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Clifford Chance

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Singapore is an important financial hub for South-East Asia. We opened an office here in 1981 and today we work with clients in every major country in the region.

One platform for international and Singapore law capability

We opened for business over 30 years ago and our 80-plus lawyers know the Singapore and South-East and Southern Asia markets well. We have a strong team: combining local and international talent across all key areas of our practice. Chambers Asia Pacific named us 'Singapore International Law Firm of the Year' in 2013.

In 2008, the Singapore Government awarded one of only six new Qualifying Foreign Law Practice licences to Clifford Chance, as part of its plans to further liberalise the legal sector. This licence allows us to practice and advise on a wide range of international and Singapore law in permitted practice areas. In 2012, we, together with Singapore litigation boutique, Cavenagh Law LLP, established a Formal Law Alliance (FLA). The FLA allows the two firms to provide the broadest range of Singapore and international law services from one platform, 'Clifford Chance Asia', with Singapore litigation representation provided through Cavenagh Law LLP.

We regularly work on some of the region's groundbreaking transactions.

Recent examples of our work include:

  • the US$215m IPO of KrisEnergy, a Singapore-based upstream oil-and-gas company (2013), the first to comply with the new SGX listing rules for mineral, oil and gas companies; 
  • Marina Bay Sands' S$5.1bn loan refinancing, one of the largest ever Singapore-dollar denominated loan facilities (2012)
  • representing PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited (PNGSDP), a Singapore incorporated company, in a dispute with the Independent State of Papua New Guinea arising from the State's expropriation of PNGSDP's share in the Ok Tedi mine, a gold and copper mine in Papua New Guinea (2013)
  • Malaysian offshore oil-and-gas services provider SapuraKencana Petroleum's US$2.9bn acquisition of Seadrill, a Norwegian offshore deepwater-drilling company (2013).

A wide reaching coverage list

Our teams work on inbound and outbound deals across and beyond the region. These teams often include colleagues from our eight other Asia Pacific offices and lawyers from carefully chosen local law firms. This gives clients the right mix of local-language and local-law capability, on-the-ground experience, and the expertise of specialist lawyers from across the firm.

Between 2010 and 2013 we worked with clients in over 30 countries throughout the Asia Pacific region and further afield. This level of year-on-year experience helps us keep clients up-to-date on market trends, and build strong working relationships with local law firms in countries where we do not have an office. We know these firms well: we understand their strengths, we know their key individuals and we know how to work effectively alongside them. Our knowledge enables us to pick the right firm for each client instruction on a case-by-case basis.

We regularly work on India-related business, and have a dedicated Singapore-based India-related team. Recent India-related work led by our Singapore office includes advising the Barclays-led 18-bank syndicate on the restructuring of the US$250m secured loan to Jindal Stainless (2013); the lenders (led by DBS) on a US$340 million loan to Vodafone Essar (2012); and the book running lead managers on the INR 1,921.75 million simultaneous equity raise and promoter-sell down in Puravankara Projects Limited (see India for more details and more deals).

Recent highlights

Recent awards and milestones

  • "Singapore International Law Firm of the Year 2013"
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2013
  • We won three awards for our work on Axiata sukuk multi-currency program in 2012, including "Debt and equity-linked Deal of the Year" from IFLR, "Best Singapore Deal" from FinanceAsia and "Cross-Border Deal of the Year" from Islamic Finance News
  • We were named "International Law firm of the Year" by IFLR in its annual Asian Awards in 2013
  • IFLR also awarded us "Project Finance Deal of the Year" for our work on Tanjung Bin coal-fired IPP. The Tanjung Bin project itself won four other prestigious industry awards in 2013, being: Project Finance International’s (PFI) Asia Pacific Best Project Bond of the Year 2012, Asset's AAA Best Project Finance Deal, Project Finance Magazine's (PFM) Asia-Pacific Power Deal of the Year and Asia Money's Best Project Financing Award
  • We scooped three accolades in Asian Mena Counsel – In house Community Survey 2013, namely: "Most Responsive International Firms of the Year", "In-house Community Firm of the Year for Antitrust/Competition" and "In-house Community Firm of the Year for Corporate/M&A"
  • Chambers Asia Pacific in 2013 ranked us in nine Tier 1 categories, higher than any other international law firm
  • Our advice on the "First convertible sukuk issuance in Singapore due 2017" in 2012 won us "Deal of the Year" award from Asian Mena Counsel
  • Islamic Finance News Awards named our work on Sabana REIT convertible sukuk al Ijarah issuance, the world's largest listed Shariah compliant REIT, the "Equity and Real Estate Deal of the Year 2012".

Recent assignments

  • We acted for Asian Pay Television Trust, the owner of cable television business of Taiwan Broadband Communications, on its S$1.1 billion IPO – one of the biggest Singapore listings in 2013
  • We advised joint bookrunners, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad, CIMB Investment Bank Berhad, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered, on the international law aspects of the listing of UMW Oil & Gas Corp. Bhd. on Bursa Malaysia. This was the largest IPO in Malaysia in 2013
  • We acted for China EXIM on its US$1.2 billion loan to Huadian Bukit Asam Power, established by China Huadian Corporation and Bukit Asam (Persero) to build and operate a 1,241 MW mine mouth coal fired steam power plant in South Sumatera province
  • We acted as an international counsel to the lenders on the Malakoff Corporation Berhad via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tanjung Bin Energy Issuer Berhad, on RM6.5 billion (approximately US$2.16 billion) financing for a new 1,000 MW supercritical coal-fired power plant
  • We advised Credit Suisse on its proposed investment in the retail property business of Vingroup Joint Stock Company (Vingroup) as part of the consortium led by an affiliate of Warburg Pincus (the Warburg Pincus Consortium). Vingroup is Vietnam’s largest private-sector real estate operator and one of the largest companies by market capitalisation listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange
  • We advised on the staggered refinancing of Star Energy's existing acquisition finance facility (which financed the acquisition of 40% of the Star Energy Group)
  • We advised on four LCIA Arbitrations on behalf of BVI and Mauritius companies owned and controlled by one of India's most prominent property developer families against a UK listed entity concerning some of the largest development projects in India with a value of over £1 billion
  • We are acting for a leading Dubai based conglomerate in a SIAC Arbitration against a BVI entity backed by an Indian promoter. This was a shareholder dispute between the parties arising out of investment in a power plant in India worth US$1.1 billion, under a joint venture.

Directory listings and client comments

Directory listings

Chambers Asia Pacific 2013

  • Tier One in Aviation: Finance
  • Tier One in Banking & Finance
  • Tier One in Capital Markets
  • Tier One in Corporate and M&A
  • Tier One in Investment Funds
  • Tier One in Projects and Energy
  • Tier Two & Three for two additional practice areas
  • Tier One & Two for nine partners

IFLR 1000 Asia Pacific 2013

  • Tier One in Banking
  • Tier One in Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Tier One in Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Tier Two in Capital Markets (foreign firms)
  • Tier Two in Project Finance (foreign firms)

LEGAL 500 Asia Pacific 2013

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance
  • Tier One in Capital Markets
  • Tier One in Corporate and M&A
  • Tier One in Projects and Energy
  • Tier One in Restructuring & Insolvency
  • Eight partners identified as "Leading Lawyers"

Client comments

  • "The team is accessible, approachable and well versed in how things are done in South-East Asia. It is a one-stop shop providing advice on both English and
    Singaporean law.
    "
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2013
  • "The magic circle firm's Singapore office features standout M&A and banking practices and strong capital markets work both locally and across the region. The M&A team continue to draw significant mandates on high profile international deals."
    IFLR 1000 Asia Pacific 2013
  • "We are very happy with Clifford Chance. The most valuable thing we have found is their attention to detail in negotiation. They are helpful and diligent."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2013
  • "The last two years has seen the firm offer an increasingly established Singapore law practice, complimenting its excellent international law repertoire."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2013
  • "Clifford Chance advises across a range of practice areas in India, and is noted for its strength in capital markets, corporate, project finance and dispute resolution
    matters.
    "
    Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2013
  • "Solid industry knowledge, excellent advice, strong depth in their teams and commercially minded."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2013
  • "They have a strong commitment to clients and very good expertise at the local level. We found their response time to be very good. I’d always go to them in the first instance."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2013
  • Sources say: "A highly intelligent team of high-calibre partners."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2013