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Asia-Pacific Legal 500

Antitrust & Competition

Antitrust & Competition - Tier 1 for 2 consecutive years
Corinne Chew - Leading Individual for 2 consecutive years
Lim Chong Kin - Leading Individual for 2 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s group handles high-profile investigations as well as providing regulatory advice to clients in regulated industries such as energy and technology. Assisting with dawn raids and leniency applications are some of the examples of work, as are merger notifications. Lim Chong Kin is advising AT&T on competition aspects of its $85.4bn acquisition of Time Warner, and also handled a cartel investigation for a client in the manufacturing industry. In another highlight, the team assisted Lufthansa with a notification pertaining to its joint venture with Singapore Airlines. Litigator Cavinder Bull, SC and Corinne Chew are other names to note. 


Banking & Finance

Banking & Finance – Tier 2 for 2 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC remains a force in banking and finance, most notably in acquisition finance and project finance. The firm has experienced growth in infrastructure financings and a number of privatisation financings; it often represents the big four local banks, a number of Chinese and other Asian banks, and a range of international banks. In other work, it assisted Horizon Value Investments with a $90m refinancing; Horizon is a special purpose vehicle established to hold Havelock II, a commercial property owned and developed by the Guthrie group. The team includes Wang Shue Wen and newly promoted associate director Renu Menon. Senior associate Eugene Luah is ‘capable’ and ‘pays good attention to detail’.


Capital Markets

Capital Markets – Tier 2 for 7 consecutive years
Sin Boon Ann – Leading individual for 13 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s team is led by Sin Boon Ann, who is praised for his ‘maturity and experience’, and Petrus Huang. The team continues to impress with its work in REIT offerings and Catalist board listings; it has experienced notable growth in capital markets offerings by Israeli issuers. Clients include China Mining International, OSIM International, ZICO Holdings, Lonza Group, Summit Power International, Ocean International Capital and Manhattan Resources; the firm assisted the latter with its proposed acquisition of the entire share capital of Singxin Resources under Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) listing rules. Grace Lai and Ron Cheng are also key members of the team.   
 

Corporate/M&A

Corporate/M&A Tier 3

Drew & Napier LLC handles a solid mix of public and private M&A, including going-private transactions. It acts for a variety of listed companies, banks and financial institutions and a growing number of Chinese entities investing into the region. Clients include OUE Group, Mitsui & Co, Hotel Properties, Swissco Holdings, Baring Private Equity Asia and Ascendas Funds Management. It advised FWD Group on the acquisition of One George Street, a Grade A office building located in the prime central business district in Singapore. Steven Lo leads the M&A practice, which includes the ‘absolutely first-class’ and ‘commercial’ Julian Kwek, who is commended for his Indonesia and Malaysia expertise.


Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution Tier 1 for 19 consecutive years
Davinder Singh, SC – Leading individual for 17 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Leading individual for 17 consecutive years
Cavinder Bull, SC – Leading individual for 10 consecutive years

‘Top of the class’ and a ‘clear leader in litigation’ Drew & Napier LLC has a deep bench of outstanding senior counsels, including the firm’s CEO Davinder Singh SC, who is regarded as the ‘number one in Singapore’ and praised for his ‘standout persuasive and advocacy skills’. Cavinder Bull SC is also ‘top tier’, ‘very sharp and analytical’, and Jimmy Yim SC is ‘very quick to narrow down the key issues, craft strategic and tactical solutions, and has a lot of drive and passion in the delivery of legal arguments’.

The team is relentlessly at the forefront of big-ticket disputes and has appeared in over half the cases before for the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC). Work includes projects and energy, construction and telecoms disputes. It advised PT Bayan Resources and Bayan International in a claim and counterclaim arising from alleged breaches of a joint venture agreement relating to patented technology to produce and sell upgraded coal from East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Other names to note include Randolph Khoo, ‘an outstanding lawyer’, who ‘helps induce lateral thinking and alternative perspectives’, and ‘stands tall in the land of giants’; Wendell Wong, a ‘strong and well respected advocate’, who is praised for his ‘practical approach’ and ‘partnership’ with the client; and Chia Voon Jiet, who is ‘quick and makes the effort to understand clients’ business structures and objectives’. Tony Yeo, Blossom Hing and Gary Low are also recommended. Jaikanth Shankar is a ‘lawyer to watch’.


Employment

Employment Tier 1 for 3 consecutive years
Lim Chong Kin – Leading individual for 3 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s ‘responsive and incredibly thorough’ team regularly handles the employment aspects of cross-border corporate transactions and mergers between multinational companies as well as investigations and raids by the regulator. Kelvin Tan represented a public company in a dispute with a former senior executive. ’True subject matter expertBenjamin Gaw is ‘practical and efficient, able to deliver timely and accurately pitched advice’. Lim Chong Kin and Elizabeth Tong are also recommended. Chevron, Discovery, Fujitsu Components Asia, Hertz Corporation and Terasaki are clients.


Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Tier 1 for 19 consecutive years
Dedar Singh Gill – Leading individual for 17 consecutive years
Tony Yeo – Leading individual for 8 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s ‘tenacious’ team is ‘meticulous and strategic in providing advice, seeing the big picture while drilling down into the finer points’. In an illustration of its strength in contentious matters, the group successfully defended Delfi (formerly Petra Foods) against an appeal by Nestlé pertaining to the validity of registered shape marks. Dedar Singh Gill (whose ‘easy-going disposition belies sharpness and intelligence that catches his opponents on the back foot’) acted for Idea Marketing in a Court of Appeal case pertaining to its application to register the ‘F1H20’ trade mark, which was opposed by Formula One Licensing. Tony Yeo is defending IIa Technologies against a patent infringement claim by Element Six Technologies concerning a patent for synthetic diamonds technology. Meryl Koh, Lim Siau Wen and Yvonne Tang are also noted.


International Arbitration

International Arbitration Tier 2 for 3 consecutive years
Davinder Singh, SC – Leading individual for 6 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Leading individual for 6 consecutive years
Cavinder Bull, SC  – Leading individual for 6 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC has emerged as a genuinely formidable player in the international arbitration scene, and is praised for its ‘management of expectations’ and ‘value for money’. The strength of its practice and the eminence of its senior team members has led it to be engaged in a series of major arbitrations, including a number of investor-state disputes. The firm represented the government of Laos in a challenge to an international arbitral tribunal’s ruling that a Macau-based investor may bring expropriation claims, valued at some $900m, against the state under a BIT between Laos and the People’s Republic of China (PRC); lead partner on the case Cavinder Bull SC is a ‘fabulous lawyer’, ‘a big name’, a ‘very astute lawyer on strategy and law’ and his ‘experience is invaluable’. Davinder Singh SC is another outstanding advocate, Jimmy Yim SC is commended for his ‘advocacy skills and in-depth knowledge’, and Foo Yuet Min is making an impression.
 

Investment Funds

Investment Funds - Tier 3 for 2 consecutive years
Petrus Huang - Leading individual for 2 consecutive years

The ‘excellent’, ‘flexible’ and ‘responsive’ team at Drew & Napier LLC is most active in REITs, business trusts and collective investment schemes. Clients range from financial advisers to fund managers and trustees such as Raffles Venture Partners, Guotai Junan International Asset Management, Citicorp Trustee (Singapore), Foord Asset Management (Singapore) and PT Nikko Securities Indonesia. The firm is well connected within the funds industry in Singapore, South-East Asia and beyond. The ‘friendly and supportive’ Petrus Huang heads the firm’s funds practice, which includes the ‘highly accessible and responsive’ Ron Cheng.
 

Private Wealth

Private Wealth - Tier 1 for 2 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s group garners praise for its ‘excellent response times and great service informed by deep industry knowledge’. It specialises in wealth planning, preservation and succession issues, and assists high-net-worth individuals with tax-efficient estate planning and the establishment of philanthropic organisations and charities. Ong Ken Loon leads the practice, which includes David Chee, who provides ‘clear and practical advice’.
 

Projects & Energy

Projects & Energy Tier 2 for 7 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC is a disputes-oriented practice with a particular emphasis on oil and gas and coal projects, however it also handles non-contentious work. The firm acts for a number of large companies in China, India and the US that have interests or assets in South East Asia, and a number of state-owned enterprises. Clients include The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Essar Group, OCBC, UOB, Hyflux and Apollo Towers. Jimmy Yim, SC heads the department..


Real Estate & Construction

Real EstateTier 2 for 2 consecutive years
Geraldine Ong – Leading individual for 2 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s team assists developers, statutory boards, financial institutions, purchasers and vendors with matters ranging from financing transactions and restructurings to complex acquisitions across the region. Niche areas of specialism include handling applications for planning permissions for industrial land and conducting compliance reviews. Practice head Geraldine Ong is advising the developer of the Sims Urban Oasis residential housing project on a range of issues, including drafting sale documents. The team is also assisting UOL Development with the sale of residential units at the Botanique development. Yeong Wai Cheong is another name to note.


Restructuring & Insolvency

Restructuring & Insolvency Tier 1 for 7 consecutive years
Sushil Nair - Leading individual for 5 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s ‘smart, commercial and solution-focused’ team ‘delivers out-of-the-box solutions’ which keep it at the ‘top of the field’ and make it a popular choice for large-scale regional restructurings. Sushil Nair and Chan Wei Meng are advising ING Bank as secured lender and PricewaterhouseCoopers as receiver on matters arising from the restructuring of OW Bunker Group. The ‘absolutely first-class’ Julian Kwek is ‘committed and professional’, with the ‘uncanny ability to look beyond the legal aspects and provide invaluable advice on commercial implications’. Blossom Hing led a team advising Pacific Andes Resources Development on a $430m debt restructuring, comprising bilateral and syndicated loans, as well as bonds listed on the Singapore Exchange.


Tax

Tax Tier 2 for 3 consecutive years
Ong Ken Loon – Leading individual for 7 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s tax practice covers non-contentious and contentious matters with a particular emphasis on tax advice in relation to real estate transactions, tax disputes with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and appeals before the tax tribunals, tax investigations and private wealth planning; it has seen particular growth in tax investigations. The team represents a number of blue-chip companies, especially in the real estate sector. Practice head Ong Ken Loon has ‘strong technical skills’.


Telecommunications, Media & Technology

Telecommunications, Media & Technology Tier 1 for 10 consecutive years
Lim Chong Kin – Leading individual for 7 consecutive years

Drew & Napier LLC’s clients include global broadcasters as well as regional telecommunications providers, start-ups and regulators. In addition to handling drafting, reviewing and negotiations of a full suite of technology contracts, the group advises on licensing and outsourcing matters. Practice head Lim Chong Kin led a team advising Infocomm Media Development Authority on the legal and regulatory support for its spectrum allocation process and the implementation of the cross-carriage measure. The group also advised AT&T on Singapore-specific regulatory aspects of its acquisition of Time Warner and assisted Super Sea Cable Networks with the deployment of a new international submarine cable system to be operated by a Singapore-based company.