Firm Profile > Milbank > Singapore, Singapore

Milbank
12 MARINA BOULEVARD
MARINA BAY FINANCIAL CENTRE #36-03, TOWER 3
SINGAPORE 018982
Singapore

Singapore > Corporate and M&A: foreign firms Tier 1

A team which is ‘always one step ahead’, Milbank fields a ‘very strong local team which is able to bear the depth and quality of the firm’s global practice’. The group demonstrates a tenacity for landmark and market-first transactions, recently working on one of the first de-SPAC transactions involving an Asia-based company, and has been particularly engaged within the infrastructure, healthcare, logistics and technology sectors. In addition to its M&A and corporate transaction prowess, practice head David Zemans provides banking, project finance and capital market transaction expertise while Jacqueline Chan has forged a commanding reputation for debt and equity transaction structuring. The recent workload stretches beyond Singapore and includes a number of significant transactions across India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A very strong local team which is able to bear the depth and quality of the firm’s global practice. Good knowledge of the SE Asian market and strong deal management capability.’

‘Jacqueline Chan is great; she is highly responsive and practical.’

‘The team was always one step ahead of us thinking through the points to be negotiated. Very responsive as a team.’

‘Their timeliness and follow through is notable.’

 

Key clients

International Columbia US, LLC (managed by Columbia Pacific Management, Inc.)

Triterras Fintech Pte Ltd.

Farallon Capital Management

Kendall Court

PT Finansia Pacifica Raya

Del Monte Pacific Limited

Asian Development Bank

Fast Logistics Corporation

Masan Group

Emergent Capital Partners

Micro-D International, Inc.

Singapore > Projects: foreign firms Tier 1

A notable client list comprising the market’s most notable lenders and sponsors differentiates the offering at Milbank. The department stands out as a leading practice for large, multi-sourced project financings involving multilaterals and export credit agencies across Asia. Energy and natural resources specialist James Murray heads up the team, and receives valuable assistance from UK and US-qualified lawyer James Orme. Other noteworthy practitioners include special counsel Andrew Gibb and associate Rosaline Yusman; the former’s broad workload spans assisting with project structuring, advising on risk analysis and infrastructure regulation, and negotiating a broad range of finance and project agreements. The group is able to combine its local knowledge with the firm’s pan-Asian and global resources to provide truly international coverage.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I think what sets them apart is their strategic partnership with the local firms. The combination proves to be highly comprehensive and cohesive.’

‘What sets James Murray apart from other partners in other law firms is his willingness to partake in the commercial negotiations. It is highly value-adding when a partner is able to provide his/her own viewpoints as they may have undergone a similar discussion process for a precedent transaction. It will make the discussions more efficient and fruitful.’

‘Andrew Gibb has shown on numerous occasions the ability to interpret and pinpoint lenders’ concerns and provide conducive solutions on the fly. His insights allow for more fluid discussions and exchanges between the project sponsors and lenders group which usually involve a large group of people with mixed backgrounds.’

‘Rosaline Yusman has shown herself to be an invaluable support to the legal counsel team. She is quick to turnaround and very thorough in providing responses to queries.’

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

The Export Import Bank of Korea

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation

Asian Development Bank

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Marubeni Corporation

Sumitomo Corporation

Mitsui Corporation

Engie

Adaro

ANZ

Bank of China

BNP Paribas

CIMB

Citibank

DBS

HSBC

ICBC

ING Bank

JP Morgan Chase

Maybank

Mizuho

MUFG

SMBC

Standard Chartered

Societe Generale

Singapore > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms Tier 1

Milbank‘s highly-rated Singapore office has some of the top practitioners in the jurisdiction, several of which have significant experience in the restructuring field, particularly in the energy and oil and gas segments. The Singapore team has an impressive record in restructurings centred in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore itself. David Zemans and Jacqueline Chan are outstanding names in the market, both of which continue to work on a number of big-ticket restructurings, representing a range of debtors, creditors and bondholder committees.

Practice head(s):

David Zemans

Other key lawyers:

Jacqueline Chan; Giles Kennedy

Testimonials

‘Milbank are market leaders in SE Asia for assisting corporate borrowers with both the issuance and restructuring of USD Bonds.’

‘Good communication and client management skills.’

‘Giles Kennedy is unrivalled in his experience and in particular, for his close and trusted relationships with corporate clients built over many years. His communication is clear and his advice is sought and acted upon. ’

Singapore > Banking and finance: foreign firms Tier 2

The ‘solution-driven and consistent‘ team at Milbank is noted for advising global financial institutions active in Asia on regional transactions, with a particular reputation for matters involving Indonesia, where it has expertise in the energy and natural resources sectors. The group also acts for borrowers, which alongside lenders, it assists with project finance, syndicated lending, acquisition finance, debt capital markets deals and distressed transactions. Taking the lead is David Zemans, who has vast experience in regional and cross-border financings. Jacqueline Chan focuses on work arising from Indonesia and Vietnam, specialising in structuring debt transactions. James Murray is an expert in resources financing and is particularly active in the area of multi-sourced finance. Dual-English and -New York qualified James Orme is another core practitioner.

Practice head(s):

David Zemans

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They do thorough analysis of most appropriate course of action to be taken by the client. They are a diverse firm with best use of technology.’

‘David Zemans, their Asia head, makes himself available on crucial issues. He has great partners in James Murry and Jame Orme on financing side.’

‘Understand the market well. Thoughtful when it comes to conveying commercial aspects while protecting interests of lenders. Collaborative with sponsors and partners alike.’

Solution-driven, consistent team with sufficient experience and access to precedents. Specialists in Indonesia especially power sector.’

James Murray is highly accessible, commercially driven and engaging approach.’

Key clients

PT Adaro Indonesia / PT Adaro Energy Tbk

PT Saptaindra Sejati

Asian Development Bank

International Finance Corporation

MUFG

SMBC

PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk.

Standard Chartered Bank

Citibank N.A.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM)

The Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure)

DBS Bank Ltd

Bangkok Bank

Bank Negara Indonesia

Bank of China

Maybank

PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Tbk

KEB Hana Bank

CIMB Bank

KDB Bank

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

PT Indika Energy Tbk

ANZ Bank

Singapore > Capital markets: equity and debt: foreign firms Tier 2

Milbank has developed a strong profile for cross-border high-yield debt transactions and investment grade debt deals, advising issuers and lenders, although it also has a notable ECM practice. From Singapore, the group advises on transactions across Asia, with recent experience in transactions involving Indonesia, Malaysia and India. Drawing on broader firm expertise in real estate, the group counts a number of big-name developers as clients. While the firm lost James McFarlane to an in-house role in June 2021, it brought on special counsel Terrence O’Donnell from Shearman & Sterling LLP in July 2021, bolstering the group's capabilities in ECM transactions. Jointly leading the team are Naomi Ishikawa and Giles Kennedy.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Ishikawa; Giles Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Terrence O’Donnell

Testimonials

We had engaged with Milbank for the past 15 years or so since our first bond issuance and we always had very positive experience with the team. Their knowledge on the High Yield capital market and their experience has helped us in negotiating key terms with the banks and bond investors. The whole team from junior to senior partners are very helpful, responsive and knowledgeable. We will certainly plan to continue work with them again in the future.’

The partners we worked with are mostly Giles Kennedy with Naomi Ishikawa sometimes comes in to help. Giles is the most helpful lawyer who is available to advice us in navigating the complex bond covenants, all without additional charges! He would spend hours discussing our covenants with New York and London’s counterparts and return back to us with comprehensive answers and proposed solutions. Giles is always willing to all the way out in providing creative solutions within possible law and regulation limitation.’

Key clients

Tiga Acquisition Corp

Triterras Fintech Pte Ltd

Singapore Airlines

GMR Airports Ltd

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Deutsche Bank AG

The Hongkong And Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

J.P. Morgan Securities

Standard Chartered Bank

PT Lippo Karawaci Tbk

PT Alam Sutera Realty Tbk

Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust Management Ltd.

PT Bukit Makmur Mandiri Utama

Credit Suisse

DBS Bank

Barclays

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

MUFG Bank

Maybank

Delhi International Airport Limited

Singapore > Energy: foreign firms Tier 2

Milbank is at the forefront of big-ticket non-recourse financings in the energy field. It is historically strong in oil and gas sector projects but the team also steadily built its standing in renewables as well as in LNG-to-power projects. It represents a number of the major international oil companies, Japanese trading houses, big Indonesian conglomerates, and a range of ECAs and multilateral agency lenders. Indonesia has dominated the firm’s practice for many years, along with power work in the Philippines and Vietnam, and now with further growth in power projects in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. James Murray is a market leader in energy sector project financings, with James Orme also having made a strong impression in recent years.

Practice head(s):

James Murray

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)

The Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM)

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure)

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Marubeni Corporation

Sumitomo Corporation

Mitsui Corporation

Engie

Adaro

ANZ

Bank of China

BNP Paribas

CIMB

Citibank

DBS

HSBC

ICBC

ING Bank

JP Morgan Chase

Maybank

Mizuho

MUFG

SMBC

Standard Chartered

Societe Generale

PT Indika Energy Tbk

Singapore > Asset finance: foreign firms Tier 3

Milbank remains a prominent player in aviation finance, most notably for the major Chinese aircraft lessors such ICBC Leasing. It also represents a number of other international lessors, lenders, and low-cost Asian airlines and international airlines. Furthermore, it was at the forefront of airline restructurings and has an established record in offshore oil and gas financings, including FPSOs. Paul Ng is an established name in the market, frequently landing many of the biggest engagements in the region, particularly for aircraft lessors.

Practice head(s):

Paul Ng

Testimonials

‘Paul Ng’s team is very practical-oriented and is focused on finding solutions that work for the clients.’

‘Paul Ng – knows the landscape and is outcome-oriented. He always seeks the best solution for the client.’

‘I have been working with Milbank for almost 2 years. The firm’s performance is above my expectation in terms of client service and legal knowledge. The team have a broad range of financing and leasing experience and has acted for a wide range of aviation clients, and their lawyers have high commercial awareness in general. In the meantime, their fees are very reasonable.’

‘Paul Ng, Hui Ling Teo and Ed Bentley. Their knowledge of the China market and cross-border issues make them more competitive.’

‘One of the most experienced firms around. They have a deep bench of fantastic associates and extremely knowledgeable partners.’

‘Paul Ng has a well of knowledge and an incredible work rate. I have complete confidence in him and his advice.’

‘Very attentive and focused team. Available at all times, extremely hard-working, gets the job done always. Very technically sound and customer focused. Correct staffing for each transaction.’

‘Paul Ng, Hui Ling Teo, very client focused and extremely responsive, look after our interests at all times, great transaction management, extremely hard working and focused.’

Key clients

First Plus Asset Management

Taiping Fontainburg DVB Aviation Capital L.P.

Air Premia

Singapore Airlines

Malaysian Airlines

Cebu Pacific

CastleLake LLP

Asiana Airlines

Korean Airlines

Vietjet

China Southern

Philippine Airlines

AirAsia X

Nihal Leasing

ICBC Financial Leasing

BOCOMM Financial

CMB Financial Leasing

AVIC Financial Leasing

CCB Financial Leasing

CALC

Minsheng Financial Leasing

BOC Aviation

Cathay United Bank (Taiwan)

TrueNoord

Avolon

Singapore > TMT: foreign firms Tier 3

Milbank has a leading track record advising on landmark TMT transactions across Southeast Asia, including assisting with M&A, corporate finance and debt and equity offerings. The group’s client roster comprises a stellar list of the region’s most recognised innovators in the technology and telecoms space, as well as notable investors. The firm is able to leverage its significant global capabilities – including a highly regarded offering in the UK – when handling cross-border mandates. Giles Kennedy and Jacqueline Chan are the key names to note, along with David Zemans, who acts as the managing partner of the Singapore office.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The project required vast amounts of innovation and the Milbank team has performed a tremendous task. It was a tedious process and the Milbank team has been on top of every matter and extremely able to pre-empt any potential challenges ahead.’

‘Jacqueline Chan was instrumental with various projects that our company has done. Giles Kennedy has been instrumental throughout the whole process and in his ability to find solutions across vast amounts of legal matters and challenges.’

‘The practice was exceptionally collaborative, and proactive in understanding how adjustments to our transactions (which were strategic in nature) would affect other areas of the company.’

‘I’ve had a very positive experience working with the team and in particular value their ability to: “follow the numbers” – our transactions with them have involved complex corporate restructuring work, and they displayed capability understanding how the numbers flow into the legal agreements, and how said agreements might evolve in response to changes in numbers – and be exceptionally hardworking, and support us on a 24/7 basis.’

‘The team has quite a bit of exposure to the telecoms market in Indonesia and Southeast Asian countries. As foreign firms/international counsels, they understand the local issues and attend to clients’ concerns.’

‘David Zemans and Jacqueline Chan have done quite a few deals in the region.’

Key clients

Triterras Fintech Pte Ltd.

Micro-D International, Inc.

Indonesia > Foreign firms Tier 1

Milbank has a strong presence in Indonesia and advises on high profile banking and finance, capital markets, M&A, projects and restructuring transactions. The capital markets team which includes the highly regarded Naomi Ishikawa and Giles Kennedy is well-regarded in the region and real estate has been a key area of sector focus for the team. The 'excellent' corporate partner Jacqueline Chan specialises in the technology, consumer and financial services sectors. Managing partner David Zemans heads the corporate practice and showcases extensive experience in the energy sector, as does James Murray who focuses on resources finance and multi-sourced financings. Cross-border financings partner James Orme is also active in the energy space.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Ishikawa; James Murray; David Zemans

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

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

‘James Murray and his team work very well together as a team and are effective in allowing clients to work towards deadlines. Great understanding of legal issues and market positions.’

‘My go to for Indonesia and Southeast Asia experience. Deep relationships and knowledge in Indonesia.’

‘Jacqueline Chan is excellent. Very commercial. Creative structuring. Can help me navigate complex issues and make sure my downside is protected. Very personable so great in negotiations. ’

‘The team is very experienced in handling local matters and well versed in the Indonesian property market and its regulations. The fact that most of the Indonesian property companies are their clients speak volume to their experience and expertise in the subject.’

‘Giles and Jacqueline stands out for me as they were able explain and breakdown the different regulations both in Indonesia and Singapore that was important to the project. The client was able to relate to their explanations and the client trusted them completely. From our side, having lawyers that can relate and understand the commercial nature of restructuring is a massive plus.’

‘Milbank provides a very in-depth analysis of each situation and provides legal advise based on that. Client interest is always in their mind. I particularly like working with their senior partners. They have a diverse group of people.’

‘I work with David Zemans, their Asia head, James Murry and James Orme – the partners who are outstanding on banking side. I also work with Naomi Ishikawa and Giles Kennedy – the partners who are very good from DCM side.’

‘Very commercial, deal driven, provides innovative solution to problems, very client focused.’

Key clients

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM)

KSURE

DBS Bank Ltd

KDB Bank

Bangkok Bank

Bank Negara Indonesia

Bank Mandiri

Bank of China

Maybank

PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Tbk

KEB Hana Bank

CIMB Bank

Asian Development Bank

International Finance Corporation

MUFG

SMBC

PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk

PT Supreme Energy Rantau Dedap (SERD)

PT Alam Sutera Realty Tbk

PT Bukit Makmur Mandiri Utama

PT Adaro Indonesia / PT Adaro Energy Tbk

Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust Management Ltd.

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Barclays

Vietnam > Foreign desks Tier 2

Milbank has a strong track record in high-profile and landmark corporate deals in Vietnam, and it is also seen as a first port of call for advice on major projects, as well as finance transactions. It has been active in the market for more than three decades. The firm particularly stands out for its work in the aviation sector, as is reflected by the fact that it acts for aircraft and engine manufacturers, financiers and jet fuel suppliers, among other clients. VietJet is one of its key clients. Jacqueline Chan and aviation specialist Paul Ng are the names to note in Singapore. New York-qualified partner James Grandolfo, who leads the Hong Kong office, is another key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team is very dedicated and understands very well clients’ needs.’

‘Partner Jacqueline Chan is very experienced and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Masan Group Corporation

Emergent Capital Partners

VietJet

Philippines > Foreign firms

Milbank’s Philippines practice has a long-standing reputation as a leader in cross-border capital markets, M&A, and project financing transactions, using its ‘vast expertise’ to advise on several landmark deals. In a major highlight, the firm advised global coordinators on the initial public offering of Monde Nissan Corporation, the country’s largest IPO to date. Practice head, James Grandolfo has over 20 years of experience advising on M&A transactions in major jurisdictions in Asia. Desiree Woo is highlighted for her ‘experience in EPC contracts and project finance’. With expertise in project finance, James Murray is a go-to individual for the financing of power, oil and gas, mining, telecoms, and other infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Their lawyers have a great deal of experience in Asia for capital markets, project finance and debt work’

‘Desiree Woo has vast experience in EPC contracts and project finance and is very responsive to all our needs’

‘Milbank has been our engaged counsel for more than a decade. Mibank has comprehensive and in-depth knowledge and understanding of our companies’ businesses as they have been involved since the inception of our power projects. We are treated by Milbank as a valuable client at all times. Each legal matter referred to them was handled with utmost care and professionalism. We highly recommend this firm.’

‘Everyone at Milbank is professional, very insightful and kind especially Desiree Woo and Cesarea Singzon. We appreciate that they are very reliable, prompt and open for quick calls and updates/discussions. The rapport and guidance were outstanding at all times. They diligently worked through all of our legal questions and have provided us with sound, clear and practical legal advice on various issues.’

Key clients

BPI Capital

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Citi

Credit Suisse

CLSA

Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions

HSBC

J.P. Morgan

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

UBS

Fast Logistics Corporation

Micro-D International

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

Globe Telecom

DDMP REIT

GNPower Kauswagan

GNPower Dinginin

Aboitiz Power

Power Partners

Asian Development Bank

Ayala’s AC Energy

DBS Bank Ltd.

Monde Nissin Corporation

India > Foreign firms

Milbank is in demand by major financial institutions, banks, ECAs and corporations in respect of substantial projects in the energy, telecoms, and infrastructure sectors. It counts major Asian and international banks among its clients in these areas as well as corporates such as Delhi International Airport. On the capital markets front, it is especially strong on debt matters; James Grandolfo (Hong Kong), who is US-qualified, is well known for his skills in respect of US issuances and project bond matters; equally well known is John Dewar in London who handles high-value, India-related project financings working with the gamut of banks and financial institutions and private equity houses, especially in the infrastructure and energy arenas. Naomi Ishikawa in Singapore attracts high-profile capital markets mandates, assisting major Indian corporates on their fund raisings, including green bonds. The practice has expanded considerably with the hires of transactional and finance specialists Andrew Whan and Neeraj Budhwani from Clifford Chance, and Davide Mencacci and John Bona from Linklaters – all based in Hong Kong.

Key clients

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure)

Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-Exim)

HSBC Bank plc

SACE S.p.A.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

KfW IPEX-Bank

Deutsche Bank

Delhi International Airport Limited

International Columbia US, LLC

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

The Hongkong And Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited

JSW Hydro Energy Limited