Chambers Global and Asia-Pacific

2019

Dispute Resolution: Litigation
Singapore – Band 1 for 13 consecutive years

Cavinder Bull, SC – Band 1 for 9 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Band 3 for 6 consecutive years
Randolph Khoo – Band 4 for 2 consecutive years
Kelvin Tan – Recognised Practitioner for 4 consecutive years
Blossom Hing – Recognised Practitioner for 2 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. Skilfully advises government agencies, high net worth individuals and large corporations alike. Recently acted on a number of cases in the finance sector, both for and opposite financial institutions.

One market commentator remarks: "They have hands-down the best litigation team in Singapore. If I needed to recommend a client to a litigation team in Singapore other than my own firm, I'd recommend Drew & Napier. I think they have good lead partners, lots of experience and a good mid tier as well. The quality is good across the levels because they train them well."

One client finds the team "very well organised in preparing for litigation," adding that the firm has"more than adequate resources to throw at a problem and constantly engages with in-house counsel on ongoing strategy, thus ensuring we are always in sync."

Davinder Singh, SC  has a market-leading reputation as a litigator, having acted on many landmark cases. According to market commentators, "when it comes to court craft, court presence and a certain amount of killer instinct in court,he is the one."He commands great respect from clients, one of whom describes him as a "good strategist who is extremely hard-working."

Cavinder Bull, SC  is "very calm, measured, knows exactly what he's after and doesn't let go,"according to one client. Another source praises his ability to "see the issues quickly and beyond simply locating the legal problem, look at it from the point of providing the solution to the organisation concerned."He is highly regarded for his extensive experience in all levels of the Singapore courts.

A client identifies Jimmy Yim, SC's key strengths as "his familiarity with the judicial system, skill in conducting a trial and flair for cross-examination."The same source adds: "His eye for detail and precision in drafting arguments (both written and oral) has also resulted in successful outcomes in the course of handling a dispute for us."His practice covers litigation and arbitration, with a particular focus on disputes in the energy and construction sectors.

Randolph Khoo is a "sound and fierce litigator who doesn't give up," say peers. His practice is chiefly divided between commercial and family law matters. Clients appreciate his availability and dedication to the case in hand, with one source enthusing: "He is not only proactive, but would respond to all wild allegations put forth by the plaintiff with very comprehensive facts addressing the issues at large."

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

Cavinder Bull, SC – Band 1 for 7 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Band 4
Randolph Khoo – Foreign expertise for China

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.

Clients report the team has a "good understanding of issues, pays close attention to details, seeks innovative solutions and timely delivery of accurate as well as commercially-driven advice."

Sources describe individuals in the team as "diligent in their preparation of groundwork." Another client comments along the same lines: "I am impressed by their thoroughness. They cover as much ground as possible and are willing to look through piles and piles of documents."

Cavinder Bull, SC is a highly regarded advocate with a strong track record representing investors and sovereign states in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.

Davinder Singh, SC "clearly knows the arbitration laws of Singapore and additionally excels at strategies and tactics," according to interviewees. He is highly regarded as both arbitration counsel and litigator and has represented clients in commercial disputes covering sectors as broad as manufacturing, telecoms, real estate and banking.

Peers say Jimmy Yim, SC is "known for his advocacy skill internationally," while clients consider him "instrumental in defining the overall strategy, paying attention to the smallest details and the interrelationship between all the events and claims." He offers experience across a range of commercial arbitrations including joint venture, energy and telecommunications disputes.

Competition/Antitrust
Singapore – Band 1 for 6 consecutive years

Lim Chong Kin – Band 1 for 6 consecutive years
Corinne Chew – Up and Coming for 2 consecutive years

Impressive track record for handling complex merger filings and cartel investigations by 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.

A client values the firm's "good appreciation of the workings of the regulators on competition law matters" as well as the "excellent client service and commercial awareness" that the firm offers.

Another client reports: "I have found the team to be responsive, proactive and commercially practical."

Lim Chong Kin is co-head of the firm's competition law and regulatory practice. He attracts praise for both his "knowledge and responsiveness" as well as for offering "clarity in his advice" to clients. He is adept at advising corporations on a range of competition mandates, including compliance, transaction reviews and filings both in Singapore and across the ASEAN region.

Corinne Chew has experience assisting both domestic and multinational clients on merger notifications, dawn raids, investigations and leniency applications. Clients pinpoint her responsiveness, client service and competition law knowledge as her key strengths.

Telecommunications, Media & Technology
Singapore – Band 1 for 12 consecutive years

Lim Chong Kin – Band 1 for 12 consecutive years

Standout offering, assisting blue-chip international companies and regulatory authorities across the whole gamut of TMT matters. Areas of strength include telecoms and media regulations, as well as 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.

Clients consider that the firm offers a "strong and excellent team," explaining further that the lawyers "do a good job of ensuring that we are aware of what we need to do."

Lim Chong Kin commands a leading reputation in the TMT sector and is especially noted for his regulatory expertise. His prestigious client roster includes many regulators and international telecommunications and technology companies.

Intellectual Property (Litigation)
Singapore – Band 1 for 12 consecutive years

Morris John – Senior Statesman for 6 consecutive years
Tony Yeo – Band 1

Standout IP practice, particularly well versed in litigation. Also capable of dealing with patent and trade mark prosecution, as well as copyright and licensing matters. Acts for high-profile clients across a range of sectors, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and media. Particularly adept at handling passing-off actions. Deep bench of lawyers with cross-border expertise spanning China, Malaysia and the US.

The team attracts praise for its timeliness and expertise. One client points out: "It is a powerhouse in Singapore with very talented lawyers, who think globally while acting locally."

Another source says: "The strength of the firm is the IP department, which is very efficient and whose turnaround time is fast."

Tony Yeo  is the director of the firm and receives praise as "a seasoned patent litigator," with extensive experience on copyright and trade mark disputes. He frequently advises multinational corporations from the pharmaceutical, healthcare and biotechnology sectors. One source points out: "He quickly understands complex IP issues and is able to convey them in a way that is easy to understand," adding: "He understands the client's needs and delivers results that meet the company's strategy and goals. He is also very creative and thinks outside the box."

Consultant Morris John has a vast body of experience advising on patent litigation and trade mark infringements. He is also known for acting on patent registrations and passing-off.

Restructuring/Insolvency
Singapore – Band 1 for 12 consecutive years

Sushil Nair – Band 1 for 12 consecutive years
Julian Kwek – Band 1 for 9 consecutive years
Blossom Hing – Band 1 for 4 consecutive years
Mohan Gopalan – Associates to watch for 2 consecutive years

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.

The department's business acumen draws praise from interviewees, who report that "their client service is excellent and they are practically and commercially minded. They never lose sight of the ultimate objective."

Further sources commend the team's "extremely impressive group of lawyers," describing them as "smart and creative" and able to work under "extraordinary pressure."

Sushil Nair is highly regarded for advising on large restructuring and insolvency matters, especially acting on Indonesia and China-related mandates. Impressed sources note that he offers "sound advice that addresses and resolves various difficult issues."

Julian Kwek remains a distinguished figure in the market, advising on corporate restructuring and debt workouts. Commentators observe that "he is a deal maker, with a China and Indonesia focus."

Blossom Hing is highly regarded for her debt restructuring and insolvency expertise, with sources noting that she is "intelligent and someone you want on your side." She acts as Singapore counsel to local and international clients, handling both litigation and arbitration.

Mohan Gopalan is well versed in debt restructuring matters, advising a range of debtors, financial institutions, liquidators and judicial managers. He is noted by sources for his experience of both transactional and contentious mandates in this space.

Tax
Singapore – Band 2 for 10 consecutive years

Ong Ken Loon – Band 2 for 5 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. Experienced in advising families on private wealth matters, including wealth succession and asset protection.

One market commentator notes: "They are a very strong dispute resolution firm, not just in tax disputes. They continue to do well in this space."

Ong Ken Loon comes recommended for her experience in contentious work, with one client revealing: "She is a lawyer I would go to for technical matters." She is sought after for her depth of experience in handling tax disputes initiated by the tax authorities.

Corporate/M&A
Singapore – Band 2 for 5 consecutive years
Foreign Expertise for Brunei and Indonesia 

Steven Lo – Band 4
Gary Pryke – Senior Statespeople

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 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 appreciate that "the partners are directly involved in developing strategies and negotiations with counterparties," adding that the "associates are amongst the best that we have worked with."

Another client highlights the team's "exceptional ability to both anticipate issues and recommend solutions before they present."

Steven Lo wins effusive praise from clients who say: "His knowledge and experience with public M&A is second to none," and describe him as someone who "walks you through issues succinctly whilst finding the pragmatic and commercially sensible solution." He is well equipped to advise both bidders and targets, as well as financial advisers.

Gary Pryke remains a senior statesperson in the market with close to three decades' experience under his belt. He is described by peers as a "brilliant lawyer" who has "been in the M&A space for a very long time."

Employment
Singapore – Band 2 for 6 consecutive years

Kelvin Tan – Recognised practitioner for 2 consecutive years
Benjamin Gaw – Recognised practitioner for 2 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. Assists companies operating in a wide range of sectors, including media, technology and healthcare.

Sources commend the team's "excellent client service," adding that it is "always prompt and responsive."

Kelvin Tan heads the firm's employment team and is a key contact for clients.

Capital Markets
Singapore – Band 3 for 11 consecutive years

Kenny Kwan – Band 3
Sin Boon Ann – Band 3 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 transactions.

One pleased client notes that the team is "commercially savvy," explaining that it is "always commercially very sharp and puts client considerations first."

Kenny Kwan heads the firm's capital markets practice and is noted for his "deep knowledge of legal issues surrounding M&A and capital markets transactions." He acts as both issuer and underwriter counsel, including advising on IPOs and Rule 144A/Reg S offerings.

Sin Boon Ann is a consultant with the firm who has over 30 years of transactional experience. He has a broad practice that spans IPOs, M&A and corporate finance. 

Investment Funds
Singapore – Band 3 for 7 consecutive years

Petrus Huang – Band 3 for 9 consecutive years

Frequently mandated by private and public entities to assist with the structuring and formation of various funds. Especially prominent in the private equity space, and offers considerable expertise in regulatory work and funds-related tax incentives. Advises both domestic and international clients as investors into Singapore and regional funds.

The team wins praise for the quality of the work, with one client remarking: "They are efficient, dedicated to their clients, enjoyable and easy to do business with."

Department head Petrus Huang is well regarded for his investment funds expertise and his"extensive and comprehensive understanding of the regulatory regime in Singapore." He regularly acts on the establishment of funds and fund management companies, as well as the listing of investment funds and REITs on the SGX.

Dispute Resolution: International
Asia Pacific Region – Band 3 for 9 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.

More than one interviewee indicates that the team's key strength lies in its combination of in-depth expertise, close attention to detail and extreme diligence. A client who reports "positive results" in "a major arbitration matter" also observes: "I am impressed by their thoroughness. They cover as much ground as possible and are willing to look through piles and piles of documents." Another similarly remarks: "They are very well versed in their field, meticulous and thorough, and we're sure that their calculated actions gave us the results that we wanted to achieve."

Sources are also swift to put the practice at the cutting edge of developments on the arbitration scene, one calling it a team that "seeks innovative solutions," another pointing out that "the firm is always updating its capabilities to meet the challenges of future requirements."

Jimmy Yim, SC is the managing director of the dispute resolution practice.

Banking & Finance
Singapore – Band 4

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. Broad sector expertise ranges from the energy and hospitality industries to agricultural producers. Offers further expertise in refinancing deals and litigation.

Clients describe the outfit as "an approachable and dedicated team."

Pauline Chong is a key contact for the team.

Construction
Singapore – Classed as a "Recognised Practitioner" 

Real Estate
Singapore – Classed as a "Recognised Practitioner"  

Foreign Desk - Indonesia
Indonesia: Corporate & Finance (International Firms) – Band 4 for 4 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. Strong record assisting international clients with investments into Indonesia, with a focus on tax regulations and restructurings.

Sources acknowledge the team's high-quality services. One client points out: "They are different from other firms; they understand the client's needs and offer out-of-the-box suggestions."

Sushil Nair and Julian Kwek are the main contacts for this practice.

Foreign Desk - India
India: Dispute Resolution (International Firms) (Desk based Abroad) – Classed as "Recognised Practitioner" 

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.

Davinder Singh SC is based in Singapore and earns recognition from market commentators for his connections to the Bruneian government. He represents local and international clients on disputes related to Brunei, handling both international arbitration and litigation 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."

National Law Firm of the Year 2012

Drew & Napier LLC