Firm Profile > Stephenson Harwood LLP > Singapore, Singapore

Stephenson Harwood LLP
ONE RAFFLES PLACE
SINGAPORE 048616
Singapore

Singapore > Asset finance: foreign firms Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood LLP has a lengthy history in big-ticket ship financings but has also built its presence in the aviation space in recent years. The Singapore team was especially active in major airline restructurings during the Covid-19 pandemic, including global restructurings working alongside colleagues in London and Paris. On the ship finance side, the firm boasts a sizeable team of both English law and Singapore law partners, three of which have been in Singapore for 20 years. The ship finance group operates primarily on the borrower side, along with Chinese lessor, international bank, and ECA and development bank clients. It is known for ECA-backed financings and its restructuring and insolvency expertise. Saugata Mukherjee is a leader in aviation finance, including niche areas such as working on the first Korean-private placements of aircraft-backed bonds. Gregg Johnston, Iain Young and Martin Green are among the most experienced ship finance specialists in the market, while Huay Yee Kwan is a key name for PRC leasing engagements. Michelle Runagall-Orlić and Gregory Xu are also key partners. Jeffrey Tanner, Clement Leung and Pedram Norton are all rising stars.

Testimonials

‘Approachable, well-coordinated, always available, excellent depth of knowledge and committed. Deal team structure allows for consistency of advice across the board. Professional, constructive and practical. ’

‘Stephenson Harwood are the best ship owners finance team in Singapore. Exceptionally well tuned for dealing with busy, sophisticated and demanding owners.’

‘A highly experienced firm with which I have a long history. They have a large practice and is guided by a very experienced partner.’

‘Strength in depth is what makes this team stand out. They take a practical and commercial approach to all matters.’

‘Saugata Mukherjee – absolutely stands out in terms of commitment, ability, dedication, knowledge, commercial acumen and ability to achieve the commercial objective and close a deal. Best aviation lawyer in Singapore. Clement Leung – very bright, creative and innovative in finding solutions, and very dedicated and hard working.’

‘Saugata Mukherjee is extremely knowledgeable and has an incredible work rate. He is also an amazing problem solver.’

‘Gregg Johnston is a great team leader and an exceptional lawyer. Excellent dealing with clients. Jeffrey Tanner is a first-class lawyer and understands how a shipowner operates having done a secondment to BW.’

Key clients

Transportation Partners

Lion Air Group

Cebu Pacific

BNP Paribas

DVB Bank

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ)

Hafnia Limited

Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Banks

ING Bank

National Australian Bank

ABN AMRO Bank

KfW IPEX-Bank

Paragon Outcomes

Standard Chartered Bank

Societe Generale

AET

BW LPG Limited

The Korea Development Bank

The Export-Import Bank of Korea

Singapore > Shipping: foreign firms Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood LLP has one of the largest shipping teams in the market, covering ship finance through to traditional shipping disputes. The Singapore group has experienced a significant uptick in big-ticket disputes, including representing two major secured lenders on the collapse of Hin Leong Trading, its vessel ownership group Xihe Holdings and its bareboat charterer Ocean Tankers. The practice evolved from a largely bank-focused team to a more evenly balanced emphasis with growth in shipowner representation. It has also significantly expanded its engagements from Chinese lessors. The group is also noted for commodities-related litigation, including misdelivery claims. Gregg Johnston is a leader in international ship and offshore finance. Iain Young is another senior ship finance specialist and Huay Yee Kwan is the key name for China leasing engagements. Michelle Yong and John Simpson are noted for shipping, oil and gas and international trade disputes. Gregory Xu is recognised for offshore oil and gas financings, including FPSOs, FSRUs and LNG vessels. Pedram Norton and Jeffrey Tanner impress at senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

Gregg Johnston

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable on shipping and always acting in the client’s best interests. The team is very responsive and timely in terms of follow-up.’ 

‘SH has a partner-driven practice that is extremely capable and highly responsive. They were totally committed to working hard, regardless of the time of day, to get the deal over the line. They are creative, adaptable and use their initiative to deliver high-quality results every time.’

‘Gregg Johnston stand out and values his expertise and honesty. Always meeting deliverables and working hard on the transaction.’

‘Gregg Johnston for his deep ship finance experience stretching close to 2 decades in Asia, as well as an experienced team in Matthew Seah and Pedram Norton.’

‘Michelle Yong is our go-to partner. She is extremely dedicated, smart and tenacious. She is a very tough negotiator on our behalf and finds creative solutions to achieve our goals.’

‘Pedram Norton is very approachable and goes the extra mile to get the transaction done. You always feel to be in good hands working with Pedram. Gregg Johnston is a highly recommended partner who is very knowledgeable and involved in the transactions he is working on.’

‘John Simpson – incisive all-round maritime lawyer.’

‘Iain Young is very experienced and a general steady hand, and well known in the market.’

Key clients

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ), Singapore Branch

Hafnia Limiited

Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Banks

ING Bank

National Australian Bank

ABN AMRO Bank

KfW IPEX-Bank

Paragon Outcomes

Standard Chartered Bank

BNP Paribas

Societe Generale

AET

BW LPG Limited

The Korea Development Bank

The Export-Import Bank of Korea

DVB Bank

Singapore > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood LLP‘s presence in the aviation and maritime sectors has brought it a string of major restructuring and insolvency engagements. In addition, the firm’s deep Singapore resources and commitment to Southeast Asia have been employed in a number of headline matters including acting for two major secured lenders in the collapse of Singapore oil trader Hin Leong Trading and advising on the restructuring of the Equinix Group. Gregg Johnston  is a leader in ship finance and has worked on a series of major restructurings during the Covid pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Gregg Johnston

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey Tanner; Matthew Seah

Testimonials

‘Strong follow-up with local counsels and bankruptcy trustee. Provides good commercial suggestions on the way forward.’

‘They provide excellent services with deep and large knowledge in advising on offshore lending and borrowing in the shipping industry.’

‘Matthew Seah and Gregg Johnston – proactive, available, good commercial and legal approach.’

‘We worked with Jeffrey Tanner from SH Singapore. He worked with the best effort and highest responsibility that we could ever ask for. ’

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank

Syndicate of lenders for Hanjin

KPMG

Equinix Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.

Berge Bulk Shipping and other major creditors

Singapore > Banking and finance: foreign firms Tier 3

Banking and finance is a core plank of Stephenson Harwood LLP's Singapore offering. The department acts for domestic and international banks, investment companies and corporates in a wide variety of transactions, with a particular focus on asset, shipping and aviation finance. The team is also instructed on restructuring and insolvency matters, where it can draw on the firm's local alliance firm Virtus Law LLP - Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance. Gregory Xu heads the team and has a significant reputation for ship leasing deals. Senior associate Clement Leung is an expert in aircraft financings, often coordinating cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Xu

Other key lawyers:

Clement Leung; Pedram Norton; Jeffrey Tanner

Testimonials

‘Always there to help you – any time a day. Always well coordinated and ready to help. Never had any issues.’

‘Always good advice and ready to help. Top class lawyers’

The team has extensive cooperation with us in banking, aircraft financing, and structured financing. Compared with other law firms, the price is relatively favourable but the quality of service is still very commendable.’

Professional and efficient service team.’

Very professional in ship financing, high work efficiency and pleasant cooperation experience.’

Key clients

MUFG Bank

Mizuho Bank

TransAsia Private Capital Limited

Golden Equator

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

BNP Paribas

Credit Agricole

Credit Suisse

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

Axis Bank

HDFC Bank

ICICI Bank

Q&M Dental

Bank of Communications

Bank of Baroda

China Minsheng Banking Corporation

Aditya Birla Finance Limited

OCP Asia

UOB

Campana Group

BioNTech

ING Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Bank of Singapore

Avendus Finance

China Development Bank

Asian Development Bank

Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

State Bank of India

HSBC Bank

LOGOS

Singapore > Corporate and M&A: foreign firms Tier 3

A key distinguisher for Stephenson Harwood LLP is its formal law alliance with local firm Virtus Law LLP, a relationship which allows it to act on both international and Singaporean law mandates. Other distinguishing traits for the practice include its proficiency in representing private equity and venture capital fund managers, and its specialist knowledge of the healthcare, telecommunications, technology and maritime sectors. Practice head Tom Platts understands the local business environment’; his team has recently witnessed an uptick in instructions from US, European and Asian conglomerates and it is also increasingly active in the Indonesian market.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Fast turnaround, accurate, friendly, strong expertise.’

‘Helen Rhind-Hufnagel and Tom Platts are both excellent. They understand the regional business environment.’

‘Expertise on finance and market knowledge/application in multiple jurisdictions; commercial sensible approach; great on management of local counsel and local law issues; positive fun approach to work and clients.’

‘Helen Rhind-Hufnagel is great and has a good team, effective in allowing clients to work towards deadlines. Great understanding of legal issues and market positions.’

‘Fantastic team! Always well coordinated and ready to help. Exceptional!’

‘Top lawyers – no doubt about that. Not a single weak link!’

‘Ability to cover multiple jurisdictions.’

‘Tom Platts – very commercial and reactive.’

 

Key clients

Equinix Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.

iflix

Arcus Infrastructure Partners

Affinity (Shipping) LLP

Corporation Service Company

Duff & Phelps

TSA Group

Danfoss A/S

IntriCon Corporation

General Mills

Singapore > International arbitration Tier 3

The international arbitration team at Stephenson Harwood LLP handles a mix of energy, maritime and international trade and investment treaty cases.  Offshore oil and gas sector disputes expert John Simpson and Michelle Yong who focuses on shipping, oil and gas, and international trade disputes jointly lead the team. Chris Bailey‘s arrival from King & Spalding adds a breadth of experience in disputes involving Japanese trading houses. Timothy Cooke joined Reed Smith LLP.

Practice head(s):

John Simpson; Michelle Yong

Other key lawyers:

Chris Bailey; Daryll Ng

Testimonials

Our go-to partner is Michelle Yong. An amazingly driven and focused partner who does not stop until she gets us the maximum outcome possible.’

Daryll Ng and John Simpson are both very approachable and responsive. They’re both very helpful and commercial.

They are our go-to team for dispute resolution. They are able to see the big picture but not miss the small details. Their work ethic and commitment to supporting their clients is a class act. They spend a lot of time and energy getting to know the clients to a depth and breadth that we have not experienced elsewhere. They leverage technology to connect across jurisdictions and time zones to provide us with advice and support on a 24 hour basis. The firm also has a culture of promoting women and locals.

Michelle Yong is the full package – sharp and incisive with the perfect balance of legal prowess and commercial insight. Michelle not only gets the plot but more often than not is able to write the story to the conclusion her clients need.’

Daryll Ng and John Simpson are both very approachable and responsive. They’re both very helpful and commercial.

Key clients

Berge Bulk Shipping

Philippines > Foreign firms Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood LLP‘s Philippines practice spans a wide variety of sectors including power, infrastructure, energy and resources, manufacturing, facilities management, mining, aviation and shipping. With Kevin Lee as a private wealth specialist, the firm also provides a plethora of traditional and non-traditional private wealth management capabilities. Saugata Mukherjee is an expert in asset finance and has worked on some of the most complex financing structures and aircraft orders in Asia. The firm’s TMT capabilities are equally strong, having advised the iflix group, a high-profile pan-Asian video-streaming service on its sale of assets to Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings.

Practice head(s):

George Cyriac ; Tom Platts; Saugata Mukherjee

 

 

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

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Key clients

iflix

Stella International Holdings

ENGIE

BNP Paribas

ASEAN Industrial Growth Fund

Cebu Pacific

Vietnam > Foreign desks Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood LLP acts for domestic and multinational clients on a wide range of mandates, including market entries, investments and commercial agreements. Reflective of its presence in the market, the firm's work spans a wide variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare, real estate, telecoms and consumer goods. Corporate and private equity partner George Cyriac , who has been instrumental in the growth of the Vietnam practice, acts for clients on acquisitions, disposals and restructurings. Like Cyriac, Tom Platts and Saugata Mukherjee are other names to note in Singapore.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Vietnam Holding Limited

KLW Holdings Limited

iflix

South Korea > Shipping: foreign firms

Noted for its ‘vast experience and expertise’ in the shipping industry, Stephenson Harwood has a preeminent marine and international trade practice. The team has a large geographical footprint and is comprised of lawyers across Asia, the Middle East and the UK. In Seoul, managing partner Michael Kim has a diverse practice, handling both contentious and non-contentious issues. Kim is supported by associate Hannah Lee and Stuart Burrell, whose clients include major shipowners, shipbuilders, construction and EPC contractors, oil companies and insurers. Alex Davis takes the lead in London, working with Stuart Beadnall, who has extensive experience in advising on shipping contracts. Andrew Rigden Green is Hong Kong’s practice head and is a specialist in the installation and operation of offshore structures. Based in the Singapore office, Virtus Law LLP – Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance partner Daryll Ng is supported by head of shipping and offshore finance, Gregg Johnston.

Testimonials

‘Expertise and professionalism. No other law firm in Korea is more experienced than SH in the shipping sector.’

‘Michael Kim. An excellent lawyer and a reliable partner who has extensive knowledge, provides timely and precise advice, and is tailored to the need of the clients.’

‘Stephenson Harwood LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office has vast experiences and expertise in the shipping market. They are very committed to their clients, Korean as well as international.’

‘I believe among the foreign international law firms who have offices in Korea, Stephenson Harwood LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office has the best reputation in the shipping industry, by far.’

Key clients

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

Korea Line Corporation

Hanwha General Insurance Co Ltd

The Import-Export Bank of Korea

KB Insurance Co., Ltd

Chevron International Pte Ltd

The Standard Club

Hanjin Heavy Industries

Hyundai Merchant Marine

Pan Ocean Co., Ltd

Sungdong Shipbuilding

Daehan Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

Sinokor Merchant Marine Co.,Ltd

Japan P&I Club

SPP Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

Eukor Car Carriers. Inc

Macon Charter B.V.

SK Shipping Co., Ltd.

H-Line Shipping Co.,Ltd.

DB Insurance Co., Ltd

Feen Marine Scrubbers Inc.

HHIC-PHIL KOREA

Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

SC Engineering Co., Ltd.

Seil Textile Co., Ltd.

You Chang Trading Corp

MULTI ASSET GLOBAL INVESTMENTS CO.,LTD.

LATTICE TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.

WILLIAM FRY

NOVEL GROUP OÜ

BHI CO., LTD

LG Chem Ltd.

Myanmar > Foreign desks

Stephenson Harwood LLP acts on landmark transactions across the Asia-pacific region on real estate, energy and natural resources, and the mining sectors. Based between Singapore and Yangon, the group receives a steady stream of mandates on market entry matters in Myanmar and regularly development work in the insurance market. Tom Platts is a key name and holds a number of blue-chip corporates and banks as clients.

Practice head(s):

India > Foreign firms

In addition to acting for international and Indian banks and other financial institutions, Stephenson Harwood also has a dedicated private wealth practice to assist ultra-high-net-worth families in India, the Middle East and elsewhere on their wealth management and investments. The firm combines its global/Asia capabilities with a close connection to the India market providing financing, corporate and disputes expertise in the mid-market range in sectors including resources, healthcare and technology. It also advises, on a pro bono basis, the British Asian Trust. Kamal Shah, who heads the group (and the Africa group), primarily advises on complex disputes in India, often with cross-border elements and spearheads a respected arbitration practice. Meanwhile George Cyriac (dual qualified in New York and India) has some decades of experience on cross-border corporate, private equity and restructuring transactions in Asia. Nijoe Joseph is reported to be ‘one of the most respected banking and finance lawyers in the UAE’; he has noteworthy experience of shipping, aviation and financing (including Islamic finance) expertise while Gregory Xu in Singapore, leads the general banking and project finance offering for Southeast Asia.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Stephenson Harwood has a strong team of partners covering India across different jurisdictions – UK, Middle-East, Singapore. In India the team has been advising on merger & acquisitions, litigation and arbitration, finance matters, IPOs and covers various sectors including technology and outsourcing work. They are a reliable option for many mid-market transactions for both inbound and outbound work. Attention to customer service is exceptional. Professionalism and integrity in every regard. Always apply the right level of expertise and partner supervision of senior and junior staff is very good.

‘I would highly recommend the services of the banking and finance team of Stephenson Harwood, Dubai office. The team is well organised, provides effective advice and makes the relationship both effortless and pleasant. One of the significant quality of the team to be highlighted is their ability to turn around within the committed timelines and which helps us in closing matters with our clients. They are also cost effective.’

‘Nijoe Joseph is one of the most respected banking and finance lawyers in UAE. He tries to understand the needs of the clients and provides effective advice based on the requirements. If a matter is entrusted to Joseph, he would be available throughout whenever required. As a partner, his availability and engagement in a matter is to be specifically mentioned. Joseph is also easy to work with and always willing to take the time to discuss our concerns and respond to questions. Even during the pandemic as well, Joseph has been in constant touch and provided the necessary support at all times.’

‘The firm punches above its weight. Top quality but at more reasonable price points than the magic circle firms. Also, they are quite commercial and pragmatic.’

‘George Cyriac leads their Indian M&A efforts and stands out. He is hands-on, commercial and pleasant to work with. He is able to build a rapport quickly with Indian clients.’

‘Kamal Shah heads their India group and is a great litigator.’

Key clients

ICICI Bank

Axis Bank

Yes Bank

HDFC Bank Limited

State Bank of India, Hong Kong branch

Mr Ravi Ruia and Mr Prashant Ruia

Mizuho Bank

Aditya Birla Finance Limited

Power Finance Corporation Limited

REC Limited

The Singapore office has been established in Singapore for 25 years, and as part of the Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance*, is widely recognised as being a top-tier firm in asset finance, shipping, arbitration, aviation, international trade and corporate, covering the region from its Singapore hub.

Our 60 lawyer Alliance team in Singapore, covering international and permitted areas of Singapore law, has built an enviable reputation for investment advice, shipping, offshore and aviation, mergers and acquisitions, private wealth, corporate, banking and project finance, arbitration and dispute resolution.

The team in Singapore has strong expertise in the maritime industry. Our shipping and offshore team is one of very few in Asia to offer a complete ensemble of market-leading ship finance, corporate and litigation services to the maritime industry. Our clients include almost every major ship finance bank, many of the world’s largest shipping, commodity and offshore multinationals and the world’s leading shipyards.

We have an experienced corporate team boasting an enviable track record of market-leading deals throughout Southeast Asia.

We are recognised as having a market leading aviation finance practice. With one of the largest teams dedicated to aviation finance in Singapore, we represent banks, private equity houses, financial institutions, lessors and the most prominent airlines in Southeast Asia. The team has acted on a number of landmark and ground-breaking deals, including some of the largest commercial aircraft orders, portfolio transfers, restructurings, commercial and ECA financings, JOLs, JOLCOs and the most innovative aircraft financing and leasing deals done in Asia.

We also have a banking and finance team that acts for many leading local and international banks, investment companies, other corporates, lessors, funds and other stakeholders on challenging transactions which often involve novel instruments or structures.

Our highly regarded dispute resolution team advises on the full range of corporate, commercial, trade and insolvency disputes. We represent clients in court litigation, and international and domestic arbitrations around the world. Through our Alliance partner, Virtus Law LLP, we are also able to take action and represent clients at every level of the Singapore courts.

We add value to the services we provide to our clients through 25 years of experience built up in Singapore. With both international and local expertise within the Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance*, we have an insight into how business is done in the region.

*Stephenson Harwood LLP and Virtus Law LLP are each registered under the Limited Liability Partnership Act (Chapter 163A) of Singapore with limited liability and are members of the Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance, a formal law alliance licensed in Singapore.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Martin Green Martin.green@shlegal.com +65 6226 1600
Business Development Manager Marilyn Quek Marilyn.quek@shlegal.com +65 6622 9654
Photo Name Position Profile
 George Cyriac  photo George Cyriac George is a corporate and private equity partner. He has extensive experience…
 Martin Green photo Martin Green Martin is the managing partner of the Singapore office, with over 25…
 Gregg Johnston  photo Gregg Johnston Gregg is the head of the Singapore based shipping and offshore finance…
 Suzanne Johnston  photo Suzanne Johnston Suzanne is a private wealth, trust and UK tax lawyer based in…
 Huay Yee Kwan  photo Huay Yee Kwan Huay Yee is a shipping and offshore finance partner. She has a…
 Clement Leung photo Clement Leung Clement is a senior associate finance lawyer with a particular focus on…
 Saugata Mukherjee  photo Saugata Mukherjee A structured and asset finance expert with a particular focus on aviation…
 Pedram Norton photo Pedram Norton Pedram specialises in cross-border ship finance and offshore maritime transactions. He has…
 Tom Platts  photo Tom Platts Tom is a corporate and commercial law expert. He has extensive experience…
 Helen Rhind-Hufnagel  photo Helen Rhind-Hufnagel Helen Rhind-Hufnagel is an M&A specialist advising on cross-border transactions across South…
 Michelle Runagall-Orlić photo Michelle Runagall-Orlić Michelle is a finance lawyer with specialist expertise in the aviation sector.…
 John Simpson  photo John Simpson John is a Director of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration and…
 Jeffrey Tanner photo Jeffrey Tanner Jeffrey is a senior associate who is recognised as a leading transactional…
Dr Gregory Xu  photo Dr Gregory Xu Dr Gregory Xu is a partner who leads the general banking and…
 Michelle Yong  photo Michelle Yong Michelle’s practice encapsulates the entire lifespan of the shipping cycle – she…
 Iain Young  photo Iain Young Iain specialises in banking and asset finance, particularly in relation to ships…
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