Chambers Global (2017 Edition)

The rankings and editorials on the member firms of Rajah & Tann Asia released by the Chambers are highlighted below. 

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Banking & Finance: Domestic (Band 2) 

Ranked Lawyers: Angela Lim (Band 2), Terence Choo (Band 3), Ng Sey Ming (Band 4), Regina Liew (Band 1 in Banking & Finance: Regulatory)

Regina Liew "has the right mix of sound regulatory expertise and commercial savvy," according to a satisfied client. She heads the firm's financial institutions group and is known for her focus on financial services regulation.

Clients describe Angela Lim as "very business-oriented" and "responsive," adding: "She's able to deal very calmly with everything." She is active in cross-border financings across the Asia-Pacific region, including in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Terence Choo is recognised for his expertise in acquisition, project and trade finance, on both the borrower and lender sides. Clients identify his efficiency as a key strength.

Clients describe the "commercially sound" Ng Sey Ming as "client-oriented and willing to go the extra mile." He regularly advises on cross-border transactions involving projects, real estate and acquisitions.

Capital Markets: Domestic (Band 2)

Ranked Lawyers: Kim Huat Chia (Eminent Practitioner), Evelyn Wee (Band 3), Danny Lim (Band 4)

Offering expertise across both DCM and ECM, the team is recognised for its involvement in complex transactions in this market. Its network of offices across the ASEAN region adds to the team's ability to handle cross-border work in jurisdictions such as Vietnam, Japan and Myanmar. The team harbours particular proficiency in Indonesia-related work.

Chia Kim Huat advises clients on a diverse range of issues, including joint ventures, private equity investments, and public and private M&A. He has deep experience in PRC-based capital markets work and sources note that "he has a very strong Chinese following." "He has great relationships in the market and really understands the regulations surrounding our work," says one client.

Evelyn Wee is valued by clients for her "dedication and commerciality." With a practice encompassing capital markets and corporate/M&A, she is adept at advising on REITs, business trusts and listings. She advised Grofers during a subscription by SoftBank, Internet Fund III, Sequoia Capital, Apoletto Asia and Mr Rahul Mehta for preference shares in its capital.

Danny Lim is highly regarded for his expertise in IPO work, and is further lauded by clients for getting work done "in record time." He is recognised for proficiency in M&A work as well as capital markets matters, and is picked out for his expertise in advising PRC clients on cross-border transactions. Lately, he acted for SAC Capital Private on the listing of CMC Infocomm on the Catalist board.

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (Band 2) 

Ranked Lawyers: Chuan Thye Tan SC (Band 2), Andre Yeap SC (Band 4), Paul Tan (Band 4)

Tan Chuan Thye SC represents companies in the energy and private equity sectors in significant commercial arbitrations. One peer reveals: "I like working with him on difficult legal questions. He's a lawyer's lawyer in that respect."

Department head Andre Yeap SC maintains a broad-based disputes practice and has advised on many high-profile arbitrations across Asia in the last 25 years. He is often instructed by clients in the financial services industry.

Paul Tan continues to build his reputation as an arbitration practitioner, proving to be "outstanding for his scholarship and intellectual strength" while advising on high-stakes mandates. He draws a glowing review from one client, who describes him as "senior counsel in-waiting, a standout and gifted advocate, a devastating cross-examiner who possesses a first-class brain for financial disputes and runs circles around his opponents. He certainly stands head and shoulders above his peers."

Dispute Resolution: Litigation (Band 2) 

Ranked Lawyers: Eng Beng Lee SC (Band 1), Francis Xavier SC (Band 2), Andre Yeap SC (Band 3), Danny Ong (Up and Coming), Chuan Thye Tan SC (Other Noted Practitioners)

Managing partner Lee Eng Beng SC is highly regarded by peers for his depth of experience and expertise. He specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, including insolvency, shareholder and joint venture disputes.

Francis Xavier SC handles a range of commercial disputes, regularly instructed to appear on banking, real estate and financial cases. Peers acknowledge him as "a good lawyer who is well liked by clients."

Andre Yeap SC has a broad practice that covers commercial litigation and international arbitration. His work highlights include representing siblings Peter and Juanita Fu in disputes against their sister and brother-in-law relating to the enforcement of a share-swap agreement.

Danny Ong frequently advises on insolvency, fraud and banking disputes, as part of his wider commercial litigation practice. Commentators report: "He is excellent in pleadings and examination; he is able to show his client what is in their best interest, and is also creative in his approach."

Projects & Energy: Domestic (Band 1)

Ranked Lawyers: Shemane Chan (Band 2)

Clients describe Shemane Chan as "very good from a commercial standpoint" and "very easy to deal with." Interviewees also commend her "excellent negotiation skills." She handles all aspects of project development and has been active of late advising on utilities, telecommunications and infrastructure mandates.

Shipping: Domestic (Band 1)

Ranked Lawyers: Kah Wah Leong (Band 1), Kian Sing Toh (Band 1), Winston Kwek (Band 2), Ian Teo (Band 2), Jainil Bhandari (Band 3), Kendall Tan (Band 3) 

The highly experienced Toh Kian Sing SC maintains an excellent reputation in the market, with clients describing him as "very knowledgeable, commercially minded, meticulous and approachable." He has a strong contentious practice covering both litigation and arbitration and represented ABN AMRO in the enforcement of its security over aluminium supplies held by the bank at Qingdao Port.

Leong Kah Wah offers expertise in dry and wet shipping disputes as well as general commercial litigation. He represented the LNG carrier 'Hanjin Ras Laffan' in a dispute regarding liability for its collision with bulk carrier 'Mount Apo'.

Ian Teo is well respected in the market, regularly handling arbitration and litigation proceedings relating to charter party and shipbuilding disputes. Sources regard him as "a very competent lawyer who is meticulous in his case preparation, and effective and persuasive in his advocacy."

Clients say that Winston Kwek "understands the issues, commercial implications and challenges and is therefore able to provide legally sound and practical solutions." His recent work highlights include assisting the lenders and financial institutions involved in the restructuring of Mercator Lines with the enforcement of their security over the fleet.

Highly experienced shipping litigator Jainil Bhandari is dual-qualified in Singapore and Malaysia and regularly appears as counsel in the courts of both jurisdictions. He has particular expertise in claims relating to collisions, charter parties and oil-related damage and accidents.

Clients describe Kendall Tan as "very commercially minded and responsive." He assists clients with a wide range of contentious matters, including bill of lading and charter party disputes, ship collisions and wreck removals. He recently assisted the owners of the 'Raissa' ship with claims for well blowout incidents at a gas field off the Indonesian coast which had resulted in the vessel's total loss.

South-East Asia: International Trade/WTO (Band 1)

What the team is known for

Offers in-depth expertise in trade matters concerning South-East Asian countries. Excels in handling customs regulatory compliance for international companies operating across a number of sectors, with particular expertise in the hi-tech space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Clients laud the firm's high quality: "The turnaround time has been excellent, they give top notch opinions and are able to be concise."

The bench is also praised: "The partners and associates are universally impressive."

Notable practitioners 

Kala Anandarajah is a key point of contact.

Asia Pacific Region: Arbitration (International) (Band 3)

What the team is known for

Leading Singapore firm, highlighted for its specialist arbitration practice and impressive regional range, with especially notable coverage of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Further noted for handling investor-state, construction and energy cases and regularly instructed in matters involving the operations of Chinese companies in other Asian jurisdictions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Sources allude frequently to the team's specialised arbitration capability, with one calling it "a bona fide practice, doing really well," and another testifying to its "deep and extensive professional knowledge."

Notable practitioners 

Andre Yeap SC is the firm's head of international arbitration.

India: Corporate/M&A (Band 5) (Desk based Abroad)

What the team is known for

This well-regarded practice frequently handles M&A and private equity investments from Singapore to India. The firm also acts on acquisitions and tender offers for Indian conglomerates and financial entities. It benefits from specialist strength in the shipping industry and long experience handling more contentious issues. Evelyn Wee is head of the department and the principal contact at the firm.

Indonesia: Corporate & Finance (International Firms) (Band 4) (Desk based Abroad) 

What the team is known for

Leverages its network of offices across the Asia-Pacific region to advise on a significant volume of cross-border mandates. Provides Indonesia law advice through its associate firm, Assegaf Hamzah & Partners. Expertise covers banking and finance, dispute resolution, M&A and projects. Cheng Yoke Ping oversees the firm's Indonesia corporate practice and is a key contact.

R&T Sok & Heng

General Business Law - Cambodia (Band 2)

Ranked Lawyer: Heng Chhay (Band 1), Sophonnora Tiv (Up and Coming)

What the team is known for

Impressive Phnom Penh-based team working with the wider Rajah & Tann network. Regularly advises international clientele on domestic law. Retains a strong market reputation for work on cross-border transactions, including project finance and joint ventures. Banking and real estate sectors constitute key areas of expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They perform very well. They are very efficient, experienced and creative in dealing with issues. It is a very slick and well-optimised practice. They're quite good at keeping clients informed about legal developments in Cambodia as well."

"Their commercial awareness of the local environment outclasses any other local or international law firm I have encountered in Cambodia thus far."

Notable practitioners 

Managing partner Chhay Heng focuses his practice on banking and finance, M&A and real estate mandates, and is particularly skilled in project finance. Work highlights include advising Teho International on its USD500 million real estate development. He attracts praise from clients for his "professional skill, communication and intuition" as well as "the calibre of his character, which plays a pivotal role in galvanising his team and staff."

Sophonnora Tiv comes recognised by peers as "definitely an up-and-comer in this space." He handles a range of work covering M&A, financing and real estate projects. In a highlight, he assisted TA Corporation with its real estate development project 'The Gateway', including advice on tax issues.

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners

Capital Markets - Indonesia (Band 1)

Ranked Lawyers: Bono Adji (Band 1), Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 1), Putu Suryastuti (Up and Coming), Tunggul Utomo (Up and Coming)

Bono Adji is co-managing partner of the team at AHP and a well-recognised figure in the capital markets area. His recent work includes assisting Merdeka Copper Gold in its IPO. Clients appreciate his depth of expertise, with one interviewee lauding him as "the main man for capital markets in Indonesia."

Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is well versed in handling complex issuances, and is considered a leading practitioner by interviewees. Recently he acted as local counsel to a group of high-profile banks on a USD2 billion issuance as Series 4 of the government's Trust Certificates Issuance Program.

Putu Suryastuti is a dedicated capital markets lawyer with deep experience of the technical and regulatory issues associated with the area. She plays a key role in many of AHP's matters, earning praise from clients for being "smart and firm." Recently, she advised Saratoga Investama Sedaya in relation to Delta Investment Horizon's issuance of USD100 million exchangeable bonds.

Up-and-coming practitioner Tunggul Utomo has a well-rounded practice that spans both M&A and capital markets. In a recent highlight he advised Sumber Alfaria Trijaya on the issue of new shares.

Corporate/M&A - Indonesia (Band 1)

Ranked Lawyers: Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 1), Bono Adji (Band 2), Eko Basyuni (Band 3)

Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is "very well known" for his high level of activity in M&A transactions. He is credited for his experience advising both private and public Indonesian companies across a variety of sectors, including banking and mining.

Bono Adji possesses a wealth of experience in the M&A space, advising on a steady stream of domestic transactions, including recent deals in the telecoms and natural resources sectors. "He's a very good lawyer," reports a source, adding: "He assists in most of our transactions."

Eko Basyuni is considered by sources to be a "very smart" lawyer. He has a broad practice that includes banking and finance, capital markets and M&A, and he is especially noted for work on corporate transactions in the telecoms sector.

Projects & Energy - Indonesia (Band 2)

Ranked Lawyers - Ahmad Fikri Assegaf (Band 1)

Ahmad Fikri Assegaf is a "very sensible lawyer" who leverages his cross-practice expertise to advise on complex projects deals for a range of clients. "He does everything," notes one source, adding: "He's a good operator and a good lawyer."

Christopher & Lee Ong

Banking & Finance - Malaysia (Band 3)

Ranked Lawyer - Christopher Lee (Band 3)

What the team is known for

Established and experienced team handling a comprehensive range of finance matters. Assists with multiple loan transactions, as well as offering expertise on complex debt and Islamic finance structures. Also handles asset finance and securitisation mandates, as well as finance related to the projects, infrastructure and energy spheres.

Christopher Lee is well regarded for his broad finance practice, offering particular strength where projects and infrastructure matters are concerned. He is also well placed to advise clients on debt capital markets, including such Islamic structures as sukuk.

Corporate/M&A - Malaysia (Band 3)

Ranked Lawyer - Christopher Lee (Band 3)

What the team is known for

Robust corporate team, advising on a broad range of transactional and regulatory issues. Well placed to advise on cross-border deals in the region thanks to its membership of the Rajah & Tann network. Particularly active in the resources sector and noted for its representation of private equity funds.

Christopher Lee's broad corporate practice encompasses the handling of M&A, joint ventures, reverse takeovers and other transactions. He frequently represents clients from the projects, infrastructure and energy sectors. Clients note "his deep experience" and the useful insights conferred by his "big-picture" view, one reporting: "I appreciate his thoughtful approach in dealing with potential issues."

Rajah & Tann NK Legal 

General Business Law - Myanmar (Band 2)

General Business Law: International Firms (Myanmar)

Rajah & Tann (Thailand) Limited

Banking & Finance - Thailand (Band 3)

Ranked Lawyers: Surasak Vajasit (Band 2)

Surasak Vajasit elicits praise for his knowledge of ship financing and transactions in the resources and corporate sectors. He is also singled out for his expertise in the acquisition and construction of vessels on behalf of Thai clients.

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers

Corporate/M&A (Band 3)

Thi Que Vu leads the corporate practice and advises on a variety of commercial transactions related to Vietnam. She also works for a range of notable Chinese clients in the infrastructure and energy spheres and is fluent in Mandarin. Interviewees praise her ability to "grasp the core issues of the transaction quickly."

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy (Band 4)

Skilled construction and infrastructure team advising developers and contractors on a range of projects, notably including infrastructure and real estate developments. Also offers experience advising clients on market entry into the Vietnamese oil and gas sector. Head of infrastructure and construction Thi Que Vu is a key contact for project matters.

Rajah & Tann (Laos) Sole Co., Ltd

General Business Law – Laos (Other Noted Firms)

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy (Band 2)

Ranked Lawyers - Jaime Renato B Gatmaytan (Band 3)