Banking and finance: foreign firms in Singapore

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy's sizeable team, extensive regional and product knowledge, and local presence in multiple Southeast Asia jurisdictions, ensures it is frequently top-of-mind for the most prestigious engagements in the market. It continues to hold a dominant position in acquisition finance, leveraged finance, share-backed financings, project finance, and real estate finance. It also has Singapore law banking expertise through Prakash Segaran. It continues to advise a broad range of key international, regional and local banks. Gautam Narasimhan remains a market leader in acquisition finance and is at the forefront of the burgeoning non-bank lending segment. Chris Bishop is noted for his premier position in Vietnam financings, while Jason Humphreys is a leader in energy and infrastructure financings along with Scott Lovell.  Bimal Desai has bolstered the team having transferred from Dubai in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Gautam Narasimhan; Chris Bishop

Testimonials

‘A&O’s Singapore-based credit finance team is often our first choice in financings relating to India, Indonesia, or elsewhere in SE Asia. Their partner leadership provided by Gautam Narasimhan and associate bench strength set them apart from most other firms.’

Allen and Overy is one of the leading banking practices in Southeast Asia. They have been established in the region for many years and therefore have plenty of experience across a multitude of regions including Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and Thailand.’

‘Gautam Narasimhan is as an excellent lawyer with a depth of experience in India and Southeast Asia. He works hard, understands commercial objectives, and puts the client first.’

‘We work regularly with Gautam Narasimhan who is a guru in the leveraged finance market. He is always contactable and is very popular with bankers and clients alike. Gautam has a very deep understanding of the Indian legal market in particular as well as having a focus on Indonesia.’

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

International Finance Corporation

Standard Chartered Bank

Nomura

Apollo Global Management

SMBC

BNP Paribas

DBS

OCP Asia

MUFG

Work highlights

  • Advised the arrangers on a $600m margin facility arranged by a group of global financial institutions to I-REIT ML; this was the largest ever margin financing to date in India.
  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank, DBS, Mizuho, MUFG and SMBC as mandated lead arrangers and underwriters in relation to a $2.15bn acquisition facility for San Miguel Corporation, to be used to acquire 85.74% of Holcim Philippines.
  • Acted for a global financial institution on a convertible loan facility provided to Son Kim Land and secured over shares and real estate in Vietnam.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's longstanding prominence in the market continues with the Singapore team cementing and evolving relationships with key banks and private equity houses, in particular. Much of the practice is now driven by private equity clients and it continues to develop its standing regionally, in major jurisdictions such as India and Indonesia. The wider banking and finance group was augmented by the hire of leading restructuring lawyer Shaun Langhorne from Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee in early 2020. Andrew Hutchins is a recognised authority in acquisition and leveraged finance, as is emerging talent Thomas England.

Other key lawyers:

Shaun Langhorne

Testimonials

‘Clifford Chance’s Singapore banking practice has consistently been very respected throughout the region. They have great experience in a number of different jurisdictions including Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand.’

‘Thomas England is a talented and extremely dedicated banking and finance lawyer. He is very approachable and provides user-friendly and practical advice. He is resilient under pressure and always strives to deliver to the highest quality.’

 

Key clients

ICG Strategic Equity Advisors

Quadria Capital Investment Management

Maybank Kim Eng Securities

UBS

Export Development Canada

ABN AMRO Bank

ING Bank

United Overseas Bank

Linklaters

Linklaters is one of the premier names in acquisition and leveraged finance, advising international lenders, credit funds, private equity sponsors, and corporate borrowers. India, Vietnam, and Indonesia are the team's primary markets. The group was further augmented in November 2019 with the lateral hire of Andrew Payne, a prominent lawyer in debt restructuring and special situations transactions, from DLA Piper. Moreover, the firm was re-joined by banking partner Fiona Gray, having spent 12 years at Credit Suisse. The immensely experienced Philip Badge has a huge reputation amongst major banks and non-bank lenders, and has achieved further prominence in India financings in recent years. Singapore managing partner Christopher Bradley is also highly rated. Former counsel Charles McConnell has joined White & Case Pte. Ltd.

Practice head(s):

Philip Badge

Testimonials

‘Linklaters is clearly the leading regional firm in private credit and restructuring in the Singapore / Southeast Asian region.’

‘Linklaters’ strength remains its integrated partnership and depth of talented associates for due diligence and drafting.’

‘Led by Chris Bradley, the team leads the way in offshore financing expertise for Indonesia, India, and other key markets such as the Philippines/Thailand. ‘

‘Chris Bradley stands out as a leading lawyer with expertise in his field. His knowledge of complex private debt transactions involves multiple jurisdictions and different return elements.’

‘Both Chris Bradley and Phil Badge are acknowledged leaders in the banking and finance space in Southeast Asia. Together they have a wealth of experience in all the major jurisdictions around Southeast Asia including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.’

Key clients

Barclays

Cathay United Bank

MUFG

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

DBS Bank

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

ING Bank

Investec Bank

JP Morgan

Maybank

Nomura

Standard Chartered Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP is primarily recognised for energy, mining, and infrastructure financings in Indonesia for Chinese lenders. This is in large part thanks to the presence of Chin Chuan Chen. Syndicated lending, trade, and commodity finance, and acquisition and leveraged finance are also core to the practice. Jean Woo heads the practice, covering syndicated lending, acquisition finance, and trade and commodities finance, and sustainable finance; she led the team that advised ING Bank on the world’s first sustainability performance-linked fund financing. Alfred Ng is a key player in project finance in the power, infrastructure, and oil and gas sectors. Evan Lam joined the team in May 2020 from Allen & Gledhill LLP to reinforce the group's financial regulatory capabilities.

Other key lawyers:

Cara Stevens; Evan Lam

Testimonials

‘Very pragmatic in their service delivery, good quality legal advice but at the same time being very commercial, coupled with the ability to be flexible in billing/fee arrangements and more open-minded about cost overruns.’

‘The transaction they assisted us on had a very tight timeframe and a difficult counterparty and they handled everything in their stride, including working through public holidays and weekends to get the deal done.’

‘Nothing is too much trouble.’

Key clients

Australian and New Zealand Banking Group

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

HSBC Bank

DBS Bank

ICBC

Societe Generale

Bank Mandiri

VP Bank

Bank of China

China Development Bank

China Construction Bank

HPS Investment Partners

White Oak ABL

Indies Capital Partners

PTT International Trading

Freepoint Commodities

Work highlights

  • Acted as the lead counsel to ING on the world’s first sustainability performance linked fund financing.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow has maintained impressive activity levels even in the challenging climate. Acquisition finance and real estate finance has remained robust, while the team has successfully targeted the distressed lending and restructuring segments. Vietnam has been a particularly bright spot for the Singapore group and India continues to provide a solid flow of deals. Thailand and Indonesia are historically strong markets for the department, which is largely weighted towards lenders, including a growing number of credit funds. James Huang and Emmanuel Hadjidakis are senior members of the banking and finance community, with Kah Chin Chu and Kenneth Chuah providing further high-level expertise, the latter in trade finance.

Practice head(s):

James Huang; Emmanuel Hadjidakis

Other key lawyers:

Kah Chin Chu; Kenneth Chuah

Testimonials

‘Baker Mckenzie is the go-to firm for advisory on structured trade finance solutions and the lawyers truly understand the clients. They are very insightful and are experts in respective fields.’

‘The Baker McKenzie team goes the extra mile to ensure that their legal advice to us is specifically tailored to our business needs. They are also willing to push the envelope on what we can and/or cannot do, when dealing with grey areas in the law.’

‘James Huang is able to make commercially viable recommendations when hit with a legal issue.’

‘Kenneth Chuah stood out and our team members were impressed by his detailed knowledge of debt restructuring, attention to detail, his intimate network in the Singapore and Malaysia banking sector, restructuring creativity, and his overall advice on prioritising the legal risks and rendering commercially sound advice.’

‘Kenneth Chuah understands us very quickly and is able to provide very practical advice.’

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank

HSBC Holdings

UBS Group

Deutsche Bank

ANZ Bank

Rabobank

MUFG Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mizuho Bank

DBS Bank

United Overseas Bank

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation

CIMB Bank

RHB Bank

BlackRock

Shaw Kwei & Partners

Strategic Value Partners

Keppel Capital Holdings

Goldbell Evolution Network

Perusahaan Listrik Negara

Work highlights

  • Acted as MLA counsel on the $1.2bn refinancing for SKI Carbon Black (Mauritius), the Mauritius-based holding company of Aditya Birla Group’s carbon black business.
  • Acted for Maybank Investment Bank, coordinating MLA and bookrunner on the £1.6bn forward sale of the commercial elements of the Battersea Power Station building in Phase 2 of the Battersea site in London, to Permodalan Nasional and Employee’s Provident Fund.
  • Acted for lender CIMB on Project Helipad 2, a S$186m and MYR174m  senior and mezzanine financing, with proceeds used to refinance and reorganise the Pathology Asia Holdings Group (majority owned by TPG).

Jones Day

Jones Day's senior ranks were augmented by the elevation of the highly-rated Vinay Kurien to the partnership in January 2020. The firm continues to impress in acquisition finance, trade and receivables financings, project financings and is making inroads into new markets such as sustainability-linked loans; it advised the lead arrangers and book-runners, sustainability coordinators, and the lenders on a sustainability-linked $650m revolving loan facility to Louis Dreyfus Company Asia. Sushma Jobanputra is an experienced finance practitioner, particularly in the acquisition, leveraged, and trade finance spaces. Karthik Kumar remains noted for project finance, particularly in the renewables segment.

Practice head(s):

Sushma Jobanputra

Other key lawyers:

Vinay Kurien; Karthik Kumar

Testimonials

‘The team at Jones Day is one of the best you can have in your corner in any deal.’

‘That they’re knowledgeable, innovative and solution-oriented is a given, but they have an intuitive sense of the client’s needs and are able to provide valuable advice on when to compromise and when to dig in for a fight.’

‘Not every negotiation becomes a war of attrition with them, helping deals get done more seamlessly. They also have a deep well of experience across regions, which they can draw on to offer clients practical solutions.’

‘Sushma Jobanputra is for good reason one of the most highly respected lawyers in Singapore.’

‘Vinay Kurien is a great lawyer and bound to be a big name. He’s calm, pragmatic, highly experienced on a variety of finance matters, and keeps client interests front and centre.’

‘Vinay Kurien managed many disparate stakeholders deftly to get to a solution for us that seemed almost impossible at one stage.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

ABN Amro Bank

Arsenal Capital Partners

Crescent Point Group

Godrej Consumer Products

L-Catterton Asia

PETRONAS Chemicals

UPL

Westpac Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised UPL Limited on its $4.2bn acquisition and related $3bn term financing of Arysta Lifescience from Platform Specialty Products .
  • Represented ABN AMRO Bank, DBS Bank and others as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners, ABN AMRO Bank and DBS Bank as sustainability coordinators, and each of the lenders in connection with a sustainability-linked $650m revolving loan facility provided to Louis Dreyfus Company Asia.
  • Represented Westpac Banking Corporation and State Bank of India in connection with a $ 1.7bn financing provided to Indian Oil Corporation.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has an outstanding record in leveraged finance, acquisition financings, and bank-bond financings. It advised San Miguel on a term loan facility in connection with its subsidiary First Stronghold Cement Industries' acquisition of Holcim Philippines. The Singapore team also advises a number of private equity houses on acquisition finance facilities for their portfolio companies. Other clients include a range of international banks and corporate borrowers. Timothy Hia now chairs the Asia-wide finance practice.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Hia

Key clients

San Miguel Corporation

TPG Capital

Warburg Pincus

OCP Asia

PT Energi Mega Persada

Goldman Sachs

MyRepublic Group

EMP Bentu

Corbin Capital Partnersw

Deutsche Bank

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown has an extensive banking and finance team, operating primarily in the acquisition and leveraged finance, and structured trade and commodities finance segments. The sizeable group advises a large number of international and regional banks, private equity houses, and corporate borrowers. The structured trade and commodities finance team led by Angelia Chia and Benjamin Sandstad are close to a range of multilateral development banks, global and regional banks, fund houses, commodity traders, and corporates. Partners Kayal Sachi and Ian Roebuck, along with counsel Pierre Dzakpasu, are highly rated for acquisition and leveraged finance in Southeast Asia and India; Sachi, in particular, is hugely experienced in India-related financings, including financings linked to private equity investments and India outbound M&A transactions.

Other key lawyers:

Pierre Dzakpasu

Testimonials

‘Excellent coverage for leveraged finance and banking transactions.’

‘A greater level of direct partner-level contact than other firms.’

‘Ian Roebuck is highly experienced, calm under pressure, and technically very strong.’

‘Ian Roebuck provides excellent advice derived from years of experience across multiple markets and financings. Ian stays involved in the entire transaction meaning you’re not paying to train the junior team, hence the quality of output is excellent.’

‘Pierre Dzakpasu has significant prior in-house experience and is a seasoned, versatile and dynamic lawyer. One to watch.’

Key clients

HSBC

ADB

MUFG

ING

JP Morgan

Sumitrust

BNP Paribas

Wells Fargo

Deutsche Bank

Société Générale

Milbank

Milbank continues to earn recognition for its leadership in project finance, along with broader energy and resources financings. Much of the team's activity is centred on Indonesia, though its outstanding lender relationships brings it into other jurisdictions such as Malaysia. The Singapore group worked alongside Tokyo colleagues and others to advise the lenders, including six export credit agencies and a group of nearly 50 commercial banks, on the headline financing for the development of the refinery and petrochemical integrated project (RAPID) and other associated facilities in Southern Johor, Malaysia. Resident in Singapore since 1997, David Zemans has a hugely impressive record in Indonesia financings, while James Murray remains a leader in project finance around the region. James Orme is an emerging talent and is at the forefront of many of the team's biggest engagements.

Practice head(s):

David Zemans

Key clients

PT Adaro Indonesia / PT Adaro Energy

Asian Development Bank

International Finance Corporation

MUFG

SMBC

PT Bank Mandiri (Persero)

Standard Chartered Bank

Citibank

Tata Steel

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders, Wakala investors in connection with the $1.8bn financing of the Jambaran Tiung Biru gas field unitization project.
  • Advised PT Adaro Indonesia / PT Adaro Energy  in connection with their issuance of $750 million 4.25% guaranteed senior notes.
  • Advised the lenders, including six export credit agencies and a group of nearly 50 commercial banks, in connection with financing for the RAPID Project in Malaysia.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is consistently singled out as a leading firm in trade and commodities finance, along with energy and infrastructure finance. Reserve based lending is another forte for the firm, which has made further inroads into the syndicated loans, green loans, and acquisition finance markets. It is also making an impression in restructurings and complex workouts, while debt fund financing is another growth area. The team advised Frasers Property Limited on a A$750m five-year term loan facility, comprising of a A$500m green loan and a A$250m term loan. Yu-En Ong heads the Singapore office and the structured lending and markets team. Stephen Begley is rated for oil and gas sector financings, while Nick Merritt is a leader in project and infrastructure finance. Structured lending specialist Janelene Chen was promoted to partner in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Yu-En Ong

Testimonials

‘Strong execution capabilities and commercially focused on getting things done.’

‘NRF stands out from the rest for being well qualified in many jurisdictions and the lawyers are trusted to always be able to deliver in cross-border transaction advisory and execution.’

‘They are always my first choice for a client referral. The rapport and guidance was outstanding at all times.’

‘Yu-En Ong remains an incredibly steady pair of hands, solution-focused and backed by huge experience in the market.’

‘Yu-En Ong is a very detail-oriented and highly knowledgeable lawyer. Yu-En is the first person that I will call for a highly complex transaction involving multiple jurisdictions as I believe that he is one of the most knowledgeable partners in Singapore for debt transaction structuring.’

‘Ang Kai Ye is an outstanding associate with a sharp legal mind and strong business acumen.’

Key clients

ABN AMRO

Frasers Property

United Overseas Bank

BNP Paribas

DBS Bank

Pierfront Capital Mezzanine Fund

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation

Siam Commercial Public Bank

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

Societe Generale

Mashreqbank

Airtrunk Operating

White & Case Pte. Ltd.

White & Case Pte. Ltd. rebooted its banking and finance practice in 2019 and 2020 with the hire of new department head Alexander McMyn from Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee and Charles McConnell as a partner from Linklaters. The new team has pivoted the firm towards international lenders in greater alignment with the Hong Kong office and other offices in the network. Much of the practice centres on traditional acquisition and leveraged finance; notably private equity and infrastructure fund-driven financings. Corporate finance, trade finance, and project finance are also key. John Shum has joined King & Wood Mallesons and Gee Hou Tng has joined Mishcon de Reya as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Alexander McMyn

Other key lawyers:

Charles McConnell

Testimonials

‘White & Case Singapore has a strong banking and finance team.’

Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn is a major player in Indonesia-related financings and in the oil and gas (including reserve-based lending) and energy sectors. The team, led by the highly-rated and experienced Jamie Thomas, principally focuses on large borrowers and has achieved further prominence in big-ticket and complex debt restructurings; it represented MAXpower Group in its headline and long-running restructuring programme and the Duniatex group of companies on a complex restructuring process. Acquisition finance is another particular forte for the department.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Thomas

Testimonials

‘Jamie Thomas and his team understand our businesses very well and he is effective at driving a deal to close. Jamie has a great command of the laws and regulations of Southeast Asia generally and therefore we have him usually lead the deal with onshore local counsel only when required.’

‘Jamie Thomas is a veteran with vast knowledge, experience, and a passion for finance, restructuring, and energy-related matters that really is second to none. Jamie has a great command over the deal. He is one of the few veterans left in the market in this region who can come up with extremely unique and complex structures and is a master at catering the law to the client’s needs.’

Key clients

UBS

Bank of America

MedcoEnergi

Mizuho Corporate Bank

Goldman Sachs

Japanese Bank for International Cooperation

Duniatex Group

OCP Asia

MAXpower Group

PT Indika Energy

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has an excellent record in energy, oil and gas, and natural resources financings; reserve-based lending is a particular forte. It advised Yinson Holdings on its $800m refinancing of one of the company's oil and gas floatation, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels currently operating off the coast of Ghana. TMT is another growth segment. The banking and finance team has a strong focus on Indonesia and Myanmar, along with Malaysia. Adrian Cheng is head of the Asia finance practice, while Siva Subramanian and Samuel Kolehmainen provide further aviation finance expertise. Former partner Katie Gray has left the practice.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Cheng

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled experience in international reserve-based finance transactions.’

‘Strong documentation focus and commercial acumen.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Yinson Holdings Berhad

Work highlights

  • Advised ADB on its financing to XACBank in Mongolia of up to $55m to support XACBank’s financing to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Mongolia, focusing on those owned by women and located outside Ulaanbaatar.
  • Advised Yinson Holdings on its $800m refinancing of one of the company’s oil and gas floatation, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels currently operating off the coast of Ghana.
  • Advised ADB as lender on its financing to PT Indosurya Inti Finance of up to $80m to finance small and medium-sized enterprises in Indonesia.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee's core team is centred around asset finance, energy and infrastructure finance, and fund financings. Charles Clayton-Payne rejoined the Singapore office in July 2020 from Harneys in Hong Kong to reinforce the general banking and finance practice following the departure of department head Alexander McMyn to White & Case Pte. Ltd. in 2019; Clayton-Payne replenishes the firm's standing in acquisition finance, leveraged finance, and structured lending, amongst other areas. It has achieved additional prominence in subscription line financings for private equity clients. Indonesia and Vietnam are key markets for the team, which frequently works alongside colleagues in both jurisdictions. Samantha Campbell has a regional project finance practice, and oversees the firm's operations in Vietnam and the Mekong region. Counsel Soumitro Mukerji provides further senior-level banking and finance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Leigh

Key clients

Allied Gold Corporation

BNP Paribas

Standard Chartered Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Deutsche Bank

Macquarie

Investec

MUFG

Citi Bank

OCBC Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Allied Gold in the acquisition and subsequent $105m financing of gold mines in West Africa’s Ivory Coast. The project finance package with Orion Resource Partners comprised an equity investment, a facility agreement, a gold stream, and life of mine offtake.
  • Asvised the senior finance parties, including the Asian Development Bank, GuarantCo, and MEAG on a $160m structured satellite financing to Kacific Broadband Satellites International to launch Kacific-1, a hosted payload sharing a Boeing 702-MP spacecraft bus with Japanese operator Sky Perfect JSAT.
  • Advised Anglo American Marketing as the long term offtaker of copper under an offtake agreement with a large scale copper cathode manufacturer in China, including due diligence and advice in connection with long term third party finance.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has continued to expand its team at the associate level following the headline hire of market leader Andrew Brereton from Clifford Chance in January 2019. Brereton has brought in a series of new clients and major instructions to the firm since joining. The growing team now advises a range of international and regional banks, credit funds, corporate borrowers, and private equity sponsors. It is primarily focused on leveraged finance, structured lending, and special situations financings, and is a growing force in sustainable lending.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Brereton

Other key lawyers:

Soumya Bhagavatula

Testimonials

‘The working team was very conscious about the commercial and risk position of the client that they represent, but at the same time, was able to provide insights into the market conventions and the practical aspects of the various issues.’

‘The team took time to explain English law legal concepts and procedures, which we were not accustomed to, and was able to find practical solutions to potential technical restrictions, which made it possible for the transaction to successfully close.’

‘Soumya Bhagavatula almost single-handedly managed the entire documentation of the transaction. Considering the complexity of the structure, the challenges encountered during the negotiation stage, and the relatively difficult dealings with the counterparty, this was a remarkable showcase of patience, understanding, and experience in negotiations.’

Key clients

Pierfront Capital Mezzanine Fund

Catalina Holdings (Bermuda)

Keppel Capital Holdings

Bumi Armada

Work highlights

  • Advised BPI in relation to a $100 million facility for Del Monte as part of Del Monte’s recent high-profile recapitalisation of its balance sheet.
  • Advised a special situations lender in relation to financing Blue Planet’s strategic acquisition of a significant stake in Zigma Global Environ Solutions.
  • Advised Bumi Armada on the $64m secured non-recourse financing of the FPSO Armada TGT1 and related interest rate hedging arrangements.

Morrison & Foerster (Singapore) LLP

Morrison & Foerster (Singapore) LLP continues to make an impression in acquisition and leveraged finance, along with private equity financings, real estate finance and has a particular niche in subscription line financings. It represents a range of banks, credit funds, and corporate borrowers. Yemi Tépé leads the team in Singapore, is noted for her background in acquisition and leveraged finance, and covers a broad geographic region, including Singapore, Greater China, and Japan. Tessa Davis provides further senior-level project financing expertise.

Practice head(s):

Yemi Tépé

Other key lawyers:

Tessa Davis

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely helpful and thoughtful. The team provides strategic advice that goes beyond just the standard legal implications.’

‘Yemi Tépé is sharp and experienced, understands the issues, and gives several alternative solutions for us to choose from.’

Key clients

Ascendent Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented Ascendent Capital Partners in its $150m investment in Best Assistant Education Online, an education business subsidiary of NetDragon Websoft Holdings.
  • Represented Ascendent Automation (Cayman) as one of the Joint Offerors in its offer to privatize China Automation Group by way of a Cayman scheme of arrangement.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons has diversified its banking and finance practice from one that was largely centred on trade and commodity finance to one that now includes a much higher percentage of structured lending, including a number of bulge-bracket deals. Real estate finance, funds finance, and margin lending are key growth areas. The Singapore team remains particularly wedded to regional and international bank clients and has seen further growth in India and Malaysia financings, while maintaining a solid flow of engagements in Indonesia, Vietnam and elsewhere. Calvin Tan leads the team, which saw trade and commodities finance specialist Matthew Cox return to London and Dan Marjanovic retire. While the team is lighter at partner level, it did recruit Weiling Lee as a managing associate from Credit Suisse at the end of 2019.

Practice head(s):

Rolfe Hayden

Other key lawyers:

Calvin Tan; Weiling Lee

Testimonials

‘They have been commercially minded and professional in providing their services and advice. In particular, they are able to advise what’s market and off market.’

‘Calvin Tan has very strong commercial sense and is very responsive to work order requests.’

‘Calvin Tan is first class, he is very hands on and always approachable, and he is very intelligent. His previous litigation background means that he has the ability to zoom in on the range of issues, tell us how the issue could pan out in court, and provide solutions that are commercial, innovative and most importantly gets us results.’

‘Lee Weiling is very responsive and hardworking. She’s overall a pleasure to work with. Weiling was able to deal with some tricky situations with patience and professionalism, while protecting the client’s interests.’

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank

Deutsche Bank

HSBC Bank

OCBC Bank

Bank of China

Credit Suisse

Haitong International

Mizuho Bank

Gunvor Group

Anglo-American Marketing Limited

BP Singapore

ING Bank

Qatar National Bank

Natixis

Work highlights

  • Advised Deutsche Bank on the syndicated structured prepayment financing to the Zhengcai Hangzhou Group.
  • Advised Gunvor on its billion dollar Asian syndicated committed revolving loan facilities.
  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank on a highly structured receivables financing facility for the Li & Fung group of companies.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's broader finance practice largely centres on aviation, maritime, and energy (including oil and gas). The Singapore office represents a range of financial institutions, ECAs, and corporate borrowers. While there remains a major component of asset financings, the team frequently advises on wider in-sector financings, including heavily structured facilities. Moreover, its lender clients also engage the firm for financings in other areas such as commodities-related loans. Head of the Singapore office Mei Lin Goh has extensive experience in energy and maritime financings, Charles Viggers has transferred to Singapore from Paris to reinforce the firm's standing in aviation finance. Mehraab Nazir is noted for asset and project finance, particularly in the transportation and offshore oil and gas segments. Former partner Shawn Er joined Air Products in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Goh Mei Lin

Other key lawyers:

Mehraab Nazir; Charles Viggers

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

Crédit Industriel et Commercial

European ECAs for Airbus exports (Euler Hermes, UK Export Finance and Bpifrance Assurance Export)

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

Woori Bank

Deutsche Bank

Bank of America

Bank of Communications

BW Maritime

Credit Suisse

DVB Bank

ING Bank

Korea Development Bank

MUFG Bank

Nord LB

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

ANZ Banking Group

Mizuho Bank

Commerzbank

Work highlights

  • Advised a large syndicate on the financing of a $550m revolving credit facility to subsidiaries of the ECOM group.
  • Advised ING on its $100m multi-currency revolving credit facility to COSCO Shipping Ports.
  • Advised the syndicate of lenders in relation to the JOLCO asset financing of two A320 NEO aircraft (MSN 9330 and MSN 9074) for Scandinavian Airlines System.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper continues to make an impression in special situations and distressed financings, notably in Indonesia. It is also a growing force in energy and infrastructure financings. Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Cambodia are amongst the team's primary markets. Practice head Timothy Tan splits his time between Bangkok and Singapore, and is recognised for acquisition and leveraged finance, along with distressed and special situations financings. Vincent Seah is noted for power sector financings.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Tan; Matthias Schemuth

Other key lawyers:

Vincent Seah

Testimonials

‘Strong technical capabilities in the structured trade finance space with a good balance of commercial perspective.’

‘Strong technical knowledge predicated on experience in the various industries and structures. Professional in their interactions. Responsive to any queries.’

Key clients

JPMorgan

HSBC

MUFG Bank

Deutsche Bank

DBS

Barito Pacific

PT Indo Raya Tenaga

HFW Singapore LLP

HFW Singapore LLP has an outstanding record in aviation and ship finance, from which it has developed a rounded banking and finance practice, including trade and commodities finance, infrastructure finance, and project finance. John Forrester is a leader in ship finance and David Brotherton is prominent in the aviation finance segment, though both have broad experiences in the financing sector. Asset finance specialist Ling Lui provides further senior level experience. In recent news, Peter Zaman has joined from Reed Smith LLP.

Practice head(s):

David Brotherton; John Forrester

Other key lawyers:

Ling Lui

Testimonials

‘The team is well-versed in financing transactions in the aviation, trade, and commodities space.’

‘Ling Lui is very dedicated to her clients and always delivers an excellent service promptly and effectively.’

‘Ling Lui is professional, helpful, efficient, and with a market sense.’

Key clients

d’Amico Tankers

City of Athens and Eco Nine

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken

MUFG Bank

Development Bank of Japan

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

KDB Asia

Goshawk

Avation

Avolon Aerospace Leasing

ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company

Tasik Subsea

DNB Bank

ABN AMRO Bank

Nordea Bank

Svenska Handelsbanken

DVB Bank

Banque Internationale à Luxembourg

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

Citigroup Europe

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Danske Bank

Nigeria LNG

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe

Landbridge Group

Arab Bank (Switzerland)

Maritime & Merchant Bank

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons established a highly-credible banking and finance practice in November 2019 with the hire of John Shum from White & Case Pte. Ltd. Shum is an experienced figure in acquisition and leveraged finance and has close connections to major Chinese banks. He has worked extensively across the globe, including in New York, London, and Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

John Shum

Key clients

CMB Wing Lung Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised the mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, and facility agent, on a syndicated facility for Far East Horizon.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP is combining its presence in structured finance and derivatives along with its longstanding expertise in trade and commodities finance, to focus on sustainable finance, including carbon finance. Omar Al-Ali, a trade and commodities finance specialist transferred to Singapore from London in July 2020 to replace Jessica Kenworthy after her departure to Squire Patton Boggs in November 2019. In more recent news, Singapore Managing Partner Peter Zaman moved to HFW Singapore LLP in January 2021.

Stephenson Harwood LLP

Stephenson Harwood LLP is a major presence in Southeast Asia and it has enlarged its connections to regional banks and funds. The firm's general banking and finance practice is founded on longstanding expertise in shipping and aviation finance, and restructuring and insolvency. Gregory Xu specialises in transportation, oil and gas (including FPSOs, FSRUs, and LNG vessels). Singapore, India, and the Philippines are the primary markets.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Xu

Key clients

MUFG Bank

Mizuho Bank

TransAsia Private Capital

Golden Equator

ABN AMRO Bank

NordLB

BNP Paribas

Bank of China

Credit Agricole

Credit Suisse

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

AION Capital

Axis Bank

DMI Finance India

HDFC Bank

ICICI Bank

Q&M Dental

Bank of Communications

CTBC Bank

Bank of Baroda

Chailease

China Minsheng Banking Corporation

Aditya Birla Finance

China Construction Bank

OCP Asia

UOB

Campana Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the creditors of Agritrade International in the judicial management of Agritrade International, with a total debt of about $1.55bn, one of the largest insolvencies in Singapore. Also advised the creditors on the restructuring of Agritrade Resources.
  • Advised top-tier PRC lessors including CMB Financial Leasing on the financing of the ten 15,500 TEU containerships order worth over $1bn.
  • Advised MUFG Bank on its US$300 million convertible bridge facility to Aurobindo Pharma.