Chambers Asia Pacific (2021)

R&T Sok & Heng - Cambodia

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

What the team is known for
Impressive Cambodian 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, as well as banking and real estate matters. Its Phnom Penh office additionally handles dispute resolution. Also offers significant knowledge of Cambodian securities law and franchising. Acts for a broad mix of Asian and global clients as well as domestic Cambodian corporations.

Strengths
A pleased client explains that "they understand clearly the required scope of the work, respond effectively and are very professional."

Notable practitioners
Heng Chhay covers a range of legal areas including commercial, real estate and finance. A client appreciates his "communication skills and ability to anticipate the client’s needs."

Tiv Sophonnora is experienced in a range of legal matters including finance, commercial and investment-related issues. A client appreciates that he is "deeply involved in the processes, providing great understanding of our needs and valuable guidance above our expectations."

 

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners - Indonesia

Banking & Finance - Band 2
Capital Markets - Band 1
Competition and Antitrust - Band 1
Corporate & Finance (International Firms): Desk Abroad - Band 4
Corporate/M&A - Band 1
Dispute Resolution - Band 1
Employment - Band 1
Projects & Energy - Band 2
Real Estate - Band 2
Tax - Spotlight
Technology, Media, Telecommunications - Band 1

Ranked Lawyers:
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf - Capital Markets (Band 1), Corporate/M&A (Band 1), Projects & Energy (Band 2)
Ahmad Maulana - Employment (Band 2)
Asep Ridwan - Competition/Antitrust (Band 2)
Bono Adji - Capital Markets (Band 1), Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
Chandra M Hamzah - Dispute Resolution (Senior Statespeople)
Eko Basyuni - Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
Eri Hertiawan - Dispute Resolution (Band 1)
Farid Nasution - Competition/Antitrust (Band 2)
Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf - Banking & Finance (Band 2)
Kanya Satwika - Projects & Energy (Band 4)
Ng Sey Ming - Banking & Finance (International Firms) - Expert Abroad (Spotlight)
Putu Suryastuti - Capital Markets (Band 2)
Rikrik Rizkiyana - Competition/Antitrust (Band 1)
Wibowo Mukti - Tax (Spotlight)
Zacky Z Husein - Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) (Band 1)

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, advising leading Indonesian and overseas banks, corporates, asset managers and government entities. Also well placed to handle project and infrastructure finance, as well as restructuring and insolvency mandates and bank merger deals. Growing capabilities in regard to fintech.

Strengths
According to an interviewee, its lawyers are "very detail-focused and practical," as well as being "commercial in their outlook."

A client reports: "They provide a high-quality standard of service," including that "they are easily contacted and quite responsive."

Work highlights
Advised Bank Central Asia, Bank Mandiri and Bank Maybank Indonesia on the IDR5 trillion financing to Japfa, towards its refinancing of existing facilities, capital expenditure and working capital.

Notable practitioners
Ibrahim Sjarief Assegaf represents top Indonesian and international banks on a range of acquisition finance, project finance and refinancing deals, as well as debt restructuring. A market commentator says that "he has broad knowledge of Indonesian law and financing, and he is practical and thinks commercially."

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. Additionally adept at advising on Shari'a-compliant sovereign debt issuances. Particularly active for issuers, advising several of Indonesia's largest corporates in the energy, mining and telecommunications sectors. Also represents government entities and financial institutions.

Strengths
A client says: "They have a strong group supported by well-known names. For me, their capital markets team is one of the best in Indonesia."

Interviewees often refer to the high quality of the work produced by the team.

Work highlights
Assisted Visi Telekomunikasi Infrastruktur with its rights issue, raising USD14.6 million.

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is a seasoned practitioner with a broad practice covering capital markets, M&A and finance. Interviewees say: "He is not just extremely knowledgeable on black-letter laws of Indonesian capital markets regulations, but has some very effective connections with regulators that can help to clarify guidelines."

Bono Adji is noted by a market source for his ability to give "commercial and clear solutions." He advises on both debt and equity capital markets deals. One client enthuses: "He is well known and a deal-maker. He will try to find a way for us to do a deal taking into consideration the business aspects and the compliance aspects. Having him in the room when we are meeting with officials give additional comfort since his views are highly respected."

Putu Suryastuti acts for issuers and joint lead managers on bond issuances and rights issues, and is notably active representing financial institutions in their capital-raising activities.

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, transportation and manufacturing sectors, among others. Its competition team includes former KPPU employees, providing additional regulatory expertise, and in-house economists.

Strengths
Sources praise the team's ability to simplify matters for the client.

Work highlights
Assisted Nissan with filing a notification to the KPPU regarding its acquisition of shares in Mitsubishi.

Notable practitioners
Asep Ridwan is described as a "well rounded" practitioner by market sources, who note his proficiency in handling contentious and non-contentious competition matters. "He has been doing competition law his whole career," says one client, "so I have no doubts about his expertise."

Farid Nasution has an active practice in transactional and contentious competition matters. He is able to draw on his experience working for the KPPU to assist clients.

Rikrik Rizkiyana is a highly respected competition practitioner. He has a broad practice encompassing merger control and KPPU investigations.

Corporate & Finance (Expertise Based Abroad)

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. Possesses notable language capabilities in the group's Singapore office, including Indonesian.

Notable practitioners
Ng Sey Ming in Singapore is a key contact.

Corporate/M&A

What the team is known for
Market-leading corporate practice, active 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 development deals and lease agreements. Regularly handles acquisitions pertaining to industrial, retail and residential properties.

Work highlights
Assisted Metamorfosis Ekosistem Indonesia and Wealthtrack Technology with the acquisition of Bank Artos.

Advised Sugih Lestari on the negotiation of a lease agreement with the title holder of a plot of land.

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is an established figure in the market. He is best known for handling notable transactions in the financial services and oil and gas sectors.

Bono Adji is a highly respected M&A practitioner. He has significant expertise in assisting major Indonesian, regional and international corporates with structuring transactions.

Market sources describe Eko Basyuni as "a pleasant person who tries to find solutions." He handles M&A, foreign direct investment and restructuring.

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, land, transportation and mining-related cases. Especially acts for leading domestic corporates, as well as foreign entities. Also active in complex arbitration, frequently appearing in BANI proceedings. Clients further benefit from the firm's membership of the Rajah & Tann Asia network, as well as its other practice area departments in Jakarta, which often work in conjunction with the disputes team.

Strengths
A client describes the team as "knowledgeable and experienced," and appreciates that "their advice is easy to follow and down to earth."

Another interviewee is grateful that "someone will reply to you, 24/7."

Work highlights
Successfully represented Antam in the Supreme Court, in relation to a claim by Karya Murni, James & Armando Pundimas, and Hafar Indotech concerning a nickel mining concession in South-East Sulawesi.

Notable practitioners
Chandra Hamzah represents Indonesian and international clients in several high-profile matters, including in relation to mining, employment and anti-corruption. An interviewee reports that "he is very helpful" and "able to provide his insight into Indonesia's justice system."

Eri Hertiawan is a leading name in litigation and arbitration, with expertise in such areas as aviation, competition and general contractual disputes. One interviewee notes that "he is very well connected in Indonesian legal and political circles," while another source says that "there is nobody more experienced in arbitration than him."

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 expatriate matters. Able to draw on the firm's expertise in M&A to advise on transactional employment matters.

Strengths
One client comments: "They are top-notch. They provide good legal advice, have strong connections and are always contactable."

Work highlights
Successfully represented the Asian Development Bank in a civil case filed by an ex-employee alleging defamation, intimidation, discrimination and wrongful termination.

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Maulana handles the full range of employment issues from representing clients before the Industrial Relations Court to assisting with work permit issues. Clients praise his willingness to go the extra mile and comment: "He is very hands-on and totally dedicated to the case. His knowledge is very helpful in understanding the latest employment law."

Projects & Energy

What the team is known for
Noted for advising some of the region's largest energy and resources companies, as well as government entities and export credit agencies. Proficient in handling project-related transactions, financings and development in the oil and gas, renewable energy and petrochemical spaces, as well as rail and telecommunications infrastructure developments. Frequently involved in cross-border matters for both lenders and project companies. Also able to handle contentious mandates in the projects and energy sector.

Strengths
The team is "very detail-focused and practical," according to a client.

Another interviewee appreciates "their willingness to accommodate and agree to a solution."

Work highlights
Advised Chandra Asri Perkasa on the USD5 billion construction and operation of a petrochemical complex to be built on approximately 200 hectares of land.

Notable practitioners
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf acts for lenders and project companies on the financing of projects, including in relation to power and infrastructure. He is described as "an outstanding lawyer who really knows his stuff" by a commentator.

Kanya Satwika has expertise in the oil and gas and power space, including renewable energy, as well as infrastructure projects. An interviewee says: "She is very good - she's knowledgeable about the market and understands the commercial side of things."

Tax

What the team is known for
Established practice with a strong base in handling tax implications of transactions. Also represents clients in tax disputes regarding VAT. Regularly acts for technology and energy sector clients.

Strengths
One impressed client remarks that "the talent across its teams is deep and they clearly have a client-first approach to their business." The same source adds: "The lawyers are always available when we need them, always informed and work as partners in our business as opposed to advisers. The quality of advice is tremendous."

Work highlights
Advised TikTok on the Indonesian tax regulations linked to its provision of OTT services.

Notable practitioners
Wibowo Mukti is "very talented and has deep tax knowledge," attests one market commentator. He has many years of experience in this area and is adept in matters including transfer pricing, tax reviews and audits.

Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT)

What the team is known for
Well-reputed team routinely instructed by leading telecommunications and technology companies on commercial and regulatory mandates. Often advises on cloud, mobile network, e-commerce, OTT services and data centre matters. Also demonstrates expertise in data protection and cybersecurity matters. Regularly works alongside its other practice area departments, including in relation to M&A, fundraising and tax issues within the TMT sector.

Strengths
An interviewee reports that "the talent across their teams is deep and they clearly have a client-first approach to their business."

The team is "knowledgeable and responsive," according to a client.

Work highlights
Advised General Atlantic and GGV Capital on the USD150 million Series C funding round of Ruangguru, which is an Indonesian online education platform.

Notable practitioners
Zacky Zainal Husein has strong regulatory expertise across mobile network operations, data protection, data centres and OTT services. An interviewee attests: "He is a strong leader with great experience, excellent market knowledge and a very measured approach."

 

Christopher & Lee Ong - Malaysia

Banking & Finance - Band 3
Competition/Antitrust - Spotlight
Corporate/M&A - Band 2
Intellectual Property - Band 4
Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 1
Real Estate - Band 1
Shipping - Band 2
Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) - Band 1

Ranked Lawyers:
Christopher Lee - Corporate/M&A (Band 2), Projects, Infrastructure & Energy (Band 1)
Clive Navin Selvapandian - Shipping (Up and Coming)
Deepak Pillai - Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) (Band 1)
Fiona Sequerah - Banking & Finance (Band 3)
Intan Haryati Mohd Zulkifli - Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) (Band 3)
Jack Chor - Projects, Infrastructure & Energy (Up and Coming)
Lee Hock Chye - Real Estate (Band 2)
Lim Hui Ming - Real Estate (Band 2)
Ng Kim Poh - Intellectual Property (Band 3)
Sri Sarguna Raj - Intellectual Property (Band 3)
Yon See Ting - Competition/Antitrust (Band 2), Corporate/M&A (Band 4)

Banking & Finance

What the team is known for
Established and experienced team handling a comprehensive range of finance matters, on behalf of both Malaysian and international banks. Often advises energy companies on project financing, while also handling syndicated loans, acquisition and asset finance, and restructuring. Often handles deals in the healthcare, aviation and real estate sectors. Conversant in both conventional and Islamic finance, with additional expertise regarding DCM.

Work highlights
Acted for BNP Paribas and a syndicate of other financial institutions on a USD10.4 billion loan to Pengerang Refining and Pengerang Petrochemical, towards the development of a petrochemical and refinery complex in Johor.

Notable practitioners
Fiona Sequerah is experienced in advising financial institutions on conventional and Islamic DCM, debt restructuring and asset finance. She is particularly well placed to handle matters in the aviation sector.

Competition & Antitrust

What the team is known for
Regional firm, assisting clients with competition regulatory investigations, including dawn raids, as well as often advising on company collaborations. Also has experience advising on merger control in the aviation sector. Represents Malaysian and international conglomerates across sectors that include food and beverages, financial services and energy.

Strengths
A client notes that the firm "provides relevant advice and resolves issues."

Work highlights
Advised SIA Engineering Company on the merger control aspects of its proposed acquisition of 49% of the issued and paid-up share capital of POS Aviation Engineering from POS Aviation.

Notable practitioners
Yon See Ting is a highly regarded competition lawyer who frequently advises on MyCC investigations, as well as resale price maintenance and competition compliance. She has experience of advising on merger control in the aviation space.

Corporate/M&A

What the team is known for
Well-regarded corporate team, advising on a broad range of transactional and regulatory issues. Acts for domestic and international clients on M&A, private equity deals and corporate restructuring, including cross-border transactions, for which it leverages its regional network. Especially active in the healthcare, manufacturing, technology, consumer goods and retail sectors.

Strengths
One client notes that the team has "strong experience and the ability to bridge legal and commercial requirements."

Another interviewee reports that "they are very responsive, practical and user-friendly in their advice. They are able to meet the expectations of international clients."

Work highlights
Acted for Guoline Investments, a subsidiary of Hong Leong Group, on a USD1.2 billion joint bid to purchase Columbia Asia Hospitals, comprising 17 hospitals and one clinic across Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Notable practitioners
Christopher Lee is described by a client as "very knowledgeable in his areas of expertise." A highly regarded corporate lawyer, he has particular expertise acting on acquisitions in the projects and infrastructure and healthcare spaces.

Yon See Ting has a robust practice advising conglomerates on joint ventures and M&A. A client notes: "She is excellent, offering sound legal advice along with valuable commercial insights. Her in-depth experience in M&A transactions and all-round knowledge of business and Malaysian economic and political factors helps us to navigate complex matters."

Intellectual Property

What the team is known for
Advises on the full gamut of IP work, from prosecution and litigation to advisory and enforcement. Often engaged on trade mark, patent, design and copyright infringement mandates. Assists multinational companies as well as domestic clients across sectors, including the aviation, technology and retail industries. Able to leverage its affiliation with the Rajah & Tann regional network.

Strengths
One interviewee notes that the team "offers a wealth of experience in Malaysia's IP and business laws. They can accommodate clients with legal solutions that work, to get real business results."

A source praises them for "offering excellent service with capabilities across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious IP matters."

Work highlights
Represented four individual patentees in a patent infringement case relating to the design of a ready-to-wear headscarf.

Notable practitioners
An interviewee says that Ng Kim Poh is "hands-on and deeply involved, which gives us great comfort; he impresses with his business-savviness and sharp team-building skills." He has a broad practice, frequently representing clients in trade mark and patent litigation, as well as advising on IP registration.

Sri Sarguna Raj has a robust practice representing clients in trade mark and patent disputes and advising on prosecution. A source describes him as "very dedicated with our matters, providing brilliant solutions to the issues at hand."

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 frequently acts on renewable energy projects, including waste and solar energy, as well as infrastructure projects. Additionally well placed to assist clients with construction and O&M agreements. Represents both Malaysian and international clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Strengths
One client says: "Their experience is their most powerful strength and they give us an answer in a timely manner."

Another interviewee appreciates their "flexibility, speed, knowledge and solution focus."

Work highlights
Advised Ecotech Tra Vinh Renewables, as the sponsor and project company, on the financing and development of a 78 MW wind power project in Tra Vinh Province, Vietnam.

Notable practitioners
Christopher Lee is "one of the foremost lawyers for infrastructure work," according to a source. A pre-eminent lawyer in this space, he advises on the financing, construction and development of projects in a range of sectors, including renewable energy and infrastructure.

Jack Chor has an emerging reputation in Malaysia's projects market, with notable expertise in renewable energy regulatory issues and project development. One client values "his ability to devise creative solutions to legal issues quickly, and his flexibility and responsiveness."

Real Estate

What the team is known for
Houses an impressive team of dedicated real estate practitioners, regularly handling high-value transactions. Advises on the acquisition and development of residential, retail, office and industrial properties. Frequently acts for leading property developers, as well as corporate investors from a range of industries, including oil and gas and finance.

Strengths
An interviewee observes that "they are very experienced in conveyancing matters. They are attentive and provide sound advice to protect our interests."

A source praises the firm's "further resources and extended field of operations made possible by its association with the widely spread Rajah & Tann network."

Notable practitioners
Lee Hock Chye has a robust practice advising on the sale and purchase of land, leases and development, in relation to industrial, hotel and residential projects. A source praises him for being "very careful and concise in his explanations. He is very quick in his summarising."

Lim Hui Ming "provides a service that is truly tailored to meet the client's particular needs, which inspires a great deal of confidence," reports an interviewee. Her work encompasses advising on tenancy negotiations and property transactions, involving a range of office, retail and industrial properties.

Shipping

What the team is known for
Offers significant cross-border capability owing to its membership of the Rajah & Tann Asia network. Frequently represents clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings, as well as handling ship arrests. Handles a range of collision, charter party and cargo cases. Also active on ship finance matters, including advising clients on restructuring and refinancing. Often acts for clients in the offshore energy and insurance spaces, as well as ship owners and banks.

Strengths
One client notes that "the firm has good administrative support and a large global network, so they are able to work collaboratively with their counterparts in other countries."

Another source says that "the team is comprised of a group of hard-working and vibrant talents who are always ready to assist us anytime. Also, the firm is responsive."

Work highlights
Acted for Marine & General and Jasa Merin on a dispute relating to a vessel bought while under arrest.

Notable practitioners
Clive Navin Selvapandian has an active practice advising clients on a broad range of contentious shipping matters. According to a client, he "listens well to what we say and is helpful in diagnosing causes of problems faced, helping to solve them amicably."

Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT)

What the team is known for
Pre-eminent TMT group in Malaysia, regularly instructed by leading international corporates, as well as domestic industry associations and mobile operators. Advises on a diverse range of matters, including data protection, cybersecurity, blockchain, fintech and IT contracts. Additionally has expertise in regulatory issues in the media space. Advises a range of clients from such sectors as banking, telecommunications and insurance. Leverages the Rajah & Tann regional network to advise on cross-border issues.

Strengths
An interviewee reports that the firm is"well established and provides an array of legal services. It offers sound and practical legal advice and the partners are easily accessible."

One source notes that "the firm has an excellent team practising in data privacy matters."

Work highlights
Advised a Malaysian reinsurer on the review and negotiation of an agreement for the provision of cloud services, structured under an Infrastructure as a Service arrangement.

Notable practitioners
Deepak Pillai is pre-eminent figure in the technology space, particularly in data protection and cybersecurity matters. A source says that "he has excellent legal skills and takes client care seriously."

Intan Haryati Mohd Zulkifli has a robust practice in the TMT space, with particular strength in data regulatory and cloud matters. She frequently advises clients on IT outsourcing contracts.

 

Rajah & Tann Myanmar Company Limited - Myanmar

General Business Law: International Firms - Band 1

Ranked Lawyers:
Chester Toh - General Business Law: International Firms (Band 1)

What the team is known for
Highly effective regional platform able to provide domestic and international law capabilities. Often leads Myanmar matters from its Singapore office with support from its team based in Yangon. Particularly active in advising clients on market entry, banking, insurance and joint venture matters in Myanmar. Also handles significant real estate and infrastructure projects, including PPPs. Represents an impressive array of Myanmar corporates as well as regional and global clients.

Strengths
One client notes the team's "local expertise," adding that the team has "experience of how to do deals in Myanmar and the regulatory environment."

An interviewee comments: "The team is very knowledgeable and up to date on significant changes in the law. What I like most is that they can explain with clarity exactly how a certain change impacts our company and business."

Work highlights
Advised Power and Best Oil Company on a USD127 million investment into the company by SK Energy.

Notable practitioners
Singapore-based Chester Toh is highly praised by market sources for his expertise on corporate matters. He regularly acts on cross-border M&A and private equity investments, market entry and project development matters.

 

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

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

Ranked Lawyers:
Anthony Mark A Gutierrez - Tax (Band 2)
Ben Dominic R Yap - Dispute Resolution (Band 3), Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (Spotlight)
Jaime Renato B Gatmaytan - Corporate/M&A (Band 3), Projects, Infrastructure & Energy (Band 3)
Jesus Paolo Protacio - Dispute Resolution (Band 3)
Norma Margarita B Patacsil - Corporate/M&A (Band 3)

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 and divestments. Also experienced in assisting clients with the establishment of local businesses. Frequently advises on a range of corporate matters in the energy, technology and mining sectors across multiple jurisdictions, including the EU, Japan and Mexico. Clients benefit from its wide regional coverage and its experience handling cross-border matters.

Work highlights
Acted for LafargeHolcim on its divestment of its entire shareholdings in Holcim Philippines to an affiliate of San Miguel.

Notable practitioners
Jaime Renato Gatmaytan heads the department and is experienced in equity investments and transactions. He often advises on matters in the projects and energy sector.

Norma Margarita Patacsil is known to be active on corporate work. She is also active on a wide range of matters including divestments and acquisitions. She has additional related expertise in competition matters.

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 contractual, medical malpractice, taxation and environment disputes, before local courts and the Supreme Court. Also experienced in conducting audits for compliance checks and leading internal investigations. Particularly active on energy-related disputes.

Strengths
A pleased client reports that "their expertise is admirable."

Work highlights
Acted for Metro Rail Transit Corporation on proceedings against the City of Makati relating to real property tax.

Notable practitioners
Ben Dominic Yap is active on arbitration and litigation, representing insurance, manufacturing and energy clients among others. A pleased source explains: "The pleadings and other submissions were well researched and the way he has handled the case during the evidentiary hearing has been excellent."

Jesus Paolo Protacio is often active on disputes related to the energy and resources sector. A source comments that they have been "very impressed with him."

Employment

What the team is known for
Well-known team that regularly advises on employee misconduct, employee termination and the defence of discrimination cases. Acts for clients in a range of sectors including technology, energy and finance. Handles employment matters for multinational corporates setting up business operations in Philippines. Also advises on the employment implications of M&A transactions.

Strengths
A client appreciates that the team are "very dependable and they are always available to address our concerns," adding that "they have been very responsive and proactive."

Another client notes: "We were greatly comforted throughout the process knowing our company was in good hands."

Work highlights
Advised China National Offshore Oil in relation to employment law issues related to its plans to develop LNG facilities in the Philippines.

Notable practitioners
Cesar Santamaria is a key contact for clients.

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. Strong knowledge of the regulatory framework and contractual issues. 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
An interviewee points out that the team's "response is quick, and opinions are well prepared and researched."

Work highlights
Acted for First Gen on the PHP10 billion development, operation and maintenance of an LNG facility.

Notable practitioners
Jaime Renato Gatmaytan is acknowledged for his expertise in projects. One source affirms that he has worked on a number of PPPs and is "really good to deal with."

Tax

What the team is known for
Continues to be prominent in tax disputes, with notable experience in challenging tax assessments. Offers considerable expertise in advising clients from the energy, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. Significant activity on advisory matters, assisting clients with the tax aspects of transactional matters, including on cross-border aspects. Also experienced in tax refunds.

Strengths
A source explains that "they are well versed and thorough in tax work and provide practical solutions."

Work highlights
Acted for LafargeHolcim to determine the most tax-efficient way to repatriate its capital investment and accumulated profits as part of its disinvestment from the Philippines.

Notable practitioners
Anthony Mark Gutierrez is highly active on tax work advising on a wide range of matters from tax disputes to tax restructuring. A source appreciates that he "provides practical and strategic solutions."

 

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP - Singapore

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

Ranked Lawyers:

Andre Yeap SC - Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (Band 4), Dispute Resolution: Litigation (Band 3)
Angela Lim - Banking & Finance (Band 2)
Anne Yeo - Investment Funds (Band 2)
Arnold Tan - Investment Funds (Band 1)
Chia Kim Huat - Capital Markets (Eminent Practitioner)
Chua Choon King - Shipping: Finance (Band 2)
Danny Lim - Capital Markets (Band 4), Corporate/M&A (Band 5)
Danny Ong - Dispute Resolution: Litigation (Band 4), Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 3)
Desmond Wee - Employment (Band 2)
Dominique Lombardi - Competition/Antitrust (Band 2)
Elaine Tay - Insurance (Band 2)
Evelyn Wee - Capital Markets (Band 3)
Francis Xavier SC - Dispute Resolution: Litigation (Band 3)
Hamidul Haq - Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption (Band 1)
Jainil Bhandari - Shipping: Litigation (Band 3)
Jasmine Chew - Investment Funds (Band 4)
Jonathan Yuen - Employment (Band 2)
Kala Anandarajah - Competition/Antitrust (Band 1), Employment (Band 3), South-East Asia: International Trade/WTO (Spotlight)
Kendall Tan - Shipping: Litigation (Band 3)
Larry Lim - Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives (Recognised Practitioner)
Lau Kok Keng - Asia-Pacific Region: Gaming & Gambling (Band 2), Intellectual Property: Litigation (Band 2)
Lawrence Tan - Corporate/M&A (Band 5)
Lee Eng Beng SC - Dispute Resolution: Litigation (Band 1), Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 1)
Lee Weilin - Banking & Finance (Recognised Practitioner)
Leong Kah Wah - Shipping: Litigation (Band 1)
Lionel Tan - Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) (Band 4)
Lionel Tay - Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 3)
Murali Pillai - Employment (Band 2)
Ng Kim Beng - Construction (Band 3)
Ng Sey Ming - Banking & Finance (Band 3)
Norman Ho - Real Estate (Band 2)
Patrick Ang - Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 1)
Philip Yeo - Investment Funds (Band 4)
Rajesh Sreenivasan - Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) (Band 1)
Regina Liew - Banking & Finance: Regulatory (Band 1), Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives (Band 2)
Sandy Foo - Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
Shemane Chan - Construction (Band 4), Projects & Energy (Band 1)
Sim Kwan Kiat - Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 1)
Simon Goh - Insurance (Band 1)
Soh Lip San - Construction (Band 2)
Steve Tan - Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) (Band 2)
Tan Chuan Thye SC - Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (Band 4), Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 4)
Terence Choo - Banking & Finance (Band 4)
Thong Chee Kun - Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption (Band 3)
Toh Kian Sing SC - Shipping: Litigation (Band 1)
Vikna Rajah - Tax (Band 3)
Winston Kwek - Shipping: Litigation (Band 3)

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-sized work, from traditional banking and syndicated lending to project and real estate finance. Capable of handling Shari'a-compliant financings and green financing. Additionally offers notable regulatory expertise regarding fintech issues and digital licence application mandates. Well placed to handle cross-border instructions due to its network of offices across the region, including in Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Team roster also includes a high number of foreign jurisdiction experts.

Strengths
"They are immensely helpful," a client says, adding: "They are flexible, understand where we are coming from, and seek to find solutions."

Work highlights
Advised a syndicate of lenders on a USD1.2 billion facility for Mercuria Asia Group and Mercuria Energy Trading.

Acted as transaction counsel for the secured banks on the USD1.5 billion Ezion Group debt restructuring.

Notable practitioners
Angela Lim maintains her position as a leading banking and finance lawyer, offering specific infrastructure expertise and heading the banking and finance team. A delighted client calls her "technically sound and very commercially astute," adding: "She is also very responsive and able to address clients' needs thoughtfully."

Regina Liew has a market-leading regulatory practice and receives praise from clients. "She understands things quickly and picks her position clearly. That's not common for a corporate counsel," one pleased client says.

Ng Sey Ming has built a strong reputation for cross-border transactions and acts for major banks and companies. "He is able to adopt a practical approach to resolve any impasse," a client says, and another adds praise for his "clear and concise" and "solution-based" advice.

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, rights offerings and hybrid issuances, alongside multicurrency debt issuances. Its client roster includes issuers as well as underwriters. 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 Indonesia.

Strengths
One client reports: "The team provides great advice" and "provides fast explanations on questions raised."

"They have been very responsive and proactive in providing advice throughout the process," observes another interviewee.

Work highlights
Acted for OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust as trustee on the establishment of a SGD2 billion multicurrency debt issuance programme.

Notable practitioners
Danny Lim is recognised for his capabilities in a wide range of capital markets topics. He advises clients including Singaporean and foreign listed companies on rights issues and share placements.

Evelyn Wee is regarded by market commentators as "a very good and very competent practitioner." She is well placed to assist clients with IPOs, follow-on offerings and other equity issuances.

Chia Kim Huat is deeply experienced in capital markets transactions related to domestic listings and secondary issuances. He is also well versed in assisting Chinese clients with a wide range of listings and offerings.

Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives

What the team is known for
Commands an excellent reputation for advising on listed and unlisted 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. Notably offers experience in the establishment of exchanges. Clients include high-profile banks, clearing houses, regulators and exchanges.

Notable practitioners
Regina Liew possesses a strong reputation for her experience assisting financial institutions with a wide range of investment products, including securities, futures and derivatives. She often supports clients with regulatory and licensing issues as well as product structuring and documentation.

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 abuse of dominance matters. Often handles multi-jurisdictional merger control cases, in particular those relating to the ASEAN region. Boasts an impressive client list which includes major multinational corporates in the technology, manufacturing and food and beverage sectors.

Strengths
One client appreciates the team's capacity to "understand competition practices beyond Singapore," as well as their "familiarity with the CCCS and the way they conduct investigations."

Another source describes them as "super responsive and good on strategy."

Work highlights
Advised Pathology Holdings, Innovative Diagnostics and Quest Laboratories on obtaining merger clearance from the CCCS without the appointment of a monitoring trustee.

Notable practitioners
Dominique Lombardi is described by a source as having "a keen eye for detail and providing practical advice." Another interviewee notes that she "provides valuable advice on international law" whilst also "being well read in local practices." She has expertise in European competition law and is known for advising on large multi-jurisdictional merger clearance, as well as price fixing and cartel matters.

Kala Anandarajah is an experienced partner lauded by one source as having "unrivalled knowledge and understanding of the law and, uniquely, she is able to understand very complicated businesses and their likely reactions." Another interviewee praises her "broad knowledge of various agencies working together across the globe and strong connections to the CCCS." She advises across all areas of competition and antitrust law including merger control matters, leniency applications and cartel investigations.

Construction

What the team is known for
Respected disputes team with considerable experience advising on construction matters for project sponsors, developers and contractors. Has deep experience in negotiating EPC contracts for energy and infrastructure construction projects. Sought out for redevelopment mandates in real estate and infrastructure. Regularly acts on construction disputes across South-East Asia, including complex multiparty disputes. Dedicated construction project risk analysis and mitigation capability, able to assist in markets such as Malaysia and Taiwan. Recently active for clients on data centre construction projects.

Strengths
An interviewee is impressed by the team's "ability to capture the issues and have them on their fingertips, as well as their handling of negotiations with confidence."

Another source reports: "We get very good and quick advice that is concrete."

Work highlights
Advised Ikano Johor Jaya on its construction of a new shopping centre in Johor Bahru in Malaysia.

Notable practitioners
Ng Kim Beng often handles construction and engineering disputes, including international arbitration. He earns recognition from market commentators, who confirm that "he knows his stuff."

Soh Lip San is a respected name in the market, acting on construction disputes involving projects in Singapore and abroad. An interviewee attests: "I am happy with how he navigates the documents and comes up with advice."

One client reports that Shemane Chan "has extensive knowledge and expertise in the construction field and is able to offer solutions to address key concerns." She handles non-contentious construction matters, including in relation to hospitality, shopping centre and data centre projects.

Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption

What the team is known for
Prominent team known for handling investigations in the energy and financial sectors. Frequently assists with high-profile cases relating to fraud, bribery, asset recovery and market manipulation. Several members of the team offer the benefit of their former experience as government prosecutors. Involved in a wide range of cross-border investigations, drawing upon the support of the firm's network across South-East Asia.

Strengths
One interviewee reports: "Their advice is practical-minded and sound, and they are prompt and responsive."

A source asserts: "They would be my first port of call as they are more than likely to know regulators or have worked with them in the past."

Work highlights
Assisted Alfa Bank of Russia with the investigation into and prosecution of a recovery action arising from a USD130 million fraud action.

Notable practitioners
Impressed clients describe Thong Chee Kun as "clear and concise in his articulation of the issues," and also note: "Hedispenses practical and all-rounded advice." He is especially knowledgeable in money laundering, fraud and financial investigation.

Clients say Hamidul Haq is "the real deal - he's practical, down to earth and understands the system." He is considered an authority on white-collar criminal cases and anti-corruption mandates, frequently acting for both multinationals and private clients in litigation and investigation.

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 M&A mandates. Active in a range of sectors, including property, manufacturing, education and healthcare, acting for major banks and corporate clients on public and private M&A transactions as well as private equity deals. Effectively leverages the firm's wider practice areas on related issues, including capital markets, finance and real estate.

Strengths
An interviewee appreciates that "they have a specialist for just about any conceivable challenge" and "have an eye on the client's big picture."

Another source notes: "The team provides great advice" and "provides fast explanations to questions raised."

Work highlights
Advised Gaw Capital Partners on its SGD1.6 billion acquisition of the entire share capital of Ophir-Rochor Commercial.

Notable practitioners
Danny Lim is recognised for his capabilities in both public and private M&A, with particular expertise in corporate restructuring and exit offers. He is experienced in advising multinational companies, as well as Singaporean entities.

Lawrence Tan co-leads the firm's M&A team and is recognised for his experience in M&A deals. He is active on takeovers relating to public companies, alongside general corporate issues.

Sandy Foo regularly advises corporate clients from a wide variety of sectors on sophisticated commercial transactions, including real estate and healthcare. She is additionally experienced in supporting private equity funds with investments.

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. Involved in UNCITRAL arbitrations in Singapore, as well as matters before the ICC and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Clients include companies, states and government-linked organisations. Firm's strong reputation for court litigation also makes the team a popular choice for arbitration-related litigation. Well placed to provide specialist advice on construction-related disputes.

Strengths
The firm has a reputation for being "easy to work with, collaborative and effective."

It is also stated: "They are always on standby to be consulted every step of the way and offer substantive feedback throughout."

Work highlights
Provided advice to Vedanta in a BIT arbitration seated in Singapore relating to India's retrospective use of legislation to impose capital gains tax on the proceeds of certain sales.

Notable practitioners
Andre Yeap SC is a recognised name and "very good," according to interviewees. He has defended breach of contract arbitrations for sovereign states and also sits as an arbitrator.

Tan Chuan Thye SC is acknowledged as a senior lawyer with a "court-focused practice." He has worked on ICC arbitrations.

Dispute Resolution: Litigation

What the team is known for
Prolific litigation team with plentiful expertise in big-ticket domestic and cross-border disputes. Represents clients at all levels of the Singapore courts. Has particular experience in financial disputes, including those relating to cryptocurrencies, while it also possesses expertise in contentious joint venture, shareholder and insolvency matters. Well placed to act on multi-jurisdictional matters due to its network of offices and alliances in the wider region. Members of the team have notable expertise handling cases connected to the Indonesia, India and China markets.

Strengths
Rajah & Tann is praised for approaching matters from the perspective of a corporate client. It is said to "excel at providing guidance on probable or likely shades of grey, thereby assisting the in-houser who has to make the final call on the relevant shade of grey."

It is also noted by an interviewee to have "a specialist for just about any conceivable challenge that an in-house counsel team may face."

Work highlights
Represented Prudential Assurance Company Singapore in an action against one of its agency leaders, on claims of breach of contract and fiduciary duties.

Notable practitioners
Andre Yeap SC has acted on cross-border issues before the High Court, including those relating to investment treaties and against sovereign states.

Clients turn to Danny Ong for advice on fraud litigation and breach of contract. He is particularly sought out by companies in the finance sector.

Lee Eng Beng SC has long been an esteemed figure in the market. He continues to be seen as a "very capable advocate" and is active on complex business law disputes before the Court of Appeal.

Francis Xavier SC has experience before the SICC and the Court of Appeal, acting on cross-border disputes concerning alleged breach of obligations.

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 handling company and internal investigations, trade union issues and workplace harassment cases. Well placed to assist with regional work due to the firm's network of offices throughout Asia. Acts for multinational corporations from a range of sectors, including technology, insurance, finance and food and beverage. Also advises clients on employment policies and contracts.

Strengths
One source comments that "I have found their team to provide high-quality service. This includes prompt responses, even at odd hours given time-zone differences, in providing thoughtful and practical advice."

Another interviewee attests that "I keep going back to them because they are so quick and concise. They are amazing at responding and very thorough, without being overly legalistic."

Work highlights
Acted for the Singapore subsidiary of a large Indian business services provider on a dispute with an ex-director of the company, in relation to the ex-employee's alleged misappropriation of company data in order to start a rival company.

Notable practitioners
Desmond Wee has a well-regarded practice handling non-contentious employment work, with experience in multi-jurisdictional retrenchment exercises as well as formulating and implementing employment policies. A client describes him as "very practical and clear, explaining how best to approach an issue, with guidance on dos and don'ts."

Jonathan Yuen is a notable practitioner who acts on contentious matters, with particular expertise working on investigations. Clients describe him as "very perceptive and quick to understand our issues," whilst another interviewee notes that he is "very practical and responsive in relation to urgent work."

Kala Anandarajah is respected and experienced, with particular strengths advising on multi-jurisdictional matters, including employee transfers and redundancies. One interviewee praises her as being "a great operator who is practical, responsive and has her finger on the pulse, always knowing what is going on in Singapore."

Murali Pillai is a highly regarded employment lawyer who specialises in contentious matters. One interviewee praises him for being "always available, reading the client very well and delivering exactly what you need, with advice that is both on point and practical."

Insurance

What the team is known for
Longstanding local firm with strength in both contentious and non-contentious insurance matters. Regularly acts for major international general and life insurers as well as domestic companies. 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
Clients comment on the team's tailored approach to client service, one noting: "They work with us in understanding the requirements and providing us with clear advice, offering us advice on what would work and what won't."

The breadth of the firm's coverage also draws praise, one interviewee reporting: "Being a large firm is useful since we can tap into the network of lawyers from different areas of practice to provide us with support based on what we are looking for."

Work highlights
Assisted a multilateral organisation with the launch of the South-East Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility.

Notable practitioners
Elaine Tay wins plaudits on account of her "perennial availability, relevant and practical advice, and ability to think ahead to address issues which are not immediately apparent." She is able to assist global insurers with a range of contentious matters, including financial lines and professional indemnity claims, and can also offer transactional and regulatory advice.

Influential senior adviser Simon Goh sits atop the Singapore insurance market with a broad practice encompassing claims work and insurance-related corporate matters. He is lauded for his robust sector-wide contributions by clients, who observe that he is "able to advise with a strong understanding of regulatory intentions or expectations due to the good rapport" that he enjoys with regulatory bodies.

Intellectual Property

What the team is known for
The firm’s established IP department is involved with contentious and non-contentious cases concerning patents, trade marks and copyrights. Well known for advising clients on IP licensing and brand protection, and advises on transactional deals in relation to the transfer and licensing of IP rights. Demonstrates strong knowledge of media, sports and technology industries through multi-jurisdictional IP litigation cases.

Strengths
A client comments: "Rajah & Tann's IP team is a great asset to my company for our Singapore operations."

Work highlights
Represented Sunseap Group, Sunseap Energy and Sunspea Leasing in two patent infringement cases brought by Sun Electric.

Notable practitioners
Lau Kok Keng has considerable market standing and regularly acts on piracy and copyright infringements. He also offers experience acting on patent renewals and handling enforcement mandates.

Investment Funds

What the team is known for
Frequently advises a variety of leading global funds groups that encompass a broad spectrum of strategies including hedge, venture capital, private equity and real estate funds. Adept in offering advice to major investment groups on corporate reorganisation and M&A. Particularly distinguished for its work on the creation and management of private funds. Particularly well placed to advise institutional investors and sovereign wealth funds.

Strengths
A client describes the firm as "efficient, reliable, responsive and able to provide sound advice," going on to add that they appreciate that "they have the depth of industry knowledge as well as breadth of experience to advise on novel issues."

Another client adds: "They are very responsive and have lots of expertise, especially when it comes to regulatory issues."

Notable practitioners
Anne Yeo is a "very experienced lawyer who is incredibly responsive and has an ability to see the business side of things," according to one client who adds: "She has great contacts in the field which come in very handy." She has a considerable reputation in the investment funds space with a broad practice, often acting for sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors.

Arnold Tan is a pre-eminent investment funds lawyer who is particularly well placed to advise on the formation of major offshore funds as well as Singaporean-domiciled funds. A source describes him as a "market leader."

Jasmine Chew has a strong practice and regularly handles fund formation work. She also offers regulatory advice relating to hedge fund and hybrid funds. One client reports: "She is so knowledgeable in the hedge fund space. She always knows what the regulator means and is very pragmatic."

Philip Yeo "does great work," according to a client who reports: "His writing skills are amazing, his drafting is truly excellent and his depth of knowledge is impressive." He has a broad funds practice with particular strength in venture capital mandates.

Projects & Energy

What the team is known for
Well known for its comprehensive regional network, with an established presence in Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia. Often instructed on notably unique deals in the Singapore market. Highly sought after for its expertise in power and strong experience on PPP infrastructure projects. Also experienced in the oil and gas sector. Noted for its focus on the construction and development aspects of projects, with additional expertise regarding project finance.

Strengths
Clients say: "They understand the local laws well and are very thorough and detailed."

One source praises their subject matter expertise related to an infrastructure project and adds: "I am very impressed with their extensive knowledge and special insights."

Work highlights
Advised the master developer on the development of One Bangkok, which includes a waste water treatment plant, a district cooling plant, an electricity distribution facility and ICT infrastructure.

Notable practitioners
Shemane Chan is praised by interviewees for her "adaptability during negotiations with tough counterparties." Clients also appreciate that she is "meticulous and able to provide practical advice." She specialises in energy, utilities and infrastructure project development and SPAs, with notable recent involvement in renewable energy mandates.

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. Active on collective real estate sales and advice relating to data centre projects. Also has experience in real estate financing.

Work highlights
Acted for GCREF Acquisitions XVIII on its acquisition, as part of a consortium, of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Ophir-Rochor Commercial.

Notable practitioners
Norman Ho is well regarded for his experience handling a range of real estate transactions. He advises property developers, investors and institutions.

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, committees of noteholders, and liquidators. Also well placed to advise on the enforcement of creditors' rights. Draws on its regional network to advise on cross-border matters, and offers specialist expertise from within the firm in areas such as shipping, energy and financial services.

Strengths
One interviewee reports: "The firm's ability to deal with complicated corporate insolvency and litigation matters is their biggest strength. I have found them to be very results-oriented, and their team members are able to effectively manage clients' expectations."

Another commentator notes that "they are incredibly responsive, commercial and not afraid to take a tough position on points of law," adding that "they have a good read of the jurisdiction and the courts, giving sound advice as to strategy and tactics."

Work highlights
Acted for Hin Leong Trading on the Hin Leong Group restructuring of over USD4 billion of debt.

Notable practitioners
Tan Chuan Thye SC has a solid practice in the restructuring and insolvency sphere, with experience acting for debtors on restructurings and liquidations. He is known broadly for his work in contentious insolvencies.

Danny Ong has a robust practice with experience advising consortiums of banks and liquidators on insolvency mandates. One interviewee reports: "He has significant intellectual horsepower and is very client-friendly. He is driven, thoughtful in his advice and prepared to take courageous steps to argue difficult points. He is proactive, responsive and demonstrates that he cares about the quality of work and delivering results."

Lee Eng Beng SC remains a market-leading figure with notable expertise in restructuring and insolvency matters. He has particularly notable experience on restructuring litigation and arbitration mandates. He often works on behalf of creditors as well as judicial managers and debtors.

Sim Kwan Kiat is a highly esteemed practitioner who is renowned for working on high-value restructurings. He acts on behalf of lenders, noteholders, judicial managers and liquidators.

Lionel Tay is an experienced lawyer with a well-established contentious practice. He acts for steering committees of noteholders, judicial managers and lenders in insolvency proceedings.

Patrick Ang is praised by clients for being "very responsive and crystal clear in the advice he gives; there is no ambiguity or hedging." He is a pre-eminent practitioner with extensive experience acting for major banks and judicial managers on restructuring mandates.

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, vessel collisions and casualty dispute cases. Offers additional strength in ship financing as well as shipping-related restructuring, with clients benefiting from its regional network of offices in South-East Asia. Frequently advises major banks and commodity houses as well as P&I clubs, shipowners and charterers.

Strengths
One client comments: "They know exactly what we need and are very responsive. We are extremely happy with their service and deliverables."

Another interviewee adds: "I have always been very impressed by the quality of work delivered by the shipping partners and associates. They are thorough, well strategised and able to get to the nub of the commercial interests at play; avoiding being technical or legalistic in nature."

Work highlights
Defended Agritrade International against allegations of fraud from ING Bank relating to its alleged misrepresentation of its financial position, including suggestions it issued multiple overlapping bills of ladings and lists of shipment goods.

Notable practitioners
Chua Choon King has well-established experience in the area of shipping finance, and regularly acts for notable banks. He offers clients knowledge of ship sale and purchase agreements as well as leasing work.

Jainil Bhandari is a distinguished practitioner with substantial experience in shipping disputes, assisting clients with ship safety and cargo damage matters.

Leong Kah Wah is labelled "excellent" by clients and he is widely viewed as a prominent litigator in the market. He assists clients with both wet and dry shipping disputes as well as arbitration matters. Clients say: "I have been impressed with his professional working and the favourable results achieved."

Kendall Tan has longstanding experience on shipping disputes, regularly advising clients on wet matters including shipping arrests. One client reports: "Kendall has a sharp grasp of the commercial issues at the core of disputes and more often than not can quickly unsheathe the underlying issues at stake with proposals for resolution."

Toh Kian Sing SC 's clients laud him as a "highly respected Senior Counsel" who is "knowledgeable, practical and a strategist." He offers significant expertise in the full range of shipping disputes, from charter party and bills of lading cases to ship repair and marine insurance matters. One client reports: "He is extremely hard-working and is able to give practical advice. His seniority and status as an SC belies his attention to detail. He reads every document and does not depend on his colleagues or juniors to summarise documents for him. He really adds value to the file in terms of his advice and insights."

Winston Kwek offers clients a wealth of experience across a range of different matters including major restructuring-related litigation. He regularly assists corporate clients in the shipping industry and also offers knowledge of tax matters.

Technology, Media, Telecoms (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. Often provides advice in relation to cybersecurity issues, including drafting of cyber-breach readiness and response plans, and in ensuring compliance with the provisions of Singapore's Personal Data Protection Act. Well placed to handle cross-border mandates and offers clients support in the wider region through the firm's extensive network of offices and associated firms.

Strengths
A client appreciates the firm's "excellent and practical legal advice."

Another interviewee notes that the firm's "service is of very high quality."

Work highlights
Advised Bytedance and its subsidiaries, TikTok and Lark, on regulatory and contractual matters relating to their expansion into South-East Asia.

Notable practitioners
Lionel Tan is a well-regarded litigator with a solid TMT practice, often representing clients in data protection disputes and contract breaches relating to IT systems. He also advises clients on non-contentious issues relating to blockchain technology and cybersecurity.

Rajesh Sreenivasan is a pre-eminent TMT lawyer with broad expertise and is particularly adept at handling complex, multi-jurisdictional matters. He is best known for his work on cybersecurity and data protection mandates. He is also active advising clients on regulatory aspects of major transactions as well as IT procurement work.

Steve Tan is a well-reputed lawyer with notable expertise in data protection, frequently advising on data breaches, conducting investigations and internal audits of compliance with data protection law, including formulating compliance manuals and breach management plans. He also offers clients advice on GDPR issues. His clients include multinationals in a range of sectors from cosmetics companies to digital service providers.

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. Also works on matters involving free trade agreements and tariffs. Maintains a strong reputation for its handling of Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia-related matters.

Strengths
A client reports: "The team has been a great resource for us, and we appreciate its business-oriented approach, prompt service and great work product, as well as its extensive network."

Work highlights
Advised adhesives provider HB Fuller on the tax implications and anti-avoidance rules relevant to a share transfer within its Indonesian subsidiaries.

Notable practitioners
Kala Anandarajah is described by a client as a "business-focused and client-oriented attorney who balances her expertise with practical experience." The same client reports: "She's helped our company navigate several difficult trade issues, and her support has been invaluable to our operations in Singapore." She advises extensively on customs issues and trade remedies across the region.

Melisa Uremovic enters the rankings after demonstrating a strong South-East Asia-focused trade practice from her base in Thailand. Her recent work spans anti-dumping issues, WTO proceedings and free trade agreement disputes.

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 maintaining an acknowledged profile in Philippines-related matters. Particularly noted for handling investor-state and energy cases, regularly instructed in matters involving the operations of Chinese companies in other Asian jurisdictions and highly active in disputes generated by regional construction projects. Additionally well placed to act on arbitration-related litigation in the Singapore courts, where it often provides assistance to international firms.

Strengths
One interviewee observes: "It's a classy outfit in its understanding of arbitration and in ensuring that nothing is left to chance and that both the process and the outcome are as good as possible."

Clients appreciate that team lawyers are "always on standby to be consulted every step of the way and offer substantive feedback throughout."

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

Asia-Pacific Region – Shipping: Litigation

What the team is known for
Pre-eminent shipping practice in Singapore 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, vessel collisions and casualty dispute cases. Offers additional strength in ship financing as well as shipping-related restructuring, with clients benefiting from its regional network of offices in South-East Asia. Frequently advises major banks and commodity houses as well as P&I clubs, ship owners and charterers.

Strengths
One client comments: "They are able to handle the entire spectrum of shipping work. They are, quite simply, outstanding. They are very client-friendly, with quick and accurate turnaround time. They know exactly what we need and are very responsive. We are extremely happy with their service and deliverables."

Another interviewee adds: "I have always been very impressed by the quality of work delivered by the shipping partners and associates. They are thorough, well strategised and able to get to the nub of the commercial interests at play, avoiding being technical and legalistic in nature."

Work highlights
Defended Agritrade International against allegations of fraud from ING Bank relating to its alleged misrepresentation of its financial position, including suggestions that it issued multiple overlapping bills of lading and lists of shipment goods.

Notable practitioners
Kah Wah Leong and Kian Sing Toh SC are key contacts for the firm.

 

R&T Asia (Thailand) Limited - Thailand

Dispute Resolution - Band 3
Tax - Band 3
Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) - Band 2

Ranked Lawyers:
Surasak Vajasit - Dispute Resolution (Band 1)
Melisa Uremovic - Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) (Band 2), South-East Asia: International Trade/WTO (Spotlight)

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 and energy, on behalf of both domestic and international clients. Also handles contractual and shareholder cases, often representing clients before the Thai Supreme Court.

Work highlights
Represented a high net worth individual in divorce proceedings involving assets worth over THB1 billion located in Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Notable practitioners
Surasak Vajasit is highly respected in the market, with a commentator explaining that "he connects well with clients because of his seniority and profile within Thailand." Another source says that "his knowledge, experience, reputation and soft skills bring confidence to clients." He has expertise in customs, energy, finance and shareholder disputes.

Tax

What the team is known for
Full-service firm noted by market commentators for its experience in handling customs disputes, often representing international and Thai corporates. Also active on income tax litigation, it has represented clients at various court levels, including the Central Tax Court and the Supreme Court. Its clientele includes companies in the consumer goods and energy sectors.

Notable practitioners
Surasak Vajasit is a key contact for clients.

Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT)

What the team is known for
Notable TMT practice, frequently engaged by leading global and Thai clients in the technology and telecommunications sectors. Well placed to advise on regulatory issues involving e-commerce, OTT services, data privacy and cryptocurrency regulations. Also advises clients on telecommunications licensing requirements in Thailand. Operates as part of the regional Rajah & Tann network.

Strengths
A client commends the team's lawyers for "their skills and expertise" and "clear answers."

A source describes the team as "very good in terms of telecommunications law."

Notable practitioners
Melisa Uremovic is respected for her expertise in this space, including for telecommunications and data privacy issues. She is also well versed in regulatory matters related to e-commerce.

 

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers - Vietnam

Corporate/M&A - Band 3
Dispute Resolution - Band 3
Employment - Band 2
Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) - Band 3

Ranked Lawyers: 
Chau Huy Quang - Dispute Resolution (Band 3)
Vu Thi Que - Corporate/M&A (Band 4), Employment (Band 2)

Corporate/M&A

What the team is known for
Well-regarded firm which combines local expertise with the support of the firm's network of offices in the region. Regularly assists foreign clients including MNCs and regional companies with their cross-border transactions. Especially adept in handling real estate, manufacturing and technology sector deals, including joint ventures and mergers.

Strengths
One client reports: "The are very good at understanding and working with the expectations and perspectives, both legal and business, of an international company and are easy to work with."

Market commentators praise the firm's experience working with well-known Chinese and Singaporean clients.

Work highlights
Assisted Givaudan with its USD30 million acquisition of flavours company Golden Frog.

Notable practitioners
Vu Thi Que is a well-regarded corporate lawyer who regularly assists foreign clients with acquisitions, as well as general commercial matters such as the setting up of company and other operational matters. One client reports: "She is very knowledgeable and responsive and works well with our colleagues."

Dispute Resolution

What the team is known for
Advises on both international arbitration and domestic litigation, including in-depth experience of SIAC and ICC proceedings. Especially active for regional and international clients, often handling cross-border construction disputes. Also handles a range of real estate, and shipping cases. Experienced in assisting foreign clients with the enforcement of arbitral awards in Vietnam.

Notable practitioners
Chau Huy Quang is well regarded for his disputes practice. He regularly represents clients in both litigation and arbitration. Interviewees call him "a good lawyer," and remark upon his experience in investment arbitration. He has experience acting for a range of international companies on arbitration matters, including in VIAC and ICC proceedings.

Employment

What the team is known for
Experienced team working on terminations and labour litigation, alongside daily operational employment matters. Also shows expertise in workforce restructuring and retrenchment activities, as well as issues pertaining to foreign employees in Vietnam. Represents many international clients across such sectors as insurance, finance, retail, healthcare and technology.

Notable practitioners
Vu Thi Que is respected by market commentators for her busy employment practice. She handles terminations, drafting of employment contracts, changes to benefits packages and company-wide retrenchments.

Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT)

What the team is known for
Full-service firm with significant experience assisting clients with regulatory issues such as technology licensing and agreements. Impressive client base comprising multinational technology companies, startups and investors seeking to invest in fintech and other technology companies. Particularly experienced in handling e-commerce and cryptocurrency matters.

Notable practitioners
Vu Thi Que and Logan Leung are key points of contact for clients.