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GAR 100 - 9th Edition

Allen & Gledhill

17 February 2016

Pending cases as counsel 49
Value of pending counsel work US$2.31 billion
Treaty cases 2
Current arbitrator appointments 6 (of which 4 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 3

The Singapore practice, with strong links to SIAC, continues to grow

Founded in 1902, Allen & Gledhill is now one of Singapore’s largest firms, with over 300 lawyers. The 30-strong arbitration practice is led by partners Andrew Yeo, Dinesh Dhillon and Edwin Tong.

The firm has been recognised for its expertise in construction and property disputes. It has handled cases at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, as well as ICC and UNCITRAL cases, within and outside Singapore.

The group expanded significantly in 2013 with the hire of five partners from Rajah & Tann, including the firm’s head of international arbitration, Chong Yee Leong. Another hire around that time was Minn Naing Oo, the former chief executive officer of SIAC, who now heads Allen & Gledhill’s associate firm in Myanmar, launched in 2014. Minn, who was born in the country and speaks the language fluently, has since been active in assisting the drafting of Myanmar’s new arbitration law.

Members of Allen & Gledhill are closely involved in Singapore’s various dispute resolution initiatives. Senior partner Lucien Wong, a much-respected banking and finance lawyer, chairs the SIAC board of directors and is on the board of the new Singapore International Mediation Centre. Partners Ang Cheng Hock SC and Chong Yee Leong are part of a committee that drew up plans for the Singapore International Commercial Court.

Network

Besides its presence in Myanmar, Allen & Gledhill has associate firms in Laos and Malaysia.

Who uses it?

In the past few years, the firm has acted for a consortium of international banks in an SIAC arbitration over a US$350 million claim by a purchaser of distressed assets; a major power generation company in a US$100 million dispute with an energy company (said to be a test case to determine the effect of the restructuring of the gas industry on long-term gas supply contracts); and a Fortune 500 company in a US$50 million SIAC claim against a Singapore government-linked company over a chemical production facility.

Other clients include Lufthansa in arbitration and litigation with a Thai provider of IT services; a Singapore trading arm of the world’s largest private-sector coal company; a Chinese state-owned company; and companies listed on the Mumbai and Malaysian stock exchanges.

Track record

In 2014, the firm won a US$140 million award in an UNCITRAL dispute arising out of a fire at a Malaysian petroleum storage facility. It also settled a complex US$120 million property development dispute in Vietnam involving conflict of laws and Vietnamese real property ownership issues.

Further back, it helped the Philippines defeat a US$565 million ICC claim by a German led consortium over a concession to build and operate a terminal at the international airport in Manila, as co-counsel to White & Case.

Recent events

The practice continued to grow in 2015. It counts four new partners in Ramesh Kumar, Lee Bik Wei, Peh Aik Hin and Ankit Goyal, who joined the firm as international counsel from SIAC’s South Asia team. Goyal has also been appointed as co-chair of SIAC’s young practitioners’ group YSIAC.

Among its successes, it reports winning a partial award on liability for a US Fortune 500 company’s US$100 million plus SIAC claim relating to a chemicals production facility.

In arbitration-related litigation, it successfully defended a US$4.4 million SIAC award from a challenge alleging bias on the part of a sole arbitrator.

The firm is defending Sony subsidiary MSM Satellite in an ICC claim filed by a Mauritian affiliate of India’s World Sport Group, represented by Drew & Napier. The case came to public attention as a result of a massive hack of Sony’s emails that was published by Wikileaks.

Other work includes a US$150 million dispute on behalf of a Singaporean government agency related to the construction of an underground expressway, which saw a partial award in the client’s favour.

It is also acting in a US$210 million dispute for a shipyard client over the construction of a jack-up drilling rig.

Investment treaty work includes an ongoing claim against Vietnam and a potential claim against China.