Recognised for its 'very good feel for the local market', Allen & Overy's team in Malaysia has four dedicated leads: Chris Moore (M&A), James Mythen (M&A), Jason Humphreys (projects, energy and infrastructure) and Aloysius Tan (capital markets and Islamic finance). Working with major domestic firms, its portfolio spans government (and government-linked) companies, international banks and a multiplicity of corporates (Khazanah Nasional Berhad, ACR Capital Holdings and Petronas are key clients). A recent key case saw the firm advising ACR (and selling shareholders) on the sale of Asia Capital Reinsurance Group Pte. Ltd to Catalina Holdings(Bermuda) Ltd. Key personnel: Mark Nam and Barry Irwin.
Foreign firms in Malaysia
Allen & Overy
‘They have a very good feel for the local market and demonstrate great awareness of the latest developments on the ground‘.
‘Jason Humphreys and James Mythen have very good local knowledge to back up their technical expertise and business acumen‘.
Khazanah Nasional Berhad
ACR Capital Holdings
Edra Power Holdings Sdn Bhd
Maybank Investment Bank
Tenaga Nasional Berhad
CIMB Investment Bank
Dialog Group Berhad
Affin Hwang Investment Bank
- Advised ACR and the Selling Shareholders on the sale of Asia Capital Reinsurance Group Pte. Ltd., a pan-Asian reinsurance platform, to Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd for US$660 million, in one of the most significant FIG deals in ASEAN in the past year.
Operating in Malaysia with its HQ in Singapore, the team at Clifford Chance is directed by the 'very responsive' capital markets expert Raymond Tong and cross-border specialist Valerie Kong. Distinguished by its 'very strong presence', the firm provides detailed knowledge of key regulatory regimes across South East Asia. Partnering with select local firms, it has a strong track record in industries such as energy, private equity, real estate, healthcare and agriculture. In a recent case highlight it is advising Berjaya Corporation Berhad (and a subsidiary) on the sale of a hotel contingent and assisting JP Morgan, UBS and Siam Commercial Bank with the financing of CP Group's acquisition of Tesco's Thai and Malaysian interests.
‘Clifford Chance has a very strong presence in Malaysia where the firm has acted for large corporations in major corporate transactions‘.
‘Raymond Tong is an experienced counsel who provides sound and practical advice to his clients. He is very responsive and has a strong team to execute deals. He is also very well informed with capital market developments in South East Asia‘.
Berjaya Corporation Berhad
Sapura Energy Berhad
CIMB Investment Bank Berhad
Maybank Investment Bank Berhad
Leong Hup International Berhad
Sime Darby Holdings Berhad
Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad
Sedgwick Malaysia Sdn. Bhd
- Advised Berjaya Corporation Berhad (Berjaya) and its subsidiary, Kyoto Higashiyama Hospitality Assets Tokutei Mokuteki Kaisha, on the sale of the hotel component of the Four Seasons Hotel & Hotel Residences Kyoto, Japan to Godo Kaisha Tigre.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Acting primarily for corporates, the team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is headed by Peter Godwin (disputes), Glynn Cooper (corporate and projects) and Adrian Cheng (finance). Maintaining an office in Kuala Lumpur since 2017, it covers sectors such as infrastructure and energy funds, financial services, healthcare, aircraft finance and TMT. In particular, the offering is widely recognised for the strength of its arbitration practice where it regularly handles investment matters, joint venture disputes and international trade cases. Key clients are drawn from Malaysia's pensions sector, domestic banking, government-linked companies and various independent firms. Key personnel includes David Clinch.
Other key lawyers:
Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB)
Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)
Employees Provident Fund (EPF)
Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP)
Asian International Arbitration Centre
- Advised UEM Group of Malaysia in relation to the divestment of its 55% stake in the Cipali toll road for approximately US$500 million.
- Advised Hong Leong of Malaysia in relation to its US$1.2 billion acquisition of Columbia Asia Hospitals (with assets in Malaysia and elsewhere in Asia) in consortium with global private investment firm, TPG.
- Advised Yinson of Malaysia in relation to the US$800 million refinancing of one of its oil and gas floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels.
Three leads oversee the firm's offering at Linklaters: Hyung Ahn, Sophie Mathur and Philip Badge. Notably, the practice has more than twenty years’ experience working with corporates, banks, commercial organisations as well as federal and state authorities in Malaysia. In particular, it handles a substantive amount of M&A work alongside its expertise in the financial sponsor space. Moreover, the team's expertise in Islamic finance means it can support Shari’a-compliant banking facilities. In a key highlight, it advised on Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad’s issuance of 306,507,000 new shares via a private placement exercise.
CIMB Investment Bank Berhad
Permodalan Nasional Berhad
Standard Chartered Bank
Taylor’s Education Pte Ltd
Tenaga Nasional Berhad
- Advised CIMB Bank Berhad, Labuan Offshore Branch, Credit Suisse (Singapore) Limited and J.P. Morgan Securities plc (the “Joint Lead Managers”) on the issuance of Zero Coupon Guaranteed Exchangeable Bonds due 2024 by Cerah Capital Ltd, guaranteed by Khazanah Nasional Berhad and exchangeable into ordinary shares of CIMB Group Holdings Berhad.
- Advised Credit Suisse (Singapore) Limited as placing agent on Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad’s issuance of 306,507,000 new shares through a private placement exercise.
- Advised Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) on its US$10.6bn acquisition of Tesco’s businesses in Thailand and Malaysia. This is the biggest corporate acquisition in Thailand’s history and the largest in Asia to date this year.
Sectors of strength for DLA Piper's Malaysian team include insurance, education, energy, financial services and technology. In particular, a recent case highlight concerns its role in advising Laureate Education Inc on the US$140m sale of INTI University and Colleges in Malaysia to Hope Education Group. The firm has welcomed David Kuo (formerly of Milbank), Samata Masagee (Weerawong C&P) and Waranon Vanichprapa (Baker McKenzie) as new partners. It is led by M&A expert Heng Loong Cheong.
A leading information technology company
Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.
K&L Gates Straits Law LLC
The team at K&L Gates Straits Law LLC is led by managing partner David Tang. Advising on the international aspects of deals with Malaysian companies, it consistently represents clients in aerospace, energy, healthcare, transportation and utilities. Christopher Tan covers employment-related issues, Choo Lye Tan handles investments, acquisitions and funds, Lian Yok Tan is the 'go-to' lawyer for liquid natural gas mandates, and James Bradley advises on aviation matters (particularly the financing, leasing and restructuring of engines and corporate jets). A key highlight concerns the team's work for Malaysia Airlines on its complex restructuring initiative. Partner Nicholas Hanna departed in June 2020.
Malaysia Airlines Systems Berhad
FTI Consulting (Singapore) Pte Ltd
- Advised Malaysia Airlines on its restructuring, the largest ever restructuring of an airline in Asia.
- Advised an American Global Music Corporation in relation to the updating of their employment handbooks in 3 jurisdictions, namely Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Specialising in energy and infrastructure, project finance expert Stephen Begley heads the team at Norton Rose Fulbright. More broadly, the group deals with disputes, investigations, compliance and covers additional sectors such as power, financial services, shipping and offshore. Key clients include Gas Malaysia Berhad, AXA, Société Générale and the Bank of Baroda. A recent highlight concerns its role in advising an international syndicate on the US$800m refinancing for an FPSO vessel owned by a subsidiary of Yinson Holdings Berhad.
Gas Malaysia Berhad
Edra Global Energy Berhad
Mezzanine Equities N.V.
ING Bank N.V.
Standard Chartered Bank
Bank of Baroda
The 'excellent' Malaysian practice at Shearman & Sterling LLP is recognised for its ability to handle the most complex of emerging markets deals. Specifically, it has a strong track record on a range of projects in the oil, gas and renewables sectors. Within this realm, one recent highlight is its work for Petronas on a US$15bn project financing for a joint venture with Saudi Aramco (a major downstream petrochemical project). Coordinated from Singapore by Ben Shorten and Daryl Chew, the team covers similar matters for clients such as The Government of Malaysia, Genting, Malakoff, Khazanah and Bumi Armada. Anthony Patten is recommended for his experience in LNG matters. Bill McCormack is another name to note.
‘The M&A practice team for projects and energy is excellent and their partners and counsels are very experienced and practical in their advice and execution‘.
‘Anthony Patten is someone whom I am always happy to support because he is not just extremely knowledgeable and accessible, but also because he is practical and personable‘.
OM Holdings Limited
- Advised Malaysian national oil company PETRONAS on its US$15 billion (approximately US$10 billion of senior debt) project financing relating to its joint venture with Saudi Aramco in Malaysia.
- Advised the sponsors and borrower in all aspects of the restructuring of a 330 MW ferrosilicon smelter project in the Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak, Malaysia, including amendment of various project documents and new offtake and supply agreements.
The foreign firms team at King & Spalding LLP offers expertise in LNG, oil, gas and power matters. In particular, it assists with structured project financing, the resolution of construction disputes and investment treaties. Based in Singapore, the key names to note are infrastructure expert Kelly Malone and international arbitration specialist Donny Low.
Alongside its work in capital markets and M&A, the team at Latham & Watkins LLP handles private equity, bank finance, project development and, in particular, Islamic finance structures. Specifically, it applies its expertise to both structure documents as well as negotiating the key terms of sukuk, murabaha, modaraba, ijara, wakala, musharaka, salam and istisna utilities. Clients are drawn from industries such as healthcare, technology, renewable energy, oil and gas, telecoms and real estate. A recent highlight concerns its representation of Pengerang Energy Complex Sdn Bhd, a matter in which it advised on the financing of an aromatics complex to be located in Pengerang, Johor. The team, which is led by Sharon Lau, now includes Mark Cooper, formerly of Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee.
Other key lawyers:
Hong Leong Malaysia
Instant Holdings SG Pte. Ltd.
Pengerang Energy Complex Sdn Bhd.
Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
Agenda Pantas Sdn. Bhd.
- Advised HLT Healthcare on the acquisition by a joint venture created by TPG Capital and Hong Leong, of Columbia Asia Healthcare, a Malaysia-based healthcare company that operates 17 hospitals and a clinic across Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. This transaction represented the largest announced buyout in South East Asia in 2019.
- Represented a client in relation to the development and financing of an aromatics complex (including a fully integrated condensate splitter and an aromatics plant) to be located in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia.
- Advised Agenda Pantas Sdn. Bhd. on the equity investment by Agenda Pantas, along with Qatar Investment Authority and Malton Berhad, in connection with the acquisition of Pavilion Bukit Jalil mall, a Malaysia-based shopping center.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP
From its office in Kuala Lumpur, the Trowers & Hamlins LLP group is led by Nick Edmondes, who handles corporate and project finance mandates. Elias Moubarak specialises in conventional and Islamic finance structures, and Tom Reynolds is also a core team member; his work spans corporate transactions and cross-border commercial contracts.