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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 Appeal Board Dismisses Most Grounds of Appeal by Modelling Agencies

    On 10 April 2013, the Competition Appeal Board (CAB) dismissed all but two grounds of appeal by five modelling agencies that had been found by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) to have engaged in price-fixing activities. CAB's decision resulted in a reduction in the total amount of financial penalties for the five modelling agencies.
    - 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
  • Full Convergence with IFRS in 2018 for SGX-listed Companies

    The Singapore Accounting Standards Council ( ASC ) announced in late May 2014 that all Singapore-incorporated companies on the Singapore Exchange ( SGX ) must apply a new financial reporting framework identical to the International Financial Reporting Standards ( IFRS ) for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018. This translates into a lead time of more than 3 years to embrace the new financial reporting framework.
  • Unlisted Indian Companies Given Green Light to Raise Funds Abroad

    Privately held Indian companies now have a two year window (which begun on 11 October 2013) to raise capital by directly listing on overseas markets without first listing in India. Despite the scheme being limited to International Organization of Securities Commission or Financial Action Task Force compliant jurisdictions, or those with which the Securities & Exchange Board of India ( SEBI ) has signed bilateral agreements, this marks a return to the Indian position in the 1990s and early 2000s. When the regulation changed in 2005, Indian companies had to satisfy the criteria of simultaneous or prior listing in India in order to undertake fund-raising abroad.
  • Are Damages for Loss of Profits from Termination of One Contract Recoverable in an Action for Breach

    Are damages for loss of profits from termination of ONE contract recoverable in an action for breach of A second INTER-RELATED contract?
  • All Aboard… Have Your Passports Ready II

    Our previous article in the November 2013 edition of the Chronicle introduced the genesis of the Asia Region Funds Passport project, being a framework to allow collective investment schemes ( CIS ) established and regulated in a passport member economy (the home economy ) to be offered to investors in other passport member economies (the host economy ) [1] . The working group members 2 have since released a consultation paper 3 setting out proposals relating to the application process and supervision / enforcement regime for the ARFP, as well as substantive criteria relating to the eligibility of passport funds, licensing of the passport fund operator, operation of the passport fund and investor interactions.
  • The Forthcoming LCIA Rules: A Snapshot of Current Trends in International Arbitration

  • Cross-Border Insolvencies – Building Blocks Towards Universalism

    The theory of universality in insolvency, along with globalisation, has gained much traction across many jurisdictions in recent years. Briefly, the universality theory proposes that an insolvency proceeding has worldwide effect over all the assets of the insolvent company, wherever they may be.
  • FAQs on the SGD-Denominated Corporate Bond Market

    We have compiled below a series of responses to questions which we frequently encounter in the course of advising our clients, and we hope that these will be useful for your planning purposes.  
  • Challenging Times: Arbitrator Bias and Investment Treaty Arbitration

    In the previous issue, we explored the English court's approach to challenges mounted by a party against an arbitrator's independence or impartiality under the UK's legislative framework for arbitration in the context of commercial arbitration. In this issue we will compare how similar challenges are resolved before arbitral tribunals in the context of investment treaty arbitration.
  • Red-Card – Penalty!

    Penalty clauses are unenforceable under both English and Singapore law. A distinction has traditionally been drawn between liquidated damages clauses and penalty clauses: while the former provides for a genuine, pre-determined compensation for a breach of contract and is upheld, the latter goes beyond compensation, seeks to deter parties from breaching a contract by penalizing that party and is unenforceable (see the seminal case of Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company Limited v New Garage and Motor Company Limited [1]).
  • Halting Harassment

    Disgruntled employees and customers can sometimes wreak havoc in businesses.