Corporate Restructuring & Workouts

Our Corporate Restructuring & Workouts Practice and its key members have been consistently ranked as industry leaders by international independent research houses and publications for many years. In 2021, Global Restructuring Review has identified us as one of the world’s top 30 restructuring practices. We have been featured in the elite GRR Top 30 rankings for four consecutive years.

With over 30 lawyers, our team is one of the largest dedicated restructuring practices in the country. Our lawyers have a very diverse skill set, spanning dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and finance. This equips us to deal with the complex issues that arise in workouts, the rehabilitation process, and solvent reorganisations. Our experience includes the divestment of non-core assets, distressed mergers and acquisitions, and debt trading under LMA rules. Our unparalleled strength in litigation also means our clients are represented by some of the most formidable advocates in Asia. 

The Corporate Restructuring & Workouts Practice stands out for its regional focus and cross-border capabilities. We have been involved in the major workouts in Indonesia for the past 10 years and they continue to make up a significant amount of our work. Most of our matters involve debt and equity securities quoted in Indonesia, Singapore, or the United States. Consequently, we are experienced with the capital market regulations and the bankruptcy codes of various jurisdictions such as the Indonesian PKPU regime and the United States Bankruptcy Code including exchange offers, liquidations, and restructurings under Chapters 7, 11, and 15.

Here are some of the major restructurings and workouts that we have been involved in:

Indonesian Restructurings

  • APP’s US$ 14 billion - Advised on the debt restructuring of Asia Pulp & Paper, one of the world’s largest restructuring exercises, which involved about 150 subsidiaries worldwide including in China, Indonesia, Singapore, Europe, etc. Its creditors include the export credit agencies of various countries such as US, Japan, Germany and France, public and institutional investors, financial institutions and other government agencies. In addition, Sushil and Julian worked as part of a team that devised a scheme of arrangement sanctioned by the Courts of Bermuda that restructured some US$690 million of debt relating to APP’s China holdings. 

  • Domba Mas’s US$ 2 billion - Advised the Sawit Mas Group including its oleochemical arm, Domas Agrointi Prima, on its debt and corporate restructuring and sale of its palm oil plantations and oleochemical plants. The obligations to be restructured included debt in excess of US$600 million, and a US$2 billion off-take agreement with Proctor & Gamble.  The disposal required the consent of all stakeholders and resulted in the purchaser assuming a substantial part of the obligations of the Sawit Mas Group. 

  • TPPI’s US$ 1 billion - Advised on the restructuring of the Tuban Petro Group. The petrochemical group signed a comprehensive debt restructuring term sheet with its principal creditors, the Government of Indonesia, Pertamina and BPMIGAS in May 2011 and is in the process of implementing the terms of the restructuring. The Tuban Petro Group restructuring is considered by the Government of Indonesia to be the largest and potentially most successful restructuring in Indonesia.

  • Berlian Laju’s US$ 2.5 billion - Advised on the worldwide debt restructuring of PT Berlian Laju Tanker Tbk. PT Berlian is a leading worldwide seaborne liquid cargo transportation specialist and one of the largest chemical tanker operators in the world.  Its fleet of over 100 vessels comprises chemical tankers, oil tankers, gas tankers FSOs and FPSOs. The company is listed on both IDX and SGX. The total debt of the company is estimated at over US$2 billion.  As PT Berlian has assets and operations all over the world, its debt restructuring involves complex multi-jurisdictional legal and practical issues.

  • Apexindo US$413 million - Advised certain hedge fund creditors who hold bonds by the Singapore incorporated holding company of PT Apexindo which are now in default. PT Apexindo is a major energy services company based in Indonesia principally engaged in providing oil, gas and geothermal drilling services. The restructuring will involve cross border insolvency issues relating to the giving of guarantees and security in Singapore and Indonesia as well as complex inter-creditor issues.

Chinese On-shore and Off-Shore Restructurings

  • BGP CNPC - Advised BGP, the largest seismic exploration company in the world and a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, on a work-out and the restructuring of a shipbuilding contract involving a Korean shipyard.

  • China Energy - Advised China Energy on a group re-organisation which will entail a merger with Jiutai Inner Mongolia which is estimated to be worth in excess of US$700 million.

  • Sunshine Holdings - Advised the Singapore-listed and Henan-based property developer in the successful restructuring of its US$120 million syndicated loan and US$32 million convertible bonds.

  • Sino-Environment - Advised certain creditors of Sino-Environment Technology Group which has defaulted on its obligations under its S$149 million bond issue. The advice includes developing strategies for the creditors in connection with the disclosure by the company that certain questionable cash transactions and matters which may have a significant impact on the financial position of the company have occurred.

  • China Hongxing - Acted for this Singapore listed S-Chip company and leading sports brand in the PRC which is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of an extensive range of sports footwear and sale of a wide range of sports apparel and accessories via an extensive distribution network spanning the PRC, Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, Europe and Russia. Our engagement is to assist the Special Auditor which has been appointed to carry out a thorough investigation into certain irregularities raised by the Company’s auditors in the cash and bank balances, accounts receivables, accounts payables and other expenses during the audit of the Company’s subsidiary companies in the PRC as well as to advise on the appropriate measures to be adopted by the group to safeguard its assets, continue its operations and enhance values for all its stakeholders.

A comprehensive deals list is available on request.

Practice Areas

  • Workouts
  • Debt Restructuring
  • Liquidation
  • Judicial Management
  • Bankruptcy
  • Receivership
  • Corporate Reorganisations
  • Distress M&A
  • Cross-Border M&A

Accolades

Chambers Asia-Pacific
Restructuring/Insolvency 2022 – Band 1 for 15 consecutive years.

Leading Individuals:
Sushil Nair for 15 consecutive years
Julian Kwek for 12 consecutive years
Blossom Hing for 7 consecutuve years
Chan Wei Meng for 2 consecutive years
Mohan Gopalan for 5 consecutive years

"The team expertly and successfully guides companies through extraordinarily complex and often intense restructurings."

Sushil is "extremely hard-working, smart and creative."

Julian was praised or being “very commercial and good at providing alternative restructuring and insolvency solutions.”

Blossom stood out as “the person I would go to for disputes and restructuring work in Singapore and South-East Asia.”

Wei Meng is a “respected lawyer in Singapore” acting for debtors and lenders on significant restructurings.

“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.”

“Commercially driven and focused on getting different parties to work together and reach a solution.”

“Their reach throughout Asia is exceptional and they also know their way around other important legal centres like London and New York.”

“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.”

The team'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 as an "extremely impressive group of lawyers," describing them as "smart and creative" and able to work under "extraordinary pressure."

"They're an excellent firm: their lawyers are always thoughtful, they have a very good understanding of the legal environment in Singapore and they're strategic, efficient and proactive."

"The level of service is high and they can speak Chinese to avoid misunderstanding."

Sushil Nair offers "sound advice that addresses and resolves various difficult issues." Clients described him as "an excellent lawyer: strategic, thoughtful and a problem solver."

A client noted Julian Kwek's "uncanny ability to look beyond just the legal side of things and can point out the commercial implications of a particular course of action." Commentators observe that "he is a deal maker, with a China and Indonesia focus."

Blossom Hing is regarded as "very strong and very practical;" she is "intelligent and someone you want on your side." She is regarded as a “go-to litigator,” and she is “commercial and focused on delivering results.”

Wei Meng is “meticulous in his work and provides comprehensive advice. Clients value his deep analysis and he picks up on details that otherwise might be overlooked," saying that his response time is quick.”

One source praised Mohan Gopalan as a "very, very good lawyer, one of the up-and-coming guys in the restructuring space."

Asia-Pacific Legal 500
Restructuring & Insolvency 2022 – Tier 1 for 11 consecutive years

Hall of Fame:
Sushil Nair, previously Leading Individual for 8 consecutive years

Next Generation Lawyer:
Mohan Gopalan for 6 consecutive years

Recommended Lawyer:
Julian Kwek for 7 consecutive years
Blossom Hing for 6 consecutive years
Chan Wei Meng for 5 years
Mitchell Yeo (2021 edition)

“I have worked closely with Drew & Napier for nearly two decades on various cross-border restructuring matters. The Drew & Napier restructuring team is extremely impressive. I have seen first-hand the Drew & Napier team expertly and successfully guide Southeast Asian-based companies through extraordinarily complex and often intense restructurings.”

“Throughout the period, we have found the services provided to be highly professional and their knowledge often extended beyond the legal aspect and offered excellent business perspectives and recommendations. Because our core business tended to be Indonesia-focused, the team had impressed us with their extensive knowledge of the Indonesian legal environment and business practices.”

“I always have been impressed with the first-rate quality of their work and their dedication to helping their clients work through and emerge from difficult times.”

"Sushil Nair, stands out as an astute insolvency practitioner who is not only well versed in insolvency laws but a highly intelligent and commercial lawyer. He has an ability to see through the complexities very early and delve into the core issues. However, he is also practical and seeks to find resolution amongst the various stakeholders to ensure a successful restructuring.’"

"Julian is not only well versed in the legal aspects but also has the uncanny ability to look at the issues from a business perspective and offer valuable insights and recommendations. He has always been extremely responsive to our needs and works well under time pressure. He has been available literally 24/7 and always able to meet deadlines and targets."

Blossom Hing is a  "tenacious and strong litigator" and she "has wonderful experience in this sector having been involved in some of the biggest, most complex cases in Asia and globally."

"Chan Wei Meng is a well-recognised and highly respected lawyer in the insolvency sector. He played the lead role in advising us and managing all our financial restructuring matters, as well as providing advice on the appropriate financial structures for our fund-raising exercise. Wei Meng stands out for his knowledge and ability to suggest practical and viable solutions in even the most difficult situations."

Mohan Gopalan is a  "rising star with a lot of depth."

An "established practice" with "very competent professionals."

"A superb team that achieves excellent results in the most complicated cross-border restructurings."

The team is "one of the best" especially for more complex matters. Sushil Nair and Julian are "outstanding in developing and implementing effective and creative strategies that have produced successful debt restructurings in circumstances that seemed hopeless at the start".

Clients described the restructuring team as a "smart, commercial and solution-focused" team that "delivers out-of-the-box solutions", making it the "top of the field" in restructuring.  

“Client perspective is what makes this practice unique. The team that works with us at Drew & Napier is well versed with the law but always keeps their legal expertise in the background. Instead, what we keep receiving are business solutions with a sound legal judgement already instilled in them. Business solutions that show a true understanding of what we, as clients, want to achieve.”

“Good respectable name, good relationships with stakeholders which helps when working through difficult issues.”

“I feel confident that whilst their relationship with other stakeholders is good, they still ensure priority is with us their clients.

“They are very knowledgeable in terms of legal perspective. Not only they understand the legal aspect, they understand how to make a deal done.”

provides ‘an excellent service under tight time constraints’. - See more at: http://www.legal500.com/c/singapore/restructuring-and-insolvency/local-firms#sthash.6jpOpkYh.dpuf
provides ‘an excellent service under tight time constraints’. - See more at: http://www.legal500.com/c/singapore/restructuring-and-insolvency/local-firms#sthash.6jpOpkYh.dpuf
provides ‘an excellent service under tight time constraints’. - See more at: http://www.legal500.com/c/singapore/restructuring-and-insolvency/local-firms#sthash.6jpOpkYh.dpuf
provides ‘an excellent service under tight time constraints’. - See more at: http://www.legal500.com/c/singapore/restructuring-and-insolvency/local-firms#sthash.6jpOpkYh.dpuf

IFLR 1000: Guide to World’s Leading Financial Law Firm
Restructuring & Insolvency 2022 – Tier 1 for 15 consecutive years.

Leading Individuals:
Sushil Nair – Market Leader for 3 consecutive years, previously Highly Regarded for 2 consecutive years, and Leading Lawyer from 2011 to 2017 
Julian Kwek – Highly Regarded for 5 consecutive years, Leading Lawyer from 2012 to 2017 
Chan Wei Meng – Highly Regarded for 4 consecutive years, up from Notable practitioner in 2018 
Blossom Hing – Highly regarded for 3 consecutive years, previously Rising Star for 6 consecutive years
Mohan Gopalan – Rising star partner, previously Rising Star for 3 consecutive years, and up from Notable practitioner in 2018
Teri Cheng – Rising star partner, previously Rising star for 2 consecutive years

“Very knowledgeable in the field, deep contacts and relationship with banks, good relationship with the judge, availability and accessible at all times.”

“Strong law firm who can act for corporates and not only banks.”

“Very commercial-driven. Prompt in response time. Sharp in picking up good points from client's view and negotiate them along the way."

“I find what makes Sushil's advice are his practicality and able to empathise with the positions of both sides so that a resolution can be found. He is also a good sounding board to explore out-of-the-box solutions."

“Blossom Hing is the standout restructuring lawyer at the firm who has deep experience in this area.” She is “tenacious and thoughtful, energetic and creative.”

Wei Meng “spared no effort in examining our case from multiple perspectives, offering us multiple solutions for every problem.” He showed “great eye for detail and went well beyond their duty, coming up with many solutions that were both practical and amicable for us.”

“Extensive experience in the restructuring & insolvency field in Asia especially in Indonesia.”

“The firm consistently delivers excellent results for its clients in extremely complicated matters where significant amounts are at stake.”

“They are well-versed in the law and have a commercial point of view as well.”

"Sushil Nair and Julian Kwek are both extremely intelligent, diligent and creative -- which leads to great results in the complex debt restructuring matters that they deal with."

Julian has “always been very responsive and able to provide excellent advice and suggestions on not just legal issues but also the commercial implications arising.”

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

GRR 100 and GRR 30 by Global Restructuring Review 
Listed as one of the world’s top 30 restructuring practices in the 2021 edition. The team has been featured in the elite GRR Top 30 rankings for four consecutive years.

“Of all the [Singapore] Big Four, they have the best team. They have a real, genuine restructuring practice. They’re a self-contained unit, tight, and their people are trained to do both transactional and dispute work, which is what is demanded of our business.”

“They know the oil and gas industry, and always consider and handle the matters in the interests of the clients.”

A source said: “The Drew & Napier team consistently has produced excellent results for their clients in the most complex restructuring matters.”

“high and professional” level of service.

Who’s Who Legal
Insolvency & Restructuring 2022

Recommended Individual:
Sushil Nair for 14 years
Julian Kwek for 5 years
Blossom Hing for 6 years
Chan Wei Meng for 2 years
Mohan Gopalan for 2 years

Restructuring & Insolvency Thought Leaders 2021 – Sushil Nair  for 5 consecutive years, Blossom Hing for 3 consecutive years
Investigations Future Leaders 2021 – Chan Wei Meng for 3 consecutive years

Best Lawyers International: Singapore
Insolvency and Reorganisation 2023 

Leading Lawyers:
Sushil Nair
Julian Kwek
Blossom Hing
Chan Wei Meng
Raymond Lam
Teri Cheng

Sushil Nair – Insolvency & Reorganisation Lawyer of the Year 2010 and 2019 for Singapore

asialaw Profiles
Restructuring & Insolvency 2022 – Outstanding for 7 consecutive years

Clients praised the corporate restructuring and workouts team at Drew & Napier as service-oriented. A client commented that the service provided by the team is "top notch".

“Blossom Hing, a partner in the firm is an outstanding lawyer with in-depth knowledge and experience and a very creative approach to problem-solving.” 

“Legal advice is not only sound, but the firm seeks to find solutions when there are gaps amongst stakeholders. Willing to push for commercial and practical solutions. Committed and available for discussions when needed.” 

“The firm consistently provides excellent and effective guidance to companies whose survival might depend on restructuring debts, which often involve creditors in various jurisdictions around the world.” 

“The Drew & Napier team consistently provides excellent service in complex, high-stakes cross-border restructuring matters.”

“The team of lawyers assigned to us has extensive experience and knowledge of the Indonesian legal environment.” 

Another client complimented Julian Kwek for “his ability to look at client’s problem from [the] client’s perspective and giving practical solutions”.

asialaw Leading Lawyers
Restructuring & Insolvency 2022
Sushil Nair – Elite Practitioner for 3 consecutive years, previously Market-Leading Lawyer for 2 consecutive years
Julian Kwek – Elite Practitionerfor 3 consecutive years, previously Market-Leading Lawyer for 2 consecutive years
Blossom Hing – Elite Practitioner for 3 consecutive years, previously Leading Lawyer
Mohan Gopalan – Rising Star for 3 consecutive years 

The Straits Times – Singapore’s Best Law Firms
Rated full marks (5 stars) for Insolvency and restructuring in the Singapore’s Best Law Firms 2022 survey by Singapore’s largest circulating broadsheet, The Straits Times, and international research company, Statista for 2 consecutive years.

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 
Insolvency 2021 – Tier 1 for 3 consecutive years

Sushil Nair and Blossom Hing are identified as Litigation Star
Mohan Gopalan is identified as Future Star 

IFLR Asia Awards 2016
Restructuring Deal of the Year – The Restructuring of PT Berlian Laju Tanker Tbk

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