• LL.B. (Hons), University of Wales College of Cardiff (1994)
  • Called to Bar of England & Wales, Middle Temple (1995)
  • Admitted to the Singapore Bar (1996)

Julian co-heads our Indonesia Desk and Corporate Restructuring & Workouts Practice. He focuses on cross-border mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity, debt workouts, and corporate restructuring. Julian has been consistently ranked as a leading individual in his field for many years by leading legal publications.

In Indonesia, Julian advises foreign investors and Indonesian groups divesting equity or entering into joint ventures with foreign investors. He also advises high net-worth individuals and families in Indonesia particularly after the Tax Amnesty in Indonesia and the adoption of Automatic Exchange of Information pursuant to Common Reporting Standard.

Julian has been covering Indonesia since 2000, and he has been involved in many mining projects in Indonesia. On average, Julian makes about 15 to 20 trips a year to Indonesia.

On the debt workouts and corporate restructuring front, Julian and his team have advised on most of the largest workouts in Indonesia and also on most of the defaults involving PRC companies listed in Singapore.

Over many years, Julian has developed close working relationships with several State-Owned Enterprises (“SOE”) in the People’s Republic of China. He has advised many PRC SOE and PRC private enterprises over the last 20 years and some of them on a retainer basis. 

Julian speaks and writes Mandarin and is conversant in Bahasa Indonesia.

Indonesia Country Coverage

Julian and his team have handled many high profile matters. Below are some examples.

  1. Advised the Domba Mas Group on the sale of its oleochemical plants to Bakrie Sumatera Plantations. The sale required the restructuring of debt in excess of US$800 million held by various financial institutions and a US$2 billion off-take arrangement with Proctor & Gamble.

  2. Advised PT Bank Negara Indonesia Tbk and PT BNI Securities on a share sale and joint venture with Softbank with respect to Softbank’s entry into the Indonesian financial markets.

  3. Advised a leading palm oil refinery, Mewah, on its $180 million investment and development of a palm oil refinery in Surabaya.

Corporate Restructuring & Workout Matters

Julian and his team have worked on many matters that are Indonesia and China-centric. In some of these matters they:

  1. Advised on the US$14 billion debt workout and corporate restructuring of the Asia Pulp & Paper group of companies (“APP Group”). The APP Group is one of the largest pulp and paper manufacturers in the world. Its primary operating companies are based in China and Indonesia, and it has more than 250 subsidiaries worldwide. The APP Group’s debt securities are registered primarily with the New York SEC and its equity securities are quoted on the Singapore, Jakarta, and Surabaya exchanges.

  2. Advised on the corporate restructuring of China Hongxing Ltd, a PRC group that is listed in Singapore.

Chambers Asia-Pacific
Restructuring/Insolvency 2020 – Leading lawyer for 10 consecutive years

"He impressed us with his work ethic and his extensive knowledge of Indonesia."

A client notes his "uncanny ability to look beyond just the legal side of things and can point out the commercial implications of a particular course of action."

"He is a deal maker, with a China and Indonesia focus."

Asia Pacific Legal 500
Restructuring & Insolvency 2020 – Recommended Lawyer for 5 consecutive years
Projects and Energy 2020 – Recommended Lawyer for 2 consecutive years
Corporate and M&A 2019 – Recommended Lawyer for 2 consecutive years

Clients described Julian as “absolutely first-class”, “committed and professional” with the “uncanny ability to look beyond the legal aspects and provide invaluable advice on commercial implications.”

Julian Kwek is "outstanding in developing and implementing effective and creative strategies that have produced successful debt restructurings in circumstances that seemed hopeless at the start".

Chambers High Net Worth Guide

Private Wealth Law 2019 Indonesia (Expertise based abroad) – Leading Individual for 3 consecutive years

Kwek's practice is broad-ranging, and includes private equity, cross-border M&A and joint venture matters. He works with both Indonesian clients and wealthy inward investors.

Kwek helps high net worth families to reorganise offshore holding structures and businesses, as well as assisting with immigration and citizenship applications. He also advises on tax efficiency and complying with the Common Reporting Standard.

IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms
Restructuring & Insolvency 2020 – Highly regarded for 3 consecutive years
Leading lawyer for 6 consecutive years from 2012 to 2017

“Julian has a tremendous depth of understanding and knowledge of the Indonesian market which we are operating from. This knowledge had been most useful when assisting us to make major divestment decisions. He is able to think outside of the box and highlight to us, apart from legal issues, the commercial implications.

A client commended Julian as an “excellent” lawyer in all respects. He is also “responsive to client needs.”

Julian is regarded as “extremely intelligent”, “hard-working” and “creative”.

“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,” according to a client’s feedback.

Another adds, “He had impressed us on his extensive legal 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.”

“I deal a lot with Julian Kwek and his team. I am very impressed with Julian's commitment and professionalism. The team is not there only to provide legal advice, but more importantly they can always come out with an outside the box solution to address those risks and concerns that the clients might have,” says a client.

Who's Who Legal
Restructuring & Insolvency 2020 – Leading lawyer for 3 consecutive years

Julian Kwek is described as “hard-working” and “extremely intelligent”; he is lauded by peers for his “inventiveness when dealing with extraordinarily complex multinational debt restructurings”.

Asialaw Leading Lawyers
Restructuring and Insolvency 2020 – Elite Practitioner, previously Market-leading Lawyer for 2 consecutive years
Corporate/M&A 2019 – Market-leading Lawyer

“In addition to his extensive knowledge of the Indonesian legal and working environment, Julian has the uncanny ability to provide advice and suggestions on the commercial aspect and implications of a situation.”

Best Lawyers International: Singapore
Insolvency and Reorganisation Law 2021 – Endorsed individual for 10 consecutive years

Asia Business Law Journal
Identified as one of Singapore’s Top 100 lawyers 2019

  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Honorary Secretary, Workforce Advancement Federation