GAR 100 - 4th Edition

Rajah & Tann LLP

Professional notice

Rajah & Tann was the first Singaporean firm to be included in the GAR 100. (Drew & Napier and WongPartnership have since joined the ranks).

Pending cases as counsel:
Value of pending counsel work:
US$7.5 billion
Treaty cases:
Current arbitrator appointments:
13 (of which 9 are as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:

Its international arbitration practice worked for several years at Jones Day becoming respected around the region. Eventually the prodigal team returned in around 2006-2007. Since then, the team has consolidated its reputation and expanded. It’s succeeded on three occasions in making the GAR 30 ranking of the world’s most active practices. Its clients tend to be construction and engineering companies, energy firms, mining businesses, and now also governments. Partners build their practices by focusing on particular Asian jurisdictions.

Recent events

As one of Singapore’s busiest indigenous firms for international arbitration, Rajah & Tann has been an active player in the development of Maxwell Chambers and the revision of rules at the SIAC. But the big news for the firm in the past 12 months was appointment of managing partner Sundaresh Menon SC, a pillar of the firm’s arbitration work, as Singapore’s next attorney general. Partner Chong Yee Leong, who replaced Menon as practice head a few years ago, says his departure won’t have that much of an impact: the next generation is more than ready to take up the reins. At the beginning of 2010, the firm lost Nadakumar Ponniya to the new Singapore practice of White & Case.

The year brought a high-value instruction from a Philippine steel company in a dispute with the creditors and liquidators of the US National Steel Corporation over the purchase of a steel plant. Rajah & Tann successfully obtained two injunctions – one from the Singapore courts and one from a hastily constituted tribunal – preventing the foreclosure of the plant pending the outcome of a SIAC arbitration. The dispute is thought to be worth more than US$1 billion.

The firm also managed to persuade a Singaporean court to set aside part of an award in favour of a subsidiary of US car maker Daimler. The court ruled that the sole arbitrator had breached natural justice in disregarding the counter claims of Rajah & Tann’s client. The client’s case is to be heard again in a fresh arbitration.

Founded in the 1950s, Rajah & Tann LLP is one of the largest full-service law firms in Singapore and the Asia Pacific.

The Firm’s international arbitration team has been consistently ranked as the top international arbitration practice in Singapore and Asia by leading publications. The team is well-known for consistently delivering top quality service and providing clients with real and sensible solutions. The practice is led by Chong Yee Leong and anchored by several other leading arbitration practitioners including Lee Eng Beng SC, Andre Yeap SC, Toh Kian Sing SC, Francis Xavier SC and Chong Boon Leong.

The team comprises lawyers with multiple jurisdictional qualifications and has been retained as advisors and counsel on numerous arbitrations conducted under the auspices of the leading arbitration institutions of the world, including the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC, the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”), the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (“KLRC”), the Thai Arbitration Institute, and the Society of Maritime Arbitrators. Many of our arbitration lawyers are also appointees to the Panels of Arbitrators or Boards of Directors of some of the arbitration institutions highlighted above and sit regularly as arbitrators presiding over international / local arbitrations.

In terms of geographical spread, the team has been involved in dispute resolution proceedings arising out of or conducted in diverse areas throughout Asia and Europe, including London, New York, Geneva, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Cambodia, Taiwan, Pakistan and the Philippines. The team’s extensive geographical practice coverage is largely due to the sophisticated business structures of its clients. The team has also acted for or against various governments and government linked entities throughout Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos and Australia.

As a direct result of its client diversity, the team possesses an impressive level of working knowledge of various industries or businesses. The team has led and worked on disputes in relation to:


  • Infrastructure and civil engineering projects such as airports, railways, ports, highways, suspension bridges, tunnels and sewerage systems;
  • Building projects including residential, industrial, mixed development and commercial buildings;
  • Power projects and power purchase agreements;
  • Oil and gas contracts (upstream and downstream);
  • Petrochemical projects;
  • Corporate and commercial disputes such as complex cross-border joint venture and shareholder disputes, insurance, regulatory, distributorship and employment disputes;
  • Telecommunications networks, infrastructure and sales; and
  • Shipbuilding contracts.

Contact Partner:

Chong Yee Leong
Head, International Arbitration practice
[email protected]
Tel (DID): (65) 6232 0232

Singapore Office

9 Battery Road
#25-01 Straits Trading Building
Singapore 049910
Republic of Singapore

Tel: +65 6535 3600
24 hour hotline: +65 9690 2253

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