Chambers Global and Asia-Pacific

2021

Dispute Resolution: Litigation
Singapore – Band 1 for 15 consecutive years

Cavinder Bull, SC – Band 1 for 11 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Band 2 for 2 consecutive years
Randolph Khoo – Band 4 for 4 consecutive years

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 Represented several members of the De La Sala family in a dispute over the ownership of Robert De La Sala's personal fortune.

Clients are superlative in their discussions of the team. They speak of its "exceptional in-depth understanding of the law" and hold it to be a go-to name, even among the top international firms.

Drew & Napier's team is further highlighted for being prompt and dedicated in approach and "particularly good in analysing the various legal options available."

Interviewees know Cavinder Bull SC for his regular involvement in high-value mandates and consider him "a very experienced litigator." He is additionally lauded for his "sharp intellect and surgical precision against opposing counsel."

Jimmy Yim SC is experienced before the High Court and International Commercial Court in Singapore. He is well regarded for his client service, in particular his attention to detail and "valuable tactical advice."

Randolph Khoo is applauded by clients for his "meticulous, systematic and detail-oriented approach to every issue presented before him." He is experienced in cross-border litigation and is also considered an expert in family disputes.

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration
Singapore – Band 2 for 4 consecutive years

Cavinder Bull, SC – Band 1 for 9 consecutive years
Jimmy Yim, SC – Band 4 for 3 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 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 Assisted Sharp with an arbitration brought by Hisense attempting to halt the termination of a licensing agreement between the two companies. The matter is being heard in Singapore, with other proceedings being filed in the USA.

Clients endorse the department for its "good, reliable, high-quality service."

They also value the responsiveness, saying: "What we found that was very impressive is that they were able to get back to us on almost all issues we had in a very short period of time."

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 "clear standouts in this area" and "obviously very impressive as an arbitrator as well as counsel."

An experienced lawyer who focuses on real estate and construction-related issues, Jimmy Yim SC has a reputation for providing advice that is "well thought through and well documented." It is also said that he is "thorough and has a great understanding of the matter."

Competition/Antitrust
Singapore – Band 1 for 8 consecutive years

Lim Chong Kin – Band 1 for 8 consecutive years
Corinne Chew – Band 3

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 Advised Singapore Airlines and Deutsche Lufthansa on an application for individual exemption to the Malaysian Aviation Commission

An interviewee appreciates that the team "listens to its clients and will go the extra mile, offering commercial and practical views."

Another source admires their “in-depth expertise across different areas of competition law, such as corporate, litigation and regulatory.”

Lim Chong Kin is a highly regarded practitioner, particularly renowned for being a leader for competition issues in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors, as well as many other industries. A commentator describes him as an "innovative competition lawyer who is savvy and practical." Another source appreciates that he "understands business needs and is very responsive."

Corinne Chew works on a broad spectrum of competition matters, including advising on merger control, leniency applications and delivering compliance training. An interviewee notes that "she knows her stuff and treats her clients' issues as if they are her own."

Telecommunications, Media & Technology
Singapore – Band 1 for 14 consecutive years

Lim Chong Kin – Band 1 for 14 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 Digital Realty on obtaining regulatory approval as a services-based operator providing telecommunication services in data centres.

One client comments: "The firm is extremely knowledgeable in the areas we have discussed. Everyone we interacted with understands the issues from a commercial point of view."

Another interviewee reports: "It was awesome - they are so fast and very hands-on."

Lim Chong Kin has "good, close relationships with regulators, enabling him to predict areas of focus in law," according to a client who adds: "He provides very practical strategies to mitigate risk and his advice is always very actionable." He is a distinguished lawyer with a broad TMT practice, including notable expertise advising on telecommunications and data regulatory matters.

Intellectual Property (Litigation)
Singapore – Band 1 for 14 consecutive years

Morris John – Senior Statespeople for 8 consecutive years
Tony Yeo – Band 1 for 3 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, 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 Represented IIa Technologies in the High Court of Singapore in a patent invalidation and infringement case against Element Six Technologies.

Tony Yeo is an esteemed practitioner who frequently represents clients in IP litigation at the appellate stages. He has experience working on royalties disputes, advising a range of domestic and multinational clients.

Morris John is a longstanding and respected IP lawyer with extensive experience in patent, trade mark and copyright infringement litigation. He also frequently assists clients with patent registrations.

Restructuring/Insolvency
Singapore – Band 1 for 14 consecutive years

Sushil Nair – Band 1 for 14 consecutive years
Julian Kwek – Band 2 for 2 consecutive years
Blossom Hing – Band 1 for 6 consecutive years
Mohan Gopalan – Up and Coming for 2 consecutive years
Chan Wei Meng – 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 the Public Utilities Board of the Republic of Singapore as a creditor on the restructuring of Hyflux's SGD2.64 billion worth of debt.

A source appreciates that the team is "commercially driven and focused on getting different parties to work together and reach a solution," adding: "Their reach throughout Asia is exceptional and they also know their way around other important legal centres like London and New York."

Another interviewee describes them as "a great firm," reporting: "Every experience that I have had working with their people has been excellent. A lot of the matters, particularly the cross-border matters, are highly complex and involve companies in severe financial distress. Often when the situation looks hopeless, they are able to come up with solutions."

Sushil Nair is "hard-working, smart, creative and responsive in tight time constraints," according to one interviewee, who adds: "He consistently comes up with solutions to sticky situations." He has experience working on high-profile insolvencies and restructurings acting on behalf of creditors and companies in distress. Another commentator reports: "He has a good grasp of the law and all the issues and complexities involved in a restructuring. He also knows many of the main players in this area."

Julian Kwek is an experienced practitioner with particular expertise in matters relating to Indonesia and China. He acts for creditors and shareholders on insolvencies and company restructurings. One source notes: "He is not only able to offer legal advice but also assists with the commercial implications. He also has extensive experience and knowledge about Indonesian legal issues." Another interviewee says that "he can always come up with an outside-the-box solution to address those risks and concerns that the clients might have."

Blossom Hing remains a market leader, working for debtors and creditors in high-value restructurings and liquidations. One client reports: "She provides practical solutions to legal problems. She understands the commercial reality and explains the legal implications so that we can make informed decisions that suit our needs." Another commentator labels her a "go-to litigator," adding: "She is commercial and focused on delivering results."

Mohan Gopalan is a well-recognised practitioner in the market, with one commentator noting that he "has done very well and is working on big deals." He has a broad practice acting for a full range of clients on debt restructurings.

Chan Wei Meng is "meticulous in his work and provides comprehensive advice," according to one client, who adds: "We value his deep analysis and he picks up on details that otherwise might be overlooked. His response time is quick." He acts for debtors and lenders on significant restructurings, often involving corporations in the shipping sector.

Tax
Singapore – Band 2 for 11 consecutive years

Ong Ken Loon – Band 2 for 7 consecutive years
Ong Sim Ho – Band 1 for 2 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.

One market source notes: "They have an excellent team and a very strong practice."

According to her clients, Ong Ken Loon is "very practical, very smart and absolutely amazing." She is well experienced advising on tax aspects of corporate transactions as well as complex tax matters for private clients.

Ong Sim Ho is a highly rated tax practitioner who is commended for his expertise in tax advisory, acting for international corporates as well as private clients. He is deeply experienced in handling complex tax disputes and regulatory issues.

Corporate/M&A
Singapore – Band 3

Steven Lo – Band 4 for 3 consecutive years
Gary Pryke – Senior Statespeople for 4 consecutive years

The team continues to handle complex corporate transactions, including public and private M&A, takeovers, delistings and privatisations. Also well versed in handling mergers via schemes of arrangement. 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.

A client comments: "They are very commercial and responsive."

Steven Lo is hailed by clients as "a calming presence on transactions who renders advice that is strategic and practical."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 practitioner 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.

Employment
Singapore – Band 2 for 8 consecutive years

Kelvin Tan – Band 3
Benjamin Gaw – Band 3

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.

One client describes their working relationship with the team as "positive, because they know our business inside out. Their key strengths include great depth of knowledge on the law, as well as going beyond this and taking on challenges."

Another interviewee praises them for being "adept at bringing calm to the storm and guiding us through contentious employment matters that can get stressful in nature."

Kelvin Tan has expertise advising on contentious employment matters, including investigations, employee fraud and whistleblowing incidents. One client praises his "knowledge of employment legislation, referencing case laws around the world and applying it to our matters." Another interviewee describes him as "cool, calm and decisive."

Benjamin Gaw is "very helpful and extremely responsive," observes an interviewee. He advises on a range of transactional and advisory mandates such as the transfer of employees, employment matters relating to M&A, and trade union relations.

Capital Markets
Singapore – Band 4

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 Acted for Russia-based company Don Agro International on its initial public offering on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Exchange.

One client describes the team as "a group of very talented lawyers with valuable and insightful advice, especially on the current business environment. They provide very detailed guidance and solutions."

"They perform their tasks with a high level of expertise,"
 says another source.

Grace Lai is a key point of contact for clients.

Investment Funds
Singapore – Band 4

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 and also conducts regulatory research reports. Advises local and international clients on the establishment of funds in Singapore and the region.

A client appreciates that the team "is extremely proficient and professional in the investment management industry with thorough knowledge of the Securities and Futures Act as well as the most up-to-date trends and practices in regulatory compliance."

Another source notes that the team "will carefully consider the client's situation and offer custom commercially-viable solutions rather than template churning which might not be suited to the scenario."

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

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.

One source notes: "Drew & Napier ask the right questions to direct the client to the best outcome possible."

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.

Banking & Finance
Singapore – Band 4 for 3 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 debt refinancing, restructuring and litigation as well as regulatory compliance. Broad sector expertise ranges from the energy and hospitality industries to agricultural producers.

Work highlights Acted for Tuan Sing Holdings and Superluck Properties on a set of financings totalling SGD1.59 billion.

"It's a formidable firm with a strong resource base," a client says, adding: "The lawyers are responsive, diligent and detailed." Another praises the lawyers, calling them "very professional, reliable and target-oriented."

Pauline Chong is a key contact for the practice.

Construction
Singapore – Band 4

Christopher Chong – Band 3

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 Represented property developer Noomadi Resorts & Residences in a dispute with the government of Maldives, relating to Noomadi's participation in a social housing scheme.

A client remarks: "We are very happy with their performance. Their legal strategy is sound and they deliver on tight timelines. They are particularly good at analysing various available legal options and communicating those to us so that we can take considered decisions."

Another interviewee says that the team "made themselves available and were always on point, with a very good understanding of the whole process."

Christopher Chong is regarded by market commentators as "a very sound construction lawyer." Another interviewee admires his "knowledge and practical experience," adding that "he is excellent and has a very bright mind." He handles a full range of litigation, adjudication and arbitration.

Real Estate
Singapore – Band 3

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 Sims Urban Oasis in obtaining approval from the Controller of Housing on incorporating specific requirements of the relevant authorities and preparing sale documents.

A client appreciates that the team takes "a very commercial approach.

Arbitration: International
Asia Pacific Region – Band 3 for 11 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.

A client, asked to identify their chief reason for selecting Drew & Napier to handle a particular matter, replied: "Outstanding expertise in complex international and cross-border disputes, including expertise in international arbitration, plus great, in-depth knowledge and expertise in matters of international law."

The team's swift responsiveness is also highly prized by clients, one noting: "What we found that was very impressive is that they were able to get back to us on almost all issues we had in a very short period of time."

Work highlights Defended three Thai nationals, the former owners of a Cambodia-based casino business, in arbitration proceedings initiated by ASX-listed Donaco International, the purchaser of the business, on grounds of alleged breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy.

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 6 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 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.

Work highlights Advised Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi and Humpuss Transportasi Kimia on USD110 million worth of claims made by the liquidators of a former Singaporean subsidiary of the Humpuss Group.
One source praises the team's "in-depth knowledge of legal issues and the environment in Indonesia," adding that "they provide first-rate advice."

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

Notable Singapore-based firm advising corporate clients on domestic and cross-dispute matters. Trusted by businesses in a wide range of industries, including those in power, finance and technology.

Work highlights Acting in defence of Dystar, its directors and related companies in a defamation suit brought by its minority shareholder Kiri Industries.

An interviewee appreciates the firm's "overall understanding of our business and the range of experts in different divisions who can be reached out to."

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