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Editorial

Financial services regulatory – Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Financial services regulatory – Foreign firms
  2. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

The team at Clifford Chance, which is 'responsive and commercially practical', works in alliance with Cavenagh Law LLP to handle contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters concerning all aspects of financial transactions and products, including investment grade lending, derivatives and structured finance. 'Top notch lawyers' include Paul Landless and Lena Ng, who have 'an understanding of the local market and the global issues'. Nish Shetty is noted for running 'a particularly good team' and associate Zhern Leing Thai is 'always on top of the detail'. Kabir Singh and associate Sheena Teng are also key names. In recent work, the team advised a number of international banks on the OTC derivatives reforms, especially in respect of the margin clearing and trade reporting requirements in Singapore and a number of other jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific region. It is also advising a number of clients on the regulations pertaining to initial coin offerings in respect of operating platforms or exchanges on which digital tokens are used or traded.

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, the team is 'forward thinking and proactive' and has 'a generally unique offering in its relationship with regulators and know-how of the market which it shares with clients and industry players'. Natalie Curtis, who relocated from the firm's Hong Kong office to Singapore in January 2018, is valued for her 'multi-jurisdictional experience' and her 'proactive' approach. The team includes Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan and senior associate Grace Chong. The practice, which frequently works with colleagues in Hong Kong, other regional offices and the firm's wider global network,  provides a comprehensive service across all aspects of financial regulatory compliance including in the fintech arena. It has been advising a number of Singaporean clients on offering investments in Hong Kong, including assisting with financial services licensing implications and the various rules under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Hong Kong) legislation. The team is also advising various international banks on matters such as licensing requirements for Singapore-based and offshore fund managers.  Pamela Kiesselbach relocated to the firm's Hong Kong office.

Linklaters' team, which is able to leverage the firm's global network, is noted for 'its strong financial services regulatory practice'. The team acts for well-known clients, particularly in the banking space where it advises JP Morgan, UBS, Credit Suisse, as well as clients including KKR. Jelita Pandjaitan has a focus on cross-border disputes and investigations for major international banks and corporations including arbitrations and mediations and Melvin Sng and Peiying Chua are other notable practitioners. Associate Teddy Tang joined from Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP in July 2017. The team's workload includes advising global banks on internal investigations. Recent work includes assisting a bank with restructuring its global operations in order to comply with the UK ring-fencing regime. It frequently liaises with the Monetary Authority of Singapore with regard to matters such as a change-in-control application and licensing matters.

Norton Rose Fulbright is well known for its cross-border compliance expertise, where the firm is able to field multi-disciplinary teams drawn from a number of jurisdictions. The team is well versed in assisting clients with complying with the requirements of the Singapore Monetary Authority, with recent work in this area relating to technology risk management and outsourcing. In addition to its advisory work, it regularly collaborates with Ascendant Legal LLC, with which the firm is in a formal law alliance with, in respect of litigation matters. The team has handled investigations in the financial services sector and advised on licensing issues for fintech start-ups. Managing partner Yu-En Ong, Wilson Ang,  Sheela Moorthy and Anna Tipping are key names. The 'very commercial' Stella Cramer is also noted, especially for her expertise in the TMT space.


Financial services regulatory – Local firms

Index of tables

  1. Financial services regulatory – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Allen & Gledhill LLP's team provides 'first-class advice' and is 'extremely good value for money'. It handles the gamut of advisory and disputes cases in respect of banking, securities, futures and commodities trading, in addition to advising on the regulatory aspects of mergers and acquisitions. The team also has good links with a variety of regulators. The well-regarded Francis Mok and Karen Tiah jointly head the team and Adrian Ang is 'an excellent lawyer with a first-class mind, who always ensures his clients’ interests are properly protected and is a real pleasure to work with'. Wong Sook Ping is also a name to note. The team advised HSBC and Maybank on the transfer of its retail banking operations from its respective Singapore branches into newly incorporated subsidiaries. It also assisted a well-known UK bank with regulatory issues pertaining to the transfer of its Singapore operations from an existing bank and merchant bank in Singapore to a new bank entity in order to comply with UK ring-fencing regulations.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's 'knowledge and insight is impressive, and it is good value for money' and is especially noted for its work related to investment funds. It has expertise in a range of derivatives, structured and other investment products and has been involved in the establishment of a number of exchanges such as the derivatives exchanges and the Singapore Commodity Exchange. Regina Liew, Larry Lim, David Yeow and Benjamin Liew are the key partners for financial regulatory work and Arnold Tan and Philip Yeo are names to note on the investment funds side of the practice. The team is acting for Asia Pacific Exchange and Asia Pacific Clear on the establishment of a new futures exchange and a new futures clearing house as an approved exchange and an approved clearing house respectively, the establishment of both is subject to regulation by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The team has a history of advising on the derivatives-related financial crisis in addition to assisting clients with licensing and regulatory issues.

WongPartnership LLP's 'fantastic' team has 'an excellent understanding of clients’ needs and the approach to be adopted to reach a resolution on difficult issues'. Chan Jia Hui is singled out for being 'pragmatic and practical in his approach and for his understanding of the local market' and associate Hannah Ng is 'excellent'. Rosabel Ng , who jointly heads the team with Joy Tan and Elaine Chan, is 'one of the stars of the firm' and Tian Sion Yoong is also noted. The group provides regulatory compliance advice to financial institutions based in North America, Europe and the Middle East as well as in the Asia Pacific region, including assisting with internal investigations and enforcement actions. The team, which includes individuals with expertise in the fintech sector, acts for clients including the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Morgan Stanley Asia International and Credit Suisse. Recent work includes acting for a major European client on its application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for approval and recognition as a clearing house in Singapore under the Securities and Futures Act. It also advised NTUC Income on a proposed partnership with Fullerton Fund Management to appoint Fullerton as the investment manager of a portfolio of NTUC assets valued at an estimated S$23bn.

Stephanie Magnus leads a team at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow that provides 'excellent response times and has a strong ability to advise on the application of regulatory requirements to business needs'. Local principal Eunice Tan is singled out for being 'smart and having the ability to navigating the Singapore regulatory landscape' and is 'responsive, pleasant and willing to explore different parameters'. The team acts for clients including Affinity Equity, MUFG Bank and the Carlyle Group  and it advised the Julius Baer Group on a joint venture with Siam Commercial Bank to offer wealth management services to Thai clients, which will operate through a domestic company in Thailand and an international company in Singapore.

Cavenagh Law LLP, which is in an alliance with Clifford Chance, provides 'an amazing overall service and advice that is always solid and accurate'. Counsel Janice Goh is 'an outstanding lawyer who really understands clients' businesses and sensitivities'. She was part of the team that advised two international banks on the regulatory issues concerning their digital private banking and wealth management strategies. Other team members include Sarah Hew and Jerald Foo. The team handles litigation in addition to its regulatory advisory expertise and is frequently involved in high-profile cross-border matters and investigations. 

The team at Pinsent Masons MPillay is well regarded for cross-border corporate crime and investigations. Neil McInnes is 'very sound, up-to-date and pragmatic'. The team advises a range of corporate clients on compliance issues, corporate investigations and anti-corruption matters. It handles a number of internal investigations, some of which span over two years, involving allegations of fraud or corruption and including those that have arisen from whistleblowing. It also assists corporate clients with risk assessments and compliance training.


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