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Julian Kwek

Co-Head, Indonesia Desk
Co-Head, Corporate Restructuring & Workouts
Corporate & Finance

Julian co-heads our Indonesia Desk and Corporate Restructuring & Workouts Practice. He focuses on cross-border mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity, debt workouts, and corporate restructuring. Julian has been consistently ranked as a leading individual in his field for many years by leading legal publications.

In Indonesia, Julian advises foreign investors and Indonesian groups divesting equity or entering into joint ventures with foreign investors. On the debt workouts and corporate restructuring front, Julian and his team have advised on most of the largest workouts in Indonesia and also on most of the defaults involving PRC companies listed in Singapore.

Julian speaks and writes Mandarin and is conversant in Bahasa Indonesia.

Experience

Indonesia Country Coverage

Julian and his team have handled many high profile matters. Below are some examples.

  1. Advised the Domba Mas Group on the sale of its oleochemical plants to Bakrie Sumatera Plantations. The sale required the restructuring of debt in excess of US$800 million held by various financial institutions and a US$2 billion off-take arrangement with Proctor & Gamble.

  2. Advised PT Bank Negara Indonesia Tbk and PT BNI Securities on a share sale and joint venture with Softbank with respect to Softbank’s entry into the Indonesian financial markets.

  3. Advised a leading palm oil refinery, Mewah, on its $180 million investment and development of a palm oil refinery in Surabaya.

Corporate Restructuring & Workout Matters

Julian and his team have worked on many matters that are Indonesia and China-centric.  In some of these matters they:

  1. Advised on the US$14 billion debt workout and corporate restructuring of the Asia Pulp & Paper group of companies (“APP Group”). The APP Group is one of the largest pulp and paper manufacturers in the world. Its primary operating companies are based in China and Indonesia, and it has more than 250 subsidiaries worldwide. The APP Group’s debt securities are registered primarily with the New York SEC and its equity securities are quoted on the Singapore, Jakarta, and Surabaya exchanges.

  2. Advised on the corporate restructuring of China Hongxing Ltd, a PRC group that is listed in Singapore.

Accolades

Asia Pacific Legal 500
Restructuring & Insolvency 2018 – Recommended Lawyer
Corporate and M&A 2018 – Recommended Lawyer

Chambers Asia-Pacific
Restructuring/Insolvency 2018 – Band 1 for 8 consecutive years

A client notes his "uncanny ability to look beyond just the legal side of things and can point out the commercial implications of a particular course of action."

Chambers High Net Worth Guide
Private Wealth Law 2017 Indonesia (Expertise based abroad) – Leading Individual

Kwek helps high net worth families to reorganise offshore holding structures and businesses, as well as assisting with immigration and citizenship applications. He also advises on tax efficiency and complying with the Common Reporting Standard.

IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms
Restructuring  & Insolvency 2018 – Highly regarded
Leading lawyer for 6 consecutive years from 2012 to 2017

Julian is regarded as “extremely intelligent”, “hard-working” and “creative”.

“Julian has always been very responsive and able to provide excellent advice and suggestions on not just legal issues but also the commercial implications arising,” according to a client’s feedback.

Another adds, “He had impressed us on his extensive legal knowledge about Singapore law as well as a good grasp of the legal environment in Indonesia. His strongest point is his uncanny ability to look beyond just the legal perspective and also provided excellent advice on the commercial implications.”

“I deal a lot with Julian Kwek and his team. I am very impressed with Julian's commitment and professionalism. The team is not there only to provide legal advice, but more importantly they can always come out with an outside the box solution to address those risks and concerns that the clients might have,” says a client.

Who's Who Legal
Restructuring & Insolvency 2018 – Leading lawyer

Asialaw Leading Lawyers
Restructuring & Insolvency 2017 – Market-Leading Lawyer
Corporate M&A 2017 – Market-Leading Lawyer

Best Lawyers International: Singapore
Insolvency and Reorganisation 2017 – Endorsed individual for 6 consecutive years

Global Arbitration Review 9th edition (2016)
A client praises the group’s response time, business acumen, industry knowledge and appropriate advice, saying “It has a good overall strategy and lawyers work well in both English and Chinese, saving time and misunderstandings.” Julian Kwek was commended for his “professional and efficient service.”

Asialaw Profiles
Corporate/M&A 2012 – Recommended lawyer

Appointments/Memberships

  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Honorary Secretary, Workforce Advancement Federation