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Singapore > Energy > Energy – Foreign firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Giles Ashman - Ashurst LLP
    • Lachlan Clancy - Shearman & Sterling LLP
    • Charlotte Evans - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Philip Morgan - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Avinash Panjabi - Ashurst LLP
    • Sean Prior - Mayer Brown
    • Mark Veitch - Herbert Smith Freehills

Ashurst LLP is widely recognised for its upstream oil and gas expertise. It has achieved credit for its record in Indonesia especially, though is a genuine player across South East Asia and beyond. It advises a number of oil majors, national oil and gas companies, and several Japanese trading houses. The team is 'thorough, timely and demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the Indonesian oil and gas business'. Highlights included advising Tokyo Gas on the structuring, development and financing of the Thi Vai LNG Receiving Terminal and the Nhon Trach 3&4 Power Project in Vietnam. Daniel Reinbott is a recognised oil and gas specialist who 'has long experience in the Indonesian oil and gas industry'. Jon Ornolfsson is another strong oil and gas player, while Andrew Digges stands out for his record in power and utilities. Counsel Giles Ashman is commended for his 'quality of advice, industry expertise and the speed in which he provides requested deliverables'. Senior associate Avinash Panjabi is recommended for his Indonesian oil and gas industry expertise.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles some of the biggest energy deals in the market, and has seen an increase in upstream oil and gas M&A, downstream and midstream projects, and petrochemical refining projects. Indonesia continues to be its primary market, followed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Myanmar. Clients include Chevron, BP, PT Pertamina and Engie. It advised Chevron on the disposal of its geothermal and other power related assets in Indonesia and the Philippines. David Clinch  is 'a top energy M&A lawyer' with 'a very intimate industry knowledge of oil and gas sector'. Adrian Cheng is a leader in reserve-based lending in the oil and gas sector. Senior associate Mark Veitch is 'practical', 'commercial' and 'does not hesitate to provide out of the box approaches'. Brian Scott has joined Pinsent Masons

King & Spalding LLP fields a team of geniune energy specialists, according to clients. It covers the whole energy sphere from LNG projects to hydropower projects. Upstream oil and gas M&A and LNG development projects are real fortes of the team, with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan all key markets. Highlights included advising Anadarko as lead sponsor on the LNG marketing/marine transportation for the Mozambique LNG Export Project. Moreover, it advised advised SEB, the public power utility in Sarawak (Malaysia), on the acquisition of the 2,400MW Bakun hydropower project; Singapore managing partner Kelly Malone is a 'big name' in the hydropower sector. Merrick White is a recognised leader in oil and gas, as is the 'incredibly client-friendly' Richard Nelson. Simon Cowled is recommended for energy M&A and project finance.

Clifford Chance's Singapore office has strong energy sector credentials, operating at the forefront of M&A, projects, litigation and other matters linked to the industry. The office has experienced a notable uptick in oil and gas engagements (including midstream transactions) and has seen a significant increase in M&A and projects in the renewables sector, particularly in Taiwan's offshore wind energy sector. Gas to power is another major area for the team. Clients include Star Energy, KrisEnergy, Engie and Shell. Melissa Ng is a leading figure in energy M&A, especially in Indonesia, and advised a buyer consortium on its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Chevron’s geothermal assets in Indonesia. She also acted for Medco on its acquisition of PT Saratoga Power, which owns 51% of PT Medco Power Indonesia (Medco Power), from Saratoga. Nicholas Wong is co-head of the global energy and infrastructure group.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has an impressive mix of state-owned enterprises (SOE), oil majors and private-equity backed companies including Mandala Energy, Neptune Oil & Gas, Rosneft, Repsol and Saka Energi. Power sector M&A is a growth area for the firm, with Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand all key jurisdictions. Highlights included advising Rosneft, the state-controlled Russian oil company, on its $19bn  joint venture with Indonesia's Pertamina to build an oil refinery in Tuban, in the East Java region of Indonesia. It also advised Mandala Energy, the KKR-funded vehicle headquartered in Singapore on the development of its upstream portfolio. Don Stokes has relocated to Singapore from Ho Chi Minh City and is praised for his 'industry expertise, responsiveness and ability to handle complex legal issues on the fly'. Prominent counsels Philip Morgan and Charlotte Evans provide additional senior level experience. Former partner Gavin MacLaren has joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Gibson Dunn continues to be recognised for its Indonesia energy experience. Much credit goes to Brad Roach who has a particularly formidable record in upstream M&A. Roach and the team have worked on a series of major transactions across South East Asia, including LNG project developments and financings, as well as oil and gas projects and M&A transactions.

Jones Day has considerable bench strength in the Singapore office and has a particularly fine record in oil and gas M&A, as well as LNG to power projects in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Karthik Kumar is a leader in renewables and Alex Cull has an outstanding reputation in oil and gas transactions. Kumar led the team that advised BEXIMCO and Teesta Solar on its power purchase agreement with the Bangladesh Power Development Board to develop a 200MW solar power plant in Gaibandha, Bangladesh; this is the largest renewable energy project in Bangladesh. Darren Murphy has relocated to the firm's Melbourne office.

Linklaters continues to win recognition for power, renewables, petrochemicals and LNG mandates. It is playing a key role in Taiwan's offshore wind programme and continues to be active in IPPs in Vietnam and elsewhere. Highlights included advising Glencore Singapore on the restructuring of the Jurong Aromatics Refinery (in receivership) in Singapore. Tessa Davis has extensive oil and gas experience.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is a heavyweight in energy sector projects, M&A transactions and financings. It continued to advise JBIC, NEXI, KEXIM and other lenders on the development, construction and financing of the 1,000MW coal-fired Cirebon IPP in Indonesia. James Murray has extensive experience in energy and natural resources sector financings. Special counsel Melissa Lewis  is also key to lender and private equity sponsor relationships.

Norton Rose Fulbright is closely aligned to the oil and gas industry, with extensive experience in oil and gas (including LNG to power projects) and renewable energy. The team has 'good industry knowledge' and is 'attentive to the client’s predicaments'. Ben Smith has 'deep expertise, a congenial manner, and a very practical outlook'; he has an impressive record in gas and LNG projects. Stephen Begley is recommended for midstream oil and gas and 'possesses in-depth understanding' of the industry. He recently advised nine lenders on the $1.25bn financing for the development of an oil storage terminal to support a large integrated refinery complex in Johor, Malaysia. Vincent Dwyer has left practice.

Pinsent Masons MPillay has an impressive record in power and oil and gas, with notable strength in emerging markets transactions in Asia and Africa. The firm advised PT Karunia Utama Perdana on its acquisition of interests from Italy’s ENI in the Sanga Sanga block in Kalimantan, Indonesia, including a 50% interest in VICO, the Sanga Sanga block operator. Ashley Wright has an excellent record in Indonesia and other South East Asian jurisdictions; he frequently advises a number of international oil majors and prominent Indonesian energy players. Steve Potter is noted for oil and gas projects and transactions in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. David Platt offers additional strength in the power sector.

Shearman & Sterling LLP's broad energy practice encompasses M&A, project development, project finance, capital markets and arbitration. It is traditionally strong in power, renewables and downstream oil and gas, and is developing its standing in midstream and upstream oil and gas, and in nuclear power. Recent highlights include advising PETRONAS on a $28bn refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) project in Malaysia, and advising the consortium comprising Pertamina, Marubeni and Sojitz on the 1,600MW Jawa 1 power plant in West Java, Indonesia. The 'commercial' team has 'a deep bench that has immense experience in executing transactions'. Anthony Patten has 'a very good background in the LNG industry' and is praised for 'proactively navigating clients through difficult issues' and 'working tirelessly in the best interest of the client'. The hugely respected Bill McCormack and Ben Shorten are also recommended, while associate Lachlan Clancy  is praised for his 'clear advice'.

White & Case Pte. Ltd. is making significant headway in the renewable energy sector, including in offshore wind. In oil and gas, the firm stands out for its record with Saudi Aramco, which it continues to advise on the development and financing of the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Malaysia. The team combines 'a very sound understanding of the oil and gas industry' with 'high levels of commercial awareness'. Key figures include oil and gas expert Steve Payne, Fergus Smith, who has a strong record in renewable energy, including offshore wind projects, and Matthew Osborne, who is praised for his 'willingness to share knowledge and his enthusiastic nature'.

Allen & Overy has an impressive record in big-ticket energy projects and has 'deep experience in the power industry across the ASEAN region'. It continued to advise the export credit agencies (ECAs) and commercial lenders on the headline project financing of the Jawa-1 gas-fired independent power project in Indonesia. Jason Humphreys is an increasingly prominent practitioner in the region, and Barry Irwin is noted for oil and gas and mining.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow is noted for its expertise in LNG and power, with a particular focus on M&A, project development and project financing in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. It represents a number of Korean clients in this sector and is building a record in China outbound deals. It advised on the joint development and shareholders’ agreements for the development of the 30MW Ninh Tay wind power project between Infraco Asia Development and TSV Joint Stock Company. Ang Kim Hock is recognised for Indonesia deals and Martin David is an experienced figure in renewables and conventional power.

Latham & Watkins LLP is at the forefront of project finance in the energy sector, with an established record in power, integrated LNG and gas-fired projects, LNG liquefaction and petrochemicals projects. It continues to earn accolades for its work in Indonesia, along with other frontier markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. It advised the lenders on the $3.35bn financing for the development of the Tanjung Jati B 5 & 6 coal-fired power project expansion in Central Java, Indonesia. Stephen McWilliams is a big name operator, while Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi is a key figure in Indonesia oil and gas and LNG engagements.

Mayer Brown remains strong in IPPs, LNG and renewables. Key jurisdictions include Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. It advised the lenders to Sembcorp, in connection with Sembcorp’s development of the Myingyan 225MW gas-fired IPP; this is Myanmar’s first internationally competitively tendered power project. Lead partner on the deal Benjamin Thompson has a strong record in energy sector financings. Nathan Dodd advised China Power International Holding and Hub Power Company on the development and financing of a 1,320MW coal-fired power project and coal importation facility in Pakistan. Counsel Sean Prior is experienced in Indonesia energy projects.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's Singapore office is making considerable headway in LNG to power projects and LNG-sector transactions. The Singapore team works closely with colleagues in Beijing, Houston, London and the Middle East. The sponsor-oriented practice acts for clients including Valero Energy, CKR Resources and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, as well as investors such as HOPU Investments and Tellurian Investments. Japanese and Korean clients are a real forte for the department, which is also developing its Chinese client base. Michael Joyce is 'very energetic and reliable', 'an excellent energy lawyer', notably in oil and gas (including LNG) and power. Paul Greening also has an impressive record in LNG project development and oil and gas transactions.

HFW Singapore LLP's strong energy credentials encompasses offshore oil and gas transactions and disputes, and the firm is a growing force in renewables, most notably in wind energy. It delivers 'top-quality commercial legal advice and is extremely responsive to tight timetables and client demands'. Highlights included advising Kirkham Finance on the amendment of its $9m secured bonds traded on the Singapore Exchange. Corporate transactions specialist Brian Gordon 'has outstanding sector knowledge as well as the commercial acumen and tenacity to get deals done'. Chris Swart 'is an excellent litigator with huge capacity to understand complex contractual disputes'. Ivan Chia is noted for energy projects.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee continues to leverage its regional expertise and its leading sector knowledge in Europe to build its standing in renewable energy across Asia. The firm maintains strong connections to traditional energy clients such as Japanese trading houses and is quickly developing its fund client base, including private equity and infrastructure fund investors in energy assets and projects. A team led by Singapore corporate partner Mark Cooper advised Philippines Renewable Energy on its acquisition of a $1.3bn minority stake in Energy Development Corporation, the listed renewable energy company. The energy team is 'meticulous and thorough', has 'deep knowledge of the energy, utilities and gas industry' and 'delivers commercially workable positions'. Singapore partner Alex Wong has extensive energy sector experience and is 'commercially minded, demonstrates sound advice and is responsive to the needs of clients'; he was one of the lead partners advising JBIC on the potential financing of the Van Phong I BOT IPP, one of the largest greenfield independent coal-fired power projects in Vietnam. Samantha Campbell splits her time between Singapore and Vietnam and has a strong record in the power sector.

K&L Gates has significant LNG and upstream oil and gas experience. Clients include COSCO Shipping Lines, PT ANTAM, MRT Corporation and Taiwan Power. It advised PT ANTAM, Indonesia’s leading metals and mining company, on its $145m engineering, procurement and construction contract with Sumitomo, for the construction of a 2×30MW coal-fired power plant as part of the modernisation and optimisation of ferronickel smelters in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lian Yok Tan leads the team.

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

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