Chambers Global and Asia-Pacific

Chambers Asia Pacific & Greater China Region Awards

Singapore Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year 2022

2022 edition

Dispute Resolution: Litigation
Singapore – Band 1 for 16 consecutive years

Cavinder Bull, SC – Band 1 for 12 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Band 2 for 3 consecutive years
Randolph Khoo – Band 4 for 5 consecutive years
Siraj Omar, SC – Band 4
Blossom Hing – Band 5

Leaders in the litigation field who deftly handle the most high-profile matters before the Singapore and international courts. Has a wealth of experience in cross-border cases. Expertise covers the full range of litigation work including fraud and general commercial disputes such as shareholder and joint venture disputes. Skilfully advises significant clients, such as governments, high net worth individuals and large companies alike. Involved in major cases in the finance sector, both for and opposite financial institutions. Acts for both plaintiffs and defendants.

Work highlights Drew & Napier acted for Hin Leong Trading's judicial managers in a fraudulent trading case seeking recovery of approximately USD3.5 billion.

A client says: "Drew & Napier is an excellent firm - they're well organised, disciplined, and their performance is good and consistent, a fantastic organisation overall."

Another client enthuses: "Drew & Napier is altogether exceptional. First-class service with the brains and tactics to match."

Cavinder Bull SC is well known for his regular involvement in high-value mandates. One market source praises him as a "very strong litigator" while a client describes him as someone who is "very laser-like and goes for the target."

Jimmy Yim SC is experienced before the High Court and International Commercial Court in Singapore. He is particularly active in shareholder and construction matters and one market source comments he is "a strong litigator - one of those lawyers who has been in the business for many years but is still doing trials regularly."

Randolph Khoo is experienced in cross-border litigation and is also considered an expert in family disputes. He is especially recognised for his China focus.

Siraj Omar SC is a well-regarded commercial litigator who attracts plenty of praise from market source, with one describing him as "very practical and a great lawyer," and another noting he is "very talented and a very good litigator."

Blossom Hing has a specialism in financial services cases and is endorsed by market commentators for her expertise in insolvency. Clients note her for her "practical advice," while a market source explains that she "has a disarming style and is pleasant to deal with and also very active and effective in court."

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration
Singapore – Band 2 for 5 consecutive years

Cavinder Bull, SC – Band 1 for 10 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Band 4 for 4 consecutive years
Mahesh Rai – Band 5

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 in investor-state arbitrations. Has argued before SIAC and ICSID, as well as the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Its impressive client base includes multinational corporations and state-owned entities, particularly those involved in natural resources and telecommunications.

Work highlights Acted for Surfeit Harvest Investment in a USD1.17 billion investor-state arbitration under UNCITRAL rules against Taiwan.

An industry source says about Drew & Napier: "Their written work, whether legal opinions or formal filings in court or arbitration, are of an excellent quality. They are also very responsive."

Clients say: "Drew & Napier's lawyers are very experienced" and "very capable" with respect to handling cross-border disputes.

Cavinder Bull SC is an esteemed arbitration specialist with particular expertise in energy matters before SIAC. Market commentators hold him to be one of the "standout practitioners as advocate, lawyer and arbitrator." One source lauds him as "the smartest guy in the room, a great lawyer."

Jimmy Yim SC is an "old hand and everyone knows he is very strong in advocacy," according to one market source. He is an experienced lawyer who focuses on real estate and construction-related issues.

Mahesh Rai represents companies in natural resources, construction and other commercial disputes. Industry sources say: "Mahesh is very clever and well versed with the law. An excellent advocate who would have thoroughly mastered the case by the time one is at the hearing, he is very user-friendly as well."

Competition/Antitrust
Singapore – Band 1 for 9 consecutive years

Lim Chong Kin – Band 1 for 9 consecutive years
Corinne Chew – Band 3 for 2 consecutive years

Impressive track record for handling complex merger filings and competition investigations by the CCCS. Frequently assists competition regulators as well as multinational conglomerates in a variety of sectors, including the TMT, energy, aviation and automotive industries. Notably offers competition dispute resolution capability, whilst also regularly advising clients on antitrust compliance.

Work highlights Mandated by Refinitiv on the filing to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore regarding its sale to the London Stock Exchange.

The Drew & Napier team is lauded by one source for "demonstrating a strong understanding of the law and commitment to bring about best outcomes."

Another source appreciates that they are "responsive" and provide advice which is "commercially sound."

Lim Chong Kin is a top-tier veteran of complex merger filings with the CCCS and also serves as co-head of the antitrust team of Drew & Napier. One client appreciates that he "understands our commercial requirements and limitations" and is "able to provide sound, practical advice we can use immediately."

Corinne Chew maintains a robust practice handling abuse of dominance investigations and seeking leniency measures from the CCCS. She wins praise for her "strong commitment to clients" and her willingness to "work tirelessly to bring about the best outcome."

Telecommunications, Media & Technology
Singapore – Band 1 for 15 consecutive years

Lim Chong Kin – Band 1 for 15 consecutive years

Standout offering, assisting blue-chip international companies and service providers and regulatory authorities from across the region with 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.

Work highlights Advised Cisco Singapore on telecommunication regulations in relation to its cloud-based solutions and assisted in obtaining licensing approval for its enterprise-grade cloud calling and contact centre services.

One client appreciates the fact that the team's advice is "not just based on the law but is also practical."

Lim Chong Kin is a distinguished lawyer with a broad TMT practice, including notable expertise advising on telecoms and data regulatory matters. "He is very knowledgeable and knows the answers to our questions quickly," observes one deeply impressed client.

Intellectual Property (Litigation)
Singapore – Band 1 for 15 consecutive years

Tony Yeo – Band 1 for 4 consecutive years
Yvonne Tang – Band 3
Meryl Koh – Band 3

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, luxury retail, technology and media. Particularly adept at handling passing-off actions. Deep bench of lawyers with cross-border expertise spanning China, Malaysia and the USA.

Work highlights Acted for IIa Technologies in a lawsuit commenced against it by Element Six Technologies, regarding alleged infringement of patents in the diamond industry.

Tony Yeo is widely recognised as a market leader in Singapore for contentious IP mandates, especially for trade mark and patent litigation. One client asserts that "Tony is the best patent litigator I have come across in Singapore. His can-do attitude and creative thinking adds enormous value."

Yvonne Tang enters the rankings on the strength of her trade mark litigation practice in Singapore. "She is very responsive to our legal questions and reverts with good and timely advice," reports one impressed source.

Meryl Koh receives praise for her trade mark and copyright disputes expertise in Singapore. "She has a great eye for detail as well as an ability to see the big picture," observes one client, whilst another describes her as a "very meticulous litigator."

Restructuring/Insolvency
Singapore – Band 1 for 15 consecutive years

Sushil Nair – Band 1 for 15 consecutive years
Julian Kwek – Band 2 for 3 consecutive years
Blossom Hing – Band 1 for 7 consecutive years
Chan Wei Meng – Band 3
Mohan Gopalan – Band 4

Outstanding group with an excellent track record of 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, oil and gas, 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.

Work highlights Advised Ezion Holdings on its debt restructuring process.

Drew & Napier is recognised for its handling of sophisticated matters, with one source commenting that "the team expertly and successfully guides companies through extraordinarily complex and often intense restructurings."

"They are particularly helpful and able to promptly allocate appropriate resources," notes an interviewee.

Sushil Nair is a lawyer in Singapore with extensive experience working on high-profile insolvencies and restructurings, acting on behalf of creditors and companies in distress. He is particularly active in the shipping and energy sectors, and highly capable in cross-border matters. One commentator describes him as "extremely hard-working, smart and creative."

Julian Kwek is "very commercial and good at providing alternative restructuring and insolvency solutions," according to a source. He is an experienced lawyer in Singapore, with particular expertise in matters relating to Indonesia and China. He acts for creditors and shareholders on insolvencies and company restructurings, especially within the shipping and oil industries.

Blossom Hing remains a market-leading lawyer in Singapore, working for debtors and creditors in high-value contentious restructurings and liquidations. One interviewee comments that she is "the person I would go to for disputes and restructuring work in Singapore and South-East Asia."

Chan Wei Meng is a respected lawyer in Singapore. He acts for debtors and lenders on significant restructurings, often involving corporations in the shipping, engineering and energy sectors.

Mohan Gopalan in Singapore has a broad practice acting for a full range of clients on debt restructuring and investments. He is active in the energy and shipping industries, among others.

Tax
Singapore – Band 2 for 12 consecutive years

Ong Ken Loon – Band 2 for 8 consecutive years
Ong Sim Ho – Band 1 for 3 consecutive years

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.

"They are very professional in their delivery of advice," reports one pleased client.

Ong Ken Loon is well noted for her dispute resolution expertise and boasts enviable experience handling tax litigation matters. She is sought after by a wide range of clients to handle tax investigations as well as private client work.

Ong Sim Ho leads the tax practice and is a highly regarded contentious tax lawyer in his own right. His work covers both domestic Singaporean and international tax dispute resolution. "His advice is always spot on and his responses are very prompt," enthuses one client of his.

Corporate/M&A
Singapore – Band 3 for 2 consecutive years

Steven Lo – Band 4 for 4 consecutive years
Gary Pryke – Senior Statespeople for 5 consecutive years
Tan Teng Sen – Up and Coming

The team continues to handle complex corporate transactions, including public and private M&A, joint ventures and privatisations in Singapore. Its lawyers are also well versed in handling mergers via schemes of arrangement. Active in a range of sectors, especially real estate, financial services and TMT. Particularly noted for its Indonesia focus, it is also able to advise on issues across the region.

Work highlights Acted for Wongnai Media on the reorganisation of its group entities and assets, in relation to its merger via amalgamation with Line, as well as post-merger equity funding.

A source values Drew & Napier's "flexible and creative advice, and willingness to consider novel approaches."

Another interviewee commends its "deep bench of expertise across senior to junior team members."

Steven Lo is a respected lawyer in Singapore. He is well versed in assisting both domestic and international clients with cross-border M&A and private equity deals.

Gary Pryke is a seasoned lawyer in Singapore with a long track record in corporate law. He is deeply experienced in advising clients on M&A and securities law, acting for domestic and foreign clients.

Tan Teng Sen is a director at Drew & Napier in Singapore. He is well versed in advising public and private corporations on complex M&A transactions, including mergers and spin-offs.

Employment
Singapore – Band 2 for 9 consecutive years

Kelvin Tan – Band 3 for 2 consecutive years
Benjamin Gaw – Band 3 for 2 consecutive years

Renowned for its prowess in dispute resolution, Drew & Napier comes highly recommended for investigations and litigation relating to terminations, harassment and misconduct cases. Active on trade union relations and collective agreements and advises on cross-border employee transfers. Has additional experience advising employers on employee fraud cases. Assists companies operating in a wide range of sectors, including media, technology and healthcare.

Work highlights Represented SAP Asia in a wrongful dismissal suit brought by a former employee alleging gender discrimination.

One source remarks that Drew & Napier's team consists of "very efficient and smart litigators who are able to bring their skills to bear in any employment dispute."

Another source says: "They can always be trusted to provide pragmatic advice."

Kelvin Tan is an established lawyer in Singapore. He has expertise advising on contentious employment matters, including investigations, employee fraud and whistleblowing incidents.

Benjamin Gaw advises on a range of employment law matters in Singapore, including terminations, retrenchments and trade union relations. A client says that "he understands the issues we're trying to deal with and offers succinct advice, giving the key points."

Capital Markets
Singapore – Band 4 for 2 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 deals. Also has experience advising on DCM work, assisting with a range of matters including green bond issuances. In addition to domestic work, it helps clients with overseas listings.

Work highlights Advised TT International on its receipt of a convertible loan from Celestial Palace to fund the implementation of its new scheme of arrangement, as well as an additional loan to two of its subsidiaries. The scheme of arrangement included the proposed undertaking of a renounceable rights issue by TT International.

An interviewee describes Drew & Napier's service as "excellent," in terms of the lawyers' "dedication, professionalism, creativity and responsiveness."

Investment Funds
Singapore – Band 4 for 2 consecutive years

Petrus Huang – Band 3 for 11 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 and also conducts regulatory research reports. Advises local and international clients on the establishment of funds in Singapore and the region.

Work highlights Advised TIH Limited regarding option agreements in connection with the formation of a new fund with initial capital of up to USD45 million.

A client describes Drew & Napier as "excellent - displaying dedication, professionalism, creativity and responsiveness."

Petrus Huang has a robust practice advising on fund formation and regulatory matters. He is well placed to assist with the management of private equity and venture capital funds as well as REITs.

Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption: Domestic 
Singapore – Band 2 for 2 consecutive years

Wendell Wong – Band 2

Respected for its capabilities in advising multinational and domestic companies on investigations in addition to potential litigation. Well placed to assist with anti-bribery, corruption and fraud mandates. Benefits from the expertise of its adjacent practices in acting for clients in tax, competition and banking related investigations.

Work highlights Acted for Hin Leong Trading's judicial managers in recovery of approximately USD3.5 billion from the directors of the company.

Clients say: "Drew & Napier is very professional and fast and provides practical solutions."

Wendell Wong is recognised for his experience in commercial litigation and corporate investigations. He is well placed to advise on potential litigation arising out of investigations and anti-corruption matters. A client reports: "Wendell goes beyond looking at the matter. As a client we like that he really takes the time to understand the issue, not just the legal aspect to the problem. He really does tailor the advice instead of giving you just the bog standard answer."

Banking & Finance
Singapore – Band 4 for 4 consecutive years

Pauline Chong – Band 4

Often handle significant 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 debt refinancing, restructuring and litigation as well as regulatory compliance. Broad sector expertise ranges from the energy and shipping industries to hospitality and real estate.

Work highlights Drew & Napier advised KrisEnergy on amendment exercises in relation to its revolving credit facility from DBS Bank.

One interviewee praises Drew & Napier's "very good quality of service, and ability to deliver and understand our needs."

Another source describes the team as "meticulous" in its approach.

Pauline Chong leads Drew & Napier's banking and finance practice, with experience advising lenders and borrowers on loan facilities as well as debt restructuring. Her clientele includes corporate and development banks.

Construction
Singapore – Band 4 for 2 consecutive years

Christopher Chong – Band 2
Kelvin Teo – Up and Coming

Represents a range of contractors, subcontractors and developers in construction disputes, including international arbitration. Draws on the firm's wider disputes strength to handle big-ticket construction cases. Regularly engaged in matters across Asia-Pacific, as well as the Middle East. Also active on disputes in Singapore, such as adjudication proceedings, with expertise in the Security of Payments Act.

Work highlights Acted as counsel to Korean construction company Daelim Industrial in a substantial Indian-law arbitration situated in Singapore regarding the contract for the construction of a petrochemical plant.

A market source says Drew & Napier is an "impressive team with extensive experience in construction and infrastructure law and the disputes that arise out of major projects."

Another market commentator praises Drew & Napier's attention to detail and says it is "an extremely efficient firm that provides excellent services."

Christopher Chong handles a full range of litigation, adjudication and arbitration and is a highly rated expert in this field. Clients note he is "pragmatic and quick on his feet," while a market commentator remarks: "Chris Chong is a construction law expert and an excellent strategist when it comes to resolving complex multi-party disputes on major infrastructure projects. When projects go south, you want him on your team."

Kelvin Teo specialises in resolving complex construction disputes arising out of delays, defects and other contractual breaches. A market source tips him as "one to watch," while another praises him for providing "pragmatic advice".

Real Estate
Singapore – Band 3 for 2 consecutive years

Acts on a range of real estate matters, including offering notable experience on development and investments. Also regularly advises clients on the sale and acquisition of residential and commercial properties. Regularly assists both domestic and international developers and lenders.

Work highlights Acted for Far East Organisation on the sale of residential, commercial and mixed developments.

A client notes that Drew & Napier's "services are consistently good and reliable."

Another source admires the team's "prompt response and client care."

Lau Sok Hiang is a key contact for Drew & Napier's real estate department.

Arbitration: International
Asia Pacific Region – Band 3 for 12 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 connections to virtually all parts of the Asia-Pacific region, handling all stages of the arbitral process, including enforcement, and extolled for intense preparation and powerful advocacy.

Work highlights Acted for Surfeit Harvest Investment in a USD1.17 billion investor-state arbitration under UNCITRAL rules against Taiwan.

Clients say: "Drew & Napier's lawyers are very experienced" and "very capable" with respect to handling cross-border disputes.

An industry source says about Drew & Napier: "Their written work, whether legal opinions or formal filings in court or arbitration, are of an excellent quality. They are also very responsive."

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

Foreign Desk - Indonesia
Indonesia: Corporate & Finance (International Firms) – Band 4 for 7 consecutive years

Well known for handling high-profile disputes in the region and particularly in Indonesia. Also offers substantial expertise in banking and finance, M&A, energy and natural resources and real estate 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 corporates as well as public sector entities and individuals. Provides Indonesia law expertise through Makarim & Taira S, which is part of Drew Network Asia.

Work highlights Assisted Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi and Humpuss Transportasi Kimia with resisting USD110 million of claims by liquidators of Humpuss Group's former Singaporean subsidiary.

A source notes that Drew & Napier is of "stellar quality and strong on M&A and corporate work."

Clients say that the team is "highly capable to take on any matter and very well organised."

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) – Band 3 for 2 consecutive years

Notable Singapore-based firm advising corporate clients on domestic and cross-dispute matters, offering both litigation and arbitration capabilities, including on inter-state arbitrations. Trusted by businesses in a wide range of industries, including those in power, finance and technology.

Work highlights Defended PT Oki Pulp and Paper Mills from an Indian supplier's claim for breach of a supply contract, wrongful drawdown of a bank guarantee and wrongful termination of an installation contract, while counterclaiming for breach of the supply and installation contracts by the Indian supplier in the same action.

A source describes Drew & Napier as "a good domestic Singapore firm for litigation with Indian clients."

A second source asserts: "They have fine people and do some great work."

Cavinder Bull SC in Singapore is a key contact for the dispute resolution practice.