Drew & Napier

Singapore

Analysis

Overview

As one of Singapore’s ‘Big Four’ law firms, Drew & Napier possesses a diverse roster of lawyers offering an extensive range of legal services in Singapore and across the region. The firm remains a dispute resolution powerhouse with a deep bench of top advocates including Jimmy Yim and Cavinder Bull, despite the significant departure of Davinder Singh. Newly appointed senior counsel Siraj Omar, who joined the team from RPC Premier Law in July 2019, further reinforced the team. Moreover, the firm bolstered its construction and tax practice with the hires of leading lawyers Christopher Chong and Ong Sim Ho. Other key names to note include Petrus Huang for capital markets, Chong Kin Lim for competition and technology, Steven Lo for corporate and M&A, Tony Yeo for IP, and Sushil Nair and Blossom Hing for restructuring and insolvency.

Client feedback

“While being a top tier firm in Singapore, fees were extremely reasonable and accommodating to the fact that we were a non-revenue generating start-up. The partner in charge broke down the potential issues clearly, gave us the relevant advice and offered forward-thinking considerations for us to take note. The analysis was deep, yet easy to understand, thorough and commercially practical.” – Banking and finance

“A group of very talented lawyers, especially Michael Kwan, gave much valuable and insightful advice to our clients, especially for the current business environment. He provided very detailed guidance and solutions to our clients. Really excellent work from him and his team who are able to work under tremendous pressure.” – Construction

“We have been working closely with the associate director, Michael Kwan, on seeking Singapore legal advice. His research has always been solid and comprehensive and at the same time client-focused. He is always able to provide practical solutions for us to take forward the IPO exercise. Most importantly, he is always reachable even late at midnight.” – Corporate and M&A

“Very knowledgeable on the practical application of the law and very commercial-minded.” – Corporate and M&A

“Drew is a full service law firm and it excels in every practice area. It is very structured with very good black letter lawyers and very good at finding solutions when the market is difficult to navigate. It's a pleasure to work with the firm.” – Corporate and M&A

“It is the premier, go-to, disputes firm.” – Dispute resolution

“The dispute resolution team led by Mr Randolph Khoo is not only efficient in providing the absolute best of its abilities to support clients like me, but its in-depth understanding of legal nuances is also certainly second to none. As a client, I also fully appreciate that the firm is honest, astute and organised.” – Dispute resolution

“Its people. Staff have been well recruited and know the matter at hand inside and out delivering first-class advocacy.” – Dispute resolution

“Responsiveness of the lawyers. Overall legal strategy. Looking after the client's interests in managing costs and the overall strategy, even if it means less legal costs.” – Dispute resolution

“Drew & Napier is one of the premier dispute resolution firms in Singapore and is our go-to firm for complex and high stakes disputes. It also provides excellent client service and is particularly attentive to the needs of clients. The firm was available to us 24/7 and we were impressed by the quality of its advice.” – Dispute resolution

“Drew & Napier is the ‘go-to’ law firm in Singapore for dispute resolution matters. The level of legal advice and general client service that I received while working with Mahesh Rai's team was outstanding. My queries were answered promptly and with great attention to detail. Not only did the team closely monitor the progress of the settlement discussions, but it had also taken it upon itself to supervise and check the drafts that came back from the Indonesian law firm instructed by us to advise on Indonesian law queries pertaining to the transaction. Our management and I have been very pleased with the standard of service received from D&N.” – Dispute resolution

“Responded promptly, work quality was good and it was conversant in Mandarin when needed.” – Dispute resolution

“The holding company for the business is incorporated in Singapore. In Singapore litigation, it is the best of the best.” – Dispute resolution

“We chose Drew & Napier for two critical reasons: its reputation and secondly and more importantly, we had worked with the lawyer previously on several other cases when the lawyer was with another firm. He knew our business and understands our approach and philosophy.” – Insurance

“Provides reliable services in a cost-efficient manner.” – Intellectual property

“It has been very responsive. The client needed the significant materials prepared within only a few short days. The client was based in the US and it took calls at very late hours and responded at very late hours to ensure a response was prompt.” – Labour and employment

“Quality and practical advice understanding the business and commercial perspectives with prompt services and reasonable fees.” – Labour and employment

“Quick turnaround time, practical advice.” – Private equity

“The team of lawyers assigned to us has extensive experience and knowledge of the Indonesian legal environment.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“The firm consistently provides excellent and effective guidance to companies whose survival might depend on restructuring debts, which often involve creditors in various jurisdictions around the world.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“Very knowledgeable and provides practical advice.” – Tax

“Depth and breadth of knowledge of the subject matter.” – Technology and telecommunications

Ron Cheng

“Ron was responsive and attentive to our needs, despite facing multiple urgent matters. Was experienced and knowledgeable on the relevant areas of law that he advised on, including providing insights such as non-public insights from regulators.”

Benjamin Gaw

“Ben was the most responsive and very helpful.”

Blossom Hing

“Blossom shows unbelievable commitment to her clients and helps them achieve goals in a commercial and efficient way. She is an excellent communicator and invariably gets on well with clients due to her very positive and effective ‘bed-side manner’ that puts clients at ease yet instils great confidence in Blossom's ability.”

“Blossom has been at the forefront of the recent developments in Singapore when it comes to rescuing companies and giving companies a fair opportunity to survive. She has a ‘can-do’ attitude and is different from her peers in Singapore who tend to see liquidation and similar processes as the answer for a distressed company. So, she is far more open-minded and creative than her peers in Singapore.”

Randolph Khoo

“In the arena of legal counsels, even though Randolph does not hold the title of a senior counsel, Randolph certainly stands tall in the land of giants. As a client, l can truthfully give feedback without any hesitation that the extent of professionalism displayed by Randolph is highly commendable and here is a very quick summary of some of his exceptional strengths and qualities: To correctly—and spot on—analyse every issue presented before him and to pre-empt the next course of action by the opposition; meticulous, systematic and detail-oriented approach to every issue presented before him; to diffuse my anxiety caused by the wild allegations of the plaintiffs; and to be able to recall minute facts, which is most amazing and awesome, especially with how Randolph was able to use it to his advantage in the courtroom and corner every single contradictory statement of evidence given in court against the mountains of documents of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs had engaged a senior counsel as its lead counsel, but he was certainly no match when it comes to the legal argument with Randolph. The awesome feeling of seeing how Randolph conducted himself in the courtroom is something that l will treasure for a long time to come. At the end of the day, having gone through more than four years of mental stress, l can proudly state for the record that justice was finally done when the judgement of the Court of Appeal was in my favour and I was vindicated.”

Michael Kwan

“He is a very talented lawyer that gave much insightful advice to our clients and he is a good team player among the IPO professional parties. He provided very detailed guidance and solutions to our clients. He has a really excellent working attitude and is able to work under tremendous pressure.”

“We have been working closely with Michael Kwan in seeking Singapore legal advice. His research has always been solid and comprehensive and at the same time client-focused. He is always able to provide practical solutions for us to take forward the IPO exercise. Most importantly, he is always reachable even late at midnight.”

Julian Kwek

“Very knowledgeable and commercial-minded.”

“Technical skill coupled with commercial acumen.”

“In addition to in-depth knowledge of the Indonesian environment. Julian has the uncanny ability to see beyond the legal issues and provide us with excellent insight into the commercial implications and impact.”

“I have worked extensively with Julian Kwek and his partner Sushil Nair. Both are intelligent, creative and hard working. The lawyers consistently deliver excellent results in highly complex cross-border debt restructuring matters.”

Sok Hiang Lau

“Very responsive and customer-oriented. Able to get things done with little fuss. Knowledgeable about the subject matter.”

“Helping us understand the various possible risks of the loan documents presented for signing, and provided us with recommendations to amend some aspects of the same documents.”

Siau Wen Lim

“Familiarity with law and procedures, as well as diligence.”

Chong Kin Lim

“Breadth and depth of subject matter knowledge.”

Adam Maniam

“Smart with a sharp mind and detailed knowledge of the matter. Quiet achiever and excellent on his feet. Runs rings around more senior opposing counsel.”

Siraj Omar

“Very knowledgeable. Good disposition. Acts in the client's best interests. Good rapport with other lawyers. Good strategist.”

Sim Ho Ong

“Provides practical advice which solves my problems.”

Mahesh Rai

“Demonstrates commitment and responsiveness to queries at all hours. A very driven individual who has sensible commercial solutions. A capable lawyer who delivers results we ask for.”

“Mahesh is a first-rate litigator with a good eye for detail. He grasps issues quickly, was accessible and was excellent in providing commercial solutions to our problems.”

“Mahesh is an excellent disputes lawyer and a master strategist with a deserved reputation for solving complex issues. He was very user friendly, commercially-minded and was one of the best lawyers my company has worked with.”

“To the point discussion. In-depth knowledge of the matter and the industry. Hands-on related to the approach and strategy.”

Teng Sen Tan

“Soft-spoken excellent black letter lawyer who is very good at finding solutions in a complex regulatory environment. His experience would be invaluable to any client. I note that the deal closed during the movement control order in Malaysia (when we were all working from home) when many deals stalled or were aborted.”

Allister Tan

“He knows our business and what we want to achieve. He understands our commercial approach and also provides a realistic and commercial assessment as well as the pure legal view.”

Kelvin Tan

“Client-focused, knowledgeable with practical solutions, accessible and responsive, understands the client's needs and expectations. His team also has the same attributes.”

Teng Sen Tan

“Quick turnaround time, partner-level input and practical advice with an eye on the relative bargaining positions of the parties.”

Benedict Teo

“Smart, intelligent, fast, efficient, on the ball, responsive, positive approach, hands-on, good team leader, simply excellent.”

“Responds promptly, quality of work is good and conversant in Mandarin when necessary.”

Jimmy Yim

“Jimmy is a wonderful litigator and a great lawyer.”

“The law is very clearly described with minimum legal jargon. Its depth of legal knowledge helped us to win our recently concluded case in the Court of Appeal. I also want to commend Kevin Lee for his assistance and guidance.”

Intellectual property
Work highlights

Acted for Adidas International Marketing on trademark invalidation proceedings against a Taiwanese company, Lutong Enterprise.

Key clients

Audi, Apple, Exxon Mobile Corporation, Facebook, Novartis, Qualcomm, Shell International

Dispute resolution
Work highlights

Representing the government of Laos in a long-running dispute against two investors in the gaming and casino industry. This is the first investor-state arbitration ever commenced against the Laotian government.

Key clients

AIA Singapore, Amara Hotel Properties, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, Johnson & Johnson

Restructuring and insolvency
Work highlights

Advised the Public Utilities Board (PUB) on the ongoing debt restructuring of Hyflux and its subsidiaries, including Tuaspring, which owns and operates the largest desalination plant in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Acted for Ezion Holdings in its $1.6 billion debt restructuring in connection with an investment of $170 million by Malaysian offshore production and support services provider, Yinson Holdings.

Key clients

Brightoil Petroleum, CVC Partners, Ezra Holdings, EMAS Offshore, Oceanus Group, Pacific Andes Resources Development, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Corporate and M&A
Work highlights

Acted for Rothschild & Co Singapore, the independent financial adviser to CapitaLand, on the acquisition of all issued ordinary shares in each of Ascendas and Singbridge by CapitaLand.

Key clients

Evercore Asia, Sealed Air Corporation, SoftBank Vision Fund, StarHub, Temasek Holdings

Capital markets
Work highlights

Acted for Don Agro International, a Russian-based agricultural company, in its IPO on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange (SGX-ST). This is the first listing of a Russian business on the SGX-ST.

Key clients

Air Products and Chemicals, China Mining International, Haidilao International, Manhattan Resources, Summit Power International

Competition/antitrust
Work highlights

Assisted Singapore Airlines and Deutsche Lufthansa as instructing counsel for the individual exemption application to the Malaysian Aviation Commission.

Banking and finance
Work highlights

Acted for TT International in receiving a convertible loan from Celestial Palace to fund the implementation of a new scheme of arrangement.

Key clients

DBS Bank, Far East Organization Centre, Standard Chartered Bank, Tuan Sing Holdings, United Overseas Bank

Construction
Work highlights

Represented Daelim Industrial, one of Korea’s leading construction and petrochemical companies, in a dispute concerning an aborted EPC contract for the construction of the largest petrochemical plant in India and Asia.

Key clients

China Machine New Energy Corporation, CosmoSteel Holdings, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Keppel Singmarine, Singapore Liquefied Natural Gas