GAR 100 - 6th Edition

Drew & Napier

Professional notice

The Singaporean team got new instructions but saw a couple of members break away to start their own shop

People in Who’s Who:
Pending cases as counsel:
Value of pending counsel work:
US$9.9 billion
Treaty cases:
Current arbitrator appointments:
5 (4 as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:

This firm can trace its origins to 1859 and John Simons Atchison – the first qualified lawyer to arrive in the former British colony.

Today, Drew & Napier prides itself on being one of the largest players in the Singapore arbitration market, with six senior counsel now devoting substantial time to the area. All, by the way, are home-grown. Between them they handle court work relating to arbitration, plus a number of specific forms of arbitration such as construction and shipping.

The department has grown in sync with Singapore’s emergence as a centre for international cases and several of the senior names are sitting as arbitrators.

Cavinder Bull SC, one of the senior partners in the practice, is a well-known international name. He's at present vice president of the Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group and deputy chairman of SIAC.

Who uses it?

Asian multinationals, to a large extent. For example, the firm is advising an Indonesian conglomerate on a property development dispute and recently counselled an Indian investment company on a telecoms case.

It’s also worked for a French pharmaceutical company, the World Sport Group, a Singaporean defence company and the Berjaya Group in Malaysia.

Track record

The firm recently defended a US$2 million award against an Italian marble company on behalf of an Australian supplier in the Singapore High Court. Cavinder Bull SC led the team on the case, which in fact flowed from an arbitration conducted in Milan and governed by Italian law.

Bull SC was recently also successful in a matter for a Singapore company and an Australian company over an underground tunnel project concerning claims of more than US$80 million.

Recent events

In late 2012, the firm said goodbye to Abraham Vergis, a junior director (the firm has directors rather than partners, who was part of the South East Asia desk. Vergis left after 14 years at the firm to set up his own boutique, Providence Law Asia. Joining him is as counsel is another former Drew & Napier lawyer, Clive Myint Soe.

Harpreet Singh Nehal SC left Drew & Napier in January 2012 and has now set up his own firm, Cavanagh Law, with a former litigation partner from WongPartnership.

The firm recently represented a US subsidiary of an Indian telecoms conglomerate against Malaysia’s leading mobile phone company. And it secured instructions from the local subsidiary of a foreign company in a US$3.2 billion case against a state government for allegedly breaching an agreement over the construction of a waterfront city.


Drew & Napier. Altogether World-Class.

Drew & Napier is home to one of the top arbitration practices in the world. We acted on arbitration matters totalling more than US$16 billion from 2011 to 2013.

From Australia to India, Brunei to Switzerland, Thailand to the USA, our diverse range of clients count on us to solve their most challenging problems and show them the way forward. We represent Fortune 500 companies, MNCs, foreign governments and act as counsel to international law firms at hearings in Singapore and abroad.

Prestigious industry publications like Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 consistently confirm our leadership with Tier 1 rankings in International Arbitration. Our Clients and peers describe Drew’s arbitration lawyers as "awe-inspiring", "first choice for complex work" and "a stellar team". Clients also said, “They’re excellent. Whenever something needs to be handled with care, go to them”.

Many of our lawyers are panel arbitrators, fellows or members of a number of arbitration institutions. We are dedicated to achieving winning outcomes no matter the jurisdiction, institution or tribunal.

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