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Editorial

Capital markets – Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets – Foreign firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Allen & Overy has superb record in both debt and equity transactions, with an especially strong standing in high-value Singapore equity offerings, thanks in part to its relationship with key banks. Highlights included advising the banks on the $553m IPO of Keppel-KBS US REIT and the $1bn IPO of Cromwell European REIT. Moreover, the Singapore office is active in equity deals in Vietnam and Thailand, with US securities partner Alexander Stathopoulos to the fore. Equity linked, investment grade and Islamic finance transactions are also core to the team's activities, while the election of Tim Beech to the partnership has boosted its standing in corporate trustee work. Singapore, English and New York qualified Yin Mei Lock has an outstanding record in Singapore offerings and is 'a seasoned trouble shooter if any tricky issue ever crops up'. Jeremy Stoupas  is 'knowledgeable and always provides support and advice when needed'; he is a leader in Sukuk issuances. Counsel Aloysius Tan  is 'extremely competent and a safe pair of hands'.

Clifford Chance has a substantial capital markets practice, covering a wide range of equity and debt products and with an especially strong record in Singapore, Indonesia, India and Malaysia. Its Singapore QFLP licence enables it to deliver on Singapore law issues; it advised the joint managers on Netlink NBN Trust's headline $1.68bn IPO  on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). The firm is also at the forefront of Islamic finance structures and is especially well-positioned for liability management engagements, thanks to its formal law alliance (FLA) with Cavenagh Law LLP. Singapore law partner Raymond Tong is 'extremely helpful with significant experience', Johannes Juette is building the firm's standing on the US law side and Rahul Guptan is a big name in India equity transactions. Counsel Gareth Deiner  is 'user friendly', 'commercially minded' and his ' great depth of knowledge enables him to propose alternative and executable ideas'.

Latham & Watkins LLP 's Singapore team has an outstanding record in Singapore, Indonesia and India deals. It continues to be at the forefront of the India market through Rajiv Gupta , who is 'a very sound lawyer', 'a pleasure to work with' and 'has excellent client skills'; the firm is widely credited as a key player in the advent of Masala bonds and advised the underwriters on Aster DM Healthcare's $153m IPO on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India. It continues to be active in Indonesia, where it has a fine standing in high-yield debt, while it has also impressed in a series of IPOs in Vietnam. Highlights included advising Vingroup JSC on the spinoff of Vinhomes, its integrated development business, and the new entities initial equity offering and listing on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange. Project bonds are another key element of the practice.  Sharon Lau is 'a sensible and commercial lawyer' and Michael Sturrock is another outstanding name. Marcus Lee has been made partner.

Linklaters' debt capital markets (DCM) volumes have increased markedly across the region, while equity capital markets (ECM) engagements from Thailand and Malaysia have been equally notable. The Singapore team has gained additional traction in Indonesia, including Komodo bonds; it advised the underwriters on the inaugural Komodo bonds issued by PT Jasa Marga (Persero). It has experienced a significant uptick in Australia DCM work and remains a market leader in equity-linked transactions and bank regulatory capital. Hyung Ahn 'gives really great legal advice that is spot on'. Jonathan Horan is praised for his 'client-management skills and ability to navigate the delicate cultural nuances that come with working in Asia'. Counsel Phill Hall is 'focused on getting the deal done' and is 'a consummate professional'. Counsel Xavier Amadei is 'very dedicated and very experienced in his field'.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow handles a broad mix of equity and debt work across South East Asia and India. It has advised on a series of market-first type transactions, including representing PT Jasa Marga (Persero), the leading Indonesian infrastructure provider, in the first Komodo bond issuance. The firm also advised Thailand's Singha Estate on its dual-track offering of $180m of convertible bonds and $50m of shares. Liability management, bond restructurings and high-yield debt are also key features of the practice. The 'highly professional and competent team' is praised for its record in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India. Ashok Lalwani is immensely experienced, particularly in equity transactions; he is 'able to identify significant issues and suggest potential solutions' and is recommended for his expertise in India. Pallavi Gopinath Aney is an 'excellent and high-quality lawyer who has both equity and debt capabilities'. Senior associate Jitesh Shahani is 'hardworking and able to effectively work on Indian deals'.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has an especially strong record in ECM, most notably in India, where it has developed a significant market share of IPOs. In 2017, it advised a five-bank syndicate on the $1.75bn IPO by General Insurance Corporation on the Bombay Stock Exchange. It is also a big player in Indonesia, thanks in part to its fruitful connection to Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung in association with Herbert Smith Freehills. It advised PT Wijaya Karya (Persero) on its Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering. The Singapore-based US securities team led by Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan is also active on Greater China and Australia deals. The Singapore department is praised for its English and US law expertise, and its 'pragmatic and commercial' approach. Philip Lee has left the firm.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP remains at the forefront of high yield debt offerings in Indonesia. It has further credibility in equity and debt throughout the region, including in Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand. Moreover, and is further developing its profile in India, particularly in the aviation industry. Key partners Naomi Ishikawa  and Giles Kennedy have been based in Singapore since 1998 and 2001 respectively, affording them virtually unrivalled connections in the region; Ishikawa led the team that advised NetLinkNBN, the Singapore-based technology and telecoms infrastructure provider, on the $1.7bn IPO of NetLinkNBO Trust; this was the largest IPO on SGX in recent years. In India, Ishikawa led the team advising the joint book runners in a $350m  senior secured notes issuance by GMR Hyderabad International Airport. James McFarlane is an emerging name at associate level.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a lean Singapore team with an outsized reputation for big-ticket equity offerings, high-yield debt issuances and project bonds. Rajeev Duggal heads the Singapore office and regularly works alongside Hong Kong partner Jonathan Stone on Southeast Asia deals; Stone is regarded as 'technically fantastic' and  'a great lawyer', while Duggal is 'very hands-on and knowledgeable' with 'an ability to handle difficult client topics with the right balance between courtesy and tenacity'.  In Indonesia-led work, Stone and Duggal led the team advising Protelindo – PT Sarana Menara Nusantara on its $405 million re-IPO and sale of shares by shareholders. Moreover, Stone and Duggal have an impressive record in high-yield debt offerings by Indonesian issuers.

White & Case Pte. Ltd. maintains a solid mix of equity and debt deals, particularly in Indonesia and Thailand. Its DCM practice is almost exclusively focused on high-yield debt. It advised TOA Paint (Thailand) on its $358m IPO on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. It also represented the joint global coordinators on the $140m Regulation S IPO of PT Medikaloka Hermina, the leading Indonesian hospital operator, on the Indonesian Stock Exchange. Moreover, it advised the underwriters on the $1.16bn US-registered equity offering by Melco Resorts & Entertainment. Kaya Proudian is English and New York qualified and heads the Asia capital markets practice.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Singapore team remains active in equity listings in Hong Kong and capital markets issuances in India; it has also played key roles in REIT offerings in Singapore, and an increasing profile in high-yield debt issuances. Recent highlights include advising PT Saka Energi Indonesia, the oil and gas exploration and production company, on its inaugural $625m bond issuance, and acting for Cerberus Capital on its cornerstone investment in Cromwell European REIT (CEREIT) as part of its IPO on SGX. Arun Balasubramanian is a 'go-to person' thanks to his 'understanding of Indian deals coupled with his US securities background'. Other key figures include the highly experienced Stephen Revell, who splits his time between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee is a leader in EMTN programmes and corporate trustee work. The team has seen significant volumes of new issuance work from Australia and is praised for its 'excellent service', 'really responsive' approach, 'pragmatic advice and good value for money'. Recent work includes advising Ausgrid Finance on the establishment of a $3bn secured EMTN programme and subsequent issuance of €650m fixed rate notes.  Andy Ferris is 'extremely strong on both commercial and legal aspects' and is praised for his 'approachability, response times and market knowledge'. Senior associate Daniel Mok is 'very calm and methodical'.

Norton Rose Fulbright is recommended for DCM, derivatives, structured products and Islamic products. The firm is at the forefront of green bonds and advised the underwriters on the Republic of Indonesia’s $3bn sukuk issuance, the world's first sovereign green sukuk. Vicky Münzer-Jones led on that deal and is recommended for structured and Islamic products and corporate trustee work. She also advised The Bank of New York Mellon as trustee counsel on the establishment of Ausgrid Finance's $3bn EMTN programme. Also recommended are Colin Rice, who is praised for his derivatives expertise, and counsel Cynthia Teo.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is a leader in high-yield debt issuances through prominent player Andrew Schleider; it also has an established record in investment grade debt, equity transactions and high-yield debt driven leveraged financings. The 'very impressive' Singapore office delivers 'quality work'  and advised the initial purchasers and the lenders on PT Paiton Energy’s $2.75bn debt refinancing, involving a $2bn project bond transaction and a $750m loan facility. On the equity side, the firm represented B. Grimm Power in its $340m IPO and listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Power and mining are particular fortes of the Singapore office, while India and Indonesia are the key jurisdictions. Felipe Duque has joined as counsel from Allen & Overy to reinforce the senior ranks.

DLA Piper handles an impressive mix of debt and equity deals, notably for Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian issuers. Joe Bauerschmidt has a fine record in high-yield debt and and handles a range of other bond transactions and equity offerings. He led the team advising PT Jasa Armada Indonesia on its IPO on the Indonesian Stock Exchange, one of a number of oil and gas transactions handled by the firm.

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP has a significant market share of India equity offerings, including IPOs and QIPs. In the year ending April 2018, the firm advised on more than 13 equity offerings by Indian issuers with a combined deal value of more than $1.5bn. It advised the President of India in the sale of outstanding shares in the Housing and Urban Development Corporation through an IPO in India and concurrent private placements outside India. It also has a solid record in Vietnam and Singapore issuances and is well placed for transactions emanating from Myanmar. Moreover, the 'value for money' firm is an increasing presence in debt issuances and initial coin offerings (ICOs), thanks to the presence of Gerard Hekker who is 'technically capable and dedicated'. India specialist Jamie Benson is also recommended.

Jones Day primarily acts for issuers, and has a notable record in India and Indonesia, as well as a growing presence in the Philippines. Investment grade debt, high-yield bonds and equity issuances (including private placements are at the heart of the practice. The team advised Deutsche Equities India, ICIC Securities and IDFC Securities on the $111m offer for sale of equity shares of NLC India, the Indian state-owned mining and power generation company. Jeffrey Maddox leads the team and is an experienced figure in India equity deals. Of counsel Paul Kuo is noted for his Indonesia expertise.

Simmons & Simmons' practice in Singapore is particularly strong on the structured products and derivatives sides, and acts for a range of buy-and-sell-side clients including UBS, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Dymon Asia Capital and Q Investment Partners. Highlights included advising UBS as arranger on a number of fund-linked/fund-backed structured and actively managed note issuances by several Irish and Dutch SPVs. Jason Valoti has 'in-depth knowledge and an ability to provide practical solutions', and is 'good at incorporating his practical viewpoints into legal advice'. Newly promoted partner Jonathan Quie has 'in-depth knowledge'.

Squire Patton Boggs' capital markets team is led by India and New York qualified Biswajit Chatterjee. He and the team have an impressive record in India IPOs and equity offerings. The group provides US counsel to NTPC on the sale of a 6.6% stake in the business by the Government of India, raising some $1.42bn. It also advised The New India Assurance Company on its $1.4bn IPO and SBI Life Insurance Company on its $1.3bn IPO.


Capital markets – Local firms

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Allen & Gledhill LLP is at the forefront of Singapore initial public offerings (IPOs). The firm has played a dominant role in equity issuances by real estate investment trusts (REITs) and in covered bonds. Highlights included advising NetLink NBN and Singtel on the S$2.3bn IPO and listing of NetLink NBN Trust on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), and acting for Cromwell EREIT Management as the manager of Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust on its IPO on SGX. The team advises banks and issuers and is 'always available and responsive', 'technically strong', and has 'deep bench strength'. Jerry Koh is universally regarded as a leader in REITs and business trusts listings. Other key figures include Tan Tze Gay, who is 'incredibly sharp' and 'is able to take on tricky/complex issues in her stride'; Margaret Chin; and Leonard Ching,  who is 'a top-class operator' and is 'always calm under pressure'. Bor Jern Chua  is 'extremely helpful in providing solutions to many complex issues'. Delwin Singh and Alvin Zhuang, both senior associates, are also singled out.

WongPartnership LLP is a big player in both debt and equity transactions, acting primarily for issuers, and has experienced an increase in debt restructuring engagements as well as a steady flow of MTN programme issuances. The 'commercially minded' team 'goes the extra mile for clients', and recently advised Danone Probiotics on its secondary sale of the common stock of Yakult Honsha Co raising gross proceeds of Y175bn. On the debt side, it advised Bread Talk on its S$100m note issuance pursuant to its S$250m multi-currency MTN programme. Gail Ong and Long Chee Shan are prominent ECM practitioners, while key figures on the DCM side include Hui Choon Yuen and Trevor Chuan, who are 'knowledgeable, technical, experienced, very helpful, polite and conscientious'. Rachel Eng has left to join PwC’s legal arm.

Drew & Napier LLC covers equity, debt and REIT offerings and has solid experience of issuances on the main board and Catalist exchanges of SGX. The team advised China Mining International on its proposed reverse takeover of CME. Petrus Huang is praised for his 'very strong background', 'industry knowledge', regulatory acumen and experience with REIT offerings. Grace Lai is another key member of the team. Former department head Sin Boon Ann is now a consultant. Having arrived at the firm from Allen & Overy in 2018, former team head Kenny Kwan joined Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow in March 2019.

Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC is a growing force in cross-border listings, including Hong Kong offerings by Singapore companies. The firm frequently advises medium and large issuers, including Singapore holding companies and Indonesian conglomerates. It is also active in reverse takeovers. It advised Union Gas Holdings on its IPO on the Catalist board and represented Hatten Land in the listing of Sky Win Management Consultancy via a reverse takeover of VGO Corp. Bernard Lui has a 'very keen grasp of commercial drivers backed by solid technical legal knowledge' and Joo Khin Ng is 'unassuming, sensible and doesn’t push points unnecessarily'.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has an extensive record in SGX main board and Catalist board listings, primarily acting for issuers. It has advised a number of Chinese issuers on their Singapore offerings and has helped a range of Singapore clients to list in Hong Kong. On the debt side the firm devotes considerable resources to local and cross-border bond transactions, including liability management exercises, high-yield bonds, covered bonds and securitisations. The firm advised PT Bumi Resources on its headline debt restructuring involving the first ever contingent value rights to be listed on SGX. It also provided Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam counsel to Sea Limited, the South East Asia gaming and e-commerce company, on its $884m IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Evelyn Wee, Chia Kim Huat, Lee Xin Mei and Danny Lim are key partners.

Shook Lin & Bok LLP has a well-developed capital markets practice with an established presence in equity and debt; perpetuals and liability management are fortes of the team. It advised Kakao on the first ever listing of global depositary shares (GDSs) on SGX. It also advised Q & M Dental Group (Singapore) on the establishment of its S$500m multi-currency debt issuance programme. Marilyn See is a leader in debt issuances, along with Pok Eu Jin. Gwendolyn Gn is at the forefront of equity offerings; she led the team advising Shougang Concord International Enterprises on its issuance of open offer shares to qualifying shareholders, and represented M&L Holdings Group on its listing on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market (GEM).

Bird & Bird ATMD LLP has a strong focus on startups and SMEs, in addition to acting for government enterprises and multinationals. The 'very responsive' team has 'good knowledge' and has seen growth in issuances from the medtech and education sectors. The issuer-oriented practice has a fine record in Hong Kong main board and GEM listings and offerings on the Catalist and main board of SGX. The team advised Singapore-headquartered C&N Holdings on its IPO on Hong Kong's GEM board. It also represented Clearbridge Health, the medtech investor, on its proposed IPO on the Catalist board. Marcus Chow has a fine record in Singapore and Hong Kong offerings; he 'puts himself in the shoes of clients' and is 'able to give surgically tailored and relevant solutions'.

Colin Ng & Partners LLP handles a significant market share of mid-market issuances on the Hong Kong and Singapore stock exchanges, including Hong Kong's main and GEM board, and Singapore's Catalist exchange. It has worked on a series of Hong Kong offerings by construction companies. The firm advised Shuang Yun Holdings on the Singapore law aspects of its Hong Kong main board listing and represented Omnibridge as Singapore counsel in its listing on the GEM exchange. Tan Min-Li is 'professional and always provides value added advice'. Stephen Soh is another key partner.

Dentons Rodyk is recognised for REIT offerings and private property trust issuances, with clients highlighting its 'excellent business acumen', 'best-in-class' transaction management, 'pragmatic advice' and 'depth of relevant industry knowledge'. Nicholas Chong stands out for his 'depth of industry experience, pragmatic approach to matters and sound advice balancing all matters of consideration'. He led the team that advised Perpetual (Asia), as REIT trustee, on the IPO of Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust. Kenneth Oh is recommended for IPOs and reverse takeovers by Chinese, Taiwanese and Indonesian companies.

Loo & Partners LLP is particularly noted for its track record in Hong Kong listings and public takeovers, and its focus on fintech makes it increasingly active in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). It recently advised HPC Holdings on its Hong Kong listing and represented Giraffe Capital as the sponsor of Sunlight Paper Products' on Hong Kong's GEM exchange.  Loo Choon Chiaw is hugely experienced.

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP has an issuer and sponsor-driven practice that is mainly focused on issuances on Singapore's Catalist and Hong Kong boards. It has an especially strong record in consumer brands, healthcare and technology, and represents a range of clients, from startups to listed tech companies. It advised Singapore-listed SIIC Environment on its primary dual listing in Hong Kong, and acted for Mobile Credit Payment as the target in a proposed reverse takeover acquisition by Artivision Technologies. It also advised UnUsUaL on its IPO on the Catalist Board. Ch’ng Li-Ling leads the team, which includes Tan Chong Huat , Kok Liang Chew and Amanda Chen.

TSMP Law Corporation's highlights included advising DBS Bank as the sole issue manager, bookrunner and underwriter on Mindchamps PreSchool ’s IPO on SGX's mainboard. It also advised mm2 Asia on the establishment of its inaugural guaranteed multi-currency medium term note programme. Head of corporate Stefanie Yuen Thio is the key partner.

Virtus Law LLP - Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance is noted for Hong Kong listings by Singapore issuers, although the team also has a record in main board and Catalist listings in Singapore. Highlights included advising NexionTechnologies on the Singapore law aspects of its proposed IPO on the GEM board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and acting for Sunlight (1977) Holdings on its proposed listing on Hong Kong's GEM board. Elaine Beh provides 'well-balanced advice' and is 'sensitive to the client’s commercial requirements'.

Wong Tan & Molly Lim LLC is recognised for small-to-mid-cap equity offerings, including IPOs and rights issues. It recently advised JB Foods and China Medical International Group on their respective rights issues, and represented New Silkroutes Group on a private placement transaction. Ong Beng Hong and Tan Swee Gek are the key partners.


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