Anandarajah takes pride in ensuring that every piece of work she undertakes is targetted and focussed, addressing the specific need of the client in a practical business oriented manner. That has kept her interest in the law ignited.
Anandarajah heads the Competition & Antitrust and Trade Practice. Always a forerunner in niche areas of the law, her key practice areas are Competition (merger control, cartels, investigations, etc), Trade (export controls, FTAs, sanctions etc), and Consumer Protection. She strong secondary practices in Employment, Environmental (EHS) & Sustainability (ESG), Corporate Governance and Telco/Media Laws, where she has formidable accolades. She has had many firsts in her career, handling difficult and complex matters, demystifying and simplifying issues to achieve the clients’ aim.
Lauded by clients as having “unrivalled knowledge and understanding of the law and uniquely… able to understand very complicated businesses and their likely reactions” by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021, for being "very dedicated, very quick and precise," by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019, described as “super switched-on” by Who’s Who Legal 2018, and one with “very wide vision” by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017. She is described as a Thought Leader for competition by GCR and Worldwide Leading Lawyers. 2020 Who’s Who of Leading Lawyers notes that she “earns high praise from peers, who identify her as ‘extremely dynamic, inspiring and sharp’ and ‘a lawyer who knows everything and is extremely well prepared”.
One client comments: "She has impressed us with her legal knowledge, business acumen and also understanding of the Commission and the legal arena, which makes her a dream for anybody looking to engage competition lawyers". Chambers further lauds Anandarajah for her “solid, can-do attitude and excellent client management skills … She is top-notch in competition law matters and is very good at working out a strategic solution to a legal problem ... one of the few practitioners who is truly at the cutting edge …” Clients give her exceptional praise, deeming her “superbly responsive, very hard-working, solution-oriented and reliable.” AsiaLaw Leading Lawyers says she “is the complete package for all competition issues in ASEAN”. Some of her other citations include:
- Women Lawyer of the Year, SE Asia by ALB Women in Law Awards 2023
- Singapore’s Top 100 Lawyers by A-List: Asia Business Law Journal 2023
- Winner, Competition in Singapore by Lexology Client Choice Awards 2022
- Top 10 Most Innovative Practitioner in Asia Pacific by FT Most Innovative Lawyers 2022
- Top 50 Female Employment Lawyers in the World by International Employment Lawyers 2022
- Winner, Outstanding Achievement Award, Euromoney Women in Business Law 2021
- Highly Commended Lawyer in Private Practice at The Legal 500 Southeast Asia Awards 2021
- Most Highly Regarded in Southeast Asia by Who’s Who Legal: Southeast Asia Competition 2021, 2022
- Elite Practitioner in Competition/antitrust by asialaw Profiles 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
- Thought Leader for Competition in Worldwide Leading Lawyers 2020, 2021, 2022
- Nominated Regional Lawyer of the Year by The Legal 500 2020
- Commended External Counsel of the Year 2016 by the Inhouse Community
- Top 100 Women in Antitrust in the World by the Global Competition Review
- Chambers Asia-Pacific and Chambers Global leading lawyer for competition, trade (the only local firm) and employment
- Who’s Who Leading Lawyer for Competition, Trade, Corporate Governance, Employment
- Winner of Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards Twice
- Awarded Best Lawyer in Competition & Antitrust in Singapore by Best Lawyers 2015, and identified by Best Lawyers since 2013 to date
Anandarajah sits on various boards, including Building and Construction Authority, Institute for Human Resource Personnel; a member of the External Review Panel of Safety in SAF (MINDEF), the Appeal Board - Council of Estate Agents (MND). She was for a long-time part of the Workplace Safety & Health Council, a board member of Singapore Institute of Legal Education (chairing the Committee which introduced CPD for lawyers in Singapore) and was on the Committee for Professional Training of Lawyers formed by the Chief Justice of Singapore, whose report has shaped legal practice from 2023. In 2022, Anandarajah was awarded The Public Service Star (Bintang Bakti Masyarakat) and in 2014, she was awarded the Public Service Medal (Pingat Bakti Masyarakat), both of which are conferred by the President of Singapore, for public service rendered through the boards and councils she sat on.
Competition & Antitrust
On Competition & Antitrust, Anandarajah has been involved in major cartel / abuse investigations, cross-border mergers / other notifications, leniency applications, and also handles dawn-raids, complaints, consultation, counselling, compliance, training and implementation of competition laws across the region. She has handled numerous multi-jurisdictional merger notifications across the world, being lead counsel in some. Some of the major matters that she has been involved in include:
- Merger control notifications include:
- Talace (Tata) / Air India
- Entegris / CMC
- SK Hynix / Intel
- AON / WTW
- DBS / JP Morgan / Temasek
- HSBC / Temasek
- EDP Renovaveis / Sunseap
- Singapore Ex / DBS / Standard Chartered
- Cuscaden / Singapore Press Holdings
- Eternis / Tennants Fine Chemicals Limited
- CMG GCM / NewHoldCo
- MHE / Konecranes
- Quest / Innovative / TPG
- DKSH / Auric
- Essilor / Luxottica
- Wilhelmsen / Drew Marine
- Sinochem / Halcyon
- Global Logistics / a Sovereign Wealth fund
- Moog / Singapore Airlines Engineering
- Holcim / Lafarge o CMA-CGM / NOL
- Emperador / Beam Suntory
- Parkway / Radlink
- GDF Suez / International Power Plc
- FMC / Asia Renal Care
- Chartered Semiconductor / Hitachi Semiconductor
- Major public investigations include:
- Sibor price rigging, involving several major banks
- Freight forwarders
- Bus agencies
- Financial advisers
- Hotels information exchange
- F1 Bid-rigging
- Food delivery
- Ball bearings
- Her work has seen wins at an international level with:
- Win for “Behavioural Matter of the Year – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa” category – Global Competition Review Awards 2020 for her work (working with colleagues) for Coca-Cola Refreshments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., involving issues of RPM et al
- Win for “Behavioural Matter of the Year – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa” category – Global Competition Review Awards 2013 for her work for Coca-Cola Singapore Beverages Pte. Ltd., a ground-breaking matter.
The only local firm with a Chambers Global ranking on Trade Law, Anandarajah has been involved in advising multinational corporations on trade agreements between governments, including the WTO, RTAs and FTAs (including advising on the TPP, AEC and other trade treaties), handles export and import permit applications and clearances involving strategic and various other regulated and prohibited goods, advises extensively on strategic and controlled goods, advises and assists with voluntary disclosure programmes, dealt with product recall matters, advised and drafted warehousing and other logistics agreements and more. Product liability is a key area of this practice, touching on a range of products from electronics to motor vehicles to food as well as telecommunication products.
On trade agreements specifically, her work has spanned providing feedback on FTAs being negotiated, setting up a business and structuring logistics flows to benefit from RTAs and FTAs, advising extensively on ROOs and COOs, whilst meandering the different ROO under different FTAs, and advising on how best to benefit from preferential treatment. She is experienced in managing the advisory process in multiple stakeholder scenarios where the deliverables will have significant impact on trade.
Anandarajah has also been involved in investigations involving alleged non-compliance with FTAs, managing issues for clients, and dealing with customs authorities.She also advises regularly on anti-dumping and safe-guard matters.
The trade work also extends into handling export control issues, both advisory and in defense work where many companies are taken to task. The export control work goes beyond dual use and military goods, and cuts across all controlled goods, including health and medical products, cosmetics, food and beverages, electronic products and more.
Anandarajah has also been at the cutting edge in dealing with autonomous and electric vehicles amongst others.
Additionally, Anandarajah has also conducted extensive training on competition policy, WTO and FTA and other trade related issues across ASEAN countries for regulators to enhance trade understanding, including in relation to working with ITIS and others in Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam, amongst other countries. She advises multinational corporations plus local companies across the region. She is a rare Singapore lawyer cited as a leading Trade lawyer by international legal ranking journals.
The practice she leads has been cited as a Band 1 practice for Southeast Asia Trade / WTO by Chambers Asia-Pacific. Chambers Asia-Pacific specifically notes that "the firm's responsiveness and communications have been top-notch. They combine deep knowledge of the law with an awareness of commercial realities and the market. Their general operations are very smooth and seamless."
On Employment Law, she is described as “responsive, helpful and commercial” by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.
Anandarajah has handled matters in employment and labour and benefits for over 25 years and has seen the entire gamut of changes occurring and many a cutting-edge issue. Her work involves advising a number of multinational corporations on their employment concerns, including employment agreements, executive compensation benefits payable, including options of differing forms such as ESOPs and LTIPs, termination and termination benefits, non-compete, restraints, implementing and reviewing employment handbooks and manuals, employment transfer issues, whistleblowing policies and implementation and more. Workplace discrimination and harassment concerns is an active area as is regulatory violations touching on central provident fund (CPF) and workplace safet and health issues.
Anandarajah has been cited as a leading Employment & Labour lawyer by international peer review legal ranking journals.
Regulatory – Environmental, Health & Safety
Kala has been involved in a number of advisory and due diligence projects, including in relation to the sale of the three Electricity Generation Companies in Singapore. She also advises extensively in a variety of matters involving EHS matters, from poisons to hazardous substances, from facility permits and licensing requirements to all forms of air, water, land and noise pollution issues, including advising Boards on such regulatory matters. Her experience in this area extends to advising on specific health product licensing requirements, liaising with regulators on a variety of issues, and generally assisting with structuring transactions to ensure compliance. Increasingly carbon emissions and carbon trading issues, as well as carbon tax are an area that she touches on. Kala is only one of a very select few who has been repeatedly cited as a leading Environmental lawyer by international legal ranking journals.
Corporate / Corporate Governance
On corporate governance, Anandarajah is a clear leader advising boards and corporates on multiple issues. Some of the major matters she advised on include China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Limited, setting up the Financial Industries Disputes Resolution Centre, the umbrella body that handles disputes from the banking, insurance and securities industries, the Investor Relations Officers Association (Singapore), and the dispute resolution scheme for no injury accident claims for the General Insurance Association of Singapore. Importantly, she sat on the Corporate Governance Council that amended the first Code and lead to the introduction of the second Code. She also drafted the CG Code of the Maldives.
Anandarajah remains active in advising boards, always taking a very practical approach to managing issues, which coupled with her legal and business background means effective solutions are found for the company. Anandarajah’s work also extends to advising non-profits and she is appointed counsels to one of the largest religious organisation (church) in Singapore.
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific notes that “Kala Anandarajah… is a leading authority in corporate governance, compliance and competition issues…” and is “responsive, helpful and commercial”.
Anandarajah also conducts board training often, including the LCD Module on Director Duties, which is a requirement for all new directors. She is cited as amongst the Best of the Best – Women in Business Law for a number of years now for her work in Corporate Governance and for Antitrust and Competition Law.
Anandarajah is a prolific writer and is widely published, with many of her books being first publications in Singapore and the region and now leading texts relied upon by many lawyers, other professionals and businessmen. She has written over half a dozen legal books on Corporate Governance, Competition and Antitrust, Trade, Bills of Sale, Bankruptcy, Auditors and more. Anandarajah has conducted a number of lectures internationally, including the UK, the US, South Africa, Austria, Japan, China, India, Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Maldives in her areas of expertise.