Rajah & Tann

Singapore

Review

Dispute resolution

Despite its full service credentials, Rajah & Tann’s roots are in dispute resolution. The firm enjoys a stellar reputation for litigation with the largest practice in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The firm has the highest number of senior counsels with a total of seven in Singapore, which gives it the strongest advocacy power in the region. The firm maintains an excellent track record of securing landmark decisions and victories for its clients across a wide range of practice areas. Market watchers commend the firm’s expertise particularly in sectors such as energy, financial services, shipping and construction. Last year, the group handled over 560 cases and received the most Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) judgements among all the firms, more than 41% overall at the time of submission.

Among the firm’s numerous leading lawyers are key senior counsels Eng Beng Lee, Chuan Thye Tan, Andre Yeap and Francis Xavier, who are known for their work in commercial disputes. Insolvency, international arbitration and shipping specialist Kian Sing Toh is another notable figure alongside IP-focused Kok Keng Lau, construction expert Lip San Soh, commercial litigation head Chandra Mohan and white-collar crime expert Hamidul Haq.

In a marquee matter, the firm remains active for Australian coal miner White Energy in seeking damages following its latest win in the S$1 billion coal dispute against Indonesia-based PT Bayan for breaching joint venture obligations before the SICC. This was the first case to be heard by the newly-formed SICC. In another landmark case, the team successfully represented OUE Lippo Healthcare in a precedent-setting decision by the Court of Appeal on how the restitutionary rule should apply in a case where multiple defendants are held jointly and severally liable at trial but only a few succeed on appeal.

In a huge, high-value international arbitration case, the firm defended an Indian conglomerate against a $21 billion claim brought by a BVI entity for alleged breaches of non-disclosure agreements. The team additionally represented the Republic of the Philippines in ongoing $15 billion arbitration proceedings before the ICC on claims for breach of contract and estoppel brought by two large multinational oil and gas companies.

Another highlight saw the firm successfully secure a landmark judgement for one of the largest market makers in digital currencies globally, B2C2, in a claim against one of the world's major bitcoin exchange operators, Quoine for the recovery of bitcoin. This was Singapore's first cryptocurrency dispute.

In insolvency, the firm scored a leading role for one of Asia’s biggest oil traders, Hin Leong Trading, and one of the world’s largest tanker fleet operators, Ocean Tankers, on its high profile $4 billion debt restructuring exercise involving more than 23 creditors from multiple jurisdictions. The prolific insolvency team is also acting for Shanghai Huaxin Group in its $14.5 billion liquidation, the first case where a Hong Kong court has recognised and assisted mainland Chinese liquidators. In another lead case, the team acted for H&C S Holdings and received the first-ever recognition of Singapore’s moratorium law in a landmark ruling by the High Court of England and Wales.

In construction, the team is representing a Chinese construction company in proceedings to set aside a final award of the International Chamber of Commerce over a dispute concerning a power plant in Guatemala.

Key clients include Alfa Bank of Russia, Borrelli Walsh, China New Machinery Energy, Hilton Group, Prudential Assurance, Senda International Capital, Vedanta and World Fuel Services.

Rajah & Tann has a strong regional footprint that makes it adept at multi-jurisdictional dispute resolution, with strategic firm alliances across Southeast Asia that allow it to appear in local courts in China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Client feedback

“It has highly skilled and knowledgeable lawyers who are attentive to details, provide commercially viable advice and have an excellent understanding of client's business.” – Insurance

“Great technical capabilities and responsiveness.” – Insurance

“R&T consistently puts its client's interests ahead of its own, finding solutions wherever possible.” – International arbitration

“Good knowledge of the local laws and offers practical solutions to avoid and reduce legal exposures.” – Labour and employment

“Responsive, efficient and quality advice that is easy to understand and apply to our business needs.” – Labour and employment

“The white-collar crime team is led by experienced partners with strong regulatory experience and networks, which I find to be unmatched among peer Singapore firms.” – White-collar crime

Kim Beng Ng

“Understanding of complex issues and communicating them to various stakeholders in the project.”

Muralidharan Pillai

“Highly accessible to clients. Excellent communication skills and client service levels. Extremely skilled and knowledgeable lawyer who is able to provide concise and practical advice and innovative solutions to problems.”

Kendall Tan

“Superb knowledge in his field of practice.”

Chee Kun Thong

“Chee Kun is a sharp-witted lawyer and could always be counted on for practical, sensible advice. A personable and responsive counsel, which is a huge plus in the white-collar crime space.”

Francis Xavier

“He understands the case from all angles to identify the weaknesses to be attacked.”

Jonathan Yuen

“Knowledgeable and experienced practitioner in labour and employment disputes. Able to articulate the legal points clearly and easy to understand for non-legal clients.”

“Very knowledgeable and efficient, gives us confidence he knows the law, and billing is always excellent.”