The Legal 500 - Asia Pacific (2019)
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
Financial Services Regulatory - Tier 1
Intellectual Property - Tier 1
International Arbitration - Tier 2
Investment Funds - Tier 1
Labour and Employment - Tier 1
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
Andre Yeap SC - Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration
Angela Lim - Banking and Finance
Arnold Tan - Investment Funds
Chia Kim Huat - Capital Markets
Desmond Wee - Labour and Employment
Francis Xavier SC - Dispute Resolution
Kala Anandarajah - Antitrust and Competition
Lau Kok Keng - Intellectual Property
Lee Eng Beng SC - Restructuring and Insolvency
Leong Kah Wah - Shipping
Murali Pillai SC - Labour and Employment
Norman Ho - Real Estate
Patrick Ang - Restructuring and Insolvency
Rajesh Sreenivasan - TMT
Shemane Chan - Projects and Energy
Steve Tan - TMT
Toh Kian Sing SC - Shipping
Vikna Rajah - Private Wealth, Tax
Antitrust and Competition
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's team is 'excellent - very responsive with good industry knowledge' and provides 'advice that is very practical and value for money'. Practice head Kala Anandarajah is 'extremely knowledgeable' and provides 'timely and practical advice'. Other notable team members include principal economist Tanya Tang. The practice covers all aspects of competition law and has been involved a number of landmark cases. Lombardi acted for Cyclect Electrical Engineering and others in respect of high-profile bid-rigging charges brought by the CCCS. The team is also dealing with cases pertaining to allegations of restrictive practices or participation in international cartels and multi-jurisdictional merger clearances.
Banking and Finance
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has experienced further growth in real estate finance engagements, along with a healthy flow of project, acquisition and commodities finance instructions. It advised LN Development (Stirling) as the borrower, and United Overseas Bank as mandated lead arrangers, on the S$900m financing for the acquisition of a land parcel near Queenstown MRT station in Singapore. The 'excellent' team is commended for its ability to deal with challenging deadlines, 'highly complex mechanisms' and to 'capture commercial terms'. Angela Lim, who has international law firm experience, heads the team that includes real estate finance specialist Norman Ho, Regina Liew, Terence Choo and Nicholas How who impresses with his 'loan market expertise' and 'ability to explain complex technical concepts in layman terms'.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has an extensive record in SGX main board and Catalist board listings, primarily acting for issuers. It has advised a number of Chinese issuers on their Singapore offerings and has helped a range of Singapore clients to list in Hong Kong. On the debt side the firm devotes considerable resources to local and cross-border bond transactions, including liability management exercises, high-yield bonds, covered bonds and securitisations. The firm advised PT Bumi Resources on its headline debt restructuring involving the first ever contingent value rights to be listed on SGX. It also provided Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam counsel to Sea Limited, the South East Asia gaming and e-commerce company, on its $884m IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Evelyn Wee, Chia Kim Huat, Lee Xin Mei and Danny Lim are key partners.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP provides 'an excellent service'. Andre Yeap SC and Soh Lip San jointly head the group, which handles international arbitration and major infrastructure projects, as well as other construction and engineering work. Ng Kim Beng and Sim Chee Siong are also names to note, especially for litigation and arbitration. Shemane Chan, who 'negotiates hard for her clients', is leading a team that is advising a consortium on its bid for the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High-Speed Rail Assets Co PPP project. Senior associate Yong Hui Loh is also noted for his 'drafting' skills. Other work includes advising clients on a variety of major commercial, energy-related, residential and mixed-use developments, in addition to handling a range of disputes.
Corporate and M&A
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is making a further impression in both public and private M&A, and is gaining market share across South East Asia, including deals in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam. Clients include a mix of multinational corporates, private equity houses and other financial sponsors. The firm advised GIC, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund, as the largest shareholder in Global Logistics Properties (GLP) in its $16bn sale to Nesta Investment Holdings. Clients describe the team as 'responsive, commercial and practical' with 'in-depth industry knowledge in a number of sectors' and highlight its expertise in Chinese investments in South East Asia. Sandy Foo is a 'go-to person when you need a safe pair of hands to get things done'. Lawrence Tan is 'responsive and prompt under tight timelines', 'provides clear and detailed analysis of legal issues and possible solutions' and is 'valued for his experience in takeovers and privatisations'. Evelyn Wee has 'a wealth of experience and is always highly responsive and helpful'. Chia Kim Huat 'has the big picture in mind', is 'a skilled negotiator' and is 'helpful in understanding the parties’ underlying concerns and in getting the parties to reach a resolution'. Lim Wee Han, who is also Malaysian qualified, and Abdul Jabbar bin Karam Din are 'strong corporate and M&A lawyers' who are both 'highly personable and a delight to work with'.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is widely recognised as a leader in insolvency, banking, real estate and shipping cases, and the firm's exposure to big-ticket disputes has led to to appearances in the SICC in a series of cases. It acted for the Port of Singapore Authority in connection with the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, South Korea's largest shipping firm; this was the first case in Singapore where the High Court exercised its inherent jurisdiction to recognise a foreign rehabilitation order and render assistance. Lee Eng Beng SC is a leader in insolvency cases, Francis Xavier SC has appeared in a number of SICC disputes and Andre Yeap SC has extensive big case experience. Tan Chuan Thye SC is 'crème de la crème in the best silk traditions' and has 'an impressive intellect'. Danny Ong is 'insightful', 'a strong advocate', 'authoritative when cross-examining' and 'exudes confidence, knowledge and commitment'.
Financial Services Regulatory
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's 'knowledge and insight is impressive, and it is good value for money' and is especially noted for its work related to investment funds. It has expertise in a range of derivatives, structured and other investment products and has been involved in the establishment of a number of exchanges such as the derivatives exchanges and the Singapore Commodity Exchange. Regina Liew, Larry Lim, David Yeow and Benjamin Liew are the key partners for financial regulatory work and Arnold Tan and Philip Yeo are names to note on the investment funds side of the practice. The team is acting for Asia Pacific Exchange and Asia Pacific Clear on the establishment of a new futures exchange and a new futures clearing house as an approved exchange and an approved clearing house respectively, the establishment of both is subject to regulation by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The team has a history of advising on the derivatives-related financial crisis in addition to assisting clients with licensing and regulatory issues.
Lau Kok Keng, who heads Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s 'excellent' IP practice, specialises in lP and technology litigation especially in the sports, media and gaming industries. Partner Benjamin Cheong is 'one of the brightest minds in the industry' in respect of IP and data protection. Nicholas Lauw and associate Leow Jiamin continue to act for the Sunseap Group in defending allegations of patent infringement, which has also included filing a counterclaim. The claimant sought to strike out the counterclaim and the matter has gone to the Court of Appeal. In other work, the team is representing Singapore Pools, the operator of a licensed remote betting site, in pursuing actions against cybersquatters and infringers of the client's copyright. The group also handles a diverse range of trade mark protection and infringement cases.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's 'efficient and highly skilled' team 'is undoubtedly one of the leading firms in Singapore and in the region' thanks to its longterm commitment to international arbitration. The firm has impressed in commercial, construction and engineering, and investor-state disputes. Andre Yeap SC, 'an experienced counsel' who 'is always well prepared, knowledgeable and tenacious in presenting his client's case', continued to represent the Republic of the Philippines in ICC arbitration proceedings over breach of contract claims brought by Chevron and Shell relating to their liability to pay income taxes due to the government. Francis Xavier SC is 'very experienced and well regarded' and Ng Kim Beng is recommended for construction and engineering disputes. Tan Chuan Thye SC is also highly recommended.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's team stands out for its 'impressive knowledge and insight' and provides 'good value for money'. The well-regarded Arnold Tan heads the department and has expertise in the establishment of both on- shore and offshore investment funds, including hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds together with regulatory regimes. Other noted practitioners in the sizeable team include Philip Yeo, Leong Lu Yueh, Anne Yeo and associate Mifiona Quah. The team advises on all stages of the private investment fund cycle from formation to restructuring and winding-down including the handling of cross-border offerings. In recent work, it has acted for Mizuho Asia Partners and Nuvest Capital.
Labour and Employment
The 'very impressive and cost-effective' team at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP acts for local and global corporates, banks and government bodies, including Procter & Gamble Europe, Prudential Assurance Company Singapore and WorldQuant Singapore. Desmond Wee and Jonathan Yuen jointly head up the team; the latter stands out for 'offering commercially practical and sound advice' and for 'not over-lawyering the issues'. Murali Pillai SC is also well regarded for his extensive employment-related litigation expertise. The group is handling a number of matters for Starwood, part of the Marriott Group, including representing the client in the successful defence of allegations by a senior ex-employee of wrongful dismissal and defamation. It was also engaged by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices to provide employment law training across a range of topics for stakeholders from the Ministry of Manpower and other organisations.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP provides 'a top level service and response times at reasonable prices'. Vikna Rajah is 'great with clients, as well as technically very skilled' and Lee Yi, who joined in November 2017 from Pinsent Masons MPillay, is also noted for her client handling skills. Chandra Mohan Rethnam is another key name. The team has expertise in business succession planning, wills and probate, family and matrimonial law as well as tax, trusts and estate planning. In recent work, it advised on the creation of a family office structure that was subsequently adopted as the standard exemption that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) would allow.
Projects and Energy
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has broad geographic coverage and handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious front-end work. The team is 'very knowledgeable, gives practical advice and tries to propose solutions to issues that address the concerns of various parties'. Highlights included advising a consortium on its potential bid for the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High Speed Rail AssetsCo PPP project. Shemane Chan is described as 'simply the best infrastructure lawyer in Singapore', and 'extremely familiar with public infrastructure documents'. Soh Lip San and Larry Lim are also recommended.
At Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, Norman Ho and Elsa Chai head a team that advises clients from property developers to investment funds, statutory boards and financial institutions on the acquisition, sale and leaseback, development and financing of commercial properties, shopping centres and residential projects. In highlight work, the team acted for the Logan Property Group and Nanshan Group Singapore on a successful bid for a residential government land site valued at over S$1bn. LN Development (Stirling), which is a company jointly owned by the clients, completed the acquisition of the land site, which will be developed for the building of condominium housing. Chua Chuan Leong Investments Holdings and ST Microelectronics are other clients. Benjamin Tay and Chou Ching are also key members of the team.
Regional International Arbitration
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP handles a range of commercial disputes. Andre Yeap, SC, who represents the Philippines government in an ICC arbitration brought by Chevron and Shell regarding tax issues, Francis Xavier, SC, PBM and Chuan Thye Tan, SC are key Singapore silks, with Kim Beng Ng also notable. The firm also has a strong network with offices in many Asean nations. Chau Huy Quang in Hanoi is very active in VIAC arbitrations concerning construction projects and is a key contact in Vietnam.
Restructuring and Insolvency
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP fields 'a strong team with good depth' that provides 'a superb standard of service' and is 'very business savvy'. The 'great strategic thinker' Mark Cheng and the 'technically very strong and commercial' Sim Kwan Kiat jointly head the team, which also includes Patrick Ang, 'who is very well known in the market and is commercial and solution oriented'. Other highly rated names in the team include Danny Ong and newly promoted partners Chew Xiang and Matthew Teo. Managing partner Lee Eng Beng SC is also highly respected. The team has had a role in many of the major restructuring and insolvency cases and is advising three of the largest Singaporean banks on the restructuring and refinancing of Ezra Group companies and its subsidiary EOL, several of the companies filed for Chapter 11 protection in the US with debts in the region of $1.5bn.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP 's 'excellent ' team is 'extremely client friendly ' and 'its rates are competitive and it is always accessible regardless of the time or the day of the week and the advice is always commercially sound'. Toh Kian Sing SC is 'an outstanding advocate' and 'is extremely hardworking with a quick and sharp analytical mind and sees points most lawyers may otherwise miss which may turn a case'. Leong Kah Wah is 'an outstanding and experienced wet shipping lawyer and a good advocate, who proposes solutions rather than disagreeing with opposing counsel for the sake of it'. Ian Teo, 'who has a keen eye for detail and whose advice is always commercially sound', 'is developing a burgeoning reputation as a sound advocate'. 'Advocacy is one of the strengths' of V Bala and 'his background as a marine engineer is particularly helpful' and Winston Kwek is another name to note. Associate Davis Tan stands out for his 'sharp legal mind' and is able to 'punch above his weight considering his PQE'. The team acts for regional and global ship financing clients, P&I Clubs, shipowners, charterers and commodity houses. Work ranges from corporate and insolvency matters to collisions and marine casualties and offshore energy-related mandates. It has acted for the judicial managers of Swiber, which included advising on a number of disputes and arbitrations across Asia, and also represented the owners of the bulk carrier Silvia Ambition in proceedings relating to the vessel’s arrest by a Singapore bunker supplier in Lebanon.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is regularly called on to act in tax disputes, as well as providing tax advisory and planning advice to a range of Big Four accounting firms, Fortune 500 companies and sovereign funds. The practice is singled out for its work representing multinationals in cases against the IRAS. Vikna Rajah, a former senior legal counsel at the IRAS, is 'commercially astute, legally sharp and very client oriented'.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's team produces work of 'a very good quality', has 'the relevant industry knowledge', provides 'prompt' advice and is 'good value for money'. It has an outstanding breadth of expertise across the TMT sector. In addition to handling matters concerning telecoms, technology and large-scale outsourcing, media and over-the-top services and data privacy, it also focuses on developing areas such as cyber security and fintech. Practice head Rajesh Sreenivasan and Steve Tan, who is 'one of the gurus in the field of data protection' and also has considerable digital media and telecoms expertise, are key names. Lionel Tan and Tanya Tang are other core team members.