The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2017 Edition)

The rankings and editorials on Rajah & Tann Singapore released by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific are highlighted below. 

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
Employment - Tier 1
Financial Services Regulatory - Tier 2
Intellectual Property - Tier 2
International Arbitration - Tier 2
Investment Funds - Tier 2
Private Wealth - Tier 1
Projects and Energy - Tier 1
Real Estate - Tier 2
Regional International Arbitration - Tier 3
Restructuring and Insolvency - Tier 1
Shipping - Tier 1
Tax - Tier 2
TMT - Tier 1

Leading Lawyers
Kala Anandarajah PBM- Antitrust and Competition
Angela Lim - Banking and Finance
Chia Kim Huat - Capital Markets
Francis Xavier SC - Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration
Andre Yeap SC - Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration
Desmond Wee - Employment
Benjamin Liew - Financial Services Regulatory (Next generation Lawyer)
Lau Kok Keng - Intellectual Property
Vikna Rajah - Private Wealth
Patrick Ang - Restructuring and Insolvency
Lee Eng Beng SC - Restructuring and Insolvency
Toh Kian Sing SC - Shipping
Leong Kah Wah - Shipping
Rajesh Sreenivasan - TMT
Steve Tan - TMT


Antitrust and Competition
Rajah & Tann’s team garners praise for its ‘practical advice, grasping the essence of the matter’. Kala Anandarajah is a ‘strong leader’ and ‘pioneer of international competition law throughout South–East Asia’.

Banking and Finance
Rajah & Tann handles Islamic banking, syndicated lending and real estate finance, as well as contentious and regulatory issues. Angela Lim led the advice to the mandated lead arrangers in the S$1.76bn financing of UT Singapore Services’ acquisition of its parent, Universal Terminal. Regina Liew, Terence Choo and Lee Weilin are also recommended.

Capital Markets
Rajah & Tann’s Evelyn Wee advised the joint lead managers and underwriters on OUE Hospitality Trust’s S$238.6m renounceable underwritten rights issue. Other practice strengths include REITs and business trusts, derivatives, structured finance and securitisations. Serene Yeo, Chia Kim Huat, Goh Kian Hwee and Cheng Yoke Ping are also recommended.

Construction
Soh Lip San, who leads the team at Rajah & Tann Singapore, has been acting alongside Shemane Chan in assisting 1MDB with aspects of the Tun Razak Exchange project. The group provides niche expertise in risk analysis and mitigation for numerous projects across the region. Ng Kim Beng and Sim Chee Siong are also recommended. Wei Yaw Lam left the practice.

Corporate and M&A
Rajah & Tann’s Danny Lim and Chia Lee Fong were the lead advisers to China Merchants Property Development Company during the RMB57.3bn merger with its controlling shareholder. Serene Yeo, Cheng Yoke Ping and Koh Choon Yee are assisting Gallant Venture with exiting from its investment in the Lao Xi Men Project in Shanghai. Alison Foo and Hoon Chi Tern made partner.

Dispute Resolution
Rajah & Tann represented White Energy Company in the first case heard at the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), and acted for the majority shareholders of a joint venture company in a dispute involving issues of minority shareholder oppression and unfair prejudice. Francis Xavier SC’s team includes Lee Eng Beng SC, Andre Yeap SC and Tan Chuan Thye SC. Mohammed Reza and Wei Na Sim left the firm.

Employment
The ‘commercially–savvy’ team at Rajah & Tann includes contentious partners Jonathan Yuen and K Muralidharan Pillai and non–contentious specialist Desmond Wee. Clients included Thomson Reuters and AXA Group. Mohammed Reza left to join JWS Asia Law Corporation.

Financial Services Regulatory
Rajah & Tann’s practice is led by Regina Liew and Larry Lim. The team assists banks, fund managers and corporate entities with regulatory and compliance aspects of their restructuring and financial activity, often with a cross–border element.

Intellectual Property
Lau Kok Keng heads Rajah & Tann’s group, which has a particular expertise in highly contentious matters. Nicholas Lauw defended Microsoft in an alleged copyright infringement case. On the non–contentious front, Lau Kok Keng and Wendy Low have been advising Philip Morris Singapore on the impact of the proposed standardised packaging regulation on the IP rights of tobacco companies.

International Arbitration
Rajah & Tann’s client following spans Asia and beyond, with its team handling commercial arbitrations and investor–state work. Practice head Andre Yeap SC and Paul Tan are representing The Republic of Philippines in ICC proceedings against Shell and Chevron over the payment of income tax.

Investment Funds
Arnold Tan’s team at Rajah & Tann assists sponsors with every aspect of their businesses and the lifecycle of their funds, including associated regulatory issues. Other clients include institutional investors, trustees and various other service providers. Alternative investment funds are the mainstay of the practice; in 2015, Arnold Tan and Philip Yeo acted for UOB Venture Management in the formation UVM 3 Venture Investments.

Private Wealth
Rajah & Tann’s practice is praised for its ‘excellent response times’. The client base includes a number of financial intermediaries as well as high–net–worth individuals. The ‘very efficient and helpful’ Vikna Rajah has ‘extensive tax knowledge’ and is ‘excellent to work with’.

Projects and Energy
Rajah & Tann deals with contentious and non–contentious issues affecting projects across a range of sectors in South–East Asia, such as oil and gas, power, mining, transport and infrastructure. The broad client base includes sponsors, financiers and contractors. Shemane Chan, Soh Lip San and Edith Ho are acting as the primary legal adviser to TRX City (formerly 1MDB Real Estate) regarding the development of the Tun Razak Exchange financial district in Kuala Lumpur. Andre Yeap SC is also a key contact.

Real Estate
Rajah & Tann’s expertise includes acting in direct and indirect real estate investments, project financing, acquisitions and leaseback transactions as well as securitisation, bloc–transactions, leasing and conveyancing. Margaret Chin and Elsa Chai head the practice. Margaret Chin together with consultant Lee Lay See and Lina Chua assisted a developer with the purchase and financing of a large industrial estate. Lim Mei Ann is another name to note.

Regional International Arbitration (new)
Andre Yeap SC leads Rajah & Tann Singapore’s 27–strong Singapore team, which includes ten partners and regularly acts in in big–ticket, bet–the–company commercial and investor–state disputes. Recent work saw Paul Tan act for a Chinese cosmetics company in a joint venture dispute with a Korean cosmetics company. The firm can call on a sizeable network of offices and associated firms across Asia; in Bangkok, Surasak Vajasit’s dispute resolution team includes Supawat Srirungruang, who has expertise in Thai Arbitration Institute proceedings, while Chau Huy Quang, senior associate Tran Vi Thoai and foreign counsel Logan Leung are the key figures in Ho Chi Minh City.

Restructuring and Insolvency
Sim Kwan Kiat leads the practice at Rajah & Tann. Danny Ong is ‘excellent for contentious restructuring matters’; together with Patrick Ang and Chua Beng Chye, he has been assisting the liquidators of 45 Lehman Brothers’ entities across nine jurisdictions. Wilson Zhu and Chong Kah Kheng have been promoted to partner.

Shipping
Ian Teo and Winston Kwek are recommended in Rajah & Tann Singapore’s team, which is led by Toh Kian Sing SC. Winston Wong joined Gunvor Singapore as a legal counsel, See Bin Koh left to North of England P&I Association and Joseph Tang departed for Asia Maritime Adjusting.

Tax
Vikna Rajah and Liu Hern Kuan jointly head the practice at Rajah & Tann Singapore. It excels in tax litigation, acting in multimillion–dollar disputes with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore; however, it also remains strong in advisory work, both for corporates and private clients.

TMT
Rajah & Tann Singapore’s team is ‘one of the best in terms of industry knowledge’. Its expertise extends from complex multi–jurisdictional transactions in the fintech sector to regulatory aspects of emerging technologies. Lionel Tan and Benjamin Cheong assisted Xiaomi with the implementation of its global data protection policies and its regulatory compliance. Rajesh Sreenivasan and Steve Tan, who is ‘one of the best in the field of personal data protection’, jointly head the practice; Jocelyn Chan was promoted to the partnership.