Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, Advocatus Law covers the full spectrum of commercial disputes including contractual, shareholder, employment and insurance disputes.
One key individual in the firm is general commercial disputes lawyer Christopher Anand Daniel.
Case highlights include representing a defendant against claims of breach of trust, breach of confidence, unlawful interference with trade, malicious falsehood and conspiracy by lawful and unlawful means; defending an employee in breach of post-termination non-compete obligations; and acting for the liquidator of Art Heritage Singapore in a public-private-project with the Singapore Tourism Board to develop Fort Canning Centre into a private arts centre following its wind up.
“It listens to understand our business and brings some major issues into consideration when drafting the agreements. It advises and provides options on the terms and conditions to safeguard our interests.” – Commercial and transactions
“He really makes an effort to understand the business and the problems faced and gives advice and options. He works closely with us and responds quickly.”
Regarded as one of Singapore’s ‘Big Four’ law firms, Allen & Gledhill has one of the largest teams that houses 120 lawyers including over 40 active partners. The firm has a proven track record in representing sophisticated clients across bet-the-company litigation. Its specialism includes banking and commercial disputes, international arbitration, insolvency, intellectual property and white-collar crime. The firm also runs a comprehensive cross-border disputes service supported by its regional network.
Key names in the team include Andrew Yeo for commercial disputes, Chien Mien Ho for construction, Edward Tiong for insolvency, Yee Leong Chong for international arbitration, Stanley Lai SC for commercial and intellectual property and Jason Chan SC for white-collar and investigations.
One work highlight saw the firm act for Credit Suisse Trust in a suit arising out of allegations made by a high-profile individual concerning professional fraud and aggravated breach of trust, forgery and other various criminal wrongdoings on the part of an employee of the bank. The claim is estimated to be in the range of $1 billion.
The firm also defended Quoine, a cryptocurrency exchange platform operator, against an electronic market maker B2C2 claiming breach of contract and breach of trust for unilaterally reversing the trades. This is the first cryptocurrency dispute to come before the Singapore courts.
In the insolvency space, the firm is acting for various creditors as part of the Hyflux group’s negotiations for approximately S$1.5 billion of debt. The firm is also acting for the largest secured creditor United Overseas Bank on the restructuring and realisation of Singapore mainboard-listed Ryobi Kiso Holdings and its subsidiaries in judicial management.
Key clients include CGS-CIMB Securities, Equis, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), Singfor Insurance and Singapore Tourism Board.
“Practical, useful commercially minded advice. Very responsive.” – Commercial and transactions
“Good understanding of the issues and structures the defence accurately and with precision. Able to understand the commercial angle and give clear advice on possible actions relevant to the issues.” – Construction
“The firm has huge experience in arbitration. It provides shrewd advice based on its experience.” – International arbitration
“It builds legal strategy and implements it in a favourable way for us.” – International arbitration
“Close consultancy with the client, regular and timely updates, professional and practical advice.” – Labour and employment
“Responsive, efficient and familiar with our area of business.” – Labour and employment
“Practical approach supported by thorough research and deep understanding of the related regulations and cases.” – Labour and employment
“The firm does a very good job of assimilating the facts, evaluating applicable law, and then providing well-reasoned and practical advice to the client on various potential avenues for response and action. The firm has very intelligent and experienced lawyers and is adept at assisting non-Singapore based international companies with understanding of laws and requirements in Singapore. And importantly, the firm understands the cultural differences between US companies and Singaporean entities and courts, and helps explain the laws in ways that a US company can understand and appreciate.” – Product liability and recall
“Highly responsive and is consistently able to provide practical and timely advice on tight timelines. We transferred a high court case to Allen & Gledhill from another firm after the other firm lost an important interlocutory application. The firm successfully had the decision reversed on appeal.”– Intellectual property
“Very responsive and provides balanced legal advice taking into account commercial considerations.” – Real estate
Kee Loon Chua
“He always provides us with the best advice and proposes the best solutions, owing to his deep expertise in international arbitration.”
“Builds a good strategy for international arbitration.”
Chien Mien Ho
“Gives relevant and excellent advice on matters discussed. Willing to listen and able to crystallise the issues clearly.”
“He is very responsive, practical and commercial-minded. Also willing to be flexible on fee arrangements.”
“Very responsive and provides balanced legal advice taking into account commercial considerations.”
Yong Seng Tay
“Fully understands the client's objectives, provides step-by-step explanation and timely and regular updates on progress.”
“We instruct only Yong Seng in Singapore and would not have it any other way. Yong Seng truly goes above and beyond what we see in a lot of outside counsel. He truly understands what the business is and what the business wants. Yong Seng is very up to date with the areas that are of interest to us and will always update us at the first opportunity. He is passionate about the law and about helping his clients as if what is at stake is his own problem.”
“Quick to understand the background and our intentions. Excellent at balancing various issues and finding the most important issue. A practical approach based on thorough research and a deep understanding of related regulations and cases.”
“Vignesh has excellent knowledge of the law and he draws on this knowledge to provide practical, results-driven solutions to complex issues. He has excellent advocacy skills and has consistently achieved our desired results in court. We also appreciate that he is highly responsive and willing to address our questions personally—unlike our experience with other firms where senior-level partners tend to leave client-facing duties to more junior lawyers.”
Bird & Bird ATMD is particularly renowned for its intellectual property and labour and employment disputes capability. The firm is also active in commercial litigation and international arbitration. Clients in the aerospace, financial services, chemicals, professional services, telecommunications and energy industries regularly seek the firm’s dispute resolution service.
Swee Siang Boey heads the Singapore dispute resolution group. Other key names in the team include Jonathan Choo who is skilled in international arbitration, and Alban Kang who is a leading IP specialist in the market.
In one case highlight, the firm acted for associated entities of the Fullerton Healthcare Group, a healthcare service provider in Asia-Pacific, in two separate lawsuits concerning breach of duties and a shareholder dispute. It also successfully represented Jones Lang LaSalle Property Consultants in its defence against proceedings commenced by an ex-employee alleging unlawful termination; and acted for YG Group, a joint venture entity between YGL Logistics and MCH International, in one of the few cases in Singapore where the loss of chance was awarded in the context of fiduciary duties.
Energy Market Authority and Secyourit are notable clients of the firm.
“As a primary legal lead for my organisation's complex transactions and disputes, availability/accessibility of my external lawyers and their ability to understand our business and strategic needs when providing legal advice are perhaps the two most important criteria that I use to assess the lawyers I work with. With this in mind, I have to make special mention of Lin Yuankai, who is outstanding in his client service and very accommodating in his accessibility—sometimes on extremely short notice due to my hectic business travel schedule—for my questions and calls. His willingness to accommodate my requests for discussions/calls—even during his business travel time—and have candid and open discussions regarding my views on strategy for our disputes matters far exceeds expectations.”
Restructuring and insolvency boutique firm BlackOak is solely dedicated to distressed and special situations matters, and is exclusively focused on acting for insolvency professionals, debtors, creditors and funds. The team is best known for its corporate restructuring and insolvency practice and has acted on some landmark cases. The firm is especially active in the financial services, energy and shipping areas.
Ashok Kumar and Darius Tay are key figures within the firm’s insolvency practice.
Case highlights include advising Value Partners Hong Kong and the informal medium term noteholders steering committee in the Hyflux Group restructuring proceedings; advising the liquidators of Trikomsel and Trikomsel Singapore obtain court approval to seek commercial third-party litigation funding to carry out investigations and proceedings arising out of the insolvency; and representing PwC as liquidator of Power Solar System in committal proceedings against Suntech Power Investment.
Glencore Singapore, Kong Hoo, NK Ingredients and Takenaka Corporation are notable clients.
The firm is looking to develop a specialised mediation platform and expand innovation in developing start-up companies.
BR Law Corporation, formerly known as Bernard & Rada Law Corporation, rebranded in 2018. The firm was founded by Bernard Doray and S Radakrishnan 30 years ago. It focuses on dispute resolution with comprehensive coverage ranging from litigation and arbitration to mediation and court adjudication.
In the past 12 months, the firm kept busy acting for Lim Ah Meh, a minority shareholder, in a minority oppression action against the majority shareholders of one of the oldest automotive distribution companies in Singapore. It also represented Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, in a cross-border case involving an alleged fraud committed by its employees in Singapore; and defended an ex-director of two companies in claims brought against him by the liquidators of both companies for breach of director and fiduciary duties.
“BR Law Corporation has exceptionally strong leadership that is evidenced in the distinguished work done. The team's professionalism is of top-notch calibre where my best interests are consistently demonstrated right from the start when Daniel takes charge of the case. In addition, resourcing is always done at the appropriate level, including across teams when required. Furthermore, Daniel is very proactive to plan and manage the case with all the needful work done effectively. Last but not least, Daniel has attentive listening ears, offers pragmatic legal advice, and most importantly he is bilingual in both Chinese and English, both conversational and written.” – Commercial and transactions
“Daniel is highly recommended for his professionalism in upholding top-notch legal practice standards. He walks the journey with us and is so respectful to always look out for his clients' best interests. The milestones Daniel has accomplished for the case were carried out with quality and measurable outcome. All his valuable legal advice and proactive management to preserve our interests are highly commendable.”
Braddell Brothers is a specialist dispute resolution boutique founded in 1883. It is among the oldest law firms in Singapore and is known for its commercial disputes, civil and international arbitration work, with particular sector strengths in energy and technology and telecommunications.
Managing partner, Edmund Kronenburg, is frequently seen working on notable arbitration cases and he also actively sits as an arbitrator.
In one case highlight, the firm acted for a Singaporean Chinese millionaire in his long-running matrimonial and custody battle—that commenced in 2010—with his estranged American wife. In another highlight, it represented Ig3 Infra and Etl Power Services in a multi-party claim brought by a Mauritian corporation, lIRF Holdings II, alleging breaches of directors’ duties, minority oppression, siphoning off of funds and dissipation of corporate assets. The firm also defended former employees of Anika Insurance Brokers and Consultants in a claim for damages and injunctions arising from alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and duties of good faith and fidelity.
Key clients of the firm include Autodesk Asia, BASF Intertrade, Ericsson, SB International and Singapore Medical Council.
The firm works closely with international firms and is active in locations such as New York, Stockholm, Chicago, Hong Kong and Jakarta. It is also a member of the independent law firm network, Legalink, and occasionally instructs Queen’s Counsel from England to assist with specialist legal opinions, or to appear on an ad-hoc basis in Singapore courts.
Characterist is a Singaporean law firm that is active in civil and commercial disputes. Apart from its expertise in commercial and construction disputes, the firm is also capable in criminal and insurance litigation.
Managing partner Daniel Goh oversees the team with support from key lawyers Dominic Chan, Ker Sheon Lim and Adrian Wee, who actively represent clients in both commercial and criminal disputes.
During the research period, the firm advised three persons accused of being key culprits in the largest case of stock market manipulation in Singapore. The firm also acted for SIMEX Asia-Pacific against a former employee concerning its breach of worldwide restraint of trade clause.
“Provides expert advice and keeps us informed about the best possible outcomes, so that we can manage our expectations.” – Construction
“Always keeping me in the loop, super-efficient and has empathy.”
As a dispute resolution boutique established by the market’s most respected litigator, Davinder Singh Chambers is one of the fastest growing firms in Singapore. With a well-known team of practitioners, the firm regularly handles complex and high-profile cases before all levels of courts and international tribunals. It covers all aspects of contentious matters including administrative law, insolvency, commercial litigation, employment, private client and white-collar crime.
Led by market-leading dispute resolution practitioner, Davinder Singh SC, the team comprises two other promising lawyers Jaikanth Shankar and Pardeep Singh Khosa.
In one work highlight, the firm represented Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, in a defamation action against blogger and financial adviser, Leong Sze Hian, who shared an article alleging that the Prime Minister had helped his former Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak launder money in relation to scandal-hit Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). The firm also acted for Bayan Resources and Bayan International in an $800 million cross-border dispute arising from a coal mining joint venture, which was the first case heard before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC); and advised BP Singapore and Glencore Singapore in a $57.5 million dispute with Jurong Aromatics Corporation arising from a series of complex restructuring arrangements.
Key clients include Millenia, Noble Resources, Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council, Rex International Holding and StreetSine Singapore.
“The firm makes it a point to know and understand the facts of the dispute inside out. Its knowledge of civil procedure and rules of evidence is unmatched and its ability to marshal legal arguments on our behalf in court is beyond what we have seen from other law firms.” – Commercial and transactions
“Excellent litigator, knows how to read judges very well, solid knowledge of the law, and responsive to queries.”
“He is by far the best litigation lawyer in Singapore.”
Dentons Rodyk & Davidson operates under a verein structure that enables it to support cross-border dispute management and resolution. With over 60 disputes lawyers, the firm is active in international arbitration and also in the construction, infrastructure and energy, medical, high-net-worth individuals, and financial sectors.
Philip Jeyaretnam SC leads the well-rounded team including construction-focused Paul Wong, shipping and international arbitration specialist Lawrence Teh, insolvency veteran Ajinderpal Singh and IP expert Chai Chong Low.
In one commercial disputes highlight, the firm defended PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) against the State of Papua New Guinea concerning the control of PNGSDP and its assets of more than $1.4 billion in funds, which was one of the highest value matters to have been heard in Singapore’s high court.
In insolvency, the firm advised Perpetual (Asia), the trustee for the holders of perpetual securities, in the restructuring of Hyflux.
The shipping team represented Norwegian ship-owners, Skaugen, against German engine manufacturers Man Diesel and Turbo (Germany) in a rare international case regarding fraud of the fuel economy of vessels.
During the research period, the firm lost two partners Alexander Lee and Paras Lalwani.
Bachmeer Capital, Integrated Health Information Systems, SMRT Alpha, Tongbao Marine and VTB Bank are other key clients.
Dentons Rodyk & Davidson takes a multi-faceted approach to managing its clients’ domestic and international disputes by utilising Dentons’ global platform. In 2018, the firm combined with Hanafiah Ponggawa & Partners in Indonesia and Zain & Co in Malaysia in a bid to strengthen its foothold in the region. Together, the offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore form the Dentons ASEAN network.
With litigators such as Jimmy Yim SC and Cavinder Bull SC in its ranks, Drew & Napier is easily Singapore’s premier litigation practice and it takes a significant share of arbitration-related litigation work in the city-state. The firm’s specialist dispute resolution lawyers are well-versed in sectors such as construction, infrastructure, energy and utilities, finance, commodities as well as technology.
Case highlights include advising Sharp on a $2 billion contractual dispute against Hisense in arbitration proceedings spanning across multiple jurisdictions; advising on one of the largest trust cases ever brought before Singapore’s courts concerning the De La Sala family legacy; and representing Creative Technology in an appeal against Huawei over its failure to build a nationwide WiMAX Network.
The firm bolstered its dispute resolution bench strength after the departure of Davinder Singh by hiring new and rehiring ex-drew lawyers as directors, including Siraj Omar SC, Chris Chong, Kevin Lee, Chern Yang See, Paras Manohar Lalwani and Allister Brendan Tan. The firm also had a round of promotions that saw over 10 lawyers promoted to director or associate director.
Key clients include AIA Singapore, Daelim Industrial, Lagardère Sports Asia, Longzhu Oilfield Services, Mediacorp and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation.
Duane Morris & Selvam’s strong suit is in commercial disputes and arbitration, but the firm also has a growing reputation for construction disputes where it acts for Korean and Japanese construction companies. It is also active in the oil and gas industry with its international disputes practice covering Vietnam, Myanmar and Mexico.
Sarbjit Singh Chopra is a key name in the firm’s dispute resolution team with expertise in commercial disputes, international arbitration, construction and family law. Another active lawyer to note is Daniel Soo who led a substantial number of cases submitted in the research period.
Case highlights include acting for 3 Corporate Services against Grabtaxi Holdings concerning a domain name issue; defending Avant Garde Maritime Services against Rakna Arakshaka Lanka, a Sri Lankan government-owned business in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence, alleging breach of the master agreement; and representing a mid-sized local construction company against its employer for unlawful termination of the contract.
During the research period, the firm hired two directors Sean La’Brooy and Subramaniam Valliappan from Oon & Bazul and United Legal Alliance respectively. Both lawyers are strong in commercial disputes and international arbitration. Furthermore, four directors left the firm including Mark Wong, Ho May Kim, Tham Wei Chern and Samuel Sharpe.
In 2011, Duane Morris and Singapore-based Selvam entered into the first US-Singapore joint law venture (JLV) to be approved by the city-state to leverage Selvam’s corporate practice across Asia. However, Selvam handles all Singapore law disputes matters as an independent entity as JLVs restrict practice areas and litigation is not allowed.
Disputes-focused firm Eugene Thuraisingam handles both domestic and international litigation and arbitration involving industries such as shipping, oil and gas and construction. Familiar with the major arbitral institutions, the firm is adept at handling matters from pre-arbitration negotiations to post-award proceedings. One of its core practice areas includes criminal defence—and it is especially skilled in the art of cross-examination.
The team comprises dedicated lawyers including Eugene Thuraisingam and Chooi Jing Yen.
Case highlights include acting for an oil exploration company in an UNCITRAL arbitration dispute involving claims of over $126 million against a Middle Eastern state-owned company; representing 22 victims of an alleged conspiracy orchestrated by directors of a property investment company to sell worthless plots of land in India to senior members of the Indian community; and acting for a family in legal matters in Singapore arising out of alleged embezzlements from an investment fund.
“With a caring team from Eugene Thuraisingam, I was confident to leave my case with them and continue with my daily routine and job. The team walked me through in times of anxiety which is something I appreciate the most.” – International arbitration
“The lawyers who handled my case were Eugene Thuraisingam, Chooi Jing Yen and Hamza Malik. They were very professional, reliable, kind and had given me very good advice on my case. During my discussions with Jing Yen and Hamza, they were always so patient, assuring and confident in handling my lawsuit and preparing the statement of claims that were so detailed and well written. They were also very attentive and always replied very promptly whenever I had queries and worries. I am so glad that I had engaged them to fight my lawsuit and I am very pleased with the outcome.” – Insurance
Chooi Jing Yen
“He is always on top of things and knows my case well. He listens to my concerns and anxiety and provides guidance to me.”
“Very good advice on my case. Confident, attentive and patient. Replies to all my email queries very promptly.”
Traditionally strong in litigation, Eversheds Harry Elias offers the full spectrum of dispute resolution coverage including commercial disputes, construction, IP litigation, insolvency and international arbitration. The firm’s strength in family and matrimonial law is widely known in the market.
Siew Fong Foo and Tien Hua Koh are key figures for family and matrimonial work. Rodman Bundy is a well-regarded figure in the firm’s international arbitration practice.
Highlights in commercial disputes include acting for the owners and vendors of a group of trust companies who are making a claim against the buyers.
In international arbitration, the firm acted as counsel and advocate for the government of Colombia in a case brought by Nicaragua before the International Court of Justice involving alleged violation of Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and maritime spaces.
The insolvency team acted for Ascendas REIT, Singapore’s first and largest listed business space and industrial REIT, in its claims for over S$120 million against the Hyflux Group, for its premature termination of long-term leases over two buildings, Hyflux Building and Hyflux Innovation Centre.
In 2017, Harry Elias Partnership and Eversheds Sutherland formally merged to become Eversheds Harry Elias Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.
“The firm is good at providing practical advice in both legal and commercial aspects.” – Intellectual property
“Very practical. Takes the time to understand the client's business.”
Fullerton Law Chambers’ primary strength is in corporate and commercial disputes and it regularly acts for blue chip corporate clients. Its dispute resolution practice spans a wide range of domestic and multi-jurisdictional corporate and commercial disputes as well as international arbitration.
Alfred Lim, Edmund Eng and Wei Chern Tham are key members of the team.
In one case highlight, the firm advised Sino Forest Corporation (SFC) on a damage claim against a trustee of SFC Litigation Trust concerning its negligent conduct of a valuation of SFC’s assets and breach of contractual obligations.
“The firm, and in particular Mr Eng and his team, provides top tier dispute resolution services. I have found it to be very responsive and collaborative. The level of service the firm provides has been exceptional so far and very client-oriented. It has time and again provided sharp and incisive legal advice and litigation strategies. It also has the ability to cut through complex facts and legal principles very quickly and to explain all of this in simple and clear language which is easily understandable to the commercial law person.” – Commercial and transactions
“Edmund and his team never fail to provide premier dispute resolution services. It has displayed a depth of talent that I have not come across in Singapore or China. The firm’s industry-specific knowledge is excellent. Time and again it has provided us with clear and comprehensive legal advice. Its ability to strategise, and anticipate issues that may arise, is also unrivalled. I have found the firm to be proactive, responsive and very client-oriented. In short, I would say that it is intelligent, formidable and incredibly well-equipped to handle even the most complex of disputes.” – Commercial and transactions
“Aggressive and on the ball.” – Commercial and transactions
“In particular, Edmund Eng is extremely experienced in international arbitration and legal strategy. He had also given us tremendous legal support in relation to the suit filed in Malaysia for interim measures pending the arbitration in Singapore.” – International arbitration
“We find him quick on the uptake as he has displayed the ability to follow the issues very quickly and is very responsive. We have no doubt that he will develop into an outstanding lawyer with time.”
“I have been impressed with his attention to detail and how he has knowledge of all the relevant facts and documents at his fingertips. He also has the ability to quickly sift through the material to identify issues that actually matter. He is certainly a future star to watch out for.”
“Edmund is the partner in charge of all the files we have with the firm. I have been instructing him for a number of years, starting from his time as a partner in Shook Lin & Bok. He is extremely insightful and knowledgeable. He is an excellent quick thinking strategist who is able to manoeuvre with ease when navigating challenging strategic issues. An intellectual powerhouse without peer.”
“We first met when Edmund was a partner at Shook Lin & Bok and we have continued to return to him. I have experience instructing other top-tier law firms in Singapore and this includes instructing eminent Senior Counsel. I can say without a doubt that Edmund is a star litigator who is a Senior Counsel in the making. He stands head and shoulders above the all the other lawyers, including Senior Counsel, who I have dealt with so far. He has an uncanny ability to anticipate issues that may arise down the line. He is also quick thinking and is able to meet complex challenges head on. His ability to strategise and cut through complex issues is also second to none. I have found him extremely formidable and more than capable of going up against the best in Singapore.”
“Extremely experienced practitioner for many areas including contractual law, tort, international arbitration and legal strategy. Has an extremely good understanding of the underlying commercial side of things. Responsive and able to work effectively and speedily under heavy pressure.”
“Good strategy and control of the arbitration.”
Gateway Law Corporation’s real strength is in IP, TMT and employment law. However, it is active in the disputes space where it supplements its IP litigation expertise with commercial disputes, insolvency and arbitration work.
Joseph Tan Jude Benny (JTJB) is traditionally known for shipping litigation, but in recent times its commercial disputes practice has acted on more general litigation with a growing energy and commodities platform.
Key contacts of the firm for commercial and shipping disputes are Danny Chua, Murali Pany and John Sze.
In one case highlight, the firm represented a Canadian-based multinational corporation in the waste recycling business against KK Asia Environmental in a matter that arose from purported breaches of a purchase financing contract. The firm also advised Moratel International on cable-cut claims; and acted for 95 purchasers of units at The Sycamore Tree—a private mixed-use property development left incomplete by developers—requesting to treat the individual purchasers as a separate class of creditors for the first time.
Apart from broadening its capacity from shipping to encompass energy and commodities, JTJB also has an international reach with its network of offices in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok, Taipei, Yangon, Piraeus, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Munich and Incheon. The firm is a member of the international network of independent law firms, ADVOC.
King & Spalding’s key strengths in Singapore centre around international arbitration and managing global disputes. The firm is particularly known for high value work and for its oil and gas and investment treaty arbitration expertise. Wade Coriell is a key contact for international arbitration.
Led by Samuel Chacko, Legis Point is an independent boutique law firm with a special forte in cross-border disputes and arbitration. The firm works closely with local law firms as well as international law firms. Chacko is particularly active in the international arbitration space along with expertise in commercial disputes, banking, construction, debt recovery, international trade and judicial review.
All cases provided during the research period remain confidential but emphasise the firm's strengths in disputes involving construction, insolvency and employment.
“Litigation is one of Legis Point's strengths. Sam Chacko, the litigation partner, gives sound, practical legal and tactical advice. He has a team of dedicated and motivated young associates who were diligent, enthusiastic and approachable. I enjoyed working with Sam and his team.” – Labour and employment
“Sam provided sound, practical advice on legal and tactical aspects of our proceedings. His knowledge of US civil procedure and his ability to explain it was also very helpful in getting our US general counsel to understand Singapore civil procedure.”
Established in 2018, LIMN Law Corporation focuses on construction matters across domestic arbitration and litigation. The firm routinely acts for major local owners, developers, contractors and consultants as well as interior design firms. It also actively represents clients in construction adjudication. John Lim leads the firm’s core practice.
Case highlights include representing Hong Xing Engineering and Construction in setting aside an adjudication determination obtained by Huat Hui Construction; acting for a builder in a claim against the owner over outstanding payment for construction work in respect of a proposed reconstruction project; and representing Yeo Swee Kheng and Zhong Xin Construction in obtaining an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act against Supreme Builders.
Key clients include De Sheng Construction, Ji Sheng Construction, LY Structure Engineering, SCT Construction and Win Universal.
Mayer Brown’s disputes team in Singapore is focused on cross-border disputes that arise from M&A, joint venture, oil and gas, energy, infrastructure and general commercial matters. It is strong in international arbitration and in managing parallel or related local litigation.
Yu-Jin Tay, head of international arbitration in Asia, is a key figure in Singapore.
In the past 12 months, the firm has been busy acting in confidential arbitrations in the media, technology, construction, agriculture, oil and gas and mining sectors.
Mayer Brown’s disputes practice in Asia is in growth mode as it looks to further boost its Singapore and North East Asia expertise alongside its increasing expertise in helping its global and regional clients navigate disputes arising from investments in South and South East Asian emerging markets such as Vietnam, Indonesia and India.
Morgan Lewis Stamford is a reputable practice for commercial litigation and arbitration. The firm’s mainstay is commercial disputes, and it has sizeable insurance, construction, and shipping practices. As the city-state’s only fully integrated law firm, Morgan Lewis & Bockius has a litigation practice in Singapore that can practice in the domestic courts.
Daniel Chia and Wendy Tan are key names in the team who focus on commercial disputes. Tan regularly engages in shipping matters as well.
The firm represented Goldilocks Investment—one of Noble Group’s largest shareholders—in Noble Group's cross-border $3.5 billion restructuring process.
Another case highlight saw the firm secure a victory in a complex and long-running case for ex-board directors of Poh Lian Construction—in liquidation—in a breach of directors’ duties case.
Another case saw the firm defend Arup Singapore in a third-party claim brought by four co-defendants and the plaintiff in a matter involving liability issues relating to the fall of two 500-pound granite panels off a 45-storey office tower building in the business district of Singapore.
Notable clients for the firm include Advanced Wellness Solutions, Cosco Petroleum, Oil Brokerage International, Tembusu Partners and Wirecard.
In the past few years, Morgan Lewis & Bockius has made a substantial pivot towards Asia; however, its combination with Stamford Law Corporation in 2015 has made Singapore the Asian office with the most substantial disputes capability.
Established in early 2010, specialist litigation firm Nicholas & Tan Partnership handles complex commercial disputes across banking and finance, real property, intellectual property, tort, administrative and criminal law—particularly white‐collar crime. Nicholas Narayanan is the main partner in charge of the firm.
Case highlights during the past 12 months include representing minority shareholders of Klarity in a derivative action against its director; acting for O’Laughlin Industries whose senior-level employee was misappropriating its products worth approximately $2.4 million; and defending ex-directors of Evotech (Asia) against allegations of breaches of fiduciary duties.
Unlike a traditional solicitors’ practice, Nicholas & Tan Partnership operates as a set of barristers’ chambers where its clients include laypersons, local and offshore foreign firms.
“Timely and cost effective solutions.” – Commercial and transactions
“Provides cost effective and timely advice.”
Oon & Bazul is best known for its international arbitration, insolvency and commercial disputes practices. On top of its traditional strength in shipping, the firm has been frequently engaged in various sectors such as energy, oil and gas, manufacturing and fintech.
Bazul Ashhab heads the firm while partner Meiyen Tan drives the insolvency practice. Arbitration-focused Suresh Divyanathan and shipping expert, as well as head of litigation, Kelly Yap are other key contacts in the firm.
One case highlight saw the firm act for the National Bank of Oman (NBO), one of the forefront Middle Eastern banks, in prosecuting a bank fraud claim in excess of $14 million.
In insolvency, the firm represented the Chapter 7 trustee of Zetta Entities in a heavily contested—and first—successful application seeking recognition of Chapter 7 proceedings under the recently introduced model law as adopted in Singapore under the tenth schedule of the Companies Act.
The shipping team assisted Jiang Xin Shipping resist a claim of $8 million by Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) for the misdelivery of cargo carried onboard its vessel.
In the research period, the firm launched a Korea practice alongside the hire of foreign lawyer Julia Yu as international arbitration partner and head of the Korean practice.
Key clients of the firm include Asiatravel.com, Bihar International, Premier Equity Fund, honestbee, Mencast Holdings and Oleo Chem Far East.
Oon & Bazul is firmly in growth mode with plans to grow organically and through further lateral hires in the foreseeable future. While the dominant legal market trend caters to the establishment of boutiques in order to remain free of conflicts, Oon & Bazul is going the other way by moving towards full service. The firm’s traditional strength is in shipping but it is now looking to grow out from its core areas. In 2011, the firm had 16 fee earners that has since grown to over 40.
“Oon & Bazul’s restructuring and insolvency team has in-depth knowledge of restructuring options in Singapore and has provided various viable solutions to us thus far. The team is very accessible and extremely prompt in its response even during weekends and public holidays. Importantly, the R&I team and our team work seamlessly and very well together. Although this is one of the first large tech start-ups to come to the Singapore Court, we are confident we chose the right firm to represent us.” – Insolvency
“Timely advice; very responsive; astute tactics. Chenthil Kumarasingam (the partner in charge) was superb—l felt well informed and empowered throughout the process.” – Labour and employment
“Understanding the issues quickly, clear legal alternatives and strategy, and timely responses.” – Labour and employment
“High quality, honest advice. Able to exert influence on opposing counsel. Very responsive. Thanks to him I got a swift resolution and good financial outcome. Expert in the field. Also very good at empowering me to make smart decisions.”
“Quick assessment of issues, alternatives and solutions.”
“Meiyen is extremely easy to communicate with. She understands very quickly the issues we face and has always provided clear, commercial, valuable and sound advice. I have been in attendance with her in court and she has impressed in her dialogue with the judge, articulating our arguments clearly and reasonably and anticipating and responding to opposing counsel. What I particularly like is her effectiveness in engaging other counsel to proactively find a win-win solution for all parties.”
In January 2020, boutique dispute resolution and insolvency law firm Nair & Co merged with mid-sized law firm PK Wong & Associates to form a full service law firm PK Wong & Nair. The new firm houses a total of 23 lawyers co-managed by Suresh Nair and Mark Wong. Its dispute resolution strengths continue to lie in corporate and commercial litigation, insolvency and employment disputes. Its international arbitration practice has a particular focus on regional commercial and commodities-related disputes.
During the research period, the firm acted for the liquidators of Tiong Joo & Company—in creditors' voluntary liquidation—in the application for discharge and dissolution of the company and for the liquidators' bill to be taxed.
Key clients of the firm include Dell Global, Empire Capital Resources, Goldilocks Investment, Société Générale Bank & Trust and Rhodium Resources.
PK Wong & Nair is a member of First Law International, an international legal network of independent law firms worldwide covering more than 80 jurisdictions across Asia-Pacific, the US and the UK.
“Creativity and thinking outside the box about solutions. Suresh Nair is hands-on and plays a very active role both in and outside court.” – Insolvency
“Suresh is a very senior lawyer and plays a detailed and proactive role in all our cases. He is nimble and open to ideas from other jurisdictions. He is also willing to run creative and brave arguments in court.”
PKWA Law is one of Singapore’s most respected family law firms with an experienced team of family lawyers specialised in divorce law, family law, wills and probate. The firm has nine family law specialists led by Chong Boon Lim. Another key contact in the firm is Dorothy Tan.
Providence Law Asia is a highly respected boutique in Singapore’s legal landscape. The firm is known for litigation—especially in commercial disputes and insolvency—and international arbitration.
Managing director Abraham Vergis led most of the firm’s key disputes cases during the research period. Vergis is known for his work in the commercial, insolvency and international arbitration spaces.
In one highlight, the firm advised Pacific Star Holdings and Tay Toh Hin, founder of the Pacific Star Group, against Timing for claims arising out of a deed of guarantee amounting to more than $45 million before SIAC. In another highlight, it defended Li Shengwu, the nephew of Singapore’s Prime Minister, in criminal contempt proceedings commenced by the attorney general concerning a private Facebook post where he referred to the Singapore court system as ‘pliant’. The firm also acted before the SICC for a Russian businessman in respect of a dispute involving parties from mainland China, Singapore and Russia, in the aftermath of a terminated joint venture to develop and promote the world’s largest indoor ski slope and winter-themed integrated resort in Shanghai.
Despite its full service credentials, Rajah & Tann’s roots are in disputes. The firm enjoys a stellar reputation for litigation with the largest practice in Singapore and South East Asia. Its key strengths are in banking and financial disputes, shareholder and joint venture disputes. Market watchers commend the firm’s expertise particularly in sectors such as energy, financial services, shipping and construction.
Among the firm’s numerous leading lawyers are key figures Eng Beng Lee SC, Chuan Thye Tan SC, Andre Yeap SC and Francis Xavier SC, who are known for their work in commercial disputes. Insolvency, international arbitration and shipping specialist Kian Sing Toh SC is another notable figure alongside IP-focused Kok Keng Lau and white-collar crime expert Hamidul Haq.
In one case highlight, the firm acted as lead counsel for Keppel Group regarding the internal inquiry arising from and in connection with the Lava Jato anti-corruption and anti-competition investigations in Brazil, which has since led to the downfall and impeachment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and a consequential change of government in Brazil.
Another highlight saw the firm advise on a S$720 million landmark case to set aside and refuse enforcement of an arbitral award on the ground of public policy. The firm was also instructed on one of the first third-party funded proceedings to go to trial.
Key clients include Adobe Systems, B2C2, DBS, Miclyn Express Offshore, Prudential Assurance, Singapore Agro Agricultural and Sunseap Group.
Rajah & Tann has a strong regional footprint that makes it adept at multi-jurisdictional dispute resolution, with strategic firm alliances across South East Asia that enable it to appear in local courts in China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar. The firm has six senior counsel and the highest concentration in Singapore.
RHTLaw Asia is known for commercial disputes work that includes claims in court and domestic and international arbitration proceedings. The firm is also active in matrimonial disputes and has a strong criminal litigation team.
The team is led by Roderick Martin SC who is actively involved in claims at all levels of Singapore’s courts, SICC as well as domestic and international arbitration proceedings.
In one case highlight, the firm represented aircraft brokers CSDS Aircraft Sales and Leasing against a public-listed airline in setting aside a default judgment in relation to an alleged breach of contract for the sale and purchase of a Boeing 777. The firm also advised on disputes arising from a joint venture between an indirect subsidiary of a Catalist-listed company and its Indonesian joint venture partner, and represented a BVI incorporated company in a claim for repayment of a loan.
During the research period, the firm brought in two partners Rajaram Ramiah and Zachary Scully from Quahe Woo & Palmer and JK Lawyers & Co respectively. Ramiah is a leading aviation lawyer while Scully focuses on insolvency. The firm also added one more partner by promoting Sharon Chong who specialises in contractual disputes and arbitrations.
RHTLaw Asia, previously known as RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, is now operating independently from Anglo-German law firm Taylor Wessing after it ended its eight-year-old partnership due to strategic differences.
Shook Lin & Bok is reputed for its work in insolvency matters, commercial disputes—including banking and finance, shareholder and contractual disputes—construction disputes and alternative dispute resolution. The firm is also active in fields such as banking and financial services, shipping, real estate and oil and gas.
David Chan and Sarjit Singh Gill SC are key contacts in the firm’s disputes team and were the lead partners on a number of the highlighted cases worked on during the research period.
In one case highlight, the firm acted for the independent panel of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council in the landmark case against Aljunied-Hougang Town Council’s appointed members and elected members of parliament concerning the management and use of town council funds up to the sum of S$33 million. In another highlight, it represented Advantage Overseas Private and Shrikant Bhasi in a commodities trade claim relating to merchanting trade transactions (MTT) in India. The firm also acted for a Singapore-listed company before SIAC in an energy claim against a Vietnamese state-owned company seeking damages for failure to make payment for work done and goods supplied pursuant to a contract.
In the research period, shipping disputes lawyer Moses Lin, IP specialist Jevon Louis and insolvency-focused Daniel Tan joined the practice from Incisive Law, Ravindran Associates and WongPartnership respectively.
Key clients include China Star Food Group, Deloitte & Touche, Libra Group, Sinosteel Trading, Standard Chartered Bank and Tata International Singapore.
“Shook Lin & Bok gave very competent advice and was commercial in its approach. This resulted in the resolution of the matter with the debtor in a cost effective manner without going into potentially protracted legal proceedings.” – Insolvency
“Debby is sensitive to her clients' needs; result oriented and takes a very pragmatic and commercial approach in dispute matters.”
Stephenson Harwood’s dispute resolution team acts in international arbitration proceedings and related litigation and insolvency. The team has particular expertise in resolving complex cross-border investments, maritime and international trade and energy. The firm is also at the forefront of the third-party funding movement in Singapore.
In one case highlight, the firm represented Jaguar Energy Guatemala and AEI Guatemala Jaguar in resisting an application in the Singapore courts to annul an ICC arbitration award rendered in the client’s favour for $150 million in relation to the construction of a power plant in Guatemala.
The firm also acted for Tarek Damerji in resisting an attempt to annul the arbitration award brought by Leighton Offshore.
The firm bolstered its marine and international trade practice with the addition of partner John Simpson, who was the managing partner of Ince & Co Singapore. Simpson has 20 years of marine-related disputes, offshore oil and gas and international trade experience.
Stephenson Harwood is in a formal law alliance with a local law firm, Virtus Law, and is known as Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance.
TSMP Law Corporation is prominent on significant commercial, international arbitration and construction mandates. Its commercial litigation team focuses on boardroom, shareholder and investment disputes. The firm also has a growing reputation for intellectual property and trust disputes.
The practice is driven by senior counsels Thio Shen Yi SC and Jeffrey Chan Wah Teck SC, while other key names include head of construction Derek Loh, head of litigation Melvin Chan, head of employment Ian Lim and head of IP and TMT Adrian Tan.
In one case highlight, the firm acted for Peter Tan—a former senior financial services manager at Prudential—in an S$2.5 billion claim by Prudential over alleged mass poaching of agents which led to breaches of contractual non-solicitation obligations and fiduciary duties. The firm also represented three individuals in a shareholder dispute that spanned 17 years in relation to the development of Turf City; and advised Mizuho Bank, Hyflux’s second-largest creditor and the largest non-secured creditor, in the restructuring of Hyflux.
Key clients include Chiyoda Corporation, Euro Assets Holding, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Kabeli Energy, Singapore Medical Council and YTL PowerSeraya.
“It analyses the facts and issues in detail and identifies every argument and draft pleading documents very well.” – Construction
Virtus Law, a member of the Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance, delivers a robust contentious shipping service with continued prominence in insolvency cases, acting for both domestic and international clients. Owing to its international alliance, the firm is able to provide a high quality multi-jurisdictional disputes service across a wide spectrum of projects. Clients with mandates in the banking and financial services, shipping and offshore sector—and the sponsor-backed market—often engage the firm.
The head of its shipping litigation group, Daryll Ng, leads the practice with more than a decade of experience. Lauren Tang is another key contact of the practice.
Over the past 12 months, the firm represented Viking Offshore & Marine and Viking Gold related companies in two high court suits in respect of back-to-back charter party disputes.
The firm is also advising one of the first foreign companies, Oslo-listed Norway gas carrier company IM Skaugen, to successfully apply in Singapore for protection under the new Singapore s. 211B scheme moratorium regime.
Key clients include ABN AMRO Bank, Credit Suisse, First Ship Lease Trust, Hanjin Shipping, Standard Chartered Bank and Swiber Offshore.
WongPartnership is the clients’ choice for big-ticket domestic and cross-border disputes, and it excels in commercial disputes, construction, infrastructure and insolvency matters. The firm’s work cuts across numerous sectors including energy, entertainment, hospitality, infrastructure, medical, natural resources, telecommunications, transport and trade. The firm is well positioned to act on multi-jurisdictional matters backed by its extensive integrated regional practices in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, India, China, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Commercial disputes and international arbitration focused Alvin Yeo SC, Andre Maniam SC and Chee Meng Tan, construction specialist Christopher Chuah and Ian De Vaz, and insolvency expert Manoj Sandrasegara are among the key figures in the firm.
In one case highlight, the firm advised the Ministry of Health and MOH Holdings in investigations relevant to the committee of inquiry into the cyber-attack on Singapore Health Service’s patient database, which was of unprecedented scale and sophistication involving almost 1.5 million patient records. In another highlight, the firm defended Or Kim Peow Contractors against criminal charges brought under the Workplace Safety and Health Act arising from the collapse of an uncompleted highway viaduct in 2017. It also represented Sun Travels & Tours, a tour operator and travel agent in the Maldives, to resist an anti-suit injunction filed by Hilton International Manage (Maldives), an affiliate of Hilton Worldwide.
WongPartnership is at the forefront of legal technology in Singapore and has deployed artificial intelligence and document automation technology to enhance its legal services; for example, it adopted artificial intelligence technology from London-based AI firm Luminance to support its M&A practice, and also runs a subscription-based legal document automation service through WPGateway that generates certain standardised documents for clients.
“The team at WongPartnership is highly responsive, very strategic and enormously practical. Also among its team are some first-rate oral advocates.” – International arbitration
“Wendy is very practical and focused. She knows what needs to be addressed and how to get it done.”