The Legal 500 - Asia Pacific (2023)
Antitrust and Competition – Tier 1
Banking and Finance – Tier 1
Capital Markets: Equity and Debt – Tier 2
Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Derivatives and Securitisation – Tier 1
Construction – Tier 1
Corporate and M&A – Tier 2
Dispute Resolution – Tier 1
Fintech and Financial Services Regulatory – Tier 1
Insurance – Tier 1
Intellectual Property – Tier 2
International Arbitration – Tier 2
Investment Funds – Tier 1
Labour and Employment – Tier 1
Private Wealth and Family Law – Tier 1
Projects and Energy – Tier 1
Real Estate – Tier 1
Restructuring and Insolvency – Tier 1
Start-up and Venture Capital – Tier 2
Shipping – Tier 1
Tax – Tier 2
TMT – Tier 1
White-Collar Crime – Tier 1
Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration: Leading Firms – Tier 3
Angela Lim – Banking and Finance
Anne Yeo – Investment Funds
Brian Ng - Start-Up and Venture Capital
Chia Kim Huat – Capital Markets: Equity and Debt
Desmond Wee – Labour and Employment
Elaine Tay – Insurance
Francis Xavier – Dispute Resolution
Hamidul Haq – White-Collar Crime
Kala Anandarajah – Antitrust and Competition
Lau Kok Keng – Intellectual Property
Lee Eng Beng – Dispute Resolution
Leong Kah Wah – Shipping
Muralidharan Pillai, SC – Labour and Employment
Ng Kim Beng - Construction
Norman Ho – Real Estate
Patrick Ang – Restructuring and Insolvency
Rajesh Sreenivasan – TMT
Raymond Tong – Capital Markets: Equity and Debt
Regina Liew – Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Derivatives and Securitisation; Fintech and Financial Services Regulatory
Shemane Chan – Construction; Projects and Energy
Simon Goh – Insurance
Steve Tan – TMT
Tracy Ang – Start-Up and Venture Capital
Thong Chee Kun – White-Collar Crime
Toh Kian Sing, SC – Shipping
Vikna Rajah – Private Wealth and Family Law; Tax
Wee Hann Lim – Corporate and M&A
Next Generation Lawyers:
Benjamin Cheong – TMT
Benjamin Liew – Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Derivatives and Securitisation
Ho Mei Shi – Banking and Finance
Jasmine Chew – Investment Funds
Philip Yeo – Investment Funds
Josephine Chee- White-Collar Crime
Hall of Fame:
Andre Yeap SC – International Arbitration
Arnold Tan – Investment Funds
Lee Eng Beng, SC – Restructuring and Insolvency
Sandy Foo – Corporate and M&A
Andre Yeap – International Arbitration
Arnold Tan – Investment Funds
Avinash Pradhan - Construction
Benjamin Liew - Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Derivatives and Securitisation, Fintech and Financial Services Regulatory
Benjamin Tay – Real Estate
Brian Ng- Start-Up and Venture Capital
Carmen Lee – Investment Funds
Cheryl Tan – Banking and Finance
Chou Ching – Real Estate
Chua Choon King - Shipping
Cynthia Goh - Capital Markets: Equity and Debt
Danny Lim - Capital Markets: Equity and Debt
Danny Ong – Dispute Resolution
Devathas Satianathan – International Arbitration
Elaine Tay - Insurance
Eugene Lee - Capital Markets: Equity and Debt
Francis Xavier – International Arbitration
Gazalle Mok – Real Estate
Hamidul Haq – White-Collar Crime
Ho Mei Shi – Banking and Finance
Jainil Bhandari - Shipping
Jansen Chow – Dispute Resolution
Josephine Chee – White-Collar Crime
Kee Lay Lian - Private Wealth and Family Law
Kelvin Poon,SC - Dispute Resolution
Larry Lim - Fintech and Financial Services Regulatory, Projects and Energy
Lee Eng Beng SC – Dispute Resolution, Restructuring and Insolvency
Lee Weilin – Banking and Finance
Lee Xin Mei – Banking and Finance, Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Derivatives and Securitisation
Leong Kah Wah - Shipping
Lim Wee Han – Corporate and M&A
Lionel Tan - TMT
Mark Cheng – Restructuring and Insolvency
Matthew Koh - Construction
Max Lim - Shipping
Murali Pillai – Dispute Resolution, Labour and Employment
Nathanael Lin - Shipping
Nicholas Lauw – Intellectual Property
Patrick Ang – Restructuring and Insolvency
Raymond Tong - Capital Markets: Equity and Debt
Sandy Foo - Capital Markets: Equity and Debt
Shemane Chan – Construction, Projects and Energy
Soh Lip San – Construction, Projects and Energy
Tan Chuan Thye – Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration
Tanya Tang – Antitrust and Competition, TMT
Toh Kian Sing, SC - Shipping
Wang Ying Shuang - Insurance
Winston Kwek - Shipping
Zixiang Sun – Investment Funds
Antitrust and Competition
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a notable Singapore and regional reputation, landing it an impressive market share of merger and investigation engagements, including matters in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Its client base includes a number of major multinationals such as Coca-Cola and Willis Towers Watson, and it recently acted for DBS Bank in the joint development, with JP Morgan and Temasek, of a common and open industry platform for payments, trade and foreign exchange settlement through the use of blockchain solutions. Department head Kala Anandarajah continues to impress in merger notifications and regional matters, while Tanya Tang is the firm’s chief economic and policy advisor, noted for her experience in the technology and social media sectors. Dominique Lombardi has left the firm.
Banking and Finance
At Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, the banking and finance team provides advice that ‘is practical and solutions-oriented.’ Practitioners are seasoned in complex and high-value transactions across a variety of industries, and skilled at handling the full array of financing deals, ranging from real estate finance to syndicated lending, acquisition financing, Islamic finance, and sustainability-linked credit facilities. Acting for sponsors and lenders in the financing of renewable energy projects is another area of expertise for the group, which ‘is well versed in regional transactions throughout APAC.’ Dual qualified partner Angela Lim, who regularly advises on leveraged financing, greenfield project finance and debt restructuring in the region, jointly heads up the group with NG Sey Ming, another name to note for cross-border banking matters, including project, real estate and acquisition finance. Other key individuals include Lee Weilin, who is a trusted advisor for property funds, REITs and corporate financings, banking and capital markets partners Lee Xin Mei and Cheryl Tan, and Mei Shi Ho, who is proficient in REIT financing transactions and green loans.
Capital Markets: Equity and Debt
At Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, the capital markets team’s ‘strength comes from its well-rounded team of professionals‘ who handle the entire spectrum of debt, equity and hybrid instruments. Its diverse client roster is comprised of issuers, issue managers, underwriters and originators seeking advice on initial offerings, listing of companies, REITs and business trusts on the Mainboard and Catalist of the Singapore Exchange. Other areas of expertise for the group include first-of-their-kind catastrophe bond transactions in Singapore, cross-border deals covering the APAC region and beyond, as well as sustainability-linked bonds. An uptick in demands related to SPACs listings resulted in the creation of a SPACs multidisciplinary group, providing assistance in relation to SPAC structuring, financing arrangements for SPAC mergers and reporting requirements. Chia Kim Huat is a name to note for secondary and dual listings, while Evelyn Wee stands out for her wealth of experience in IPOs. Lee Xin Mei leads on debt transactions, while Tan Mui Hui is well versed in secondary and pre-IPO fund raising exercises. Chi Tern Hoon is regularly retained by SGX-ST listed issuers on continuing obligations and compliance issues. Raymond Tong ‘provides deep practical experience and know-how in ECM transactions‘.
Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Derivatives and Securitisation
Focused on financial services, derivatives and structured products, the team at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP handles the full range of transactional and regulatory matters. Standing out for its in-depth knowledge of regulations involving listed and unlisted derivatives and structured products, the practice is well positioned to advise on innovative, and often, novel issues in this space. Regina Liew has over 25 years of experience in the financial services and derivatives markets, advising banks, financial institutions and businesses on related disputes, transactional and regulatory issues. Larry Lim, who also advises on a wide range of fintech matters, digital currencies and crowdfunding, maintains a broad practice that covers regulatory compliance, clearances and product development. Benjamin Liew is a key contact for banks, fund managers, securities brokers, derivatives dealers and commodity trainers.
Since April 2022, Sim Chee Siong, who brings more than two decades of experience in dispute resolution for complex construction and engineering projects to the role, has been at the helm of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's practice. As well as its considerable contentious workload, the team continues to advise developers, contractors, engineers and governments from across the Asia Pacific region on the gamut of issues, from those arising at the earliest pre-construction phases through to completion and operation. Ng Kim Beng provides 'excellent strategic guidance and stewardship' on complex building and infrastructure projects, while Shemane Chan is recommended for her extensive knowledge of procurement platforms.
Corporate and M&A
Particularly active on the cross-border front, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP oversees a plethora of transactions relating to China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and South Asia, among other jurisdictions. The practice enjoys especially strong connections within the insurance, technology, healthcare, telecommunications, banking and real estate industries and is headed by Chia Kim Huat, a specialist in multijurisdictional M&A and joint ventures, private equity investments and capital markets affairs. Sandy Foo , who previously practiced in London, is one of the market’s foremost names for blockbuster deals meanwhile Lim Wee Han is engaged by a number of biotech, health and pharmaceutical companies in respect of their cross-border divestments and acquisitions.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP possesses a ‘dedicated team overseeing complex and difficult issues’ in relation to dispute resolution and international arbitration. Clients are provided with a seamless experience thanks to the industry-specific expertise of the firm, which includes real estate, energy and resources, consumer goods, and shipping. They have steered some landmark cases for an illustrious list of clients, one of which recently raised novel law aspects; the firm’s defence of PwC was significant because it clarified that professional services firms do not generally owe a duty of care for findings that affect or even harm third parties. Practice head Francis Xavier, SC, PBM leads the dispute resolution team alongside the newly promoted Adrian Wong and Vikram Nair, with Kelvin Poon as deputy managing partner head of the international arbitration practice. Danny Ong and Jansen Chow also recently leveraged their ‘wealth of experience’ to successfully secure worldwide freezing orders against a first-of-its-kind cryptocurrency matter. Lee Eng Beng SC, Tan Chuan Thye and Murali Pillai are also names to note.
Fintech and Financial Services Regulatory
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has established a strong reputation in the Singapore legal market for financial services regulatory advice, where it acts for a variety of clients, including major banks, funds, payment services providers, digital asset exchanges and trading platforms, among others. The firm is a popular choice for fintech start-ups and more established players seeking specialised legal, regulatory, contract drafting and negotiation support in relation to crowdfunding and cryptocurrency platforms, digital assets, and BNPL businesses. Co-head Regina Liew stands out for her comprehensive knowledge of regulations affecting the financial services sector and involvement in the fintech segment; she maintains a broad practice covering advisory, transactional and enforcement matters. Rajesh Sreenivasan, who heads up the TMT group, draws upon his wealth of experience in technology, e-commerce and data protection to advise banks and other financial institutions in their move towards the digital age. Larry Lim, who has over two decades’ experience in the financial services arena, has been actively advising on a range of fintech matters, including the launch of cryptocurrencies, strategic investments, licensing and regulatory issues.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has demonstrated deep commitment to the insurance and reinsurance field, handling a significant volume of contentious and non-contentious matters year-on-year. It continues to lead the market in corporate and regulatory matters, including insurance-linked securities, where it has worked on a series of catastrophe bonds and also represented a multilateral agency on the first-of-its-kind Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility in Asia. It also remains hugely active in insurance disputes. Simon Goh is hugely experienced in both contentious and non-contentious insurance with a big reputation locally, regionally and internationally. Elaine Tay is another experienced figure in property and energy insurance, and Wang Ying Shuang specialises in coverage disputes, recoveries, defence work and regulatory matters.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a well developed IP team led by the experienced Lau Kok Keng. The group is rated for IP matters linked to transactions and commercial agreements. The department has a particularly strong record in technology, new media, sports and gambling, along with consumer goods and electronics, food and beverages, hospitality, and transport and aviation. It has achieved further growth in cybersecurity and digital matters. Nicholas Lauw provides further senior expertise in technology, media and data privacy.
Recommended as ‘one of the very best practices in Singapore’ the Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP practice ‘is strategic, highly responsive and understands the commercial and legal issues’, particularly in matters involving complex cross-border issues. Key areas of strengths for the firm are government work and oil & gas sector matters. Avinash Pradhan has broad experience in international arbitration, institutional and ad hoc, and frequently appears as counsel in the Singapore courts. He co-leads the team with Kelvin Poon, who covers commercial arbitration, investor-state arbitrations, international arbitration and infrastructure arbitration in Singapore and abroad. Another key name in the area is Andre Yeap, who ‘commands judicial respect’ and ‘stands out because he gives the best advice and not just the advice that a client wishes to read’.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has an extensive practice, principally in the private funds segment. The team frequently advises new funds in the private credit, private equity and venture capital sectors, and has extensive knowledge in Singapore’s VCC regime. It is at the forefront of key trends such as the emergence of private credit, particularly in relation to Indonesia, and has a growing presence in single investment engagements for deals in India, China and ASEAN. It has a highly-rated partner group including the highly-acclaimed Arnold Tan, department head Anne Yeo, and emerging talents Jasmine Chew and Philip Yeo. The team was further enhanced by the arrival of Zixiang Sun, who returned to the firm from Simmons & Simmons JWS in 2022.
Labour and Employment
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a major focus on labour and employment law, fielding a substantial team of both contentious and non-contentious specialists. It has continued to work intensively in the creation of new remote working policies - carrying out compliance reviews and risk profiling programmes for clients - while in the disputes field, it has showcased its expertise in a series of high-profile cases, including those involving alleged breaches of contract and fiduciary duties, wrongful termination claims, and disputes over alleged breaches of non-compete clauses. It has also demonstrated its forte in restructuring programmes and retrenchment exercises. Desmond Wee leads the non-contentious employment team, while the ‘excellent, articulate counsel' Jonathan Yuen heads the employment disputes group. Muralidharan Pillai, SC is another leading disputes specialist.
Private Wealth and Family Law
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP handles a growing volume of family office applications, continuing to represent a large number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in Asia and leveraging strong connections to private banks. The team has an extensive track record in succession planning and has deep tax expertise thanks to the presence of key partner Vikna Rajah. Chandra Mohan Rethnam co-heads the private client team and is noted for handling high-net-worth divorce proceedings and probate and trusts disputes. Kee Lay Lian leads the family law practice.
Projects and Energy
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has outstanding experience in complicated cross-border matters with expertise in regulatory work, sustainability and green projects. The team headed by Sim Chee Siong are also market leaders in power projects in Singapore such as Shanxi Electric Power Engineering Co., Ltd involvement in a S$45 million EPC project for the development and installation of two battery energy storage systems. Shemane Chan has experience in advising on various procurement platforms in industries including energy, oil and gas and aviation. Soh Lip San has expertise in high-value disputes in this space, while Larry Lim focuses on energy and commodities trading matters.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has an established presence in commercial transactions, including recent deals in the data centre and storage hubs sectors. The team represented the purchasers in the S$1.3bn acquisition of One George Street in the heart of the Singapore’s Central Business District. It has an experienced team led by seasoned real estate specialist Norman Ho. Frequently working alongside colleagues in the corporate, intellectual property and restructuring teams, the real estate group has also made a further impression in liquidations and scheme of arrangement transactions, a real forte for the firm as a whole. Elsa Chai is also enormously experienced, and Chou Ching, Benjamin Tay and Gazalle Mok are also key team members.
Restructuring and Insolvency
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has an outstanding record in the restructuring and insolvency field. It has a large team dedicated to the discipline, which routinely lands the major engagements in the market. It has wide regional coverage and a diverse client base of debtors, creditors, liquidators and other major stakeholders. It has consistently led the market in the shipping and offshore sector, along with the energy and oil and gas sectors. Commodities, consumer goods, engineering and financial institutions are also key industries for the practice, among others. Lee Eng Beng SC is an eminent figure in contentious insolvency, and Patrick Ang is widely recognised for corporate restructuring and insolvency. Sim Kwan Kiat, Chua Beng Chye, Sheila Ng and Mark Cheng are also key members of the team.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP‘s shipping and international trade practice has earned many accolades over the years and continues to land many of the prime engagements in the market. It has a large team of specialist partners and associates, along with an in-house master mariner. It represents a range of banks, P&I clubs, shipowners, charterers and commodity houses. Like a number of the top firms in Singapore, it has made its mark in shipping restructurings, along with cargo and charterparty claims, collisions and marine casualties, and ship financings. Kendall Tan heads the team, which includes deputy head V Bala, Toh Kian Sing SC and Leong Kah Wah.
Start-Up and Venture Capital
Combining ‘local knowledge with world class service‘, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s multidisciplinary start-up practice provides experience in structuring, preparing and executing private equity and venture capital transactions spanning asset classes and jurisdictions. The firm represents investors and start-ups in the tech space, with broad expertise including the fields of blockchain, crypto, foodtech and MedTech. M&A specialist Sandy Foo co-leads the practice with Tracy Ang, whose ‘experience is unparalleled’. Another key name in the team is Brian Ng, who is recommended as a ‘very experienced partner in VC deals’.
Full-service firm Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP brings multidisciplinary strength to its tax practice, enabling it to provide local and cross-border tax advisory, transactional tax and tax dispute expertise. Key areas of work include goods and services, stamp duty and property tax. Tax disputes specialist Vikna Rajah leads the team.
The TMT team at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has expertise in several areas including data breaches, cybersecurity and data centre projects. The practice is at the forefront of fintech developments such as blockchain-backed smart contract matters and telecommunication regulatory advice. Rajesh Sreenivasan has expertise in media and data protection matters and co-heads the team with data privacy expert Steve Tan and Benjamin Cheong. Lionel Tan frequently advises clients on cybersecurity law while Tanya Tang has competition and regulatory experience.
At the forefront of the white-collar crime and investigations market in Singapore, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has long-standing experience in the spectrum of defence, compliance and advisory work. Retained by household name companies, financial institutions and individuals, the firm is singled out for its proficiency in cross-border financial and regulatory crimes and offences, most notably cases involving securities fraud. Market manipulation and insider trading, as well as cybercrime, corruption, bribery and criminal breach of trust are core areas of activity for the practice, whose broad service offering has recently expanded to include crisis management. Fielding a dedicated regional group, made up of former prosecution lawyers and legal advisors to the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force, the firm is particularly well placed to provide guidance on to clients across the APAC region. The group is jointly headed by financial and regulatory crime specialist Thong Chee Kun and Jansen Chow. Former Deputy Senior State Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor of the Criminal Justice Division, Hamidul Haq has a wealth of experience in securities offences, corporate crime, anti-money laundering and asset seizure litigation. Also recommended, Josephine Chee acts for both corporations and individuals in criminal cases, and is also skilled at advising financial institutions on enforcement proceedings initiated by regulatory bodies.
Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration: Leading Firms
Singapore-headquartered firm Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP not only has arbitration strength in its home jurisdiction of the Little Red Dot, but can also call upon expertise elsewhere in South East Asia. In Singapore Avinash Pradhan and Kelvin Poon share leadership of the team which also includes eminent practitioner Andre Yeap SC, while Eri Hertiawan is a key name for international arbitration work in the firm’s Jakarta affiliate, while Chau Huy Quang is a key arbitration practitioner in the firm’s Vietnamese affiliate.