Corporate and M&A: foreign firms in Singapore

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy is for many, the benchmark corporate practice amongst the international firms in Singapore. The substantial team covers corporate venture capital, private equity and big-ticket strategic M&A. It is unrivalled in financial institutions deals, along with prominence in food and beverages, and oil and gas deals. It also boasts geographic specialisms with a tremendous record in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other jurisdictions. Chris Moore is arguably the leading corporate partner in Singapore, while Brendan Hannigan is a top practitioner in tech sector transactions, including venture financings, private equity investments and M&A. Alun Evans has gained considerable market recognition, particularly in Philippines-related deals. James Mythen has an outstanding record in insurance M&A.

Practice head(s):

Chris Moore

Testimonials

‘Brendan Hannigan is commercially smart and exactly the type of lawyer I like to work with, very competent, sensible and there is no grand standing.’

‘Chris Moore is one of the leading guys for longevity and ability. He is a terrific operator and a very good practitioner.’

‘James Mythen is very good and a great guy.’

‘Alun Evans is a strong operator with a good franchise in the Philippines.’

Key clients

TMB Bank

QBE

FWD

Tokopedia

Gojek

Work highlights

  • Advised TMB Bank on the disposal of 65% of the shares in TMB Asset Management to Eastspring Investments, Prudential’s asset management business, and subsequent joint venture with the business.
  • Advised Tokopedia, the Indonesian online marketplace business, on its $1.1bn Series F fundraising led by Softbank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group.
  • Advised QBE Insurance Group on the disposal of 100% of its shares in PT QBE General Insurance Indonesia to Great Eastern General Insurance and PT Suryasono Sentosa.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has maintained impressive levels of big-ticket engagements from multinational corporates and financial investors, including private equity, pension and sovereign wealth funds. It remains a recognised leader in the financial institutions, consumer, energy and tech sectors. It has landed a number of Singapore real estate deals, has seen growth in Thailand and Vietnam, and continues to be prominent in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The established team features three partners and two senior counsels. Senior names Valerie Kong and Melissa Ng are both English and Singapore qualified, while emerging name Satbir Walia is noted for financial institutions, technology and consumer goods deals deals. Counsel Tom Lin is a key figure on the private equity side.

Practice head(s):

Valerie Kong; Melissa Ng; Satbir Walia

Testimonials

‘The firm is technically strong, always available and this makes clients happy.’

‘Valerie Kong is very high quality and deal friendly, you can have very sensible discussions with her and her W&I expertise is very helpful.’

‘Melissa Ng is sensible, commercial and a safe pair of hands.’

‘Valerie Kong and Melissa Ng are very hands on M&A partners that are commercial and are on top of all their deals. They don’t come across as overly high level and thus are able to understand all key issues.’

‘Satbir Walia was very hands-on throughout the project. She was helpful and provided advice that was both sound and practical.’

Key clients

ICG Strategic Equity

TS Global Holdings

Golden Springs Group

Kellogg

PSA Corporation

CGN Solar Energy Development

GIP

Maplebridge Investment

CVC Capital Partners Asia Fund IV

Work highlights

  • Advised TS Global Holdings on its sale of a 70% stake in NatSteel Holdings and Tata Steel (Thailand), both have subsidiaries across South East Asia, to HBIS Group, the Chinese state-owned enterprise.
  • Advised Golden Springs Group on its sale of a majority stake in Gold Coin, one of the largest animal feed manufacturers in Asia, to Pilmico International, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures.
  • Advised Evolution Wellness on the acquisition of Fivelements, a chain of wellness retreats with operations in Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Linklaters

Linklaters increased its focus on financial sponsors with the promotion of Robert Elliot to the partnership in May 2019. TMT specialist Adrian Fisher was also made partner. The team is now especially well-positioned for financial services and fintech, tech and infrastructure M&A, and is now at the forefront of private equity and financial sponsor transactions, including big-ticket deals and earlier stage investments. Sophie Mathur is a leader in financial services M&A, while Niranjan Arasaratnam is an experienced TMT sector expert. Financial sponsor expert Parthiv Rishi has joined Sidley Austin LLP.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Mathur; Niranjan Arasaratnam

Key clients

DBS Bank

Standard Chatered

UOB

Affinity Equity Partners

Standard Chartered Private Equity

Aviva Corporate Ventures

Greenko Group

Experian

Gojek

Work highlights

  • Advising Standard Chartered on an intra-group reorganisation of its commercial banking, corporate and institutional banking and private banking businesses from its Singapore branch to a locally-incorporated subsidiary.
  • Advised Hutchison Telecommunications on the merger of its mobile operations in Sri Lanka with Etisalat, giving Hutchison an 85% interest in the combined business.
  • Advised United Overseas Bank (UOB) on the renewal of its strategic regional bancassurance arrangements with the Prudential Group.

Milbank

Milbank is widely recognised for its prominence in private equity deals and for its transactional record in Indonesia. The Philippines and Vietnam are also key jurisdictions. Energy and renewables deals are core to the practice. David Zemans is a leader in Indonesia deals, especially those in the energy segment. Jacqueline Chan is outstanding in private equity and big-ticket M&A.

Practice head(s):

David Zemans

Testimonials

‘A leading firm in Singapore for private equity’.

‘The team is very responsive, understands the commercial issues and is willing to find a way to move the transaction forward. It is highly recommended for challenging transactions.’

‘David Zemans and Jacqueline Chan are both fantastic lawyers.’

‘Jacqueline Chan is extremely commercial, knowledgeable and professional both in advising clients and in negotiations. Her work ethic is also second to none.’

‘Jacqueline Chan is top notch, very hands-on and hard to find at her level.’

Key clients

AirAsia

Fareast Green Energy Development

Work highlights

  • Advised Fareast Green Energy, the Singapore-based investment company, on  its divestment of a 50% stake in Fareast Renewable Development to RH International (Singapore).
  • Advised AirAsiaon the trade sale of Air Aviation Capital, the aircraft leasing company.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow has a substantial Singapore team that is tightly integrated with other regional offices. It has achieved a greater presence in real estate and tech deals, including corporate venture capital investments, and remains a notable player in financial institutions, healthcare, consumer goods and industrials transactions. The team has a substantial number of Japanese multinational clients and has a China desk in Singapore led by native PRC lawyers. Andrew Martin has a fine record in cross-border deals, while Sze Shing Tan impresses in the tech, life sciences, and oil and gas sectors. Min-tze Lean  is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Martin

Testimonials

‘The team has the experience and ability to provide specific and effective solutions when faced with challenges and a network of offices that can report results to customers in various languages.’

‘It has strong expertise and capability of handling international deals with global clients. Response time is noteworthy. It is not only M&A but the interlinking with many other areas like IP, Employment, Anti-bribery and corruption that helps the firm to provide a robust advice.’

‘Andrew Martin has strong expertise in M&A in the region and is also able to handle international deals with global clients.’

‘Min-tze Lean provided us with the best solutions based on a good understanding of the essence of various legal issues and the meaning of relevant laws and regulations. He also enthusiastically implemented government checks and actions on government regulations.’

‘Sze Shing Tan was excellent in terms of breaking down difficult issues. She was also great at maintaining composure when working across from a sometimes hostile legal team.’

Key clients

LafargeHolcim

Shell Eastern Petroleum

Fortis Healthcare

Stashaway

Kirin Holdings

LGT Group Foundation

EQT Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised LafargeHolcim on the $1.75bn disposal of its 80.6% interest in Holcim Indonesia to Semen Indonesia.
  • Advised Waydrive Holdings on the acquisition of 100% of the share equity in Uber-owned Lion City Rentals.
  • Advised West Knighton on the delisting and privatisation of Cityneon from the Singapore Exchange.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a strong presence in energy, TMT, infrastructure and consumer goods, among other sectors. The team has achieved a greater flow of engagements from financial sponsors, including private equity, sovereign wealth, pension and infrastructure funds. Nicola Yeomans is now principally focused on financial sponsors and David Clinch is widely recognised for his leadership in upstream oil and gas M&A. Mark Robinson is a leading figure in TMT deals, while Austin Sweeney provides further senior-level expertise and a fine record with sovereign wealth funds.

Practice head(s):

David Clinch

Testimonials

‘David Clinch is a fantastic lawyer and provides commercially sound legal advice at reasonable prices.’

Key clients

Temasek

The Carlyle Group

TPG

Chevron

BP

Softbank

Grab

JD.com

Work highlights

  • Advised Santos on the $221m sale of various upstream oil and gas assets in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh to Ophir Energy.
  • Advised Caltex Australia on its acquisition of a 20% ownership interest in SEAOIL via Caltex Australia’s fuel sourcing and shipping business, Ampol Singapore.
  • Advised JD.Com and Provident Capital Partners, as joint lead investors, alongside Google, Tencent and Mitsubishi Corporation on the $2bn Series F investment funding round in Go-Jek.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee has played a pivotal role in a number of multi-jurisdictional deals that were structured through Singapore. It continues to be heavily involved in tech and e-commerce deals, and transactions involving private equity and corporate venture investments. Moreover, the Singapore team is impressing in education, infrastructure, consumer, retail and healthcare deals, and is gaining recognition for transactions in frontier markets such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Singapore managing partner Stephanie Keen and Mark Cooper comprise an outstanding senior bench in both strategic M&A and private equity transactions.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Keen

Testimonials

‘Stephanie Keen is excellent, very talented and well respected.’

‘A go-to law firm for Singapore and South East Asia private equity work for the past 10 years. They impress with their first class advice and client service and are backed by a seamless global network across the Asia-Pacific, Europe and USA. Managing partner and Head of Asia PE, Stephanie Keen, is our key contact and trusted advisor.’

‘Stephanie Keen is exceptional – she is one of the best private equity practitioners in the region – technically superb, a formidable negotiator and very solutions-oriented. Stephanie is the first lawyer you want on your team.’

‘Danielle Wu is excellent – she is always available to provide sound commercial advice and first-class service.’

‘Ally Smith is a rising star and one to watch. She impresses clients with her ability to blend her technical excellence with the “bigger picture” – she is very measured, sharp and user-friendly.’

Key clients

PayPal

Walmart

eBay

Navis Capital Partners

Leapfrog Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised PayPal on its $125m investment round in Pine Labs, India’s largest retail payment platform, together with Temasek.
  • Advised Walmart on its approximately $16bn purchase of a majority stake in Flipkart, the India-based e-commerce company.
  • Advised eBay on its acquisition of Giosis’s Japan business, which includes online retailer Qoo10.

Jones Day

Jones Day has an impressive mix of corporate and private equity transactional experience. Real estate private equity is a particular forte of the Singapore office, which also boasts a formidable funds structuring practice. The Singapore team routinely works on major inbound and outbound transactions, and has played an anchor role on numerous global deals, including New York law governed transactions. Dennis Barsky has a fine record in big-ticket strategic M&A and leveraged buyouts. Elizabeth Cole is noted for China-related deals in the region and Alex Cull is a leader in upstream oil and gas M&A, while Ben Witherall is making an impact at of counsel level.

Practice head(s):

Dennis Barsky; Elizabeth Cole

Testimonials

‘The group is very responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘Dennis Barsky is exceptionally helpful and experienced.’

Key clients

Babcock Power

CBRE Global Investment Partners

Glencore Singapore

Greystar Real Estate Partners

Macquarie Capital

PETRONAS Chemicals Group

UPL

Work highlights

  • Advised UPL, the India-based agrochemical company, on its subsidiary’s $4.2bn acquisition of Arysta Lifescience.
  • Advised Procter & Gamble on the Asia aspects of its global $4.2bn acquisition of the worldwide consumer health business of Merck.
  • Advised a subsidiary of PTTEP on its $2.12bn acquisition of Murphy Oil’s business in Malaysia.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has made a greater impression in private equity space, in part thanks to its ability to work collaboratively with its esteemed colleagues in Hong Kong. Singapore managing partner Michael Sturrock is a seasoned name with tremendous private equity and public M&A experience. The firm bolstered its Singapore law standing with the hire of Farhana Sharmeen from Withers KhattarWong LLP. The up-and-coming Marcus Lee is noted for private equity and M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Michael Sturrock; Sharon Lau; Farhana Sharmeen

Key clients

PT Semen Indonesia (Persero)

Singapore Technologies Engineering

TPG Capital

Fullerton Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Advised Vinhomes Joint Stock Company on its equity investment from GIC, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund.
  • Advised Agenda Pantas on its investment into a joint venture subsidiary of Agenda Pantas and Malton Berhad,  which concurrently signed to acquire a retail mall currently under construction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Advised Helipad on its acquisition of Quest Laboratories and Gribbles Pathology (Malaysia) from Healthscope.

Morrison & Foerster (Singapore) LLP

Morrison & Foerster (Singapore) LLP has achieved a significant presence in high-value and big-ticket M&A, despite having a smaller presence in Singapore than many of its notable rivals. The Singapore office has landed a number of repeat clients that are making regular investments and acquisitions. It is making waves in financial services, fintech, consumer, real estate, logistics, corporate venture capital, and more broadly, deals that are connected in some way to e-commerce.  Shirin Tang is a recognised leader in bulge-bracket M&A, while Maria Steeples has carved a niche in warranty and indemnity policies. Nick Davies and Lip Kian Ang impress at the associate level. Jake Robson has moved to King & Spalding LLP.

Practice head(s):

Shirin Tang

Testimonials

‘The team is very approachable and responsive at all times, including over the weekend. Nothing is too difficult.’

‘The firm is outstanding in terms of experience, work quality and fees.’

‘It has market-leading strength as underwriting counsel for M&A insurance deals across Asia.’

‘Top-notch M&A team with an excellent ability to seamlessly connect clients with relevant specialists in the network.’

‘Shirin Tang is a highly dependable and innovative practitioner. She is proactive, experienced, diligent, has good commercial sense and cares very much about client relationships.’

‘Nicholas Davies is effective at assessing the key risks and issues, understanding the technical and regulatory aspects and providing common-sense solutions.’

‘Lip Kian Ang is hardworking, responsive, detail-oriented and well organised.’ ‘He is clearly punching above his weight and is an excellent lawyer.’

‘Counsel Maria Steeples is the stand-out market leader as M&A underwriting counsel across Asia. Tax Partner Matt Lau is extremely strong too.’

Key clients

Axiata Group

Big Pay

Chubb

Coins PH

Oriente

SC Ventures

Standard Chartered

Work highlights

  • Advised Japan Tobacco International on its $1.5bn acquisition of Akij Group’s tobacco business; the first major and largest private M&A deal in Bangladesh involving a foreign counterparty.
  • Advised Chubb Asia Pacific on its regional contractual distribution joint venture with Grab.
  • Advised Oriente on the funding, development launch and rollout of cutting-edge financial services infrastructure for people and small businesses across Southeast Asia.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has been recognised for its geographically diverse practice, especially South East Asia and South Asia. Financial institutions, transport and logistics, and energy are among the key sectors for the team. Clients range from multinationals corporates to state-linked organisations and institutional investors. Sheela Moorthy heads the Singapore corporate and M&A team, which includes the highly rated Craig Loveless and insurance sector specialist Anna Tipping. Chris Bell impresses at the associate level.

Practice head(s):

Sheela Moorthy

Testimonials

‘The team is commercially savvy, responsive and excellent at working to tight deadlines. Working with them feels like the team is an extension of our in-house legal team, in a positive way. Their knowledge of commodities makes them invaluable to our team.’

‘One of the strongest teams for M&A with unique blend of strong experience internationally as well as dealing with Indonesian clients.’

‘The team is consistently exceptional across all levels.’

‘Craig Loveless is a very hands on partner with both international and domestic experience, and is cold blooded in the most difficult situations. He adds a lot of value in negotiations.’

‘Craig Loveless is a very good negotiatior, doesn’t play fast and loose, thinks ahead and is strategic, keeps a level head and is easy to work with.’

‘Chris Bell is a very hard working associate, able to turn around a termsheet and discussion at record times, which helps speed up rounds of negotiation.’

Key clients

AXA

International Finance Corporation

Caisse de Depot et Placement de Quebec

SCF Partners

Michelin

Sime Darby

Olam International

Work highlights

  • Advised Michelin on its $545m acquisition of PT Multistrada Ara Sarana, the Indonesia listed owner of a tyre manufacturing plant.
  • Advised AXA on its acquisition of a 50% stake in AXA Tianping, the Chinese property and casualty insurance joint venture  based in Shanghai, enabling AXA to become the first foreign insurer to own 100% of a top 20 property and casualty insurance company in China.
  • Advised Hyperion on the acquisition by Howden Broking Group of 60% of the issued share capital of IPG Asia Holdings and the associated joint venture agreement entered into between Howden and IPG.  

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a primary focus on big-ticket and transformational transactions. Building on the firm's esteemed M&A platform, the relatively small Singapore team has landed significant roles on many of the highest value deals in the region. Rajeev Duggal heads the Singapore office and has a fine record in M&A. Parveet Gandoak and Jonathan Wisebrod are key names at counsel level, while Hong Kong's Jonathan Stone frequently works alongside the Singapore team on bulge-bracket deals.

Practice head(s):

Rajeev Duggal

Testimonials

‘The cream of the crop that you would go to for the most complex, or the most prestigious deals. Skadden’s Singapore team is exceptional for its output quality, hard work and solution-oriented approach. While their rates may not make it practical to use them on smaller matters, they’re certainly the team for innovative and high-risk matters.’

‘While the team, supervised by Jonathan Stone, is generally great, Parveet Gandoak is a star in the making. Our group shifted work from another firm to Skadden when he joined. He’s always available to his clients, his attention to detail is unparalleled, and has a wide sweep of knowledge, that helps in resolving any problems which might get thrown at us in the course of a transaction.’

‘Rajeev Duggal is an old-hand with tremendous experience in the region, especially in Equity Capital Markets. He also benefits from his experience in-house to provide practical advice to his clients. Parveet Gandoak (Counsel) stands out as one of the most active M&A lawyers doing India deals from Singapore. He bridges cultural gaps well and is an absolute pleasure to work with, or even against. He is one of the next generation leaders of the Indian M&A scene and a gem for any international firm to have.’

‘Parveet Singh Gandoak has deep insight into the Asian transaction, corporate and political environment and an impressive client-centric approach!’

Key clients

Citigroup

Grab

WeWork

PT Medco Energi Internasional

Equis Funds Group

First Gen Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Grab on its OVO (Indonesia) joint venture with PT Tokopedia (Indonesia) and Lippo (Indonesia), which involved a subsequent transfer of shares among existing shareholders; the deal resulted in Grab exercising control with less than a 50% shareholding.  
  • Advised PT Medco Energi Internasional on its $500m acquisition of Ophir Energy, the UK-based and listed oil and gas exploration company.
  • Advised WeWork in its joint venture in Thailand with True Properties Company.

White & Case Pte. Ltd.

White & Case Pte. Ltd. has an established, stable and growing team that is well-integrated with other offices in the region, especially Indonesia through  Witara Cakra Advocates (WCA) in association with White & Case. The team is especially active in commodities, oil and gas, and private equity; private equity real estate is a particular forte. Distressed M&A and restructuring have also become important elements of the practice. Jonathan Olier is a genuine market leader and Jon Bowden is gaining further market recognition. Newly minted local partner Tabitha Saw is recommended for private equity real estate.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP continues to impress in energy and resources M&A, while expanding its senior ranks with the hire of Michelle Phang from Shook Lin & Bok LLP and Waltter Kulvik from Sidley Austin LLP as partners; the former provides a combination of Singapore and English law expertise with the latter adding to the firm's private equity credentials. The expanded team has seen growth in technology, transport and logistics, renewable energy and infrastructure, food and drink, and healthcare. In the private equity space, the team is especially focused on infrastructure assets, renewables and healthcare. The team has a strong record in Indonesia, though has genuine regional coverage. The experienced Simon Brown heads the team and has outstanding credibility in energy and resources deals.

Practice head(s):

Simon Brown

Testimonials

‘Waltter Kulvik has very sound M&A experience and knowledge. He provides high-quality work with a quick turn around and he can help clients to make sometimes difficult decisions efficiently.’

Key clients

BP

ADNOC

Mitsubishi Development

Singapore LNG Corporation

Westpac

Toll Holdings

Bank of China

General Electric

Work highlights

  • Advised PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Persero), the state-owned enterprise (SOE) responsible for Indonesia’s mining operations on its $3.85bn acquisition of a 51.2% interest in the Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia, from  Freeport-McMoRan and Rio Tinto; this was the largest Indonesian M&A transaction in ten years, the largest ever acquisition by an Indonesian SOE.
  • Alongside colleagues in Sydney, the Singapore team advised Blackstone and the management shareholders of Ixom HoldCo on the A$1.1bn sale of Ixom to Keppel Infrastructure Trust; this was Blackstone’s first-ever disposal in Australia.
  • Advised BGC European Holdings on the acquisition by GFI Asia Holdings of Ginga Petroleum (Singapore).

Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn's burgeoning reputation and standing in Asia is supported by a strong team in Singapore that is impressing in energy, oil and gas, TMT and a number of other key sectors. The team has worked on a series of headline and high-value deals, most notably in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore itself. The immensely experienced Jai Pathak leads the team, which includes upstream oil and gas specialist Brad Roach. Partners Robson Lee and Saptak Santra provide further senior level experience.

Practice head(s):

Jai Pathak

Key clients

The Kraft Heinz Company

Uber Technologies

Liberty Hall Partners

B Capital Group

Chevron

Murphy Oil

Work highlights

  • Advised Uber Technologies on the sale of its Southeast Asian ridesharing and food delivery business to Grab; Uber received a 27.5% ownership interest in Grab.
  • Advised Murphy Oil Corporation on the $2.23bn divestment of its Malaysian subsidiaries, Murphy Sabah Oil and Murphy Sarawak Oil, to a subsidiary of PTT Exploration and Production.
  • Advised Toyota on agreements with Grab to strengthen their existing partnership and expand their collaboration in Southeast Asia for further advances in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) across the region.

HFW Singapore LLP

HFW Singapore LLP remains at the forefront of resources deals, including distressed transactions. It is also gaining traction in the private equity space and in the renewables sector. Indonesia continues to be a primary market for the team, along with Australia and the Philippines. Aaron Kok  at counsel level and Alistair Duffield provide senior-level expertise. Former practice head Brian Gordon has moved to Squire Patton Boggs.

Testimonials

‘The team has extensive knowledge on M&A. It is  very professional and responsive on communications and quick to turnaround legal documents on a tight M&A timeline.’

‘Aaron Kok is extremely attentive and helpful throughout entire deals, is commercial and willing to help beyond the job scope.’

Key clients

Tata Power

In.Corp Global

Work highlights

  • Advising Goldilocks Investment Company as a shareholder of Noble Group, on Noble’s headline restructuring, including the settlement of litigation claims and the formation of a strategic partnership in the Middle East.
  • Advising In.Corp Global on its acquisition of the corporate advisory business of RHT Holdings.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has further established its position in the market following the hire of Lee Taylor in 2018. With a newly acquired finance practice led by Andrew Brereton (a former Clifford Chance partner), the corporate team is even more credible in the private equity space and is increasingly active in energy and upstream oil and gas work. Taylor is recognised as a market leader in regional private equity and corporate transactions, while Richard Nelson and Simon Cowled provide additional oil and gas M&A and power M&A expertise.

Practice head(s):

Lee Taylor

Key clients

Platinum Equity Partners

International SOS

Bumi Armada

Keppel Capital Holdings

Conrad Petroleum

Coro Energy

Batavia Oil

Work highlights

  • Advised Ophir Energy on its acquisition of Santos’ upstream oil & gas business in Asia.
  • Advised PTT Exploration and Production on its $64m acquisition of 33.8% stake in APICO from Tatex Thailand.
  • Advised Batavia Oil on its acquisition of a Dutch company from Premier Oil that holds an interest in the Kakap Production Sharing Contract, Natuna Sea, Indonesia.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP continues to impress in private equity, insurance and energy transactions. The team 'is punching above its weight' and has built a sizeable roster of private equity clients and the M&A team works well with energy-sector colleagues, including oil and gas specialists such as Anthony PattenSidharth Bhasin and counsel James Clayton-Payne are highly rated for private equity deals, and India and Southeast Asia-related transactions.

Practice head(s):

Sidharth Bhasin

Key clients

Capital Square Partners

Temasek

General Electric

Petronas

Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan Board

Everstone

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)

Work highlights

  • Advised Capital Square Partners on its acquisition of a controlling interest in StarTek, the New York-listed company, and its sale of subsidiary Aegis to StarTek.
  • Advised Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) on its acquisition of 40% interest in CLP India, representing CDPQ’s largest energy investment in India.
  • Advised PETRONAS on the completion of Saudi Aramco’s $8bn investment into its Johor refinery and cracker complex.

Stephenson Harwood LLP

Stephenson Harwood LLP has excellent regional mid-market credentials, however, it is moving up the value chain to achieve a presence in bigger-ticket transactions. Across Southeast Asia, it has built an extensive record in headline strategic acquisitions, private equity transactions and venture capital investments. Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are key jurisdictions for the Singapore team. It has a strong presence in healthcare, TMT and consumer goods. Tom Platts is an established Singapore figure with exceptional regional credentials, particularly in Myanmar. George Cyriac is playing an anchor role in developing the firm's private equity and venture capital practice, most notably in Indonesia. Of counsel Helen Rhind-Hufnagel is also a key name.

Practice head(s):

Tom Platts; George Cyriac

Testimonials

‘The quality of service is very high. The team is responsive, commercial and we have seen a hands-on approach by partners, giving our clients a lot of confidence.’

‘The firm provides the quality we would normally associate with the larger Magic Circle firms, but at much more reasonable prices.’

‘It strikes us as having a close-knitted culture where lawyers are genuinely passionate about their work.’

‘George Cyriac has a reliable team of associates who are proactive, meticulous and have great working attitudes.’

‘George Cyriac brings a high level of quality and polish to transactions, whilst at the same time being very aware of local practical issues and challenges in India. This is a rare combination and one that allows him to work very effectively on Indian transactions or on deals with Indian clients.’

‘George is a problem-solver who also stands out due to his exceptional work ethic, always giving his best and often working into the wee hours of the morning in order to meet tight deadlines in our M&A transactions.’

‘Tom Platts is a good sounding board.’

Key clients

Singapore Technologies Aerospace

Chemopharm

General Mills

Engie

Stella International

CLSA Capital Partners

Luxoft International

Myanmar Investments International

Campana Group

Agrifert Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised AirAsia Group and its wholly-owned subsidiary Asia Aviation Capital on the $768m sale of the subsidiary’s entire equity interest in Merah Aviation Asset Holding.
  • Advised Duff & Phelps, the global valuation and corporate finance adviser, on the acquisition of Zolfo Cooper Asia, a provider of restructuring, financial and corporate advisory services.
  • Advised ASEAN Industrial Growth Fund, the Singapore headquartered private equity fund, on its investment in KMC Solutions.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has an estimable record in Myanmar and Indonesia M&A transactions and investments. It was one of the first international firms to target Myanmar for cross-border deals. It has also committed considerable time and resources into its Indonesia-focused practice. Manoj Purush heads the Singapore corporate practice.

Practice head(s):

Manoj Purush

Key clients

Yoma Strategic Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised a group of vendors including Yoma Strategic Holdings and First Myanmar Investment on the reverse takeover of Catalist-listed SHC Capital Asia.

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore has made rapid progress in the last few years, with an emphasis on insurance, trade and commodities, marine, education and hospitality sectors. The firm has made an impact in M&A, portfolio transfers and insurance startups. It has achieved considerable growth in hospitality deals in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and has seen an uptick in education deals beyond its primary market of Singapore. Ian Stewart leads the Southeast Asia corporate practice, which includes hospitality and leisure specialist Benjamin HirasawaJustin Tan and Thomas Choo.

Practice head(s):

Ian Stewart

Testimonials

‘Clyde & Co consistently provided effective, high-quality legal advice in an efficient manner. The team capably provided comprehensive services to meet all of the client’s needs. The practice is unique in that the firm could leverage on its global presence and extensive experience in almost all areas of practice to meet the client’s various needs.’

‘Ian Stewart is a leading lawyer in insurance/financial services. He is able to bring in valuable input to solve complex matters in many insurance M&A deals.’

‘Justin Tan is an experienced, knowledgeable and visionary lawyer that provides advice and services even before the clients come across their needs. He has deep cultural awareness and is in the best position to advise on cross-border cases.’

‘Thomas Choo is very experienced in managing multi-jurisdictional transactions. He has in-depth understanding of the client’s commercial objectives. He is sharp and solution-oriented.’

Key clients

Jacobs Holding

Marriott International

DirectAsia Group

Bupa International

Axis Capital

Arthur J Gallagher Group

CNA Hardy

Work highlights

  • Advised a Japanese Life Insurance Group on its acquisition and subscription of shares in an ASEAN-headquartered life insurer.
  • Advised Jacobs Holding on its announced acquisition of the Cognita global private schools group from KKR and Bregal.
  • Advised Bupa  on various insurance regulatory matters relating to its regional activities and its ongoing presence in Singapore.

CMS

CMS is at the forefront of technology and media transactions and commercial agreements. The firm is active in early stage venture fundings right through to mid-cap M&A deals. In 2018, the Singapore office became the lastest to launch the firm's equIP programme, a designated service for early stage companies and startups. While being well plugged into the Singapore TMT community, it is also active in Indonesia and other jurisdictions. Toby Grainger  leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Toby Grainger

Key clients

Dentsu Aegis Network

Ampotech

GorrilaSpace

Myanmar Strategic Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised ShopBack on its $45m Series D fundraising led by Indonesian venture capital firm, East Ventures, and Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant.
  • Advised Shearwater GeoServices on its $650m cross-border acquisition of WesternGeco’s marine seismic acquisition assets and operations.
  • Advised Dentsu Aegis Network on its acquisition of Valuklik, an Indonesia-based digital performance marketing company.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has successfully landed a number of engagements from firmwide clients and has achieved further traction with local and regional corporates. The Singapore office has a fine record in mid-market transactions especially in Indonesia, followed by Thailand and Vietnam. Venture capital is another burgeoning area for the team. Singapore managing partner Joe Bauerschmidt is hugely experienced in Southeast Asia and has wide-ranging contacts. Of counsel Katherine Chew provides further senior-level experience.

Practice head(s):

Joe Bauerschmidt

Key clients

General Electric

Unilever

Experian Ventures

RedDoorz

CVS Health

Aetna

Singapore Technologies Engineering

Work highlights

  • Advised General Electric on the establishment and restructuring of its distributed power business in Indonesia.
  • Advised General Electric on the internal restructuring and spinoff of its transportation business and subsequent merger of the business with Wabtec.
  • Advised Experian as lead investor in the Series C funding of C88, a financial products comparison website operating in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP has a strong presence in Southeast Asia and has a sizeable corporate team in Singapore. The firm has a solid record in technology, telecoms, energy, oil and gas, among other key sectors. It is also making a further impression in private equity transactions. Krishna Ramachandra heads the corporate, fintech and TMT practice groups. Leon YeeRamiro Rodriguez, Mark Wong and Gerard Hekker are also key names.

Practice head(s):

Krishna Ramachandra

Testimonials

‘The firm is very commercial minded, delivers excellent response times and client handling skills, and is able to understand and spot issues well.’

‘Mark Wong is excellent in what he does and has greatly helped us in our transactions.’

Key clients

Dymon Asia

Red Dot Energy

PetroChina International

Oil India

Korea Development Bank

Platinum Equity Advisors International

Work highlights

  • Advising Platinum Equity Advisors International on its S$203m of PCI, the SGX-listed electronics manufacturer.
  • Advised White Lodge Education Group Services on its acquisition of certain shares and capital injection in the capital of Invictus International School.
  • Advised Nanolumi on its $1m seed round fund raising.

K&L Gates Straits Law LLC

K&L Gates Straits Law LLC is principally noted for tech and healthcare deals, though through the merger with Straits Law Practice LLC in January 2019, it has achieved greater credibility in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional deals involving Singapore and Southeast Asia. Moreover, it is achieving greater credibility with local and regional corporates. Nicholas Hanna and Mark Tan are the key partners.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Hanna

Key clients

Keresa Plantations

Microsoft

Work highlights

  • Advising on a strategic investment in and partnership with Grab, the on-demand transportation, mobile payments and services platform in Southeast Asia.
  • Advised Keresa Plantations on its investment into EE-Terrabon Biofuels, the US chemicals production company, and the commercial aspects of constructing chemical producing plants in the USA and Malaysia.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP continues to impress in energy and resources transactions. It advises a range of energy and resources corporates, trading companies, and a growing number of private equity houses and family offices. Matthew Gorman leads the team that includes Kohe Hasan and newly elected partner Gerald Licnachan.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Gorman

Testimonials

‘The team is commercial and to the point.’

‘Matthew Gorman is a very senior lawyer but at the same time hands-on.’