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Singapore > Asset finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Asset finance – Foreign firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Clifford Chance is a top choice for international, Asia-wide and domestic asset finance in respect of transportation assets and related infrastructure, particularly in the aviation and shipping sectors. Its client base includes banks, export credit agencies, leasing companies and operators and manufacturers. The team acted for CSSC Leasing in respect of the financing of the first floating storage regasification unit to be built in China and where the shipyard and the leasing entity were related state-owned entities under the same government-linked company. In addition to advising on bulk and conventional ship finance and building, it also advised a number of parties on the acquisition or leasing of Airbus and other aircraft.  Simon Briscoe is the highly experienced head of the aviation finance team and Gervais Green heads the offshore and maritime group.  Finance expert Fergus Evans and his team relocated from the firm's Bangkok office in 2017 and Kate Sherrard is noted for her shipping expertise. Chad Morgan left the practice for an in-house role.

Norton Rose Fulbright offers 'value for money and lots of industry experience in the offshore oil and gas asset finance and shipping spaces'. Keith Sandilands heads the Asia aviation work and is advising major Asian and European banks and airlines on a range of financing arrangements. Ben Rose is the head of Asia shipping and also handles offshore oil and gas financing; he and Robert Driver are noted for their depth of industry knowledge. James Bradley joined K&L Gates in 2017.

Stephenson Harwood LLP's team, which is led by practice head Gregg Johnston, is 'at the forefront of ship finance'. The team counts major shipping, offshore companies, shipyards and insurers among its clients as well as energy service companies and oil and gas businesses. Saugata Mukherjee has expertise in structured and asset finance in the shipping and aviation sectors and led advice to the China Development Bank on the financing for the building of six LNG carriers in respect of a joint venture between Teekay LNG Partners and China LNG Shipping. Martin Green and Iain Young, who founded the firm's practice in Singapore, are seasoned asset finance practitioners and of counsel Michelle Runagall-Orlić, who has a focus on cross-border aviation financing, acquisition and leasing transactions, is also a name to note. The team advised BW LPG on a $150m term loan to refinance its existing revolving credit facility, which was raised from a number of banks including ING Bank and Development Bank of Japan. Other work includes assisting with the acquisition finance for a floating storage and regasification unit, where the group worked with colleagues in the firm's London and Hong Kong offices.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP 'is consistently competitive on fees and offers good value for money' and is considered 'a market leader in the area of shipping and ship finance' and has 'a good group of associates'. Goh Mei Lin heads the department and is especially rated for shipping-related finance work. The 'commercially minded' Simon Petch and the equally commercial and 'to the point'  Mehraab Nazir are two of the core team members together with Andrew Nimmo; the trio collectively has expertise in shipping financing and transactions as well as oil and gas-related work. The team acted for a major bank as facility agent on behalf of the lenders in relation to a term-loan facility of up to $255m for the construction of a LNG carrier. It also acted for a global bank (as facility agent on behalf of a syndicate of lenders) on a $153.8m secured-loan facility and a $10m guarantee facility pertaining to the acquisitions of portfolios of marine containers, a matter further complicated by the purchase of the containers from the insolvency administrator acting on behalf of an insolvent fund. Samuel Kolehmainen and Siva Subramaniam left to join Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in 2018.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is highlighted for its 'speedy and to the point replies'. Head of aviation Simon Spells, who is 'commercially minded', stands out for his availability 'in cross-border transactions'. The team advises airlines, lessors and lenders on aircraft and engine trading, the sale and leaseback of aircraft and financing matters, and is backed by an extensive global and Asia-wide network. In highlight work, the group advised on an engine exchange arrangement with Virgin Australia Regional Airlines in relation to eight Rolls Royce engines and the related release of security by Deutsche Bank's Sydney branch. The team also advised Avolon Aerospace Leasing on the sale and lease novation of two aircraft to OrixAviation. Other team members include of counsel Sharen Sim and associate Cyril Chew, who is noted for 'shedding light on several issues not foreseen by clients thanks to his in-depth knowledge of the aviation industry'.

HFW Singapore LLP is, according to one client, 'exceptional bar non' for asset finance. John Forrester and David Brotherton lead teams that provide 'great service and good value' and 'have a very commercial approach.' Ling Lui has extensive expertise covering cross-border aviation finance and leasing as well as ship and ship equipment lease financing and Leigh Borello is noted for his considerable skills in aircraft and equipment finance, structured finance and cross-border leasing transactions. Senior associate Christopher Marrable is also noted for his strength in aviation matters. Clients include Nigeria LNG, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Nordea Bank and ABN Amro Bank. The team's recent work includes advising Crédit Agricole and others on the transactional and financing aspects of the $65m acquisition of a portfolio of 14 spare engines for Asia Aviation Capital, the leasing arm of AirAsia.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee fields 'an experienced team, with a good depth of knowledge'. The group provides expertise in areas including M&A, tax and restructuring to its asset finance clients, including Standard Chartered Bank, the Korea Development Bank, Bank of China Group and Asia Pacific Aviation Leasing Group. Matthew Leigh is 'a strong communicator, solution-focused and personable and enjoyable to work with'. Other senior team members include Alexander McMyn whose work includes advising a major European investment bank on all of its corporate jet financing and restructuring transactions for its Asian clients. Senior associate Kaveeta Sandhu is 'very driven, always prepared and clearly knowledgeable in this area'. Highlights included advising Investec on its ground-breaking financing of two aircraft with an asset value of over $100m for Angelica Aircraft Assets, the Vietnamese-managed aircraft leasing company.

Leo Fattorini is the joint head of Bird & Bird ATMD LLP's international aviation sector group and leads the firm's Asia Pacific practice. He, together with of counsel Chris Healy, handles a broad range of impressive aviation financing and transactions. Fattorini advised CMB Financial Leasing on its  purchase and leaseback of four Boeing aircraft from Turkish Airlines. Other clients include AirAsia Group, Nok Air, Jeju Air and  DVB Bank.

At Milbank, Paul Ng is the key name for aviation matters and the team acts for clients including VietJet, AirAsia and financial institutions such as BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan. The group is best known for acting for low-cost airline carriers operating across Asia and can provide European and US expertise on global transactions and financings. It acted for Korean Air and worked with Boeing, Goldman Sachs and a number of global insurance companies on the development of a new product for the market, Aircraft Finance Insurance Consortium, which is intended to provide lenders with insurance policies that simulate export credit guarantees. Its work for Minsheng Financial Leasing includes assisting the client with redeploying its Air Berlin aircraft following the latter's insolvency.

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