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In its third annual list, ALB reveals top-notch dispute lawyers in the region known for their exemplary client service. These lawyers were selected based on client recommendations sent directly to ALB. The list is in alphabetical order, and some lawyers have been profiled.

 

Chan Leng Sun, SC
Duxton Hill Chambers

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Chan Leng Sun is a highly regarded Senior Counsel of the Singapore Supreme Court with decades of experience in a wide range of commercial, corporate, and maritime disputes spanning the globe. He is also in demand as a chartered arbitrator, “known for his depth of perception and sureness of touch in adjudicating challenging commercial cases.”

Chan’s recent notable work includes securing judgments exceeding $200 million for a Japanese-owned company against numerous defendants in a series of litigation for cross-border fraud and conspiracy. In another multi-jurisdictional dispute, he obtained a judgment for over $70 million for a trade financier without the expense of a trial when he had the defence struck out. He also successfully defended another client against a fraud claim when one of the world’s largest oil traders collapsed. His involvement in leading Court of Appeal cases has contributed to the development of various areas of law, such as shipping, contract, fraud, and injunctions.

Chan’s role in shaping the legal landscape is not limited to his advocacy in court. He serves in the SIAC Court of Arbitration and the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR. He is the deputy chairman of the SGX Appeals Board. Chan was the former global head of arbitration of Baker McKenzie and president of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. He was also part of the Working Group responsible for the White Paper on the Singapore International Commercial Court.

Chan had also taught at the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University law schools and published an often-cited book, “Singapore Law on Arbitral Awards”.

Given his multifaceted background, it is no surprise that he is sought after for his “intellectual heft combined with commercial savvy”. Others commend him as an “excellent Court room advocate, great tactician and strategist” who “unravels complex issues with ease.” They all agree that his pleasant manner makes him “a joy to work with”.

 

Phisit Dejchaiyasak
senior counsel, Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners

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With over 40 years of experience in litigation and arbitration, Phisit Dejchaiyasak is the head of Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners’ dispute resolution practice group in Bangkok. His expertise encompasses a wide range of areas, including administrative law, banking and finance, bankruptcy, business reorganisation, class actions, corporate and commercial law, concessions, real estate, securities, telecommunications, trade, tort, taxation, as well as civil and criminal cases.

Throughout his career, Phisit has successfully represented numerous clients in high-stakes disputes, delivering positive outcomes for his clients, concerned industries, and state enterprises. He has been involved in complex cases, including large-scale disputes with substantial monetary value. He played a pivotal role in representing a major telecommunications company in a dispute related to a concession agreement for prepaid and roaming services involving approximately 68,700 million baht ($2 billion). Additionally, he provided counsel and representation to a major renewable energy company in arbitration proceedings under the ICC Arbitration Rules, focusing on claims arising from share purchase agreements, agricultural land leases, and permissions to use agricultural land.

He advised on the first class action case of Thailand and was able to negotiate an agreement that successfully decreased the risk of the related company.

Phisit ‘s approach to clients is centred around providing strategic advice tailored to their interests and business objectives, both in pre-litigation and litigation proceedings. He believes in understanding the big picture of each dispute and formulating a comprehensive plan to work efficiently towards the most favourable outcome for his clients. His dedication to protecting his clients’ interests is evident in his track record of handling precedent-setting cases across various areas of law. Phisit’s ability to analyse complex legal issues enables him to effectively prevent or rectify problems for his clients. By applying strategic litigation, he has safeguarded a client in the internet services sector from creditors, allowing them to maintain control and grow into a major internet company.

 

Rakesh Kirpalani
director of dispute resolution and information technology, chief technology officer, Drew & Napier

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Rakesh Kirpalani is a highly accomplished director of dispute resolution and information technology and chief technology officer at Drew & Napier, where he has made significant contributions to arbitration, litigation, and information technology. With 16 years of legal experience, he has established himself as a trusted advisor in various practice areas, including commercial and corporate litigation, high-tech disputes, corporate restructuring and workouts, employment law, and international arbitration.

Throughout his career, Kirpalani has handled major cases that have showcased his exceptional skills and expertise. In a complex litigation matter, he successfully defended MCDP Phoenix and Michael Carbonara against a high-stakes claim brought by B High House International involving intricate financial and technological issues in the financial services sector, specifically in the payment processing space. His strategic approach and in-depth understanding of payment processing, including application programming interfaces (APIs) and merchant control panels, played a pivotal role in securing a favourable outcome for his clients.

In another noteworthy case, Kirpalani represented Telcoin in a litigation matter concerning issuing digital tokens on the blockchain. The case raised novel legal and technological issues related to smart contracts and the conversion of digital assets. His expertise in blockchain technology and his ability to navigate complex legal questions contributed to dismissal of the plaintiff’s action. He advises clients on risk avoidance, risk management, and dispute resolution concerning technology, data, commercial issues, and employment law. Kirpalani is also involved in bridging the knowledge gap between legal and technological issues, simplifying complex matters for judges, arbitrators, and clients alike.

Kirpalani’s proficiency extends beyond dispute resolution. As the chief technology officer of Drew & Napier, he leads the firm’s digital transformation, driving the adoption of advanced technologies and platforms that enhance efficiency and cybersecurity.

Clients consistently seek Kirpalani’s counsel for legal, commercial, and technological solutions. His expertise has attracted multinational corporations, private equity funds, financial institutions, and listed companies across various jurisdictions.

 

James Kwan
partner, Hogan Lovells

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James Kwan is a highly respected international arbitration partner of Hogan Lovells is based in Hong Kong, specialising in technology, private equity, energy, and life sciences disputes. With extensive international experience, he has successfully represented clients in arbitrations across Asia, the U.S., the Middle East, and Europe, handling cases under major institutional and ad hoc rules such as ICC, HKIAC, SIAC, CIETAC, LCIA, AAA, DIAC, and UNCITRAL. He has served as an arbitrator and rendered awards in HKIAC, ICC, and DIAC arbitrations. Kwan is also affiliated with other esteemed institutions, including CIETAC, LCIA, SHIAC, KCAB, and AIAC.

As a solicitor advocate with Higher Rights of Audience, Kwan is well-positioned to represent clients before arbitral tribunals and the Hong Kong courts. He plays a vital role in leading the Greater China international arbitration practice and is a member of the firm’s international arbitration leadership team.

Kwan’s expertise and contributions to the field have garnered widespread recognition. He is widely acknowledged as a leading figure in international arbitration by major legal directories, solidifying his reputation as an authority in the field. A client describes him as a very experienced lawyer who is patient with clients and has excellent legal thinking skills. Kwan’s clients say that they particularly enjoy working with him and find his attentive and amenable style very appealing. They find him an excellent and experienced disputes lawyer who is able to distil complex legal issues into easily digestible advice. One client commented, “James is a leading figure in international arbitration who knows his stuff.”

 

Adam Maniam
director of dispute resolution, Drew & Napier

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Adam Maniam is a highly accomplished lawyer who is a director in the dispute resolution department at Drew & Napier. With 14 years of legal experience, Maniam is a rising star of the Singapore bar, renowned for his expertise in various areas, including commercial litigation, arbitration, regulatory advice and investigations, competition law, and criminal litigation.

Over his career, Maniam has handled several major cases of significant value and complexity. Notably, he successfully represented a company operating a prominent open-pit copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea in a multi-jurisdictional dispute involving assets valued at approximately $1.48 billion. His strategic approach led to successfully striking out the plaintiffs’ claims against his client for breach of fiduciary duties and conspiracy.

Maniam has also been the lead counsel representing a Singapore-incorporated holding company of an Indian company listed on the National Stock Exchange of India in a cross-border dispute with a quantum exceeding $50 million. This case was one of the many complex and high-value disputes that Maniam has handled before the Singapore Courts and arbitral tribunals, with many of his cases involving wins against Senior Counsel.

In addition to his impressive commercial work, Maniam has a proven track record in criminal cases and handling complex fraud, anti-money laundering, and corruption investigations. His broad expertise allows him to provide comprehensive advice on regulatory issues, fraud prevention, anti-money laundering measures, and competition law compliance for private and listed companies.

Maniam’s reputation as a skilled advocate is well-established, with his trial and appellate advocacy experience spanning all levels of the Singapore Courts. He has demonstrated exceptional cross-examination skills at trial and is often consulted by peers and clients for cross-examination strategies in complex trials. His prowess in this area has yielded significant outcomes for clients, including the full withdrawal of the opposing party’s defence and counterclaim in a banking claim and substantial reductions in claimed amounts in various cases.

 

Mulyadi
senior partner, Nurjadin Sumono Mulyadi & Partners

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Mulyadi, a senior partner at Nurjadin Sumono Mulyadi & Partners, is a highly skilled lawyer specialising in dispute resolution. With over 25 years of experience, Mulyadi’s primary focus lies in civil and criminal litigation, alongside expertise in administrative procedures, commercial arbitration, bankruptcy, insolvency, and industrial disputes.

Renowned for handling complex and high-profile litigation cases, Mulyadi regularly advises companies from various sectors on various issues, particularly on suspending debt payment obligations. He represents creditors and debtors, providing invaluable guidance in debt settlement matters. Mulyadi has successfully represented major Indonesian banks, assisting them in debt settlement negotiations while representing their interests in civil lawsuits against debtors to ensure compliance with their financial obligations. He was also appointed as the administrator in one of the processes widely known as the largest restructuring in Indonesia.

Mulyadi’s legal prowess extends beyond the courtroom. He has represented numerous domestic and foreign clients throughout the legal process, from initial investigations and interactions with the police to prosecution and court proceedings. His comprehensive approach and unwavering dedication to his clients’ interests have garnered him continuous recognition within the legal community.

Mulyadi’s exceptional achievements have earned him esteemed accolades. He was a finalist at the Asian Legal Business Indonesia Law Awards in 2019, where he was acknowledged as Dealmaker of the Year. In 2020, he was again a finalist and received recognition for Disputes Resolution of the Year. Mulyadi’s excellence in the field has also led to his inclusion in the prestigious Asia Super 50 Disputes Lawyers lists for both 2021 and 2022, as recognised by Asian Legal Business.

Clients hold Mulyadi in high regard for his professionalism and ability to provide optimal solutions based on legal remedies. His comprehensive and effective strategies, tailored to meet each client’s specific needs, have earned him special admiration. Mulyadi’s unwavering commitment to delivering the best outcomes and extensive experience and comprehensive legal knowledge make him a trusted and sought-after advisor in dispute resolution.

 

Mahesh Rai
director, dispute resolution; deputy head, construction and engineering, Drew & Napier

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Mahesh Rai, a director of dispute resolution at Drew & Napier, specialises in commercial litigation and international arbitration. With 15 years of legal experience, Rai has built a sterling reputation for handling complex, high-value, and cross-border disputes across various industries, including construction and infrastructure, telecommunications, IT, shipping, energy, and commodities.

In his arbitration practice, Rai has successfully represented clients in significant cases, especially for and against multinationals and governments. One example is his representation of Daelim Industrial in a lengthy arbitration against ONGC Petro Additions Limited (OPAL), an Indian state-owned oil company, involving a project to construct a high-density polyethylene plant. Through meticulous technical cross-examination, Rai demonstrated that OPAL’s claims for losses were unfounded, resulting in the Tribunal awarding nominal damages of only $6,000, compared to OPAL’s initial claim of $430 million.

Rai and his team also handle two SIAC arbitrations on behalf of a major Asian conglomerate, defending claims of nearly $400 million a Middle Eastern party brought over the distributorship of goods in the Middle East. These disputes involve parties in a very longstanding relationship, including the application of Singapore, Korean and international law, and complicated issues of quantum principles in damages.

In court litigation, Rai has taken on several groundbreaking cases. He is currently representing a group of 377 claimants in a $65m representative action against Terraform Labs, once one of the world’s biggest and most infamous cryptocurrency operators. This is the first representative action of its kind involving cryptocurrency in Singapore and involves novel aspects of product liability, misrepresentation, and fraud.

Another notable case is Rai’s representation of The Wave Studio in a copyright infringement suit against the General Hotel Management group. At both trial and appeal (where he went up against two separate senior counsels), he successfully established that GHM had infringed The Wave Studio’s copyright in hundreds of photographs.

Recognised for his exceptional skill in advocacy and sophisticated legal acumen, Rai received the prestigious Joseph Grimberg Outstanding Young Advocate Award – a prize awarded to the most talented young lawyers in Singapore who have demonstrated outstanding qualities in their professional work and ethical standards. His wealth of experience, strategic approach, and ability to handle complicated and multifaceted disputes make him the first port of call for clients facing crisis or distress situations.

 

Alan Tsui Ming Lun
partner, Jun He Law Offices

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With a strong focus on dispute resolution, bankruptcy, reorganisation, liquidation, and labour and employment matters, Alan Tsui Ming Lun has garnered a reputation for his exceptional legal expertise and client-centred approach.

Tsui has successfully represented several clients in complex and high-stakes cases throughout his career. He has provided strategic guidance and effective representation to senior executives, directors, shareholders, and companies across various industries.

One of Tsui’s notable achievements includes representing former directors and shareholders of a Hong Kong liquidated company in settling offshore debts of over $2.3 billion, thereby avoiding private claims against them. He has also successfully represented creditors of a Hong Kong-listed company in winding-up proceedings, competing for assets to repay debts and providing legal advice on debt restructuring plans.

Tsui negotiated cross-border loan payments and repayments with a sizeable domestic shipbuilding company on behalf of a major bank in China. He has also represented a Chinese land opera-tor in an arbitration against an overseas bank and other parties involving a dispute over the purchase and development of land valued at approximately 207 million renminbi ($28 million).

Tsui is also recognised for his expertise in defending individuals facing misconduct allegations. He is currently representing a senior executive of a Nasdaq-listed company in an investigation by the company’s liquidator, diligently protecting the individual’s rights and interests.

Tsui’s commitment to personalised client service is a cornerstone of his practice. He believes in building strong client relationships based on trust and open communication. By actively listening to their concerns and understanding their unique goals, he develops tailored strategies that address their needs. His comprehensive case analysis, proactive communication, and collaborative approach ensure that clients are well informed and involved throughout the legal process.

 

Jimmy Yim, SC
chairman, Drew & Napier

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Jimmy Yim, SC is the chairman of Drew & Napier and was the managing director of Singapore’s most celebrated dispute resolution practice group for 15 years. With an impressive legal career spanning nearly four decades, Yim has earned a reputation as a leading expert in dispute resolution, arbitration, and litigation. His expertise extends to various practice areas, including infrastructure and construction, investigations and crisis management, and telecommunications, media, and technology.

One of Jimmy’s notable cases involves his representation of Wang Xiaopu, a wealthy PRC individual, against Dr Goh Seng Heng and subsequently against his family members, to chase a S$40 million claim ($28.50 million). The cases began in 2015 and were fought through 2023 involving fraudulent misrepresentation in an investment deal. Yim, alongside his team, has successfully navigated the legal complexities of the case, securing a favourable judgment from the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal and subsequently pursuing the fruits of the litigation through the family assets, which Yim argued were fraudulently disposed of by Dr Goh to evade creditors.

In addition to his expertise in commercial litigation, Yim has extensive experience in arbitration matters. He represents clients such as DyStar Global Holdings, a prominent dye company, and Daelim Industrial Company, one of Korea’s leading chaebols. In the case of DyStar, Yim and his team have achieved significant victories before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), High Court and the Singapore Court of Appeal.

In Daelim Industrial’s case, Yim’s expertise in cross-border construction deals and arbitration has been instrumental. Despite a decade-long arbitration process and multiple court applications, Yim’s strategic approach and strong advocacy have resulted in a favourable outcome for his client. Daelim’s liability for damages has been significantly reduced to nominal damages of approximately $6,661.

Throughout his career, Jimmy Yim has demonstrated exceptional legal acumen, complete commitment to client’s causes and a deep understanding of complex disputes. He is highly regarded for his ability to handle high-value and technically challenging cases, including those involving energy projects, fraud investigations, and joint-venture contracts. His expertise and track record of success have earned him recognition in all prominent legal publications.

 

 

 

ALB SUPER 50 DISPUTES LAWYER 2023

Kapil Arora
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, India

Purvi Asher
Mansukhlal Hiralal & Co, India

Ajay Bhargava
Khaitan & Co, India

Vanita Bhargava
Khaitan & Co, India

Shweta Bharti
Hammurabi & Solomon Partners, India

Baldev Bhinder
Blackstone & Gold, Singapore

Huai Yuan Chia
Dentons Rodyk & Davidson, Singapore

Anna (Wan Kei) Chan
Oldham, Li & Nie, Hong Kong

Leng Sun Chan, SC
Duxton Hill Chambers, Singapore

Yee Leong Chong
Allen & Gledhill, Singapore

Thawat Damsa-Ard
Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand

Phisit Dejchaiyasak
Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners, Thailand

Dinesh Dhillon
Allen & Gledhill, Singapore

Romi Emirat
Soemadipradja & Taher Law Firm, Indonesia

Dominic Geiser
Latham & Watkins, Hong Kong

Tri Hartanto
SIP Law Firm, Indonesia

Rahayu Hoed
Makarim & Taira S., Indonesia

Pheo M. Hutabarat
HHR Lawyers, Indonesia

Ish Jain
Regius Legal, India

Jason Karas
Karas So, Hong Kong

Sangchul Kim
Bae, Kim & Lee, South Korea

Rakesh Kirpalani
Drew & Napier, Singapore

James Kwan
Hogan Lovells, Hong Kong

Winston Kwek
Rajah&Tann, Singapore

Philip Kwok
JunHe, Hong Kong

 

Chee Wee Lim
Lim Chee Wee Partnership, Malaysia

Edward Liu
Haiwen & Partners, Hong Kong

Net Le
LNT & Partners, Vietnam

Stephen Le
Le & Tran, Vietnam

Lance B. Lee
Dentons Lee, South Korea Byung Chang Lee
DR & AJU, South Korea

Pamela Mak
Tanner De Witt, Hong Kong

Adam Maniam
Drew & Napier, Singapore

Bobby Christianto Manurung
Altruist Lawyers, Indonesia

Lars Markert
Nishimura & Asahi, Japan

Mulyadi
Nurjadin Sumono Mulyadi & Partners, Indonesia

Manan Sanghai
Synlitigators, India

Melati Siregar
UMBRA, Indonesia

Naresh Thacker
Economic Laws Practice, India

Philip Teoh
Azmi & Associates, Malaysia

Mahesh Rai
Drew & Napier, Singapore

Joel Richardson
Kim & Chang, South Korea

Suraphon Rittipongchusit
Siam Premier International Law Office, Thailand

Walter Silvester
Silvester Legal, Singapore

Somboon Sangrungjang
Kudun & Partners, Thailand

Alan Tsui Ming Lun
JunHe, Hong Kong

Sheng Rong Tng
Rajah&Tann, Singapore

Kunal Vajani
Fox & Mandal, India

Jimmy Yim, SC
Drew & Napier, Singapore

Peter Yuen
Fangda Partners, Hong Kong

 

METHODOLOGY

       Lawyers were selected based on client feedback sent directly to Asian Legal Business between March and April 2023.

       The work of the lawyers nominated, and the commercial standing of the clients’ making recommendations were taken into account during evaluation.

       Over 700 in-house counsels across 11 jurisdictions in Asia and overseas sent in recommendations for this list.

 

TO CONTACT EDITORIAL TEAM, PLEASE EMAIL ALBEDITOR@THOMSONREUTERS.COM

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