Desmond heads the Corporate Commercial practice and the non-contentious side of the Employment & Benefits practice of Rajah & Tann Singapore.
Desmond has more than two decades of legal experience, having started practice as a commercial litigation lawyer in another leading Singapore based law firm and followed by his appointment as regional group legal counsel of a Hong Kong public-listed corporation with business interests in both public-listed and private corporations throughout Asia before joining Rajah & Tann Singapore in 2000. This uniqueness of experience has resulted in Desmond’s appreciation and dealings with issues from very different perspectives.
As partner in Rajah & Tann Singapore, Desmond’s areas of specialisation include Mergers & Acquisitions (acting for both publicly-listed and private companies in their acquisitions, disposals and joint ventures, as well as their other corporate transactions and compliance obligations), Commercial advisory (corporate structuring, governance), Foreign Direct Investments into ASEAN and Asia (where Desmond is the lead coordinating partner of the firm’s regional practices in Cambodia and Lao PDR and is also very much involved in the management and co-ordination of the Rajah & Tann Asia network in ASEAN); as well as in employment and labour law in which Desmond is recognised by Who’s Who Legal as a world leading practitioner in the field of Management Labour & Employment since 2015; and is also cited as a ranked lawyer in Chambers Asia Pacific since 2016.
Desmond's current areas of practice comprise:
- Corporate Restructurings.
- Mergers and Acquisitions (Singapore and cross-border).
- General Corporate and Commercial law.
- Employment and Labour.
Transactions of significance which Desmond has been involved in include acting for:
- Numerous Singapore public-listed corporations as legal counsel, in their corporate transactions (including acquisitions, disposals, share buyback compliance, interested party transactions, continuing listing obligations).
- A Singapore listed entity, in their joint venture and investment into Lao PDR.
- Encompass Digital Media Inc., on a due diligence exercise, and acquisition of the content distribution division of Ascent Media (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., Ascent Media Holdings Ltd. and Ascent Media Pte. Ltd.
- A UK-based group, in the acquisition of assets in the bio-medical industry.
- Sale of Janus Corporate Solutions.
- China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd, in their corporate restructuring exercise.
- Westech Electronics Limited, on a reverse take-over transaction.
- Mori Building Investment Management Co., Ltd, in relation to the joint venture with Guocoland Ltd and Lehman Brothers Investments Pte Ltd.
- Myanmar Growth Fund Ltd, in relation to Divestiture of Investment in Myanmar Integrated Port Services Pte Ltd.
- Pacific King Shipping Holding Pte Ltd, on investment into the company by JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited and Bain Capital Asia LLC.
- Pipeline Micro Holdings, Inc., on investment agreement and shareholders’ agreement.
- Top Marques Pte Ltd, in relation to investment in Aston Martin Lagonda (S.E.A.) Pte Ltd.
- Asiawerks Global Investment Group Pte Ltd, in relation to the acquisition of shares in CMS Dresdner Asset Management Sdn Bhd from Allianz Global Investors Hong Kong Limited.
- Citic Dameng Mining Co., Ltd., in the acquisition of shares in Rainbow Minerals Pte. Ltd. from Assetsphere Investments Limited.
- Hong Kong Econworld Group Limited, in relation to the investment in Fibrechem Technologies Ltd.
- Wing Tai Holdings Limited and Winglow Investment Pte Ltd, in the joint venture with Greatearth Developments Pte Ltd.
- Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, in the restructuring of their Jurong Fishing Port and Senoko Fishing Port.
- Singapore Accountancy Commission, in relation to corporate commercial matters.
Memberships / Directorships
- Member, Singapore Academy of Law
- Member, Law Society of Singapore
- Barrister-at-law, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
- Member, The Bar Council of England and Wales
- Independent Director, Popular Holdings Limited (Chairman of Remuneration Committee, Member of Audit Committee and Nominating Committee until the company was delisted from the Singapore Exchange in May 2015. Subsequent to its delisting, Desmond continues to be an Independent Director of the company as well as its Non-Executive Chairman)
- Independent Director, First Sponsor Group Limited
- Article on the fundamental considerations to consider in when formulating a ‘Mergers and Acquisitions Strategy’, Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.
- Article on the duties and responsibilities of Employers and Employers in the context of Employment Law in connection with the disasters.
- Employment Law articles (for e.g. on the applicability of gardening leave under Singapore law, law relating to restraint of trade covenants, etc).