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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: foreign firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Gareth Deiner - Clifford Chance
    • Phill Hall - Linklaters
    • Marcus Lee - Latham & Watkins LLP
    • James McFarlane - Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
    • Parveet Singh Gandoak - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    • Aloysius Tan - Allen & Overy

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy is active across equity capital markets (ECM) and debt capital markets (DCM), including both conventional and Islamic structures. It is the ‘market leader in the capital markets space in South-East Asia’ and handles a ‘large number of deals in the Indian market’. The firm has been at the forefront of Sukuk transactions in Asia and has a strong record with sovereign issuers; it advised the banks on the Republic of Indonesia’s $10bn sovereign trust certificates (sukuk) issuance programme and its $1.75bn issuance under the programme. It also represented the government of Hong Kong on its third sukuk issuance; it previously advised the client on its prior two issuances. Moreover, the firm has featured prominently in initial public offerings (IPOs) in the region, particularly in Vietnam and Thailand; it advised VietJet, Vietnam’s leading low-cost international airline, on its $170m IPO on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange. Ken Aboud has retired, but the firm reinforced the team by relocating the ‘responsive and effective’ Alexander Stathopoulos from Hong Kong and counsel Tim Beech from London. Jeremy Stoupas is a leading figure on DCM deals and Yin Mei Lock on ECM transactions.

Clifford Chance has an impressive record in India and South-East Asia. In early 2017, the ‘superior’, ‘professional’, ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘seamless’ Singapore team that provides ‘fast response times’, advised the underwriters on the $184m IPO of BSE (formerly the Bombay Stock Exchange). It also represented the bookrunners on Indiabulls Housing Finance’s $200m senior secured notes listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX); this was only the fourth Masala bond to be issued following the adoption of new rules by the Reserve Bank of India enabling Indian companies to raise offshore Rupee-denominated financing in the international debt capital markets. Other key jurisdictions for the team include Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore itself. The firm has ‘a great practice’ and an especially dominant market share of equity deals in Malaysia. Singapore and English qualified Raymond Tong ‘provides solid and quick legal advice’ and ‘drives the transaction forward’. US securities partner Johannes Juette and India qualified Rahul Guptan are also senior members of the team, along with counsel Gareth Deiner, who is ‘constructive’, ‘helpful’, ‘easy to deal with’ and a ‘sure hand on any type of transactions or products’. Crawford Brickley left the firm in 2016 to become president and chief legal officer of Skepsis Capital.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s longstanding and fervent commitment to Singapore has enabled it to be a prominent player in both DCM and ECM. The firm has impressed with its record in Singapore IPOs, India listings and US equity offerings. It also brings its world-leading high-yield debt expertise to the Singapore and South-East Asia markets. Clients include Barclays Bank, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Fullerton Healthcare, Golden Energy and Resources, Hunan Valin Iron & Steel Group, Temasek, and Vedanta Resources. In January 2017, the firm advised Vedanta Resources on its $1bn high-yield bond issuance; this was the largest single tranche G3 high-yield bond issuance by an Indian company since 2015. It also represented Morgan Stanley as lead manager in India Grid Trust’s $350m IPO. ‘Wonderful lawyerSharon Lau, Michael Sturrock and India expert Rajiv Gupta are key individuals.

Providing an ‘exceptional service’, Linklaters has revamped its practice following key retirements in recent years, including Kevin Wong in July 2017. Hyung Ahn, who is rated highly for his ‘knowledge’ and ‘focus on quality’, and Jonathan Horan, who is ‘highly reliable, professional and personable’, have relocated to Singapore from Seoul and Hong Kong respectively, along with former Hong Kong counsel Xavier Amadei. They have linked up with established Singapore counsel Phill Hall, who is a ‘sensible operator’ and ‘good to deal with’. The new team covers a range of products with a focus on India, South-East Asia and Australia; in particular, the group has made a particular impression with regards to covered bonds and Islamic bonds. It advised OCBC on the establishment of its $10bn global covered bond programme, this followed the firm’s advice on DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank’s covered bond programmes. The firm is best known for DCM and equity-linked deals in Singapore, though it is building its name in ECM. The mix of English and US qualified partners and counsel makes the team especially attractive to clients and this is enabling the department to build some market share in high-yield debt. The bank heavy practice represents a variety of big names including regional banks, Chinese banks and Japanese banks. It also acts for a number of issuer clients in Indonesia and Malaysia especially.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow has a long history in the capital markets space and has increased its market share on both the equity and debt sides. Historically, the firm has focused on issuer representation, but is an increasing presence on the underwriter side. India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are among its primary markets of activity. On the DCM front, it has made an impression in investment grade, high-yield, convertible bonds and liability management transactions. Pallavi Gopinath Aney is ‘extremely strong on knowledge, professionalism and accessibility’, and is ‘business-friendly and willing to work at solving problems’. She led the team that advised Frasers Centrepoint Trust and HSBC Institutional Trust Services on the establishment of the trust’s debut English law governed $3bn multicurrency debt issuance programme. She also represented Emirates NBD and Sun Global Investments as joint lead managers in the INR5.02bn masala bond issuance by ECL Finance. Ashok Lalwani is the other key partner.

The ‘professional’ and ‘responsive’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is known primarily for its equity practice though is making ground in DCM. It has a particularly strong record in Indonesia, India, Australia and China; the arrival of experienced figure Eugene Lee from Latham & Watkins LLP into its Singapore formal law alliance Prolegis LLC is expected to boost its presence on Singapore and Malaysia deals and in the debt space, including high-yield bonds. The firm has already made progress in DCM products such as MTN programmes, convertible bonds and sukuks; its new Kuala Lumpur office provides additional Islamic finance capabilities. Clients include Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, Axis Capital, Standard Chartered and Morgan Stanley. The firm advised the underwriters on the $270m IPO by Cikarang Listrindo, the Indonesian power producer, on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. Moreover, it represented the underwriters on the $285m IPO by Avenue Supermarts, the Indian supermarket chain, on the Bombay Stock Exchange. US securities partner Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan is ‘very experienced, and a good mediator and communicator between underwriters and issuers’. Philip Lee is another name to note.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is recommended for high-yield debt transactions, particularly in the commodities sector and most notably in Indonesia. Beyond Indonesia, the firm has a genuinely credible South-East Asia-wide practice with an additionally strong record in India. The firm is making a push in equity, particularly in Indonesia and in equity listings for Singapore REITS and business trusts. Equity-linked transactions are also an increasing part of the practice. Historically, the firm has leant towards acting for underwriters, but now has a thriving issuer-facing practice, including for sovereign and sovereign-linked issuers. The team advised the joint lead managers on the $534m high-yield bond offering by Delhi International Airport. Naomi Ishikawa is a ‘top-class operator’, and Giles Kennedy and David Zemans are also recommended.

White & Case Pte. Ltd. has a solid market share of equity and debt deals in Thailand and China, and an especially strong record in Indonesia. The firm works with a range of international banks on the underwriter side such as Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS, and issuers including the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia. It represented the underwriters on Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s $1.2bn US-registered sale of ordinary shares and American depository shares. It also advised the Republic of Indonesia on its first dual-tranche Eurobond offering with an aggregate value of €3bn. Head of the firm’s Asia capital markets practice Kaya Proudian covers both debt and equity work, and is dual-qualified in New York and England & Wales. David Barwise is recommended for structured finance, securitisation and derivatives.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a fine record in Hong Kong listings for Singapore issuers, thanks to its reputable Singapore practice and market-leading ECM team in Hong Kong. The Singapore department worked alongside its Hong Kong colleagues to advise BOC Aviation, the global aircraft leasing company, on its $1.1bn IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). The firm is also active in listings by REITs that have assets outside Singapore and has a burgeoning DCM practice, including high-yield bond deals for banks and issuers. The firm has strong relationships with major investment banks and other intermediaries, private equity houses and many regional issuers. Senior figure Stephen Revell now splits his time between Singapore and Hong Kong, and Arun Balasubramanian provides additional India and South-East Asia experience, US securities expertise and a notable record in high-yield debt.

The ‘very responsive, pragmatic and knowledgeable’ group at Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee is best recognised for EMTN programmes and a range of DCM transactions including equity-linked and liability management deals. It is also known for corporate trustee work for clients such as Bank of New York Mellon. The Singapore team covers the whole of Asia Pacific with a particular focus on Australia; it acted for Vicinity Ventures, a leading Australian REIT, during the establishment of its €2bn EMTN programme, and advised RHB Bank as issuer on the update of its $5bn EMTN programme and its $500m bond issuance under the programme. The ‘very efficient and responsive’ Andy Ferris ‘sees the broader picture’ and co-heads the Asia international DCM practice, while corporate partner Mark Cooper provides additional expertise on the equity side. Associate Daniel Mok is ‘calm, considered and very diligent’.

With Jeffrey Maddox returning to Jones Day in 2016 and now leading its Singapore capital markets practice, the firm is well placed to maintain its impressive market share of ECM deals in India and Indonesia; earlier in the year the firm suffered the departure of India specialist Manoj Bhargava to Sidley Austin LLP. Maddox is an immensely experienced figure with exceptional contacts with key financial institutions, especially in India. While better known for ECM transactions, the ‘very professional’ team also has genuine credibility in high-yield and investment grade debt deals. In 2016, a team led by of counsel Paul Kuo advised the lead book-running managers on Parag Milk Foods’ $112m IPO on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India.

The ‘detail-oriented’ and ‘hardworking’ team at Norton Rose Fulbright has three senior capital markets practitioners in Vicky Münzer-Jones and Colin Rice and of counsel Cynthia Teo. Since Rice’s arrival from Credit Suisse in 2016, the team has experienced a further uptick in DCM, derivatives and structured products work for a variety of global and regional banks, trustees and issuers (particularly those in the energy, transport and financial institutions sectors); clients include Bank of New York Mellon, DBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered, JP Morgan Securities, Tenaga Nasional and CIMB Investment Bank. Praised as a ‘very safe pair of hands’, Münzer-Jones recently led the Singapore team that advised Tenaga Nasional on the establishment of its $2.5bn multicurrency sukuk issuance programme and its first $750m sukuk under the programme.

Though widely recognised for high-yield debt, Shearman & Sterling LLP has a genuinely broad capital markets practice with a fine record in investment grade deals and IPOs throughout South-East Asia and India. The firm acts for most of the bulge-bracket investment banks and regional blue-chip and start-up issuers. Its industry experience ranges from renewable energy to casinos and it has experienced a notable uptick in mining deals. Work highlights included advising Greenko Energy Holdings and Greenko Investment Company on a $500m high-yield bond offering; this was the India’s first high-yield green bond issuance. On the equity side, the firm assisted PT Cikarang Listrindo with its $270m IPO on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. Andrew Schleider leads the practice and is equally adept in debt and equity deals.

Sidley Austin LLP has a dominant share of big-ticket ECM deals in India and an impressive record in high-yield debt transactions in Indonesia. The firm acted for the managers during National Stock Exchange of India’s $1.49bn IPO. Lead partner on the deal Manoj Bhargava has ‘been in the market for a long time and has a good reputation’ The firm is beginning to make an impression in India debt deals and advised HPCL-Mittal Energy on its maiden $375bn bond issuance. Matthew Sheridan is a recognised leader in South-East Asia high-yield debt. Counsel Ankit Kashyap is also recommended, while Gerard Hekker has joined Duane Morris & Selvam LLP.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a thriving capital markets practice with a broad depth of experience across South-East Asia, both in equity and high-yield debt transactions. It advised PT Prodia Widyahusada, Indonesia’s largest clinical labarotory company, on its $111m Regulation S combined primary/secondary IPO and listing on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. Rajeev Duggal leads the team, which includes counsel Parveet Singh Gandoak, who has ‘profound insights’, ‘knows the relevant regulators’ and ‘truly is a global business lawyer’.

DLA Piper’s team is led by seasoned US securities lawyer Joe Bauerschmidt, a key figure in high-yield debt and bond workouts. He led the team that advised Serba Dinamik Holdings on its $130m IPO on Bursa Malaysia, the Malaysian stock exchange. Work highlights for the team also included acting for PT Trikomsel Oke in the proposed restructuring of its S$215m senior fixed rate notes. The firm is also looking to leverage Bauerschmidt’s connections with key underwriters to achieve a greater market share of South-East Asia issuer engagements.

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP is best known for equity deals in India, though with the arrival of Gerard Hekker from Sidley Austin LLP, the practice now has greater credibility on the debt side, including high-yield bond transactions. Hekker is expected to tap into the growing trend for debt transactions by Indian issuers and continue working on high-yield deals in Indonesia and other parts of South-East Asia. The firm has a tremendous record with Indian issuers thanks to its connections to major Indian investment banks. Highlight transactions included advising the President of India on the sale of some RS4bn of shares in Hindustan Copper as part of the Indian government’s fundraising programme through share sales in Indian SOEs. Jamie Benson is a prominent name in India ECM deals, and Krishna Ramachandra is ‘commercial’ and ‘acan-do” person’, who ‘helps resolve problems’.

K&L Gates is primarily focused on pre-IPO transactions and listings on London Stock Exchange’s main board and Alternative Investment Market (AIM); listings tend to be in the mid-market £10m to £100m range. The firm is notably active in the technology sector, especially medical technology (medtech). Nicholas Hanna is an English lawyer with a long track record in Singapore.

Squire Patton Boggs’ Biswajit Chatterjee is ‘very experienced’ in India deals, enabling the firm to advise on many of the jurisdiction’s landmark and big-ticket equity offerings. Clients include Kotak Mahindra, SBI Capital Markets and Edelweiss Financial Services. The team advised the underwriters as US counsel on the Rule 144A $175m IPO by Varun Beverages, the largest franchisee of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages for PepsiCo outside of the US.

Stephenson Harwood LLP leads the way in mid-market IPOs, principally on London’s AIM. The firm has welcomed a growing number of engagements from Thai and Malaysian issuers and continues to be a strong player in Myanmar and Indonesia. It advised Bangkok-based Escape Hunt Operations on its reverse takeover of Dorcaster and the re-admission of Dorcaster as Escape Hunt on AIM. Tom Platts covers M&A and capital markets, and counsel Helen Rhind-Hufnagel and associate Mark Stephens provide strong support.

GC Powerlist -
Southeast Asia

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