27 Feb 2019

Rajah & Tann Singapore advises on Singapore’s first catastrophe bond

Singapore’s first insurance-linked securities transaction, a catastrophe bond sponsored by Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG), has been completed, Rajah & Tann Singapore said today.

The bond, an A$75 million Series 2019-1 Class A Principal At-Risk Variable Rate Notes due 17 January 2022, is the first A$-denominated catastrophe bond in the global market. The issuer is Orchard ILS Pte. Ltd., the first special purpose reinsurance vehicle (SPRV) licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Rajah & Tann Singapore acted as Singapore counsel to the transaction. Its Head of Insurance & Reinsurance Practice Simon Goh said: “This is an exciting development for Singapore’s ambition to be the hub in Asia for insurance-linked securities (ILS).

“The fact that we completed this inaugural ILS transaction within a few weeks demonstrates the efficiency and business-friendly regulatory environment in Singapore. Following this successful transaction, we are optimistic that more issuers will consider coming to Singapore.”

He added that this pioneer catastrophe bond will help broaden Singapore’s capital markets by adding a new asset class and generating a new set of service providers locally. This will be needed to support insurance-linked securities issuances as traction and interest pick up with new deals and possible listings on the Singapore stock exchange for such bonds.

Mr Goh, who led the Rajah & Tann team for the deal, is a member of the MAS alternative risk transfer working-group (MAS ART WG) which comprises industry experts. The MAS ART WG formulated recommendations for the ILS Grant Scheme, which was introduced by the MAS in February 2018. The grant scheme funds upfront ILS bond issuance costs and complements a progressive regulatory system that supports the incorporation of a purpose-built reinsurance entity in Singapore to securitise risks, and a tax framework that provides tax neutrality to the reinsurance entity and ILS investors.

For the IAG sponsored bond, Mr Goh and his team, which includes partner Lee Xin Mei from the Debt Capital Markets Practice, helped the client navigate the Singapore legal and regulatory aspects of this ground-breaking deal which also encompassed advising on the qualifying criteria for the ILS Grant Scheme, Qualifying Debt Securities Scheme and the Tax Incentive Scheme for Special Purpose Vehicle engaged in Asset Securitisation Transaction.

ILS is a way for insurers and reinsurers to spread their risks to the capital market. By all estimates, it is poised for substantial growth. Data from the United Nations’ Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific showed that Asia has accounted for almost half of the world’s economic losses from natural disasters in the last 20 years. Economic losses in Asia Pacific is projected to exceed US$160 billion annually by 2030.

Insurance  penetration  is  still  low  in  the  region,  with  just  8%  of  natural  catastrophe  losses insured compared to 40% in developed regions.

Analysts have commented there is thus an opportunity for ILS to play a larger role in reducing the protection gap and financial impact of natural disasters.

Rajah & Tann Singapore is one of the largest full-service law firms in Singapore and South East Asia, with market leading practices in M&A, dispute resolution, international arbitration, shipping, insolvency, restructuring, capital markets, competition law, corporate & commercial, among others. Through Rajah & Tann Asia, it is a member of one of the largest legal networks in ASEAN with some 700 fee earners.

About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capability to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With over 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.

23 Jan 2019

Rajah & Tann Asia’s stellar showing in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 rankings

Rajah & Tann Asia has showcased a stellar performance in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 rankings, with over 40 lawyers recognised in the elite “Leading Lawyers” list across South East Asia.

Highlights of our regional work include acting for the Port of Singapore Authority in connection with the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, South Korea’s largest shipping firm; advising PT Bumi Resources on its headline debt restructuring involving the first-ever contingent value rights to be listed on SGX; and representing the Republic of the Philippines in ICC arbitration proceedings. Clients have praised Rajah & Tann Asia for being “very responsive with good industry knowledge” and providing “timely and practical advice”.

Published annually, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific provides unbiased commentary and insight into the legal marketplaces of 20 Asia Pacific jurisdictions.

For more information, please click here.

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About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capacity to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With around 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage. 

 

21 Jan 2019

Rajah & Tann Asia’s Regional Competition Practice named in Global Competition Review (GCR 100) 2019 rankings

Our Regional Competition Practice is named in Global Competition Review (GCR) in its latest GCR 100 rankings, in recognition of our firms as some of the world’s finest. Indonesian member firm, Assegaf Hamzah & Partners and Singapore member firm, Rajah & Tann Singapore have been named in the “Elite” category while Malaysian member firm, Christopher & Lee Ong, has been listed as a “Recommended” firm.

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners remains as “the top competition law practice in Indonesia”, having recently advised on competition matters which spanned across several other jurisdictions; Rajah & Tann Singapore is noted for its “sprawling presence across South East Asia” with an impressive clientele and active involvement in many of Singapore’s major competition cases, having been “part of every major investigation before the Commission”; and Christopher & Lee Ong continues to work with “clients and colleagues on a regional basis” on competition matters in a wide range of sectors. For more information, read the publication here.

The GCR 100 is a comprehensive listing of the leading competition practices in the world. For the 19th year, GCR 100 continues to provide a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the best competition law firms and economic consultancies doing the most important antitrust work, covering more than 50 jurisdictions worldwide.

About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capacity to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With around 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage. 

 

14 Jan 2019

Rajah & Tann Singapore Partners Recognised as Accredited Specialists

Ten Partners from Rajah & Tann Singapore, a record number from any firm, have been recognised as Accredited Specialists in Maritime and Shipping, as well as Building and Construction Law by Singapore Academy of Law’s Specialist Accreditation Scheme this year. The Scheme serves to develop a register to provide these industries with a reliable platform to identify and gain access to specialist lawyers who have proven themselves in these practice areas. The newly-minted accreditations were announced at the opening of the Legal Year 2019 following a stringent year-long assessment process conducted by an independent selection committee, comprising judges and senior industry representatives. 

Partners Soh Lip San, Ng Kim Beng and Avinash Pradhan were recognised for Building and Construction Law in the inaugural batch of lawyers recognised under this scheme last year.

The following partners are appointed as Accredited Specialists:

Maritime and Shipping

No. Name  Title Year of Accreditation
1. Toh Kian Sing, SC Senior Accredited Specialist  2019 
2. Leong Kah Wah    Senior Accredited Specialist  2019 
3. Jainil Bhandari  Senior Accredited Specialist 2019 
4. Winston Kwek      Senior Accredited Specialist 2019 
5. Kendall Tan      Senior Accredited Specialist 2019 
6. Ian Teo            Senior Accredited Specialist 2019 
7. V Bala            Accredited Specialist 2019 
8. Jonathan Oon      Accredited Specialist 2019 

 

Building and Construction

No. Name  Title Year of Accreditation
9. Soh Lip San Senior Accredited Specialist  2018 
10. Ng Kim Beng  Senior Accredited Specialist  2018 
11. Sim Chee Siong Senior Accredited Specialist 2019 
12. Avinash Pradhan    Accredited Specialist 2018
13. Thea Raman    Accredited Specialist 2019 

 

The accreditation scheme serves as a mark of recognition for legal practitioners who have gained professional excellence in their specialised areas of practice. It also promotes continued development and improvement of standards, quality and delivery of legal services, among other objectives.

The accreditation reinforces the firm’s pre-eminent Shipping & Maritime Trade practice for having “a deep understanding of the industry, offering advice that is commercial but sound legally”, according to Chambers Asia Pacific (2019). Managing a complex portfolio of high-end shipping work throughout the region, in both “wet” and “dry” contentious matters, as well as in ship finance and other non-contentious matters, the team has consistently been placed in the “top tier” and ranked as a “Band 1” shipping firm by independent legal directories.

The firm’s Construction & Projects practice has also garnered praise for “advising on high-value infrastructure projects, oil and gas developments and public private partnerships as well as complex litigation and arbitration proceedings”, according to The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2018). 

For more information about the Scheme, please click here.

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From left: Ian Teo, V Bala, Jainil Bhandari, Jonathan Oon, Toh Kian Sing SC, Leong Kah Wah and Kendall Tan. Not pictured: Winston Kwek.

For more information about the firm’s Shipping & International Trade practice, please click here.

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From left: Ng Kim Beng, Sim Chee Siong, Thea Raman, Soh Lip San and Avinash Pradhan.

For more information about the firm’s Construction & Projects practice, please click here

About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capacity to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With around 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.