Competition & Antitrust and Trade

Responsiveness, knowledge, commercial acumen and solutions oriented: these are some key attributes that make our Tier 1 Team a clear force in this highly specialised area in Singapore and across the region. By staying a step ahead, we give our clients a competitive advantage. Awarded the GCR Awards 2013 – Behavioural Matter of the Year – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa.

Practice Overview

A unique Tier 1 Competition & Antitrust Practice with numerous awards to its name across several ASEAN countries. A team that handles every aspect of competition law as a comprehensive practice, from advisory and compliance to disputes and resolution. A team that has gained a reputation for being at the cutting edge. A team that offers fully integrated legal and economic advice. A team that has won numerous accolades as a leading practice from, amongst others, International Financial Law Review, AsiaLaw Leading Lawyer, Global Competition Review, International Who’s Who, and Euromoney Experts Guide.


The team has been involved in major investigations, mergers and other notifications in Singapore / region over the last decade, and has achieved many ‘firsts’, including:

  • First to successfully obtain a leniency application involving an international cartel Competition Commission of Singapore (‘CCS’)
  • First to reach a settlement in a conduct investigation where undertakings provided were made public by the CCS
  • First to notify agreements and obtain positive public decisions from the CCS
  • First to lodge and argue appeals with the Competition Appeal Board from decisions issued by the CCS
  • First to obtain a merger clearance, where the notification was only made in Singapore, although the transaction was a global one
  • First to act for multiple parties in the first price-fixing cartel in Singapore
  • First to publish a regularly updated loose-leaf book on Competition Law in ASEAN

Team head, Kala Anandarajah with over 24 years of experience is cited as being ‘Best of the Best…’ consistently over the years by Euromoney Leading Lawyers. Described as ‘top-notch in competition law matters and … very good at working out a strategic solution to a legal problem’, , ‘highly active and very good’ and an ‘acknowledged authority in this field’ with a ‘solid, can-do attitude and excellent client management skills…’, she is the only external lawyer in Singapore named in the top 100 women in Antitrust in the world by Global Competition Review and also has numerous citations by international peer renowned ranking journals as a leading competition lawyer.

Other team partners include Dominique Lombardi, a highly regarded experienced lawyer who brings to the Practice her experience in European competition law; Tanya Tang, an economist who has regulatory experience working with the CCS as well as the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore; Benjamin Cheong, who comes with East Asian experience, having spent seven years in Hong Kong and Shanghai; and Lionel Tan, an ex-prosecutor.

A dynamic, dedicated and sound team of associates, some with dual degrees in economics, business and other disciplines, provide critical support.

The regional arm of this top-notch practice, which extends across ASEAN and beyond, advises a number of large conglomerates and multinational corporations from across the world on regional competition/ antitrust and trade laws, including China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei and Lao PDR. Our regional offices have dedicated strong competition practices, allowing for seamless services to be provided to clients. Where we have no offices, such as India, Australia, the European Union, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, we work with partners there.

What We Do
Mergers Notifications

We review the effects of structural changes in businesses, whether by acquisition of shares or assets, mergers or creation of joint ventures to assess the impact on competition in the relevant industries, and advise clients on whether merger notifications of their M&A transactions are required. We have substantial experience in preparing all necessary notification documentation, and liaising with the CCS and other relevant sectoral regulators as may be necessary, as well as competition authorities in the region to obtain clearance in the shortest timeframe possible.

Our experience includes:

  • Acting and advising on numerous mergers including: Chartered Semi-conductor/Hitachi Semiconductors, Asia Renal Car/Orthe & KTC, Fresenius Medical Care Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH/Asia Renal Care, Kulicke and Soffa Industries/W.C. Heraeus GmbH.
  • Advising extensively on transactions where no notifications eventually found to be necessary, including for Oracle/Sun,Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group SpA/Boncafe, KGI Securities (Singapore) Pte Ltd/Ong First Tradition, Geostr Corporation/Marubeni-Itochu Steel Pte Ltd and Robin Village International (Pte) Ltd, Fortis Global Healthcare Mauritius Limited’s bid for Parkway Holdings Limited, and Danone Inc.
  • Acting in the first ever notification with the CCS where the transaction was not notified anywhere else in the world.
  • Successfully blocking a proposed merger long enough to enable economic and business conditions to evolve by the time the merger clearance was eventually given nearly two years later.
Notifications - Cartels & Abuses of Dominance

We prepare notifications to competition authorities for guidance or official decisions on various agreements and conduct, including co-operative agreements between competitors.

Our experience includes:

  • Acting in the first ever public decisions issued by the CCS in a public notification for decision in Qantas/British Airways and in Qantas/Orangestar.
  • Acting in Qantas/Emirates’s notification of their cooperation, where commitments were provided.
  • Acting in numerous confidential notifications to the CCS.
Strategising and Defending Investigations

We defend allegations of infringements of competition laws in Singapore and across the region and help businesses to define and coordinate their strategy in cases involving competition authorities from multiple jurisdictions. We have succeeded in closing several investigations and achieving a significant reduction in penalties for our clients.

Our experience includes:

  • Successfully acting for and reaching a settlement with the CCS in an abuse investigation involving Coca Cola Singapore Beverages Pte Ltd, a major multinational corporation in the non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer and distributor, resulting in the investigations being closed with no finding on liability and potentially averting multi-million dollar fines. This deal won the GCR Behavioural Matter of the Year – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (2013) Award.
  • Successfully representing clients and managing strategy in the first public abuse of dominance case in Singapore, where a ticketing company was penalised.
  • Acting for the Express Bus Agency Association and several of its members from the dawn raid to appeal stage, where we succeeded in achieving a significant reduction in penalties.
  • Acting for the APRIL Group and various individual respondents in relation to a paper cartel in Korea and Australia, and managing the settlement process as instructing counsel to effectively reach a satisfactory settlement in Australia, where inter alia the case against a number of the companies and all the individual respondents were dismissed.
  • Acting as Singapore counsel for Singapore Airlines Cargo Ltd in the global cartel investigation involving fuel surcharges.
Leniency Applications

We assist and advise on appropriate leniency applications, and have successfully filed leniency for clients with competition authorities.

Our experience includes:

  • Successfully securing first place marker and acting for the immunity applicants, JTEKT Corporation ('JTEKT') and its Singapore subsidiary, Koyo Singapore Bearing (Pte) Ltd ('KSBP'), in the first international cartel decision issued by the CCS.
Settlements

We defend and assist clients in reaching settlements with competition authorities, which has resulted in investigations being closed without any liability or penalties imposed.

Our experience includes:

  • Successfully acting for and reaching a settlement with the CCS in an abuse investigation involving Coca Cola Singapore Beverages Pte Ltd, a major multinational corporation in the non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer and distributor, resulting in the investigations being closed with no finding on liability and potentially averting multi-million dollar fines. This deal won the GCR Behavioural Matter of the Year – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (2013) Award.

Compliance and Training

We develop compliance programmes, manuals and protocols, and conduct specialist tailored training for businesses on their market practices and conduct in Singapore and in the region.

We have provided compliance and training to a range of clients, from large multinational corporations to associations and smaller companies, that span a variety of industries including the banking and financial, petroleum, logistics and airline industries.

Our experience includes:

  • Being involved, from the inception of competition laws in Singapore and the region, in counselling, guiding, training and advising corporations and undertakings of all sizes on their compliance processes and programmes, including undertaking extensive audits and clean-ups.
Regulatory and Legislation

We play an active role in shaping and influencing the regulatory framework in this area of law.

Our experience includes:

  • Advising numerous corporations in providing feedback on the competition legislation in Singapore and participating in closed-door discussions with the CCS on various considered amendments to the legislation from time to time.
  • Having drafted the Singapore Airport Competition Code 2009.
  • Drafting the Brunei Converged Telco/Media Competition Code, in addition to the Telco/Media converged legislation.
  • Advising on competition law issues in regulated sectors such as energy, transport, telecommunications and media.
Market Studies & Analyses

We develop and aid in reviewing and analysing the state of development of markets. Drawing on our in-house economic expertise, our analyses are based on statistical and econometric techniques and take into consideration the relevant micro- and macro-economic factors.

Key Publications
  • ASEAN Competition Law, with Kala Anandarajah as Co-General Editor and critical editorial work by the Rajah & Tann Competition & Antitrust team, including Dominique Lombardi, Marcus Teo and Kimberly Tan, together with our regional partners, Lexis Nexis.
  • Competition Law in Singapore – Principles, Practice and Procedure, by Kala Anandarajah et al, Lexis Nexis.
  • Competition Law Update – Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review (2012) 13 SAL and Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review (2013) 14 SAL Ann Rev by Kala Anandarajah, SAL.
  • The Public Competition Enforcement Review – Singapore (3rd, 4th & 5th Ed), by Kala Anandarajah, edited by Shaun Goodman, Law Business Research.
  • Merger Control – Singapore (2nd Ed) by Kala Anandarajah and Dominique Lombardi, edited by Nigel Parr and Ruth Sander, and Singapore (3rd Ed) by Kala Anandarajah, Dominique Lombardi and Tanya Tang, edited by Nigel Parr and Catherine Hammon, Global Legal Group.
  • Merger Control Worldwide – Singapore, by Kala Anandarajah and Dominique Lombardi edited by Maher Dabbah and Paul Lasok QC, Cambridge University Press.
  • Anti-Cartel Enforcement Worldwide – Singapore, by Kala Anandarajah, Dominique Lombardi et al edited by Maher Dabbah and Barry Hawk, Cambridge University Press.
  • Private Antitrust Litigation – Singapore by Kala Anandarajah, Global Competition Review.
Representatives Industries

Aviation, Automobile, Banking and Finance, Bonding Wire, Bunkering, Cement and Concrete, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Computer Peripherals, Computer Reservation Systems & Global Distribution Systems Construction, Education, Energy & Power, Food & Beverages, Gas and Oil, Health, Insurance, Land Transport, Logistics, Manufacturing, Media, Medical Equipment, Music and Entertainment, Packaging, Paper, Petroleum, Publishing, Rubber, Semiconductor, Shipping, Steel, Telecommunications, Tobacco, Utilities etc.

Deals / Transactions

If you would like more details on the specific deals, transactions and investigations we have worked on, please email us at [email protected] or [email protected]

Trade Law Practice

Our Trade Law Practice Group is a dedicated practice unique in the context of Singapore, focusing on trade law and covering matters concerning all aspects of trade and customs issues.

Our Trade Law Practice provides counsel and advice for all types of matters involving the import and export of goods, including origin, valuation, exporter verification, strategic goods controls, hazardous goods, licensing and permits requirements, antidumping matters, as well as trade related contractual documentation.

The Trade Practice group has enormous experience in handling various import-export based regulatory issues, including issues dealing with strategic goods and encryption related goods, trade restrictions and trade sanctions, anti-dumping concerns, product recalls and trade disputes.

Our clients include manufacturers, exporters, importers and end users from various jurisdictions such as the USA, UK, Hong Kong, China, India and Indonesia, to name a few. We also act regularly for various Singapore and regional companies on trade law related reviews and employee training.

WITHIN THIS PRACTICE
Practice areas
1. Export / Import Controls & WTO Issues

We provide a broad range of services in Relation to export and import control, including implementation of internal compliance programs to ensure compliance with Singapore and international export control requirements, employee training, obtaining permits from the Customs and various Singapore Regulatory Bodies, providing advice on classification of goods, valuation as well as import verification, and coordinating issues at a regional level. A sample of our experience in export and import controls matters include:

  • Advise extensively on permit and other requirements relating to import and export of semiconductors, telecommunications related products, books and publications, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, chemicals and petrochemicals, poisons and various other products.
  • Advise on issues relating to strategic goods, where the appropriate permits were not obtained for export of the strategic goods, and assisting with clearing the export.
  • Advise in cases involving liaison with several countries’ customs regarding strategic and other goods being detained due to inaccurate trade documents having been obtained, and arranging to have the goods release.
  • Advise on trade structuring and preparation of documentation to ensure most commercially efficient solution for imports and exports as well as valuation.
  • Advise on issues relating to country of origin of various types of products.
    Conduct extensive training on rules of origin and other trade related matters for various trade and regulatory bodies across Asia.
  • Advise extensively on a number of issues from time to time arising out of the United Nations Transboundary Transportation of Hazardous Goods Convention.
  • Advise on customs and valuation across various jurisdictions.
2. Trade Sanctions

We provide a range of legal advice concerning international trade issues, such as embargoes and blocking regulations involving countries such as Iran, Iraq, Israel and Libya. Some of the matters that we have handled include:

  • Advise on the imposition of export-import boycott requirements into a trade related agreement involving Israel.
  • Advise on the export-import of goods into Liberia, Iraq, and various other Middle Eastern countries, focusing on trade sanctions and trade restrictions.
  • Advise on the supply of sanctioned goods to Iran from the view of various jurisdictions, including Australia, Singapore, United Kingdom, USA, South Africa, China, Indonesia and various European countries.
3. Anti Dumping

We provide advice on anti dumping requirements in various jurisdictions, recommend strategies to avoid or minimise anti dumping duties, as well as develop offensive or defensive legal and policy strategies to protect our clients’ interests. Our experience includes the following:

  • Advise on anti-dumping concerns arising from trade issues, crossing the EU and various Asian countries.
  • Advise on defending anti dumping actions.
  • Assist in managing the pricing of the products so as to ensure relevant anti dumping rules are not violated.
  • Advise on strategic plans on how to raise complains involving anti dumping.
  • Conduct extensive training on anti-dumping issues.
4. International Logistics, Warehousing & Other Agreements

We have been involved in all forms of preparatory steps in relation to the logistical and warehousing aspects of international trade, including reviewing agreements in relation to the packing, labelling, documentation, insurance requirements and warehousing. We have advised clients on issues such as:

  • Drafting and reviewing warehousing arrangements and contracts for various multinational corporations involving both tax issues and commercial documents.
  • Structuring trans-boundary trade transactions, including ascertaining whether ex-works, FCA or other approaches work best and drafting relevant documentation.
  • Advise extensively on a number of issues from time to time relating to the United Nations Sale of Goods Convention.
5. Product Recall

We manage all aspects associated with product recalls and / or corrective action. Some of the matters that we have handled include:

  • Advise extensively and intimately on the Singapore law aspects and coordinate the recall in Singapore of products manufactured and distributed by corporations based in the EU and elsewhere.
  • Advise extensively at different times on the Singapore law aspects on product recall issues involving goods in the medical industry, the semiconductor industry and in the electronics industry, amongst others.
  • Liaise with the relevant regulatory authority including the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE), the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), the Singapore Customs, the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING Singapore), the INFOCOMM
  • Development Authority (IDA), the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), various Ministries as well as other government and international bodies regulating products.