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The firm
Drew & Napier was formed in 1889 by the original partners Alfred Henry Drew and Sir Walter John Napier.

A Manchester barrister, Napier achieved many distinctions in his career, including being appointed Attorney-General from 1907-09. Napier was also the driving force behind the Bar Council’s decision in 1892 to begin publishing the Straits Settlements Law Reports, of which he was the first editor.

Drew & Napier’s first Singaporean partner was Joseph Grimberg, who joined the firm in 1957. He rose to become managing partner, and was responsible for accelerating the pace of Asian recruitment to the more senior ranks in the office. In 1987, he sat in the High Court of Singapore as a Judicial Commissioner, but rejoined Drew & Napier as a consultant in 1989, where he continues to this day.

On 1 May 2013, former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Professor S Jayakumar joined Drew & Napier LLC as a consultant to spearhead the firm’s practices in international law, international trade and constitutional law. Prof Jayakumar served as Singapore’s Senior Minister from 2009-11. He was the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, and was at various times the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Law and Labour.

Drew & Napier has been home to many notable legal and political figures. Over a dozen senior counsel practised at Drew at some stage of their careers, more than any other law firm. Five members of parliament have called Drew their home. Prominent alumni include former Chief Minister of Singapore David Marshall, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam, Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah, Justice of the Supreme Court Judith Prakash, Attorney-General Steven Chong, President of the Law Society of Singapore George Lim, SC and Dean of National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Law Tan Cheng Han, SC.

Drew & Napier has also represented prominent leaders in government and industry, and has been involved in most major litigation and corporate matters for more than a century.

Today, Drew & Napier is housed at 10 Collyer Quay, which was the original address of the firm when it was founded by Alfred Henry Drew and Sir Walter Napier.

Areas of practice
Drew & Napier has provided exceptional legal advice and representation to discerning clients since 1889. It is one of the largest law firms in Singapore.

The firm is trusted by its clients to solve their most challenging problems, defend their interests and show them the way forward.

Consistently rated top-tier in dispute resolution by prestigious international publications, the firm has five senior counsel, the most of any law firm in Singapore.

It is also pre-eminent in corporate insolvency and restructuring, intellectual property (patents and trade marks), tax, and telecommunications, media and technology, and has market-leading practices in mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, capital markets, and competition and antitrust.

The full-service practice is grouped into three main areas: corporate and finance, dispute resolution and intellectual property. Each area comprises top-notch lawyers well-versed in their areas of speciality.

Clients consistently vote Drew & Napier’s lawyers to the highest ranks of their practice areas. Chambers & Partners named it National Law Firm of the Year 2012. It was the top Employer of Choice in the Thomson Reuters’ Asian Legal Business survey. The CEO, Mr Davinder Singh, SC, was voted one of Asian-MENA Counsel’s External Counsel of the Year 2012.

Find out more at

Bahasa Indonesia, English, Japanese, Malay, Mandarin and dialects, Tamil

Other offices Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur

Number of lawyers 196

Asian Pacific Loan Market Association Ltd, Hong Kong-Singapore Business Association, International Trademark Association (INTA), International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)

Above material supplied by Drew & Napier LLC.

Legal Developments by:
Drew & Napier LLC

  • Competition Law Quarterly Update Q1/2015

    In this bumper issue, the Drew & Napier Competition & Regulatory Practice Group brings you the most notable events in the competition law world in the second half of 2014.
    - Drew & Napier LLC

Legal Developments in Singapore

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

    Singapore has been a trade bridge between the East and the West for close to 200 hundred years. It has one of the busiest ports and one of the best airports underlying its fantastic transportation links. For one of the most densely populated places on earth, the traffic flows smoothly, people get to places reliably on the metro network and there is a large number of taxis that gets you anywhere you need to be in about 10 minutes, or 20 if getting to or from the airport.
  • Competition Law Quarterly Update Q1/2015

    In this bumper issue, the Drew & Napier Competition & Regulatory Practice Group brings you the most notable events in the competition law world in the second half of 2014.
  • Corruption Updates – Lessons and Warnings from 2014

    2014 has been an active year for the prosecution of corruption cases.
  • Abolition of the Financial Assistance Prohibition for Private Companies

    The Companies (Amendment) Bill No. 25 of 2014 ( Amendment Bill ) was passed by the Singapore Parliament on 8 October 2014. The Amendment Bill introduces the largest overhaul of the Singapore Companies Act (Cap. 50) ( Companies Act ) since it was enacted in 1967.
  • Singapore International Commercial Court: a New Brand of Litigation?

    Singapore’s new International Commercial Court ( SICC ), which was launched at the beginning of the legal year, promises to offer a bold new method of resolving commercial disputes in South-East Asia and beyond. The establishment of the Court recognises that large, complex, commercial matters can be most effectively resolved by a bench of specialist judges according to bespoke procedures. This much is not new. Commercial courts have grown up around the world to meet the need for businesses to resolve disputes fairly and efficiently. This need has intensified as trade and commerce has grown increasingly international and parties have found themselves litigating in different quarters of the world. The launch of the SICC can be seen in that context as a response to the need for a dedicated commercial litigation forum in the region. But the ambitions for SICC are arguably higher than that. Informed by the current landscape for resolving commercial disputes, the Court ventures into unchartered waters in at least two respects. First, it offers parties a flexibility in procedure that is influenced by practices seen in international arbitration. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, the Court may cause the development of a jurisprudence that consolidates and harmonises the region’s commercial laws: a lex mercatoria for Asia.
  • Who Bears the Burden of an Intermediary’s Corruption?

    The criminal sanctions for bribery and corruption are well known. So too is the fact that a principal may be liable for the payment of a bribe by one of its agents. What then happens when the bribe is paid by an intermediary who may have been acting for both parties? Further, what are the civil consequences of an intermediary’s bribe to close a deal?
  • Boosting Market Participation Among Retail Investors: Reduction of Board Lot Size

    The Singapore Exchange Limited ( SGX ) will reduce the standard board lot size of securities listed on SGX from 1,000 units currently to 100 units from 19 January 2015.
  • Squabbling Ex-spouses Make Good Corporate Law (Again)

    A trend is emerging that business lawyers need to read family law reports to discern new legal principles [1] . This is perhaps not surprising as wealthy individuals hold their personal wealth through corporate entities. In Singapore, such a scenario gave rise to the need for the High Court to consider whether the shareholders of a company may resolve to manage the company when the directors are unable to act. In a learned and closely reasoned judgment, giving full weight to the variance under 
  • Alibaba’s VIE Structure: Does It Have a Place in Singapore?

    All eyes were on Alibaba in its $22 billion initial public offering ( IPO ) on 19 September 2014, the largest ever in US history. Investors were so eager to add the Chinese e-commerce giant to their portfolios that the shares rocketed 38% on its debut and Alibaba closed with a valuation of $231 billion on the first day, more than the market value of Amazon and E-Bay combined. However, investors were not really investing in Alibaba – they were investing in Jack Ma. As the founder himself observed in front of cameras at the New York Stock Exchange: “Today, what we’ve got is not money. What we’ve got is trust from the people.”
  • Another Look at the “Pre-Option Contract”

    Both parties in last year’s High Court case of Chew Ai Hua, Sandra v Woo Kah Wai and another (Chesney Real Estate Pte Ltd, third party) [2013] 3 SLR 1088 ( Chew Ai Hua’s case ) appealed against the judgment of the court. The Court of Appeal’s decision is an important reminder of the risks associated with so-called “pre-option contracts” in real estate transactions.