Chambers Global and Asia-Pacific

2020

Dispute Resolution: Litigation
Singapore – Band 1 for 14 consecutive years

Cavinder Bull, SC – Band 1 for 10 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Band 2
Randolph Khoo – Band 4 for 3 consecutive years
Siraj Omar, SC – Recognised Practitioner
Kelvin Tan – Recognised Practitioner for 5 consecutive years
Blossom Hing – Recognised Practitioner for 3 consecutive years 

Leaders in the litigation field with an enormously deep bench of top advocates. Deft handling of the most high-profile matters before the Singapore and international courts, with a wealth of experience in cross-border cases. Expertise covers the full range of litigation work including defamation, fraud and general commercial disputes such as shareholder and joint venture disputes. Skilfully advises government agencies, high net worth individuals and large corporations alike. Involvement in major cases in the finance sector, both for and opposite financial institutions.

Clients praise the quality of the team's advice: "They are very responsive, diligent and responsible in the legal work carried out. Most importantly, they are straightforward in giving assessments of the case."

Sources say: "They are very proactive and they can think outside of the box. They do the work well, which means they are able to move things on quickly."

Cavinder Bull, SC  is a pre-eminent dispute resolution practitioner with a long and successful track record. One client says he "knows exactly where he is going and gets there," while another notes he is "far-sighted and has got a very good mind."

Jimmy Yim, SC comes highly recommended for his focus on commercial litigation work. One market source notes: "He is very well known in the industry as a litigator and he is always smooth and a gentleman in court."

Randolph Khoo handles corporate and family disputes and is particularly well known for the latter. One client comments: "He has no hesitation to call it like it is, and I respect and appreciate that honesty and forthrightness that I need from an external legal adviser."

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration
Singapore – Band 2 for 3 consecutive years

Cavinder Bull, SC – Band 1 for 8 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Band 4 for 2 consecutive years

Formidable line-up of disputes lawyers with an established reputation for handling complex, high-value arbitration. Active across a range of commercial cases, including construction, energy and technology disputes, with notable experience on investor-state arbitrations. Known for its outstanding advocacy skills and leading roles in the Singapore and international arbitration communities. Its impressive client base includes multinational corporations, state-owned entities and funds.

Interviewees say: "I am always impressed with the no-nonsense, down-to-earth legal advice provided by the team."

One client appreciates the team's "use of good strategy" and ability to "give assurance and confidence along the way."

Cavinder Bull, SC is "one of Singapore’s best legal minds," according to interviewees. Market sources say: "He is a very capable lawyer and does standout work." He is well versed in handling high-stakes commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.

Jimmy Yim, SC's practice spans energy and resources projects and construction-related arbitration. Clients say he "quickly understands different aspects of a case and proposes a viable strategy.

Competition/Antitrust
Singapore – Band 1 for 7 consecutive years

Lim Chong Kin – Band 1 for 7 consecutive years
Corinne Chew – Up and Coming for 3 consecutive years

Impressive track record for handling complex merger filings and cartel investigations by the CCCS. Frequently assists competition regulators in a variety of sectors, including telecommunications, hospitality, media and energy. Notably offers competition dispute resolution capability, including representing clients on abuse of dominance cases before the competition authorities and Singapore courts. The team also regularly advises clients on antitrust compliance.

One client appreciates that the team "provides practical and commercially oriented advice,"while another highlights its "very sharp analysis.".

A further source highlights the team's ability to "seek to achieve a win-win outcome whenever possible."

Lim Chong Kin is "a very impressive practitioner," notes one source. Another appreciates that "because of his expertise he is able to get over hurdles and get results." He is known for his sectoral expertise in the area of telecoms competition, and also advises clients in other sectors on compliance, leniency and merger filings.

Corinne Chew covers a wide range of competition matters including merger filing, dawn raid management and compliance work. A client appreciates that she offers "in-depth knowledge on the subject matter" and is "very well equipped and is truly an expert."

Telecommunications, Media & Technology
Singapore – Band 1 for 13 consecutive years

Lim Chong Kin – Band 1 for 13 consecutive years

Standout offering, assisting blue-chip international companies and service providers and regulatory authorities from across the region on the full range of TMT matters. Areas of strength include transactional support, advice on telecoms and media regulation and data protection issues. Also well versed in market entry and competition mandates pertaining to TMT, with additional experience in the drafting and negotiation of technology contracts.

The practice is highly complimented for its handling of transactional mandates, one client recalling that "the team that worked on a TMT deal with us was really responsive and committed," while another reports: "It's not only the quality of the work, for they're really more than just a transactional firm: when we ask for something, they not only do it well, but give other advice, pointing to new directions for the company." "

The team's "strong telecoms practice" also attracts especially favourable comment. One client, who notes its "stronger understanding" of and "excellent performance" in the sphere, adds: "They rarely required input or advice about changes in the telecoms industry."

Practice head Lim Chong Kin operates across the TMT spectrum, acting not only for leading domestic and international industry manufacturers and service and content providers, but also for a number of key regulatory authorities. His work in this last sphere is particularly appreciated by his commercial clients, one of whom calls him "a leader in this space" and notes: "His advice is both thorough and attuned to the regulator's intentions, which is really helpful."

Intellectual Property (Litigation)
Singapore – Band 1 for 13 consecutive years

Morris John – Senior Statespeople for 7 consecutive years
Tony Yeo – Band 1 for 2 consecutive years

Large and established IP department in Singapore with in-depth experience in contentious IP matters across patents, designs, trade marks, copyrights, licensing, franchising and confidentiality agreements. Acts for high-profile clients across a range of sectors, including food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and media. Particularly adept at handling passing-off actions. Deep bench of lawyers with cross-border expertise spanning China, Malaysia and the USA..

Sources praise the firm's high levels of client care. One says it is "extremely sophisticated, efficient and very pleasant to work with." 

Another client describes the team as “a one-stop shop for legal matters in Singapore and a real powerhouse of a firm in South-East Asia.”

Tony Yeo is involved in many high-profile copyright and trade mark disputes. He represents multinational corporations from the pharmaceutical, healthcare and biotechnology industries. One source comments: “You can take comfort knowing that Tony is at the wheel when driving forward your litigation in unchartered legal landscapes.”

Consultant Morris John is a veteran practitioner who possesses wide-ranging knowledge on patent litigation and trade mark infringements. He is also well reputed for patent registration matters.

Restructuring/Insolvency
Singapore – Band 1 for 13 consecutive years

Sushil Nair – Band 1 for 13 consecutive years
Julian Kwek – Band 2
Blossom Hing – Band 1 for 5 consecutive years
Mohan Gopalan – Up and Coming

Outstanding group with an excellent track record representing debtors, as well as liquidators and creditors, in complex restructurings and insolvency cases. Highly active on contentious and non-contentious restructurings, particularly those with a cross-border element. Active on behalf of clients from a range of industry sectors, including shipping, energy and engineering. Well placed to advise clients on asset recovery, as well as schemes of arrangement and judicial management. Particularly noted for its ability to handle matters involving Indonesian parties.

The team is praised for its innovative approach to matters, a client commenting: "They have been outstanding in developing and implementing effective and creative strategies that have produced successful restructurings in circumstances that seemed hopeless at the start."

Sushil Nair is widely recognised as a top practitioner who regularly assists debtors as well as lenders on high-profile restructurings and insolvencies. A client describes him as "intelligent, creative, responsive and tireless in leading the Drew & Napier team in providing consistently excellent representation of their clients."

Julian Kwek is an established figure in the market who is well recognised for his work on insolvency matters, particularly those that relate to Indonesia. A client comments: "He impressed us with his work ethic and his extensive knowledge of Indonesia."

Blossom Hing has an active practice with regard to complex restructurings and formal insolvencies, representing both creditors and distressed corporates. Clients appreciate her straightforward approach, one noting: "She is someone who manages life and death and is someone who is very competent and whom you can trust; she has the decency to say: 'Don't pursue this course of action, it's not commercial.'"

Mohan Gopalan is broadly recognised as an up-and-coming practitioner in the restructuring and insolvency sphere. He has experience assisting both creditor and debtor clients and operates on both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Tax
Singapore – Band 2 for 11 consecutive years

Ong Ken Loon – Band 2 for 6 consecutive years
Ong Sim Ho – Band 1

Widely recognised as a go-to group for tax disputes. Well placed to represent clients in investigations initiated by tax authorities as well as subsequent appeals in all levels of court. Provides support on a range of tax matters arising from corporate transactions. Offers further expertise in stamp duty and goods and services tax. Houses legal specialists with extensive knowledge in finance and accounting. Experienced in advising families on private wealth matters, including wealth succession and asset protection.

One interviewee says: "Very experienced team. The lawyers are also accountants, so they are familiar with the financial workings. They are knowledgeable and you don't have to explain much."

"They are professional and highly responsive, even on small matters,"
 another pleased client reports.

Ong Ken Loon maintains a notable practice in the tax sphere, with regular instructions on transactional and contentious tax matters. Clients appreciate that "she is very solution-driven and extremely diligent in her response and advice."

Ong Sim Ho has a distinguished reputation for his expertise in tax litigation work, with market commentators confirming: "He is considered as one of the best in handling tax disputes." He has extensive experience representing clients in high-stakes cases.

Corporate/M&A
Singapore – Band 2 for 6 consecutive years
Foreign Expertise for Brunei and Indonesia 

Steven Lo – Band 4 for 2 consecutive years
Gary Pryke – Senior Statespeople for 2 consecutive years

The team continues to handle complex corporate transactions, including public and private M&A, takeovers and restructurings, handling both the transactional and the financing sides of large-scale transactions. Active in a range of sectors, especially real estate, financial services, technology and natural resources. Particularly noted for its Indonesia focus, it is also able to advise on issues across the region. Active of late on a number of delistings and privatisations.

Clients describe the firm as "responsive, reliable and able to offer a extensive range of expertise."

Sources describe individuals in the team as "quick to understand issues, commercially minded and pragmatic."

Steven Lo assists companies with M&A and joint venture formation and is particularly active on matters in the technology space. He heads the firm's M&A practice at the firm and acts for a range of domestic and multinational clients.

Gary Pryke is held in high esteem by the market for his acclaimed corporate practice. He has over 25 years of experience advising clients on M&A, corporate finance and securities matters.

Employment
Singapore – Band 2 for 7 consecutive years

Kelvin Tan – Recognised practitioner for 3 consecutive years
Benjamin Gaw – Recognised practitioner for 3 consecutive years

Renowned for its prowess in dispute resolution, Drew & Napier comes highly recommended for governmental investigations, restrictive covenants and litigation relating to terminations. Active in regulatory compliance work as well as trade union relations and collective agreements. Also advises on cross-border employee transfers and data protection issues. Has experience advising employers on employee fraud cases. Assists companies operating in a wide range of sectors, including media, technology and healthcare.

A client notes: "Drew & Napier is our go-to law firm because of their impeccable and commercially sound advice."

Another appreciates that "the arguments they put forth are logical and I find that they are protecting our interest."

Head of department Kelvin Tan is a key contact for clients.

Capital Markets
Singapore – Band 3 for 12 consecutive years

Leveraging its strong relationships with Singapore regulators, the firm advises on numerous issues across debt and equity capital markets. With a diverse clientele encompassing issuers, underwriters and REITs, it is frequently instructed on IPOs, rights issues, global depositary listings, reverse takeovers and funds transactions. Also has experience advising on DCM work, assisting with a range of matters including green bond issuances.

Clients say: "They are familiar with capital markets transactions and are therefore able to provide effective solutions having assessed the problems faced by the company. They are also able to pre-empt certain issues before they arise, giving the company sufficient time to resolve them."

Grace Lai is a key point of contact for the capital markets practice.

Investment Funds
Singapore – Band 3 for 8 consecutive years

Petrus Huang – Band 3 for 10 consecutive years

Regularly instructed to advise managers and trustees on fund formation and structuring, including private equity funds and recognised business trusts. Offers notable expertise in tax incentive approval for investment funds. Advises local and international clients on the establishment of funds in Singapore and the region.

A client finds the firm to be a “great resource,” adding: “The firm has an excellent depth of knowledge and strong bench. They are responsive and commercial.”

Petrus Huang is highly regarded for his fund management practice, which includes advising open-ended investment companies. Also active in the establishment of real estate investment funds, business trusts and tax incentives related to such funds. He has a “deep understanding of the Singapore regime and his advice is always practical.”

Arbitration: International
Asia Pacific Region – Band 3 for 10 consecutive years

Renowned Singaporean dispute resolution specialists, active on both commercial and investor-state mandates on behalf of a multinational clientele and increasingly sought after for the arbitration of matters of international public law. Clients include prominent participants in the energy and construction sectors, leading financial institutions and government agencies. Extensively engaged on arbitrations with Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Malaysian aspects, handling all stages of the arbitral process, including enforcement, and extolled for intense preparation and powerful advocacy.

An interviewee comments: "I am always impressed with the no-nonsense, down-to-earth legal advice provided by the team."

Another source appreciates the team's "use of good strategy" and ability to "give assurance and confidence along the way."

Jimmy Yim SC is the managing director and Randolph Khoo the deputy managing director of the firm's dispute resolution department.

Banking & Finance
Singapore – Band 4 for 2 consecutive years

Successful team handling high-profile deals for both domestic and offshore clients. Particularly visible assisting financial institutions and corporate borrowers with project, real estate and acquisition financing. Offers further expertise in refinancing deals and litigation as well as regulatory compliance. Broad sector expertise ranges from the energy and hospitality industries to agricultural producers.

Clients report that the firm is a "very well-established and recognised name in Singapore; they're responsive and clearly a leader in this industry."

Another client commends the firm's responsiveness: "Their work and turnaround time were exceptional. They far exceeded our expectations compared to our dealings with other firms in the past."

Pauline Chong is a key contact for the team.

Construction
Singapore – Recognised Practitioner for 2 consecutive years

Christopher Chong – Band 3

Head of construction and engineering, Christopher Chong joined Drew & Napier in June 2019. He has a long track record acting for clients in high-profile construction disputes

Real Estate
Singapore – Recognised Practitioner for 2 consecutive years

Foreign Desk - Indonesia
Indonesia: Corporate & Finance (International Firms) – Band 4 for 5 consecutive years

Well known for handling high-profile disputes in the region. Also offers substantial expertise in banking and finance, M&A, energy and natural resources, projects and infrastructure issues. Considered a go-to firm for major restructuring and insolvency matters, with an especially established reputation acting for Indonesian debtors. Regularly assists Indonesian and Singapore-headquartered companies as well as high net worth individuals.

One client comments: "The team gives good commercial advice both on Indonesian law and on the deal documents, and is focused on getting the job done."

Co-heads of the corporate restructuring department Julian Kwek and Sushil Nair are key points of contact for Indonesia matters.

Foreign Desk - India
India: Dispute Resolution (International Firms) – Recognised Practitioner for 2 consecutive years

Foreign Desk - Brunei
Brunei: General Business Law (Expertise Based Abroad)

Maintains its long-standing track record for handling Brunei-related disputes, with impressive litigation and arbitration capabilities. Especially recognised in the market for its strong government connections in Brunei. Frequently advises on disputes in the construction and telecommunications sectors, while also offering expertise in anti-corruption cases.

Foreign Desk: China
Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International firms) - China

Randolph Khoo of Drew & Napier LLC heads both the China and India desks from the firm's Singapore headquarters. He offers nearly three decades of international arbitration experience, which includes particularly extensive engagement with the Chinese market.

International & Cross-Border Capabilities Department

The firm follows an independent firm model, serving its clients internationally from Singapore and working together with top local law firms in other jurisdictions, with close ties to firms in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Often acting as a Singaporean counsel on cross-border deals due to its popularity with foreign law firms referring business related to Singapore, the firm also demonstrates impressive ability to act in a lead counsel role on matters across Asia.

The firm has especially well-developed international capabilities in the contentious arena. The team is very active in international arbitration, cross-border investigations, contentious and transactional IP and regulatory work across the South-East Asian region, India and China. The team often acts for Indian clients on inbound disputes relating to South-East Asian investments. Represents a mixture of governments, regulators and multinational clients.

Sources comment on the firm's cross-border experience and effective teamwork with partner firms across the region. One source says: "They are among the top at their game in Singapore and they have a good network of solid friendly firms in other jurisdictions that they work very well with."

Another client comments: "Their reputation is well deserved: they are the top firm overall in Singapore, unlike a lot of multinational firms. They really are focused on operating from Singapore, but they work all around the world," adding: "They do complex multinational debt restructuring, which often ends up being litigation and often in multiple courts across jurisdictions. The work they do shows they are an extremely impressive group of lawyers."