Defended a US$300 million award in the Singapore courts
|People in Who’s Who Legal||1|
|Pending cases as counsel||91|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$5.92 billion+|
|Treaty cases as counsel||4|
|Current arbitrator appointments||7 (6 as chair or sole)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||5|
Founded in 1902 and now one of Singapore’s largest firms, Allen & Gledhill started growing its international arbitration practice in the late 1980s under the leadership of former partner Michael Hwang SC.
The practice now has 30 lawyers and is co-led by partners Chong Yee Leong, a member of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s board of directors, and Dinesh Dhillon, the president of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. Andrew Yeo heads the wider litigation and dispute resolution department and is the vice chair of the ICC’s Singapore arbitration group.
The practice expanded significantly in 2013 with the hire of five partners from Rajah & Tann – including Yee Leong, who had headed that firm’s international arbitration team. It also recruited former heads of SIAC’s India and China desks.
Members of the firm have been involved in Singapore’s various dispute resolution initiatives. Former senior partner Lucien Wong was chair of the SIAC board of directors before becoming Singapore’s attorney general in 2017, and Yee Leong and retired partner Ang Cheng Hock SC were part of a committee that drew up the plans for the Singapore International Commercial Court. The firm also has members on the SIAC Users Council.
Chua Kee Loon and Ramesh Selvaraj – co-deputy heads of the firm’s international arbitration group – are also names to note.
Outside of Singapore, Allen & Gledhill works with associate firms in Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Myanmar firm is headed by Minn Naing Oo, a former chief executive officer of SIAC who is qualified to practise in Singapore and New York and helped draft Myanmar’s arbitration law. In Malaysia, Allen & Gledhill is associated with Rahmat Lim & Partners. The Indonesian tie-up with Soemadipradja & Taher was agreed in 2019.
Who uses it?
The firm acts for corporations across South East Asia, multinationals, government agencies and government-linked entities.
Public clients include Global Gaming Asset Management, India’s Reliance Power, Korea’s Daesung Industrial Gases, and Singapore’s TYN Investment Group and DBS Bank. Sony used the firm for an ICC case over media rights for Indian cricket, and it acted for the Philippine National Bank in a US$350 million SIAC case.
More recently, the firm has entered the investment treaty arena, advising clients on claims against South East Asian states.
The firm has done great work for Las Vegas casino operator Global Gaming Asset Management, fending off various court challenges to a US$296 million award against a Manila gaming resort owner.
In 2018, it helped Reliance Power Netherlands win a US$68 million SIAC award against affiliates of Indonesia’s Sugico Group concerning three coal mining concessions. The Indonesian courts upheld the award.
Most of the firm’s cases aren’t public but it says that it secured a significant win for a US Fortune 500 company against a government-linked natural gas supplier. It also won a case for one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies over media rights worth US$1 billion.
In the Singapore courts, it successfully defended a US$1.4 billion ICC award relating to an airport terminal project.
Further back, as co-counsel with White & Case, it helped the Philippines defeat a US$565 million ICC claim by a German-led consortium over a concession for an airport terminal in Manila.
Allen & Gledhill defended Global Gaming Asset Management’s aforementioned award against a set-aside bid in the Singapore Court of Appeal. The client is now trying to enforce the award in the US.
It has recently been advising a Malaysian client in a suite of arbitrations against an Italian supplier worth US$240 million and is helping a multinational enforce an ICC award worth more than US$2 billion.
Daryl Xu, who focuses on commercial and corporate disputes, made partner in 2021.
Michael John Brindle QC of Fountain Court Chambers in London has witnessed Yee Long lead advocacy while sitting as an arbitrator. He says Yee Long demonstrates “complete control of all aspects of the case” with “succinct submissions”.
Clients of the firm highlight its commercial-mindedness, competitive prices, and understanding of the technology and manufacturing sectors.
Margaret Joan Ling and Vivekananda Neelakantan are praised for their knowledge of cases and law, Dhillon for his damages expertise and Dao Kai Lim for his construction law experience.
With a long history of legal excellence stretching across 120 years, Allen & Gledhill is one of the largest leading law firms in South-east Asia with over 650 lawyers practising in offices located in Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Our dedicated International Arbitration Practice consists of 30 arbitration practitioners who have conducted proceedings in many jurisdictions and appeared before leading arbitration centres around the world. Our team has a strong regional focus, primarily representing clients from South-east Asia, China, Japan, Korea and India in disputes relating to investments, infrastructure, energy, construction and engineering projects. As a direct result of our client diversity, our team possesses an impressive level of working knowledge of various industries and businesses. Our clients include corporations from all over South-east Asia, global multinationals, international firms, government agencies and government-linked entities.
We set ourselves apart with our unique knowledge of the local commercial conditions in the region when formulating strong persuasive cases. This has resulted in our proven track record in obtaining successful outcomes in high-value and complex international arbitrations regardless of whether such proceedings are seated in Singapore or elsewhere in Asia.
Our reputation as a top-tier arbitration practice is evidenced by our consistent and strong rankings in legal publications. We have been recognised by Global Arbitration Review 100 as one of the top international arbitration practices in the world consistently since 2013. Our Practice is also ranked top tier for International Arbitration by Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.