The firm pulled off a coup in 2013 with the hire of a five-partner team from local rival Rajah & Tann
- Pending cases as counsel:
- Value of pending counsel work:
- US$1.6 billion
- Treaty cases:
- Current arbitrator appointments:
- 38 (of which 38 are as sole or chair)
- No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
Founded in 1902, Allen & Gledhill is now one of Singapore’s largest firms, with over 300 lawyers. The arbitration practice, now around 30-lawyers strong according to internal estimates, is led by partners Andrew Yeo, Dinesh Dhillon and Edwin Tong. The firm has been recognised for its specialist expertise in construction and property disputes. It has handled arbitrations under ICC and SIAC rules, as well as UNCITRAL cases, within and outside Singapore. The firm appeared for the first time in the GAR 100 last year.
Who uses it?
In the past couple of years, the firm has acted for a consortium of international banks in a 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 arbitration against a Singapore government-linked company over a chemical production facility.
Other clients include Lufthansa in an arbitration and ensuing court battle with a Thai provider of IT services; a Singapore trading arm of the world’s largest private sector coal company; a state-owned Chinese company; and companies listed on the Mumbai and Malaysian stock exchanges.
Acting as co-counsel with White & Case, the firm helped the Philippines defeat a US$565 million ICC claim by German-led consortium PIATCO over a concession to build and operate a terminal at Ninoy Aquino international airport in Manila. In 2010, a tribunal ruled that PIATCO had breached a Philippine “anti-dummy” law by permitting a German stakeholder to intervene in the management of the terminal and therefore could not pursue claims under the concession agreement. The award was later upheld by the Singapore Court of Appeal. (The dispute has also spawned an ICSID claim by the German investor, Fraport, in which Allen & Gledhill is not involved.)
The firm acted for a BVI sports promoter in efforts to set aside a SIAC award in favour of a Thai media company with whom it was organising a Bangkok tennis tournament. Allen & Gledhill succeeded in getting the award set aside on public policy grounds before the Singapore High Court, but the Singapore Court of Appeal reversed the decision in August 2011. Nonetheless, the case has been hailed as an important precedent on the scope of the public policy set-aside ground in Singapore.
On the personnel front, the most significant development for the firm in 2013 was the hire of five arbitration partners from Singaporean rival firm Rajah & Tann, including practice head Chong Yee Leong, a former GAR Awards nominee for advocate of the year. The firm also promoted associates Paul Ong and Dao Kai Lim to the partnership.
In addition, Allen & Gledhill’s chairman and senior partner, Lucien Wong, was appointed as chairman of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), while former SIAC chief executive officer Minn Naing Oo joined the firm as partner and head of its new Myanmar practice.
In terms of cases, the past year saw the firm act for a Dutch commodity trading company in a US$225 million UNCITRAL dispute arising out of a fire at a Malaysian facility; a shipping enterprise in a US$200 million share allotment dispute; a German portfolio manager in a SIAC case worth US$180 million under Mauritian law; and a Singaporean government agency in a US$180 million construction dispute.
Erratum. An earlier version of this profile contained an incorrect figure for the value of Allen & Gledhill's current arbitration portfolio. The correct value is the one now shown: US$ 1.6 billion. The earlier piece also said the firm estimated its strength as 20 lawyers, rather than around a more correct 30. We apologise for any confusion caused.
One Marina Boulevard, #28-00
T: +65 6890 7188
F: +65 6327 3800
Ang Cheng Hock, SC
Chong Boon Leong
Chong Yee Leong
Allen & Gledhill LLP has been providing legal services to premier clients since 1902. We are currently one of the largest law firms in Singapore and South-east Asia and consist of more than 300 lawyers. Our reputation for high quality advice is regularly affirmed by our strong rankings in leading publications and by the various awards and accolades we have received from independent commentators and clients.
Our International Arbitration practice comprises a core team of highly experienced partners with multijurisdictional qualifications who handle arbitrations in Singapore and overseas and regularly represent multinational clients in disputes spanning multiple jurisdictions.
Our team is well-known for its expertise in handling high-value and complex international disputes particularly in the areas of infrastructure, energy, cross-border investments, trade, transport, finance and commodities.
Our practice has won international recognition. These include:
- Recommended law firm in leading legal directories, including The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Chambers Asia-Pacific and Benchmark Asia-Pacific
- International Arbitration Law Firm of the Year 2013 - Asian Legal Business South East Asia Law Awards
- International Arbitration Firm of the Year 2014 and Litigation and Dispute Resolution Firm of the Year 2014 - Asian-MENA Counsel In-House Community