The Legal 500 - Asia Pacific (2018)

R&T Sok & Heng Law Office – Cambodia

Leading Firm - Tier 2

Chhay Heng leads the five-partner team at R&T Sok & Heng Law Office, which is best known for its strength in securities law and banking and finance matters. The firm recently advised DKSH Holding on acquiring medical device and in-vitro diagnostic product distributor Europe Continents SARL. Other clients include Donaco International and Thai Samsung. Sophonnora Tiv is ‘remarkable at providing a detail-assessed response in a timely manner’.

 

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners – Indonesia

Aviation - Tier 1
Banking and Finance - Tier 1
Capital Markets - Tier 1
Corporate and M&A - Tier 1
Dispute Resolution - Tier 1
IT and Telecoms - Tier 1
Intellectual Property - Tier 4
Labour and employment - Tier 2
Projects & Energy - Tier 2
Real Estate - Tier 2
Restructuring and Insolvency - Tier 2
Shipping - Tier 2
Tax - Tier 3

Leading Lawyers:
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf - Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, Corporate and M&A

Bono Daru Adji - Capital Markets

Next Generation Lawyer:
Mohammad Renaldi Zulkarnain - Capital Markets

 

Aviation
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has significant expertise in aviation-related financing and disputes, and clients include Indonesia AirAsia Extra, Garuda Indonesia and Garmin. Eri Hertiawan defended Indonesia AirAsia Extra in a tort action brought by passengers seeking damages for being prevented from boarding one of its flights due to one of them being on Air Asia’s blacklist. He also represented Garuda against Musita in a contract breach dispute. Ibrahim Assegaf has expertise in aircraft leasing.

Banking and Finance
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has broad capabilities in banking and finance, including structured finance, project finance and trade finance. Ahmad Fikri Assegaf heads the practice and recently advised Indonesia Infrastructure Finance on infrastructure financing through a two-step loan with the World Bank and Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero). Ibrahim Assegaf acted for state-backed Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia (PII) in relation to the Palapa Ring project and the PII and government guarantees to be provided. Yanu Wiriasmoko advised Bank CIMB Niaga on a loan to Net Mediatama Televisi. Kanya Satwika is an expert in finance in the energy and mining sectors.

Capital Markets
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has a strong track record in equity and debt issuances in Indonesia, and clients include Bank Mandiri and Telkom. Practice head Bono Adji recently advised Credit Suisse on the issuance of senior notes by Japfa Comfeed, and also acted for MedcoEnergi regarding its shelf offering. Ahmad Fikri Assegaf acted for Credit Suisse in the issuance of senior notes, and assisted Sritex with unconditional and irrevocable guarantees given by the client and subsidiary Sinar Pantja Djaja. Senior associate Mohammad Renaldi Zulkarnain is also heavily involved in corporate finance transactions.

Corporate and M&A
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners’ broad practice covers a range of different sectors, including energy, natural resources, TMT and retail. Eko Basyuni heads the practice and has significant expertise in TMT matters. Banking and finance expert Ahmad Fikri Assegaf advised Warburg Pincus, who led the single round of fundraising of GO-JEK, and advised Holcim Indonesia on its acquisition of the entire share capital of Lafarge Cement Indonesia and on post-acquisition restructuring. Transactional expert Valerie Ngooi Ming Hui is qualified in Malaysian law. Zacky Husein has a strong track record in TMT transactions. Tunggul Purusa Utomo is also a key figure and provides ‘clear and reliable advice’.

Dispute Resolution
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has expertise in civil and commercial litigation, including ADR. Practice co-head Chandra Hamzah recently defended Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia on charges of causing pollution and extracting groundwater without a permit, and advised Indosat on a dispute with the Ministry of Communication and Informatics regarding alleged unpaid spectrum frequency usage charges. Co-head Eri Hertiawan worked on a complex inheritance dispute regarding the estate of Agus Nursalim. Ahmad Maulana has a strong track record in employment disputes, but also recently represented OPIC in a tort claim.

IT and Telecoms
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has significant expertise in technology and telecoms-related transactions. Zacky Husein heads the practice, and Bono Adji is also a key figure.

Intellectual Property
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters, and works for clients including Indosat and Bank Mandiri. Chandra Hamzah heads the practice and recently represented Facebook in online copyright data protection matters. He advised Les’ Copaque and Seven Days Hotel on respective trade mark registrations.

Labour and Employment
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners’ disputes practice is heavily involved in employment matters. Ahmad Maulana heads the practice and recently represented Ascendas Land Indonesia in an employment termination dispute.

Projects & Energy
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has a strong track record in high-profile infrastructure and energy projects. Practice head Kanya Satwika was recently involved in two major hydroelectric power projects, one where she represented Korea Export-Import Bank, and another representing several Asian banks. She also acted for a consortium in the acquisition of Chevron’s geothermal business in Indonesia and the Philippines. Ahmad Fikri Assegaf worked with MRT Jakarta on the development of the Jakarta underground railway system. Ibrahim Assegaf represented Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia in the Palapa Ring project, which involves a nationwide fibre optic cable network.

Real Estate
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has significant expertise in foreign direct investment in real estate. Yogi Marsono heads the practice and recently assisted Facebook Singapore and Vivo Indonesia with office space in Jakarta’s central business district.

Restructuring and Insolvency
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners’ restructuring practice is made up of disputes and banking specialists. The firm recently assisted Biltube Indonesia with applying for voluntary bankruptcy. Disputes specialist Ahmad Maulana advised HMS Bergbau Indonesia on a coal sale and purchase agreement with Kasih. Banking and finance specialist Ibrahim Assegaf acted for Raiffeisen Bank International AG regarding debt owed by Trimega Utama Corporindo, and filed a personal bankruptcy petition against its ultimate shareholder who provided a guarantee for the debt under a loan agreement.

Shipping
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has expertise in ship financing, marine casualties and collisions, cargo claims and securitisation. Eri Hertiawan represented the crew members in the Bali ferry explosion case, where two people were killed.

Tax
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners has significant experience in tax matters. Practice head Wibowo Mukti previously worked for the Indonesian Revenue Service and PwC Jakarta. Muslimin Damanhuri is deputy head of the practice and has ‘a very good knowledge of tax’ and ‘an excellent relationship with local tax authorities’.

 

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

Leading Firm - Tier 2 

Rajah & Tann (Laos) has a solid international client base, which it acts for in project finance deals, mainly in the energy sector. Recent highlights include advising Hoang Anh Gia Lai, a large stockbroker company, on project finance transactions in Laos. China Railway is another client. Brian Ng leads the team.

 

Christopher & Lee Ong – Malaysia

Antitrust and Competition - Tier 1
Banking & Finance – Tier 2
Capital Markets - Tier 4
Corporate M&A – Tier 1
Dispute Resolution – Tier 3
Intellectual Property - Tier 2
Islamic Finance - Tier 4
Labour and Employment – Tier 3
Projects and Energy – Tier 1
Real Estate and construction - Tier 4
Shipping – Tier 2
TMT – Tier 1

Leading Lawyers:
Christopher Lee - Banking & Finance, Corporate and M&A 

Deepak Pillai - TMT
Intan Haryati - TMT
Kuok Yew Chen - TMT
Ong Chee Kwan - Shipping

Next Generation Lawyer:
Kimberly Goh - Corporate and M&A

 

Antitrust and Competition
Christopher & Lee Ong’s competition team has earned a good reputation for its advice on cutting-edge instructions. It acts for a large number of corporations and multinationals on regional antitrust and trade legislation, which spans China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and other jurisdictions. Yon See Ting has more than 20 years of experience in the field, while corporate and M&A expert Kuok Yew Chen also specialises in competition and trade matters. Prudential Assurance, Nestlé Products, Mitsubishi Chemical Singapore and CIMB Bank are clients.

Banking & Finance
Christopher & Lee Ong is well-regarded for its expertise in project, corporate, Islamic and structured finance. Christopher Lee and Fiona Sequerah are the leading names in the practice. The group acts for an outstanding list of prominent local and international banking and financial institutions.

Capital Markets
Christopher & Lee Ong fields an ‘experienced capital markets team’, which provides a comprehensive range of services including IPOs, reverse takeovers, mandatory and voluntary takeovers, capital reductions and privatisations. Highlights included advising JcbNext on its privatisation via the takeover by two of its existing shareholders who acquired all the remaining shares not owned by them, in a deal valued at approximately RM57m. Christopher Lee leads the group.

Corporate and M&A
A ‘leading name in corporate and M&A matters’, Christopher & Lee Ong is a member of Rajah & Tann Asia Network. It provides ‘one-stop-shop’ services to an array of local and international clients to meet their needs in complex high-end cross-border transactions. It has acted for several publicly listed corporations in Malaysia on initial listings on stock exchanges, mandatory takeover offers and equity fund instructions. It is advising MM2 Asia on the acquisition of the business and assets of 13 cinema sites, plus an option for two additional ones in Terengganu and Sandakan from Lotus Fivestar Cinemas, with an aggregate value near RM118m, Kuok Yew Chen leads the advice. Yon See Ting and Kelvin Kho are acting for Valeo on its acquisition of Precico Electronics for the sum of RM132m. Other key practitioners include Christopher Lee, Lee Hock Chye, Yau Yee Ming and Por Chuei Ying.

Dispute Resolution
Christopher & Lee Ong’s well-reputed litigation practice acts for clients such as Cavium, Malayan Banking, Kuwait Finance House and Drill Stem Middle East. It is acting for Malayan Banking in court proceedings against Bank of Nova Scotia related to legal charges disputes. Ong Chee Kwan and John Matthew are recommended.

Intellectual Property
Christopher & Lee Ong successfully acted for Al Baik Fast Food Distribution in a trade mark claim initiated by Saudi corporation Al Baik Food Systems before the High Court to challenge the client’s registered trade name on grounds of wrongful registration. The team is also defending Phi Orion and five of its directors in court proceedings commenced by Juris Technologies for breach of confidential information and copyright. Sri Sarguna Raj, Ng Kim Poh and Steven Cheok lead the practice.

Islamic Finance
Christopher & Lee Ong’s Fiona Sequerah acted for the lender in a cash-line and combined Islamic trade line RM16.5m facility granted for working capital and for the import of chemicals used in the gas industry. Co-head of team Christopher Lee is also recommended.

Labour and Employment
Christopher & Lee Ong’s Rubini Murugesan regularly advises corporate clients on related employment matters.

Projects & Energy
Highlights for Christopher & Lee Ong have included advising a Vietnamese corporation, and its Malaysian parent company, on a $2.2bn project to develop a coal-fired thermal power facility at the Duyen Hai Power Complex (Vietnam), and acting for Petronas’ wholly-owned subsidiary Pengerang Power on the Pengerang co-generation plant in Johor, with a total project value of RM3bn. Christopher Lee, Eileen Yeoh and Shemane Chan lead the practice.

Real Estate and Construction
Christopher & Lee Ong receives praise for its innovative solutions to complex property-related instructions. It handles acquisitions, financing, development, leases and tenancies, ownerships and dispositions. The team has acted for Quill Commercial Properties on the sales of land located at Cyberjaya, Selangor together with 2 blocks of 10 storey office building with a transaction valued at RM450m.

Shipping
Work highlights for Christopher & Lee Ong included acting for a petroleum trader in arbitration proceedings against a government-linked port operator. Ong Chee Kwan and shipping expert Jainil Bhandari are the key contacts.

TMT
Deepak Pillai and Intan Haryati are the leading names in Christopher & Lee Ong’s TMT practice, both are recognised for their vast expertise in TMT-related matters and have gained a deserved reputation for handling cutting-edge work in the area. Kuok Yew Chen and Yau Yee Ming are also key members of the practice. The team is advising UEM Group on all legal aspects of its business and IT transformation, which comprises a comprehensive evaluation to identify the best technology to support their digital transformation. This work included negotiating and drafting all project documentation from the tender process to the execution of the contract. Other clients include The Association of Banks of Malaysia, Berjaya Corporation and Life Insurance Association of Malaysia. 

 

Rajah & Tann NK Legal Myanmar Company Limited – Myanmar

Corporate and M&A - Tier 2

Chester Toh jointly heads the Myanmar practice at Rajah & Tann NK Legal Myanmar Company Limited, which regularly handles government-related mandates, acting on behalf of Japanese investors, and regulatory matters. Clients also include Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Visa International. Head of the firm’s Japanese group Hiroyuki Ota was recently promoted to partner. Min Thein is a key name to note on the ground in Myanmar, and is acting as transactional and regulatory counsel to Viz Branz on its joint venture with Myanmar GR. Highlights included advising the International Finance Corporation on its financing to Awba, a local manufacturer and distributor of crop protection products, and Yangon managing partner U Nyein Kyaw assisting Shining Star International Holdings with its proposed acquisition of 100% equity in a Singapore company building telecoms towers in Myanmar. Lester Chua specialises in dispute resolution and arbitration work and is also a key contact alongside senior associate Alroy Chan. Unless otherwise stated, all individuals mentioned are based in Singapore.

 

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

Banking and Finance - Tier 3
Corporate and M&A - Tier 3
Dispute Resolution - Tier 2
Labour and Employment - Tier 2
Projects and Energy - Tier 1
Real Estate and Construction - Tier 1
Tax - Tier 1

Leading Lawyers:
Jaime Gatmaytan - Projects and Energy, Real Estate and Construction

Cesar Santamaria - Labour and Employment
Ben Yap - Dispute Resolution
Anthony Gutierrez - Tax

Banking and Finance
The team at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) is experienced in advising banks and financial institutions on a range of matters, with particular expertise in regulatory compliance and security transactions. Jaime Gatmaytan leads the practice and recently represented Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in a $650m loan deal to Therma Power, an Aboitiz subsidiary.

Corporate and M&A
Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)’s corporate and M&A practice is experienced in advising corporate clients on incorporation matters, governance and compliance issues, structuring, investments and enterprise formation. The firm is also particularly active in cross-border transactions and acts as counsel to local and international clients on a range of high-value matters. Recent highlights include advising HP Inc. on the $1bn acquisition of Samsung’s printer business, which included the transfer of assets and employees and due diligence on various contracts. Key partners within the department include Jaime Gatmaytan, Norma Patacsil, Mary Mundin and Albert Yu Chang.

Dispute Resolution
Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)’s ‘excellent’ dispute resolution team includes key partners Ben Yap, Anthony Gutierrez, Jess Lopez and the ‘fantastic’ Jesus Protacio. The practice is experienced in a broad range of litigation and dispute resolution matters, with particular expertise in complex and high-value commercial disputes.

Labour and Employment
Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)’s employment practice has experience in handling matters relating to labour standards, employee benefits, contracts, reorganisations, and mergers and acquisitions. It also has particular expertise in labour dispute proceedings and immigration issues. Cesar Santamaria, Jr is the key contact.

Projects and Energy
Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)’s project and energy practice frequently handles major domestic and international energy projects, and recently acted for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on its $650m loan to Therma Power. Key partners within the department include Jaime Gatmaytan, Ben Yap, Norma Patacsil and Albert Yu Chang.

Real Estate and Construction
The real estate practice at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) is active in PPP projects involving construction, financing and operation of public utilities such as airports and rail systems. The firm is currently advising the International Finance Corporation as well as the Development Bank of the Philippines on the Light Rail Transit Line 2 O&M PPP Projects and the Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project. Jaime Gatmaytan, Norma Patacsil, Mary Mundin and Albert Yu Chang are the key contacts.

Tax
The Tax practice at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) advises clients from the power generation, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and mining industries, such as the Aboitiz Group, Holcim Philippines, and OceanaGold. Anthony Gutierrez and Jesus Protacio handle a range of tax matters, including advisory, planning, litigation and corporate restructuring work, and recently advised Sanofi Aventis Philippines Inc. on the tax treatment of its $25m cross-border business unit swap with Boehringer.

 

Rajah & Tann Singapore – Singapore

Antitrust and Competition - Tier 1
Banking and Finance - Tier 2
Capital Markets - Tier 2
Construction - Tier 1
Corporate and M&A - Tier 2
Dispute Resolution - Tier 1
Financial Services Regulatory - Tier 1
Intellectual Property - Tier 2
International Arbitration - Tier 2
Investment Funds - Tier 2
Labour and Employment - Tier 1

Private Wealth - Tier 1
Projects and Energy - Tier 1
Real Estate - Tier 2
Regional International Arbitration - Tier 4
Restructuring and Insolvency - Tier 1
Shipping - Tier 1
Tax - Tier 2
TMT - Tier 1

Leading Lawyers:
Andre Yeap, SC - Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration
Angela Lim - Banking and Finance
Arnold Tan - Investment Funds
Chia Kim Huat - Capital Markets
Desmond Wee - Labour and Employment
Francis Xavier, SC, PBM - Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration
K. Muralidharan Pillai - Labour and Employment*
Kala Anandarajah, PBM - Antitrust and Competition
Lau Kok Keng - Intellectual Property
Lee Eng Beng, SC - Restructuring and Insolvency
Leong Kah Wah - Shipping
Norman Ho - Real Estate
Patrick Ang - Restructuring and Insolvency
Paul Tan - International Arbitration*
Rajesh Sreenivasan - TMT
Sandy Foo - Banking and Finance
Steve Tan - TMT
Toh Kian Sing, SC - Shipping
Vikna Rajah - Private Wealth, Tax

Next Generation Lawyers:
Chor Zhi Chao - Banking and Finance
Benjamin Liew - Financial services regulatory

Antitrust and Competition
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s clients span telecommunications, media and energy, with merger control a strong focus for the practice. Kala Anandrarajah is assisting a food manufacturer in a cartel investigation, advised Network for Electronic Transfers on compliance matters pertaining to its S$38m acquisition of Banking Computer Services and BCS Information Systems, and acted for Ley Choon Constructions and Engineering on the competition aspects of a real estate transaction. The team is also defending Cyclect against allegations of bid-rigging in the procurement process for the provision of electrical services for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix between 2015 and 2017.

Banking and Finance
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a fast-growing practice founded on a solid base of acquisition finance and syndicated loans; it is also a growing presence in real estate finance and pre-payment facilities. Moreover, the firm is at the forefront of fintech in the region and is widely recognised for its restructuring expertise. While having a large team of Singapore law practitioners, many within the department are also English qualified and have worked at international law firms. As a consequence, the department has a range of local, regional and European banking clients and is routinely engaged in cross-border acquisition financings; in this regard, the firm’s strong physical presence across South-East Asia is a key factor. Clients include CIMB Bank, UOB, OCBC, DBS Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and HSBC; it advised DBS and UOB on the renewal of an asset-backed securitisation programme orginated by Diners Club (Singapore). Angela Lim heads the practice, which includes Regina Liew, trade finance expert Terence Choo, acquisition finance specialist Nicholas How and Lee Weilin in REIT financing. Norman Ho, a recent hire from Dentons Rodyk, provides further real estate finance expertise and Sandy Foo, a hire from Drew & Napier LLC, adds to the firm’s corporate finance capabilities.

Capital Markets
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a high market share of mainboard IPOs on SGX and a healthy practice in Catalist listings. The firm has an impressive client base of local and regional issuers and underwriters, as well as an extensive number of Chinese clients that have listed or are looking to list in Singapore; it advised China Jinjiang Environment Holding on its S$1.08bn IPO and listing on SGX. Moreover, the firm has worked on a significant number of Hong Kong listings by Singapore issuers. On the debt side, the firm impresses in derivatives and structured products; it advised DBS Bank and UOB on the renewal of a securitisation programme originated by Diners Club (Singapore). Other clients include Gallant Venture, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Japfa, KMP Private, United Overseas Bank, Fortis Healthcare Group, China Minzhong Food Corporation, CIMB Bank, Genting Singapore and OUE. Danny Lim ‘engages with clients very well’. Chia Kim Huat, Evelyn Wee and Lawrence Tan are also recommended.

Construction
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s ‘dependable’ team includes the ‘respectful, responsive and knowledgeable’ Ng Kim Beng, who is ‘adept at handling all types of queries’. International arbitration specialist Andre Yeap SC and projects expert Soh Lip San head the practice, which counts TRX City, Obayashi Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Siemens AG and 3M among its clients. The team provides a full-service offering, advising on high-value infrastructure projects, oil and gas developments and public private partnerships as well as complex litigation and arbitration proceedings. Shemane Chan is assisting Ikano with the contractual matters pertaining to the construction of a shopping centre in Malaysia and advising a developer on a mixed-use hotel complex in the Mariana Islands. Sim Chee Siong is recommended.

Corporate and M&A
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s commitment to South-East Asia and strong regional coverage has made it especially prominent in public M&A. The team acts for a strong client base of business tycoons, family-owned businesses and a number of Japanese and Chinese corporates; it has a Japanese bengoshi and a number of Chinese speakers in the Singapore team. The firm has experienced growth in technology and real estate deals and in distressed transactions in the oil and gas sector. A team led by head of the M&A practice Lawrence Tan advised Marvellous Glory Holdings on its S$786m takeover of Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX)-listed China Minzhong Food Corporation; the firm developed a new approach for an acquirer to privatise the target and meet the 90% share threshold required by Singapore regulations. In other work, the firm advised Shanghai-listed Sinochem International on the S$847m merger of its subsidiary GMG Global and Halcyon Agri Corporation, both of which are listed on SGX. Danny Lim is another key member of the team, and the hire of ‘very commercial’ and ‘very technically sound’ Sandy Foo from Drew & Napier LLC adds to the firm’s market standing.

Dispute Resolution
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is at the forefront of cross-border disputes and has appeared in a high proportion of cases before the SICC. It has a sizeable group of ‘fantastic senior counsels’, who are supported by a large and high-quality team that provides ‘incisive, succinct and appropriate’ advice, and is able to ‘craft and articulate excellent rebuttals’. It acts for a number of regional and multinational companies, including a multitude of financial institution clients, and regularly impresses in insolvency, restructuring and shipping disputes. Francis Xavier SC has a ‘strong legal mind’ and ‘a good rapport with the bench’; Andre Yeap SC has extensive securities litigation expertise and is big name in international arbitration; and Tan Chuan Thye SC is adept at dealing with ‘difficult questions’. ‘Formidable litigator’ Lai Yew Fei is praised for his cross-examination skills and ‘sharp business acumen’, and deputy managing partner Patrick Ang and Lee Eng Beng SC are also recommended.

Financial Services Regulatory
In addition to established financial institutions and banks such as Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and BNP Paribas, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s group acts for fintech start-ups, private equity funds and technology companies. The team frequently receives instructions on matters with a cross-border element; recent highlights include assisting a major private bank with its international business in South East Asia and advising a foreign bank on regulatory aspects of its new business venture. It also acted for the liquidators of BSI Bank Singapore in investigations into alleged money laundering and dissipation of assets purportedly belonging to a Malaysian state-owned company. Larry Lim is ‘analytical’ and ‘cuts directly to the core of any issue to apply a forward-thinking and commercial solution’. Danny Ong specialises in investigations and contentious regulatory matters in the financial services sector, including those arising from fraud and restructurings. Regina Liew is also recommended.

Intellectual Property
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s team handles contentious and non-contentious matters, ranging from patent infringement and passing-off disputes to licensing and portfolio management issues, for blue-chip companies. Practice head Lau Kok Keng is assisting Singapore Pools with enforcement actions against cybersquatters and illegal operators of websites registered under similar domains and containing misleading or infringing content. The group is also advising Philip Morris Singapore on the implication of plain packaging legislation on the company’s intellectual property rights and is defending Sunseap Leasing against a pre-action discovery application filed by a competitor. Other recent work includes acting for Fuji Transport in patent infringement proceedings filed by a German ship equipment company relating to a coupling device for securing shipping containers on board ships. Nicholas Lauw is also recommended.

International Arbitration
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s breadth of practice ranges from investor-state disputes to major infrastructure cases. Clients include the Republic of the Philippines, Kingdom of Lesotho, Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production, GD Media and China New Machine Company. The firm represented the Republic of Philippines in arbitration proceedings before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in a dispute over claims of breach of contract relating to income taxes brought by Chevron and Shell. It also acted for the Philippines in proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration over claims brought by Maynilad Water Services, a domestic water and public utilities company. Paul Tan is an ‘absolute star’ and a ‘senior counsel in waiting’, whose status has ascended for him to be ‘known outside Asia as a first-rate lawyer’ in investor-state disputes right through to construction cases. Francis Xavier SC and Andre Yeap SC are also recommended.

Investment Funds
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a big presence in alternative funds and is widely recognised for its regulatory expertise. It advises a range of private equity, venture capital and family-office funds, with clients ranging from big-name buyout funds to start-ups. Clients include New Silk Road Investment, Unison Capital Management, RV Capital Management, Nuvest Capital, Havenport Asset Management and Mizuho Asia Partners. The large team is headed by Arnold Tan, who is ‘a true funds specialist’, and ‘a big name in the market’ with an ‘ability to see operational as well as theoretical issues’. Lu Yueh Leong provides ‘succinct, commercial and timely advice’ and is recommended for regulatory work, while Anne Yeo is another vastly experienced practitioner.

Labour and Employment
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s group is renowned for its specialism in large-scale contentious work; Jonathan Yuen acted for the former president of CarVal in litigation regarding the entitlement to performance-based compensation, and Danny Ong is assisting WorldQuant with proceedings against two former employees and their new employers pertaining to claims of misuse of confidential information, trade secret misappropriation and further contractual breaches. The ‘extremely versatile and commercially astute’ K Muralidharan Pillai ‘provides clear, succinct and on-point advice’. On the non-contentious front, Desmond Wee advised CMS on the employment aspects of its merger with Nabarro and Olswang.

Private Wealth
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP fields a ‘competent and responsive team’ that includes the ‘very intelligent’ Vikna Rajah, who combines ‘very deep technical expertise with acute commercial acumen’, while ‘carefully listening to his clients and putting himself in their shoes’. The group acts for high-net-worth individuals and business owners on integrated tax, trusts and estate planning, charitable giving, business succession planning and related immigration matters. Other clients include trust companies, private banks, institutional fiduciary service providers and charities are also clients.

Projects and Energy
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has deep regional penetration thanks to its commitment to South-East Asia and offices in key jurisdictions. It has experienced notable growth in Indonesia and Vietnam in matters involving power, water and rail projects. While contentious work dominates, the firm has genuine credibility in front-end work, enabling it to work more frequently with multilateral agency lenders and private sector investors. Clients include TRX City, Energy Market Company, Panca Amara Utama, Government of Myanmar and T-Systems. It acted for 1MDB in its joint venture with Lend Lease on the development of the Lifestyle Quarter in the Tun Razak Exchange district in Kuala Lumpur. Soh Lip San heads the construction and projects practice, and Andre Yeap SC has a pivotal role on the contentious side. Larry Lim, Shemane Chan and Kim Beng Ng are also names to note.

Real Estate
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s corporate real estate group handles investments, project financing, sale and leaseback transactions, joint venture arrangements and real estate securitisation as well as conveyancing matters across residential, industrial and commercial property. Its clients range from owners and receivers to developers and mortgagees. Margaret Chin and Elsa Chai head the practice. Lee Lay See was part of a team advising a boutique developer on the S$241m acquisition and financing of an executive condominium land parcel, while Lina Chua supported Chin in acting for Selangor Dredging on the S$47m acquisition of land for the residential housing development project. Norman Ho, who joined from Dentons Rodyk, has an ‘outstanding understanding of the market as well as strong commercial judgement and management skills’.

Regional International Arbitration
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP fields an arbitration team that is well versed in acting on the full range of cross-border disputes. Department head Andre Yeap and Paul Tan are regularly instructed by governments on investment treaty claims; in one example, they are representing the Republic of the Philippines in a claim brought by Chevron and Shell centring on the companies’ liability to pay income taxes due to the government. Tan is also active in the construction space and represented a major Chinese construction company in proceedings to set aside a final award granted in relation to the construction of a power plant in Guatemala. The practice also has capability in Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.

Restructuring and Insolvency
Judicial managers, insolvency professionals and creditors instruct Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s team on matters arising from large-scale restructurings and insolvency proceedings. Lee Eng Beng SC advised Maybank on the moratorium application filed by Pacific Andes Resources Development and its three subsidiaries. Patrick Ang is leading a team, which includes Wilson Zhu, Sim Kwan Kiat and Quek Teck Liang, providing ongoing advice to the joint and several judicial managers of Swiber Holdings and Swiber Offshore Construction. The group is also assisting the judicial managers of Swissco. Mark Cheng and Danny Ong are also recommended.

Shipping
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP houses a ‘highly knowledgeable team of professionals with top maritime expertise, who are very sharp in advising and aggressive in litigation’. The firm’s non-contentious expertise was further enhanced by the acquisition of TSMP Law Corporation’s team led by Chua Choon King. Restructurings and insolvencies continue to form a large part of the practice, along with casualties and collision disputes. ‘Master strategist’ Toh Kian Sing SC is leading a team acting for PSA Corporation and other creditors and shipowners in matters arising from Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy and moratorium application. Winston Kwek is assisting the judicial managers of Swiber Offshore Construction. John Seow is a ‘skilled litigator with strong tactical skills’ who ‘takes the job to heart, works with passion and knows no rest in attending to clients’ requirements’. Kendall Tan is ‘always cautious, thorough and good with complex issues’ while ‘forcing opponents to get to the nub of the issues’. Ian Teo is another name to note. Winston Wong joined Gunvor.

Tax
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is a growing presence in the tax market, particularly with regards to tax litigation. The team provides an ‘unparalleled service’ and ‘deep and technical knowledge’, and advises a range of multinationals, government-linked companies, Big Four accountancy firms and financial institutions. It is routinely engaged in ‘complex and demanding’ tax disputes such as representing multinationals in cases against the IRAS. It also deserves recognition for its emerging tax planning and advisory practice. Clients praise the ‘fast turnaround times’ and the team’s ability to identify ‘commercial considerations as a priority’ and ‘invest in long-term relationships’. Department head Vikna Rajah is ‘very professional and able to decipher key concerns and protect clients’ values’; he ‘blends technical expertise with commercial acumen’, ‘knows how to put himself in the client’s position’ and benefits from his background at the IRAS.

TMT
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s ‘top-tier’ practice includes Benjamin Cheong, who is ‘one of the brightest minds’ and is praised for his ‘valuable insight and experience’. ‘Commercially savvy and responsive’ practice deputy head Steve Tan attracts praise for his ‘wealth of knowledge and experience, tailored in line with the client’s business objectives’. The group tackles traditional as well as emerging areas of work in the sector, and acts on matters ranging from data privacy to e-commerce, entertainment, fintech and data analytics. Practice head Rajesh Sreenivasan is part of a team advising Avbaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific on the launch of its new business process outsourcing centre and, together with Lionel Tan, assisted Ascendas-Singbridge with data protection and other issues pertaining to setting up an online vendor. Tanya Tang is also recommended. Jocelyn Chan left private practice.

 

R&T Asia (Thailand) Limited – Thailand

Banking & Finance - Tier 3
Corporate and M&A (including Capital Markets) - Tier 3
Dispute Resolution - Tier 2
Labour and Employment - Tier 2
TMT - Tier 2

Leading Lawyers:
Surasak Vajasit - Banking & Finance, Corporate and M&A (including Capital Markets)

 

Banking & Finance
The team at R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited has experience in bank-side and borrower-side matters across a variety of sectors, from project finance to acquisition finance. Since 2015, the firm has been investing heavily in its Bangkok office, and on the banking and finance front, this growth recently included the lateral hire of Piroon Saengpakdee, a partner with over 25 years of experience, who joined from LS Horizon Limited. Saroj Jongsaritwang and Parama Saovabha have recently acted for lenders and borrowers in a number of financing transactions. Firm managing partner Surasak Vajasit is another contact in the practice group. Notable clients have included Man Lik 1 Power Company, in addition to a litany of lenders, such as DBS Bank, HSBC and Krung Thai Bank.

Corporate and M&A (including Capital Markets)
In the corporate space, R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited’s major strength lies in the regulatory sphere, and the team has recently been active in setting up new businesses, especially in the e-commerce sector. Managing partner Surasak Vajasit recently advised a state-owned entity on the legal implications of setting up a Thai-Chinese special purpose vehicle in the transport infrastructure space. The group also handles a steady stream of restructuring work and has experience in capital markets transactions. Indeed, Visitsak Arunsuratpakdee acted for Mudman on its THB1.1bn IPO and listing on the SET. Dussadee Rattanopas has acted for corporate clients in various divestment transactions, and Melisa Uremovic and Supawat Srirungruang have provided regulatory advice to clients in the e-commerce and telecoms industries. The department is rapidly expanding and has been recruiting lawyers from standout practices in the Bangkok market; most recently, this has included Piroon Saengpakdee from LS Horizon Limited.

Dispute Resolution
Though the firm is perhaps best known for its extensive experience in civil and criminal customs and excise litigation, R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited is also active in regulatory investigations and administrative court procedures involving environmental claims, telecoms disputes, labour and employment claims and trade law. Melisa Uremovic represented Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation in Thai safeguard proceedings and then in review proceedings regarding the import of non-alloy hot-rolled steel, while Supawat Srirungruang acted for one of Thailand’s largest telecoms providers in administrative court and in separate arbitral proceedings. Ittichai Prasongprasit was involved in a piece of tax litigation that is now pending before the Supreme Court and Pakpoom Suntornvipat has experience in shareholder disputes and restructuring and insolvency matters. Sui Lin Teoh is another contact in the disputes group and managing partner Surasak Vajasit is an experienced arbitrator in International Chamber of Commerce proceedings. Coca-Cola (Thailand), Standard Chartered Bank (Thai), Toyota Motor (Thailand) and Philip Morris (Thailand) are among the department’s notable clients.

Labour and Employment
R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited has specialised partners working extensively on contentious and non-contentious labour and employment issues for domestic and international corporates. Given the firm’s reputation in the regulatory space and its experience in administrative and labour court proceedings, the team is often sought after for labour disputes, including mass terminations and redundancy exercises. The team also handles employee fraud, misconduct and corruption investigations and related litigation. Ittichai Prasongprasit successfully represented an offshore drilling group at first instance in multiple claims concerning unfair dismissals; the case is currently on appeal. Sui Lin Teoh has experience in contentious and non-contentious employment matters and also provides employment advice to international law firms in the Ius Laboris network, of which it is a member. Supawat Srirungruang and Saroj Jongsaritwang are additional contacts in the practice group. Piroon Saengpakdee joined the team from LS Horizon Limited.

TMT
In Bangkok, R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited is particularly well-known for its regulatory expertise and this has won the TMT group instructions from some of the world’s most prominent tech companies and domestic telecoms providers. The group’s experience covers nascent areas such as over-the-top services and data privacy and it also brings its regulatory strength to the Administrative Court, where it regularly represents leading telecoms companies. Notable contacts in the department include Supawat Srirungruang and Saroj Jongsaritwang. DTAC, Telenor and Lazada are some of the key clients.

 

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers – Vietnam

Banking and Finance - Tier 2
Corporate and M&A - Tier 2
Dispute Resolution - Tier 1
Insurance - Tier 2
Intellectual Property - Tier 2

Labour and Employment - Tier 2
Real Estate and Construction - Tier2
Shipping - Tier 2
Tax - Tier 1
TMT - Tier 1


Leading Lawyer:
Chau Huy Quang - Dispute Resolution

Next Generation Lawyer:
Logan Leung  - Corporate and M&A

 

Banking and Finance
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers’ work includes significant lender-side matters regarding projects, plus compliance matters. Nguyen Dinh Nha and Vu Thi Que are partners of note in the practice, with senior associate Huynh Thi Thu Thuy and foreign counsel Samuel Peirce also key contacts. All of the named lawyers are based in Ho Chi Minh City.

Corporate and M&A
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers is ‘a very professional firm that gives you straight answers all the time’, and is ‘very good and responsive – always happy to help in a professional but personal manner’. The firm handles the Vietnamese elements of global deals, as well as advising on inward investment matters for trade buyers from Japan, Greater China, the US and beyond in sectors including technology, pharmaceutical and manufacturing. Vu Thi Que’s ‘practical advice, responsiveness and high-level commitment is valued highly by clients’; she advised iflix on its entry into the Vietnamese video-on-demand market by way of a local joint venture. Australian-qualified foreign counsel Logan Leung, who is ‘a good listener who understands his clients needs and provides workable solutions’, and Tran Thi Phuong Thao advised Mapletree on the purchase of a logistics park project.

Dispute Resolution
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers ‘provides a high level of service – the team is responsive in terms of turnaround and quality’. Areas of expertise include agenda-setting white-collar crime matters, construction disputes and more general commercial litigation. We shipping work is another core strength, especially matters relating to vessel arrests: Chau Huy Quang and ‘exceptionally professional and responsive’ Australian-qualified foreign counsel Logan Leung represented the owners of a ship in a dispute with the government regarding the arrest of the vessel and confiscation of 4,300 tonnes of fuel oil. As far as arbitration work is concerned, Leung acts for a Canadian national on the Vietnamese aspects of a sale-and-purchase dispute subject to a Canadian arbitration. Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy is also a key contact.

Insurance
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers handles entries into the market and regulatory matters surrounding products for retail and business buyers. Nguyen Dinh Nha, senior associate Cao Dang Duy and foreign counsel Samuel Peirce advised Fairfax Asia on its purchase of a 35% stake in BIDV Insurance. The team also acts for other leading insurers and P&I clubs. Vu Thi Que, Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy and Chau Huy Quang also advise on insurance matters.

Intellectual Property
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers handles heavyweight transactional and licensing matters, as well as administrative proceedings and court litigation concerning passing off and other firms of infringement. Chau Huy Quang is a name to note for litigation, with Vu Thi Que advising on complex licensing transactions; foreign counsel Logan Leung’s expertise straddles both areas. Clients include businesses in sectors ranging from hospitality and real estate through to education and the pharmaceutical industry.

Labour and Employment
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers handles matters such as data protection, transactions, employee benefits restructurings and market entries for well-known clients in sectors ranging from manufacturing through technology to professional services. Vu Thi Que and Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy are noted.

Real Estate and Construction
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers advises foreign investors from jurisdictions including Singapore, Hong Kong and China on significant Vietnamese investments. Foreign counsel Logan Leung and Huynh Thi Thu Thuy advised cornerstone client Mapletree Investments on its $215m purchase of Kumho Asiana Plaza Saigon, a mixed-use development in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City, while Leung and senior counsel Tran Thi Phuong Thao advised the same client on a SG$21m acquisition of a logistics park. The team also acts for local investors, and Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy and Leung advised Nam Long Corporation on a joint venture with two Japanese investors to develop a project with 110 villas and 234 apartments.

Shipping
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers handles a mixture of shipping work, covering both sensitive wet shipping disputes and heavyweight transactions. Recent work concerning vessel arrests includes Chau Huy Quang and foreign counsel Logan Leung representing two different oil tanker owners, in separate cases, following the detention of the vessels and confiscation of the cargos; in both cases the vessels were detained transporting fuel that border guards considered to be illegal. Transactional work includes handling M&A in the sector, as well as providing day-to-day advice to companies in the industry; Vu Thi Que is a key name in this space. Other clients include P&I clubs.

Tax
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers represents a range of national and international business in tax disputes and investigations, including ones concerning customs, personal taxes, alleged fraud and suchlike. Chau Huy Quang has experience of such matters. Vu Thi Que and senior associate Trinh Minh Duc contribute non-contentious tax expertise.

TMT
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers provides ‘a top-notch level of service’ and ‘clearly understands the issues at hand and designs a course of action to fit’. The team acts for leading worldwide and regional names in the social media, entertainment, online banking and education technology areas. Logan Leung, who ‘deserves recognition for his work ethic’, Vu Thi Que and senior associate Trinh Minh Duc advised iflix, a Malaysian video-on-demand service, on its entry into the Vietnamese market. Leung and Tran Thi Phuong Thao advised a telemedicine provider on launching a product that allows Vietnamese patients to directly interact with doctors based in Singapore via an app.

 

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