Southeast Asia’s largest economy has been seeing the rise of some quality smaller law firms that are punching well above their weight.
For this reason, ALB is spotlighting a list of firms to watch for Indonesia. These are firms that are small but are already making waves and challenging much larger law firms for their share of the work.
“Our commitment is revealed in our understanding of clients' objectives, efficiency in workflow arrangements, and our straightforward approach to any legal issues.”
Adisuryo Dwinanto & Co (ADCO Law) has been established since 2008 as a boutique law firm in Jakarta. It is led by two partners, Dendi Adisuryo and Rizky Dwinanto, to provide full legal services from corporate formation, acquisition and share divestment to company dissolution.
The practice areas the ADCO Law covers every field from mining law to construction law, oil and gas, real estate, labour and employment, maritime, banking and financing, and so forth. But its strength lies in corporate and commercial, and natural resources, as well as litigation and dispute resolutions.
Adisuryo focuses on natural resources, mining, oil and gas, and other industries and has represented clients at home and abroad in every stage of operations, while Dwinanto is strong in corporate commercial litigation, especially bankruptcy, suspension of debt payments, insolvency, liquidation, manpower and industrial matters, tort, breach of contract, corporate and banking matters, criminal case, and trademark.
“Our professional legal practitioners have wide range experience in assisting many local and international clients, they practice trustworthy work ethics and deliver excellent legal services,” ADCO Law says.
The law firm is also known for its strong litigation team, which is made up of pure litigation lawyers and litigation lawyers who are trained and experienced in corporate and commercial law.
“This combination will benefit the clients not only to achieve the expected results but also to easily monitor cases with ‘commercial sense’ approaches of our litigation practice,” the law firm adds.
ADCO Law is widely recognised in Indonesia’s legal industry. It was named as one of the notable law firms in the Indonesian M&A Rankings 2019 and as one of top 10 rising stars in Indonesia by Asian Legal Business, and as one of the Mid-Sized Recognized Indonesian Corporate Law Firms 2019 by hukumonline.com.
These awards reflect the lawyers’ dedication to meeting their clients’ needs. “Our commitment is revealed in our understanding of clients' objectives, efficiency in workflow arrangements, and our straightforward approach to any legal issues,” the law firm says.
ANC Attorneys at Law
“We are a young firm with a collegial and informal environment. We provide a quick and precise understanding of our clients' needs and offer customised solutions to accomplish their goals.”
ANC Attorneys at Law stands out in Indonesia’s legal scene by dedicating itself to the technology sector, an area that its founder Aurora Nia Pratiwi believed that legal professionals in the Southeast Asian country had overlooked. With a career background in technology and e-commerce, Aurora decided to establish the tech-focused ANC in 2017.
“We are a young firm with a collegial and informal environment. We provide a quick and precise understanding of our clients' needs and offer customised solutions to accomplish their goals,” says ANC.
Today, ANC has grown into a boutique law firm that has one partner, four associates and two supporting staffers. It also opened a branch on the island of Bali in Central Indonesia this year, thanks to the tech boom in the country.
Despite its vow to provide legal service to the tech industry, the law firm has further diversified its specialist practice areas. In mid-2018, ANC undertook several land and property acquisition projects. This has resulted in a focus on financial technology and land acquisition for the ANC lawyers.
As well as the preceding areas, ANC is also engaged in a wide range of projects relating to capital investment, real estate, banking, finance and insurance, corporate practice, information technology & e-commerce, and labour and employment. They advise on matters ranging from company establishment to real estate law and compliance.
“We are dedicated to delivering,” says ANC. With this determination in mind, the young law firm has been hired for several projects this year. It represented a financial technology company in applying for a change of ownership and business license with the financial regulators, and worked on corporate restructuring for a Singaporean company. It has represented a peer-to-peer lending company in closing its series A financing round, advised an insurance tech company on structuring its business and company establishment, and assisted a major bank in the country with investing in financial technology. Its clients are not just Indonesian, ANC has also advised another Singaporean company, this time a venture capital firm, on their local investments, for example.
Anggraeni and Partners
“We emphasize the value of each role in our organisation. The legal service team and the operational service team complement each other to ensure that we are providing excellent service to our clients.”
After being named one of the recognised mid-sized Indonesian corporate law firms this year, the budding Anggraeni and Partners is also shortlisted for both the Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year and the Rising Law Firm of the Year at the Asia Legal Business Indonesia Law Awards 2019.
The recognition comes soon after the law firm scaled up to cope with the increasing demand for legal services in the fast-growing country. In just one year, Anggraeni and Partners has grown from an eight-lawyer law firm to one with 14 lawyers.
“We believe growth is a by-product of diligence and hard work. Therefore, our growth will heavily rely on our people. We focus our strategy in developing our people to be competitive enough to answer the demand from the global market and to have an Indonesian sense of service excellence,” says the law firm, stressing teamwork is essential for producing good work.
“We emphasize the value of each role in our organisation. The legal service team and the operational service team complement each other to ensure that we are providing excellent service to our clients,” it adds.
Since its establishment in 2012, Anggraeni and Partners has specialised in areas such as maritime law, international and domestic arbitration, criminal litigation, construction litigation and arbitration, corporate transactions, domestic commercial litigation and cyber law. But recent changes have made the firm focus on the construction sector more.
“As we understand, the number of construction projects in Indonesia is on the rise. Therefore, we have been entrusted to handle several construction project disputes,” says Anggraeni and Partners.
The law firm represented a client in an engineering procurement and construction dispute regarding the construction of an ammonia plant in Indonesia involving around $220 million. Another similar case is the dispute between a multinational company and its contractor regarding the construction of an oil and gas field in the country, which amounted to around $85 million. They are examples of major commercial arbitration cases that Anggraeni and Partners has undertaken this year.
Last year, the law firm also assisted a telecommunication company in negotiating a contract for providing a telecommunication network service for the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta. The contract amounted to Rp200 billion.
Looking forward, Anggraeni and Partners is pursuing more partnerships at a time when technology brings constant changes and borderless operations. It is to “enhance service quality to clients and enable growth”, the law firm says.
AZP Legal Consultants
“We aim to assist our clients through a holistic approach of our in-depth legal knowledge and efficient legal research capabilities as well as our vast experience and qualified expertise.”
Riding on the opportunities arising from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, AZP Legal Consultants entered the legal industry in Indonesia in 2004 to provide comprehensive legal services, especially to state-owned enterprises. The law firm is recognised in the prestigious financial and corporate law rankings.
Led by five partners, AZP has a team of 19 lawyers who specialise in a wide spectrum of areas, including corporate and commercial, capital market, banking & finance, merger & acquisitions and joint venture, litigation and alternative dispute resolution, restructuring, insolvency and asset resolution, property and real estate, infrastructure, intellectual property, as well as labour and employment. It caters to both conventional and Islamic markets.
AZP has accumulated a great deal of experience and expertise from their involvement in corporate and litigation legal matters with both foreign and domestic clients.
“We aim to assist our clients through a holistic approach of our in-depth legal knowledge and efficient legal research capabilities as well as our vast experience and qualified expertise,” says AZP, which also stresses commercial acumen and the human touch. The law firm also initiates integrated cooperation with other professionals such as financial advisors, appraisers and accountants to come up with the comprehensive and cost-efficient legal solutions needed by the clients.
AZP was involved in a few notable cases this year. It advised two state-owned enterprises in re-operating another state-owned enterprise that was already insolvent. It also advised a state-owned bank on bringing claims for a maritime lien derived from the sale proceeds of vessels in Dubai, and another one on filing a bankruptcy petition against a local company.
Subsidiaries of the state-owned enterprises also reached out to AZP for their legal advice. The law firm assisted one in filing a bankruptcy petition against a local company, and another in the liquidation process of its debtor this year.
HDRA & Partners
“As a service provider, we always strive to provide services thoroughly from upstream to downstream. Providing one-stop solutions is our mission to deliver compliance, confidentiality and convenience for our clients.”
With a strong foothold in Indonesia, the business-focused-HDRA & Partners has had its eye on the global market, especially that of Japan, since its establishment in 2016. Lawyers at the law firm leverage their Bahasa Indonesia, English and Japanese language skills to commit to serving foreign direct investment companies in the Southeast Asian country that have a special interest in the Japanese market.
Likewise, HDRA also serves Japanese companies that do business in Indonesia, with expertise in manpower law matters, litigation for criminal and private law, as well as mergers & acquisitions for company restructuring.
“Nowadays, the Indonesian government focuses more on infrastructure development, and Japanese technology is heavily involved. We act as the legal counsel for the Japanese companies in many cooperation projects,” says HDRA.
“Local counsel, globally-connected” is the law firm’s philosophy. “It serves as a benchmark to show the multinational legal industry that we are the lawyers who know Indonesia,” says the law firm, which houses 10 young legal professionals.
The firm was founded by two lawyers, Hervan Dewantara Merukh and Rangga Afianto. Merukh specialises in litigation case, both for criminal and private law, while Afianto has extensive experience in working with the Japanese.
HDRA’s core practices areas cover a wide range of fields: litigation and corporate services, manpower and industrial relations, real estate and construction, corporate commercial and foreign investment, anti-trust and competition law, as well as business transactions. It specialises in assisting foreign companies to navigate Indonesia's complex employment laws.
Aside from its core legal work, the law firm also offers side services such as private investigation, sworn translation, sworn interpretation, as well as business matching to promote business development in Indonesia.
“As a service provider, we always strive to provide services thoroughly from upstream to downstream. Providing one-stop solutions is our mission to deliver compliance, confidentiality and convenience for our clients,” says HDRA.
“The breadth of experience and sector knowledge contained within our team guarantees that we guide our clients to the best commercial business outcome available.”
It has been 16 years since Ivan Almaida Baely & Firmansyah Law Firm (IABF) began to provide legal services to the Indonesian businesses after its establishment in September 2003. Today, it has grown into a sizable law firm in the country with 32 lawyers, who have accumulated extensive experience in many areas of legal expertise.
IABF is led by its two founders, Ivan Baely and Almaida Askandar, equity partner Tjahyono Firmansyah who joined the law firm in 2012 and Erwin Purba who came onboard in 2017. The law firm’s core business covers a broad range of areas, spanning from general corporate and company law, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, capital markets and securities, direct and indirect foreign investments to labour, employment and immigration, energy and resources, real estate and hospitality, technology, media and telecommunications, infrastructure, transport and logistics, and even litigation court practices.
“Our lawyers are selected from a range of diverse career backgrounds, including multi-national corporations, national and international law firms, financial institutions, government bodies and university academia. This breadth of experience and sector knowledge contained within our team guarantees that we guide our clients to the best commercial business outcome available,” says IABF.
The law firm engaged in several cases that have grabbed industry attention this year. It assisted a state-owned bank in its $531 million loan facility to its borrower, a state-owned plantation group of companies in their $357 million debt restructuring, and another state-owned financing company in the financing of a power plant loan.
It also undertook cross-border cases, such as assisting an Indonesian company as the investor in a joint venture transaction with a Dubai company, as well as acting as co-counsel for a Japanese construction company to handle multiple disputes filed by an Indonesian company. Meanwhile, it also provided services to numerous fintech Indonesian companies and foreign companies in joint venture transactions and the procurement of licenses related to peer-to-peer lending.
The success of IABF, as the law firm says, lies in its teamwork and collegiality. Such an environment fosters a free and open exchange of ideas and facilitates the development of creative solutions to client’s problems. “We always emphasize to all of our lawyers that they are working with the firm and not working for the firm,” IABF says.
Kudri & Djamaris
“What sets us apart is that as a boutique law firm, all clients will be served directly by the partners with the assistance of a close-knit team of experienced lawyers.”
Kudri & Djamaris was founded by several veteran lawyers in 2014, all of whom have been practicing for over 15 years in Indonesia. Led by two partners, the 10-lawyer law firm offers advice and assistance to clients on corporate and commercial matters as well as litigation practices.
“Our team is positioned to tackle the legal needs of individuals, private and public companies, multinational corporations and state-owned enterprises, as well as governmental agencies and institutions,” says the law firm.
But Kudri & Djamaris is more widely recognised as a dispute specialist. It was the winner of the Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the year in 2018, awarded by Asian Legal Business.
“What sets us apart is that as a boutique law firm, all clients will be served directly by the partners with assistance of a close-knit team of experienced lawyers,” says Kudri & Djamaris.
Kudri & Djamaris’ core practice areas are extensive. In particular, its corporate and commercial team offers comprehensive legal services on corporate advisory, investment and formation of business entity, merger and acquisition, banking and finance, real estate, contracts, capital market as well as employment and industrial relations.
Meanwhile, its litigation lawyers appear before courts and tribunals in all types of disputes and at all levels of court from the first instance to the highest appellate court for national and multinational corporate clients. They handle cases involving arbitration, civil and commercial litigation, bankruptcy and suspension of payments, administrative court litigation, industrial relation disputes, and competition law and tax litigation at the Supreme Court.
“Our corporate and commercial lawyers regularly work together with litigation lawyers in handling litigation matters to advantage the expertise of the corporate and commercial lawyers in the details of the disputed transactions,” says Kudri & Djamaris. “Similarly, our litigation lawyers will also be involved in corporate and commercial works of the firm to bring the benefits of their expertise in the implications of issues that may potentially become a dispute in the future.”
Such extensive work has kept the lawyers busy this year, they have engaged in cases in the areas of the litigation and arbitration for oil and gas, investment dispute and tax litigation at the Supreme Court, as well as foreign investment and general corporate matters.
Siahaan Irdamis Andarumi & Rekan (SIAR)
“Our principle is to provide our clients with practical legal advice that is legally sound and commercially viable in achieving their business and investment objectives. We deliver results-oriented solutions and offer customised services tailored to clients’ needs.”
Siahaan Irdamis Andarumi & Rekan (SIAR) is a four-year-old law firm that specialises in capital markets, merger & acquisitions, banking & finance, investment and general corporate matters, essentially any legal matters that businesspeople need help with. It positions itself as a boutique legal firm that offers comprehensive legal services by ensuring close collaboration among its practice groups to give multidisciplinary legal advice.
“Our principle is to provide our clients with practical legal advice that is legally sound and commercially viable in achieving their business and investment objectives. We deliver results-oriented solutions and offer customised services tailored to clients’ needs,” says SIAR.
Established in the capital city of Jakarta in 2015, the story of the young law firm goes way back to the 90s. SIAR was founded by three lawyers, David Siahaan, Kuntum Apriella Irdam and Laksmita Andarumi. The trio met at Melli Darsa & Co., where they served as partners, and they have since been working together for over 20 years.
In its four years of operation, the young law firm has flourished and now has 12 associates and three partners. The partners, in particular, have been involved in many high-profile transactions in the capital market, banking and finance and mergers & acquisitions.
And the year of 2019 has been a stellar one for the law firm. SIAR has represented PT JTD Jaya Pratama, an appointed toll road operator, in loan syndication of 30 banks handling the Jakarta Inner Ring Road that amounted to Rp 14 trillion. It also represented PT Krakatau Steel Tbk in a debt restructuring with various lenders that was valued at Rp28 trillion and the project is still ongoing. PT Bank QNB Indonesia Tbk was also a client for the settlement of non-performing loans amounting to $70 million.
To make such achievements, SIAR have stuck to a few core principles. Its lawyers are required to handle every client and every file in the same fashion, to work with the clients as efficiently as possible to stay cost-competitive, and to provide a timely and reliable service that caters to the clients’ specific needs and instructions with due observance to the prevailing laws and regulations in Indonesia.
Situmorang & Partners
“We believe that to ensure all regulations are properly complied to by the companies as well as the government, we are here to become one-stop legal solution providing extensive legal services for business needs .”
The past year has seen Situmorang & Partners extremely busy. The firm, headed by managing partner Veronica Situmorang, has advised the government of the city of Jakarta on the preparation of regulations related to its waste-to-energy project; advised Crane Worldwide Group on company restructuring and disputes; advised Nusantara Elang Sejahtera (Tix.ID), which is a part of the Alibaba Group; advised Keppel Land Group; represented an iron and steel supplier from Korea in an arbitration before the SIAC; advised an Indonesian state-owned enterprise involved in construction on a high-speed railway and toll-road project; advised Mitsui Chemicals Agro on its $40 billion acquisition of an Indonesian target; and advised on the establishment of a $9.2 million solar power plant in Sumba, Nusa Tenggara Timur.
The firm says that one of the key factors that have assisted in its growth is that the Indonesian government is actively seeking both domestic and foreign investors in the market. “We believe that to ensure all regulations are properly complied to by the companies as well as the government, we are here to become one-stop legal solution providing extensive legal services for business needs,” says the firm. “We offer business-oriented legal solutions tailored specifically to our valued client to protect their interests. We also have a non-exclusive alliance with a Japanese firm that has a strong presence in Southeast Asia countries, and that helps us find business prospects. We are also open to more alliances with foreign firms so that we can assist in their Indonesia work, also share their knowledge.
The firm says that in this digital age, the trend is towards digital business – either through more traditional businesses adding robust digital platforms or fully online businesses. “Our firm is a co-founder of a start-up online legal service provider for simpler, routine processes,” it adds. “We are also investing heavily in other legal technology that can help streamline our project-based work for our larger clients.”
Walalangi & Partners
“All our lawyers are key members. They all have a strong, vibrant, and dedicated team that drives for excellence and is experienced in handling cross-border transactions,”
Walalangi & Partners was founded by Luky Walalangi as a corporate law firm in 2017. In its two years of operation, the law firm has taken home various titles and awards in the legal sector. It was named by a well-known legal publication as the Best New Law Firm 2019 and Real Estate Firm 2019, and as a recommended firm of 2019 and a recognised firm in banking and M&A for 2019 in another well-known publication. Asian Legal Business also named Walalangi & Partners as a “Tier 2” law firm in M&A, a huge leap from a “notable firm” last year.
Its success lies in “a strong commitment and total dedication in assisting clients to achieve their corporate and commercial goals and maintaining the trust of existing clients,” the law firm says.
Walalangi & Partners has doubled in size in one year, from 13 lawyers last year to 25 this year, plus over 20 non-legal staffers. “All our lawyers are key members. They all have a strong, vibrant, and dedicated team that drives for excellence and is experienced in handling cross-border transactions,” the law firm says.
Now led by two partners, the team covers a wide range of practice areas, including M&A, banking and finance, real property, foreign direct investment, antitrust, debt and corporate restructuring, capital market and bond issuance, employment, general corporate, TMT, energy and natural resources, and construction.
Trusted by companies at home and abroad, the law firm has been involved in various major cases. Some of the larger ones this year include representing Mitsubishi Corporation in its superblock urban development project of more than $350 million, advising Mitsui Co. in its strategic investment in Aisan telecom giant Axiata’s digital business, representing Tokyo Tatemono & Tokyo Tatemono Asia in their proposed urban development projects in Indonesia worth more than $300 million.
But to steer growth, the law firm focuses on its strength in M&A, banking & financing and is slowly expanding to other areas such as employment and capital market. “We would expect to steadily grow our firm to a mid-sized law firm to 30-40 fee earners,” says Walalangi & Partners.
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