The Singaporean firm now has a presence in Myanmar
|Pending cases as counsel:||40|
|Value of pending counsel work:||US$2 billion|
|Current arbitrator appointments:|
39 (of which 37 are as sole or chair)
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator:||3|
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, is led by partners Andrew Yeo, Dinesh Dhillon and Edwin Tong. The firm has been recognised for its expertise in con-struction and property disputes. It has handled cases at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) as well as ICC and UN-CITRAL cases, within and outside Singapore.
The group expanded significantly in 2013 with the hire of five partners from Rajah & Tann, including that 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 recently launched associate firm in Myanmar.
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 also on the board of the new Singapore Interna-tional Mediation Centre. Partners Ang Cheng Hock SC and Chong Yee Leong are part of a committee that has drawn up plans for the Singapore International Commercial Court, an idea proposed by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.
Besides its new 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 ex-changes.
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 an 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.
The practice continued to grow in 2014. It promoted Margaret Ling to partner after six years at the firm, and hired two former members of SIAC’s South Asia team, Vivekananda N and Ankit Goyal, as international counsel. Vivekananda N had been SIAC’s deputy registrar and headed the centre’s Mumbai liaison office.
India and Singapore-qualified lawyer Nakul Dewan left in May to become a tenant at 20 Essex Street’s Singapore annex.
The firm’s work highlights include obtaining a US$140 million award in an UNCITRAL dispute arising out of a fire at a Malaysian pe-troleum storage facility. It settled a complex US$120 million property development dispute in Vietnam involving conflict of laws and Viet-namese real property ownership issues.
Ongoing work includes a US$150 million dispute on behalf of a Singaporean government agency related to the construction of an un-derground expressway, and a US$210 million dispute for a shipyard client over the construction of a jack-up drilling rig.
Julian Gray of London solicitors Ross & Co praises Allen & Gledhill’s “comprehensive mastery of detail”, saying that the quality of their submissions and their “forensic scrutiny” of evidence gave them the advantage in the proceedings. Although its services don’t come cheap, Gray says the firm undoubtedly provides value for money.
David Lamb, group counsel at property investment company Hongkong Land, says that the firm’s “attention to detail and ability to pro-vide strategic guidance were impressive”. He also notes their proactive approach in advising on potential courses of action.
Joanna Lee, principal legal counsel at Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, says the firm’s approach in a “critical” case was “clear, direct and open”. Another client praises their “calm, collected and focused” attitude during hearings.
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 is currently one of the largest law firms in South-east Asia with more than 340 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.
One of the region’s largest leading international arbitration practices, our 30-strong team, which is an integral part of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution department, is made up of specialists with extensive regional experience and multijurisdictional qualifications who exclusively focus on arbitration and arbitration-related litigation. The team continues to be sought after for high-value, complex multi-jurisdictional cases in this region and beyond, with our lawyers acting both as counsel and arbitrators in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations. We are particularly recognised for our capability in the infrastructure, energy and resources sectors. Our key clients include Fortune 500 and multinational companies and government bodies.
We are consistently recognised as the regional expert by various leading publications and directories including The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Chambers Asia-Pacific and Global Arbitration Review. We are named International Arbitration Firm of the Year by Asian-MENA Counsel (2014) and Asian Legal Business (2013).