Mr Mahesh Rai > Drew & Napier LLC > Singapore, Singapore > Lawyer Profile

Drew & Napier LLC

Work Department

Dispute Resolution


Director, Dispute Resolution;

Deputy Head, Construction & Engineering


Mahesh acts for clients in a broad spectrum of litigation and international arbitration matters.

He has handled disputes spanning many sectors including information technology, telecommunications, oil and gas, shipping, construction and commodities. He is adept at handling complex disputes involving multi-disciplinary technical issues. He has also acted in shareholder and joint venture disputes, employment disputes and fraud claims.

Mahesh graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2008 as a Shaw Foundation Scholar.

In 2009, he earned an LL.M. in International Arbitration & Litigation from University College London (UCL). He was an oralist in the UCL team that was the runner-up in the prestigious Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in 2009. Mahesh was part of the Drew & Napier team that won the inaugural Essex Court Chambers-Singapore Academy of Law Moot Competition 2012 for Singapore lawyers.

In 2012, Mahesh was also awarded an Excellence in Advocacy Award by the Singapore International Arbitration Academy.

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Singapore appointed Mahesh as Young Amicus Curiae and he assisted the High Court on novel points of law in an appeal involving money laundering. Mahesh was also awarded the Singapore Academy of Law scholarship which enabled him to work at Fountain Court Chambers with eminent Queen’s Counsel.

In 2017, the ICC appointed Mahesh as one of the regional representatives for the Young Arbitrators Forum.

Mahesh regularly acts as pro bono defence counsel under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) for impecunious accused persons. He also represents victims who appear as civil parties before the hybrid Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Mahesh also teaches advocacy to aspiring lawyers as part of the bar course.

Practice Areas:

  • Arbitration
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Corporate Litigation
  • Crime
  • Defamation
  • Energy, Transport & Infrastructure
  • Information Technology
  • International Arbitration
  • International Trade
  • Investigations
  • Shipping
  • Telecommunications, Media & Technology




  • Arbitrator, KLRCA Panel
  • Arbitrator, SIAC Reserve Panel
  • Panel of Arbitrators, Thailand Arbitration Centre (THAC)
  • Regional Representative, ICC Young Arbitrators Forum
  • Member, Inter-Pacific Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Committee Member, International Relations Committee of Law Society of Singapore
  • Committee Member, Criminal Legal Aid Scheme
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, Young International Arbitration Group
  • Member, Young International Council for Commercial Arbitration
  • Lead Counsel, Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences


  • LL.B. (Hons), National University of Singapore (2008), Shaw Foundation Scholar
  • LL.M. International Arbitration & Litigation, University College London (2009)
  • B.Sc. (1st Class Hons) Politics & International Relations, London School of Economics, External (2006)
  • Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore (2011)
  • Attorney-at-law of the state of New York (2011)
  • Solicitor of England & Wales (2013)
  • International Lawyer, Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (2013)
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Lawyer Rankings

Singapore > Construction: Local firms

Drew & Napier LLC has drawn on its extensive resources and reputation in the contentious sphere to develop an impressive body of construction and engineering expertise. It is noted for infrastructure and real estate development-related disputes. The firm has also built knowledge and experience in front-end and procurement work, including engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts, and additional front-end matters relating to public-private partnership (PPP) projects. Its client base includes a range of domestic and international employers, along with an impressive mix of contractors. Christopher Chong is head of the construction and engineering team with experience at all levels of the Singapore courts, in major arbitrations, and in adjudications. Deputy head Mahesh Rai has earned many accolades in recent years. Chairman Jimmy Yim SC provides additional senior level gravitas to high-value and large-scale disputes. Kevin Teo is another key member of the team.

Singapore > White-collar crime - Local firms

Drew & Napier LLC’s workload includes cross-border investigatory matters, covering bribery, fraud, anti-money laundering, whistle-blower complaints and financial services offences and regulations. The ‘highly skilled and collaborative’ practice represents a number of leading financial institutions, listed companies, multinational corporations, boards of directors, and high-profile individuals, frequently advising on defence and prosecution cases. The team is also noted for its work in cross-border FCPA investigations involving US authorities, alongside cases involving dawn raids undertaken by public authorities. Wendell Wong, a highly reputable civil and criminal lawyer with former public prosecution experience, co-heads the team alongside Chia Voon Jiet, a specialist in competition and regulatory investigations. Cavinder Bull is noted for his expertise in sensitive corporate investigations, while Jimmy Yim and Mahesh Rai bring standout experience in disputes. Gary Low advises on criminal defence and investigatory matters, and Adam Maniam is another key contact in the group.

Singapore > International arbitration

(Next Generation Partners)

Mahesh RaiDrew & Napier LLC

Singapore > Projects and energy: local firms

At Drew & Napier LLC, the team leverages its multidisciplinary resources to advise on a broad spectrum of matters, including M&A deals, project financings, and complex high-value disputes. The group has considerable experience in handling high-profile projects in the power, energy, telecommunications, transportation, water, and construction sectors. The client base takes in a wide range of private, public, and governmental entities. Led by Jimmy Yim, SC, the practice is noted for its expertise in assisting with multijurisdictional litigation. Mahesh Rai handles complex projects and has represented clients from the hydropower, energy, and telecoms sectors. Christopher Chong is noted for his expertise in renewables, construction and engineering dispute resolution work.

Singapore > Dispute resolution: local firms

Drew & Napier LLC, as a Big Four Singapore law firm, is widely recognised as a dispute resolution powerhouse, having an unrivalled depth of bench and more leading practitioners than any other firm in the jurisdiction. It devotes considerable resources to dispute resolution pursuits and is frequently selected to represent parties in the biggest and most complex cases. Over the 12-month research period, the firm handled litigation matters with a total value exceeding $16bn. It has seen its director (partner equivalent) ranks grow by 10%, continues to expand both its presence in regional disputes and its international client base, and continues to grow its arbitration-related practice. Among a multitude of headline and seminal cases, the firm acted for Hin Leong’s judicial managers in the largest reported fraudulent trading case in Singapore, seeking recovery of over $3.5bn from the directors of the company. CEO Cavinder Bull SC, who is ‘simply superb as a legal adviser, advocate and person’, is at the pinnacle of the profession, having been one of few senior counsels to be appointed before the age of 40, back in 2008. Siraj Omar SC and Randolph Khoo are also outstanding practitioners, along with seasoned practitioner and firm chairman Jimmy Yim SC, also elevated to senior counsel before turning 40 in 1998. Mahesh Rai, Kelvin Tan, Blossom Hing, Wendell Wong and Gary Low act for private clients as well as companies in the advertising, tech, transport and financial industries. Kevin Lee has joined Twenty Essex in Singapore.

Comparative Guides

Singapore: Litigation July 2023 This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of Litigation laws and regulations applicable in Singapore.