Tax: local firms in Singapore

Allen & Gledhill LLP

Allen & Gledhill LLP has a flourishing transactional and disputes practice, demonstrating a particularly active presence in debt capital markets offerings, corporate restructurings, redomicilations and disputes with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). The tax team has an impressive mix of European and US corporate clients, along with a large number of Singapore-listed businesses. Sunit Chhabra leads in corporate tax advisory and disputes, while Lim Pek Bur impresses in real estate tax and wealth management.

Practice head(s):

Sunit Chhabra

Work highlights

  • Advised Allgreen Properties and Kerry Properties on the joint acquisition structure for a 99-year leasehold interest in a land parcel at Pasir Ris Drive 3, Pasir Ris Drive 8 and Pasir Ris Central.
  • Advised Temasek Financial (IV) and Temasek Holdings on the tax elements of its establishment of a S$5bn guaranteed medium term note (MTN) programme.
  • Advised Astrea IV on the tax aspects of its S$242m issuance of secured fixed rate bonds.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow is part of a global leader in tax and the Singapore team upholds this reputation, particularly in international tax planning and tax controversy matters. The unique transfer pricing group includes a number of economists. 'A safe pair of hands', Allen Tan leads the team, which includes senior figure Dawn Quek and transfer pricing specialist Michael Nixon . James Choo has moved to EY, while rated associate Jeremiah Soh has joined from WongPartnership LLP.

Practice head(s):

Allen Tan

Testimonials

It is an excellent firm, because of the technical capabilities of its lawyers and economists. Key capabilities include transfer pricing, tax controversy, and tax advisory in relation to tax incentives and planning. Strengths also include speed of response and practical yet strategic tax advice, along with its expansive network of attorneys.’

Allen Tan is an excellent client service tax partner and consistently puts his client’s interests and needs ahead of all else. Allen is smart and approachable and has a great sense of humour, and is one of the best tax attorneys to work with in the APAC region.

Michael Nixon is an excellent transfer pricing lead economist. He has creative ideas, explains technical concepts well, and also has a pleasant demeanour, so he is really trustworthy and pleasant to work with.

Withers KhattarWong LLP

Withers KhattarWong LLP is noted for funds and family office-related work. While having established Singapore corporate tax structuring expertise, the firm is also well-equipped in cross-border structuring, including engagements that have an India, Japan, UK, US, and Australia nexus. Moreover, the Singapore team has a fine record in landmark tax cases before the Singapore courts. Mahesh Kumar is recognised for funds-related work and engagements connected to India. Stephen Banfield is another prominent international tax expert, as is Eric Roose who splits his time between Tokyo and Singapore. Leon Kwong Wing has a fine record in tax disputes before the Singapore courts.

Practice head(s):

Eric Roose

Work highlights

  • Advised DKSH Group on the tax aspects of its S$218m acquisition of the consumer goods distribution business of Auric Pacific Group in Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Advised Pagani Holding III on the Singapore tax due diligence and tax advisory issues relating to its acquisition of Singapore-listed PCI by way of a scheme of arrangement.

WongPartnership LLP

WongPartnership LLP handles a mixture of corporate advisory, transactions and litigation matters. Capital markets transactions, corporate reorganisations and high-stakes litigation are major features of the practice. Head of the practice Tan Kay Kheng is a leading tax litigator, while Shao Tong Tan continues to impress in tax structuring for capital markets transactions.

Key clients

First Sponsor Group

HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore)

United Overseas Bank

ESR Cayman

Fraser Property Treasury

Work highlights

  • Advised First Sponsor Group on the tax implications of its S$162m issuance of perpetual convertible capital securities; this was the first time that a Singapore listed company has issued perpetual securities which were also convertible into shares.  
  • Acted for HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore) in its property tax appeal to the High Court.

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP remains noted for cross-border tax planning, transfer pricing and tax disputes, and has gained further recognition for tax structuring on a number of major transactions. The immensely experienced and respected Edmund Leow SC brings enormous gravitas to the practice.

Key clients

TenX

Flipkart

Work highlights

  • Acted as Singapore tax counsel to Flipkart on its $16bn acquisition by Walmart.
  • Advised a major Fortune 500 business on the impact of proposed changes to existing tax incentives and assisting the client with its discussions with government authorities.
  • Acted as the Singapore tax adviser to a property developer on the potential Additional Conveyance Duty implications arising from a development project.

Drew & Napier LLC

Drew & Napier LLC significantly enhanced its standing with the hire of Ong Sim Ho and a team, including Yang Shi Yong, from his own boutique tax practice. The new team provides even greater force in tax disputes and the enlarged group is now a recognised leader across the tax sphere, including private wealth and family office matters, international tax, restructurings and corporate transactions. Ong Ken Loon leads the tax and private client practice.

Practice head(s):

Ong Ken Loon

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is a leader in acting for multinational corporates in cases against the IRAS. It also has a fine standing in broader tax disputes and is a growing presence in tax advisory and transactional matters, including a series of landmark capital markets offerings. Much credit goes to notable tax disputes specialist Vikna RajahPeter Tan has joined from Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow to reinforce the transactional and advisory side.

Testimonials

‘We have worked with Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s Tax team together with our mutual clients. We find them to be highly capable, knowledgeable and pragmatic in their approach to deal with the clients’ issues. They are responsive and highly commendable.’

‘The experience that the individual that we worked with, Mr Vikna Rajah, is extensive and in-depth knowledge with a reasonable fee.’