This section acts as an overview of firms’ capabilities in international arbitration across the region covered by The Legal 500’s Asia Pacific guide. A number of jurisdictions, particularly outside the major hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong, require firms to enter into local alliances or have similar restrictions requiring firms to be divided into different entities, often with some degree of autonomy. This section looks at firms as broader units, and does include members of such affiliates/member firms; some offices may operate with varying degrees of integration, and as such, this section should be read alongside the jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction coverage.
Leading firms in Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration
Clifford Chance 'has a very strong international arbitration practice in Asia and worldwide' and benefits from sector specialisms in arbitration-heavy industries. In Hong Kong, Thomas Walsh and practice head Cameron Hassall (splits his time between Hong Kong and Sidney) are particularly active in commercial disputes in the private equity-related, construction, energy and aviation sectors. Elsewhere in Australia, Perth-based oil and gas and mining sector expert Sam Luttrell is noted for claims against foreign governments under investment treaties. In Singapore — where it benefits from a Foreign Law Alliance with Cavanaugh Law — the practice, which includes Paul Sandosham, Nish Shetty and Kabir Singh and was bolstered with the addition of Paul Tan from Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP who has experience in international arbitration and domestic arbitration-related litigation.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills' 'collaborative' Asia Pacific international arbitration team has continued to strengthen its impressive offering across the region. Recently appointed Asia Disputes Head, Simon Chapman QC (who was this year appointed to silk in England and Wales) has been leading the Greater China arbitration practice, which, from August 2019, additionally offers clients access to PRC expertise and PRC counsel through its joint legal operation (JLO) with Kewei Law Firm. Chapman is based in Hong Kong alongside Justin D’Agostino, May Tai, and Kathryn Sanger; Hew Kian Heong, Helen Tang and Michelle Li (who split their time between Beijing and Shanghai) are other contacts to note. The Singapore-based practice welcomed Elaine Wong, who relocated from the Tokyo office joining Alastair Henderson, Daniel Waldek, Tomas Furlong, and recently promoted partner Gitta Satryani. In Australia, Sydney-based Brenda Horrigan is a key contact while Peter Godwin and Mike McClure are also names to note in Kuala Lumpur and Seoul respectively.
Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy fields a strong international arbitration practice which includes 'pre-eminent individuals from within the international arbitration community'. In particular, Hong Kong-based Matthew Gearing QC, who is impressively both appointed as a Silk in England and Wales and a Hong Kong-qualified Solicitors-Advocate, is widely regarded as a leading name in this space. Shanghai-based Jane Jiang, Mark van Brakel and David Jenaway (who are both based in Perth) and Singapore-based Sheila Ahuja are other key contacts.
Baker McKenzie's regional international arbitration practice counts investor-state, construction, energy and natural resources, and post-M&A disputes among its areas of particular expertise. In Singapore, it has a strong energy and construction sector offering, for which Nandakumar Ponniya, Wong Tjen Wee, and Richard Allen are key names note; Ashish Chugh, who is particularly active for India-related work, is another name to note at this office. Jo Delaney leads the Australian practice while Paul Teo is the contact in Hong Kong. Its Vietnam-based team benefitted from the arrival of former Hanoi District Judge Pham Thanh Phuong; he joins Fred Burke and Minh Tri Quach (who are based in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi respectively.) Elsewhere in ASEAN, Wynn Pakdeejit in Bangkok and Timur Sukirno at the group's member firm in Jakarta are highlighted.
DLA Piper’s international arbitration practice has impressive reach across the APAC region. It includes individuals based across its four Australian offices including Gitanjali Bajaj in Sydney and Liam Prescott is Brisbane. The Bangkok-based group is particularly noted for insurance and infrastructure disputes, for which Don Rojanapenkul and are noted. Regional managing partner and are key contacts in Hong Kong.
Hogan Lovells’ international arbitration team combines disputes and sector expertise. Hong Kong-based Timothy Hill is strong for engineering disputes while James Kwan is particularly active across the energy, healthcare and diversified industrials spaces. In Singapore, the group is particularly popular for Japanese and US-based companies, for which Kent Phillips is a key contact.
King & Wood Mallesons
King & Wood Mallesons excels in energy and resources, infrastructure and construction-related arbitration. It is well-known for China-related disputes and is particularly active in construction and contractual disputes relating to the Belt and Road Initiative. In Beijing, managing partner Tao Huang is a key contact and Rihong Yu is noted for investments and M&A deals in the mining and energy sector. Elsewhere in China, Shenzhen-based Ye Ariel is well-regarded, while in Sydney Daisy Mallett and Peter Pether are names to note.
Seoul headquartered firm Bae, Kim & Lee LLC 's international arbitration team is particularly popular among prominent Korean construction companies in disputes across the region. Practice head John Bang and Junu Kim (who is particularly strong for investment treaty disputes) are key contacts.
Other key lawyers:
Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore
Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore is particularly well-known for its insurance and shipping sector specialisms and counts infrastructure, trade and commodities, hospitality and energy among its other areas of expertise. Through its joint ventures with Clasis LLC and Westlink Partnership in Singapore and China respectively, it is able to handle onshore and offshore elements of international disputes. The Singapore-based practice was boosted by Sapna Jhangiani QC’s Silk appointment and the arrivals of construction disputes experts Jonathan Howes and Sean Hardy from Pinsent Masons MPillay. Prakash Pillai, who jointly leads the Singapore practice alongside Jhangiani, is another name to note. In China, Shanghai-based Ikwei Chong is a key contact, particularly for shipping, insurance, international trade and energy sector disputes.
Fangda Partners' is regularly instructed by Chinese companies in international arbitration – it also counts prominent multinationals, such as Apple among its impressive client roster. Helen Shi and Ming Kang lead the Beijing practice while Nuo Ji, Benjamin Miao and Daniel Huang head the team in Shanghai. In Hong Kong, the practice, which is led by Peter Yuen, counts mining, oil and gas, financial services, shipping-related and investment disputes among its active areas; for the latter, Olga Boltenko is noted.
Other key lawyers:
Korean firm Kim & Chang impresses with its reach to handle international arbitration across Asia. The group is particularly active in M&A, financial services shipbuilding and offshore energy disputes. Byung-Chol Yoon and Eun Young Park lead the practice which was bolstered with the additions of Woo-Chul Hwang and Hyungkeun Lee, from Bae, Kim & Lee LLC and Yulchon respectively.
King & Spalding LLP is noted particularly for its energy sector arbitration expertise. For which, Singapore-based practice head Wade Coriell is a key contact. Elodie Dulac and Emerson Holmes, also in Singapore, are noted for investment treaty and construction disputes respectively. Christopher Bailey is a name to note in Tokyo.
The international arbitration practice at Norton Rose Fulbright is based across arbitration centers Singapore and Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, practice head Camille Jojo and Alfred Wu are highlighted for financial services and construction disputes respectively, while the Singapore-based practice (which is led by KC Lye and includes counsel Katie Chung) stands out for its energy sector expertise.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s international arbitration team is headquartered in Singapore and excels in commercial and construction disputes. Andre Yeap SC, Francis Xavier SC and infrastructure-disputes expert Ng Kim Beng remain key contacts while Paul Tan moved to Cavenagh Law LLP. The group also benefits from several affiliated offices in the region, at which Chau Huy Quang in Vietnam, aviation expert Eri Hertiawan in Indonesia and Han Li Meng in Malaysia are other names to note.
Led by Nils Eliasson who splits his time between Beijing and Hong Kong, Shearman & Sterling’s Asia Pacific-based practice is well-versed in commercial and investment treaty arbitration. It counts energy, construction, infrastructure, financial and telecoms cases, along with M&A and joint-venture related disputes are among its areas of specialism; Beijing-based Emmanuel Jacomy is particularly active in the energy and mining space.
Other key lawyers: