Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific (2022)

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (Indonesia)

Commercial and Transactions – Tier 1
Insolvency – Tier 1
Intellectual Property – Other Notable Firms
Labor and Employment – Tier 1

Leading Lawyers:

Ahmad Maulana, Future Star (Commercial and transactions, Labor and employment)
Asep Ridwan, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions)
Chandra Hamzah, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions)
Eri Hertiawan, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions)
Yogi Marsono, Future Star (Commercial and transactions)

Analysis:

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners continues to dominate with the largest corporate litigation team in the country and maintains its market-leading presence in dispute resolution. Its partners not only regularly feature in landmark home-grown matters but also in unique cross-border work. For example, it is the only Indonesian law firm whose advocates have appeared before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, where it successfully represented the Indonesian Sporthouse Society against the Indonesian Olympics Committee. The firm is part of the Rajah & Tann Asia network.

The disputes team is experienced in both civil and criminal cases across all industry sectors, and has a successful alternative dispute resolution practice. In particular, the firm specialises in aviation, labour and employment, intellectual property, insolvency, and tax and customs disputes.

The firm boasts nationally and internationally qualified mediators and arbitrators, making its alternative dispute resolution offering a go-to for top end clients. Notably, the firm established its fraud and forensics investigations practice in 2019 and merged with boutique intellectual property (IP) practice Dewi Soeharto Law Partnership in 2018. These developments have bolstered its white-collar crime and IP litigation offerings.

The firm’s co-founder, Chandra Hamzah, and partner Eri Hertiawan co-lead the disputes group. Other key individuals are partners Yogi Sudrajat Marsono, Ahmad Maulana and Asep Ridwan.

The firm successfully defended Tokopedia in a civil lawsuit regarding data privacy and consumer protection before the district court. The team is also working with Garuda Indonesia to file a lawsuit against Rolls Royce and its subsidiary over the cancellation of a total care agreement valued at $43 million. Tyco Electronics relied on Maulana and his team for the successful negotiations of a senior employee termination due to a global restructuring.

Active disputes clients of the firm include Aeon Mall Asia, Hero Supermarket, HSBC, Maybank Indonesia, Okra International, TikTok, Tirta Investama, Unilever and Vale Indonesia.

Client Feedback:

“It provides pragmatic advice, and understands the business and market situation.” – Commercial and transactions

“The AHP team has real strength and manages to combine technical and commercial approaches.” – Commercial and transactions

Eri Hertiawan
“He can navigate any issue that comes up and has become my go-to lawyer of choice for handling serious matters.”

Asep Ridwan
“Highly competent and able to provide sound and pragmatic advice.”

 

Christopher & Lee Ong (Malaysia)

Commercial & Transactions - Tier 3
Competition/Antitrust - Recommended
Construction - Tier 3
Intellectual Property - Tier 2
Labor and Employment - Tier 3
Shipping - Highly Recommended

Leading Lawyers:

Cohn Mathew, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions)
Sri Sarguna Raj, Litigation Star (Intellectual property)

Analysis:

Best known for its competition and shipping expertise, Christopher & Lee Ong also delivers a consistent and respected dispute resolution offering across all major corporate and commercial practice areas and industries. The sizable team sits at 13 partners with specialties in banking litigation, corporate commercial disputes, construction disputes and adjudication, employment conflicts, shipping disputes and contentious insolvency matters. The firm enjoys strong relationships with the country’s regulators and is part of the Rajah & Tann network.

Key contacts for disputes related work are commercial litigation partner John Mathew and intellectual property specialist Sri Sarguna Raj.

 

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) (Philippines)

Commercial & Transactions - Tier 2
Government and Regulatory - Other Notable Firms
International Arbitration - Recommended
Labor and Employment - Tier 2
Tax - Other Notable Firms

Leading Lawyers:

Anthony Mark Gutierrez, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions, Tax)
Ben Dominic Yap, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions, International arbitration)

Analysis:

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law), a member firm of Rajah & Tann Asia, has a strong domestic and international arbitration practice. The firm’s litigation experience covers a diverse range of subjects such as contractual disputes, product liability, tax and enforcement of foreign judgements and arbitral awards.

Ben Dominic Yap, managing partner of the firm, specialises in litigation and arbitration with expertise in corporate and energy matters. Other key contacts include Jesus Paolo Protacio, a specialist in civil and commercial litigation as well as labour, criminal and general disputes, and tax specialist Anthony Mark Gutierrez.

In an ongoing commercial dispute, the firm is representing Standard Chartered Bank in its sizable claim against Philippine Guarantee Corporation. The claim arises from the defendant’s failure to honour its obligations under a guaranteed agreement pursuant to which it secured a loan facility extended by Standard Chartered Bank (and three other banks) to Philippine Phosphate Corporation which later defaulted due to insolvency. The firm obtained a favourable judgment awarding more than PHP1 billion ($19.4 million) to the bank and the judgment is currently under appeal.

 

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP (Singapore)

Commercial & Transactions - Tier 1
Construction - Tier 2
Family & Matrimonial - Tier 3
Insolvency - Tier 1
Intellectual Property - Tier 2
International Arbitration (Domestic) - Tier 1
Labor and Employment - Tier 1
Private Client - Highly Recommended
Shipping - Tier 1
White Collar Crime - Highly Recommended

Leading Lawyers:

Adrian Wong, Litigation Star (International arbitration, Commercial and transactions)
Andre Yeap, Litigation Star (International arbitration, Commercial and transactions)
Chua Beng Chye, Litigation Star (Insolvency)
Danny Ong, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions, Insolvency)
Francis Xavier, Litigation Star (International arbitration, Commercial and transactions)
Hamidul Haq, Litigation Star (White collar crime)
Jonathan Yuen, Litigation Star (Labor and employment)
Kee Lay Lian, Litigation Star (Private client, Family and matrimonial)
Kendall Tan, Litigation Star (Shipping)
Lau Kok Keng, Litigation Star (Intellectual property)
Lee Eng Beng, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions, Insolvency)
Leong Kah Wah, Litigation Star (Shipping)
Murali Pillai, Litigation Star (Labor and employment)
Patrick Ang, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions, Insolvency)
Sheila Ng, Future Star (Insolvency)
Sim Kwan Kiat, Litigation Star (Insolvency)
Soh Lip San, Litigation Star (Construction, Dispute resolution)
Tan Chuan Thye, Litigation Star (International arbitration, Commercial and transactions)
Thong Chee Kun, Litigation Star (White collar crime)
Toh Kian Sing, Litigation Star (Shipping)
Vikna Rajah, Litigation Star (Private client)
Winston Kwek, Litigation Star (Shipping)

Analysis:

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.”

 

R&T Asia (Thailand) Limited

Commercial & Transactions - Tier 3
Labor and employment - Tier 2
Trade and customs - Tier 2

Leading Lawyers:

Krida Phoonwathu, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions)
Surasak Vajasit, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions)

 

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers (Vietnam)

Commercial & Transactions - Tier 2
Energy and construction - Tier 1
Intellectual Property - Tier 2
International Arbitration - Recommended
Labor and employment - Recommended

Leading Lawyer:

Chau Huy Quang, Litigation Star (Commercial and transactions,Construction)
Logan Leung, Litigation Star (International arbitration)
Vu An Khoa Quach, Future Star (Commercial and transactions)