Chambers Global (2013 edition)
The editorial on Rajah & Tann released by the Chambers Global guide is highlighted below:
Leading Firms: Corporate/M&A: Domestic Firms: Singapore (Band 1)
Leading Individuals: Kian Hwee Goh (Band 1), Choo Hock Soon (Band 3)
Highly rated partner and seasoned strategist Goh Kian Hwee is known as "one of the leading corporate lawyers in Singapore." He was a lead partner in advising target company SMB United on competing takeover bids by Profit Sea Holdings and Osaki Electric.
Soon Choo Hock is an active participant on corporate M&A transactions, and has additional experience in the areas of finance and tax. He advised CapitaMalls on two separate joint ventures concerning large-scale site developments, valued at USD594.8 million and USD277.6 million respectively.
This team has a focused South Asia practice group, which offers clients considerable India-related expertise. It acts for Indian clients on cross-border deals, and for international clients on investment into the country. For instance, it acted for Fortis Healthcare on its USD49 million acquisition of an 85% stake in Singaporean company RadLink-Asia.
Leading Firms: Dispute Resolution: Litigation: Singapore (Band 1)
Leading Individuals: Andre Yeap SC (Band 2), Francis Xavier SC (Band 2), Mohammed Reza (Band U)
Francis Xavier SC heads the litigation department and is highly thought of among Singaporean advocates. "He is honest, frank, very energetic, listens carefully, grasps things quickly and has a remarkable intellect and sense of logic," interviewees say. In a recent high-profile case he successfully argued for the appellant, Holcim (Singapore), on a commercial contract dispute.
Senior partner Andre Yeap SC is similarly well regarded and described by commentators as "extremely smooth in his delivery in court and extremely realistic as an adviser of a client." Other sources comment: "He's to the point and insightful, as well as being able to get to the nub of the issue at hand." He defended Lehman Brothers Singapore in proceedings relating to its SGD10 billion secured note programme.
Mohammed Reza enters the rankings this year having been praised by sources as "a user-friendly and brilliant lawyer." His recent representations include acting for Standard Chartered and Holcim (Singapore), among many other notable clients.
Leading Firms: Shipping: Singapore (Band 1)
Leading Individuals: Ian Teo (Band 3), Jainil Bhandari (Band 2), Kah Wah Leong (Band 1), Kian Sing Toh SC (Band 1), Winston Kwek (Band 1)
Toh Kian Sing SC combines deep academic knowledge with many years in practice. His recent highlights include a successful claim for damages against the operators of a vessel.
Winston Kwek rises to the top band this year in recognition of his strength in marine insurance and mortgage enforcement work. Highlights include acting for the creditors on a debt restructuring for a well-known maritime company.
Leong Kah Wah is well known for his expert handling of casualty, charter party, bill of lading and cargo damage cases. He was the lead partner in the 'Bunga Melati 5' case.
Marine insurance specialist Jainil Bhandari is especially active on work involving Malaysia, with sources confirming that "he is a go-to lawyer for cases with a Malaysia element." He is dual-qualified in Malaysia and Singapore.
Ian Teo is singled out for praise by clients, who say: "He is very knowledgeable, he has in-depth understanding of the Singapore legal world and his follow-up is always rapid." His main areas of focus are trading, dry shipping and international trade.
Leading Firms: Dispute Resolution: Arbitration: Singapore (Band 2)
Leading Individuals: Boon Leong Chong (Band 2), Yee Leong Chong (Band 2)
Sources note that Chong Yee Leong "stands out for his experience and abilities." Peers particularly note the activeness of his practice. His areas of expertise include infrastructure and energy-related matters.
Chong Boon Leong has more than 20 years of experience in the Singapore market, and is noted by peers for his cross-examination skills. His regional expertise gives the team a further edge in cross-border matters.
Clients commend Prakash Pillai's eye for detail and responsiveness. He has a much-lauded Indian practice and has noteworthy long-standing clients in that jurisdiction. He is vice-chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and the author of numerous articles on Indian business matters.
Leading Firms: Projects & Energy: Singapore (Band 2)
Chong Yee Leong heads the practice, which offers clients good regional expertise. In the last year the team has worked on projects in Singapore, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam. While the department is best known for its projects and construction-related arbitration work, it is also well versed in tendering, development and project finance.
Leading Firms: Banking & Finance: Domestic Firms: Singapore (Band 3)
Leading Individuals: Angela Lim (Band 3), Terence Choo (Band 3)
Terence Choo comes highly recommended by both lenders and borrowers. Recent highlights include acting for a group of international and regional banks as lead arrangers on a USD150 million revolving loan facility. Trade financing is another area of focus for him.
Angela Lim is commended by sources as a "very proactive" partner, who is able to "balance the needs of the clients in order to make the process run more smoothly." She has considerable experience in leading cross-border finance transactions, such as advising DBS Bank and ING on a HKD1.4 billion term loan facility to China Merchants Holdings to part-finance the acquisition of an equity interest in a toll road located in Zhejiang province of the PRC. Another client is OCBC Bank.
Leading Firms: Capital Markets: Domestic Firms: Singapore (Band 3)
Leading Individual: Kim Huat Chia (Band 2)
Chia Kim Huat heads the corporate and capital markets practice group at the firm, and is also noted for his strong China practice. He recently represented China Paper Holdings in a rights issue valued at SGD32.69 million.
Arbitration (International): Asia-Pacific Region (Band 3)
Leading Individual: Yee Leong Chong (Band 4)
THE FIRM This Singapore-headquartered firm has recently boosted its regional presence, adding new offices in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos to its existing Shanghai office and associate office in Malaysia. It is well recognised for its arbitration offering in Singapore, and continues to gain traction on the international scene. It has attracted significant instructions from clients such as Trafigura, AirAsia, Vichitbhan Construction, CapitaLand and the government of Laos. The team's broad expertise covers energy, mining, construction and engineering, telecoms and government matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Chong Leong Yee heads the international arbitration practice and is a prominent figure in the region thanks to his years of experience in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Laos.
Corporate/M&A: India (Desks Based Abroad) (Band 5)
This Singapore firm houses particular expertise in commercial dispute resolution matters. The team has also worked on matters with an Indian component in areas such as shipping, telecoms, IT and real estate. Prakash Pillai is the head of the South Asia practice.
Dispute Resolution (Experts Based Abroad)
Prakash Pillai (Band 3)
Prakash Pillai, head of Rajah & Tann LLP's South Asia practice, is deeply appreciated by clients, who say of him: "He was outstanding with his preparations and very professional in the way he executed his work. At the same time it never felt that it was a client/lawyer relationship; it was very comfortable working with him. And the biggest positive was that he was ever ready for any queries and readily available over the phone, e-mail etc." Pillai is based in Singapore.
Corporate & Finance (Experts Based Abroad)
Jainil Bhandari (Spotlight table)
Singapore-based marine specialist Jainil Bhandari of Rajah & Tann LLP is dual-qualified in Malaysia and Singapore. He is especially active on work involving Malaysia, with sources confirming that "he is a go-to lawyer for cases with a Malaysian element."