and restructuring, on behalf of both domestic and international clients.

Strengths
Clients enjoy collaborating with the firm, describing it as "technically competent, good at handling clients' concerns and queries" and "a joy to work with." Additional interviewees admire the team's attentiveness, noting that "they listen and give us good advice and strategies."

Work highlights
Represented Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation in safeguard proceedings linked to the importation of hot rolled steel.

Notable practitioners
Surasak Vajasit wins plaudits from the market, with commentators describing him as "one of the best." Complimented by further sources for his "reputation on complex matters," he regularly acts for leading global clients on government and private disputes, while he is also active as an arbitrator.

TMT

What the team is known for
Notable TMT practice, frequently entrusted by leading global and Thai clients in the technology and telecommunications sectors. Well placed to advise on regulatory issues involving marketing, e-commerce and data privacy, it also handles disputes linked to concession agreements.

Notable practitioners 
Supawat Srirungruang, Saroj Jongsaritwang and Melisa Uremovic are key contacts for clients.

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers - Vietnam

Corporate/M&A - Band 3
Dispute Resolution - Band 2
TMT - Other Noted Firms

Ranked Lawyers: Huy Quang Chau (Band 2) - Dispute Resolution


Corporate/M&A

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. Especially strong following among clients headquartered in Singapore, and advises in such key industries as real estate and pharmaceuticals. The recently expanded team is also highly capable in taking on matters originating from France and Japan.

Strengths 
A client identifies the team's responsiveness and communication skills as key strengths: "Their turnaround time is efficient and they provide clear advice for our management to make decisions."

Another client concurs, observing that the advice provided is "very concise and clear, and when I ask a question they give me a prompt reply."

Work highlights 
Represented Mapletree Investments in its acquisition of a USD215 mixed-use property in Ho Chi Minh City. Acted for Nam Long on its USD27.5 million joint venture with Nishi Nippon Railroad and Hankyu Realty to implement the Kikyo Residence project.

Notable practitioners 
Vu Thi Que is the head of department and key contact for the practice.

Dispute Resolution

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. Recently highly active representing businesses in contentious real estate and tax matters.

Strengths 
Clients appreciate the lawyers' international experience, with one saying: "We would rely on them for cross-border disputes, especially international arbitration. They take a practical and thorough approach in their work."

Peers similarly recognise the practice as very prominent in the dispute resolution sphere.

Work highlights 
Represented Mapletree Investments with regard to a range of tenancy and rent arrears disputes affecting its retail complexes in Vietnam.

Defended a European manufacturer of confectionery against the Vietnamese customs authorities' claims of tax arrears, and the imposition of related penalties, in respect of raw material importations.

Notable practitioners 
Huy Quang Chau has over 20 years' experience advising on a wide range of contentious matters. One client enthuses: "He is our go-to lawyer for construction disputes. He is experienced in both litigation and arbitration."Recently, he represented a Singapore fuel trading business in a dispute regarding the detention of a vessel and the subsequent confiscation by the authorities of its cargo of oil.