Chambers Global (2020)

Banking & Finance - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Terence Choo (Band 4), Weilin Lee (Recognised Practitioner), Angela Lim (Band 2), Ng Sey Ming (Band 3, Foreign Expert for Indonesia)

What the team is known for
Sought after by major banks and corporate borrowers, with an excellent track record in both large and mid-size work, from traditional banking and syndicated lending to project and real estate finance. Capable of handling Shari'a-compliant financings, with recent experience advising on murabaha financings. Additionally offers notable expertise regarding fintech issues. Well placed to handle cross-border instructions due to its network of offices across the region, including in Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Team roster also includes a high number of foreign jurisdiction experts.

Foreign desks
The group is well placed to assist foreign and local entities with banking matters in Indonesia, including acquisition finance. The Singapore team advised Royal Lestari Utama on the USD95 million financing of a rubber plantation development. Ng Sey Ming is a key contact.

Notable practitioners
Angela Lim is a seasoned practitioner who has a stellar reputation for her work on cross-border transactions, from acquisition and leveraged financings to project and real estate financings. Clients praise her efficient handling of matters, with one noting: "Turnaround time is the most important aspect for us and she is able to turn it around in good time, ensuring that the deal meets our parameters, which is obviously key."

Regina Liew is a distinguished practitioner with substantial experience in both transactional and regulatory matters. She has particularly in-depth knowledge of fintech regulations, with clients remarking upon the "helpful and succinct advice" she provides. One interviewee reports: "She is my first port of call due to her regulatory expertise. She is definitely a leading light in that area and is very responsive and insightful in the way she responds to queries."

Ng Sey Ming is admired for his adept handling of high-value cross-border financings relating to Indonesia, frequently acting for a range of major regional banks. One client states: "We work extensively with him and would rate his contribution as excellent."

Terence Choo is an established practitioner who attracts praise for his handling of real estate and project financing matters as well as corporate restructurings.

Banking & Finance - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Regina Liew (Band 1)

Capital Markets - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Chia Kim Huat (Eminent Practitioner and Foreign expert for China), Danny Lim (Band 3), Evelyn Wee (Band 3)

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. Highly regarded for advising on IPOs and listings, as well as rights offerings and hybrid issuances. Its client roster includes issuers as well as underwriters. A 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.

Notable practitioners
Danny Lim is "highly regarded" in the market, according to interviewees. His areas of expertise include IPOs, rights issues and placements.

Evelyn Wee 's practice is focused on equity capital markets and she regularly advises on IPOs, follow-on offerings and placements. She offers notable experience advising REITs and business trusts.

Chia Kim Huat offers considerable experience advising on IPOs and private placements as well as corporate transactions. He is particularly well placed to act for Chinese clients.

Corporate/M&A - Band 2
Ranked Lawyers: Chester Toh - Corporate/M&A (Foreign Expertise) – Myanmar, Lawrence Tan (Band 5) , Sandy Foo (Band 3)

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, particularly takeovers of Singapore-listed companies, whether hostile, contested or uncontested. 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 transactions as well as privatisations.

Foreign desks
The Singapore team has significant experience of advising domestic and international companies on acquisitions, divestments and joint ventures in Myanmar, acting in collaboration with its Yangon office. It has expertise regarding transactions across different sectors, including retail, insurance and healthcare. It assisted Island Capital and Millair with the exit of its investment in MyJobs Myanmar, which was achieved via sale to Ringier. Chester Toh leads the Myanmar-focused team.

Notable practitioners
Chester Toh has deep knowledge of Myanmar's legal market, advising both local and foreign clients on corporate transactions. He has recent experience of advising on deals in the manufacturing, healthcare and insurance sectors, among others.

Lawrence Tan has a broad practice encompassing mergers, takeovers and capital markets transactions. He regularly acts for corporate investors and major financial institutions.

Sandy Foo is well regarded by market commentators for her transactional practice. She acts for major clients including financial institutions and private equity firms on complex cross-border transactions.

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

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 and shipping disputes, and recent involvement in BIT arbitration. Clients include states, government-linked organisations and major international oil companies. Firm's strong reputation for court litigation also makes the team a popular choice for arbitration-related litigation. Well placed to provide specialist advice on construction-related disputes.

Notable practitioners
Andre Yeap SC is noted by sources for his long-standing reputation. His diverse practice includes international arbitration and commercial litigation.

Market sources say Tan Chuan Thye SC is a "well-known and high-profile" counsel in the commercial arbitration field. Clients also benefit from his experience as an arbitrator.

Dispute Resolution: Litigation - Band 1

Ranked Lawyers: Andre Yeap SC (Band 3), Danny Ong (Band 4), Francis Xavier SC (Band 3), Lee Eng Beng SC (Band 1)

What the team is known for
Prolific litigation team with plentiful expertise on big-ticket domestic and cross-border disputes. Represents clients at all levels of the Singapore courts with particular experience in financial disputes, though it 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. Members of the team have notable expertise handling cases connected to the Indonesia, India and China markets.

Notable practitioners
Andre Yeap SC has extensive experience in the dispute resolution field having handled shareholder and securities disputes as well as fraud and estate matters. He is well regarded by the market for his handling of complex disputes.

Danny Ong handles investigations and litigation arising from the financial services sector. Clients remark: "He is extremely effective in that he is able to turn on the dial where he has to be more assertive but is also attuned to the commercial realities such that he effectively advises us on the most advantageous position."

Lee Eng Beng SC is renowned for his long career and impressive track record in handling commercial and insolvency litigation. Market sources speak well of him, with one commenting: "He is very smart and has a good corporate background as well, which comes in handy."

Francis Xavier SC is a well-known name in the market with significant experience representing listed companies and high net worth individuals in commercial disputes.

International & Cross-Border Capabilities (Singapore & South East Asian Firms) - Spotlight Table

What the team is known for
Widely regarded as one of the foremost independent practices in Singapore and South-East Asia, Rajah & Tann performs highly on an international stage. As a member of the elite network Lex Mundi, the firm is closely aligned to leading practices worldwide, and also offers clients a comprehensive network of its own offices which spans ASEAN. The firm operates a full-service model from Singapore, and is often engaged to act as lead counsel on cross-border issues, but also frequently works in conjunction with international firms on multi-jurisdictional matters.

Rajah & Tann is regarded as having one of the strongest contentious teams in the region, which excels in both cross-border litigation and arbitration proceedings, as well as antitrust disputes and corporate investigations. Equally, the team is held in high regard for its transactional work, offering both international investors into Asian jurisdictions and local entities extensive support on financing, M&A and capital markets deals. The firm also provides clients with strong sector-specific guidance, with leading specialists offering cross-border advice in relation to the shipping, TMT, construction and insurance industries.

"Rajah & Tann has offices in almost every ASEAN country. Whenever I have anything that is regional in scope they give me a very good service. If I want to compare things in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam or Thailand, they do that for me," one client shares.

Another client adds: "The partners have a good deal of experience in dealing with projects in the region and are able to provide sound advice involving parties from various jurisdictions."

Projects & Energy - Band 1
Ranked Lawyer: Shemane Chan (Band 1)

What the team is known for
Well known for its comprehensive regional network, with an established presence in Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia. Often instructed on notably unique deals in the Singapore market. Highly sought after for its expertise in power and strong experience on PPP infrastructure projects. Also experienced in the oil and gas sector. Noted for its focus on the construction and development aspects of projects, with additional expertise regarding project finance.

Notable practitioners
Shemane Chan impresses with her considerable experience acting on Singapore projects and energy matters. "She's responsive, contactable and willing to accommodate clients’ timelines," says a client.

Shipping - Band 1
Ranked Lawyers: Shipping: Domestic: Finance - Chua Choon King (Band 2), Shipping: Domestic: Litigation - Jainil Bhandari (Band 3, also ranked in Shipping (Foreign Expertise) - Malaysia), Kendall Tan (Band 3), Leong Kah Wah (Band 1), Toh Kian Sing (Band 1), Winston Kwek (Band 2)

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, vessel collisions and casualty dispute cases. Offers additional strength in ship financing as well as shipping-related restructuring, with clients benefiting from its regional network of offices in South-East Asia. Frequently advises major banks and commodity houses as well as P&I clubs, ship owners and charterers.

Notable practitioners
Chua Choon King is noted for his activity on ship finance matters and other corporate shipping issues. He has expertise in ship sale and purchase agreements as well as leasing matters, often advising banks on such matters.

Jainil Bhandari is described by a source as "very diligent in his work and a go-to man in Singapore." He is regularly involved in shipping disputes and has experience on pollution related matters, cargo damage and ship safety matters. Clients often seek out his expertise on shipping matters relating to Malaysia.

Leong Kah Wah is a prestigious figure in the market, frequently advising on shipping disputes in the Singapore courts as well as on arbitrations. He is experienced in both wet and dry disputes. A client commends his clear analysis and advice, while another describes him as "a results person."

Kendall Tan regularly acts on shipping disputes, including on recovery claims and wet disputes. A client testifies to his "merits as an astute legal professional with outstanding and practical commercial understanding."

Toh Kian Sing SC is described by a pleased clients as the "foremost legal mind on maritime and related banking issues," while another adds that he "continues to be a shipping stalwart, and our first port of call for shipping matters." He is experienced in shipping disputes ranging from bills of lading disputes, to smuggling and ship sale and purchase litigation. Another source notes that he is involved in all of the big matters in Singapore.

Winston Kwek is known for his "in depth-industry expertise," according to interviewees. He regularly advises banks on litigation related to restructurings in the shipping industry. He also has experience in tax-related disputes as well as wet shipping matters.

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, extending to the Middle East, including especially notable coverage of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam and maintaining an acknowledged profile in Philippines-related matters. Particularly noted for handling investor-state and energy cases, regularly instructed in matters involving the operations of Chinese companies in other Asian jurisdictions and highly active in disputes generated by regional construction projects. Additionally well placed to act on arbitration-related litigation in the Singapore courts, where it often provides assistance to international firms.

Market commentators name Rajah & Tann as a firm with one of the region's "bigger and stronger" practices in this space.

An interviewee observes that practice members "work very well as a team and provide in-depth analysis of a matter."

Work highlights
Acted for the Republic of the Philippines in the ICC arbitration of claims by Shell and Chevron that the client breached the terms of an oil and gas service contract which obliged it to pay their relevant income tax obligations, valued in excess of USD15 billion.

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

Asia-Pacific Region: International Trade/WTO - Recognised Practitioner

Asia-Pacific Region: Gaming & Gambling - Lau Kok Keng (Band 2)

Indonesia: Corporate & Finance (International Firms) (Desk based Abroad) - 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. Possesses notable language capabilities in the group's Singapore office, including Bahasa Indonesia.

Notable practitioners
Ng Sey Ming is a contact for the practice.

South-East Asia: International Trade/WTO – Asia Pacific Region - Band 1
Ranked Lawyer: Kala Anandarajah (Spotlight Table)

What the team is known for
Offers in-depth expertise in trade matters concerning South-East Asian countries. Excels in a range of areas, including anti-dumping, export controls, safeguards and the structuring of trade flows, as well as handling customs regulatory compliance for international companies operating across a number of sectors, with particular expertise in the hi-tech, healthcare and agrifood spaces. Also works on matters involving free trade agreements and tariffs. Maintains a strong reputation for its handling of Thailand and Malaysia-related matters.

Clients report: "They are very service-oriented, and they understand the needs of the client; their advice is clear and practical. We never had to go back to ask for clarification and to challenge it. They give good, practical advice."

Notable practitioners
Kala Anandarajah is adept at handling customs issues, as well as advising on matters related to trade remedies and import and export. A source reports that she "has a broad knowledge of both trade and competition law, and is geographically knowledgeable, so she knows both what is happening in Singapore and in the region."