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Private wealth

Index of tables

  1. Private wealth
  2. Leading individuals

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow's wealth management and related tax offering is led by Dawn Quek, who is assisted by senior associate Enoch Wan. In addition to advising ultra high-net-worth families on tax, trusts and estate planning, the team also acts for a number of the financial institutions that provides related advice to such clients. Highlights included assisting a foreign billionaire with setting up a Singapore private trust company and family office structure and advising on a permanent residency application under the Global Investor Programme.

Drew & Napier LLC's team provides a comprehensive service to high-net-worth and corporate clients, which includes specialist tax advice, and assisting with wealth planning and preservation and the structuring of trusts. It is also skilled in areas such as the establishment of philanthropic foundations and trusts, where it is also noted for its specialist tax advice. Ong Ken Loon leads the practice. David Chee advised Temasek (as settlor of the Temasek Trust) on a restructuring of the Temasek Community Foundation, which involved  streamlining the structure and tax, corporate and charitable status considerations.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP provides 'a top level service and response times at reasonable prices'. Vikna Rajah is 'great with clients, as well as technically very skilled' and Lee Yi, who joined in November 2017 from Pinsent Masons MPillay, is also noted for her client handling skills. Chandra Mohan Rethnam is another key name. The team has expertise in business succession planning, wills and probate, family and matrimonial law as well as tax, trusts and estate planning. In recent work, it advised on the creation of a family office structure that was subsequently adopted as the standard exemption that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) would allow.

WongPartnership LLP is, according to one client, 'as good as anyone in Singapore' and its 'costs for contentious matters were very reasonable compared to other firms'. Key practitioners include Hui Choon Yuen whose broad practice takes in private wealth, debt capital markets and financial services regulatory compliance. Sim Bock Eng  is highly rated for understanding 'the sensitivities of the subject matter' as well as for being 'very approachable and personable'. Associate Alvin Lim  also stands out for his 'communication and organisational skills'. Highlights included advising a very high-net-worth family on the structuring of a trust and investing entity for the family's wealth and obtaining regulatory clearance from MAS for the underlying investing entity.

Edmund Leow SC heads Dentons Rodyk's trust, estates and wealth preservation practice and advises high-net-worth individuals, private banks and trust companies on personal tax, as well as trust and estate planning matters. Leow also heads the firm's tax practice and is able to draw on his experience advising on cross-border tax planning, transfer pricing and tax disputes. The group is advising a client on trust law surrounding the scope of trustees’ duties and discretion and is also assisting with a proposed resettlement of trust property. The team is also advising a client on the setting up of a charitable trust.

Shook Lin & Bok LLP covers the range of probate, trusts and other private family matters in order to preserve and maximise assets both in and outside of Singapore. Tan Woon Hum heads the practice and Sarjit Singh Gill SC is also noted, particularly for his handling of disputes work. Following its work representing the family of an older person suffering from mental incapacity in a case that went to the Court of Appeal concerning the application of aspects of the Mental Capacity Act, the team is now handling an appeal in respect of various costs issues. It also acted for a client in respect of cross-border tracing and investigations into a multimillion-dollar commercial fraud spanning numerous jurisdictions.

Private wealth – Foreign firms

Valerie Wu, who heads the private wealth practice at Pinsent Masons MPillay, acts for families and institutions such as banks, fund managers and trustees on the structure of trusts, succession planning and tax issues and has additional expertise in regulatory regimes and anti-money laundering laws in Singapore and overseas jurisdictions. Wu's highlights include advising a corporate client on the tax and licensing aspects of the  acquisition of a portfolio of trust companies and assisting an overseas client with setting up a trust in Singapore together with handling the related tax considerations.

Withers KhattarWong LLP provides cross-border and comprehensive expertise on trusts, wills and probate, immigration issues and tax issues including those applicable in the US and UK. Fernando Gandioli is highly adept at US and international tax matters and estate planning and assists international families and entrepreneurs with establishing tax-efficient succession planning. Leon Kwong Wing is also noted for his tax management experience. In highlight work, the team is advising a family on various matters, including the establishment of a family office and investment holding structure in Singapore, ongoing assistance with various Singaporean and foreign tax issues and the establishment of a philanthropic vehicle.

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Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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