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Singapore > Dispute resolution > Local firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: local firms
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Joan Lim-Casanova - Cavenagh Law LLP
    • Keith Han - Cavenagh Law LLP
    • Wei Xian Kelvin Teo - Cavenagh Law LLP

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Gledhill LLP’s dispute resolution practice is widely regarded as among the elite groups in Singapore. It is consistently engaged in big-ticket cases and advice is β€˜timely, thorough and helpful’ with a notable β€˜clarity of explanation’. Edwin Tong SC has a burgeoning reputation and recently successfully defended Professor London Lucien Ooi, a leading local surgeon, in a medical negligence suit brought by a prominent Malaysian businessman. Vincent Leow is β€˜highly experienced’, β€˜understands commercial issues’ and provides β€˜robust, thorough and sound advice’, while William Ong and Jason Chan are also recommended. Tan Xeauwei is β€˜clear and concise’ and β€˜takes a well-rounded approach when looking for solutions’. Ang Cheng Hock SC has been appointed a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore with effect from 14 May 2018.

β€˜Top of the class’ and a β€˜clear leader in litigation’ Drew & Napier LLC has a deep bench of outstanding senior counsels, including the firm’s CEO Davinder Singh SC, who is regarded as the β€˜number one in Singapore’ and praised for his β€˜standout persuasive and advocacy skills’. Cavinder Bull SC is also β€˜top tier’, β€˜very sharp and analytical’, and Jimmy Yim SC is β€˜very quick to narrow down the key issues, craft strategic and tactical solutions, and has a lot of drive and passion in the delivery of legal arguments’. The team is relentlessly at the forefront of big-ticket disputes and has appeared in over half the cases before for the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC). Work includes projects and energy, construction and telecoms disputes. It advised PT Bayan Resources and Bayan International in a claim and counterclaim arising from alleged breaches of a joint venture agreement relating to patented technology to produce and sell upgraded coal from East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Other names to note include Randolph Khoo, β€˜an outstanding lawyer’, who β€˜helps induce lateral thinking and alternative perspectives’, and β€˜stands tall in the land of giants’; Wendell Wong, a β€˜strong and well respected advocate’, who is praised for his β€˜practical approach’ and β€˜partnership’ with the client; and Chia Voon Jiet, who is β€˜quick and makes the effort to understand clients’ business structures and objectives’. Tony Yeo, Blossom Hing and Gary Low are also recommended. Jaikanth Shankar is a β€˜lawyer to watch’. Former partner Hri Kumar Nair SC has become Deputy Attorney General in Singapore.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Nicholas & Tan Partnership LLP

Established in early 2010, Nicholas & Tan Partnership LLP is a specialist litigation firm with the capability to handle complex litigation across a broad range of practice areas, including banking, finance, company, real property, intellectual property, tort, administrative and criminal law particularly commercial (or β€˜white-collar’) crime.

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Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is at the forefront of cross-border disputes and has appeared in a high proportion of cases before the SICC. It has a sizeable group of β€˜fantastic senior counsels’, who are supported by a large and high-quality team that provides β€˜incisive, succinct and appropriate’ advice, and is able to β€˜craft and articulate excellent rebuttals’. It acts for a number of regional and multinational companies, including a multitude of financial institution clients, and regularly impresses in insolvency, restructuring and shipping disputes. Francis Xavier SC has a β€˜strong legal mind’ and β€˜a good rapport with the bench’; Andre Yeap SC has extensive securities litigation expertise and is big name in international arbitration; and Tan Chuan Thye SC is adept at dealing with β€˜difficult questions’. β€˜Formidable litigator’ Lai Yew Fei is praised for his cross-examination skills and β€˜sharp business acumen’, and deputy managing partner Patrick Ang and managing partner Lee Eng Beng SC are also recommended.

WongPartnership LLP has a substantial dispute resolution department, which includes four senior counsels. The team is β€˜among the best anywhere around the world’ and has experienced a notable uptick in restructuring and insolvency cases. For example, it successfully represented CoΓΆperatieve Rabobank (Hong Kong) and Standard Chartered (Hong Kong) as creditors of various entities within the Pacific Andes Resources Development group of companies. Shareholder disputes continue to feature prominently along with cases involving family offices and high-net-worth individuals. Between the beginning of June 2016 and the end of May 2017, the firm took key roles in 39 High Court and Court of Appeal cases in Singapore. It is also β€˜top notch’ for enforcement proceedings in Singapore in which it provides the β€˜highest calibre of service’. Alvin Yeo SC is a giant of the market, along with Andre Maniam SC, Tan Chee Meng SC and Chan Hock Keng. Swee Yen Koh is a β€˜go-to disputes lawyer in Singapore’ with an β€˜ability to zone right in on the issues with precision and confidence’, and Monica Chong is β€˜really terrific’.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow’s large practice covers a range of commercial litigation, compliance and investigations. It has experienced a notable uptick in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-corruption related work with Celeste Ang at the fore. The firm has a number of additional senior litigators in Nandakumar Ponniya, Andy Leck, and Leng Sun Chan SC, who leads the dispute resolution practice in Singapore and is global head of arbitration. The team represents a number of Fortune 500 companies, and a series of government agencies and state-owned entities. Recent work includes representing Sanrio Company in a case involving intermediary liability for the transhipment of infringing products through Singapore.

Cavenagh Law LLP is the formal law alliance partner of Clifford Chance and has an impressive market share of big-ticket disputes, including litigation arising out of arbitration proceedings. It represented Ernest De Lasala in a high-value family trust dispute involving corporate entities in BVI, Panama and Singapore, and acted for the liquidators of OW Bunker Far East in connection with the liquidation of one of the largest bunker supply companies in the world. Harpreet Singh Nehal SC is β€˜outstanding’ and β€˜head and shoulders above other Singapore counsel’, and Nish Shetty and Paul Sandosham are also highly recommended. Associate Keith Han is a β€˜rising star’ who is praised for his advocacy and β€˜very strategic advice’.

Dentons Rodyk has a substantial dispute resolution department with some 30 partners providing genuine breadth across a range of disciplines; the firm has experienced considerable growth in infrastructure and construction cases, insolvency and restructuring disputes, oil and gas matters, and shipping cases. The firm also has a market-leading medical defence practice led by Siang Pheng Lek, who also heads the litigation and dispute resolution department. The firm’s client base includes a number of local banks, many of Singapore’s blue-chip developers, and a range of healthcare and medical centres. The firm successfully represented PNG Sustainable Development Programme in a Singapore Court of Appeal case against the Independent State of Papua New Guinea; lead partner in the case Philip Jeyaretnam SC has a tremendous reputation. Lawrence Teh is also recommended, while former partner Vi Ming Lok SC has established LVM Chambers.

Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC impresses with its bench of β€˜strong young lawyers’ who have built on the firm’s standing in Singapore and across the world. Clients include Shanghai Shipyard, Arup Singapore, Tembusu Partners, Jaguar Energy Guatemala, Pacific Hunt Group. The team acted for Terfel Ventures, Green Palm Capital and Dali Agro in connection with the recovery of $3.5m of funds fraudulently transferred from several bank accounts. It also represented TAP Private Equity in the recovery and realisation of its investments worth in excess of $50m. Daniel Chia has an excellent reputation, as does Adrian Tan.

Shook Lin & Bok LLP has a β€˜good and steady team of litigators’ that has experienced an uptick in insolvency litigation. The β€˜extremely dedicated’ department maintains a solid flow of banking-related cases, shareholder disputes and contentious construction matters. Sarjit Singh Gill SC is recommended for insolvency cases and is β€˜knowledgeable on issues affecting banks’, β€˜providing legal advice that is legally sound and commercial’. He and Probin Dass represented one of the largest creditors in the judicial management of Swiber Holdings and Swiber Offshore Construction as part of one of the largest corporate insolvencies in Singapore. David Chan is an emerging talent. Former partner Edmund Eng has left the firm to establish Fullerton Law Chambers LLC. Pradeep Pillai also left to establish PRP Law LLC.

Straits Law Practice LLC has a healthy market share of big-ticket cases and an especially solid reputation for medical negligence, banking disputes, shareholder disputes and trade disputes involving India and Indonesia. It represented Tan Sri Hii Chii Kok, a Malaysian business tycoon, in his medical negligence claim against surgeon Professor Ooi Peng Jin London Lucien and the National Cancer Centre of Singapore. β€˜Very smart lawyer’ N Sreenivasan SC has a fine record handling civil and criminal cases, and is frequently instructed as counsel by other law firms. Palaniappan Sundararaj is recommended for medical negligence, Joseph Liow Wang Wu for construction cases, Valerie Ang for shareholder disputes and cases in the hospitality sector, and Muralli Rajaram is an emerging talent. The firm is also strong in major matrimonial cases.

β€˜Very good firm’ TSMP Law Corporation has an impressive standing in dispute resolution with two senior counsels in Thio Shen Yi SC and Tan Cheng Han SC. The team is led by senior figure Melvin Chan, and consistently impresses in trusts disputes, corporate cases and arbitration enforcement proceedings; the firm acted for BacMan Geothermal in the enforcement of its ICC emergency arbitration interim order against Weir Engineering Services.

Bird & Bird ATMD LLP has a broad practice covering commercial disputes, TMT litigation and many other cases; it has also made an impression in the energy, oil and gas, and utilities areas. Clients include Hyundai Corporation, STX Corporation, Jurong Town Corporation, Energy Market Authority, Centrepoint Alliance and Verona Capital. The firm acted for Suying Metropolitan Studio, one of the major design companies in Singapore, in a substantial shareholder dispute. Swee Siang Boey heads the department, which includes Jonathan Choo and Navin Joseph Lobo.

A prominent boutique firm in the dispute resolution field, Braddell Brothers LLP frequently appears in the High Court and the Court of Appeal of Singapore. The firm has handled a series of major freezing injunctions since 2011 with a combined value of over $1bn. In other work, it recently defended Eddie Chua Cheng Ngee and three other former employees of Anika Insurance Brokers & Consultants against claims that they had breached their fiduciary duties and duties of good faith. Edmund Kronenburg is an eminent practitioner.

Colin Ng & Partners LLP is a genuine force in commercial disputes involving Singapore-based businesses, financial institutions, and high-net-worth individuals and wealthy families. Managing partner Lisa Theng, See Tow Soo Ling, Subramanian Pillai, Ravindran Ramasamy and Sean La’Brooy are the key partners.

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP’s particular strengths lie in construction disputes, insolvency cases, and white-collar crime and investigations. Lead partner Sarbjit Singh Chopra acts for a range of Korean contractors in construction disputes and Samuel Sharpe specialises in white-collar crime and investigations. The firm represented Gerald Lim as the sole local director of a nominal company, who was sued by the company’s liquidators for breaches of directors’ duties; the case concerned the duty of nominee directors in securing funding for a company before it enters into a sale and purchase transaction. The firm’s offices in Vietnam and Myanmar and its strong connections in Indonesia provide access to regional and multi-jurisdictional cases.

Eversheds Harry Elias has an impressive market share of cases involving financial scandals and alleged money laundering, including disputes in Singapore and throughout South-East Asia. The firm successfully represented Datuk Haji Mohammad Tufail Bin Mahmud (the brother of the former chief minister and present governor of Sarawak) in a Court of Appeal case concerning trust, document manipulation, public policy and fiduciary duties of directors. Philip Fong, S Suressh, Andy Lem and Francis Goh are names to note, as is consultant Harry Elias SC.

Oon & Bazul LLP handles a mix of commercial, banking and shipping cases; it has experienced growth in trade and commodity disputes, a particular strength of the firm given its background in shipping. The arrival of Chenthil Kumarasingam has brought additional senior-level white-collar crime expertise to the team. He recently defended Devesh Chetty against charges of forgery under the Penal Code and failure to submit a statement as to the affairs of RGM Group (the accused was previously a director of the company) to the company’s liquidator. Managing partner Bazul Ashhab has an impressive record in big-ticket disputes, and Kelly Yap is head of the litigation and wet shipping practice.

Pinsent Masons MPillay is primarily recognised for construction disputes and court applications linked to arbitration. It represented Keong Hong Construction in High Court proceedings to challenge an arbitration tribunal’s jurisdiction over claims put before it. Mohan Pillay is the name to note.

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP handles financial, insolvency, construction and technology-related cases. White-collar crime is a burgeoning area for the firm, thanks in part to the presence of Roderick Martin SC. Nandakumar Renganathan is another key member of the team and Conrad Campos is recommended for construction disputes.

RPC Premier Law is making a big impression in the market, particularly in financial sector disputes, including high-net-worth individuals making claims against banks. The firm is also active in regulatory and investigation work and is handling a growing number of shareholder disputes engagements. The department is β€˜diligent’, β€˜commercial’ and the β€˜work produced is of a high quality’. Siraj Omar is a β€˜star’ that is a β€˜senior counsel in waiting’.

Tan Kok Quan Partnership is β€˜extremely responsive at every level’ and has β€˜good strength in depth’. The firm has β€˜three very good litigators’ in Marina Chin, Eddee Ng, who is β€˜impressive and clearly knows his way around the Singapore courts’ and rising star Paul Seah; all frequently appear in court. The firm is making an impression on the market and is noted for its willingness to litigate against banks. It defended Sharon Tan in the City Harvest Church dispute, one of the largest and longest-running white-collar crime cases in Singapore’s history.

Withers KhattarWong, the formal law alliance between Withers LLP and KhattarWong LLP, is especially prominent in insurance disputes, thanks in part to the presence of K Anparasan and a team of insurance litigators. The firm has also experienced growth in private client, trusts and estates, and tax disputes. Deborah Barker SC recently handled a High Court case relating to market manipulation and freight forwarding agreements.

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