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GAR 100 - 5th Edition

WongPartnership

05 March 2012

WongPartnership is defending one of the big four in a major claim.

People in Who’s Who:
1
Pending cases as counsel:
38
Value of pending counsel work:
US$4 billion
Treaty cases:
0
Current arbitrator appointments:
24 (of which 19 are as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
7

WongPartnership started life as specialist litigation firm Wong Meng Meng & Partners in 1992, which comprised a dozen lawyers. Two years later, it merged with a corporate practice and became WongPartnership. Today, it has more than 270 lawyers and is one of Singapore’s largest firms. It handles arbitrations on a domestic level and across Asia.

The firm’s international arbitration practice is led by Alvin Yeo SC, a respected arbitrator and counsel. Yeo is a member of the LCIA court, the ICC commission on arbitration and SIAC’s council of advisors. At present, the team is handling almost 40 international arbitration matters. It was new entrant in the GAR 100 last year.

Network

In addition to Singapore, WongPartnership is in Shanghai, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Beijing.

Who uses it?

Astro All Asia Networks is one well-known client. It took advice from WongPartnership in a SIAC arbitration featuring claims of more than US$350 million.

Other clients include Unitas Capital, Hyundai Steel Company, Shanghai Electrical Group and Yantai Raffles Shipyard. For Unitas – an offshoot of JPMorgan’s private equity – WongPartnership worked on a shareholder dispute, arising from a US$260 million leveraged buyout of a Mauritius company.

Track record

Lengthy. One of the team’s early milestones was the successful defence of a dozen Asian airlines in 1998, after they were sued by a US computerised reservations system company for US$300 million. That ICC arbitration took place in London and spawned litigation in the courts of Atlanta, Georgia and Singapore.

More recently, the firm has won a US$230 million award for members of the Astro group of companies – an international media conglomerate, and a case for Shanghai Tunnel Engineering (in a dispute with the Econ-NCC joint venture), about project delays.

In court, the team has been part of a number of precedent-setting cases about arbitration, including Tang Boon Jek Jeffrey v Tan Poh Leng Stanley and Holland v Toyo Engineering, as well as the recent win in AJT v AJU.

Recent events

The arbitration group saw no changes to its roster last year, but picked up several new instructions.

One will see it defend a Big Four accounting firm against negligence claims, while another brings it into a shareholder dispute affecting one of India’s leading telecommunications companies. The claims is for around US$250 million. The firm was also appointed standing counsel to one of the world’s largest offshore and marine fabrication shipyards.

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