Asialaw Profiles (2022)

Aviation and shipping - Outstanding
Banking and finance - Highly Recommended
Banking and financial services - Outstanding
Capital markets - Highly Recommended
Competition/antitrust - Outstanding
Construction - Outstanding
Consumer goods and services - Outstanding
Corporate and M&A - Highly Recommended
Dispute resolution - Outstanding
Energy - Recommended
Infrastructure - Outstanding
Insurance - Recommended
Intellectual property - Highly Recommended
Investment funds - Highly Recommended
Labour and employment - Outstanding
Private equity - Highly Recommended
Real estate - Outstanding
Regulatory - Highly Recommended
Restructuring and insolvency - Outstanding
Tax - Highly Recommended
Technology and telecommunications - Outstanding

Leading Lawyers:

Andre Yeap - Dispute resolution (Distinguished practitioner)
Angela Lim - Banking and finance (Distinguished practitioner)
Arnold Tan - Investment funds (Elite practitioner)
Benjamin Tay - Real estate (Rising star)
Chia Kim Huat - Capital markets, Corporate and M&A (Elite practitioner)
Chua Choon King - Shipping (Distinguished practitioner)
Danny Ong - Dispute resolution, Restructuring and insolvency (Distinguished practitioner)
Desmond Wee - Labour and employment (Distinguished practitioner)
Elaine Tay - Insurance (Notable practitioner)
Evelyn Wee - Capital markets (Distinguished practitioner)
Francis Xavier - Dispute resolution (Elite practitioner)
Gregory Vijayendran - Dispute resolution (Distinguished practitioner)
Jonathan Yuen - Labour and employment (Distinguished practitioner)
K Muralidharan Pillai - Labour and employment (Distinguished practitioner)
Kala Anandarajah - Competition/antitrust (Elite practitioner)
Kendall Tan - Shipping (Distinguished practitioner)
Lau Kok Keng - Intellectual property (Distinguished practitioner)
Lee Eng Beng - Restructuring and insolvency (Elite practitioner)
Leong Kah Wah - Shipping (Distinguished practitioner)
Loh Chun Kiat - Corporate and M&A (Notable practitioner)
Ng Kim Beng - Construction (Notable practitioner)
Norman Ho - Real estate (Elite practitioner)
Patrick Ang - Restructuring and insolvency (Elite practitioner)
Rajesh Sreenivasan - Technology and telecommunications (Elite practitioner)
Regina Liew - Regulatory (Distinguished practitioner)
Sandy Foo - Corporate and M&A (Distinguished practitioner)
Shemane Chan - Energy, Infrastructure (Distinguished practitioner)
Sim Kwan Kiat - Restructuring and insolvency (Distinguished practitioner)
Simon Goh - Insurance (Distinguished practitioner)
Soh Lip San - Construction (Distinguished practitioner)
Steve Tan - Technology and telecommunications (Distinguished practitioner)
Tan Chuan Thye - Dispute resolution (Notable practitioner)
Terence Choo - Banking and finance (Distinguished practitioner)
Toh Kian Sing - Shipping (Elite practitioner)
Vikna Rajah - Tax (Distinguished practitioner)

Analysis:

Banking and finance
Acted for six banks including DBS Bank, Malayan Banking, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation among others in the restructuring of Ezion Group’s debts. The debts of the Ezion Group will be restructured by a sale of the debt to a white knight for cash consideration, a debt for equity swap in stages as well as a scheme of arrangement.

Acted for OUE Commercial REIT Management, DBS Trustee and RBC Investor Trust Services Singapore in relation to the grant of loan facilities in an aggregate principal amount of up to S$900 million.

Capital markets
Acted as counsel to SMRT Capital and SMRT Corporation in the update of the S$1.3 billion multicurrency guaranteed MTN programme, to provide for the issuance of notes as Green, Social or Sustainability Bonds in accordance with the SMRT Group Sustainability Bond Framework.

Competition/antitrust
Handled the Toh Thye San Farm (TTS) appeal before the Competition Appeal Board (CAB) against the infringement decision issued by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) against the client and other fresh chicken distributors for their alleged participation in agreements to fix prices and to not compete for customers. The CCCS imposed overall financial penalties of close to S$27 million, the highest penalty imposed to date. In an unprecedented first, in January 2021, the CAB published its decision partially allowing the appeal on liability and found that TTS did not participate in the agreement to not compete for customers. As a result, the financial penalty imposed by TTS was reduced by close to 70%. This decision is the first-ever instance of an appellant succeeding on an issue of liability and also covered several critical issues relating to procedural fairness, burden and standard of proof, reliability of leniency statements and applicability of CCCS guidelines. The CAB also made several critical comments on the CCCS’ investigation process, which may prompt a change or tightening of the investigation process in the future.

Construction
Advising Bangkok Smart Power and Bangkok Smart DCS on the appointment of two EPC contractors to construct certain district cooling and power infrastructure for One Bangkok and two O&M contractors to operate and maintain the district cooling plant and power infrastructure.

Acting for Shanxi Electric Power Engineering Co who has been appointed as the EPC contractor to construct a 60MWp floating solar farm in Singapore.

Corporate and M&A
Acted for Perennial Real Estate Holdings in the voluntary conditional cash offer by United Overseas Bank and DBS Bank for and on behalf of Primero Investment Holdings to acquire all of the issued and paid-up ordinary shares in the capital of Perennial Real Estate Holdings. The offer values Perennial Real Estate Holdings at approximately S$1.58 billion.

Dispute resolution
Representing Australian coal miner White Energy in seeking damages following its latest win in the S$1 billion dispute coal dispute against Indonesia-based Bayan for breaching joint venture obligations before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC). This is the first case heard by the newly-minted SICC.

Insurance
Acted as Singapore deal counsel in the historical Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS) transaction – the $100 million Akibare Re. It is the first publicly listed R144A catastrophe bond to be issued by a Singapore licensed SPRV sponsored by an Asian insurer, MSI, which is a major step towards achieving Singapore’s aim to be the Asian hub for alternative risk transfer.

Intellectual property
Advised Birkenstock and Birkenstock Sales on claims for trademark infringement and passing off against its former distributors in Singapore and Malaysia.

Labour and employment
Acted for a leading international bank in Singapore against a wrongful termination suit brought by an ex-employee. This matter is significant because the plaintiff ex-employee had alleged that the bank had breached its own investigation protocols and had pre-judged him during a prior internal investigation by allegedly making a premature report to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) thereby causing him to be unable to qualify to be a ‘fit and proper’ person and unable to secure any form of employment in Singapore as a licensed person. The plaintiff ex-employee also raised a complaint to the MAS against the client.

Private equity
Acted for Pluto Rising in the disposal of a majority interest in Viz Branz Holdings to Asia Food Growth Fund. The transaction was complicated by various sources of funds and pay-offs required at closing, including cross-border transfers in four jurisdictions and security discharges in multiple jurisdictions.

Restructuring and insolvency
Advising on the high profile $4.6 billion debt restructuring exercise of Hin Leong Group, one of Asia’s biggest oil traders, involving more than 23 creditors from multiple jurisdictions.

Acting for Shanghai Huaxin Group (Hongkong), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CEFC Shanghai International Group, in its claims against various entities for the recovery of receivables, which form a substantial component of the company’ assets. The total value of the debt being restructured/assets in liquidation is approximately $14.5 billion; the value of receivables is approximately $1.3 billion.

Tax
Engaged to assist Worldbank on the set up of a first of its kind Singapore law governed trust structure for the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility.

Technology and telecommunications
Acted for South Korea’s biggest e-commerce retailer Coupang Corp in the multi-million dollar acquisition of the technology assets of Hooq Digital, the Southeast Asian video streaming service owned by SingTel, Sony and Warner Bros that had filed for liquidation in March 2020.

Client Feedback:

“Offers relevant and practical advice; responsive.” – Banking and finance

“Responsiveness and ability to provide solutions.” – Capital markets

“Knowledgeable (including practical knowledge and market practice). Very good and practical advice. Thorough, prompt and amazing articulation and drafting. Pro-active, attention to details and great turn around time with senior-level involvement.” – Competition/antitrust

“It offers very reasonable legal fees, good quality of work, and very responsive. Especially their leaders, Kala and Dominique, are very good lawyers. They take a very quick grasp of a case which is very efficient. Rajah & Tann has a strong ASEAN network which is very beneficial and convenient.” – Competition/antitrust

“It offers practical and pragmatic advice and balances technical points of law with commercial realities.” – Competition/antitrust

“Very client-orientated, very responsive and long-term relationships. I have known Shemane Chan and Avinash Pradhan for a long time. They also assist in Malaysia through CLO.” – Construction

“Excellent team who are knowledgeable and hard working. Exceptional attention to detail and hard-working and friendly lawyers for whom nothing is too much trouble.” – Construction

“Clear and concise advice. Approachable and available partners and associates.” – Construction

“Save cost for SOP, prevent a claim from workman abuse.” – Construction

“Cost-effective. Practical solutions. Results-driven. Indisputable legal advice.” – Corporate and M&A

“High commitment to the project, very timely submission of tasks, pro-active feedback on issues arising, solution-driven and good skills in negotiating.” – Corporate and M&A

“The firm's legal team, led by Kah Wah Leong, is excellent in making sure this complex case incorporating foreign law, experts from multiple jurisdictions and novel claims are presented in Singapore as effectively as possible.” – Dispute resolution

“Good network for Indonesia via their partner AHP. The client partner - Tan Chuan Thye if based in Singapore. He is responsive and provides helpful insight on litigation strategy.” – Dispute resolution

“Always available to provide highly qualified answers to all kinds of different issues.” – Dispute resolution

“Exceptionally knowledgeable. Quick response. commercially minded.” – Insurance

“Our lead counsel and advisor Simon Goh is knowledgeable, experienced and also flexible and hands-on.” – Insurance

“Strong strategic advice. Extremely helpful on regulatory matters.” – Insurance

“The R&T team were extremely responsive, professional, and provided timely and commercial advice that was practical, and easy to understand.” – Insurance

“Rajah & Tann have the largest full-service ASEAN footprints, which is attractive to clients and law firms in the region who cannot match this footprint.” – Intellectual property

“Experienced, helpful, expertise, available and flexible.” – Investment funds

“Having depth and breadth of industry knowledge as well as being commercially minded.” – Oil and gas

“Indepth legal analysis, a good understanding of the industry nuances and can see through the white noises to the actual crux of the matter.” – Oil and gas

“Good grasp of the matter in question, quick turnaround and quality legal drafting of court-related matters.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“The legal counsels in this engagement were very knowledgeable in the various aspects of laws including, but not limited to, insolvency laws, shipping related laws and environmental laws. Given the urgency and speed of day-to-day developments, the legal counsels also had a very quick and prompt response time. They also exude confidence and gave stakeholders comfort in the challenging circumstances.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“The restructuring was multi-geography, multi-lender, and R&T was able to coordinate and negotiate effectively, while working with their partner firms, in order to get the maximum recovery for the bank.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Kala Anandarajah
“She is very helpful, efficient, business-oriented and practical. Even it is nearly midnight, she still responds to us if it is urgent. She makes herself always available. Her explanation is very simple and straightforward and easy to understand. She quickly grasps complex cases and arranges everything in a short time frame. I always admire and envy her energy and passion.”

“Knowledgeable. Proactive and prompt. Practical and solution-oriented.”

Shemane Chan
“Highly responsive, very attentive to detail, knows the subject matter well and was able to advise on innovative solutions when met with deadlock during negotiations.”

Chua Beng Chye
“Overall friendly and responsive to client needs and addressed to issues of concern.”

“Clear minded and sharp in his analysis. Sound advice and strong technical knowledge of the related legislation.”

Simon Goh
“Easy to communicate. Knowledgeable.”

“Simon is a very knowledgeable, experienced, practical and hands-on advisor.”

“Extremely experienced and helpful, and guided us completely throughout a new process for us, and our mutual client.”

Leong Kah Wah
“Kah Wah excels at managing a complex team from multiple jurisdictions, incorporating client input, and making sure that the case presented in his jurisdiction is as tight and concise as possible.”

Danny Lim
“Attentiveness and witty.”

Lim Wee Hann
“Wee Hann is a client-oriented lawyer who finds solutions and does not just advise on the law. Wee Hann is forward-thinking and sector focused on the key sectors within the region.”

Dominique Lombardi
“Positive and delightful attitude even in difficult and challenging times. Incredibly thorough and amazing attention to detail and across all facets of the deal.”

Jonathan Oon
“Jonathan is technically strong, yet commercially minded, which makes it easy to work with him. Even when the deal involves cross-border restructuring, Jonathan always made sure that timelines are kept and that documentation was done well.”

Avinash Pradhan
“Exceptional legal knowledge and hard working with a good strategic brain. Very clever and induces confidence.”

Terence Quek
“Terence is very friendly and approachable. He understands our situation fast and is able to offer practical solutions to the issues.”

“Communication, resourceful, giving explanations, legal advice, solution-driven.”

Vikna Rajah
“He is well versed and able to articulate the strengths of the legal arguments of a case.”

“Mr Vikna was very well versed in the tax laws and was able to put in perspective the strengths of the legal arguments.”

“Vikna Rajah who lead the team is able to appreciate the complexity of the issue and able to come out with an out of the box solution. The matter is in the process of resolution in the shortest time.”

Soh Lip San
“Approachable and available. Able to explain complicated jargon to non legally trained members of my staff.”

Tan Chuan Thye
“Responsive, flexible on fees, helpful with dispute strategy.”

Elaine Tay
“Very hands on. Strategic thinker. Excellent written work - clear and comprehensive when advising and when drafting pleadings.”

Toh Kian Sing
“Deep professorial legal knowledge and very experienced in the oil and gas industry.”

“I would like to recommend both Toh Kian Sing and Nathaniel Lin. Nat is an upcoming lawyer who has both indepth legal knowledge and industry experience.”

Wang Ying Shuang
“Ying Shuang is very professional and very knowledgeable about the insurance sector in Singapore. She is extremely responsive (which is very appreciated) and a pleasure to work with.”