Allen & Overy has demonstrated an unrivalled commitment to big-ticket M&A across ASEAN and India. It has one of the largest teams in Singapore amongst the international firms and the group is complemented by its extensive network of offices across the region. Moreover, while it earns the headlines in large-cap strategic M&A, it has made a further impression in private equity and higher-value venture capital investments. Financial services and insurance, TMT, food and beverages, energy and infrastructure, aviation, and FMCG are amongst its key sectors. Chris Moore remains one of the biggest M&A names in the region, while Brendan Hannigan is a leader in Indonesia and Vietnam deals, including M&A, private equity, and venture capital transactions. James Mythen is an emerging talent in financial institutions deals, including those in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Alun Evans is consistently recognised for his work in the Philippines and Lock Yin Mei leads the highly-rated Singapore law practice.
Corporate and M&A: foreign firms in Singapore
Allen & Overy
‘They attract the best talent, both at partner and associate level, and this translates into the quality of their work.’
‘They translate commercial objectives into elegant legal drafting, and the quality of the drafting has been admired by counterparties on transactions.’
‘Their true strength is being able to think through the cutting edge matters which no one else has done before, and thats what you pay for.’
‘Brendan Hannigan is a dedicated counsellor to his clients. Suffice to say that it is always a pleasure working with Brendan and you never feel that you are unimportant.’
‘Alun Evans is very responsive, client/detail-oriented, and has a strong work ethic. He understands Asian clients’ typical internal corporate requirements and provides practical advice with deep market understanding.’
TMB Bank Public Company
Thanachart Bank Public Company
PT Bumi Cakrawala Perkasa
PT Asuransi Jiwa Manulife Indonesia (Manulife Indonesia)
Indorama Ventures Packaging
Pilmico International (Pilmico) and Aboitiz Equity Ventures (Aboitiz)
Baring Private Equity Asia
Clifford Chance has outstanding regional credibility, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines where it continues to close a number of headline deals. It represents a range local, regional, and multinational corporate clients and has an impressive following of financial sponsors. Melissa Ng has an outstanding record in Southeast Asia M&A and private equity deals, with particularly impressive experience in Indonesia and in energy and resources deals. Valerie Kong is another experienced name in the team, recently advising EQT Infrastructure on the establishment of a 51:49 joint venture company that will serve as an investment platform for the renewable energy sector in India. Satbir Walia is an emerging talent and Tom Lin was elevated to partner in May 2020; he is having an increasingly integral role in developing the office's private equity practice.
‘Clifford Chance has a standardised quality across all their partners and staff. This makes it a brand to trust because you are not tied to a particular individual.’
‘They are very knowledgeable of my company’s line of business, they are responsive and deliver an excellent work product.’
‘Valerie Kong is very enthusiastic, driven, and on the ball.’
‘Melissa Ng is very calm and commercial.’
‘Melissa Ng is always available even when she’s traveling or busy working for other clients.’
CVC Capital Partners
ICG Strategic Equity
Global Infrastructure Partners
- Advised EQT Infrastructure on the establishment of a 51:49 joint venture company that will serve as an investment platform to invest in the renewable energy sector in India, covering wind, solar, hybrid, storage and potentially other forms of renewable energy.
- Advised the seller consortium on their $980m exit from PRASAC Microfinance Institution, the largest consumer finance business in Cambodia, to leading South Korean commercial lender Kookmin Bank.
- Advised KrisEnergy on its proposed divestment of a portfolio of assets in Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Bangladesh, including the sale of its participating interest in the Andaman II block in Indonesia to BP.
Linklaters continues to make an impression in financial services, tech, and financial sponsor-driven transactions. Along with big-ticket financial institutions M&A, the firm has worked on a series of headline fintech and payment services deals. The Singapore team has a particularly fine record in Indonesia, though has genuine credibility across Southeast Asia. Department head Sophie Mathur is at the forefront of financial institutions M&A in the region, particularly in the insurance sector. Niranjan Arasaratnam is a recognised technology specialist who has an exceptional record in fintech and related areas. Robert Elliot is an emerging talent in private equity and financial sponsor transactions.
‘A very dynamic team, very responsive, diligent, a very high level of expertise, very client-friendly, and good value for money.
‘Niranjan Arasaratnam is an outstanding M&A and venture capital adviser.’
Standard Chartered Bank
Vertex Growth Management
First Reserve XIV Advisors
Dentsu Aegis Network
United Overseas Bank
The Bank of East Asia
Affinity Equity Partners
- Advised a leading insurance company in its capacity as a bidder on a high-profile auction bid to acquire the Singapore business of Aviva with a reported value of $2bn.
- Advised AWAK Technologies on the largest medtech fundraise in Singapore and one of the largest in Southeast Asia.
- Advised TA Associates, the leading international private equity firm, on its investment in Honan Insurance Group.
Milbank remains noted for its outstanding record in private equity and Indonesia transactions. Moreover, it has extensive experience in M&A and corporate transactions throughout Southeast Asia and the wider Asia Pacific region; Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand are also key markets. Building on its eminence in energy and infrastructure deals, it has gained further plaudits for its work in the TMT sector. Singapore managing partner David Zemans is frequently singled-out for his experience in Indonesia deals, though has much broader regional credibility; he recently advised Columbia Pacific Management on its sale of a portfolio of 17 hospitals in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Jacqueline Chan has also emerged as a leading player in Southeast Asia M&A and private equity.
Other key lawyers:
Columbia Pacific Management
Metro Pacific Investments Corporation
Ascendas Funds Management (Singapore)
HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore)
Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions
- Acted for Columbia Pacific Management in its sale of a portfolio of 17 hospitals in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
- Advised Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and GIC in connection with the majority sale of their interest in Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, the Philippines’ largest hospital chain, to KKR.
- Advised Udenna Corporation on the establishment of its joint venture company with China Telecommunications Corporation, the winning bidder in the Philippines of the third telecommunications license.
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow has a long history with multinationals looking to make strategic investments in the region. In recent years, Indonesia and Vietnam have dominated the team's activities, with Thailand not far behind. The Singapore group benefits from the firm's presence in key jurisdictions throughout Southeast Asia along with its sizeable Singapore law team. It has seen particular growth in e-commerce investments, while maintaining its prominence in financial services, healthcare, real estate and infrastructure, and renewables. In the last few years, the Singapore team has attracted a series of new private equity clients along with a number of regional corporates. It is also experiencing a growing number of investments in the region from China. Andrew Martin has an outstanding record in cross-border transactions and Sze Shing Tan is noted for China-related investments. Min-tze Lean is another key name.
‘A great M&A team that is well coordinated through the various jurisdictions. They worked tirelessly on our transaction even into Christmas.’
‘The team found a solution and kept full speed ahead to close between two major holidays where some had already travelled overseas. Great teamwork.’
‘Strong M&A practice, coupled with other subject competence like IP, competition law, and a global presence makes the team unique.’
‘Andrew Martin has in-depth knowledge of the Southeast Asian markets, has global M&A expertise for global deals, and his engagement with clients is par excellence.’
Strategic Value Partners
United Overseas Bank
Amcorp Group Berhad
HPEF Capital Partners
Shaw Kwei & Partners
Bank of America Group
- Advised IQVIA on its acquisition of Incarnus Technologies’ hospital information systems and electronic medical record solutions businesses.
- Advised Equinix on a joint venture with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, to develop and operate hyperscale data centres in Japan.
- Advised Gaw Capital Partners, as one of the lead investors, on a Series A funding round of Propzy SEA, a real estate prop-tech company.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is recognised for deals in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, though has genuine credibility throughout Southeast Asia. It has a fine record in TMT, energy, and resources, and infrastructure, and has continued to build its presence in financial sponsor-driven transactions. It has built an enviable client base of local and regional businesses, alongside its impressive international client base. Nicola Yeomans has gained prominence amongst both financial sponsors and corporates, leading to a series of major engagements. David Clinch is a senior figure in energy and infrastructure transactions, including oil and gas, power and renewables deals. Mark Robinson is a leader in TMT transactions, while Austin Sweeney is a seasoned specialist in Southeast Asia and the wider Asia Pacific region. Jamie McLaren was elevated to partner in May 2020.
Standard Chartered Bank
TPG Telecom Singapore
British American Tobacco
- Advised on the spin out and listing of Singapore’s TPG Telecom, which launched commercial services in March 2020 as a standalone entity rather than a subsidiary of TPG in Australia.
- Advised AustralianSuper on its $1bn commitment to India’s largest infrastructure investment fund, alongside Ontario Teachers, Temasek and ADIA.
- Advised Axiata Group on its $404m sale of its 28.7% stake in M1, Singapore’s third largest mobile operator, as part of a voluntary takeover by consortium formed by Keppel and Singapore Press Holdings.
Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee has an impressive record in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional M&A, along with a solid presence in private equity deals. It has a particular focus on TMT, energy and natural resources, life sciences, financial services, education, consumer, and food and beverages. Singapore managing partner Stephanie Keen is a recognised private equity specialist with an additionally strong reputation in international M&A. Mark Cooper has joined Latham & Watkins LLP.
‘Hogan Lovells has an excellent Singapore team with a great depth of experienced partners with impressive industry knowledge. Their offering is very client service-oriented, their team adapts to our style more readily so it feels more personal and tailored.’
‘Very hardworking and dedicated partners that will go the extra mile to assist their clients with their transaction.’
‘I admire the way the Hogan Lovells team works as a cohesive unit. I have observed partners cross-referring and drawing from the expertise of their partners in other offices to assist our relevant issues.’
‘Stephanie Keen is an excellent lawyer with a very strong work ethic and an unrelenting commitment to her clients. Stephanie has excellent technical abilities and knowledge of corporate/private equity practice, but it is her commercial acumen and ability to relate to clients that really sets her apart.’
‘Stephanie Keen also always stays calm under pressure and has an inclusive approach with her team. I appreciated the way she brings in experts from her team.’
Affirma Capital Management
Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines)
Navis Capital Partners
Standard Chartered Bank
- Advised Tricor Group, Asia’s leading global corporate services provider and a portfolio company of private equity firm Permira, on its acquisition of Richful Deyong Group.
- Acted for Navis Capital Partners, the Asia-based private equity firm, on its acquisition of Thanh Thanh Cong Education JSC in Vietnam.
- Advised Dell Technologies on its $2.07bn sale of RSA to a consortium of investors led by Symphony Technology Group, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, and AlpInvest Partners.
Jones Day has a substantial presence in Singapore, the large team covering strategic M&A and private equity, particularly real estate private equity. It now has a lengthy list of private equity clients alongside a number of blue-chip multinational corporate clients. Dennis Barsky has a strong focus on private equity transactions, while Elizabeth Cole has a fine background in inbound Asia investments by multinationals. Alex Cull is a leader in oil and gas M&A and recently advised PTTEP HK Offshore on its acquisition of Murphy Sabah Oil and Murphy Sarawak Oil. Ben Witherall was elevated to partner in 2020.
CBRE Global Investment Partners
Greystar Real Estate Partners
LaSalle Investment Management
PETRONAS Chemicals Group
Procter & Gamble
- Represented e-logistics service provide Scommerce in connection with its Series C fundraising round led by Singapore’s state-owned investment company, Temasek.
- Represented PTTEP HK Offshore, a subsidiary of PTT Exploration and Production Public Company, in its $2.12bn acquisition of Murphy Oil Corporation’s business in Malaysia.
- Advised SunPower Corporation, one of North America’s largest solar-panel makers, in a sponsored spin-off of its solar panel production operations into a new public company Maxeon Solar Technologies, which will be headquartered in Singapore.
Latham & Watkins LLP has undergone significant expansion in recent years. Mark Cooper is the latest to expand the partner ranks following his move from Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee in April 2020. The Singapore office has successfully leveraged the firm's outstanding global reputation in private equity, now representing the likes of Silver Lake Partners, TPG Capital, and others. It has also attracted an impressive list of big-name local and regional clients. Michael Sturrock and Sharon Lau are senior names in the market, along with Singapore-qualified partner Farhana Sharmeen. Marcus Lee is an emerging talent.
China Investment Corporation
Hong Leong Malaysia
Pioneer Generation Company
San Miguel Corporation
Silver Lake Partners
- Advised HLT Healthcare, a joint venture created by TPG Capital and Hong Leong, on its acquisition of Columbia Asia Healthcare, a Malaysia-based healthcare company that operates 17 hospitals and a clinic across Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
- Acted for MakeMyTrip, an India-based online travel company, on the sale of a stake to Ctrip.com International.
- Advised San Miguel Corporation on its proposed acquisition of an 85.7% shareholding in Holcim Philippines.
Norton Rose Fulbright has further cemented international client relationships through its Singapore office, with the team representing the likes of AXA, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, and Michelin. Key sectors for the group include technology, financial institutions, energy (including oil & gas), shipping, aviation, and infrastructure. Stephen Woods heads the corporate M&A and securities practice in Singapore, where Craig Loveless consistently impresses with his work on headline and high-value transactions; he led the team that advised Michelin on its $545m acquisition of PT Multistrada Ara Sarana, the Indonesian tyre company. Anna Tipping is recommended for insurance sector deals and former department head Sheela Moorthy became a consultant in 2020.
‘Norton Rose Fulbright is often willing to go the extra mile to achieve your commercial goal. Even their junior lawyers are very reliable, independent, and precise.’
‘Craig Loveless is highly experienced in M&A activities. His M&A expertise coupled with his clear understanding of our unique business activities allows him to tailor the risk matrix and the corresponding mitigation measures.’
‘Craig Loveless is responsive, commercial, and practical and not overly legal.’
Louis Dreyfus Commodities
State owned entities owned by the Government of Indonesia
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's compact presence in Singapore is complemented by a tight integration with its Hong Kong office. Singapore office head Rajeev Duggal frequently works alongside Hong Kong-based Asia corporate head Jonathan Stone. The two have combined to advise clients on a series of headline and big-ticket deals, including advising Mubadala Investment Company, the UAE sovereign wealth fund, on its $1.2bn acquisition of a stake in Jio Platforms, the Indian digital services provider. They also advised Axiata Group on its proposed merger of equals with Telenor Group’s Asia-Pacific business. Parveet Gandoak provides further senior-level support at counsel level.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Singapore M&A team remains one of the creme de la creme, in line with the firm’s global reputation. When it comes to challenging, high risk or high profile M&A projects, they’re the gold standard.’
‘Their thorough approach, availability, and responsiveness make them a potent force multiplier in any transaction, and you can totally rely on their advice and drafting.’
‘One of the strongest M&A teams in the market. Leveraging global capabilities, the lean local team is involved in some of the largest and most complex transactions in the region (India, Indonesia).’
‘Rajeev Duggal and Parveet Gandoak are the standouts in the Singapore office. They’re hands-on, always available, and excellent at shepherding a deal to closing. Their complementary skills make them a potent combination for difficult transactions.’
‘Rajeev Duggal is a solid office leader and Parveet Gandoak is an excellent resource to drive matters.’
‘Parveet Gandoak is a star in the making, who can be relied on to find commercially viable solutions to challenging legal issues, and then build consensus around the solution.’
PT Medco Energi Internasional
Equis Funds Group
First Gen Corporation
Mubadala Investment Company
White & Case Pte. Ltd.'s highly rated team was further bolstered at the senior level with Jon Bowden and Tabitha Saw's elevation to international partner status. Bowden is driving forward the firm's flourishing private equity practice, particularly in Indonesia where the team has concentrated its efforts for many years; Vietnam is a more recent growth market. Saw specialises in private equity real estate, notably advising on a series of recent data centre and digital asset deals. The hugely experienced Jonathan Olier leads the team, further building its standing in distressed transactions and corporate restructurings, along with traditional big-ticket strategic M&A.
‘White & Case provided an excellent service. The entire team was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and accommodating. One important point to highlight is that the team was very commercial in its recommendations without over-complicating the issues. Everything was straightforward and done in a timely manner.’
‘The team shows higher professional competence in difficult deal challenges and comes up with solutions that have substance.’
‘The private equity real estate team’s knowledge and varied deal experience is invaluable in deal structuring and negotiating. Coupled with their specialist expertise in data centres makes them the go-to team for any complex structured real estate deals.’
‘Jonathan Olier understands the desired client outcome and shows dedication to the client, and has a creative solution-oriented approach to complex problems.’
‘Jonathan Olier gives very practical advice that works for us commercially, is able to distil complex issues quickly, has an amazing ‘big picture’ perspective, makes great efforts to know our institution well, and provides advice that is tailored for us.’
‘Jon Bowden is very responsive, always available, and will go the extra mile to help.’
‘Jon Bowden listens to the client’s needs and carefully considers the key commercial angles before advising on legal matters.’
‘Tabitha Saw is highly technical but more importantly, she is very personable. She takes a genuine interest and concern to understand the client’s needs and to act in our best interest.’
‘Tabitha Saw is really the shining star at White & Case. I do not think anyone else in the firm comes close to providing her standards of product delivery and client service. She is exceptionally sharp, possesses an astounding elephant-like memory, and has the ability to dissect complex issues and draft language pertaining to these issues into documents in a clear and concise manner.’
‘Lisa Yeo demonstrated great maturity and efficiency throughout the process which helped the team turn around documents quickly and accurately in a tight schedule. She had a good grasp of the documents which helped in overall efficiency of the process.’
‘Lisa Yeo is an associate in the team and although has less deal experience/knowledge than the partners she certainly has the other qualities and her hard work on deals does not go unnoticed.’
Bangkok Bank Public Company
Baring Private Equity Asia
CIMB Investment Bank
Credit Suisse (Singapore)
The Government of Republic of Indonesia
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Pacific Century Group
- Advised Bangkok Bank Public Company on its $2.3bn acquisition of a majority shareholding in Bank Permata from Standard Chartered Bank and PT Astra International.
- Advised the Government of Republic of Indonesia on the update of its $25bn Rule 144A/Reg S Trust Certificate issuance programme and its subsequent S$2.5bn issuance of trust certificates.
- Advised the joint lead managers in connection with LMIRT Capital’s Regulation S offering of $250m senior guaranteed notes due 2024.
Ashurst LLP remains best known for energy and resources M&A, though it has significantly expanded its offering with a series of key hires in the last few years. It now represents a range of Southeast Asia businesses, wider Asia Pacific organisations (particularly from Japan), and further multinational companies from around the world. Private equity is another growing area for the team. Simon Brown leads the team and has an extensive record in energy and resources M&A; he led the team that advised Eni, through its subsidiary Eni East Sepinggan, on the transfer of a 20% participating interest in the East Sepinggan area in Indonesia to Neptune Energy Group, through its subsidiary Neptune Energy East Sepinggan. Waltter Kulvik is noted for private equity and infrastructure M&A. Michelle Phang has a fine background in cross-border M&A in Asia Pacific, and is Singapore and UK qualified.
Inalum (Indonesian state owned enterprise)
A-Cap Energy Resources
Mitsui & Co
GPC Asia Pacific
The Silanna Group
JFE Shoji Trade Corporation
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Japan Bank for International Cooperation
- Advised Eni on its divestment of an interest in the East Sepinggan oil and gas block in Indonesia.
- Advised Hyundai on its $4bn joint venture with Aptiv to develop and commercialise autonomous driving technologies.
Gibson Dunn's core group of corporate and M&A lawyers has immense experience in Asia Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia and South Asia. The group has built a reputation for technology, media, and transportation deals, along with specialist expertise in energy (particularly oil and gas). The team is also working closely with Hong Kong colleagues to extend its offering in the private equity field. Head of Singapore and the Asia Pacific region Jai Pathak is immensely experienced and has advised on a number of the key headline deals in the region, particularly Singapore and India. Brad Roach has an outstanding reputation in oil and gas M&A, notably advising Murphy Oil on its $2.12bn divestment of its Malaysian subsidiaries to PTTEP, including oil and gas fields in Sarawak and Sabah. Elaine Chao was promoted to partner in January 2020.
‘Gibson Dunn provides excellent global coverage across all disciplines needed for a corporate transaction.’
‘The firm is indeed a one-stop service provider, with extensive resources both in terms of subject matter expertise as well as in terms of global reach.’
‘Brad Roach is probably unequaled in Asia on his knowledge of upstream agreements and transactions. Despite a high-pressure situation, he and the Gibson Dunn team came through on drafting, negotiations, approvals, closing, and post-closing work.’
‘Jai Pathak is very commercially minded, attentive, and responsive. He has extensive experience in M&A.’
I Squared Capital
No Sign Board Holdings
SB Energy Global Holdings
Best World International
King & Spalding LLP is further evolving its M&A practice beyond its traditional forte of energy transactions. M&A and private equity transactions in multiple industries are now a genuine feature of the practice led by senior figure Lee Taylor. He led the team that advised Catalina, an industry leader in the legacy reinsurance space and a portfolio company of Apollo Global Management, on its agreement to acquire Asia Capital Reinsurance Group, the Singapore-headquartered reinsurance business.
Platinum Equity Partners
Rutledge Omni Services
Keppel Capital Holdings
PTT Exploration and Production Company
Catalina Holdings (Bermuda)
- Advised Catalina (a portfolio company of Apollo Global Management)on its acquisition of Asia Capital Reinsurance Group.
- Advised Masdar on its acquisition of a 20% equity stake in Hero Future Energies Global.
- Advised SGX-listed SATS on its acquisition of Monty’s Bakehouse UK from its existing shareholders.
Morrison & Foerster (Singapore) LLP has impressed in headline M&A over recent years, though the departure of Jake Robson and of counsel Nick Davies to King & Wood Mallesons is a considerable blow to the Singapore team. The firm remains notably active in fintech, insurtech, and venture capital investments, along with logistics and real estate M&A. Shirin Tang is now the senior figure in the team, while Lip Kian Ang was promoted to partner in January 2020. Of counsel Maria Steeples remains one of the market leaders in warranty and indemnity-linked M&A.
‘Morrison & Foerster’s corporate and M&A practice is exceptional. They are proficient and commercial in their advice, always responsive, and have strong connections with every Asian country that we do M&A deals in – either with their own offices, or through strong local firm partnerships.’
‘Excellent technical skills and client responsiveness. Top drawer practice.’
‘Shirin Tang is very connected to the market and is able to connect the dots between commercial sensitivities and legal expertise.’
‘Lip Kian Ang is an excellent corporate lawyer and very attuned to clients’ requirements.’
‘Maria Steeples is exceptionally commercial, responsive and her outstanding performance has led her to be the legal adviser of choice for many insurers in the Asia-Pacific M&A space.’
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG)
Beam Mobility Holdings
- Acted for MUFG Bank, MUFG Innovation Partners, and Krungsri Finnovate on their $706m investment into Grab holdings to provide accessible and affordable financial services across Southeast Asia.
- Advised Beam Mobility Holdings, a Singapore-headquartered micro mobility firm that offers shared e-scooters, on its $26m Series A financing from Sequoia Capital India, Hana Ventures and other investors.
Shearman & Sterling LLP has impressed further with its range of headline and big-ticket M&A, private equity, joint-venture, and venture capital transactions. The Singapore team has attracted some of the most illustrious engagements in the market and continues to be recognised for its core energy sector expertise. It has genuine private equity prominence, thanks in large part to the presence of department head Sidharth Bhasin, who is a true specialist in this area and represents some of the biggest name private equity houses in the market. Insurance and bancassurance deals are also a forte for the group. The highly-rated James Clayton-Payne was elected to the partnership in 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘Shearman & Sterling is one of the best teams for M&A deals. They have a very strong group and are very responsive lawyers. They are able to solve complicated issues with potential partners.’
‘The team is very commercial oriented as it is able to grasp what the client is hoping to achieve through legal means. Besides advising on M&A, the team is also very capable in advising on joint ventures and commercial affairs.’
‘James Clayton Payne is a top M&A lawyer. He has very sharp and strategic thinking. He is able to solve complicated issues without sacrificing his clients’ interests and he is a good negotiator as well.’
Capital Square Partners (CSP)
Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan Board (OTPP)
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)
PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa (Go-Jek)
- Advising Inalum on its potential investment into PT Vale’s Indonesian nickel mine and other assets.
- Advised PTTEP on its proposed purchase of a 100% shareholding of a global diversified upstream and midstream oil and gas business, involving assets in Angola, Brazil, Oman, Kazakhstan and the UAE, and corporate vehicles in the Netherlands, Panama and The Cayman Islands.
- Advised Go Jek on a series A fundraising for its new video streaming service GoPlay.
Stephenson Harwood LLP has a highly reputable presence in Southeast Asia with a particularly fine record in Myanmar and Indonesia. Its practice centres on an impressive mix of strategic M&A and private equity, most notably in the healthcare, technology, and telecoms sectors. Though principally known as a mid-market M&A firm, the Singapore office has achieved prominence in headline and bulge-bracket deals. It advised Equinix Asia Pacific and Equinix Inc, as the ultimate parent of the Equinix group, on the corporate restructuring of the Equinix group. The firm is a recognised leader in Myanmar where Tom Platts has a particularly illustrious reputation. George Cyriac is noted for Indonesia deals, especially private equity transactions. Helen Rhind-Hufnagel provides further senior-level support at of counsel level.
‘One of the easiest firms to work with. Knowledgeable in all areas and extremely personable. The corporate team has full capacity to handle multi-jurisdictional transactions and manages to make working in high pressure situations less stressful.’
‘Stephenson Harwood would be one of my preferred law firms if I am looking to engage a counsel for a transaction with underlying assets in India or Indonesia. They have sound knowledge in those regions while being able to provide high quality legal service that you would expect from a reputable international firm.’
‘I worked with Helen Rhind-Hufnagel, Tom Platts and Ben Hickson [Myanmar associate] on a matter and was very impressed by their knowledge of Myanmar’s legal landscape.’
‘I always find George Cyriac a very capable lawyer as well as a good problem solver. His familiarity with India and Indonesia also adds a lot of value.’
‘George Cyriac is highly competent and brings a calming influence to transactions. He is very knowledgeable.’
‘Tom Platts has broad and in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of multi-jurisdictional transactions, with a very easy-going manner. One of the best in the business.’
‘Philippa English is a pleasure to work with and extremely competent.’
Aura Group (Singapore)
Tech Mahindra Limited
Duff & Phelps, Kroll
Myanmar Investments International
Equinix Asia Pacific
- Advised Danfoss on the regional aspects of its $3.3bn acquisition of Eaton Corporation’s hydraulic business across 43 jurisdictions.
- Advised Aura Group (Singapore) on establishing its first aviation fund and its participation in a junior debt related to aircraft assets.
- Advised Indian IT services firm Tech Mahindra on its $95m acquisition of Born Group, a New York-based marketing and media solutions agency.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP continues to focus on Myanmar and Indonesia as its primary markets. Beyond these two jurisdictions, it has a healthy level of deal activity in the broader Southeast Asia and South Asia, including a number of transactions in the renewable energy sector. Former team lead Manoj Purush joined Reed Smith LLP in January 2021.
Macquarie Capital / Green Investment Group
- Advised Macquarie on the sale of a significant interest in the 2 GW Formosa 3 offshore wind farm to a subsidiary of JERA.
- Represented Macquarie on the sale of a 49% interest in the 376 MW Formosa 2 offshore wind farm to a subsidiary of JERA.
Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore
Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore's team is now jointly led by Justin Tan and Thomas Choo. The group continues to be at the forefront of deals in the insurance and reinsurance sector, along with hospitality and leisure, marine, mining, and natural resources, and trade and commodities. The team has deep experience in Southeast Asia deals, along with cross-border transactions involving jurisdictions outside the region. Senior figure Ian Stewart has relocated to Melbourne and former partner Ben Hirasawa, a prominent player in the hospitality and leisure sector, has launched BH2I.
Arthur J Gallagher Group
CMS is a leader in tech sector venture financings and mid-cap M&A. The Singapore team has an excellent record in local and Indonesia deals, though has a credible record across Southeast Asia. The group has worked on multiple deals in the gaming, e-commerce, healthtech, and fintech sectors; it advised Ecommerce Enablers (ShopBack) on its extended $75m fundraising round and its acquisition of Ebates Singapore and Korea. Department head Toby Grainger is an experienced figure in Singapore and Indonesia deals and is playing a key role in developing the group's practice into other parts of the Asia Pacific region.
ST Pharm / Dong-A Socio Holdings
Emerging Markets Property Group
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Dentsu Aegis Network
Peakside Capital Advisers
- Advised ShopBack on the completion of an extended $75m fundraising round, and on its parallel acquisition of Ebates Singapore and Korea from the Ebates Group.
- Advised Korea’s largest pharmaceuticals groups ST Pharm in acquiring a 70% stake in Swiss contract laboratory services and histopathology company, AnaPath Services, whilst simultaneously advising AnaPath Services on its 100% acquisition of Spanish contract research organisation, Envigo CRS.
- Advised Singapore-based Bridge Resources on an acquisition of interests in Mongolian coal assets including Baruun Noyon Uul Coal Mine and the Enkhtunkh Orchon Coal Mine from ASX-listed TerraCom.
Cooley LLP's nascent Singapore office is at the heart of the emerging companies and venture capital sector in Singapore, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. The firm is a pioneer in this field and, in Singapore, it is poised to make an even greater impact as this segment of the economy continues to grow. The office is working in multiple areas of the start-up and growth company segment, advising both venture and private capital providers, along with a range of emerging businesses. Matthew Bartus and Ferish Patel are leading the firm's efforts in Singapore.
- Represented GGV Capital in its investment in the $585m financing round for Udaan, a B2B trade platform designed specifically for small and medium businesses.
- Cooley represented Meesho, a Bangalore-based social commerce startup, in its $125m Series D financing.
- Cooley represented Cred, an India fintech startup, in its $120m Series B financing.
DLA Piper's purposeful expansion in Singapore continued in 2020 with the arrival of New York and Hong Kong-qualified David Kuo from Milbank in Hong Kong; Kuo brings a background in big-ticket M&A, private equity, and capital markets transactions, especially in the real estate, technology, and energy sectors. The wider practice has an impressive record in Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand transactions, and has achieved further growth in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan. It has also expanded its practice in technology M&A and venture capital. It continues to advise a range of ASEAN and other multinational clients. Experienced Singapore managing partner Joe Bauerschmidt continues to play a pivotal role in boosting the firm's prominence in the region and has attracted a series of big-ticket engagements; he led the team that advised Singapore Technologies Engineering on its €250m acquisition of Newtec, the Belgium-based satellite communications company.
Other key lawyers:
Singapore Technologies Engineering
BBGI Public Company
Aegis Media Hong Kong
Duane Morris & Selvam LLP, the joint law venture firm, covers both Singapore and international law elements of transactions. It has a particularly extensive record in Singapore, Vietnam, and Myanmar, jurisdictions where it also has offices. The firm is also prominent amongst early-stage and mature businesses in a range of sectors. Department head Krishna Ramachandra has an impressive record in headline deals, including those in the TMT and fintech sectors. Leon Yee provides further senior-level corporate expertise and advises a range of Singapore and China-based clients, along with a series of private equity houses. Mark Wong has joined Shook Lin & Bok LLP.
Best World International
Platinum Equity Advisors International
Bond Capital Partners
Korea Development Bank
- Advised Platinum Equity on its S$203m acquisition of PCI.
- Advised Best World on its £27.7m acquisition of Margaret Dabbs London.
- Advised Protelindo on its $135m acquisition of 1,000 telecommunication towers from PT Indosat.
HFW Singapore LLP
HFW Singapore LLP lost former department head Brian Gordon to Squire Patton Boggs in April 2020, leaving the firm without one of its most senior M&A specialists, particularly in energy and resources. The remaining team has a particularly keen focus on energy and renewables sector transactions and has a continuing emphasis on the Indonesia market. Healthcare is another key area. Ivan Chia and Aaron Kok lead the department, while seasoned partner Alistair Duffield provides further senior-level experience in the energy sector.
‘Helpful, practical, fast, and responsive.’
‘HFW has always proven itself in providing excellent services to the clients and fellow legal practitioners, and it has always exhibited the highest standard of professionalism and both legal and business understanding.’
‘Aaron Kok is helpful, responsive, and able to see the commercial angle.’
‘Aaron Kok has been a good support for issues out of Singapore. Very efficient and engaged in the assignments.’
‘Ivan Chia has deep experience and insights into the energy sector, especially renewable energy and LNG.’
King & Wood Mallesons
King & Wood Mallesons established a highly credible corporate and M&A practice through the hire of prominent partner Jake Robson and special counsel Nick Davies from Morrison & Foerster (Singapore) LLP in 2020. Robson, in particular, has led advice to clients on a series of headline deals in recent years.
Axiata Group Berhad
Axiata Digital Services
Princeton Digital Group
Krungsri (Bank of Ayudhya PCL and its business units)
- Acted for MUFG on the structuring and completion its $706m investment into Grab Holdings and related strategic partnership with Grab to develop and distribute financial services in seven jurisdictions in Southeast Asia and two other jurisdictions elsewhere in Asia.
- Advised the client in relation to its role as investment advisor to, and LP in, a Cayman Islands fund which will be established to invest in BRI projects in South East Asia.
- Advised on an acquisition and charter of Very Large Ethane Carries (VLECs) from a US project to a Chinese petrochemical facility.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP has a rich history in energy and infrastructure deals, particularly power (including renewables), commodities, and natural resources. The firm has seen additional growth in technology and media transactions, and has a significant pipeline of private equity, financial investor, and family office engagements. Matthew Gorman leads the team and has an extensive record in energy and private capital deals. Kohe Hasan is also rated for energy transactions, particularly in the power sector, while Gerald Licnachan is also growing the office's private capital practice.
‘They are practical and down-to-earth, easy to talk to, and understand.’
‘Reed Smith stood out due to its ability to grasp the issues and recommend solutions.’
‘Excellent corporate team, very responsive, and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Matthew Gorman is an excellent lawyer and very easy to work with. Matt has been in the region a long time and understands working on multi-jurisdictional transactions. He is highly competent at structuring complex M&A deals.’
‘Matthew Gorman gave very sound and practical advice, the level of support and follow up received on matters from a senior was commendable.’
‘Gerald Licnachan is a real pleasure to work with. He is very smart, professional, and very hands-on.’
Watson Farley & Williams LLP has a strong focus on energy and transport transactions, along with a fast-developing venture capital practice. The venture capital piece is principally driven by Damian Adams, who returned to the firm from Simmons & Simmons in February 2020. His work centres on fintech, healthtech, medtech, and proptech, while moving into the firm's forte areas, notably energy and transport (this includes sustainable shipping). Ivy Liu joined the team from the Bangkok office of DFDL Legal & Tax in November 2019 bringing additional expertise in China inbound investment; she is PRC qualified and a Mandarin speaker. Nick Dingemans has moved to Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP.
‘The corporate team at Watson Farley & Williams has broad and deep knowledge of established and emerging markets around Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, Europe, the Middle East, and Russia and the CIS. That level of experience means that they can give solutions to complex cross-border structuring issues.’
‘The team is particularly experienced in the energy (renewable and conventional), infrastructure, and natural resources sectors but is able to provide sensible, pragmatic advice on general corporate issues. They put the client first and provide clear workable advice.’
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners
Copenhagen Offshore Partners
- Advised AIM-listed Coro Energy on its acquisition of an interest in the Duyung Production Sharing Contract in the West Natuna basin, offshore Indonesia, which contains the shallow water Mako gas field.
- Advised the founder shareholder of an offshore services company on a proposed convertible loan and equity investment (through a warrants agreement) by the family office of a high net worth individual.