Tax & Private Client Services
Our Tax & Private Client Services Practice is the broadest full spectrum tax law advisory team in Singapore, encompassing tax litigation, corporate tax advisory, enterprise tax risk management, and private wealth planning, presenting clients with a comprehensive and seamless service.
Clients rely on us in complex cases where sophisticated tax-legal issues require fine judgment calls. We regularly take on novel matters and force the rethink of established practices and boundaries of the Revenue authorities.
A hallmark of our practice is quality processes. Every case we handle follows an established process of diagnosing the problem, assembling the best minds, landscaping the entire case, researching, and putting together the solution.
This is the area of expertise for which we are best known. We represent clients before all the tax tribunals as well as the Supreme Court. Our formal legal opinions are frequently sought by clients and their solicitors. We are comfortable advising in all areas of taxation including goods and services tax, property tax and stamp duties. We are particularly well respected in corporate tax and property tax litigation. In the property tax arena, we have detailed knowledge of the specialised and intricate industrial sector.
Enterprise Tax Risk Management
Our expertise in this area is a testament to our talented multidisciplinary team. We have consulted on enterprise-based risk assessment assignments to minimise future tax exposure for our clients. We have developed established processes for assessing specific tax risks in the global trading context. For example, we consulted for several major oil and trading companies to establish a set of business processes and trading rules to manage their international “Permanent Establishment” exposure. We pride ourselves on our strong tax audit and investigation services and we are regularly sought out for major tax criminal investigation matters.
Corporate Tax Advisory
We offer a full range of corporate tax advisory services. In addition to advising on transactions, we manage on-going corporate tax compliance and legal issues. In collaboration with our corporate finance lawyers, we ensure tax compliance and optimisation for our clients.
Private Client Services
We advise individuals and families on all aspects of wealth succession and asset protection. Our clients appreciate that we value our relationships with them and handle their personal affairs with professionalism, objectivity and discretion.
Tax 2023 – Tier 1, Leading firm for 13 consecutive years
Ong Ken Loon for 11 consecutive years
Ong Sim Ho for 13 years
Noted by Chambers as the “go-to group for tax disputes”
"Drew & Napier's team have world-class technical skills and the ability to understand the many aspects of the problem. They provide actionable advice which is nimble, with clear fit to client resources and factual scenario."
"They are extremely commercial, which is a rare skill."
"They are very professional in their delivery of advice."
“Very experienced team. The lawyers are also accountants, so they are familiar with the financial workings. They are knowledgeable and you don't have to explain much.”
“They are professional and highly responsive, even on small matters.”
The team is praised for their quick turnaround time. "They are prompt and responsive." A client said: "When auditors are questioning and matters are urgent, we can always call them for detailed legal advice."
Interviewees also noted that the team is "well connected and successful in the marketplace." Another said: "They are spot-on in providing us with relevant tax advice."
"They are a very strong dispute resolution firm, not just in tax disputes. They continue to do well in this space."
Clients also described Ken Loon as "technically stong" and praised her ability to "empathise with clients' needs."
She is sought after for her depth of experience in handling tax disputes initiated by the tax authorities. One client revealed: "She is a lawyer I would go to for technical matters."
Other clients noted that "Ken Loon shines especially in having the nous to pull in subject matter and local law legal experts early, seeing around corners for us, to create holistic, battle-tested and well-precedented advice in solving complex problems. She clearly loves her work and it shows through in the quality and speed of delivery" and that "she provides calm yet technically strong and pragmatic counsel while under challenging deadlines and pressures."
Ong Sim Ho wins a lot of praise for his flexible approach and depth of knowledge in the tax area, with one client emphasising: “The most important thing is his technical understanding and how creative he is. No one in Singapore can cut through the issues like him. He is very, very strong.”
He is praised for coming up with “very constructive ideas.” Sources also note that “his wealth of knowledge on precedents allows him to give an immediate response to any kind of question.”
Other clients commended that "Sim Ho is an excellent tax lawyer" and that his advice is "always spot on and his responses are very prompt."
Chambers High Net Worth Guide
Private Wealth Law 2022 – Leading firm for 7 consecutive years
Family Offices & Funds Structuring 2022 – Leading firm
Ong Sim Ho for 2 consecutive years
Julian Kwek (Indonesia, Expertise Based Abroad) for 7 consecutive years
"These are some of the smartest people I have ever met - experienced and high IQ," says a source, adding: "They do extensive and thorough research, understand my situation completely, understand the laws applicable to my situation, alert me to the potential pitfalls, and give me sound advice after having discussed with me the possible avenues and potential outcomes."
“Drew & Napier is one of the few firms that is all rounded and possesses the capability and in-depth knowledge to advise on both the corporate side and private wealth planning.”
Another source says their “strengths are that they are knowledgeable about the subject matter and able to share relevant experience when it comes to trust-related matters.”
“They were attentive and always available. They had a high degree of professionalism and knowledge around the issues discussed.”
Clients described the team as “very, very professional in their approach” with “very good, solid reputation" in the local market.
The team was praised for being "very versatile", our lawyers are "very in-tune with the industry, and with what the clients, banks and trust companies are thinking; you have a melting pot of experience there."
A source says that "I think the quality is very high; it's excellent. They are very liked by their clients, they're trustworthy and very up-to-date on what's happening. They understand from the trustees' point of view what they need and what's going on. I also think their regulatory framework is a lot stronger than that of other firms. When there are any changes in rules and regulations, they're first on it too."
Asia Pacific Legal 500
Tax 2023 – Leading firm for 17 consecutive years
Hall of Fame
Ong Ken Loon for 4 consecutive years, previously Leading Individual for 8 consecutive years
Ong Sim Ho for 14 years
Yang Shi Yong for 8 consecutive years
"Very experienced tax team"
The team is "very responsive, quick on the uptake and provides in-depth and relevant legal advice that works in real life."
"Its lawyers have sharp business acumen and provide commercially practical advice."
Practice head Ong Ken Loon has impressed clients with her “strong technical skills.” She is a “go-to person for any tax dispute work” and particularly rated for her “professionalism and knowledge”.
Ken Loon is “very experienced and knows the people working in IRAS very well including their backgrounds, the experience, how they work and how they are likely to treat your case.”
“She is able to read the government’s approach to tax issues and can also be a useful contact if you have a difficult issue with the government. Her advice is always practical in approach and always sound. In terms of legal research, she is an extremely conscientious lawyer who always does her homework and her numbers and she is always prepared and able to clearly explain the tax impact of the various options so that it is easy to determine which to go for.”
“In terms of negotiations and communications, you cannot get better than Ken Loon as she always knows how to put the arguments across and she is extremely clear and concise.”
“Ong Sim Ho is someone we are always relying on. He usually takes a novel approach in crafting his solutions and has not failed us in a single matter brought to him in more than 15 years.”
Ong Sim Ho is described as a “tax lynchpin” at the Singapore tax bar, and he is recommended for his “critical thinking”, “analytic skills” and "truly superior knowledge".
Private Wealth and Family Law 2023 – Tier 1 for 7 consecutive years
Ong Sim Ho for 3 consecutive years
Ong Ken Loon for 5 years
Next Generation Lawyer
Seah Ching Ling for 3 consecutive years
“Ong Sim Ho and Seah Ching Ling are technically strong and have good commercial sense. Easy to communicate and work with.”
The team garnered praise for its “excellent response times and great service informed by deep industry knowledge.”
“Sim Ho is able to bring in his legal, finance, risk governance, and accounting perspectives.”
He is “a prominent name in private wealth and asset protection.”
“Seah Ching Ling is an emerging talent.”
"Seah Ching Ling is very experienced and knowledgeable in the area of trusts, taxation, and charities. She provides very pragmatic advice and does not over-complicate matters."
International Tax Review World Tax
Tax 2022 – Leading firm for 13 consecutive years
Tax Controversy Leaders 2022
Ong Ken Loon for 9 consecutive years
Ong Sim Ho for 10 years
Women in Tax Leaders 2022
Ong Ken Loon for 7 consecutive years
“Very impressive clearly thought through advice on how to manage a dispute with IRAS.”
“Ong Ken Loon is well-respected specialist in tax dispute resolution and regularly represents clients in tax tribunals and courts.”
“Ong Sim Ho has demonstrated very good knowledge and in-depth understanding of the Singapore income tax regulations and has provided very concise and comprehensive analysis of our tax issue.”
The Straits Times – Singapore's Best Law Firms 2023
Leading firm for Inheritance & Succession, Private Wealth Management Law in the survey by Singapore's largest circulating broadsheet, The Straits Times, and international research company, Statista.
Best Lawyers International: Singapore
Tax Law 2023 — Ong Sim Ho and Ong Ken Loon are Endorsed individuals
Trust and Estates 2023 — Ong Sim Ho and Ong Ken Loon are Endorsed individuals
Tax 2023 – Outstanding, previously Highly Recommended for 4 consecutive years
A client notes the team “made me feel very comfortable from the onset despite being in a very challenging environment”. Another client also commented that the team offers “very practical tax advice”.
asialaw Leading Lawyers
Ong Sim Ho – Elite Practitioner for 4 consecutive years, the sole lawyer to be ranked as an Elite Practitioner in Tax
Ong Ken Loon – Distinguished Practitioner for 4 consecutive years
“Excellent, Ong Sim Ho is commercially attuned and provides interesting perspectives to tax issues.”
Clients praised Ong Ken Loon for being “very knowledgeable", and mentioned that she has "calm hands”.
Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific
Private Client 2022 – Recommended for 4 consecutive years
Who’s Who Legal
Southeast Asia: Corporate Tax 2022
Ong Sim Ho – Endorsed individual for 2 consecutive years
Ong Ken Loon – Endorsed individual
Corporate Tax: Controversy 2021 – Ong Sim Ho is a Leading individual
Corporate Tax: Advisory 2021 – Ong Ken Loon is a Leading individual
Asia Legal Awards
Tax Lawyer of the Year 2018 – Ong Ken Loon
The Tax Directors Handbook
Ong Sim Ho is Leading lawyer in 2015 for 2 consecutive years
Asian-MENA Counsel’s In-House Community
Taxation Firm of the Year 2013
Practical Law Company Which Lawyer? Yearbook
Tax 2012 – Leading practice for 5 consecutive years
Private Client 2012 – Highly Recommended
Ong Ken Loon
Ong Sim Ho
Asian Legal Business
Leading Tax Law Firm Singapore 2011 – 2 consecutive years
Asia Tax Awards
Singapore Case of the Year 2010
Singapore Tax Litigation Firm of the Year 2009
Best Tax Team Singapore 2010
Asian-Counsel Firm of the Year
Tax Firm of the Year 2009 for 3 consecutive years
Singapore Tax Controversy Firm of the Year 2009