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Singapore > Banking and finance > Banking and finance – Local firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Allen & Gledhill LLP continues to operate at the forefront of real estate finance; recent work has involved loans to REITs, real estate developers and other real estate players. The firm is also strong in PPP financings and bilateral and syndicated loans. The practice's client base has typically skewed towards banks, though instruction from non-bank lender and borrower clients has grown. It advised CapitaLand Commercial Trust on the S$1.42bn financing of its acquisition of Asia Square Tower. Clients highlight the team's 'strength in depth', 'industry knowledge', 'value for money', 'constructive advice' and its 'accessibility and responsiveness'. Kok Chee Wai is 'commercially savvy enough to make sure his clients' interests are protected'. Other key figures include Mark HudspethAloysius Ng who is noted for his record in PPP financings, Jafe Ng, who is a key name for real estate finance, and Lim Wei Ting, who is 'a well-rounded counsel with a strong ability to forge consensus'. Yeo Wico is also recommended.

WongPartnership LLP has a highly developed banking and finance practice, covering all mainstream financing products and with a significant market share of big-ticket acquisition finance and real estate finance transactions. It acted as Singapore counsel to Nesta Investment Holdings on a $4bn term loan and revolving facilities for its headline acquisition of Global Logistic Properties. It also advised a syndicate of lenders on a S$950m term loan and revolving facilities for Frasers Property Quayside's acquisition of real estate for the construction of a residential development. The 'very responsive and knowledgeable' team acts for all the major banks in Singapore and a large proportion of international banks that operate in the region.  The outstanding Susan Wong leads the team, which includes Alvin Chia, who is 'very commercial and has good knowledge of what the client wants'. Christy Lim, Felix Lee and Tan Li Wen are also recommended.

Dentons Rodyk has an outstanding record in real estate finance, along with project and infrastructure finance, and a growing portion of structured lending. It has 'a good understanding of the business environment and challenges and helps devise a win-win solution for all'. A significant number of engagements have related to Chinese state-owned enterprises' investments into South East Asia. The firm advised China Huadian Engineering on the project financing for its $2.3bn acquisition of a majority interest in a 2 X 660MW Coal Fired power facility in Vietnam. The firm is also experienced in loans to Indonesian borrowers. Real estate finance leader Doreen Sim and Tan Joo Thye are key names, with Janice Ngeow praised for her 'good experience and industry knowledge'. The Singapore office strengthened its international law capability with the recruitment of structured lending specialist Roderick Howell from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and energy and infrastructure finance expert Kunal Kapoor, who joined from Ashurst LLP.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has experienced further growth in real estate finance engagements, along with a healthy flow of project, acquisition and commodities finance instructions. It advised LN Development (Stirling)  as the borrower, and United Overseas Bank as mandated lead arrangers, on the S$900m financing for the acquisition of a land parcel near Queenstown MRT station in Singapore. The 'excellent' team is commended for its ability to deal with challenging deadlines, 'highly complex mechanisms' and to 'capture commercial terms'. Angela Lim, who has international law firm experience, heads the team that includes real estate finance specialist Norman HoRegina Liew, Terence Choo and Nicholas How who impresses with his 'loan market expertise' and 'ability to explain complex technical concepts in layman terms'.

Shook Lin & Bok LLP is continuing to grow its market share of engagements from Asian banks, most notably in relation to acquisition finance, cross-border loans, insolvency and restructuring, and non-performing loan transactions. Clients rate the firm's 'full-service approach' and 'ability to bring in quality teams to support banking and finance transactions'. The firm advised Bank of China (Singapore branch) on the financing for COSCO SHIPPING International (Singapore)'s acquisition of Cogent Holdings.  Stanley Lim works hard to provide a 'streamlined service', while Liew Kai Zee and Pok Eu Jin are also key members of the team. Prakash Raja Segaran has joined Allen & Overy.

Asia Practice LLC 's banking and finance practice advises a multitude of local and regional banks, along with a range of international banks that have a presence in Singapore. Other clients include a number of Singapore-listed real estate and construction companies. The firm is noted for bilateral and syndicated loans, acquisition finance, real estate finance and trade finance. It is also increasingly active in the fintech and the alternative lending spaces. The practice advised a major Swiss bank on the transfer of its entire international trade finance portfolio to another entity set up by the bank. Leon Low, Chien Herr Lee and Jonathan Tan 'are able to blend sound legal advice against commercial requirements'.

At Drew & Napier LLC Pauline Chong  returned to lead the team after a spell at Royal Golden Eagle Group, replacing former department head Valerie Kwok, who retired from the firm. The 'excellent' team has maintained deal flow, particularly in acquisition financings, green financings, project financings and restructurings. The firm has close connections to all the major local banks, a number of export credit agencies (ECAs) and large corporate borrowers. It advised COSCO Shipping International on a S$350m loan from Bank of China to part finance its S$488m cash buyout of  Singapore-listed Cogent Holdings, the logistics firm. Renu Menon is another key name.

Lee & Lee has a rich banking and finance heritage, with a particularly strong record in Singapore real estate financings, including those involving Singapore's en-bloc regime. The firm advises a range of local and regional banks, corporate borrowers and investment vehicles. Louise Tan is a key figure.

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP's broad finance practice handles corporate lending, acquisition finance, structured finance and structured products (including offshore derivatives instruments). It has close connections to Asian banks, including a number of Malaysian banks. Recent work includes advising Wynnchurch Capital on the $92m acquisition financing for its purchase of a group of companies in the electronic component distribution sector. Gerard Ng is 'a first-rate lawyer and a clear cut above his peers'. Nizam Ismail is noted for regulatory and compliance work in the finance sector.

CNPLaw LLP has a strong background in acquisition and equity financings, and regularly advises credit funds and fund-type entities in equity financings. It is also increasingly active in structured deals with regulatory aspects. Bill Jamieson is noted for his background in the funds and regulatory environments. Kenneth Szeto has joined Withers KhattarWong LLP.

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP primarily advises borrowers and a number of Korean banks. The practice is focused to a large extent on the offshore oil and gas sector, and has a varied mix of transactional and regulatory engagements. Leon Yee is the key partner.

Legis Point LLC is noted for its transactional and regulatory expertise. Its impressive client base stems in part from its standing in asset finance, though it has broad experience across numerous financing products. Clients include MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Lloyds Bank and Mizuho Bank. Young Chee Foong is the lead partner.

Loo & Partners LLP handles a mix of transactional and regulatory work for financial institutions, including a variety of Chinese banks. It advised Shanghai Pudong Development Bank on a dual currency term loan facility of up to $290m to UCAR Service. Loo Choon Chiaw is immensely experienced.

Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC is noted for corporate loans and acquisition finance. Leveraging the firm's international network, the Singapore office handles local law and cross-border mandates, including Islamic finance transactions. Suet-Fern Lee, Sin Teck Lim and Wai Ming Yap are key figures in the practice.

Oon & Bazul LLP has strong connections to Indian banks and has an established record in restructurings and refinancings, and trade and commoduity finance. It is also building its standing with North Asian lenders, including Japanese banks, along with trading houses and shipping companies. Ting Chi Yen leads the team.

Q.E.D. Law Corporation has an established name in acquisition finance, real estate finance and project finance. Clients include Hong Leong Group, United Overseas Bank, PT Bank UOB Indonesia and Mapletree Group. Much of the practice centres on the financings of Singapore real estate acquisitions and developments. Susan Kong and Marilyn Goh are the key partners.

Straits Law Practice LLC advises a number of Indian banks, such as Bank of India, Union Bank of India, and State Bank of India, that are increasingly using Singapore law for their loan documents. The firm is especially active in power and infrastructure loans, commodities and trade finance, acquisition finance, insolvency and restructuring, and regulatory and compliance work. It advised the secured Lenders on Sembawang Engineers & Constructors' insolvency and judicial management process. M Rajaram has a fine reputation.

TSMP Law Corporation is prominent in real estate finance, acting for a range of local banks, international banks with presences in Singapore, real estate developers and high net-worth individuals. It advised Oxley Holdings on its loan from MayBank and HSBC to purchase Chevron House. Singapore law advice on cross-border financings, including acquisition facilities, is another key part of the practice. The firm is regarded as 'a more economical option' for some transactions. Jennifer Chia is the key partner, while joint managing partner Stefanie Yuen Thio is sometimes sought for her ability to supervise especially complex transactions.

Withers KhattarWong LLP has strong banking traditions and is on the panels of many of the major banks that operate in the region. It is 'commercial and knowledgeable'. Real estate finance is a particularly forte of the team, which was further bolstered by the arrival of Kenneth Szeto from CNPLaw LLPPearl Lim is 'commercial and thorough', an experienced figure with a substantial record in real estate finance.

Wong Tan & Molly Lim LLC has a solid record in banking and finance, advising a range of lenders and corporate borrowers such as UOB Kay Hian, Zico Capital, New Silkroutes Group and KSH Holdings. A team led by key partner Ong Beng Hong advised Catalist board-listed Cedar Strategic Holdings on the private placement of $29m convertible loan.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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