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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Already well known for its 'very efficient, very technically knowledgeable' banking and finance practice, Adnan Sundra & Low bolstered its project finance expertise by absorbing Putri Norlisa Chair in October 2018. The 'meticulous, dedicated, hands-on, highly competent' Adrian Chee and the 'very responsive, friendly, hardworking and knowledgeable' Jennifer Lee acted for a group of domestic and international banks on their $1.25bn financing of Pengerang Terminals (Two)'s industrial terminal. Deepak Sadasivan, Edward Ng and Lai Kooi Thong advised financiers including Maybank Investment Bank and CIMB Islamic Bank on a $550m refinancing scheme for UMW Oil & Gas (now Velesto Energy). Putri Norlisa Najib and senior associate Wong Mei Ting are also recommended.

The full-service practice at Albar & Partners is jointly headed by Chung Swee Loong and Lily Chea Li Tan, and is particularly strong in advising banks and financial institutions on a range of high-value transactions. Tan acted for banks including Maybank Investment Bank and Bank of China (Malaysia) on a S$500m development loan to real estate company Novel Vortex. Other clients include United Overseas Bank and CIMB Investment Bank. Junior partner Abraham Tat Hon Teh is highly active in banking and finance matters. Niv Chiw Poh Lee and Alicia Phang Ling San both made partner in July 2018.

Frequently acting on high-value matters, the team at Rahmat Lim & Partners has niche strengths in fintech, structured finance and derivatives, and is very experienced in handling matters involving different currencies. Kelvin Loh acted for VTTI as borrower on a $650m loan from a group of international financiers, and advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Malaysia and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on their RM1.1bn loan to MFBBCC Retail Mall. 'Thorough' managing partner Azman bin Othman Luk is 'quick to understand business angles', and 'clearly explains issues and addresses concerns'. Group head Wan Kai Chee and maritime and aviation expert Soh Yin Chuin are also recommended.

Distinguishing itself with its superb regulatory expertise and its experience in derivatives transactions, Shearn Delamore & Co's department frequently acts on high-value, cross-border transactions. Group head Christina Kow acted for HSBC as agent on a $200m working capital loan to an undisclosed borrower. Pamela Kung is active in numerous areas, including debt restructuring as well as acquisition, project, corporate, structured and Islamic finance. Senior associate Krystle Lui is also singled out.

Active on a remarkably high volume of impressive mandates, the team at Wong & Partners has excellent multi-jurisdictional capabilities. Mark Lim, who heads the practice alongside Esther Chik, acted for banks such as Maybank International Labuan Branch, Export-Import Bank of Malaysia and Bank of China (Malaysia) on $150m-worth of club deal facilities to Mega First Investment to partly finance a 260MW hydropower plant in Laos. Lim and Yong Hsian Siong also assisted Maybank Group with structuring a new home mortgage product.

With superb strength in depth, Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law)'s department counts numerous high-profile lenders and borrowers among its clients. Lilian Liew acted for TNB Sepang Solar on obtaining the RM339m needed for its first large-scale solar project in Malaysia, and David Lee Kim Meng advised AmBank Labuan Offshore Branch, China Construction Bank (Malaysia) and Maybank International Labuan Branch on their $430m working capital loan to Hengyuan Refining. Chin Sook Kwan and Tatt King Loo are also singled out.

With excellent cross-border experience, the team at Zul Rafique & Partners provides transactional and regulatory advice to a range of lenders and borrowers. Ashela Ramaya acted for a very large syndicate of arrangers and lenders on Projek Lintasan Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang's RM 2.2bn financing of the Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang elevated expressway by way of an Islamic term facility. Corporate finance specialist Loh Mei Mei heads the practice; Chan Kwan Hoe, Kung Suan Im and Celine Rangithan are also active in the space. Senior associate Iris Koh Siau Wei is noted for her experience in bilateral and syndicated financing as well as complex project and offshore financing.

Christopher & Lee Ong's department frequently handles large corporate, project and structured finance mandates, and has excellent strength in depth; it is especially active on the borrower side. Christopher Lee is noted for his 'remarkable ability to understand and dissect complex oil supply contracts'; he heads the practice jointly with Fiona Sequerah and Jack Chor. Jenny Hong left for a role in-house at China Construction Bank (Malaysia) in March 2018.

With niche strengths in project finance and ship finance, the practice at¬†Kadir Andri & Partners¬†handles a range of matters, all shari'ah-compliant. Group head¬†Andri Aidham Badri¬†advised Bank Islam Malaysia on a RM12m loan to CMC Group, and acted for the Ministry of Finance on its RM1.4bn loan to Projek Lintasan Damansara‚ÄďShah Alam for the part financing of the¬†Damansara‚ÄďShah Alam Elevated Expressway. MBSB Bank also counts among the team's clients.

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill has excellent multi-jurisdictional capabilities, and handles financial restructuring as well as project, asset and corporate finance and syndicated loans; it is praised for its 'industry knowledge'. The team is led by Tay Weng Hwee; its clients include Kenanga Investment Bank, Mapletree Investments and CIMB Bank.  Megat Hizaini Hassan is a 'readily available' Islamic finance expert. Cindy Sim is a 'responsive and thorough' associate. Bella Chu Chai Yee made partner in 2018.

'Experienced in banking industry matters', Shook Lin & Bok's 'skilful, knowledgeable' practice provides 'consistently high-quality advice'. It is strong in conventional and Islamic financing, and has excellent banking litigation capabilities. Department head Jalalullail Othman acted for the manager of the statutory body Flexible End-Financing Scheme on drafting the documentation of the RM10bn scheme. Hoh Kiat Ching assisted a group of undisclosed lenders with extending S$145m-worth of acquisition finance loans to various Singaporean companies. The 'tactful, committed, very knowledgeable' Khong Mei Lin, who provides 'detailed, high-quality advice',  is recommended for debt restructuring.

Skrine's department is active in acquisition, asset, project and real estate finance, as well as in financial restructuring; it also provides regulatory advice in the retail banking sector. Clients include the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Agro Bank, Alliance Bank, AmBank and CIMB Group. Theresa Chong and Philip Chan head the practice.

Especially active in handling corporate banking work for banks and corporations, the team at Zain & Co also counts property and project finance as core strengths. It is led by Zainal Azlan Abdul Kadir, who is supported by Zain Azrin Zain Azahari and associate Lee Chea Shinh . Malayan Banking, Maybank Islamic, Express Rail Link and Permodalan Nasional Berhad Group of Companies are representative clients.

Well known for its comprehensive coverage of aviation finance, thanks to Shelina Razaly Wahi, Abdullah Chan & Co's 'very responsive, helpful' practice is also highly experienced in banking and finance regulatory and compliance work, a sub-practice group headed by Gopal Sundaram. Structured finance, including asset-backed securities and power financing, is another area of expertise. Clients include Airpay Malaysia, Qatar Islamic Bank, Financial Assets Bahrain and RUSD Investment Bank. Muthanna Abdullah is now a consultant.

The team at Azmi & Associates is led by Ahmad Lutfi Abdull Mutalip, who handles a range of banking and finance matters for domestic and international clients. Farhah Hayati Mamat and Ahmad Syahir Yahya are also names to note.

Formed from the June 2018 merger between Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff, CCA Law Firm counts aircraft finance, Islamic finance and developer-side property and project finance as particular strengths. Jin Son Lau Adriel acted as Malaysian counsel to CIMB Bank Labuan Offshore Branch on its £1.1bn loan to a Malaysian developer to finance several real estate projects in London. Other clients include Malayan Banking Group and EcoWorld Group. Chooi Mun Sou, Shiau Ven Koay and aircraft finance expert Karen Yee Lynn Cheah are also singled out.

With a strong focus on Islamic finance, the department at Mohamed Ridza & Co counts most of Malaysia's largest banks among its clients. Name partner Mohamed Ridza and Sharifah Shafika Alsagoff are Islamic finance experts, as is Hafidah Aman Hashim, who also advises on conventional banking matters. She assisted MBSB Bank with converting many of its conventional loans to shari'ah-compliant facilities. Alsagoff acted for Al Rajhi Banking & Investment on RM15m-worth of Islamic facilities for NZ Wheels.

Shamshul Iskandar Zulkifli leads the team at Naqiz & Partners, which has experience in cross-border syndicated loans, project finance, trade finance and corporate and private banking. It acts mostly for banks and other financial institutions. Nur Fateen Zakariah is a recommended senior associate.

Raja, Darryl & Loh is experienced in conventional and Islamic finance, and has niche strengths in fintech and aviation finance, where Chong Mei Mei and Chong Kok Seng are the respective specialists. The team also handles insolvency work: practice head Ng Sai Yeang acted for United Overseas Bank (M) in bankruptcy proceedings against debtor company Intraline Resources. Other clients include Malayan Banking, Aeon Credit Malaysia and Axiata Digital.

Chang Hong Yun heads the practice at Tay & Partners, which is especially strong in advising commercial and investment banks. Yip Jia Hui acted as Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank's Malaysian counsel on its $65m loan to Asia Aviation Capital to finance a portfolio of 14 spare aeroplane engines.

Having joined from Shook Lin & Bok in July 2017, Ng King Hoe has been helping establish HL Lee & Co's Kuala Lumpur office. He assisted a major Malaysian financial institution with extending a RM180m development loan to the owner of a shopping mall in Selangor, and with a RM215m refinancing facility for a company listed on the Bursa Malaysia. Ng Lay San is also active in the space.

James Wong and corporate and aircraft financing expert Kenny Poon head the practice at Jeff Leong, Poon & Wong, which counts AmBank (M), BNP Paribas Malaysia, CIMB Bank and Sabah Development Bank among its longstanding clients. Bangkok Bank is a new client. The practice has experience in syndicated loans, cross-border project finance, Islamic finance and debt restructuring.

With transactional and contentious capabilities in the banking and finance space, Khaw & Partners acts for foreign, domestic, public and private companies on a range of matters, including structured finance, project finance, syndicated loans and debt restructuring. Fong Ah Kok, Sui Sang Wang and litigator Yong Juk Chee are the names to note.

Peter Ling & van Geyzel acts for blue-chip clients and high-profile banks on corporate finance matters. Group head Peter Ling assisted Bank Islam Malaysia with a working capital loan to a company in the automotive sector.

Especially strong in the contentious aspects of corporate finance, trade finance and insolvency matters, Shaikh David & Co's department is led by litigators Shaikh Abdul Saleem and Gurmeet Kaur, the latter of whom recently made partner; they are supported by five associates. The maritime sector is a particular area of expertise.

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