23 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2024 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM who, for decades, served as Managing Partner of the Singapore offices of two large international law firms. Consistently ranked in Chambers, Best Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation and Legal 500, Mr Mathew has been described by clients as “helming an arbitration practice par excellence”, with “first-rate” strategic acumen and “the ability to transcend borders and deal with clients from different cultures and backgrounds effectively”. Despite being established recently in 2020, the team has taken on numerous complex, high-value, contentious matters in a diverse range of industries (energy, fintech, banking, infrastructure, real estate, media, etc.), often going head-to-head with much larger law firms. Recent notable cases include a $145 million SIAC arbitration against a foreign State-owned entity for wrongful termination, a $60 million Singapore court action against an international bank for wrongful default on a letter of credit, a $11 million SIMC mediation with a global fintech company, and a Singapore court action under the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency on a foreign liquidator’s behalf. Prolegis Prolegis (which is in a Formal Law Alliance (FLA) with Herbert Smith Freehills) has embarked on a renewal spree. It added projects/infrastructure capability by hiring Adrian Wong in 2022 as the head of projects. Last year, it added Daniel Chia to launch its litigation practice: which now consists of litigation, regulatory and restructuring specialists. The expanded firm’s focus is on legal services arising from power, energy transition, new economy businesses, technology and navigating geopolitical uncertainties. This aligns with Singapore positioning as a hub for finance, international disputes and restructuring. Through the FLA, it provides clients a “one-stop” solution to their various legal needs and marries the best of both international know-how and infrastructure with local and regional expertise and experience. The firm’s present caseload reflects this: It advised on development of largescale data centres in India and presently represents several global and regional crypto-exchanges in cross-border restructuring and regulatory matters. It also has an active caseload in the Singapore International Commercial Courts - enforcement and challenging multimillion-dollar arbitral awards and litigating several banking dispute matters. Schellenberg Wittmer Schellenberg Wittmer is the only major Swiss law firm with an office in Singapore, distinguishing itself as the go-to partner for cross-border work with Switzerland and international arbitration matters in Singapore and the region. The firm practitioners cover key jurisdictions and markets in the AsiaPacific region, assisting clients with both inbound and outbound investments. They assist Swiss and European clients with their investments and projects in Asia and advise Asian clients on all legal, tax and regulatory aspects, focusing on key areas such as financial services, real estate, information technology and luxury brands. Our team also acts in disputes of all types and magnitude, including complex multi-jurisdictional commercial, investment and sports disputes. With substantial cross-border experience, the firm routinely leads and participates in major international projects. Schellenberg Wittmer excels in establishing and coordinating international teams of legal advisors to handle complex matters with a minimum of delay. The new managing director of the Singapore office Julie Raneda specializes in arbitration. The firm’s arbitration practice is best known for being one of very few civil law jurisdiction-based firms offering first-tier arbitration services in the field of civil law, whereas other local and international firms have a commonlaw focus or do not focus on international arbitration. This is key to the many Asian clients involved in arbitrations in Switzerland. Swiss law ranks among the top three choices for international commercial contracts, and Switzerland holds a prominent position globally for arbitration, thanks to its renowned neutrality and pro-arbitration legal framework. Venture Law Venture Law has had a tremendous start from inception. From the end of 2022 when it was formed to 2023, the firm advised on the establishment and syndication of multiple funds; various debt and equity transactions and public and private M&A, including the de-SPAC of one of the listed SPACs on the Singapore Exchange. Venture Law’s strength is its deep expertise in transactional matters such as equity and debt fundraising, private and public M&A, fund formation and syndication and regulatory advice. Responding to incoming work, the firm has grown by tripling its headcount and plans further expansion. The firm believes clients expect value and thoughtful lawyering, which defines the firm’s philosophy of providing the depth of attention, experience and commercial acumen associated with partner or senior-level lawyering. The team is led by Lock Yin Mei, a veteran with decades of experience in public equity, debt and hybrid fundraising, public and private M&A, fund formation and regulatory advice. The other senior lawyers of the firm, Yang Kai Hsien (public and private M&A, capital markets and regulatory advice), Jeremy Teh (funds, M&A and capital markets), Wong Wei Ling (regulatory, funds and capital markets) and Edwin Ng (banking and finance), are all key members of the team, each leveraging on more than a decade of experience to provide the best advice. SINGAPORE FIRMS TO WATCH 2024 Julie Raneda Daniel Chia