Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow has an established presence in Singapore with the team focused on the regional Southeast Asia market, primarily in the real estate, private equity and venture capital funds segments. The Singapore team combines both local and international funds expertise with regulatory and tax capabilities and has an impressive mix of sponsor and investor-side clients. It has worked on a series of big-ticket real estate and data centre fund formations, and has also achieved further growth in Malaysia’s private funds market. Kelvin Poa leads the Singapore team, which includes Derek Kwan and highly-rated associate Jens Carle. Stephanie Magnus is rated for regulatory matters.
Investment funds: foreign firms in Singapore
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
Other key lawyers:
Derek Kwan; Jens Carle; Stephanie Magnus
‘The team stands out in terms of ability to collaborate and suit our legal needs, and adjust its legal advice and support to the structure/format of the advice we require.’
‘Kelvin Poa is practical and client-oriented.’
‘Stephanie Magnus – responsive and good regulatory nous.’
Adams Street Partners
Affinity Equity Partners
Atlas Asset Management
Godrej Fund Management
Keppel Capital / Alpha Investment Partners
KWAP (Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan))
Muang Thai Life Assurance (Fuchsia Venture Capital Company)
PNB (Permodalan Nasional Berhad)
PT Astra International
PTT Public Company Limited
Siam Cement Group (AddVentures)
Siam Commercial Bank (SCB 10X)
Sime Darby Property
Singapore Institute of Technology
Thai Oil Public Company Limited
Vickers Venture Partners
- Acted for ESR on the formation and first closing of ESR Co-Investment Pan-APAC Fund.
- Acted for Godrej Fund Management on the formation and final closing of GBTC II, a closed-end India focused private equity real estate investment platform.
- Acted for Vickers on the formation and final closing of Vickers Venture Fund VI (Fund VI), a $250m global venture capital fund.
Clifford Chance has a fully-rounded practice with an ability to advise on international and local law aspects of fund formations. Led by US-qualified lawyer Kai-Niklas Schneider and Singapore-qualified Daryl Liu, the team represents international and regional fund managers along with a number of sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors. Regulatory partner Lena Ng is another key team member in respect of fund authorisations and other regulatory requirements. Fund counsels Chloe Cheng and Luke Chen are also making an impression, the latter specialising in retail funds.
Kai-Niklas Schneider; Daryl Liu
Other key lawyers:
Lena Ng; Chloe Cheng; Luke Chen
‘Clifford Chance has grown from strength to strength as is evident by their team size. The team attracts high calibre mandates and provides top tier advice to their clients. The partners are commercial and approachable and work to ensure that the timing demands of each transaction are met. The team works to ensure that the expectations of clients are met throughout.’
‘Kai-Niklas Schneider is a notable practitioner who is very experienced and brings a strong commercial approach to deals. Daryl Liu has a great rapport with clients and is well known in the market for his well considered approach on issues arising on matters.’
Various leading international asset managers – Schroders, DWS, Credit Suisse, PIMCO, State Street, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Quilter Investors, Optimas, BNY Mellon and UBS
- Advised ESR on the successful first closing of ESR Japan Income Fund, a $750m open-ended fund investing in core logistics assets in Japan with commitments from several institutional investors.
- Advised Pierfront Capital on the formation of a real asset private credit fund.
- Engaged by international asset managers, including Schroders, DWS, Credit Suisse, PIMCO, State Street, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Quilter Investors, Optimas, BNY Mellon and UBS, on both retail funds and asset management matters including some of the largest managers of exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leader in the private funds market, notably representing a range of institutional asset managers, private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds. It has made a particular impression in the India market and the credit funds segment. The Singapore office is also recognised for representing a number of sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The Singapore team often works closely with colleagues in Hong Kong, New York and Washington DC. US-qualified Olivia Chung is immensely experienced in private equity and hedge funds, and regularly advises sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors. Divya Thakur departed to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in late 2022.
‘They provide a strong, efficient and hands on service with a global reach for our various LP investments and co investments.’
‘Olivia Chung is the key relationship partner on the funds and co investment side. She leads the deals and is up to speed on deal terms and doesn’t leave it all to associates – that’s a stand out for us and what we would expect. Olivia and her team are practical about issues and bring wide experience to the deals.’
‘There is a proper team spirit and culture of collaboration that is special at Akin. I have worked with and known team members in Singapore and Hong Kong and have been impressed by them all.’
‘Knowledgeable lawyers with a practical and commercial approach.’
‘The funds practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Singapore is helmed by partner Olivia Chung. Olivia’s breadth of practice covering general investment funds and US securities laws that apply to investment funds are a plus point for the Asian based managers, who benefit from the same time zone support that the firm can offer in the Asian timezone.’
‘Olivia Chung – responsive, ability to explain complex legal issues under US securities laws and how those rules apply to Asian fund managers; accessible.’
Dechert has a well-established funds practice in Singapore, led by the immensely experienced Dean Collins. The team continues to the make an impression in private equity, private credit, fund secondaries and technology funds, and also represents a number of institutional investors and is achieving further growth in ESG-related funds; it represented Clime Capital in connection with the launch of Southeast Asia Clean Energy Facility (SEACEF). Associate Thomas Kim is also highly rated.
Other key lawyers:
‘We use Dechert for legal assistance when underwriting and conducting due diligence on private investment funds. The team is very commercial and efficient, focusing on core issues and risks that are material for any investments. Easy to work with, providing guidance and assessments in plain language.’
‘Thomas Kim is an excellent associate who is able to manage transactions seamlessly while addressing many complex matters. Thomas is proactive and driven to achieve the objectives of his client and shows a genuine interest in obtaining the best result for his client (as opposed to merely following direction).’
‘Had a deal that required funds and M&A expertise. Approached the Dechert M&A team and they roped in the funds team to assist on the deal. I was impressed by the level of collaboration and the breath of cross-area expertise demonstrated by each member of the Dechert team – each lawyer was a subject matter expert in his/her own practice area but was also sensitive to the issues outside of his/her practice area.’
‘Thomas Kim did most of the day to day heavy lifting and was the lynchpin in getting the deal across the line. Whilst he is a skilled funds practitioner, what was impressive to me was his cool demeanour throughout his interactions with the client and his ability in managing the various workstreams.’
‘Would call out Thomas Kim for his exceptional professionalism and tenacity. Works hard, responses are quick, and provides sharp analysis. I have no doubt Thomas Kim has limitless potential should he remain in this trajectory and keep up this ethos.’
‘Good knowledge and insights on what is market for commercial and legal terms for PE funds.’
‘Very responsive and able to turnaround quickly in short fused and complex situations.’
‘The team has deep experience and is very knowledgeable. Also provides pragmatic, commercial and constructive advice – bearing in mind our interests but also considering the ability to get things / issues across the line.’
CDIB Capital International Corporation
JI Capital Partners
SilkRoad Property Partners
Dymon Asia Private Equity
Genesis Alternative Ventures
KV Asia Capital
The Sylvan Group
Bank of Singapore
- Served as lead counsel to SilkRoad on the launch of Silkroad Structural Core Partners, an open-ended core plus real estate fund, which is targeting assets in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China.
- Acted as lead counsel for Clime Capital with respect to the Southeast Asia Clean Energy Facility.
- Acted as lead counsel for Bank of Singapore in connection with the sale of its platform fund management business to Institutional Capital Network.
Jones Day has an experienced team in Singapore, noted especially for its record in the real estate and infrastructure segments. The group has strong connections to international, regional and local fund managers, and has a mix of international and local lawyers though its QFLP structure. Dennis Barsky has exceptional experience in representing Asia-based real estate fund managers and investors, and has a track record in advising on private equity funds and hedge funds. Ben Witherall is another emerging talent.
Dennis Barsky; Ben Witherall
Ancora Capital Management Pte Ltd
ARA Asset Management Limited
Asia Capital Real Estate Limited
CBRE Investment Management
Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC
LaSalle Investment Management Limited
Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc.
OMERS Administration Corporation
Oxford Properties Group Limited
PAG Asia Capital
- Advised Macquarie on the establishment of a single asset investment vehicle to acquire interests in PT Tokopedia, its investment into the company, and the proposed merger of the company with Gojek.
Morrison Foerster (Singapore)
Morrison Foerster (Singapore) has built an impressive team, client base and track record. At the forefront of the private equity real estate space, it has achieved further prominence in venture capital work and is getting additional traction in private equity matters. With deep connections to local and regional entities, the team has gained a growing number of global manager clients. Shirin Tang is a leading name in private equity real estate, notably advising on a series of logistics and data centre deals, while Jason Nelms is a rare commodity as a US-qualified funds partner based in Singapore; he is growing the team’s presence in private equity. Paul Davis is another key partner in the team and Lip Kian Ang rounds out the group.
Jason Nelms; Shirin Tang; Lip Kian Ang; Paul Davis
‘We have worked very closely with the Singapore private funds team for many years. They understand our business and our strategic vision, and their years of experience advising on many of our landmark transactions has resulted in invaluable insight, cohesive and actionable solutions and terrific client service tailored to our unique needs as our business continues to grow and evolve.’
‘Jason Nelms is great at balancing the commercial and legal issues, and provides actionable insights. He is very focused on solving issues quickly without compromising attention to detail. He proactively identifies areas for us to focus on and helps to steer the transaction to a successful closing.’
Shirin Tang is a stand out attorney. She is able to balance legal analysis against the commercial realities of our transactions and shows incredible judgment in determining the appropriate balance. Shirin works tirelessly and leads an excellent team to deliver us the legal work that we need.’
‘MoFo Asia has a deep funds team that works seamlessly across projects and practice areas. They are always responsive and practice. The team is very commercial-minded.’
‘Jason Nelms in Singapore is the lead adviser on all of our fund investments. He has deep experience in all of the types of fund investments we make globally. He is always available and addresses any issues promptly.’
‘Extremely commercial advice, rapid response times, strong attention to detail and efficient billing practices.’
‘The team is responsive, commercial and always available.’
‘Jason Nelms is superb. He conveys things in a clear manner and has an excellent pulse on what is “market”. He is always available for a chat and his response time is second to none. Highly recommend.’
Berkeley Frontier Fund
Gennex Capital Advisers Ltd.
GLP Pte. Ltd.
Savills Investment Management
SH Fund Management
- Advised GLP on the establishment of GLP Japan Development Partners IV, one of the largest ever Japan-focused private real estate ventures.
- Advised GLP on the formation of Japan’s largest private open-ended logistics real estate income fund (JIF).
- Advised GLP on the formation of GLP Brazil Development Partners II, one of the largest ever logistics-focused ventures in Latin America.
Ashurst LLP has made a considerable impact on the market following the arrival of senior funds specialist Danny Tan in 2020. The team has landed a number of local, regional and international clients, working on a number of headline fund establishments and regulatory matters, including a series of fund launches under the VCC regime. The group has made a further impression in the logistics, venture capital, green technology and private credit spaces.
‘Experienced team that is responsive and provides thoughtful and well-rounded advice that considers both the legal and commercial aspects.’
‘Danny Tan is very responsive, and able to give advice that is concise, clear and practical. He is able to provide commercially-minded options for various challenges with his knowledge and experience dealing with regulators and counterparties.’
‘The team is led by a very seasoned and experienced partner in Danny Tan, who is practical, responsive and provides excellent advice.’
CMS has landed a significant share of the real estate and venture capital funds market. The Singapore team has extensive experience with the VCC regime and is noted for its experience in the technology field; it has built a reputation in the pioneering segments of blockchain, cryptoasset and fintech-focused funds, and is recognised for its focus on tokenisation. The group represents an impressive range of global institutional investor and asset manager clients and has achieved further growth in regulatory engagements from Singapore funds. Matthew Nortcliff specialises in the real asset, venture capital and technology sectors.
‘Nimble and versatile – Great communication – Client focus and yet commercial in their advice.’
‘Matthew Nortcliff has been very professional in the engagement. He goes beyond the call and I certainly appreciate his working style. He is quick, sharp and to the point.’
‘Matt Nortcliff from CMS is very helpful. He is very efficient and can meet the deal’s tight timeline. If we have an urgent project, we will think of CMS as we know that it will be in their good hands.’
‘Extremely diligent legal partners who also understand business and commercial dimensions of deals and engagements. Very accessible and available via multiple channels when needed. Superb understanding of private equity / venture fund legal dynamics and practices.’
‘Matthew Nortcliff has been a key partner for us from the get-go, ever since the inception of our first venture capital fund up to all our subsequent fund vehicles. Matthew is always available, offers great legal advice with an understanding for commercial dynamics and is an extremely trustworthy partner, adviser and resource for our fund business.’
‘CMS has an excellent grasp of client needs and through its global network is able to offer quality advice out of jurisdiction if needed.’
‘Matt Nortcliff and his team strike a strong balance between law and commercial requirements. Matt is sharp in identifying nuances of statutes and explains complex legal writings in a clear and concise way. Matt’s team’s greatest strength is their willingness to go the extra mile. You can count on them to get back to you on time and on point all day long.’
‘Matt Nortcliff engages with us as a long term partner. Matt remains a reliable source for information and solutions.’
UBS Asset Management AG
LaSalle Global Partner Solutions
SBI Ven Capital
SC Capital Partners
Willis Towers Watson
Ship Street Advisors
- Advised Makers Fund on the launch and closing of its $500m Fund III, established as a Singapore VCC and with a focus on investing in interactive entertainment startups.
- Advised Play Ventures on the establishment and closing of its $75m Play Future Fund, focused on early stage investments in blockchain-based gaming ventures.
- Advised LaSalle GPS on strategic co-investments alongside Logos and AEW to acquire and develop real estate assets in Australia and Korea respectively.
Cooley LLP has expanded its expertise in venture capital and growth capital funds to the Singapore market. Sean Murphy joined as a partner from Shearman & Sterling LLP‘s Hong Kong office in 2021 and now leads the Singapore team that has a broad regional focus with funds focused on the India, China, Philippines and Indonesia markets, among others.
Other key lawyers:
Foxmont Capital Partners
Good Startup Pte Ltd
Southeast Asia Exponential Ventures (SeaX Ventures)
Pacific 8 Ventures
- Advised Indonesia-based venture capital company AC Ventures on its Fund III with over $205m in committed capital.
King & Wood Mallesons
King & Wood Mallesons is a key name in the market for real estate and infrastructure funds, representing some of the biggest institutional investors and asset managers from around the region and worldwide. Will McCosker leads the department, having joined the office in 2019, and also headed up the team that advised anchor client Macquarie on the establishment of a $4bn global real estate fund.
‘Depth of expertise. Availability and engagement of partners and quality associates. Competence.’
‘Will McCosker. Very experienced in the funds sector. Able to communicate clearly. Extremely pragmatic and commercial, but also strong on material points.’
‘The team has worked with us for many years and retains a good knowledge of the key issues affecting our business and our fund products. Very responsive and professional. They can be relied upon to produce very high quality work.’
- Advised Macquarie Asset Management on the establishment of a flagship global opportunistic real estate fund.
- Advised Hale Capital Partners on a strategic joint venture with Oxford Properties (OMERS) and Warburg Pincus relating to logistics property investments.
- Advised Macquarie Asset Management and Real Assets (MIRA) on the establishment of a $1.1bn tactical club.
Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley Austin LLP‘s Singapore funds team is part of a well-developed Asia Pacific and international practice. The group works especially closely with Hong Kong colleagues, and has an established record in private equity and hedge funds alongside extensive experience with Singapore’s VCC regime. In headline matters, the team advised EQT on its $7.5bn agreement to acquire Baring Private Equity Asia. Han Ming Ho is immensely knowledgeable in both open-ended and closed-ended structures, and has extensive regulatory experience. Counsel Josephine Law is another key team member.
Han Ming Ho
Other key lawyers:
Dymon Asia Capital
BlackRock (Singapore) Holdco Pte Ltd
AllianceBernstein (Singapore) Ltd
Singapore Institute of Technology
Wavemaker Pacific Partners Pte Ltd
Kings Court Capital Pte Ltd
Quantedge Capital Pte Ltd
FengHe Asia Fund Management
Proterra Investment Advisors (Singapore) Pte Ltd
- Advised EQT on the $7.5bn agreement to acquire Baring Private Equity Asia.
- Acted as primary counsel for Quantedge Capital on the fund documentation for its flagship Quantedge Global Fund.
- Acted as lead counsel for Wavemaker in relation to the establishment of Wavemaker Fund 4, a private equity fund structured as a Cayman Islands limited partnership, with an investment focus in Southeast Asia.
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons has a notable client base of financial institutions and asset managers and operates across the private and retail fund spaces. The firm is active in registration and regulatory matters for its estimable client base, and is known for its expertise in hedge funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and crypto funds. Jek-Aun Long is hugely experienced in fund formation and regulatory matters, while Dax Lim specialises in venture capital and growth equity funds and Benedict Tan is the key name at of counsel level
Other key lawyers:
Dax Lim; Benedict Tan; Joshua Heng
‘Simmons is well known for its fund capabilities. Crypto funds are not exactly new but they already have quite a bit experience in this field and were able to help us consider and navigate the various structural, compliance and legal issues. Simmons were also able to highlight tax issues for us to consider with our tax advisers.’
‘Jek-Aun Long is very experienced and has been advising us for years. We have also been impressed with Joshua Heng, who is young but very methodical in his crypto analysis and advice.’
BlackRock Global Funds
BlackRock Strategic Funds
BlackRock Funds I ICAV
BNY Mellon Global Funds, plc
Investec Global Strategy Fund
Lion Global Investors Limited
Foord Asset Management (Singapore) Pte. Limited
CSOP Asset Management Pte. Ltd.
Phillip Capital Management (S) Ltd
BlackRock Singapore Limited
Wellington Management Funds (Luxembourg) III SICAV
- Advised BlackRock Global Funds on the registration of 16 new sub-funds under the BlackRock Global Funds umbrella by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for public retail offer in Singapore and the annual relodgement of the fund.
- Advised BNY Mellon Global Funds with the registration of the BNY Mellon Future Earth Fund and BNY Mellon Blockchain Innovation Fund by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for public retail offer.
- Acted for CSOP Asset Management to establish the CSOP iEdge S-REITs Index ETF under a new umbrella unit trust.