Foreign firms in Malaysia

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy's Malaysia practice group has experience across a range of M&A, capital markets, project development, and conventional and Islamic financing transactions, and counts government and government-linked companies, local and international banks, project companies and corporates among its client roster. The team is jointly led by Jason Humphreys, who handles projects, energy and infrastructure and Islamic finance transactions; energy and natural resources partners Barry Irwin; Jeremy Stoupas and Aloysius Tan, who both specialise in debt capital markets and Islamic finance; and corporate and M&A partners Chris Moore and James Mythen. All partners reference are based in Singapore.

Practice head(s):

Chris Moor; James Mythen; Aloysius Tan; Jason Humphreys; Jeremy Stoupas; Barry Irwin

Testimonials

Allen & Overy do not mind working to go the extra mile to complete the task to minimise client’s legal cost. A&O will try their best to complete the task before the deadline.’

Aloysius Tan and Raj Sankaran are helpful and knowledgeable.

Jeremy Stoupas who is very experienced in the capital markets field.

Key clients

Maybank

CIMB

RHB Bank

Khazanah Nasional Berhad

Cagamas Berhad

Axiata Group

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

The Government of Malaysia

UEM Edgenta Berhad

International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional Berhad on an innovative Sukuk offering, a cash-settled exchangeable Sukuk.
  • Advised CIMB, Maybank and RHB Bank on Malaysian oil and gas services company Sapura Energy Berhad’s rights issue of ordinary shares with free warrants and Islamic redeemable convertible preference shares, which raised MYR 4bn.
  • Advised Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company in relation to the acquisition of a non-operating interest in a production sharing contracts in Malaysia.
  • Advised CIMB Bank Berhad and CIMB Bank Berhad (Singapore branch) as mandated lead arrangers, in the acquisition financing of a Singapore plastics company with wholly and partially owned subsidiaries in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
  • Advised Navis Investment Partners (Asia) Ltd on its acquisition of DZ Card Group, an international manufacturer of plastic bank cards and other security products.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has experience handling a range of Malaysia-related corporate, banking and finance and capital market instructions. The group has a particular reputation for its capital markets expertise and recently advised Malaysia-based poultry producer Leong Hup International Berhad and its selling shareholders on a RM 1bn initial public offering on Bursa Malaysia. Names to note include Singapore-based partners Raymond Tong and Johannes Juette for capital markets and Valerie Kong for corporate and M&A transactions.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Benefiting from being one of only two international firms with an office in Malaysia, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is instructed across a range of inbound and outbound corporate and financing transactions, projects, and disputes. Kuala Lumpur-based partners include dispute resolution specialist Peter Godwin and Glynn Cooper who 'is well versed in major projects'. Other names to note include Adrian Cheng, David Clinch and Mark Robinson in Singapore, who head up the finance, corporate and the TMT groups, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Peter Godwin; Glynn Cooper; Adrian Cheng; David Clinch

Other key lawyers:

Mark Robinson

Testimonials

A helpful combination of local legal knowledge with a good understanding of the needs of clients entering this market from western jurisdictions.

They offer a good blend of international and local expertise. As an international firm going into, or with issues in, Malaysia, you’d want someone who knows the market well but would still be able to offer an international, commercial perspective.

They’ve got a broad regional and international footprint, which is important for multinational companies like ours. They recently helped us in relation to a major multi-jurisdictional infrastructure matter and were very strong. Their experience and understanding of the industry dynamics shone through too.

We deal with Glynn Cooper and he has been very responsive to even last minute requests. He manages the firm’s resources efficiently from all over the world when providing service to us.

They are very responsive and the advice is spot on. They have a sense for business and gives you the comfort that you have a commercial position with the proper legal protections.

They’ve got an excellent team. The partners are really experienced, and know their stuff.

Glynn Cooper and Peter Godwin are both very impressive, giving on-point, commercial advice.

Glynn Cooper is well-versed in major projects and has a strong client focus.

Key clients

Tenaga Nasional

PETRONAS

YTL

Sumitomo

Mitsubishi

UEM Group

Malakoff

China Railway Construction Corporation

Lendlease

Santos

Aboitiz

Brunei Economic Development Board

Petrofac

Arkema

UMW

Diamond Gas

Hibiscus

Genting

Edra Power

Edotco

Hong Leong Group

CIMB

Maybank

RHB Bank

Deutsche Bank

Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB)

Kumpulan Wang Persaraan Diperbadankan (KWAP)

Malaysia Airlines

Air Asia

KKR

Weir Group

Japan Pulp and Paper

Grab

Lendlease

YTL

Pos Malaysia

Sunway Group

Iflix

Work highlights

  • Advised the Japanese consortium as a proposed bidder for the railway systems and rolling stock concession (being the principal concession) in relation to the Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Singapore high-speed rail project, which has now been put on hold.
  • Advising Lendlease on the development of the Lifestyle Quarter of the TRX project, a new financial district in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assisting a major power company with its proposed sale, by way of a competitive auction, of a significant gas-fired power plant.
  • Acting for a major utilities company on its proposed acquisition, in a bilateral process, of a stake in a significant independent water and power project.
  • Advised the global investment firm KKR on the Malaysian aspects of its acquisition of a controlling interest in Exact Software from funds advised by APAX Partners.

K&L Gates Straits Law LLC

The Malaysia practice at K&L Gates Straits Law LLC is instructed in international aspects of transactions involving Malaysian companies or assets. Hong Kong-based managing partner David Tang heads up the group which includes Nicholas Hanna, who focuses on equity capital markets, private equity and M&A; Lian Yok Tan has particular energy, infrastructure and resources expertise; and James Bradley is highlighted for aviation finance experience.

Practice head(s):

David Tang

Key clients

MRT Corporation Berhad

Keresa Plantations Sdn Bhd

Microsoft

Work highlights

  • Advising MRT Corporation Berhad, which operates the mass rapid transit system in Kuala Lumpur, on the construction and financing of its Line 3.
  • Acting for MRT Corporation Berhad on its change of contracting structure for the construction of Line 2 from a Project Delivery Partner (PDP) model to a turnkey model.
  • Assisted Keresa Plantations Sdn Bhd with its investment into a US chemicals production company, EE-Terrabon Biofuels LLC, as well as the commercial aspects of constructing chemical producing plants in the USA and Malaysia.
  • Advised Microsoft on forming a strategic investment with Grab, the on-demand transportation, mobile payments and online-to-offline services platform in Southeast Asia.

Linklaters

The Malaysia foreign desk at Linklaters has experience handling a range of corporate, capital market and financing deals, with particular expertise in Islamic finance and Sukuk transactions. Key names to note include practice head Hyung Ahn, who splits his time between the firms Hong Kong, Seoul, and Singapore offices and leads the firm’s capital markets practice across Southeast Asia; Sophie Mathur focuses on corporate strategic transactions and financial sponsor deals; and capital markets partner Jonathan Horan.

Practice head(s):

Hyung Ahn

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Mathur; Jonathan Horan

Key clients

AmInvestment Bank Berhad

Air Asia Berhad

Maybank Investment Bank Berhad

BNP Paribas

Deutsche Bank AG

CIMB Bank (L) Limited

CIMB Investment Bank Berhad

Government of Malaysia

Export-Import Bank of Malaysia

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

RHB Islamic Bank Berhad

Standard Chartered Bank

Bumi Armada Berhad

Sime Darby

Work highlights

  • Advised the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited on the issuance of US$300m Trust Certificates due 2022 by SD International Sukuk Limited.
  • Acted for United Overseas Bank Limited on the renewal of its strategic regional bancassurance arrangements with Prudential.
  • Advising HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, HSBC and Citicorp International Limited, which acted as arranger, dealer and delegated trustee respectively, on the multicurrency Sukuk Issuance Programme issued by TNB Global Ventures Capital Berhad.
  • Advised BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) Limited, as he global coordinator, lead manager and book-runner, and Citicorp International Limited as a trustee on Top Glove Labuan’s issuance of Guaranteed Exchangeable Bonds.
  • Acted for J.P. Morgan Securities (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and J.P. Morgan Securities plc as the placing agent on the placement of 120,301,300 existing ordinary shares of RHB Bank Berhad.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The Singapore-based Malaysia desk at Norton Rose Fulbright is known for handling a range of contentious and non-contentious projects and infrastructure matters, with particular experience in project finance in the shipping and offshore oil and gas sectors. Practice head Stephen Begley specialises in financing and development of energy-related transactions.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Begley

Key clients

Gas Malaysia Berhad

Trans Thai-Malaysia (Thailand) Limited

Edra Global Energy Berhad

AXA

ING Bank NV

Work highlights

  • Advised Société Générale as lenders for the bridge financing to a subsidiary of Bumi Armada Berhad of Malaysia for the acquisition/conversion and operation of an LNG Vessel into a LNG floating storage unit for the Malta LNG-to-power project.
  • Advised ING Bank NV on the project financing to a subsidiary of Yinson Holdings Berhad of Malaysia of a floating production, storage and offloading unit to be sub-chartered to JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration (Malaysia) for use at the Layang Development offshore Malaysia.
  • Advising Gas Malaysia Berhad in developing the necessary framework for third party access, paving the way for the liberalisation of the downstream gas market in Malaysia.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP is instructed in project development and finance transactions in Malaysia, with particular experience in the oil and gas sector. Practice head Ben Shorten has expertise in advising both lenders and sponsors of projects, while Bill McCormack focuses on the development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects. All lawyers noted are based in Singapore.

Practice head(s):

Ben Shorten

Other key lawyers:

Bill McCormack

Testimonials

Instructions provided by the team are well-thought-out, collaborative and practical and we always look forward to working with them.’

Key clients

PETRONAS

Malakoff International Limited & Malakoff Corporation Berhad

OM Holdings Limited

Bumi Armada Berhad

Genting Berhad

Malaysian Export Import Bank

Maybank

Work highlights

  • Advising Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) in respect of the development of its approximately US$28bn Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project in Malaysia involving a refinery, cracker, and multiple downstream joint-venture petrochemical projects in Malaysia.
  • Advised PETRONAS on a US$8bn investment by the Saudi Arabian Oil Company in PETRONAS’ Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (‘RAPID’) project in Johor State, Malaysia.
  • Acted for PETRONAS on the development of its terminal facilities in Southern Johor, Malaysia.
  • Assisted PETRONAS with the development of its independent cogeneration plant in Southern Johor, Malaysia, which will exclusively supply power and steam to Petronas’ Pengerang Integrated Complex.
  • Advised OM Holdings Limited the restructuring of a 330 MW ferrosilicon smelter project in the Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak, Malaysia. This included assisting with the amendment of various project documents.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's multi-jurisdictional team handles Malaysia-related capital markets, project finance, real estate and general corporate and commercial transactions, with particular expertise in the education, energy, financial services, real estate and technology sectors. Hong Kong-based Heng Loong Cheong heads the team and is known for his experience in M&A and expertise in Association of Southeast Asian Nations regulatory matters. Joe Bauerschmidt, who is based in Singapore, has experience in debt and equity capital markets and corporate transactions, while Melbourne-based Arthur Chong, has particular experience in assisting Malaysian clients investing in Australia. The team benefits from the addition in Singapore of debt capital markets partner Philip Lee, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Practice head(s):

Heng Loong Cheong

Testimonials

They do not fall short of the standard expected of an international law firm. They always work in a team that comprises a good mix of lawyers with different seniority.

Cheong Heng Loong has good sound knowledge of the law and is able to offer practical solutions to address challenging issues faced in this transaction.

Key clients

Laureate Education

Rabobank; HSBC; Standard Chartered Bank; ICICI Bank

Experian Ventures

YTL Corporation Berhad

Magna Prima Berhad

Salcon Berhad

Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd

SP Setia Berhad

UEM Sunrise

Work highlights

  • Advising Laureate Education on the US$162m sale of its global network institution in Malaysia, INTI University and Colleges, to Affinity Equity Partners.
  • Advising Rabobank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and ICICI Bank, as lenders to Malaysia-based, Sabah Forest Industries Limited, on restructuring and enforcement options.
  • Assisted Experian Ventures with the US$10m Series B2 of Jirnexu, an insurance and banking products comparison website which operates as RinggitPlus in Malaysia.
  • Acted for YTL Corporation Berhad on its acquisition of the Westin Hotel in Perth.
  • Advised a Malaysia-headquartered property development company with operations across the UK, Asia and Australia on the development and implementation of client’s APAC privacy compliance framework covering key jurisdictions including Malaysia.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is highlighted for its experience in contentious and non-contentious cross-border projects and energy instructions. Kelly Malone, who splits his time between New York and Singapore, is a name to note for construction, development and project financing with particular experience assisting with the acquisition of large-scale power and infrastructure projects, while Singapore-based Donny Low handles international arbitration.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is highlighted for its experience in corporate and finance transactions. Key names to note include Sharon Lau, who handles a range of financing, capital markets and corporate transactions; Joseph A Bevash, who has particular experience in the financing of power, gas and petrochemicals projects, and corporate finance and M&A partner Michael Sturrock.

Other key lawyers:

Sharon Lau; Joseph Bevash; Michael Sturrock

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

With an office in Kuala Lumpur, Trowers & Hamlins LLP is one of only two international firms with a base in Malaysia. The group assists its client roster, which spans from high-net-worth individuals to investment banks and government and government-linked companies, with international cross-border investment. Practice head Nick Edmondes has experience in a range of corporate and project finance transactions with particular expertise in the real estate sector, while Elias Moubarak specialises in conventional and Islamic finance structures, and Tom Reynolds advises on corporate transactions and cross-border commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Nick Edmondes

Other key lawyers:

Elias Moubarak; Tom Reynolds