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 2019, Global Restructuring Review has identified us as the world’s top Asian based practice. We are featured in the elite GRR Top 30 rankings for two consecutive years, and appear in the 19th position this year.

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 2019 – Band 1 for 12 consecutive years.

Leading Individuals:
Sushil Nair for 12 consecutive years
Julian Kwek for 9 consecutive years
Blossom Hing for 4 consecutuve years

Up and Coming :
Mohan Gopalan, previously Associate to watch

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." 

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 2019 – Tier 1 for 8 consecutive years

Leading Individual:
Sushil Nair for 6 consecutive years

Next Generation Lawyer:
Mohan Gopalan for 3 consecutive years

Recommended Lawyer:
Julian Kwek for 4 consecutive years
Blossom Hing for 3 consecutive years
Chan Wei Meng was recommended lawyer in 2018

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.  

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 2019 – Tier 1 for 12 consecutive years.

Leading Individuals:
Sushil Nair – Highly regarded for 2 consecutive years, Leading Lawyer from 2011 to 2017 
Julian Kwek – Highly regarded for 2 consecutive years, Leading Lawyer from 2012 to 2017 
Chan Wei Meng – Highly regarded, up from Notable practitioner in 2018 
Blossom Hing – Rising Star for 6 consecutive years
Mohan Gopalan – Rising star, up from Notable practitioner in 2018

"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 the world’s top Asian based practice. The team has featured in the elite GRR Top 30 rankings for two consecutive years, and appears in the 19th position this year. 

“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 2019

Recommended Individual:
Sushil Nair for 11 years
Julian Kwek
Blossom Hing

Restructuring & Insolvency Thought Leaders 2018 – Sushil Nair 
Investigations Future Leaders 2019 – Chan Wei Meng

Best Lawyers International
Insolvency and Reorganisation 2020 

Leading Lawyers:
Sushil Nair
Julian Kwek
Blossom Hing

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

Asialaw Profiles
Restructuring & Insolvency 2020 – Outstanding for 5 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".

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

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 2020
Sushil Nair – Elite Practitioner, previously Market-Leading Lawyer for 2 consecutive years
Julian Kwek – Elite Practitioner, previously Market-Leading Lawyer for 2 consecutive years
Blossom Hing – Elite Practitioner, previously Leading Lawyer
Mohan Gopalan – Rising Star

Raymond Lam was also Leading Lawyer in 2019 

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2019 
Insolvency – Tier 1
Sushil Nair and Blossom Hing are identified as Dispute Resolution Star for Insolvency for 2 consecutive years

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

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