Allen & Gledhill LLP‘s extensive resources and deep specialisation in labour and employment matters has landed it both an impressive client base and a wide array of challenging engagements. The firm continues to impress in both contentious and non-contentious matters, notably acting for clients in major cases involving data breaches, non-compete clauses, notice periods, restrictive covenants and breaches of employment terms. It also remains recognised for its expertise in employment investigations and trade union disputes. Kelvin Wong and Sanjiv Kumar Rajan co-head the department, with Tay Yong Seng and Vincent Leow continuing to earn accolades for their expertise in employment litigation. Christine Tee is also highly rated.
Labour and employment: local firms in Singapore
Allen & Gledhill LLP
Other key lawyers:
‘The members of the team work seamlessly together and delivery is always excellent, no matter which member handles the work.’
‘The partner I work with is Vincent Leow. He is very sharp, spots and addresses the issues promptly and consistently and is very solutions oriented. I appreciate the fact that he is always available and very prompt in his reply.’
‘We exclusively used Tay Yong Seng, who has a 100% success rate over nine different, contentious litigations, so I have no desire to use any other firm or individual.’
‘Tay Yong Seng and his team are extremely sharp, with a high level of commercial intelligence and perspective.’
‘Tay Yong Seng is precise, informed, and is able to quickly pick up cultural and commercial cues from clients, allowing him to best communicate and calibrate his advice.’
‘Strong and collaborative team. Keen to understand needs of the client and provide solutions from a practical point of view, looking into balancing the requirements of the law and the corporate environment.’
‘Vincent Leow is particularly good at combining good legal advice with practical considerations. He understands business realities very well.’
- Acted for IP Investment Funds in Singapore’s first Civil Court action for personal data breaches by an employee under the Personal Data Protection Act.
- Acted as lead counsel for BGC in an ongoing commercial dispute in the Singapore High Court, relating to the defendants tendering their resignation to ICAP, but subsequently refusing to join the BCG.
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow‘s dedication to the labour and employment field encompasses both local and international law expertise. It continues to work on a significant pipeline of transactions and investigations, alongside a number of major claims and other disputes. Celeste Ang is a senior litigator with an extensive record in employment disputes and contentious issues, including terminations, breaches of fiduciary duty, restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses, and retrenchment exercises. Kelvin Poa is a non-contentious specialist with expertise in wide-ranging areas such as employee misconduct investigations, employment contracts and compliance matters. Zhao Yang Ng is also recommended.
Celeste Ang; Kelvin Poa
Other key lawyers:
Zhao Yang Ng; Pradeep Nair
‘Celeste Ang is an experienced litigator with a very sound knowledge of the law, who is also able to consider the client’s commercial concerns when providing advice.’
‘Celeste Ang is very knowledgeable about the industry practices and trends, and is a very reliable legal partner.’
‘Baker is a great law firm and I consider them as a real partner for us. We have the same team for many years, so they have all the background and they already know what our values and preferred approach. Their advice is very practical and clear and they respond quickly which help us move forward on time with their input. They are very organised and working with many similar multinational clients, they can provide valuable benchmark’
‘The employment team is legally and commercially sound, led by a very experienced partner in Celeste Ang and supported by professional and competent senior associates and associates. Work is assigned among the team so as to keep costs low for the client without compromising the quality of the work. Absolute value for money!’
‘Approachable, understandable and practical team there in employment law and dealing with the unions. Goes the extra mile to be available through calls (scheduled and unscheduled ones!) rather than dealing through email only. High integrity team, very patient with clients even in the most stressful and urgent situations, and also delivers on time even though some of our time demands were unreasonable. Very professional, yet warm-hearted human beings – a real pleasure to work with!’
‘Zhao Yang Ng – very professional, approachable and down to earth. Does not only answer questions or cite a law but provides context and suggest the right approach tailored for the situation and business.’
‘Pradeep Nair is super responsive and a fantastic communicator. I highly recommend Celeste Ang for her sage counsel.’
Drew & Napier LLC
Drew & Napier LLC has devoted considerable levels of expertise and resources to its flourishing labour and employment practice. The firm is able to draw on its long history of handling domestic and regional work, often working alongside premier firms in other ASEAN jurisdictions. The firm’s reputation as a dispute resolution powerhouse makes it a logical choice for big-ticket cases, including wrongful dismissal claims. Contentious specialist Kelvin Tan co-heads the team alongside non-contentious and transactional expert Benjamin Gaw, who is also a leader in healthcare and life sciences employment matters. Lim Chong Kin is another senior name with a blossoming reputation in data protection issues, and Rakesh Kirpalani has an extensive record in tech-sector employment issues.
Other key lawyers:
Lim Chong Kin; Rakesh Kirpalani
‘Excellent legal skills combined with practical and business friendly advice.’
‘High level of responsiveness and availability for urgent discussions. Understands business and the company’s perspectives well to find a balanced solution to mitigate risks.’
‘Benjamin Gaw – he is always available and understands the issues well.’
- Acted for SAP Asia in proceedings in the Singapore High Court against it for wrongful dismissal on the basis of inter alia, being discriminated against on the basis of gender.
- Realignment of legal, HR and technological issues between the two listed US entities which required review of operational directives.
- Acted for a global financial institution in its efforts to hire a key employee based out of Hong Kong, but who needed to work remotely in Hong Kong while being employed out of Singapore, involving employment regulation and risk, and tax issues.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
Ius Laboris member Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a major focus on labour and employment law, fielding a substantial team of both contentious and non-contentious specialists. It has continued to work intensively in the creation of new remote working policies - carrying out compliance reviews and risk profiling programmes for clients - while in the disputes field, it has showcased its expertise in a series of high-profile cases, including those involving alleged breaches of contract and fiduciary duties, wrongful termination claims, and disputes over alleged breaches of non-compete clauses. It has also demonstrated its forte in restructuring programmes and retrenchment exercises. Desmond Wee leads the non-contentious employment team, while the ‘excellent, articulate counsel' Jonathan Yuen heads the employment disputes group. Muralidharan Pillai, SC is another leading disputes specialist.
Jonathan Yuen; Desmond Wee
Other key lawyers:
Muralidharan Pillai, SC
‘The team is experienced in the matter for which we engaged them and is able to break down complex legal issues for digestion by the board.’
‘Jonathan Yuen is very experienced in his field and able to relate to the issues and offers up very pragmatic solutions for his clients.’
‘Practical and pragmatic advice.’
‘Seamless service and depth on high-profile matters from associates through to senior partners.’
‘The team has a wealth of experience and top notch lawyers across the spectrum of work in the practice area. They tend to provide very practical, concise advice and not a regurgitation of law reports and pages of advice and able to convey the practical situation on the ground especially to stakeholders who are overseas or do not have a good grasp of the local and customary practices.’
‘Jonathan Yuen is an excellent, articulate counsel who is at ease with a broad spectrum of clients and stakeholders. He provides practical solutions and advice to difficult and complex situations and able to communicate in a manner which allows most non-legal clients and stakeholders to understand and hold their involvement in the discussions.’
Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Limited
Procter & Gamble International Operations
Two inter-dealer brokers working at ICAP Singapore
Global commodities and raw materials company
Head of Legal for Asia Pacific of a Canadian Bank
Mandiri Investment Management
Crocs Singapore Pte Ltd
Circulate Capital Management
B Capital Group
Vale International SA
Guzman y Gomez Singapore
Engie Energy Management SGP
- Advised and successfully acted for Prudential Assurance Company Singapore in High Court Suit 772 of 2016 against its former senior agency leader in relation to his breach of contract and fiduciary duties.
- Advised and successfully acted for the Singaporean and Malaysian Headquarters of a top 50 Fortune 500 Company against a former country director who had wrongfully exfiltrated nearly 1,400 pages of highly confidential documents, financial information, and business plans.
- Successfully acted for two inter-dealer brokers in a High Court Suit commenced by BGC Partners (Singapore) against the two brokers and ICAP Singapore, in a dispute on the validity of their endorsement on forward contracts.
Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
Bird & Bird ATMD LLP has a strong reputation for local and cross-border work in the region, most notably for clients in the tech, life sciences and banking sectors, including a range of startups and emerging companies - reflecting the firm’s domestic and international strengths. Industrial relations and workplace health and safety are key recent growth areas for the team, which is already recognised for its expertise in discrimination and unfair termination claims. Seow Hui Goh has an excellent reputation, while senior associate Natasha Cheng is also building the team’s standing in immigration.
Seow Hui Goh
Other key lawyers:
Shell Eastern Trading Limited and Eric Lim Ming Way
Incubeta Holdings (Pty) Limited
- Successfully represented a major LNG company and its former associate in defending wrongful dismissal and conspiracy claims brought by a former commodities trader.
- Acted for an Australian-based airline against another airline in High Court litigation arising from the hire of a senior executive.
- Represented a marine fuel trading firm in High Court litigation against a former bunker trader.
Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore
Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore has a major focus on the insurance, marine, aviation, commodities and construction sectors, which are fortes for the wider global firm. The Singapore office is making a further impression in the cryptocurrency sector, handling hiring and termination engagements, among others. Thomas Choo leads the corporate and employment practices in Singapore, while senior dispute resolution specialist Prakash Pillai, the managing director of the Singapore firm, has an extensive record in employment cases, including wrongful terminations, data protection breaches and non-competition clauses. Weiyi Tan joined the firm from Harry Elias Partnership in March 2022, bringing further expertise in regulatory work and investigations, including employee misconduct matters.
Other key lawyers:
Prakash Pillai; Weiyi Tan; Junxiang Koh
Saudi Aramco Trading
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Upfield (spin-off from Unilever)
Willis Towers Watson
Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
CXA Insurance Brokers Singapore Pte Ltd
Dentons Rodyk draws on its extensive local and international resources, particularly in the contentious field, to act for clients in numerous employment matters. The firm acts on a wide range of employment disputes, from termination proceedings to data theft cases and non-compete clause matters. The employment team is equally adept in advisory and transactional issues, including employee transfer engagements. Edric Pan and Mark Seah are senior litigators with deep specialisation in employment cases, while I-An Lim and Ray Chiang are key figures on the non-contentious side.
Edric Pan; I-An Lim; Ray Chiang
Other key lawyers:
Mark Seah; Huai Yuan Chia
‘We engaged Mark Seah to represent us in a legal dispute that went to mediation. Mark is highly knowledgeable, professional and very client service-focused. He listened and learned about our business and then skilfully guided us to a swift settlement. He was excellent and we highly recommend him.’
‘The team is very approachable while maintaining professionalism. They are open to opinion and knowledge-sharing in areas they are not familiar with. They listen and are not in hurry to voice their opinions or cut us off in the midst of our talking. We feel respected and at ease. Throughout the case they were handling, they were prompt in updating us of the progress. For cases that they think is “hard but to crack”, they will tell us the alternative way to get things done amicably without incurring huge cost . They have ethics and professionalism.’
‘Mr Huai Yuan Chia – we are very impressed with his professionalism, knowledge and very assuring way of delivering solution. He is prompt to replying to us regardless of what time it is. His charges are are fair and transparent, and his services worth every cent that we have paid; in fact his contributions go beyond what we have paid for. He would go the extra mile to make sure we understand our rights and what we should do or should not do. For a person if his calibre, we are very impressed that he handles small company like ours as if we were a big client. We feel very honoured and privileged.’
GOJEK Singapore Pte. Ltd.
PSK Asia Inc. Ltd.
Datumstruct (CFS) Pte. Ltd.
INEOS Styrolution APAC Pte Ltd
Cityneon Holdings Limited
PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited
- Successfully resisted the challenge to a judgment obtained in March 2020 against a former director of PNG Sustainable Development Program and others.
Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC
Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC has a well-developed labour and employment practice in both contentious and non-contentious matters. It continues to represent an impressive number of US, European and Asia-based multinationals, as well as a host of Singapore-listed entities. It has a strong reputation in the tech and growth company sectors, dealing with a range of workplace policy matters, including ongoing COVID-19 measures, along with other current demands such as immigration. It also has a fine standing in big-ticket employment disputes, steered largely by key partner Daniel Chia (who also advises on non-contentious work).
‘Key strengths include the ability to grasp issues quickly and provide business-focused solutions.’
‘Daniel Chia provides thoughtful solutions to problems, and it is apparent when providing these suggestions that he considers the resources of the company and presents the best way forward.’
Apollo Advisors LP
Gift Management Asia Pte. Ltd.
William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
General Dynamics and subsidiaries, including Jet Aviation Singapore and Gulfstream International Corporation
The Myers-Briggs Company
BBVA Singapore Branch
Lightstone Singapore/Medisix Therapeutics
United Microelectronics Corporation
- Advised Apollo Advisors LP with respect to necessary alterations of its Singapore office policies in the wake of COVID-19 and government regulations relating to workplace matters such as telecommuting and safe distancing.
- Acted for Gift in disputes against its former executive vice president (EVP) relating to breaches of the employment agreement and acquisition agreements.
- Acted for William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in connection with the overhaul of various of its employment policies and documentation used across its Asia operations.
TSMP Law Corporation
Representing both corporates and individuals, TSMP Law Corporation has a well-established and well-rounded employment practice, handling a range of engagements from investigations, employment contracts and transactional-related matters to disputes over non-compete clauses. Ian Lim has a strong reputation in the field, along with Felicia Tan and Thio Shen Yi SC, who are noted for their expertise in employment disputes. Associate director Nicholas Ngo continues to impress.
Other key lawyers:
Felicia Tan; Thio Shen Yi SC; Nicholas Ngo
‘Felicia Tan is extremely responsive, clear in her advice, prepared to discuss a matter before she starts charging, and looks to find the best outcome for the client.’
- Advised TEHO International on its investigations into endemic corporate fraud and misconduct at its subsidiary TEHO Water.
- Acted for Eric Tan, ex-head of regional sales who left Schindler to join Otis Elevator. Schindler commenced High Court proceedings seeking injunctions to restrain Eric from competing with it and being employed by Otis, and also to enjoin him from disclosing confidential information, soliciting customers and poaching employees.
- Acted for Sedgwick Singapore in connection with proceedings against a former employee who took confidential information and property relating to Sedgwick when she left the company.
Withers KhattarWong LLP
Withers KhattarWong LLP has a long history in the employment field, particularly in contentious matters. It has an impressive client base of local and regional businesses, and is frequently engaged by senior executives and individuals in employment disputes. While the firm is better known for contentious employment work, it is also active in the non-contentious sphere, including in employment contracts, flexible working arrangements. It is also noted for its training programmes in diversity, discrimination and other issues. Deborah Barker SC - a big name in the dispute resolution market - has a significant focus on employment cases, while Amarjit Kaur is another litigator with a background in contentious and non-contentious employment matters.
Deborah Barker SC; Amarjit Kaur
‘Amarjit Kaur. Very good, solution-oriented employment lawyer and someone that can be recommended to contacts. She provides training on #MeToo and diversity & inclusion issues.’
‘The team members have pleasant personalities and are approachable. As they understood the case better and got to know me better, they showed compassion and understanding. Their passion to seek justice for me is strong, very professional. Knowing that my financial strength is limited and I do not qualify for pro bono assistance, the team tries to control the legal costs to relieve my burden.’
‘Deborah Barker is very approachable and calm during our interactions and helps in rationalising the issues and fine-combing our responses. Very professional. Amarjit Kaur was my first contact with the team as she attended to the APO execution. Despite the stress on that day, I remember she made me comfortable going through the APO process in the presence of plaintiffs lawyers and supervising solicitors. She was pleasant, observant and very thorough. She was the main person handling the defence responses and her passion shines through.’
‘Extraordinary team at employment and dispute resolution. Professional and thoughtful. Always five steps ahead of everyone else.’
‘Deborah Barker and Amarjit Kaur possess superior legal minds. Exhaustive in their approach and tireless in their effort.’
MyRepublic Group Limited
Chaitanya Arora, Ex-Director of FTI Consulting
Siew Kang Yoke and Lee Soon Weng, former tax associates at Macs Associates Pte Ltd
Access Communications Pte Ltd
Toko Alpha Pte Ltd (of the Toko Crypto Group)
Zipmex Group (with offices in Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Indonesia)
Karen Wong Yi Theng, former Chief Marketing Officer of Club21 Pte Ltd
Seriously Keto Pte Ltd
Triumph Art Ventures Limited, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands
Tan Thiam Kiat, Director of Triumph Art Ventures Limited
- Represented MyRepublic Group and its CEO as co-defendants in litigation commenced by an ex-employee of the company in respect of alleged wrongful termination of employment, and alleged defamation by the CEO.
- Represented an ex-director of a multi-national business advisory firm, FTI Consulting, which commenced action against the client for alleged breaches of his post-termination restraints.
- Represented former tax associates employed by Macs Associates, which filed proceedings against our clients and obtained an Anton Pillar order to conduct a search and seizure of documents they claimed were wrongfully retained and/or copied from the company’s premises.
WongPartnership LLP has a well-developed labour and employment team that is tightly integrated into its corporate and dispute resolution teams, working with a mix of financial sponsors, financial institutions, and local and international corporates. It frequently works on transactional related employment matters, incentive plans for private equity management, and immigration matters. Department heads Vivien Yui and Jenny Tsin are transactional and dispute lawyers respectively by background, though specialise in labour and employment to a large degree. The broad-based contentious practice includes investigations into employee misconduct and pure employment disputes, including wrongful dismissal claims.
Vivien Yui; Jenny Tsin
Other key lawyers:
Chang Qi-Yang; Ho Wei Jie; Lim Jia Ying
‘Jenny Tsin and her team are highly efficient and practical when providing advice.’
‘Jenny Tsin is very knowledgeable in her area of expertise and can provide direct and practical advice. Always accessible and available, which I value a lot.’
‘Jenny Tsin is a go-to lawyer if you are looking for help to address any complicated labor and employment issue in the Singapore market. She is experienced in all aspects of employment laws, with particular focus on preventing and resolving disputes between employers and employees. Her corporate law and dispute background and her experiences in handling labour and employment matters in Singapore are what makes her so good at providing solid and practical legal advice to corporate clients.’
‘Very responsive and technical.’
‘The employment unit stands out as one of the best in town. Their talent and quality are top-notch and are very commercially sound as well.’
‘Jenny Tsin and Chang Qi-Yang. Both individuals are my go-to lawyers because their understanding of the law is sound, provide practical advice and are fee-sensitive.’
‘Jenny Tsin and Vivien Yui are great individuals with stellar reputations and for good reason. It’s always a pleasure interacting and working with them.’
L Catterton Asia
Nanofilm Technologies International Ltd
Exyte Singapore Pte Ltd
IHH Healthcare Bhd.
Cordlife Group Limited
Asia Capital Reinsurance Group
SMRT Corporation Ltd
LVMH (Tag Heuer)
Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd
- Acted for L Capital Asia Advisors in respect of a dispute relating to a former senior employee’s termination of his employment and his alleged entitlement to carried interest.
- Acting for Bhuta Viral Ashok, an ex-portfolio manager and MAS licensed representative of UTI International (Singapore), for wrongful dismissal, defamation and conspiracy action against his UTI , UTI’s CEO (Praveen Jagwani), its former head of compliance (Shobha Menon) and its former head of investment (Muralidaran S/O Narayann).
- Advising Shiseido on its employment arrangements of its Singapore workforce and reorganisation due to sale of its shampoo and affordable skin-care business to CVC Capital Partners.
Balancing both contentious and non-contentious work, CNPLaw LLP represents a significant number of Singapore and regional businesses, along with Singapore-based subsidiaries of multinationals. Drawing on the breadth of experience from across the firm, it has strong experience in employee transfer, employee incentives and has deep specialisation in employment disputes. Wong Pei-Ling has emerged as an important member of the team, alongside Pradeep Kumar Singh and Bill Jamieson.
Pradeep Kumar Singh; Bill Jamison
Other key lawyers:
Merx Aviation Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Treedots Enterprise (Private Limited)
A Hong Kong and U.S. based fund management group
A Singapore based deep technology start-up in the air cargo and logistics industry
Real Personal Training Pte. Ltd.
MSIG Asia Pte Ltd f.k.a. MSIG Holdings (Asia) Pte Ltd
- Advised Merx Aviation Singapore on the transfer of employment of its chief operating officer from the client’s Irish subsidiary to Merx Singapore.
- Advised Treedots Enterprise on the implementation of an employee share option plan.
- Advised a Hong Kong and US-based fund management group on the transfer of employment of its chief executive officer from the client’s Hong Kong subsidiary to its subsidiary in Singapore.
Harry Elias Partnership
Harry Elias Partnership's deep Singapore roots and broad resources are frequently deployed in labour and employment engagements for Singaporean, regional and international businesses. S Suressh is an experienced litigator with a significant focus on employment matters, including high-value claims and retrenchment exercises. Toh Wei Yi is another litigator with a focus on employment.
Other key lawyers:
Toh Wei Yi
Shook Lin & Bok LLP
Shook Lin & Bok LLP continues to land significant engagements in the contentious employment sphere, including cases concerning wrongful dismissal claims, misconduct investigations, and employee terminations. The firm is also noted for its capabilities in advisory and transactional matters. Probin Dass has a fine record in contentious employment matters, while Teo Mae Shaan and Joseph Tay are also experienced in advisory and transactional issues.
Joseph Tay; Teo Mae Shaan
Other key lawyers:
- Acted for a client in connection with a case concerned alleged breaches of non-competition and confidentiality obligations.
- Acted for the Singapore arm of a major Indian asset management company in a dispute with an ex-employee, concerning an investigation for suspected misconduct and subsequent termination.
- Advised a large foreign fund manager in wrongful dismissal, defamation, violation of data protection obligations, and harassment claims.
Virtus Law LLP
Acting for a range of local and international clients, Virtus Law LLP handles an impressive mix of labour and employment engagements, from transactional, immigration and regulatory issues, to non-competition obligation disputes and investigations. Terence Seah is a disputes specialist who is known for his record in restraint of trade cases and termination compensation matters. Jason Yang provides further expertise in both advisory and transactional mandates.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team was extremely professional, responsive and transparent with communications. The case was relatively straightforward, but advice was nuanced and effective.’
‘Terence Seah – lead partner on the case, he was very experienced and explained the legalities in the landscape well. He provided options that were nuanced but effective.’
‘Their advice was always well detailed and summarized. Catching up speed is quite good, and they called us for clarification and facilitation in a timely manner. It helped our business as a start-up.’
‘All individuals are motivated as professionals. They always gave us available options and potential risks without waiting for our decisions or instructions. I like their way.’
- Advised a fund management company on employment, immigration and regulatory issues.
- Advised a client on investigations conducted by the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore in respect of appropriate work passes.
- Advised Swire Group on its spin-off, which include the transfer of affected employees and their employment contracts, as well as business and asset transfer between the relevant entities across a number of international jurisdictions.