Chambers Asia Pacific (2017)

Banking & Finance - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Angela Lim - Band 2, Terence Choo - Band 3, Sey Ming Ng - Band 4, Regina Liew (Banking & Finance – Regulatory) -Band 1 

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Angela Lim and Regina Liew
- 15 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Sought after by major banks and corporates, with an excellent track record in high-end deals, from traditional banking and syndicated lending matters to project and real estate finance. Well placed to handle complex cross-border instructions thanks to its network of offices across the region, including in Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Noted for its impressive regulatory expertise.

Strengths
The client service on offer is highly thought of among clients: "They're always available to help, and able to work to tight timeframes," remarks one interviewee. "They're commercial, practical, and good at coming up with solutions."

Sources also commend the depth of the team's regulatory knowledge: "Their advice on regulatory matters is some of the best in the market for sure - they have strong relationships with regulators."

Value for money Clients report that the firm offers significant value for money. "They're certainly very competitive," notes one such commentator, "I am never charged an arm and a leg, and I always receive work I am happy with."

Work highlights
Acted for Bank of China, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank as lead arrangers in the SGD1.17 billion facilities to finance the acquisition of an oil tanker storage business granted to UT Singapore Services.

Significant clients
OCBC, Citibank, CIMB, ABN AMRO, Maybank.

Notable practitioners
Regina Liew "has the right mix of sound regulatory expertise and commercial savvy," according to a satisfied client. She heads the firm's financial institutions group and is known for her focus on financial services regulation.

Clients describe Angela Lim as "very business-oriented" and "responsive," adding: "She's able to deal very calmly with everything." She is active in cross-border financings across the Asia-Pacific region, including in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Terence Choo is recognised for his expertise in acquisition, project and trade finance, on both the borrower and lender side. Clients identify his efficiency as a key strength.

Clients describe the "commercially sound" Ng Sey Ming as "client-oriented and willing to go the extra mile." He regularly advises on cross-border transactions involving projects, real estate and acquisitions. 

Capital Markets - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Chia Kim Huat - Eminent Practitioner, Evelyn Wee - Band 3, Danny Lim - Band 4

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Serene Yeo, Chia Kim Huat, Evelyn Wee, Cheng Yoke Ping and Howard Cheam
- 23 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

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. Its 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 Myanmar. The team harbours particular proficiency in Indonesia-related work.

Strengths 
The team's client service is highly thought of among interviewees: "They're very focused on understanding the client's needs."

Its practicality is another key feature noted by clients: "The most important thing is that they give very practical advice, which is something we really appreciate."

Work highlights
Advised BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and DBS Bank, the joint lead managers and underwriters, on the SGD238 rights issue of new securities.

Advised Jeffries LLC and Leerink Partners LLC as book-running managers of Wave Life Sciences' USD102 million listing on NASDAQ.

Significant clients
Gallant Venture, OCBC, Japfa, KPM Private, UOB.

Notable practitioners
Chia Kim Huat advises clients on a diverse range of issues, including joint ventures, private equity investments, and public and private M&A. He has deep experience in PRC-based capital markets work. "He has great relationships in the market and really understands the regulations surrounding our work," says one client. "You can really rely on his judgement due to his depth of experience."

Evelyn Wee is valued by clients for her "dedication and commerciality." With a practice encompassing capital markets and corporate/M&A, she is adept at advising on REITs, business trusts and listings. She advised Grofers during a subscription by Softbank, Internet Fund III, Sequoia Capital, Apoletto Asia and Mr Rahul Mehta for preference shares in its capital.

Danny Lim is highly regarded for his expertise in IPO work, and is further lauded by clients for getting work done "in record time." He is recognised for proficiency in M&A work as well as capital markets matters, and is picked out for his expertise in advising PRC clients on cross-border transactions. Lately, he acted for SAC Capital Private on the listing of CMC Infocomm on the Catalist board. 

Capital Markets: Securitisation & Derivatives - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Regina Liew - Other noted Practitioners, Larry Lim - Other noted Practitioners

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Regina Liew, Larry Lim and David Yeow
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
The firm commands an excellent reputation for advising on derivatives and structured products, as well as for providing a full suite of regulatory counsel. Regularly assists with bespoke and innovative solutions. Its clientele includes high-profile banks, clearing houses, regulators and exchanges.

Strengths
Interviewees are impressed by the team's creative approach: "They're constantly pressed to find new solutions for clients - it's a difficult thing to do and they do it well."

Client service is also also highlighted by commentators. "They're a very professional outfit. We get everything that we want on time and they tap into resources across all industries," reports one source.

Significant clients
Citi, HSBC, UOB Group, OCBC Group, The Phillip Group. 

Notable practitioners
Heads of department Regina Liew and Larry Lim are key contacts. 

Competition/Antitrust - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Kala Anandarajah - Band 1,
 Dominique Lombardi - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners 
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Highly regarded team with in-depth experience of advising international and local clients on merger control issues, cartel investigations and market studies. Recognised for actively advancing the awareness of international competition standards across Singapore.

Strengths
Clients appreciate the firm's robust advice: "I value the fact that they give practical advice and are confident in taking a stance."

The firm is praised for its client service: "We were just very happy and it was a very smooth co-operation. The service level was excellent."

Work highlights
Acted for a conglomerate of Singapore companies including Keppel Infrastructure Trust and CitySpring Infrastructure Trust on their consolidation application to the IDA.  

Significant clients 
AITI, Coca-Cola, Jtekt.

Notable practitioners 
Head of department Kala Anandarajah is renowned for her expertise in competition issues, especially for her antitrust work. Clients praise her clear explanations and practical advice, with one commenting that "she has very wide vision," adding that "this kind of 'one-stop shop' advice is very precious for us."

Dominique Lombardi's strength lies in her experience of both European and ASEAN region competition issues. Several clients praise her responsiveness, and one highlights the fact that "she is able to provide the information in a very clear way."

Construction - Band 2

Ranked Lawyer: Soh Lip San - Band 2

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Andre Yeap SC, Soh Lip San and Shemane Chan
- 11 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Respected disputes team with considerable experience advising on construction matters for project sponsors, developers and contractors. Regularly acts on mandates across South-East Asia, and also handles non-contentious construction work. Rises in this year's rankings following a successful year acting for major contractors in the region on a number of high-profile disputes.

Strengths 
Clients are quick to praise the team's client focus: "They have been tremendously dedicated to us as a client and have really taken the time to get involved in our business, to the point that we consider them more of a partner in what they do for us."

Another client praises the firm's bench strength, remarking: "Rajah & Tann has an amazing team which works cohesively. The team of juniors was always eager to learn and able to assist efficiently."

Work highlights 
Advised 1MDB on the drafting of the construction contract for a joint venture with Lendlease for the development of the USD1.9 billion Lifestyle Quarter in Kuala Lumpur.

Acted as primary legal adviser to 1MDB on procurement structures, regulatory issues, drafting and reviewing project documents with regard to the projects and infrastructure aspects of TRX City in Kuala Lumpur.

Significant clients
Obayashi, Kajima Overseas Asia, Marubeni, Siemens, Johnson Controls.

Notable practitioners
Soh Lip San comes highly recommended for his excellent track record in large-scale energy and infrastructure disputes. Clients praise his "in-depth knowledge and experience in the field of infrastructure," adding: "He is not only quick to understand the issues but also has a very practical and customised approach to resolving them." 

Corporate/M&A - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Goh Kian Hwee - Band 1,
 Serene Yeo - Band 4

Basic facts about the department
- 32 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for 
Highly regarded team that leverages the strength of its network of Asian offices to handle complex cross-border mandates. Active in a range of sectors, including banking, insurance and healthcare, it acts for major banks and corporate clients on public and private M&A matters.

Strengths
One interviewee reports that "the R&T team is professional and dedicated and their client service is excellent."

"We are almost 100% reliant on them now," adds another. "They've given us fantastic support."

Value for money
Client consensus is that the team offers good value in this space. "Their fees are fair and reasonable, especially compared with other top law firms in Singapore," one client says. Another comments: "They are clear on fees prior to engagement on a matter."

Work highlights 
Advised China Merchants Property Development on its CNY57.3 billion merger with China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings.

Instructed by Sinochem International Corporation with regard to the SGD847.7 million merger between GMG Global and Halcyon Agri Corporation.

Significant clients 
Salim Group, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, United Overseas Bank, CIMB Bank, Religare/Fortis Healthcare Groups.

Notable practitioners

Serene Yeo is described as "a very steady pair of hands" with a solid track record in M&A, capital markets and corporate finance. Counting multinational corporates and high net worth individuals among her clientele, she led the team advising Gallant Venture on its USD330 million investment in the Lao Xi Men project.

Goh Kian Hwee acted for United Overseas Bank regarding its SGD351 million offer to acquire the capital shares in Far Eastern Bank. A hugely well-regarded figure, he offers a wealth of experience on complex cross-border hybrid capital markets and M&A transactions. 

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Chuan Thye Tan SC - Band 2, Andre Yeap SC - Band 4,
 Paul Tan - Band 4

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Andre Yeap

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 disputes, and recent involvement in BIT arbitration.

Strengths
Clients are quick to praise the firm's overall offering, one noting: "I find Rajah & Tann to be world class in terms of the quality of their work, delivery and overall handling of the matters, especially in international and cross-border cases."

Another source declares: "I like them a lot. I use them very regularly."

Work highlights
Acted for the Republic of the Philippines on a USD15 billion ICC arbitration involving breach of contract and estoppel claims brought by Chevron and Shell.

Represented the Kingdom of Lesotho on an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning a dispute over liability for closure of the SADC tribunal.

Significant clients
Sinopec, Leighton Contractors, China New Machinery, Tan Chong Group, Genting.

Notable practitioners 
Tan Chuan Thye SC represents companies in the energy and private equity sectors in significant commercial arbitrations. One peer reveals: "I like working with him on difficult legal questions. He's a lawyer's lawyer in that respect."

Department head Andre Yeap SC maintains a broad-based disputes practice and has advised on many high-profile arbitrations across Asia in the last 25 years. He is often instructed by clients in the financial services industry.

Paul Tan continues to build his reputation as an arbitration practitioner, proving "outstanding for his scholarship and intellectual strength" while advising on high-stakes mandates. He draws a glowing review from one client, who describes him as "senior counsel in-waiting, a standout and gifted advocate, a devastating cross-examiner who possesses a first-class brain for financial disputes and runs circles around his opponents. He certainly stands head and shoulders above his peers." 

Dispute Resolution: Litigation - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Eng Beng Lee SC - Band 1, Francis Xavier - Band 2, Andre Yeap - Band 3, Danny Ong - Up and Coming, Chuan Thye Tan - Other Noted Practitioners

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Francis Xavier SC, Leong Kah Wah, Chandra Mohan and Adrian Wong
- 34 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for
Prolific litigation team with plentiful expertise on big-ticket domestic and cross-border disputes. Especially prominent in financial disputes, though possesses additional expertise in contentious joint venture, shareholder, insolvency and shipping matters. Well placed to act on multi-jurisdictional matters due to its network of offices and alliances in the wider region.

Strengths
Clients appreciate the firm's ability to "provide very prompt, reliable and sound advice."

"They are a solid all-round firm," a market source confirms. 

Work highlights
Acted for MAN Diesel in a High Court case brought by Skaugen, seeking damages for MAN Diesel's allegedly fraudulent misrepresentation of certain engines' fuel consumption values.

Successfully represented Airtrust in a breach of contract claim against PH Hydraulics & Engineering before the Singapore High Court. Airtrust was awarded SGD30 million in punitive damages.  

Significant clients
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, American Express, Genting Group, White Energy, BHP Billiton.

Notable practitioners 
Managing partner Lee Eng Beng SC First ranked in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2008. He is highly regarded by peers for his depth of experience and expertise. He specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, including insolvency, shareholder and joint venture disputes.

Francis Xavier SC handles a range of commercial disputes, regularly instructed to appear on banking, real estate and financial cases. Peers acknowledge him as "a good lawyer who is well liked by clients."

Andre Yeap SC has a broad practice that covers commercial litigation and international arbitration. His work highlights include representing siblings Peter and Juanita Fu in disputes against their sister and brother-in-law relating to the enforcement of a share-swap agreement.

Danny Ong frequently advises on insolvency, fraud and banking disputes, as part of his wider commercial litigation practice. Commentators report: "He is excellent in pleadings and examination; he is able to show his client what is in their best interest, and is also creative in his approach."  

Employment - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: K. Muralidharan Pillai - Band 2, Desmond Wee - Band 2,
 Jonathan Yuen - Other noted practitioner

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Jonathan Yuen, K. Muralidharan Pillai and Desmond Wee
- 27 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Market-leading reputation for contentious employment matters, with further strength in non-contentious work. A large team able to provide a full-service offering with notable expertise in trade union issues. Well placed to handle regional work due to the firm's network of offices throughout Asia.

Strengths
Clients laud the team's strength in depth and knowledgeable practitioners: "They are very easy to work with because they can do everything from transactional work to disputes. The entire firm has expertise in every aspect of disputes that I could need. They are brilliant."

Another client adds: "They are excellent, absolutely top-notch. They are very quick to deal with issues. They are very well respected throughout the region and I can see why."

Work highlights
Defended AXA Life Insurance Singapore against a claim by a former director for alleged defamation and breach of duty of care in respect to his employment. The plaintiff has sought payment of SGD22.5 million.

Successfully defended ApexPeak against a claim brought by an ex-employee who had alleged ApexPeak had engaged in discriminatory employment practices against Singaporeans.

Significant clients
Thomson Reuters, Hewlett-Packard, MF Global Singapore, Procter & Gamble, WPP Group.

Notable practitioners
K. Muralidharan Pillai enters the rankings for the first time this year, having worked on several high-profile complex employment disputes. He is a commercial litigation specialist who often represents multinationals in employment disputes including restricted covenants, terminations and breach of fiduciary claims.

Desmond Wee specialises in non-contentious employment issues. Clients say: "He is amiable and extremely approachable - not like your typical lawyer." His broad practice covers trade union matters, restraint of trade, employment structures and retrenchments. One client notes: "He is able to put complex legal points into layman's terms and always explains things very clearly." 

Insurance - Band 2

Ranked Lawyers: Simon Goh - Band 1, Elaine Tay - Band 2

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Simon Goh
- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Well-established local firm with strength in both contentious and non-contentious insurance matters. Especially active assisting clients with regulatory and corporate insurance work.

Strengths
Clients are impressed by the team's problem-solving abilities, saying: "What sets Rajah & Tann apart is that they are very commercial, understand the business objectives and are proactive in coming up with solutions." This is also echoed by another interviewee: "I value the fact that they give practical advice and are confident in taking a stance on an issue."

Further interviewees appreciate that: "They are very strong on attention to detail; they are really outstanding on that."

Work highlights
Successfully represented the underwriters of Singapore's Land Transport Authority in a claim made against it concerning damage to shophouses following construction work.

Assisted Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe in relation to the reorganisation of its business in Singapore, which included moving over its insurance work to a newly established subsidiary company.

Significant clients
AIG, Great Eastern Life Assurance, MSIG Insurance, Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore, United Overseas Insurance.

Notable practitioners
Clients describe Simon Goh as a technically strong lawyer who is very familiar with insurance regulations and the insurance sector as a whole. Interviewees add: "He is highly commercial and pragmatic in helping clients find solutions." He assists high-profile clients with both transactional and contentious insurance matters, recently defending Veolia in the Singapore High Court against a liability claim from Fabristeel for an explosion at a chemical plant. 

Clients praise Elaine Tay for her 'thorough and concise" opinions, adding: "She renders advice which is both relevant and practical, with minimal fluff. She thinks ahead and addresses issues, the relevance of which may not even be apparent at the time." Her work includes defending the insurers of Woodlands Properties against a liability claim following an accident experienced by a tenant. 

Intellectual Property - Band 3
Ranked Lawyer: Lau Kok Keng - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Lau Kok Keng
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Acts on advisory and contentious matters relating to patents, trademarks and copyrights. Particularly adept at copyright and patent infringement cases, as well as licensing issues. Active in sectors such as media, gaming and technology.

Strengths
Clients highlight the firm for its timeliness, with one source observing: "They are very responsive to requests."

Work highlights
Represented Fuji Transport Systems, Taiyo Seiki Iron Works, Moby Dick Supplies and ISS Equipment in a patent infringement dispute against a German ship equipment company, regarding the sale of freight coupling devices.

Acted for Microsoft in a copyright infringement dispute with Singapore Press Holdings relating to online content.

Significant clients
Adobe Systems, PayPal, Philip Morris Singapore, Resorts World at Sentosa, The Esplanade Company.

Notable practitioners 
Head of department Lau Kok Keng centres his practice on IP litigation and possesses depth of knowledge in the media, sports and gaming sectors. He assisted Software Radio Technology with negotiating licensing agreements for its patented technology. "He has deep knowledge of the gaming industry and we are very comfortable working with him," comments one client. 

Investment Funds - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Arnold Tan - Band 1, Anne Yeo - Band 2,
 Lu Yueh Leong - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Arnold Tan
- 5 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Well-established funds group with an excellent reputation in the Singapore market. Especially active on the formation of hedge, private equity and real estate funds. Regularly provides expert regulatory and corporate advice to leading investment groups and fund managers.

Strengths
The department wins praise from clients for its excellent levels of service and technical expertise: "They are extremely responsive and clear on topics that they are dealing with, and the work is always well documented and of a very high standard."

Another client adds: "They are great; they are very knowledgeable and proactive."

A further client enthuses: "They provide first-rate, premier service and knowledge in the regulatory area of fund management."

Value for money Clients agree that the firm provides good value for money. Sources note: "They are very good at providing a sensible level of detail; I have no questions or concerns about billing. I have actually been rather impressed."

Significant clients
Longlead Capital Partners, Mizuho Asia Partners, Nuvest Capital.

Notable practitioners
Group head Arnold Tan is widely regarded as a leading name in the domestic funds space. Clients describe him as "one of the pioneers of the Singapore funds industry," adding: "He's very friendly and very helpful," while further interviewees praise his "ability to provide valuable insight into the interpretation and application of regulations."

Clients describe Anne Yeo as "very hands-on, and extremely reliable, capable and thorough." She regularly advises fund managers on matters such as fund formation, structuring and restructuring.

Clients say of Leong Lu Yueh: "She is a fantastically pragmatic lawyer whose advice is succinct, commercial and always practical." She regularly assists fund managers and investment groups with the formation of hedge and private equity funds, as well as providing regulatory expertise. 

Projects & Energy - Band 1
Ranked Lawyer: Shemane Chan - Band 2

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Andre Yeap SC and Soh Lip San 
- 12 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Well known for its comprehensive regional network, with an established presence in Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia. Highly sought after for its expertise in power and oil and gas matters and strong experience on PPP infrastructure projects.

Strengths
The firm earns praise for its experience in cross-border matters, with one client noting: "They are familiar with market practice on an international level."

Significant clients
TRX City, Energy Market Company, Panca Amara Utama, Government of Myanmar, T-Systems.

Notable practitioners
Clients describe Shemane Chan as "very good from a commercial standpoint," and "very easy to deal with." Interviewees also commend her "excellent negotiation skills." She handles all aspects of project development and has been active of late advising on utilities, telecommunications and infrastructure mandates. 

Real Estate - Band 4
Ranked Lawyer: Norman Ho - Band 2

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Margaret Chin and Elsa Chai
- 4 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
A new entrant to the table this year, 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 acquisition, lease agreements and conveyancing issues for both domestic and foreign clients.

Strengths
Clients highlight the strength of the team's reputation: "It's a well-respected local law firm with highly qualified and well thought-of partners and associates." 

Work highlights
Advised a major Singapore-based developer regarding the SGD301 million acquisition and financing of a mixed commercial and residential site in Bukit Batok.

Acted for Southernwood Property in the SGD550 million purchase of 79 Robinson Road.

Notable practitioners
Norman Ho joined the firm from Dentons Rodyk & Davidson in January 2017. He is well versed in a wide range of property transactions, such as investment sales and project development. Clients applaud him for his "balance of commercial acumen with the legal side of things." 

Restructuring/Insolvency - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Eng Beng Lee - Band 1, Patrick Ang - Band 1, Lionel Tay - Band 2, Kwan Kiat Sim - Band 2, Chuan Thye Tan - Band 2, Danny Ong - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Sim Kwan Kiat
- 16 partners
- 22 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Stellar restructuring and insolvency practice, noted for its deep bench of lawyers. Assists clients involved in high-value restructuring matters, including debtors, creditors, judicial managers and liquidators. Often active in the finance and shipping sectors. Draws on its regional network to advise on cross-border matters. 

Strengths
The department attracts widespread praise in the market. Clients note: "They are well known for their strength in litigation matters."

Another respondent adds: "We get the best service from Rajah & Tann."

Work highlights
Acted for the liquidators of Dynamic Oil Trading on the insolvency of parent company OW Bunker Group.

Represented Punj Lloyd and Sembawang Engineers & Constructors in their applications to initiate schemes of arrangement with their creditors.

Significant clients
Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG, PwC.

Notable practitioners
Lee Eng Beng SC is highly respected in the market, acting on both litigation and arbitration relating to restructuring and insolvency in the financial sector. He acted for TT International on a court case regarding its restructuring.

Patrick Ang has an excellent reputation in the market and frequently assists clients from the finance sector with corporate restructuring and insolvency cases. He recently advised Nortel's Asia-Pacific operations on the company's USD427 million debt restructuring.

The "very responsive and technically very sound" Sim Kwan Kiat has a burgeoning reputation in the restructuring and insolvency space. Clients add: "He is easy to work with, and very conversant in Mandarin." His work highlights include assisting the lenders to Mercator Lines with various multi-jurisdictional issues, including insolvency proceedings.

Lionel Tay is highly experienced in large-scale insolvencies, where he frequently represents companies in the finance and accountancy sectors. He advised the judicial managers of Environmental Holding on its restructuring and the cross-border implications of the judicial management process.

Danny Ong has a growing reputation in the market, and often acts on high-profile insolvency proceedings relating to finance and investment funds. He assisted the liquidators of Dynamic Oil Trading with the insolvency of parent company OW Bunker Group. Sources describe him as "bright, but also energetic," adding: "I like him because he is willing to fight his client's corner."

Tan Chuan Thye SC's practice centres on litigation relating to restructurings involving the financial sector. He recently acted as part of a team advising JTC Corporation on the commercial implications of the restructuring of Jurong Aromatics, with specific regard to its lease of a site at Jurong Island. Clients say: "He is a very good legal strategist who is pragmatic in his risk assessments." 

Shipping - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Kah Wah Leong - Band 1, Kian Sing Toh - Band 1, Winston Kwek - Band 2, Ian Teo - Band 2, Jainil Bhandari - Band 3, Kendall Tan - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Toh Kian Sing
- 14 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

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 and vessel collisions. Clients benefit from its regional network of offices in South-East Asia. Offers additional strength in ship financing.

Strengths
The firm receives an impressive amount of praise for its client service, with sources saying: "They have very strong attention to detail."

One client praises the department's technical capabilities, noting: "They are extremely good at what they do and handle complex matters well."

Work highlights
Successfully represented bunker supplier Transocean Oil in litigation before the Court of Appeal regarding its arrest of the 'STX Mumbai' vessel in anticipation of non-payment of bunkers. The initial decision by the High Court to set aside the arrest was reversed in the Court of Appeal.

Successfully defended China Shipping Container Lines against a claim from Big Port DMCC for unpaid bunkers concerning the client's 'Xin Chang Shu' vessel.

Significant clients
Britannia P&I Club, Japan P&I Club, Phillips 66 International Trading, Trafigura.

Notable practitioners
The highly experienced Toh Kian Sing SC maintains an excellent reputation in the market, with clients describing him as "very knowledgeable, commercially minded, meticulous and approachable." He has a strong contentious practice covering both litigation and arbitration and represented ABN AMRO Bank in the enforcement of its security over aluminium supplies held by the bank at Qingdao Port.

Leong Kah Wah offers expertise in dry and wet shipping disputes as well as general commercial litigation. He represented the LNG carrier 'Hanjin Ras Laffan' in a dispute regarding liability for its collision with bulk carrier 'Mount Apo'.

Jainil Bhandari is a highly experienced shipping litigator, with particular expertise in claims relating to collisions, charter parties and oil-related damage and accidents.

Clients describe Kendall Tan as "very commercially minded and responsive." He assists clients with a wide range of contentious matters, including bill of lading and charter party disputes, ship collisions and wreck removals. He recently assisted the owners of the 'Raissa' ship with claims for well blowout incidents at a gas field off the Indonesian coast which had resulted in the vessel's total loss.

Ian Teo is well respected in the market, regularly handling arbitration and litigation proceedings relating to charter party and shipbuilding disputes. Sources regard him as "a very competent lawyer who is meticulous in his case preparation, and effective and persuasive in his advocacy."

Clients say that Winston Kwek "understands the issues, commercial implications and challenges and is therefore able to provide legally sound and practical solutions." His recent work highlights include assisting the lenders and financial institutions involved in the restructuring of Mercator Lines with the enforcement of their security over the fleet. 

Tax - Other Noted Firms
Ranked Lawyers: Liu Hern Kuan - Band 3, Vikna Rajah -Other noted practitioners

TMT - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Rajesh Sreenivasan - Band 1,
 Steve Tan - Band 3

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Rajesh Sreenivasan and Steve Tan
- 6 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

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.

Strengths
Clients are quick to praise the team for its work ethic and depth of expertise. One notes: "Their strengths are their knowledge, their dedication and how friendly they are. I found them to be exceptionally knowledgeable."

Another points to its top market standing, declaring: "They are the best TMT team in Singapore."

Work highlights
Acted for Infocomm Development Authority on agreements relating to the provision of two-factor authentication services.

Assisted Fitness First Singapore with its compliance with personal data protection regulations across its branches nationwide.

Significant clients 
Google Asia Pacific, Red Bull Media House, Sony Mobile Communications International, Wing Tai Holdings, Xiaomi Singapore.

Notable practitioners
Head of department, Rajesh Sreenivasan maintains a standout reputation in fintech, telecoms regulation, data protection and cybersecurity. Clients appreciate that he is "sensible, extremely intelligent and gives practical legal advice that takes into account the client's goals." He acted for Xiaomi on data protection compliance matters, including advice on personal data breach claims.

Deputy head Steve Tan offers prowess in IT and data protection. Cybersecurity matters are a core area of expertise. He also handles commercial and regulatory mandates in the digital media and entertainment space. 

South-East Asia – International Trade/WTO - Band 1

Basic facts about the department
- 24 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for
Offers in-depth expertise in trade matters concerning South-East Asian countries. Excels in handling customs regulatory compliance for international companies operating across a number of sectors, with particular expertise in the hi-tech space.

Strengths
"I was very happy to find Rajah & Tann - I can go to one place for all my work in South-East Asia."

 "Their work quality is second to none. Our first port of call in South-East Asia every time."

Work highlights
Represented a number of Japanese steel mills, including Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal and Kobe Steel, in an application to the Thai government to gain exemptions from safeguard measures concerning hot-rolled steel flat products.

Represented Philip Morris in a dispute with the Thai customs authorities concerning the valuation of imports from Indonesia going back over ten years, a matter valued at THB460 million.

Significant clients
Glow Group, JFE Steel

Notable practitioners
Kala Anandarajah is a key point of contact. 

Asia Pacific Region – Arbitration (International) - Band 3

What the team is known for
Leading Singapore firm, highlighted for its specialist arbitration practice and impressive regional range, with especially notable coverage of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Further noted for handling investor-state, construction and energy cases and regularly instructed in matters involving the operations of Chinese companies in other Asian jurisdictions.

Strengths
Sources allude frequently to the team's specialised arbitration capability, with one calling it "a bona fide practice, doing really well," and another testifying to its "deep and extensive professional knowledge."

Work highlights
Represented the Republic of the Philippines in ICC arbitration proceedings, initiated by Chevron and Shell and concerning those companies' claims that the Philippines government is contractually obliged to pay all their income tax obligations in the Republic, a sum amounting to approximately USD15 billion.

Acted for Nepal-based conglomerate CG Group in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration of a SGD100 million dispute with African Eagle over the development of a luxury hotel project in Rwanda. The case involves issues of both English and Rwandan law and also has aspects involving the BVI, Kenya and Singapore.

Significant clients
China New Machinery Corporation, Kingdom of Lesotho, Rio Tinto, Siemens, Sinopec.

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

Gaming & Gambling - Asia-Pacific Region

Ranked Lawyer: Lau Kok Keng - Other Noted Practitioners

Corporate Finance – (Expertise based abroad) Indonesia - Band 4

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.

Work highlights
Advised Japfa Comfeed Indonesia on its USD81.2 million investment by a fund managed by KKR.

Notable practitioners
Cheng Yoke Ping oversees the firm's Indonesia corporate practice and is a key contact.