Allen & Gledhill LLP has a highly developed antitrust and competition practice with a large team of competition specialists and a team of dedicated economists within its ranks. It continues to have a significant market share of merger control engagements, advising on 11 out of 12 mergers publicly reviewed by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore in 2021. The group is also active in the cartels space and has landed an impressive client base. Eminent practitioner Daren Shiau is regional co-head of the competition and antitrust practice, alongside chief economist Elsa Chen. Scott Clements is another experienced contentious and non-contentious competition specialist, and Desiree Lim is a key senior associate.
Antitrust and competition: local firms in Singapore
‘The Allen & Gledhill team is unrivalled in its skill and experience in competition law in Singapore and ASEAN. It is the only practice where all lawyers and economists are 100% focused on competition law, just as you would expect from the top antitrust practices in Brussels and Washington DC.’
‘Allen & Gledhill is head and shoulders above its competitors in expertise and executions.’
‘Veteran Daren Shiau is the most well-established and pedigreed lawyer in the industry; he is polished, articulate, and unsurpassed in his ability to deliver results. Anecdotally, when contentious competition issues arise, clients rush to instruct him first. I do not know of anyone who exceeds his knowledge of the law and the regulators.’
‘Partners Elsa Chen and Scott Clements are both very highly-ranked competition practitioners. This team has the deepest competition bench in Singapore and the region.’
‘Their star associate is Desiree Lim.’
‘I was impressed by Elsa Chen in particular. She is very responsive, excellent in addressing client’s questions and good at handling complex issues with care and sensitivity. She has a wealth of experience to draw on and is able to give insights on matters and add significant value based on recent deal experience. She also offers sound advice on complex issues.’
‘Elsa Chen’s star continues to rise. She has her finger on the pulse of cases and manages to cut through the issues and zooms into what matters. Brings a fresh perspective on competition matters from her economist background.’
‘Scott Clements is exceptional, with a strong strategic sense and ability to guide complex matters through the CCCS. Daren Shiau likewise is extraordinary.’
- Advised Aon, as lead Singapore antitrust counsel, on the $30bn proposed business combination of Aon and Willis Towers Watson.
- Advised Cargotec Corporation and Konecranes as lead antitrust counsel on a merger agreement entered into between the parties.
- Advised Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines on the $1.6bn acquisition by Korean Air of a majority stake in Asiana.
Drew & Napier LLC has a complete antitrust and competition practice, with a solid flow of competition disputes, regulatory matters and merger filings. The firm has worked intensively in regulatory and sectoral matters, notably helping ASEAN governments to liberalise certain markets and establish new regulatory frameworks, with Lim Chong Kin having an outstanding reputation in the field. It is also well placed to handle disputes and investigations with high-profile partner Cavinder Bull SC having a long track record in this area. Corinne Chew is a dedicated competition specialist with a major focus on merger filings; she led the team that advised Refinitiv on its Singapore merging filing connected to its acquisition by the London Stock Exchange.
Other key lawyers:
‘Drew & Napier approaches legal and regulatory issues with a business-centric and practical mindset, their advice is not just based on the law but also practical, from a commercial point of view, not only providing advice on what’s asked, but also considering macro and micro views and incorporating it into sound practical advice. Its leading partners in antitrust & competition have excellent legal knowledge and in-depth understanding of the regulator. With understanding of regulatory thinking, Drew & Napier has differentiated from some other firms and become one of the leading teams in the antitrust area.’
‘Lim Chong Kin is very knowledgeable and an expert in the antitrust & competition area, and remarkably responsive and friendly. We have been working closely on a numbers of projects and international forums. I am always impressed by his dedication and ability to brilliantly resolve complex matters. With his leadership, Drew & Napier’s antitrust practice has constantly worked on every significant development in the Singapore market.’
Refinitiv Holdings Ltd
Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore
ADB BVBA and Safegate International AB
Heliconia Capital Management
- Supported the regulator, Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore, with implementing the converged telecoms and media regulatory framework.
- Assisted Refinitiv with the filing to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore for the proposed acquisition by the London Stock Exchange Group of Refinitiv Holdings.
- Assisted Temasek and Heliconia as lead counsel and obtained clearances with, among others, Brazil, China, COMESA, Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, Vietnam and Pakistan for the acquisition of interest in PIL.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a notable Singapore and regional reputation, landing it an impressive market share of merger and investigation engagements, including matters in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Its client base includes a number of major multinationals such as Coca-Cola and Willis Towers Watson, and it recently acted for DBS Bank in the joint development, with JP Morgan and Temasek, of a common and open industry platform for payments, trade and foreign exchange settlement through the use of blockchain solutions. Department head Kala Anandarajah continues to impress in merger notifications and regional matters, while Tanya Tang is the firm’s chief economic and policy advisor, noted for her experience in the technology and social media sectors. Dominique Lombardi has left the firm.
Other key lawyers:
‘The antitrust division of this firm has been led by excellent partners. In addition, this firm may cover almost all ASEAN countries. They can provide us a whole picture of ASEAN countries.’
‘I mostly work with Kala Anandarajah. the head of the team. She is very responsive. She listens to the intention of the clients very carefully and considers how to break through the practical difficulties. Thus her work becomes very creative.’
‘The team is able to match its legal knowledge with in-depth understanding of the industry, making their legal advice highly practical and useful. Always ready to take calls at short notice; and are brilliant in their delivery. Also highly notable is the development/succession planning of the team’s associates.’
‘Kala Anandarajah is a great person and a good lawyer!’
‘R&T’s competition team offers practical and commercial advice. They are quick, responsive and diligent.’
‘Kala Anandarajah is quick and practical – she has a wonderful understanding of Singapore and does not give overly conservative advice – she acts with the clients’ best interests at heart and while she is able to think like a regulator, she can cut through the weeds to really understand what the client wants to achieve.’
DBS Bank Ltd
Willis Towers Watson
Singapore Exchange Limited
Cuscaden Peak Pte. Ltd.
HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited
Sunseap Group Pte. Ltd.
Echo Healthcare Management Pte. Ltd.
- Acted on the proposed acquisition by the client Entegris of all shares of CMC Materials.
- Acted for DBS Bank on the joint development with JP Morgan and Temasek of a common and open industry platform for payments, trade and foreign exchange settlement, through the use of blockchain solutions.
- Acted for SK hynix on the notification to the CCCS of its proposed acquisition of the NAND flash memory and SSD business of Intel.
WongPartnership LLP continues to make an impression in merger and cartel matters, also leading appeals to the Competition Appeal Board. Its sectoral strength includes the transport, fast moving consumer goods and oil and gas industries, and the group represents an impressive range of Singapore, regional and international clients. Ameera Ashraf leads the antitrust and competition practice, has an extensive record in the transport and food sectors, and impresses in mergers, cartels and market studies engagements. Chan Jia Hui is an emerging talent in merger control cases. Both partners led the team that advised JPMorgan on the antitrust aspects of its joint venture with DBS and Temasek to create a new blockchain-based platform for payments, trade and foreign exchange settlements.
Other key lawyers:
Intercontinental Hotels Group
Japan Pulp & Paper
Luxottica Group S.p.A
Pacific International Lines
Sembwaste Pte. Ltd.
Uber Singapore Technologies Pte. Ltd.
- Acted for JPMorgan on its joint venture with DBS and Temasek to create a new blockchain-based platform for payments, trade and foreign exchange settlements.
- Advised Pacific International Lines on the multi-jurisdictional merger control related issues and filings arising from the proposed transaction with Heliconia Capital Management.
- Acted for a leading financial institution and its subsidiary in an investigation for alleged cartel conduct.
Ascendant Legal LLC
Ascendant Legal LLC is the Formal Law Alliance (FLA) partner of Norton Rose Fulbright in Singapore and provides a strong focus on antitrust matters, including expertise in CCCS investigations into anti-competitive behaviour. It also assists with compliance and advisory engagements along with M&A and joint-venture matters, and is particularly recognised for its contentious expertise. Associate director Jeremiah Chew is a genuine expert in antitrust matters, along with managing director Kei-Jin Chew, who provides additional contentious expertise.
Kei-Jin Chew; Jeremiah Chew
- Advised Ferrero in cooperation with Norton Rose Fulbright on competition law constraints, particularly in respect of distribution, dominance and compliance issues, across Asia Pacific and in particular in Singapore.
- Advised, jointly with the Norton Rose Fulbright Asia competition team, French oil company TotalEnergies in relation to the merger control aspects of several transactions, as well as on terms of supply across ASEAN, and in particular in Singapore.
- Advising Amex on a series of competition law compliance matters, particularly in respect of dominance and MFN clauses.
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow continues to leverage strong connections with competition authorities around ASEAN and is widely recognised for its public policy work. The Singapore team remains active in representing clients in investigations by the CCCS and assisting colleagues in other ASEAN jurisdictions with other investigations. The group has extensive experience in the digital, e-commerce and wider technology segments, including anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance cases. Harikumar Sukumar Pillay is the former head of the enforcement division at the CCCS, and Ken Chia is an experienced figure in the technology, media and telecoms sectors, while Lip Hang Poh is the team’s economist.
Other key lawyers:
Harikumar Sukumar Pillay; Ken Chia; Lip Hang Poh
‘Very commercial and practical.’
‘Harikumar Sukumar Pillay is very responsive and Lip Hang Poh has a real ability to connect with and explain difficult antitrust concepts to the lay person.’
‘From the moment we engaged the practice, everything was done thoroughly and smoothly. I could tell that the practice values details and is meticulous for it to be trusted by clients. The people I have worked with in the competition practice group specifically are excellent at their work, and very organised with other things including billing.’
Ultra Clean Holdings
Jacobs Douwe Egberts
Philippine Competition Commission
Syniverse Technologies (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Perpetual (Asia) Limited (in its capacity as trustee of Keppel
Keppel DC REIT Management
- Acted for EDP Renewables on merger control considerations associated with its SG$1.1bn acquisition of the Sunseap Group, a multi-jurisdictional deal involving numerous filings.
- Assisted Aztiq with a multi-jurisdictional merger control assessment related to its $475m acquisition of a 100% stake in Alvogen Emerging Markets Holdings.
- Conducted training for the Philippine Competition Commission on best practices for negotiating, implementing and monitoring voluntary commitments.
Dentons Rodyk has strong local and regional capabilities, including advising clients involved in CCCS investigations and regional compliance matters. It also has extensive regulatory and sector knowledge. Gerald Singham leads the competition team, while Ajinderpal Singh specialises in cartel and price-fixing investigations. Mohamad Rizuan Bin Pathie is further noted for his experience in investigations by the CCCS and merger notifications.
Gerald Singham; Ajinderpal Singh
Other key lawyers:
Denka Chemical Holdings Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Singapore Poultry Hub Pte. Ltd.
GOJEK Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Tech Data Corporation
- Advised Singapore Poultry Hub on the implementation of its commitments arising from the CCCS’s approval of its joint venture.
- Advised Denka Chemical Holdings Asia Pacific on competition law matters including issues relating to distributorship agreements as well as compliance issues.
- Advised GOJEK Singapore on the competition law frameworks in selected ASEAN jurisdictions.