Financial services regulatory: local firms in Singapore

Allen & Gledhill LLP

Allen & Gledhill LLP fields an 'experienced set of well-rounded lawyers' with combined expertise in financial services advisory and disputes. The five-partner team is jointly led by Francis Mok and Karen Tiah, who collectively have 'a tremendous amount of experience' advising banks, insurers, brokers and fund managers, on various regulatory issues, financial products and structuring derivatives transactions. Adrian Ang focuses on licensing matters, the distribution of financial products, outsourcing and arrangements and conduct of business requirements. Aaron Lee's contentious practice spans fraud, insider trading, money laundering, corruption, securities and market misconduct.

Practice head(s):

Francis Mok, Karen Tiah

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Ang; Aaron Lee

Testimonials

Allen & Gledhill has the best financial services and regulatory department in Singapore. They offer first-class advice and service, and have impressive bench strength across the board.’

‘Adrian Ang is the “go to” lawyer for all Singapore financial services and regulatory matters. He is recognised by clients and peers for his keen intellect, his formidable knowledge of MAS regulations and providing excellent, user-friendly advice. Adrian is a first-class lawyer – he is sharp, understands his clients’ objectives and is very responsive.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted Maybank with the subsidiarisation of its Singapore retail banking operations
  • Advised NTUC Enterprise Co-operative on its S$320m acquisition of  leading food and retail centre operator Kopitiam Investment and its subsidiaries.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has 'a good level of experience and broad knowledge' in the area of financial services, derivatives and structured products. Key clients include regulators, global banks, brokers, funds, insurers and fintech businesses. Fintech specialist Regina Liew also assists with licensing and regulatory clearances and regulator enforcement actions. Larry Lim also advises on a wide range of fintech-related matters, including the launch of cryptocurrencies and a wide range of issues covering banking, securities, derivatives, commodities and payment systems.

Practice head(s):

Regina Liew

Other key lawyers:

Larry Lim

Key clients

Singapore Telecommunications

Asia Pacific Exchange Pte.

Lu International Asset Exchange Pte. Lt

Work highlights

  • Advising Singapore Telecommunications on multi-jurisdictional legal and regulatory analysis in Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia concerning the company’s proposed cross-border payments system that will allow users of an e-wallet provider in their home country to make payments to merchants in foreign countries by way of a central transaction.

WongPartnership LLP

WongPartnership LLP's core areas of activity include assisting with the preparation of licensing applications and other regulatory submissions, compliance, banking secrecy issues, anti-money laundering matters and financial products. Rosabel Ng focuses primarily on the regulation of derivatives and structured products, where she advises issuers, sponsors, arrangers and investors on the regulatory aspects of listed and unlisted structured notes and products. Elaine Chan supports foreign and domestic financial institutions with their operations and compliance in Singapore, as well as in licensing applications, sales and disposals and fintech-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Rosabel Ng

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Chan

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Goldman Sachs (Asia)

Morgan Stanley Asia

Credit Suisse AG,Singapore Branch

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Enterprise Fund III, VMF3 and Value Monetization III in relation to an originating summons that centres on the interpretation of the financial assistance provisions in the Company Act, in particular the prohibition against a company acquiring its own shares.
  • Advising on regulatory implications of cross-border arrangements between a Swiss bank and its Singapore affiliate and assisting with the submission to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a capital markets services licence.
  • Advised on the review of suspected misconduct on the part of former representatives of the CMS licence holder.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

Stephanie Magnus heads the financial services regulatory practice at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow; her practice spans compliance, fintech in the financial services, insurance and commodities sectors. She also regularly advises banks and fund managers on merger and acquisition transactions, particularly those involving the acquisition or sale of regulated financial services companies. Eunice Tan is also a name to note for setting up, structuring and securing of licenses and exemptions, financial products, conduct of business rules and regulatory and internal investigations.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Magnus

Other key lawyers:

Eunice Tan

Cavenagh Law LLP

Cavenagh Law LLP advises on all regulatory aspects affecting the financial sector, ranging from derivatives, fintech issues, payments and insurance, set up and licensing, and M&A transactions. Dispute partners Nish Shetty and Kabir Singh are active in cross-jurisdictional regulatory investigations; they are supported by Lena Ng and 'outstanding' associate Janice Goh on the regulatory side.

Practice head(s):

Nish Shetty

Other key lawyers:

Kabir Singh; Lena Ng; Janice Goh

Testimonials

Janice Goh is an outstanding lawyer. She is always there and really understands our business and sensitivities – her advice was always solid and accurate.’

Work highlights

  • Advising various international banks on their resolution planning, including their global and cross-border resolution strategies.
  • Advising on a global regulatory investigation into alleged payments made through certain bank accounts, in connection with the 1MDB scandal.

CNPLaw LLP

CNPLaw LLP primarily focuses on supporting domestic and foreign entities on blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital token offerings. Li Fei Quek leads the team, which also includes Mike Chiam, a specialist in the fintech space, and Adrian Toh who focuses on corporate transactions and digital token offerings.

Practice head(s):

Quek Li Fei

Other key lawyers:

Mike Chiam; Adrian Toh

Key clients

Infinitus Technologies Pte. Ltd.

Real Estate Doc Pte. Ltd.

EBS Capital Pte. Ltd.

Bybridge Consultants Pte. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised on Infinitus Technologies’ token offering launch in Singapore and also for the listing and successful token sale initially on the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange and subsequently on Thailand’s licensed cryptocurrency exchange, Bitkub.
  • Advised on Bybridge Consultants Pte’s proposed token offering and proposed listing on cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Advised Lunch Actually Pte. Ltd. on the proposed token offering of Viola.io under Singaporean law .

Collyer Law LLC

Boutique practice Collyer Law LLC assists start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs with the formation of companies, early-stage founder documentation, the cross-border structuring of investments, seed and angel financing, venture capital and private equity, M&A and corporate finance transactions. Kevin Chua and Azmul Haque are the key figures.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Chua, Azmul Haque

Key clients

Lumiere Hospitality Group Pte. Ltd.

Astropreneur’s Hub Pte. Ltd.

Verge Capital Management Pte. Ltd.

ASEAN Financial Innovation Network Limited

The Yield Lab

Work highlights

  • Advised Lumiere Hospitality Group on an analysis of the applicable regulatory framework and a RFMC licence application for fund management of hotel properties in Cambodia.
  • Assisted Verge Capital Management with the formation of a private venture fund and regulatory and corporate services.
  • Advised the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network, a collaboration between International Finance Corporation, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Asean Bankers Association on its commercial contracts for operation of its platform for connecting fintech companies with Asean-based banks.