Global Restructuring Review - Cross-border restructuring and insolvency legal news, features and events

GRR 100 2018

Allen & Gledhill

04 May 2018

Won a set of favourable rulings in Singapore's courts in Pars Ram and Parakou

Global head of restructuring and insolvency Edwin Tong SC
Partners in restructuring team 4
Restructuring lawyers in Who's Who Legal 3

History of the practice

Established well over a century ago, Allen & Gledhill prides itself on being one of Singapore's oldest firms. Its insolvency division, fused with the firm's international arbitration and litigation practices, is a key player on the city-state's restructuring scene, with decades of experience in cross-border cases spanning the ASEAN region.

Partner Edwin Tong SC, who joined the firm in 1995 after his admission to the Singapore Bar and now heads the restructuring and insolvency practice, stands as an elected member of Parliament in Singapore, and has been a driving force in recent efforts to bolster its standing as a cross-border restructuring hub through legal reform. Other prominent partners are Andrew Chan and Edward Tiong.

Allen & Gledhill partners are also long-standing and active members of various insolvency institutions, including the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Singapore, the Law Society Insolvency Committee and the Turnaround Management Association of Singapore.

Network

Allen & Gledhill's restructuring partners practise from the firm's office in Singapore.

The firm has an association with Malaysian firm Rahmat Lim & Partners, which launched in 2010 and whose litigation department tackles Malaysian restructuring matters.

Who uses it?

The firm's books show a spread across several industries, with a fairly even split between creditor and debtor-side work. Clients in the energy sector include Singapore's Berau Coal Energy and its subsidiary, Berau Capital Resources, as well as offshore oil and gas company Ezra Holdings.

The firm has also risen to the challenge of managing pressures in the shipping industry, guiding the liquidators to Singaporean shipping companies Parakou and Glory Wealth, and the financiers to Indonesia's Berlian Laju through various stages of insolvency proceedings and several instances of knock-on litigation.

Historic track record

Alongside Berau and Ezra, some of the firm's most significant cases include acting on the cross-border collapse of Eastman Kodak Company, and as counsel to the financial adviser of Singaporean asset manager TT International.

Recent events

Allen & Gledhill continued its involvement with the Berau Group restructuring, appearing with Dentons Rodyk & Davidson for objecting noteholders against a proposed scheme of arrangement for bonds issued by Berau Coal Energy and Berau Capital Resources worth a total of US$950 million. In February, it won a ruling from the Singapore High Court dividing the creditors into two classes ahead of a meeting to approve the plan.

The firm represented the Bank of Baroda and Standard Chartered in proceedings relating to the insolvency of Singaporean food distributor Pars Ram, winning a dispute with another bank creditor, DBS, in March 2018 over how to distribute a commingled pepper stock that had been pledged to each bank as security. The firm successfully convinced the Singaporean court to support a rolling charge method over DBS' favoured pari passu process.

In Singapore's Court of Appeal the firm also sustained a favourable ruling it won for Parakou's liquidator last year, that the company's directors breached their fiduciary duties by selling a fleet of vessels to an affiliate shortly before the shipper became insolvent. The appeal court actually rejected the arguments the firm won at the High Court, but Allen & Gledhill convinced the court to come to the same conclusion on other grounds.