Against a dynamic and rapidly evolving business landscape, dealmaking in Asia in the current year has been marked by resilience, innovation, and a strategic response to the challenges presented by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The region has continued to play a pivotal role in the global economy, with transaction lawyers navigating a complex terrain of geopolitical shifts and regulatory developments.
In this edition’s section dedicated to “Dealmakers of Asia 2023, we’d be delighted to showcase lawyers who have particularly stood out as top dealmakers this year. These legal trailblazers have demonstrated exceptional adaptability and strategic foresight in navigating the complexities of the current economic realm. The surge in cross-border deals, particularly in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector, project finance, and foreign direct investment (FDI), underscores the dynamic nature of dealmaking in Asia. Businesses are strategically positioning themselves to capitalize on growth opportunities and overcome challenges posed by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fueled by the three-year epidemic, certain enterprises are encountering difficulties in adhering to their commitments regarding the listing timetable. Simultaneously, investment institutions face pressures related to fund maturity and potential disputes with portfolio companies. In response to these challenges, dealmakers are strategically engaging dispute resolution teams to seek advice and assist clients in achieving their negotiation goals. These dynamics underscore the adaptability and strategic foresight of dealmakers in navigating a landscape affected by external pressures, ensuring that businesses can overcome hurdles and continue to thrive in the evolving market conditions.
Tel: (62) 21 250 5001
Emir Nurmansyah, a seasoned legal expert, has spent over 30 years crafting an illustrious career that places him among Indonesia’s most respected and versatile lawyers. As the senior partner and chairman of ABNR Counsellors at Law’s Management Committee, Nurmansyah’s leadership has been instrumental in steering the ﬁrm for the past 12 years, managing a team of 115 fee earners and approximately 40 support staff.
His multifaceted expertise extends beyond those leadership roles. Holding a law degree from the University of Indonesia and an LL.M. in international transactions from Bond University, Australia, Nurmansyah’s academic background complements his illustrious career, further solidifying his standing as a distinguished legal professional.
Nurmansyah’s prowess spans diverse legal domains, with a focus on project ﬁnance, banking, corporate and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and foreign direct investment (FDI). His extensive experience extends to restructuring & insolvency, shipping, aviation, and technology, media & telecommunications (TMT).
In the realm of project ﬁnance, Nurmansyah recently led the ABNR team in a landmark $711 million ﬁnancing deal for the Hyundai Mobis Consortium’s electric vehicle battery manufacturing project in Karawang, Indonesia. Advising Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) as the syndication lead lender, Nurmansyah demonstrated strategic acumen in navigating the complexities of the transaction involving Korean sponsors LG Energy Solution, Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Motor Company, and Kia Motor Company.
Another feather in Nurmansyah’s cap is his leadership in Hormel Foods’ $457 million acquisition of a 29 percent minority interest in PT Garudafood Putra Putri Jaya. This intricate deal involving a Fortune 500 global branded food company displayed his ability to align diverse commercial interests and structure transactions to avoid complications, solidifying his reputation as a dealmaker.
In the realm of aviation law, Nurmansyah’s recent accomplishments highlight his strategic counsel in complex transactions. Notably, he represented lenders such as BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, and Societe Generale in a signiﬁcant military aircraft ﬁnancing deal with the Indonesian government. This involved the purchase of six Rafale military aircraft from France’s Dassault Aviation, marking the initial phase of a larger agreement to source 42 aircraft over the coming years. Nurmansyah’s role underscores his adept handling of highstakes negotiations involving multiple stakeholders and intricate legal considerations.
Nurmansyah’s aviation portfolio also includes advising BNP Paribas on the Indonesian aspects of a $100 million loan to Wafu Aviation Designated Activity Company, based in Ireland. This transaction aimed to partially reﬁnance the acquisition of ﬁve aircraft. His involvement in diverse mandates, such as representing Waypoint Leasing in the sale of four helicopters post-bankruptcy protection ﬁling, highlights Nurmansyah’s versatility in navigating the complexities of aviation transactions.
The international scope of Nurmansyah’s practice is further exempliﬁed by his role in assisting Marathon Aviation Fund, LP, in the Indonesian aspects of the purchase, novation, and ﬁnancing of aircraft from Aircastle. Additionally, he provided counsel to BNP Paribas Group and ING in the Indonesian aspects of reﬁnancing undertaken by an Irish borrower, a subsidiary of ICBCIL Aviation, involving multiple aircraft.
Nurmansyah’s contributions to the legal landscape have garnered widespread recognition.
Nurmansyah clinched the title of “Indonesia Deal Maker of the Year” for two consecutive years at the Asian Legal Business (ALB) Indonesia Law Awards in 2018 and 2019.
Nurmansyah’s journey is not just a testament to legal excellence but also a narrative of leadership, innovation, and strategic brilliance that continues to shape Indonesia’s legal landscape. As he forges ahead, his impact resonates not only within ABNR but across the legal community, solidifying his legacy as a trailblazer in Indonesian law.
Pramudya A. Oktavinanda
Can you highlight standout deals or projects from the past year that contributed to your recognition as Dealmaker of the Year?
One of the standout deals contributing to my recognition as Dealmaker of the Year was the IDR53 trillion spin-off of Indihome’s consumer broadband business from Telkom to Telkomsel, creating the ﬁrst ever Fixed Mobile Convergence system in Indonesia.
Our team played a crucial role in this deal, practically the most challenging part, as we assist Telkom in the structuring, drafting and negotiation of transaction documents for the assignment of more than 2,000 contracts with third-party vendors and strategic partners related to Indihome’s internet consumer business and around 8 million of Indihome consumers, making it the largest asset M&A deal in Indonesia’s history. The success of this complex spin-off and restructuring transaction was recognized as Indonesia’s 2023 M&A Deal of the Year at ALB Indonesia Law Award and highlights our commitment to ensuring a smooth transition of these crucial businesses to Telkomsel while managing relationships with Telkom’s customers and vendors.
How do you stay ahead of industry trends and stay agile in Indonesia’s dynamic M&A landscape?
By getting things done for our clients! You will be surprised to hear that I have encountered so many clients who explained that most lawyers are often acting like “no police”, good at issues spotting but terrible at problem solving. This is regrettable.
Our commitment to ‘gets things done’ is not just an empty slogan but a guiding principle in all of our actions to help our clients solving their toughest problem in the most efﬁcient manner.
One way to achieve that goal is by maintaining open lines of communication and fostering strong relationships with the clients, allowing us to gain valuable insights into the speciﬁc demands of our clients and the broader market. This client-centric focus also enables us to anticipate industry trends, identify emerging opportunities, and respond swiftly to changes in the M&A landscape.
What strategies do you use to foster trust with clients? Can you share an instance where your client engagement skills played a crucial role in a successful deal?
To build trust with clients, we prioritize transparent communication, consistent demonstration of expertise, and most importantly, long-term loyalty and dedication. We want to make sure that clients understand that we are here to stay because that is the best way of running a mutually beneﬁcial relationship. Our strong ties with government ofﬁcials and state-owned enterprises also help a lot in building trust with private enterprises, as they position us as a trusted intermediary capable of navigating the complex business landscape in Indonesia.
In a key instance, faced with a deadlock for almost two years before our involvement, our close relationships with multiple important stakeholders allowed us to facilitate communication and trust among them. This not only broke the impasse but streamlined negotiations, turning a seemingly insurmountable challenge into a successful multibillion dollar project ﬁnancing deal. Our ability to connect parties and navigate regulations proved essential in fostering trust and achieving positive outcomes for our clients.
Reflecting on the past year, how did effective teamwork within your legal team contribute to positive outcomes for your clients?
We are one of the ﬁrms in Indonesia that take specialization seriously as we want to make sure that our clients always get the right lawyer with the right expertise. With legal specialists in various ﬁeld of industry, we approach deals and cases comprehensively, ensuring a diverse perspective yet united in terms of goal. Our open communication channels among team members also facilitate the seamless exchange of information and ideas, empowering each of our lawyers to contribute their unique insights for the beneﬁt of our clients.
I sincerely believe that we owe our exponential growth in the past six years to the above commitment as it enables us to tackle challenges strategically, providing clients with tailored and strategic legal solutions at all times.
With twenty years of experience, Yu Piao, the senior partner of Tian Yuan Law Firm, is well versed in the ﬁeld of law services in China’s capital market, displaying extensive knowledge in comprehensive services for private ﬁnancing, direct investment, M&A, restructuring, compliance, and securities issuance,. She focuses on industries such as production and living services, hightech, TMT, education, new energy etc., completing dozens of full-process projects. Since the issuance of the Cybersecurity Review Measures and the Trial Administrative Measures of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies, Yu has led her team to actively assist clients in carrying out pioneering work, maintaining communication with the reviewers, accumulating practical experience under regulatory changes, and becoming one of the teams who have been active in the Hong Kong and U.S. stock capital markets for a long term.
In a year marked by extremely uncertain, thanks to her years of accumulated professional experience and seamless cooperation with other experts, Yu led her team to assist clients in completing multiple transactions. Serving as the buy-side counsel, she assisted A-share listed company, Jia Man Apparel, in the acquisition of IP assets held by Wolverine Worldwide’s Hush Puppies brand in Greater China and the legal work related to the post-merger integration. Jia Man Apparel has expanded its operation including “Water Child” among other high-end children’s brands from design development, promotion, to supply chain management and sales, etc. Through this IP asset acquisition, Yu along with her team assisted Jia Man Apparel to expand its own brand camp helping it to achieve differentiated development strategies and multi-channel market layouts.
Also serving as the buy-side counsel for a property asset management group of companies, Yu led her team in the acquisition of the entire equity and debt of CapitalRetail Beijing Shuangjing Real Estate and CapitalMall Shuangjing, which were held by CapitaLand China Trust, a Singapore-listed REIT. CapitaMall Shuangjing is a shopping mall with more than four retail levels located near the most prosperous location in the East Third Ring Road in Beijing. Yu also acted as a sell-side counsel assisting a leading company in a niche market being sold entirety to a large new home service platform with the transaction scale over $200 million. In these cross-border or time-consuming complex transactions, Yu along with her team provided comprehensive legal services including legal due diligence investigations, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, taxation, foreign exchange compliance, and anti-monopoly, etc.
Under the combination of various factors such as the three-year epidemic, some enterprises are struggling to fulﬁll their commitment regarding the listing timetable, while some investment institutions are facing pressure on fund maturity and potential disputes with portfolio companies. Yu chooses to bring in Tian Yuan’s dispute resolution team at the appropriate time for clients to seek advice and assists the clients in reaching their negotiation goals. Moreover, Yu continues serving Fortune 500 companies and multiple listed companies providing prudent compliance reviews, transaction processing, and post-investment management-related legal support for their industrial investment.
Yu is one among lead ﬁgures in Tian Yuan, providing Chinese law services concerning overseas listing. Her subject-matter expertise in both corporate M&A, high-tech, new economy and varies other industries, has led her to formal recognition as one of the best lawyers in the capital market for long term period. She was named ALB’s Top 15 M&A Lawyers in year 2018. She was named Recommended individual by Chambers Asia Paciﬁc and Chambers Global from 2019 to 2023. She was also nominated as the Dealmakers of the Year at the ALB China Law Awards 2023.
As a lawyer who has been practicing law for more than 20 years, Yu has a rare sensitivity and interest in learning about the emerging market and is willing to continue to forge ahead with her team. She is driven by her curiosity about new things and the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction she can get when she uses her expertise, knowledge and information to achieve success for her clients.
Luky I. Walalangi
Tel: (62) 21 50808600
In the heart of Indonesia’s legal arena stands Luky I. Walalangi, a luminary figure at Walalangi & Partners (in association with Nishimura & Asahi) (“W&P”), who has just won the Managing Partner of the Year of 2023 at ALB Indonesia Law Award 2023. With over 20 years of legal acumen, Walalangi has become synonymous with corporate and M&A expertise, making indelible marks in the industry.
Throughout his ﬁve-and-a-half years as managing partner, Walalangi has overseen a dynamic team of 30 lawyers and 24 non-lawyers. Under his effective leadership, the ﬁrm has emerged as a powerhouse, recognized by the legal sector, consistently demonstrated outstanding commitment, and innovation in the legal industry. The ﬁrm has developed a strong reputation for delivering tailored solutions, responsive communication, and timely resolution of legal matters, ensuring clients’ satisfaction. His ability to navigate intricate legal landscapes and provide effective solutions for clients has made him highly sought after in the industry. He continues to be a key ﬁgure in shaping the landscape of corporate law and deals in the country.
Walalangi’s strategic vision has propelled the ﬁrm to new heights, displaying excellence in corporate and M&A, real estate, banking and ﬁnancing, competition and antitrust, and ﬁntech legal area. For this reason, he has attracted big premium clients to trust W&P for cross-border and sophisticated matters. The ﬁrm has not only become a top player in the Indonesian corporate law landscape but has also contributed to broader social change by setting an example in the industry. In addition, Walalangi’s commitment to excellence has earned him not only accolades but also a close afﬁliation with the biggest law ﬁrm in Japan, Nishimura & Asahi in 2018.
A testament to Walalangi’s prowess is his pivotal role as lead counsel in the landmark acquisition deal for Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. Walalangi orchestrated the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares of 85 percent shares of PT Home Credit Indonesia, subsidiaries of Home Credit B.V. Walalangi’s strategic involvement encompasses structuring the transaction, negotiations and ensuring a smooth closing process, highlighting his adept handling of complex cross-border transactions.
His ability to negotiate effectively and foster mutually beneﬁcial agreements has made him a trusted advisor to multinational clients from various industries, including Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi Corporation, MUFG, Google, Mitsui, Indonesia Investment Authority, SMBC, INPEX and Roblox.
Clients and counterparts alike commend Walalangi for his exceptional negotiation skills, renowned for providing practical solutions to intricate challenges. His communication prowess, coupled with meticulous preparation and an empathetic approach, distinguishes him in the competitive legal landscape. Integrity remains a cornerstone of his practice, building trust that underpins successful deals. As quoted from a multinational company “Pak Luky strikes us as an assuming, thoughtful, reliable and his real superpower is his team. I can feel a sense of positivity like no other within the ﬁrm. As a client who can be very demanding, to receive such outstanding results consistently from W&P I believe requires handwork, collaboration and a leader that can understand and inspire its team. Pak Luky, I would very thankfully say is the ‘Greatest Showman’”.
Beyond accolades and awards, Walalangi stands out as a seasoned lawyer orchestrating intricate legal symphonies. His dedication to staying ahead of legal trends and market dynamics is reﬂected in his ﬁrm’s continuous recognition across diverse legal categories.
Clients highlight Walalangi’s effectiveness in providing thorough advice and well-balanced solutions. This reﬂects his comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape and an ability to navigate complex situations to the satisfaction of all parties involved. Walalangi’s impact on the Indonesian legal landscape is not merely a result of his achievements but a testament to his dedication, tenacity, and strategic brilliance, shaping the future of corporate law in Indonesia. Chambers & Partners quotes “Characterized by his strong commitment and responsiveness to clients’ needs, deep and clear understanding of Indonesian corporate legal practices and a wide range of solutions”.