Allen & Gledhill
One of Singapore’s most established firms for arbitration
|People in Who’s Who Legal||2|
|People in Future Leaders||2|
|Pending cases as counsel||65|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$11.05 billion|
|Treaty cases as counsel||4|
|Third-party funded cases||0|
|Current arbitrator appointments||14 (13 as chair or sole)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||6|
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 expanded significantly in 2013 with the arrival of five partners from Rajah & Tann, including its former arbitration head Chong Yee Leong. He now co-heads Allen & Gledhill’s international arbitration practice while also serving as deputy chair of the board of directors of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
The firm’s other practice co-head is Dinesh Dhillon, immediate past president of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. Andrew Yeo, who is the vice chair of the ICC’s Singapore arbitration group, co-heads the wider litigation and dispute resolution department at the firm alongside William Ong.
Members of the firm have been involved in Singapore’s various dispute resolution initiatives. Former senior partner Lucien Wong SC was chair of the SIAC board before becoming Singapore’s attorney general in 2017. 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 other names to note.
Outside Singapore, Allen & Gledhill works with associate firms in Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia. It opened an office in Vietnam in 2020.
The Myanmar firm is headed by Minn Naing Oo, a former chief executive officer of SIAC who is qualified in Singapore and New York and helped to 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, financial institutions, government agencies and government-linked entities. Energy, infrastructure and construction are key areas of focus.
Clients that have turned to the firm include ConocoPhillips, India’s Reliance Power, Korea’s Daesung Industrial Gases, Singapore’s DBS Bank and the Philippine National Bank. Sony used the firm for an ICC case over media rights for Indian cricket.
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.
Allen & Gledhill is rumoured to be advising a subsidiary of Singapore’s Keppel conglomerate in a US$126 million ICC claim against the Qatar Public Works Authority over a terminated contract to build a sewage treatment plant in Doha. The firm hasn’t confirmed the instruction.
ConocoPhillips used the firm in a short-lived Singapore High Court action to enforce a US$2 billion ICC award against Venezuela’s national oil and gas company PDVSA.
Working with Indian co-counsel, the firm helped a client obtain a US$12 million SIAC award in a joint venture dispute and then defended the award in the Singapore courts against allegations that the other side suffered duress and coercion.
Singapore-based Chua Xinying, Kang Yanyi, Leong Yi-Ming and Toh Jia Yi made partner in January 2022. At the start of 2023, the firm promoted Afzal Ali and Ho Pey Yann to partner and Daniel Seow to counsel.
Partner Vivekananda Neelakantan left the firm in early 2023 to rejoin SIAC as its deputy registrar.
Gina Teo of US electronics distributor Avnet praises the firm’s “quick response” and “excellent knowledge of local law and processes”. She says partner Margaret Joan Ling is “always willing to help and we feel that she has a genuine interest in our company activities overall”.
Shirlene Carol Fernz of QBE Insurance Singapore commends Selvaraj, Tan Kai Liang, Seow and Mak Wei Munn for their “understanding of the insurance sector”.
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.
One Marina Boulevard, #28-00, Singapore 018989
T: +65 6890 7188
F: +65 6327 3800
Email: [email protected]