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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Singapore > 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

Who Represents Who

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Ashurst LLP’s team is noted for its comprehensive LNG sector expertise, which ranges from regional regasification and smaller-scale power production projects, to corporate and financing transactions. Its blue-chip client base includes BHP Billiton, BP and Mitsui. A team led by practice head Daniel Reinbott is assisting First Gen and its subsidiary with the development of the $1bn Batangas LNG regasification project in the Philippines, which involved managing procurement and construction aspects of the project. In another LNG-related highlight, the group is advising Pavilion Gas on its bid for a licence to import and sell regasified LNG in Singapore. In the upstream space, a team including energy and natural resources expert Jon Ornolfsson is advising the current operator on the ownership transfer of the Mahakam block from Total E&P Asia Pacific and INPEX to Pertamina. Rob Palmer (‘well-liked by clients’) and Andrew Digges are also recommended. Kunal Kapoor joined Dentons Rodyk. Simon Brown relocated from the Brisbane office.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP attracts praise for its ‘excellent business acumen and understanding of client needs’. The firm’s ‘appreciation of the local regulatory, political and legal considerations’ combined with ‘deep sectoral knowhow over multiple jurisdictions’ makes it a top choice for cross-border transactions. The group’s full-service offering spans mining and upstream oil and gas mandates, as well as LNG projects and downstream petrochemical transactions. ‘Receptive, well-respected and extremely hardworking’ practice head David Clinch led a team advising Chevron on the sale of its geothermal assets in Indonesia and the Philippines to Star Energy (Indonesia). Clinch, Brian Scott and Adrian Cheng acted for CGN on the $2.3bn acquisition of the Edra Global power business from Edra Global Energy. Scott and Cheng are assisting PT Pertamina (Persero) with the liquidation of its trading subsidiaries in Singapore and Hong Kong. The group also advised Beibu Gulf Holding (Hong Kong) on its investment in the government-controlled Muara Port in Brunei. Other highlights included assisting Bruinei Economic Development Board with the implementation agreement and associated contractual work for the construction and operation of an integrated refinery and aromatics complex at Pulau Muara Besar.

King & Spalding LLP’s group regularly handles multibillion-dollar projects in the oil and gas sectors for a client base comprising state-owned power utilities and major international energy companies. Hydropower projects are a particular focus; the group advised Mitsui, Mitsubishi and AES on the acquisition of the 2400MW Bakun hydropower project, the $56m acquisition of the 93MW Batang Ai hydropower project and the development, financing and construction of the $500m Naoro Brown hydropower project. Merrick White and senior associate Sylvia M Taslim are providing ongoing transactional and regulatory support to Asian Development Bank as the facilitator on the $8bn Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline project. White, Taslim and Daniel Rogers are advising Anadarko on marketing and marine transportation matters pertaining to the $50bn Mozambique LNG export project. Richard Nelson is assisting Singapore LNG Corporation and Energy Market Authority with the use arrangements for the first LNG terminal in Singapore. Nelson and Simon Cowled are advising a consortium on the bidding process for the $2bn Jawa-1 greenfield project, which will be the largest power plant in Indonesia. Kelly Malone and Mona Katigbak are acting for Sarawak Energy on the development, implementation and financing of its renewable energy programme as well as on the acquisition of the 2400MW Bakun hydropower project.

Clifford Chance’s team is renowned for its expertise in financing and corporate transactions as well as restructuring and dispute resolution. Matthew Buchanan is advising the Export-Import Bank of China on the planned $2bn construction of the Payra coal-fired power station in Bangladesh. Andrew Brereton and Melissa Ng assisted a consortium comprising Star Energy, AC Energy Holdings and Electricity Generating Public Company with the acquisition of Chevron’s geothermal assets in South East Asia. Other highlights included advising Shell on the sale of its LPG business in Hong Kong and Macau to DCC Energy and assisting Nebras Power with its acquisition of a stake in PT Paiton Energy from Engie. Johannes Juette, Andrew Hutchins and counsel Thomas England are also recommended. Kathy Honeywood has retired.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer provides ‘excellent quality of service’, ‘good regional knowledge and insight’ and ‘excellent commercial understanding’. Instructions include upstream mergers and acquisitions as well as downstream transactions and production sharing contracts. ‘Canny and rock-solid negotiator’ Gavin MacLaren, who leads the practice, led a team advising Rosneft on its $13.8bn joint venture with Pertamina for the construction of an oil refinery in Tuban, Indonesia. MacLaren also assisted ConocoPhillips with the sale of its two subsidiaries to MedcoEnergi and advised Mandala Energy on the acquisition of the Merangin and Sumbagsel production sharing contracts in South Sumatra from Cooper Energy. Counsel Philip Morgan was part of a team acting for Repsol on its $5.8m sale of Talisman to Jadestone Energy, while MacLaren and senior associate David Phua assisted Sembcorp Utilities with its bid for the $1bn contract to import LNG into Singapore. Other highlights included advising the Royal Government of Cambodia on the negotiation of production sharing contract for the first oil and gas development in Cambodia, as well as advising the client on corresponding legislative reform. Senior associate Charlotte Evans is also recommended, as is counsel Vincent Seah, who joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Gibson Dunn’s practice has a strong reputation for projects based in Indonesia. Its enviable client base includes Jadestone Energy, PT Saka Energi Indonesia, Pertamina, Mizuho Corporate Bank and JBIC. Practice head Brad Roach assisted Repsol with the $313m sale of the entire issued share capital of Talisman Wiriagar Overseas to BP’s subsidiary and acted for the consortium of PT Medco Energi Internasional, Korea Electric Power and Nebras Power on the procurement process for the $2bn development of the Jawa 1 gas-fired power plant. Saptak Santra is another name to note.

Jones Day’s team handles a range of corporate transactions, from mergers and acquisitions through to financings and disposals. Practice co-head Darren Murphy was part of a team advising TonenGeneral on its $15bn merger with JX Holdings and assisted Lundin Petroleum with the $22m sale of its interest in several upstream oil and gas facilities in Indonesia. Karthik Kumar, whose ‘insight and clear guidance inspire confidence in clients’, acted for the joint venture of Softbank Group, Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technology Group on a proposed 350MW solar power project in India. Other clients included Chevron, China Aviation Oil, Lundin Petroleum, Mitsubishi, Pan Pacific Petroleum and Softbank. Alex Cull, who jointly heads the practice with Murphy, is also recommended, as are Matthew Skinner, James Harris, Julien Reidy and Bruce Schulberg.

The team at Linklaters assists banks, funds and international energy majors with financings, corporate and capital markets transactions, and supply agreements. Its enviable client base includes Adani Transmission, Diamon Generating Asia, Dong Energy, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Standard Chartered Bank and San Miguel Corporation. Corporate partner Sophie Mathur advised the shareholders of Middle East Coal on its sale of an Indonesian coal mine to an Indian conglomerate. The group also advised an energy major on its bid to acquire a controlling interest in a power generation asset portfolio in Indonesia. Practice head Tessa Davis, counsel Kevin Crombie and William Kirschner are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright acts for a range of utility companies, investment funds, energy companies, joint ventures and banks on financing and corporate matters, including cross-border transactions, as well as disputes. Infrastructure projects specialist Nick Merritt is advising a consortium comprising PT Medco Power Indonesia and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding on the procurement process, development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a 250MW gas-fired power plant in Indonesia. Nicola Davies led a team advising Asian Development Bank on the financing of a 600MW coal-fired unit in the Jamshoro Power Station in Pakistan. Merritt and Davies are assisting Edra Global Energy with its conditional award to develop a combined-cycle power plant in Malaysia. Stephen Begley and the ‘client and solution-focusedBen Smith are advising Energy Market Authority on the restructuring of the domestic gas market to allow the secondary trading of gas and introduce a more economically efficient management of the gas inventory. Jeff Smith and Vincent Dwyer are also recommended.

Pinsent Masons MPillay’s ‘very responsive’ and ‘extremely personable’ team is praised for its ‘knowledge of the regional market’. Its expertise spans downstream as well as upstream projects, with a focus on the oil and gas sector. Ashley Wright, who ‘has seen it all’, ‘brings a wealth of authority and experience to the table as well as ‘outstanding commercial acumen’. The ‘approachable, patient and responsive’ Steve Potter ‘has great industry knowledge’ and ’does not overcomplicate things’. Highlights for the team included advising HyOil on its acquisitions of participating interests in the Bawean Field from Medco Energiem, the Bulu field from AWE and the Krueng Mane PSC and project from ENI in offshore Indonesia. In another key matter Potter and Wright are assisting Repsol Exploracion with the acquisition of Pan Pacific Petroleum. David Platt is also recommended.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s energy team is noted for its strong banking and finance credentials. Bill McCormack is advising Petronas on a $28bn refinery and petrochemical development in Malaysia and is handling the financing of several projects in Indonesia. Global oil and gas head Anthony Patten is praised for his ‘good commercial acumen, in-depth industry knowledge and familiarity with market participants and trends’; Patten is assisting the Province of British Columbia with the development of its LNG sector, which involved the drafting and negotiation of project agreements with the Pacific Northwest LNG consortium and the LNG Canada consortium. The group is also assisting Golar Power with the Porto de Sergipe LNG-to-power development in Brazil, handling the procurement process for the Hawaii LNG for a bidder and supporting a Japanese trading house with a divestment of a portfolio of upstream assets in the North Sea. Other highlights included advising a consortium of lenders on the $1bn financing of a LNG receiving and regasification terminal in Bahrain. Ben Shorten is another name to note.

At Allen & Overy, Jason Humphreys led a team advising a consortium including the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Bank of International Cooperation on the financing of the third stage of the $12.8bn Tangguh LNG project in Indonesia. In another highlight, Humphreys acted for Maybank as the co-ordinator for the partial refinancing of Sapura Kencana’s existing conventional and Islamic facilities. Practice head Barry Irwin and the newly promoted Alun Evans guided Total through the restructuring of its downstream business in the Philippines. Irwin also assisted Total with the planned acquisition of assets and financing of the acquisition of InterOil by Oil Search and assisted Tenaga Nasional Berhad with the $255m acquisition of a 30% stake in Gama Enerji. Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company and Petronas are also clients.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow’s ‘highly knowledgeable, responsive and thorough’ team of ‘commercially minded’ lawyers assists banks, developers and regulators such as Freeport McMoran, China National Petroleum Corporation, Mercuria, Tata Power and Engelhart Commodities Trading Partners. Milan Radman is assisting Freeport with regulatory, licensing and contractual matters arising from its Indonesian operations and advised Origin Energy and Tata Power on the divestment of their interest in OTP Geothermal to KS Orka Renewables. Martin David and James Huang lead the team. Ang Kim Hock made partner.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s team regularly handles high-stake corporate transactions in the energy and natural resources sector and counts multinational and state-owned energy companies among its clients, with Oil India, Mizuho Bank and Roy Hill Holdings being some of the key examples. Global co-chair of the power group Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi is advising PT Pertamina on the $25bn redevelopment of refineries in Indonesia through joint ventures with Saudi Aramco, China Petroleum, Sinopec and JX Nippon Oil. Other highlights included assisting the Republic of Indonesia with the project financing of the Tangguh Train 3 project, and advising a consortium of Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore on the financing of the acquisition of a 19.5% stake in Rosneft Oil. Chei Liang Sin is another name to note.

Mayer Brown JSM’s team provides ‘timely and comprehensive advice’ to clients in the infrastructure, petrochemicals, natural resources and energy sectors. The group, which is strong in corporate transactions and financings, recently advised the International Finance Corporation on the development of a $830m greenfield ammonia project in Indonesia. Benjamin Thompson is leading a team assisting a syndicate of lenders comprising Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, AIIB, OCBC, DBS Bank, DZ Bank and Clifford Capital with the $300m financing of a 225MW gas-fired independent power project being developed by Sembcorp. In another highlight, Nathan Dodd, who heads the firm’s regional projects department, acted for China Power International Holding and Hub Power Company on the $3bn financing of a coal-fired power project in Pakistan. Andrew Pannell is another name to note. Counsel Sean Prior joined from Ashurst LLP.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s team frequently advises lenders in financing transactions. James Murray was part of a team advising a consortium of lenders on the $4.3bn financing of a coal-fired power plant in Indonesia. Murray also advised the developer and project sponsors on the development and financing of the $1.8bn GNPower Dinginin project, a 2x660MW coal-fired power plant in the Philippines, and assisted Lotte Chemical Corporation as a sponsor on the $3bn financing of an integrated petrochemical complex in Louisiana, US. In other highlights, the group is acting for the receivers and managers of Jurong Aromatics, advised K-Sure, Korea Development Bank and others on the $147m financing of Binsar Natorang Energy’s hydropower project in Indonesia, and assisted PT Supreme Energy Muara Laboh with the 220MW geothermal project in Muara Laboh, Indonesia. DBS Bank, Energy Development Corporation, Korea Development Bank, Lotte Chemical Corporation, Mitsui Oil Exploration and Kyushu Electric Power Company are clients. Of counsel Melissa Lewis is also noted.

Sidley Austin LLP’s members regularly advise on large-scale project financings across the region, including transactions involving alternative sources of capital funding. David Gartside heads the practice with Nicholas Grambas, who splits his time between Singapore and New York. The duo acted for Aboitiz Power in its $1.2bn acquisition of interests in the GNPower Mariveles and GNPower Dinginin projects in the Philippines. Grambas advised Macquarie Capital on its joint venture with STEAG for the establishment and operation of the development platform for the construction, financing and operation of energy projects in South East Asia. Other highlights included advising PT Medco Energi Internasional on its acquisition of a controlling stake in PT Amman Mineral Internasional and assisting Macquarie Corporate Holdings and Odyssey Capital with the establishment of Tigris Water Fund. Tju Liang Chua is also recommended.

HFW Singapore LLP houses a ‘strong, lean and committed team’ that specialises in handling large corporate transactions in the energy sector for clients such as Tata Power Company. The group advised Newmont Mining Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation on the $2.3bn sale of a 56% stake in PT Newmont Tusa Tenggara. In addition to its comprehensive non-contentious offering, the group also represents companies in arbitration and litigation proceedings pertaining to LNG and LPG projects. Global Coal, Timis Mining and Exelon are new client wins. Paul Aston ‘provides a roadmap of any dispute and understands complex technical issues’. Brian Gordon and Chris Swart are key contacts. Senior associate Gordon Inkson is another name to note.

Specialist advice relating to EPC contracts is among the strengths of K&L Gates’ group, which advises the full spectrum of project participants, from lenders to underwriters. Key contact Lian Yok Tan assisted PT Antam (Persero) with the $254m EPC contract for the East Halmahera ferronickel plant construction project. The group is advising ISDN Holdings with the engineering, procurement and construction of a cluster of mini hydropower plants across Indonesia

The group at Simmons & Simmons JWS handles structuring, financing, construction and maintenance aspects of development projects in the energy sector. Of counsel Bree Miechel led a team advising EDF on the development of the Sanmenxia district heating project in China, which involved negotiating concession rights as well as heat purchase and joint venture agreements. Dan Marjanovic advised Gunvor on $1bn revolving loan facilities involving 31 syndicate banks. Damian Adams is acting for Twinza Oil on the development of the Pasca A field in Papua New Guinea, which involved drafting EPC contract templates, master services agreements and a joint operating agreement. Bree Miechel left to become a partner at Reed Smith LLP.

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