Drew & Napier

Singapore

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate

Founded in 1889, Drew & Napier is one of the most well-known names in the Singapore legal market and is recognised as one of the “big four” law firms in Singapore. The firm bolstered its regional capabilities by forming the Drew Network Asia (DNA) with Shearn Delamore & Co in Malaysia and Makarim & Taira S in Indonesia.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a well-diversified offering across the financial and corporate space, with its key strength being its market-leading restructuring team.

The firm advises on matters across a diverse range of sectors including real estate, shipping, oil and gas, technology, and renewable energy.

 

Key clients  

The firm's impressive client list includes name such as CapitaLand, SATS, Softbank, Temasek Holdings, Citibank, Burberry, Far East Organisation, United Overseas Bank, DBS Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

An eye-catching banking mandate saw the firm advise an international lender on a project financing in the oil and gas sector.

Capital markets highlights include advising the issuer on the first listing of a Russian business on the SGX and assisting a property developer with updating its medium-term note programme.

The corporate team was active on a high volume of matters; a high-value mandate saw the firm advise a confidential client on a spin-off. A cross border highlight saw the firm advise on a significant joint venture in the automotive space.

The firm was active in the investment funds space, acting on several confidential mandates, including fund formation.

The firm’s flagship restructuring practice had another standout year with roles on high profile matters such as the restructurings of Agritrade International, Hyflux and Pacific International Lines.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Agritrade International $1.3 billion restructuring

Don Agro International SGX IPO

Ezion Holdings $1.6 billion debt restructuring

Frasers Commercial Trust / Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust merger

Hyflux debt restructuring

Pacific International Lines debt restructuring

Summa Equity $110 million acquisition of a majority stake in Sengenics

Tuan Sing Holdings S$500 million divestment of Robinson Point

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Bank lending : Lender side

"Professional, responsive, knowledgeable."

 

Banking

"Prompt, solutions-oriented, pragmatic."

 

Banking and finance

"Responsive, knowledgeable, able to provide strategic advice, good client relationship management, reasonable degree of flexibility in terms of fees."

"Understood the legal regulatory framework well and provided timely advice. Also helped us navigate the sale and purchase agreement and negotiated favourable terms for us."

 

Capital markets

"Liaison with the Singaporean authorities. "

"Michael Kwan has provided constructive comments to resolve issues through the project and proactive in following up with the clients to facilitate the entire due diligence process."

"The lawyers who worked on our files in addition to being technically very strong, they approach a challenge by employing a '360 thought process', delivering a comprehensive solution that works legally and commercially. "

 

Capital markets : Equity

"Professionalism, knowledgeable with problem-solving abilities and dependable."

 

Financial services regulatory

"Drew and Napier are extremely informative, supportive and have excellent attention to detail and timeliness."

"Good communication and availability despite the time difference between Singapore and the UK."

 

Insolvency

"1) Quick turnaround time. 2) Understand our business objectives .3) Goal-oriented approach. 4) Stable team."

"D&N (Benedict and Daniel) were experienced hands and were able to provide timely and quality advice to the business. "

"Very knowledgeable in the field, deep contacts and relationship with banks, good relationship with the judge, quick turnaround in work required, availability and accessible at all times."

 

Investment funds

"We work substantially with Drew & Napier LLC on various legal matters. I liaise mainly with Ron Cheng, director (corporate & finance) and in our various discussions, he has demonstrated that he has a strong grasp of the various legal issues for investment funds. He is also very familiar with different fund vehicles and structures. Ron is truly a leading lawyer in his field and I would not hesitate to recommend him to our clients."

"Drew and Napier is professional and knowledgeable in the investment fund space. Which translates to high level of reliability. Drew and Napier is also extremely responsive to our queries and job request. This allows us to compete and move faster than others in this extremely competitive environment. Drew and Napier has a transparent fees structure."

 

Investment funds: Hedge funds

"The partner (Ron Cheng) was professional throughout the process and committed to our project and the dateline. He was very responsive to all our enquiries. We managed to launch the fund within two months, very much of the credit goes to him, who was working around the clock to have the legal document produced in time."

"Ron is attentive to details and tries to understand the whole picture before advising the final expected results."

 

Investment funds: Private equity funds

"Professional and knowledgeable. Able to highlight areas of potential risk that we missed out on."

 

M&A

"Align with the interest of the client, responsive and responsible, professional. Thorough and detailed outcome-driven advice with pros and cons analysis."

"Proactive and detail-oriented. Balances legal and commercial points. Good handling of counterparty legal adviser."

"Steven Lo and Tan Teng Sen are professional, experienced and importantly very helpful. They go the extra mile to put the client in a better position."

"The partners are responsive, facilitative, highly commercial and very user-friendly. They cut straight to the chase with strategic and well-considered advice."

"The team is always available and delivers extremely prompt responses. The legal advice given is clear and simple to read. They are able to spot wider issues that we would not have considered during discussions and that perspective has proven exceedingly valuable. "

"1) Commercial and solution-driven - able to see the deal from the principal's perspective and identify 'real' issues rather than dogma. 2) Highly responsive and sensitive to deal timeline - follow-up on the right things extremely quickly. "

"1. Intensity and responsiveness - always being available to assist with questions and clarifications on legal issues. 2. Deep understanding of the regulatory framework across the Singapore Code of Takeovers and Mergers and the Singapore Exchange Listing Rules. 3. Creativity - in developing solutions that would be acceptable to all stakeholders in a transaction (ie the company, the independent financial adviser and the regulators). 4. Knowledge of precedents/superior research - which enabled us to examine less known precedents and leverage the approaches taken in those situations to be applied to our particular circumstances. "

"For dispute we were helped by D&N litigation team and for settlement share buyback we were helped by D&N M&A team. The document structure proposed was very thorough and tight. It helped to make the negotiation process short and effective."

"Knowledgeable, fast response and very professional approach towards clients, co-lawyers and counterparties. "

"The firm has a positive and innovative outlook and is strong on deal templates such that a win-win is well achieved and outcomes on capital raising M&A listing activities are carried through to success."

"They were able to suggest alternatives when there were road blocks regarding the merger."

"Timely advice, responsive, commercially minded, hard-working, seeks to achieve client's goals."

"Domain knowledge. Legal and corporate law expertise. Attention to detail. Responsiveness."

"Sound advice on the terms of the agreement. Rendered alternatives if the suggested ones turned out not to be workable after discussion. Easy access to any of the team members working on the project. Turnaround time is commendable."

 

Project development : Infrastructure

"Deep experience in infrastructure projects and related disputes. "

 

Restructuring

"Strong law firm who can act for corporates and not only banks."

Bank lending : Borrower side   "Very commercial-driven. Prompt in response time. Sharp in picking up good points from client's view and negotiate them along the way."

"Highly experienced principle-based negotiation. Clearly extremely skilled and meticulous."

 

Restructuring : Corporate

"Experienced. Efficient. Effective. Good alternative solutions. Innovative. Fast turnaround. Value-add."

"Both lawyers, Mr Chan Wei Meng and Mr Michael Kwan, were extremely competent - capable professionals well versed in the field. Apart from their impressive technical expertise, they spared no effort in examining our case from multiple perspectives, offering us multiple solutions for every problem. They carried out their duties not only with excellence but utmost consideration for us and our needs. Furthermore, the two lawyers were extremely responsible and meticulous, taking complete ownership over their jobs - and were prompt and responsive no matter the occasion. They showed great eye for detail and went well beyond their duty, coming up with many solutions that were both practical and amicable for us. All in all, they added great value to the team and it has been a pleasure to work with them."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Blossom Hing is the standout restructuring lawyer at the firm who has deep experience in this area. She is building a strong team to support her. "

"In the restructuring and insolvency arena, the biggest 'plus' of the firm is having Blossom Hing on the team. Blossom is tenacious and thoughtful, energetic and creative. "

"Practical advice. Quick response time. "

"Sushil acts for corporates but he is willing to engage lenders directly to find solutions to enable a compromise to be achieved. I find what makes Sushil's advice are his practicality and able to empathise with the positions of both sides so that a resolution can be found. He is also a good sounding board to explore out-of-the-box solutions."

"Drew & Napier has extensive experience in the restructuring & insolvency field in Asia especially in Indonesia. The team from Drew also has deep understanding of the legal environment in Indonesia which has been most helpful."

 

Sin Boon Ann

"Technically strong; willing to go the extra mile for the client."

 

Cavinder Bull

"Brilliant orator with knowledge depth and soft-spoken sincerity, and a lovely humble nature makes him a natural winner in the courts."

 

Ron Cheng

"Highly responsive and committed. Quick response turnaround and committed to understanding our needs and to delivering within a tight timeline."

"Professional and very knowledgeable. Always putting us first in consideration in terms of the potential risk we might be exposed to and giving solutions and candid feedback."

"Ron has demonstrated that he has a strong grasp of the various legal issues for investment funds. He is also very familiar with different fund vehicles and structures. Ron is truly a leading lawyer in his field and I would not hesitate to recommend him to our clients."

"Professional, knowledgeable and fast response."

 

Pauline Chong

"Helpful, responsive and knowledgeable."

 

Benjamin Gaw

"Listens well and good at problem solving. Managed difficult counterparty legal team."

"Intelligence, perseverance, excellent communication skills, patience, humility and a very likeable personality at meetings with clients make him an excellent lawyer at relationship building and management. Clients always come back with introductions of new clients."

"Extremely skilled and patient negotiator. Achieving good sense of the big picture and finer details. Responsive to our needs."

 

Jason Goh

"Responsive; knowledgeable; accessible to clients."

 

Blossom Hing

"Blossom is a first-rate restructuring and insolvency lawyer with many years experience. She is creative and very open to new ideas and strategies. She is building a great team."

"Outstanding restructuring and insolvency lawyer who has a detailed knowledge of the law but applies it in a very thoughtful and creative way. Blossom is well aware of restructuring regimes outside Singapore and this adds to her thoughtful and creative approach to problem solving."

 

Michael Kwan

"Michael Kwan is always contactable and responds quickly to all issues. He also pro-actively reaches out to the clients and other professional parties to ensure the solutions he proposed are able to satisfy all stakeholders"

"He listens to the company's issues and will suggest alternatives to mediate these issues. He is responsive to my queries."

"Chan Wei Meng and Michael Kwan were not only technically excellent but also extremely accommodating - going well beyond their basic duties by being considerate of our needs in every way. They were compassionate, responsive and took great ownership over their respective roles. They showed great eye for detail and came up with innovative, comprehensive solutions to our problems. It was amazing to work with them."

 

Julian Kwek

"Innovative alternative solutions."

 

Grace Lai

"Overall abilities and judgement."

"Responsive and thorough. Good legal knowledge."

"Technically strong; willing to go the extra mile for the client."

 

Chua Tju Liang

"All good. Known him and worked with him for more than 15 years."

 

Steven Lo

"Steven's user-friendliness to in-house counsels and investment bankers alike stems from his innate pragmatism, communicativeness, solid instincts and robust views. He confronts complex and time-critical exigencies with an ease born from years of experience applying the listing rules and the Takeover Code in unprecedented situations."

"Able to distil complex legalese into an easy-to-understand manner."

 

Joanne Liew

"Joanne's emails are very clear and prescriptive. She is very supportive in reminding of deadlines and very timely in replying to emails."

 

Ong Ken Loon

"Ken Loon knows the tax issues and can almost call out the issues/pitfalls ahead of time. Her ability to distil legal concepts and bring non-lawyers (e.g. finance team) with her is amazing. Her patience deserves a medal."

 

Chan Wei Meng

"1. Young and energetic. 2. Understands our needs. 3. Provides practical solutions to legal problems."

"Chan Wei Meng and Michael Kwan were not only technically excellent but also extremely accommodating - going well beyond their basic duties by being considerate of our needs in every way. They were compassionate, responsive and took great ownership over their respective roles. They showed great eye for detail and came up with innovative, comprehensive solutions to our problems. It was amazing to work with them."

 

Renu Rajan Menon

"Renu has an amazing memory and is able to point us to key clauses from a number of agreements even though the agreements were signed a few years back! She knows the documents and legal issues like the back of her hand. Makes the client feels 'safe' when she's around in all-parties negotiations. "

 

Jon Nair

"Calm but firm in negotiation and a problem solver."

 

Sushil Nair

"Sushil thinks out of the box for solutions to get a deal done. He will explore and push the envelope, which is a refreshing attribute in a lawyer. He does not throw the textbook answer to your questions but engages in a detailed discussion on the issues to resolve. He is committed and accessible to his clients."

 

Mahesh Rai

"Good solution provider. Effective. Clear. Good dispute lawyer."

 

Tan Teng Sen

"Teng Sen's user-friendliness to in-house counsels and investment bankers alike stems from his innate pragmatism, communicativeness, solid instincts and robust views. He confronts complex and time-critical exigencies with an ease born from years of experience applying the listing rules and the Takeover Code in unprecedented situations."

"He is very empathetic and helpful. Very experienced."

"Teng Sen is able to spot wider issues to a problem and not just deal with the question that is being asked. He then proposes holistic solutions in a manner that is well broken down, clear and concise. He is enthusiastic and it is very clear that he is driven by the desire to be a trusted legal adviser that his clients can rely on. He and his team's responses are extremely prompt. "

"Very personable, excellent at communicating and always available/responsive."

"1. Leadership - led the deal when necessary but also allowed his junior partners and associates leeway to carry the deal. I think this resulted in a very cohesive and tight support from the D&N team for our deal. 2. Problem solver - found solutions and was extremely resourceful to tackle the issues on the deal."

"Commercially-minded, responsive and seeks to achieve a win-win outcome in negotiations."

"1. Intensity and responsiveness - always being available to assist with questions and clarifications on legal issues. 2. Deep understanding of the regulatory framework across the Singapore Code of Takeovers and Mergers and the Singapore Exchange Listing Rules. 3. Creativity - in developing solutions that would be acceptable to all stakeholders in a transaction (i.e. the company, the independent financial adviser and the regulators). 4. Knowledge of precedents/superior research - which enabled us to examine less known precedents and leverage the approaches taken in those situations to be applied to our particular circumstances. "

"Very attentive, fast respond to queries and gave solid alternatives. "

 

Marcus Tan

"Very personable, excellent at communicating and always available/responsive."

 

Benedict Teo

"Solutions oriented; prompt and responsive; knowledgeable."

"Responsive; knowledgeable; accessible to clients."

 

Jimmy Yim

"Innovative; creative; excellent negotiation skills; client service attitude and availability; with depth of knowledge and a charming personality - key factors in achieving positive outcomes."