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Allen & Overy is recognised in the market for its leading role in some of Malaysia’s highest-profile deals. Its lawyers have deep specialised knowledge of the Malaysian market. It is advising the majority shareholders of ACR Capital Holdings (a pan-Asian reinsurance platform) on its sale to Asia Investment Capital Holdings, in a $1bn operation, and is also acting for UEM Edgenta (a subsidiary of the conglomerate UEM Group, owned by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional) on the acquisition of UEMS Solutions for the sum of S$185m. The Singapore-based Chris Moore and Jeremy Stoupas are recommended.

Work headlines for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Hong Kong) included advising Petronas and Petronas Capital on the update of Petronas’ $15bn MTN programme and acting for Ranhill Holdings on its RM322m public offering. Hong Kong-based Robert Williams leads the practice; he focuses on international corporate matters, debt and equity capital markets, restructuring, and private investment issues, among others.

Its international legal credentials make Clifford Chance a recognisable name in the Malaysian market, where it provides a full-service offering to clients, including national and multinational blue-chip corporates and financial institutions. Highlights for the practice included advising Yinson Production (West Africa) on its $780m Islamic refinancing for the construction of a floating production storage and offloading unit, and acting for EcoWorld International on the international aspects of its IPO of ordinary shares. Navis Capital and Actis are also clients. Lee Taylor and Raymond Tong lead the practice from the firm’s Singapore office.

Elite firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has been granted a Qualified Foreign Law Firm (QFLF) licence by the Malaysian Bar Council. It has a significant and longstanding presence in the country where it advises Malaysian and international clients on M&A, project developments, Islamic finance and disputes. Highlights included acting for Lendlease on its joint venture with TRX City for the development of the Lifestyle Quarter of the Tun Razak Exchange, a new financial district. TRX City is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance of Malaysia and it is expected that Lifestyle Quarter will attract up to $2.5bn in foreign investment. Managing partner Peter Godwin, Vik Tang and Glynn Cooper are the key names in the Kuala Lumpur-based team.

Under the leadership of Stephen Revell, who splits his time between Hong Kong and Singapore, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is regularly instructed by local and international clients to advise on high-end M&A and capital markets transactions. It also assists local Malaysian corporations with their cross-border investments. The practice has particular expertise in the power and energy sectors.

King & Spalding LLP is regularly instructed in some of Malaysia’s most notable projects, infrastructure and energy mandates. Head of practice Kelly Malone and Mona Katigbak, both based in Singapore, are advising SEB, the public power utility in the state of Sarawak, and the State Government of Sarawak on the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) programme, valued at $15bn; Work is also done for the same clients on the development of the gas pipeline network and gas supply arrangements in Sarawak, the advice includes gas supply, gas transportation, pipeline operations and pipeline rule agreements as well as gas market and pipeline project structuring.

Latham & Watkins LLP advises a variety of local and international clients on a wide range of corporate and finance transactions in Malaysia such as capital markets, M&A, private equity, venture capital, bank finance and project development. Work highlights for the firm included advising a Malaysian corporation on its proposed IPO on the Bursa Malaysia. Clients include HSBC Amanah Malaysia, CIMB Bank, Inter-Pacific Securities and Maybank. Singapore-based Sharon Lau is in charge of the practice. It is acting for Malaysia-based iGene on its pre-IPO fundraising and a London listing on AIM.

Linklaters is very active advising local and international clients on complex, cross-border transactions connected to debt and equity capital markets. It acts for several important international players such as Standard Chartered Bank, Telekom Malaysia, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank. Kevin Wong and Sophie Mathur in Singapore are the names to note.

Norton Rose Fulbright has a good track record of advising clients on transactions in a variety of sectors such as energy, transport and healthcare. Its lawyers act for some of the largest players in the market (including state-owned corporations) who are routinely involved in some of the most high-end transactions in the country. The team is regularly instructed on trans-national and national projects. Highlights included advising Edra Global Energy on the sale of its power assets to China General Nuclear Power Corporation for the sum of $2.3bn. The team is headed by Singapore-based Stephen Begley and has among its select clients Tenaga Nasional, Export-Import Bank of Malaysia and CIMB Bank.

Ashurst LLP advises international clients on a variety of cross-border transactions in Malaysia, leveraging the knowledge of its lawyers based across the Asia-Pacific region. It handles M&A, private equity, project finance, capital markets, energy, technology, financial services and tax-related matters. Based in Singapore, Paul Jenkins leads the practice.

From its offices in Singapore and Hong Kong, K&L Gates’ lawyers regularly handle the international aspects of deals involving Malaysian corporations and/or assets. Working with its Malaysian associates the team acts, for several Malaysian companies in their cross-border matters; it is also well-positioned to help Malaysian corporations seeking a listing in the UK, specifically on AIM, a niche developed by Singapore-based Nicholas Hanna. Hong Kong-based Choo Lye Tan, a native Malaysian, assists clients with securities, corporate finance, restructuring, M&A, funds and public and private equity issues.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is one of only two firms which have applied and been granted a QFLF licence to trade in Malaysia as a foreign firm. It provides international support to clients on major projects and transactions in Malaysia, while also assisting Malaysian clients with their UK investments and activities across a variety of industries; it is also heavily involved in helping ASEAN clients seeking to do business in the Gulf Cooperation Council. A list of notable clients includes Malaysia Airports Holding, Burel Consulting, Malaysia Resources Corporation and Malakoff International Limited. Nicholas Edmondes is the head of the Malaysia team.

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