Chambers Global (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.

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 Europe 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 knowledgeable 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

Capital Markets - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf - Band 1, Bono Adji - Band 1, Putu Suryastuti - Band 2, Tunggul Utomo - Up and Coming

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.

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

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.

"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."

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

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.

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

General Business Law - Other Noted Firms


Christopher & Lee Ong - Malaysia

Banking & Finance - Band 3

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

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

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 ECM offerings. The firm's cross-border capability is boosted by its membership of the Rajah & Tann Asia network.

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.

As deputy head of the shipping and international trade practice group, Jainil Bhandari of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP continues to command recognition in commercial litigation and shipping cases, having appeared in both Malaysian and Singaporean courts. He possesses experience in charter party cases and collision disputes, and acted for the owners of 'APL Denver' after its collision with the vessel 'Wan Hai 301'.


Rajah & Tann NK Legal - Myanmar

General Business Law - Band 2
General Business Law: International Firms - Band 1
Ranked Lawyer: Chester Toh - Band 2 (Expertise Based Abroad)

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.

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
Singapore-based 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 & Finance - Band 3
Ranked Lawyers: Jaime Renato B Gatmaytan - Band 3, Norma Margarita B Patacsil - Band 3

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."

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

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.


Rajah & Tann Singapore - Singapore

Banking & Finance - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Angela Lim - Band 2, Lee Weilin - Other Noted Practitioner, Ng Sey Ming - Band 4, Regina Liew - Band 1 (Banking & Finance: Regulatory), Sandy Foo - Band 4, Terence Choo - Band 4

Angela Lim is dual-qualified in Singapore and England & 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.

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.

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

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.

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 Sinochem International on its issuance of USD90 million exchangeable bonds to China-Africa Development Fund.

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 Malaysian rubber glove manufacturer Top Glove on its secondary listing by way of introduction on the Singapore Exchange.

Chia Kim Huat has a strong track record of advising Chinese companies regarding their listings in Singapore. In one example, he acted for China Jinjiang Environment Holdings on its IPO and listing on the Singapore Exchange.

Corporate/M&A: Domestic - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Chester Toh (Ranked in Corporate/M&A (Foreign Expertise) – Myanmar), Lawrence Tan - Other Noted Practitioner, Sandy Foo - Band 4

Foreign desks – The firm has an established Indonesia desk, representing leading multinationals and domestic entities in complex M&A. It recently assisted Marvellous Glory with the proposed USD786 million acquisition of the shares in China Minzhong Food Corporation, which was majority-held by Indonesian company PT Indofood Sukses Makmur. The group also provides Indonesia law advice through its associate firm, Assegaf Hamzah & Partners. Cheng Yoke Ping is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia and is a key contact for the firm's Indonesia corporate practice.

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.

Chester Toh is recognised for his high levels of activity and broad range of work in the Myanmar market. 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.

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration - Band 2 
Ranked Lawyers: Andre Yeap SC - Band 4, Paul Tan - Band 3,  Tan Chuan Thye SC - Band 2

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.

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.

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."

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

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.

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.

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."

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.

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

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.

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."

Shipping: Domestic - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: (Shipping: Domestic: Finance) Chua Choon King - Band 2, (Shipping: Domestic: Litigation) Ian Teo - Band 2, Jainil Bhandari - Band 3, also ranked in Shipping (Foreign Expertise) - Malaysia, Kendall Tan - Band 3, Leong Kah Wah - Band 1, Toh Kian Sing - Band 1, Winston Kwek - Band 2

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.

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.

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. His clients include shipbuilders and regional offshore players, which he represents in contract and regulatory litigation and arbitration proceedings.

Jainil Bhandari is dual-qualified in Singapore and Malaysia where he advises on a range of shipping and trade disputes, offshore construction projects and transportation and commodity contracts. He successfully negotiated with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency on behalf of ASL Offshore & Marine for the release of its vessel 'ASL Courageous.'

Kendall Tan is praised for being "unbelievably responsive" to a whole host of shipping-related issues, including providing advice on shipping arrests and 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.'

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, 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.

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.

Indonesia: Corporate & Finance (International Firms) (Desk based Abroad) - 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. Cheng Yoke Ping is a key contact for the practice.

South-East Asia: International Trade/WTO (Asia Pacific Region) - Band 1

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.

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.


Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers - Vietnam

Corporate/M&A - Band 3

Thi Que Vu is the head of the office's corporate practice, and is best known for her experience representing clients on China-related cross-border issues. One source reports that "she speaks Chinese and English, and has a law degree from China. She's unique in this market, and perfect for our deal."