Labour and employment: local firms in Singapore

Allen & Gledhill LLP

As one of the top local full-service firms, Allen & Gledhill LLP offers top-tier broad expertise on non-contentious employment arrangements and contracts as well alongside experience representing employers in High Court disputes and other high-value claims. Practice co-head Sanjiv Rajan has a solid reputation in contentious employment and white-collar crime. Another key partner, Kelvin Wong supports multinational corporates and financial institutions on a wide variety of local and cross-border HR-related issues, including managing performance issues and disciplinary processes. Others to note are Vincent Leow for disputes and Aaron Lee for regulatory and corporate governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Wong; Sanjiv Rajan

Other key lawyers:

Aaron Lee; Vincent Leow

Testimonials

‘The Team is highly responsive and effective. They are thorough and detailed, leaving nothing left to chance while maintaining a keen eye for strategy.’

‘I put great value in their quick, yet thorough, response and commitment to deliver high-quality product and service, and still a pleasant-to-be-with character.’

‘Allen & Gledhill is a wonderful law firm with excellent lawyers.’

‘Vincent Leow is the go-to lawyer for employment matters. Extremely knowledge. Goes the extra mile to provide prompt advice. A lawyer with a first-class mind.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the trade finance arm of the global shipping and logistics company in successfully arguing for a worldwide freezing injunction against CEO and Finance Manager for fraud and conspiracy.
  • Acted for an employer in relation to a claim against its former senior employee who has wrongfully accessed confidential information and utilised the confidential information to compete wrongfully with employer during and after his employment in breach of his fiduciary and contractual obligations.
  • Represented an the plaintiff employer is a high-value claim of serious misconduct of the former employee in repeatedly accessing and downloading confidential information of the plaintiff prior to him leaving the plaintiff’s employment.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

With an extensive network of international offices, Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow is well placed to advise on the full spectrum of Singapore employment issues and local labour aspects of international transactions across Asia. The non-contentious side is handled by Kelvin Poa, who focuses on employment contracts and remuneration strategies, as well as hires, terminations, relocations, and immigration. Celeste Ang spearheads the contentious side and conducting investigations. Senior associate Zhao Yang Ng is also recommended for cross-border employment and immigration and arising disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Poa; Celeste Ang

Other key lawyers:

Zhao Yang Ng

Testimonials

‘Celeste and Clarence are very thoughtful legal advisors who consider the unique aspects of our business and operations in rendering legal assistance.’

Drew & Napier LLC

Drew & Napier LLC is particularly strong in employment disputes, with Kelvin Tan displaying a good depth of experience representing multinationals in a wide range of sectors in matters arising out of company restructuring, investigations, terminations, and data protection. Benjamin Gaw and Chong Kin Lim specialise in non-contentious employment and HR support, with a  focus on aspects arising in healthcare, life science, technology, and telecoms. Other areas of expertise include regulatory compliance work, trade union relations, and cross-border employee transfers.

Key clients

Align Technology, Inc

Chevron

Discovery

Fujitsu Components Asia Pt. Ltd

Hertz Corporation

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation – Singapore branch (HSBC Singapore )

Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd

MOH Holdings Pte Ltd (MOHH)

McCormick Ingredients SouthEast Asia Pte Ltd

Nippecraft

Terasaki

Work highlights

  • Acting for MOH Holdings Pte Ltd, a holding company of Singapore’s public healthcare clusters in defending a claim for wrongful dismissal brought by a dismissed doctor for alleged for gross misconduct.
  • Advised L’Oréal Singapore in a high-value claim and investigation for fraudulent payments against a former employee.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Top tier firm, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP displays strong depth in contentious employment matters, with further expertise in non-contentious work such as employment contracts and restructuring and retrenchment exercises, handled primarily by Desmond Wee. Jonathan Yuen and Murali Pillai SC specialise in litigation, regularly representing banks, public health institutions, technology, and insurance companies in matters such as unfair dismissal, breach of duty, enforcement of post-termination restrictive covenants, and preserving confidentiality.

Testimonials

‘Depth of capability across the firm, strong commerciality and responsiveness makes them stand out in the market. I wish I could use this team for my disputes in other jurisdictions!’

Key clients

Grab

Turner & Townsend

InfraCo Asia

Church’s

The Japan Research Institute, limited

AXA Insurance Pte Ltd

Infineum

Publicis Sapient

Evolve MMA

Danone

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Singapore subsidiary of one of India’s largest business services providers in a dispute with an ex-director of the company, in relation to the ex-employee’s alleged misappropriation of company data in order to start a rival company.
  • Defending National University Hospital in a claim brought by an ex-employee, a senior oncologist, for alleged unfair dismissal and defamation.
  • Advised a leading travel and tourism company in a retrenchment/restructuring exercise involving five jurisdictions across South East Asia.

Bird & Bird ATMD LLP

Bird & Bird ATMD LLP is instructed by multinationals and local corporates across a range of industries, often with an angle on technology and regulation where the firm enjoys a renowned reputation. Key areas of work include employment aspects of cross-border transactions, business establishment, and restructuring exercises, as well as advise regarding business immigration and contentious work. Seow Hui Goh is the key contact for employment and HR support across Singapore and the ASEAN region.

Practice head(s):

Seow Hui Goh

Testimonials

‘Seow Hui is a formidable force of nature – she’s one of the rare practitioners with an employment law practice – and she’s able to do both contentious and non-contentious.’

‘Seow Hui is amazing. She’s responsive, driven, and goes out of her way to help her clients.’

Key clients

MMI Asia Pte. Ltd.

Shell Eastern Trading Limited

Incubeta Holdings (Pty) Limited

Hello Health Pte. Ltd.

Ansa Search

Work highlights

  • Representing Shell Eastern Trading, and a former Shell associate in High Court against its former commodities trader involving wrongful dismissal.
  • Representing MMI Asia in High Court in defending a wrongful termination claim commenced against it by a former employee.
  • Defending Hello Health in a breach of employment contract claim commenced against it by a former employee. The dispute involves novel issues pertaining to the interpretation of industry-standard ESOP terms which have not been decided in Singapore and complex share valuation issues.

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore's employment offering is equally strong in contentious and non-contentious aspects, often working on cross-border mandates with additional support from its wide network of specialists across Asia and integration with Clasis LLC in conducting complex internal investigations and litigation. Key figure Thomas Choo leads the non-contentious side, advising on employment contracts and related HR issues,  incentivisation schemes, and immigration law. Prakash Pillai and director Junxiang Koh are recommended for dispute resolution work.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Choo

Other key lawyers:

Prakash Pillai; Junxiang Koh

Work highlights

  • Successfully arguing for an application and appeals for employment pass and long term visa pass for a range of multinational clients across various sectors.  
  • Advising an insurance company on a complex secondment agreement, which included a change in structure of the two entities, and the secondment arrangement.
  • Represented Engelhart CTP in a claim of unfair dismissal against a former employee.

Dentons Rodyk

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP has a strong employment team leaning on employment disputes alongside an active non-contentious practice. Edric Pan primarily represents corporations in actions relating to breaches of directors' and fiduciary duties, wrongful dismissals, and other claims. He is also recommended for drafting employment contracts and assisting multinational clients in remuneration and termination issues. I-An Lim is the other key figure for all manner of HR support.

Practice head(s):

Edric Pan; I-An Lim

Key clients

PSK Asia Inc. Ltd.

Datumstruct (CFS) Pte. Ltd.

WeWork

Abbott Laboratories

INEOS Styrolution APAC Pte Ltd

Commerzbank

Unicredit AG

Work highlights

  • Acted for Datumstruct (CFS) Pte. Ltd., a company in the business of providing critical facilities solutions for control centres, in a Singapore High Court suit against four former employees and a close business competitor.
  • Providing cross border guidelines for various aspects of the employment relationship across many APAC countries.
  • Advise on industrial arbitration matter involving dispute with trade union and Ministry of Manpower over retrenchment benefits for fixed term employees.

Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC

At Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC, Wai Ming Yap's practice spans domestic and international employment issues, assisting global corporates and senior executives with day-to-day HR support, as well as contentious issues that may arise in the course of employment, such as termination of key executives. Wendy Tan and the 'commercially astute' Daniel Chia are also highly reputable litigators, often acting for employers in cases involving the enforcement of non-competition and other post-termination restraints,  and internal investigations into employee misconduct.

Practice head(s):

Yap Wai Ming

Other key lawyers:

Wendy Tan; Daniel Chia

Testimonials

‘Morgan Lewis provides practical, commercial advice that can be easily digested by the business. I don’t need to hunt for the answer, they provide it upfront in an easily readable format.’

‘Daniel Chia is commercially astute, approachable, and willing to provide practical advice to his clients. He is responsive and happy to hop on the phone, being flexible when urgent issues arise.’

Key clients

Plantronics, Inc

William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Prestige BioPharma

Colgate – Palmolive

General Dynamics, and its subsidiaries including Jet Aviation Singapore and Gulfstream International Corporation

Sompo Insurance

HMT Pte Ltd, a part of HMT LLC (with corporate headquarters based in Houston)

Milken Family Foundation / Milken Institute

Wirecard Asia Holding Pte Ltd

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Singapore branch office of the Spanish bank BBVA, in connection with BBVA’s separation from its Singapore Country Head. We advised BBVA on the various employment, immigration and regulatory legal issues (including potential issues with the Monetary Authority of Singapore) arising from the separation, including putting in place separation agreements to protect BBVA’s rights and to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Advised Sompo Insurance Singapore in connection with the review of its standard employment letter, employment handbook and various other employment-related policies, to ensure compliance with Singaporean Law.
  • Advising various clients including Quantcast, ExodusPoint and Nutanix in relation to its APAC immigration work, including global mobility, labour and employment, and other ancillary issues.

TSMP Law Corporation

Highly reputable litigator Ian Lim at TSMP Law Corporation is the go-to figure in the practice, with a successful track record representing multinationals and C-Suite executives in employment tribunal and High Court cases in claims involving non-competition, dismissal, data privacy, and harassment, among others. He is also able to offer day-to-day HR support in relation to employee transfers and industrial relations. Senior associate Nicholas Ngo also represents clients in disputes alongside Lim.

Practice head(s):

Ian Lim

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Ngo

Testimonials

‘Ian Lim has been very responsive to all of our inquiries and provided excellent legal advice to us. Especially in this pandemic situation, Ian and his team have been a great resource for us to navigate the employment market and solve our ad hoc problems with solid legal knowledge and precise understanding of our business needs.’

Key clients

Peter Tan Shou Yi

Entrepose

FICOFI

NTT

Marsh & McLennan

Work highlights

  • Acting for multinational energy infrastructure contractor in a post-acquisition $6.26m dispute with the former owner.
  • TSMP advised NTT Companies (MMC) on Singapore employment & labour laws and regulations arising from its acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson.
  • Acted for Japanese communications multinational NTT in Singapore High Court proceedings against its former executive who joined NTT competitor Telin.

Withers KhattarWong LLP

Withers KhattarWong LLP's employment practice is headed by Deborah Barker SC, an experienced litigator with varied courtroom experience representing corporates and senior executives in employment disputes. The team maintains an active workload supporting local and international business in all aspects of non-contentious employment and HR support. Amarjit Kaur advises both employers and employees on contract negotiation and benefits, transfer of employees in M&A deals, and post-termination issues.

Practice head(s):

Deborah Barker, SC

Other key lawyers:

Amarjit Kaur

Key clients

Taiger Singapore Pte Ltd

GetIT Pte Ltd

Seriously Keto Pte Ltd

Travelodge Hotels (Asia) Pte Ltd

Dimerco Express Singapore Pte Ltd

JP Nelson Equipment Pte Ltd

Thermax Singapore Pte Ltd

Phui Thai Group JSC

Match Move Pay

William KW Leung & Co.

Work highlights

  • Assisted client in conducting an independent investigation into complaints of sexual harassment raised by two employees against a manager. Also reviewed and amended the client’s suite of employment documents including their employment contract and employee handbook to ensure compliance with legislation and best practices, including a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment and sexual harassment.
  • Acting for GetIT in a claim against an ex-employee’s breach of his restraint of trade clauses, including his non-compete clause.
  • Advised Travelodge Hotels on employment matters relating to the acquisition of a hotel previously known as “Bay Hotel” (now known as Travelodge Harbourfront), which involved the takeover 68 of the seller’s employees.

WongPartnership LLP

WongPartnership LLP's team offers 'excellent industry knowledge on labour and employment issues', acting on the full gamut of labour aspects of disputes, regulatory work, and on employee transfers following corporate transactions. On the contentious side, the team is adept conducting disciplinary and misconduct investigations, implementing exit agreements, and negotiating with trade unions. Vivien Yui advises multinational corporations on global share incentive plans and the establishment of local employment practices and immigration law. Jenny Tsin is particularly well regarded for leading employment disputes and investigation.

Practice head(s):

Vivien YUI ; Jenny TSIN

Testimonials

‘The team is dynamic and responsive. Very hands-on.’

‘Excellent industry knowledge on labour and employment issues. Gives practical advice to assist in commercial considerations. Prompt attention is given to the client. A trusted business advisor who looks out for your legal well-being.’

Work highlights

  • Advised and acted for Ramky Cleantech Services Pte. Ltd., one of the leading service providers in the operations and maintenance industry in Singapore in respect of alleged breaches of employee solicitation restrictive covenants by a market competitor of senior employees
  • Acted for Mr Ricardo Leiman and Rothschild Trust Guernsey Limited, in respect of their multi-million dollar claim against Noble Resources Limited and Noble Group Limited.
  • Acting for one of the most prominent private equity firms in Asia in respect of a dispute relating to a former senior employee’s termination of his employment and his alleged entitlement to carried interest.

CNPLaw LLP

At CNPLaw LLP, Pradeep Kumar Singh assists local and international businesses across the whole spectrum of employment law issues from the onset of the employment relationship to its termination as well as immigration issues. Bill Jamieson is the other key partner, handling primarily corporate restructuring and employment aspects of cross-border transactions.

Work highlights

  • Advised a multinational corporation in the technology industry, relating to the transfer of employment of its chief representative officer from the client’s foreign representative office in Singapore to its subsidiary in Singapore.
  • Advised by a company reviewing and harmonising the Singapore subsidiary’s employee and personal data protection handbooks with the handbooks issued by the Japanese holding company; and updating their template employment documents to comply with changes to the Employment Act in April 2019 and new guidelines on the collection of national identification numbers.
  • Advised a multinational corporation in the robotics industry, on establishing an employee share trust.  

Harry Elias Partnership

S Suressh is the lead figure at Harry Elias Partnership, where he is primarily known for his litigation work but also undertaking non-contentious employment matters. He has successfully acted for both employers and employees in actions involving restrictive covenants in employment contracts, and also regularly advises on retrenchment and trade union-related issues.

Practice head(s):

S Suressh

Shook Lin & Bok LLP

Shook Lin & Bok LLP's employment practice is led by Teo Mae Shaan, who is experienced in the employment aspects of M&A transactions and redundancy exercises, as well as representing corporate clients in contentious issues arising in the course of employment such as misuse of confidential information, and other disputes. Joseph Tay is the other key litigator in the team.

Practice head(s):

Teo Mae Shaan

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Tay

Work highlights

  • Acting for client in respect of a partnership dispute.
  • Acting for client in respect of enforcing its employee’s non-compete obligation.
  • Representing an employer in defending multiple claims of alleged wrongful dismissal, among other things, brought by a former employee.

Virtus Law LLP - Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance

Virtus Law LLP - Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance, through its formal law alliance, is able to leverage on the international expertise of its network and is particularly popular among corporate clients in the shipping and logistics sectors, alongside a strong Japanese clientele. Terence Seah focuses on contentious aspects of employment, particularly claims involving international non-competition obligations, termination compensation, and alleged misconduct.

Practice head(s):

Terence Seah

Work highlights

  • Advising Zedra Group on the purchase of BNP Paribas’ trust business in Singapore, and related employment law issues arising from employees transfers of another BNP Paribas entity to the target.
  • Successfully defendant our client in High Court suit brought by Yarlun Capital (Pte) Limited and Xangbo Global Markets Pte Ltd, claiming purported breach of contractual, legal and fiduciary duties allegedly owed to the Plaintiffs.
  • Advised client on investigations conducted by the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore in respect of potential charges that the client was hiring foreigners to work in Singapore without the appropriate work passes.