GRR 100 2017

WongPartnership

WongPartnership

Professional notice

The Singaporean firm was counsel to a Japanese trustee in a landmark recognition action before a Singapore court in 2016

Global heads of restructuring and insolvencyManoj Sandrasegara, Sean Yu Chou, Choon Yuen Hu
Partners in restructuring team7
Restructuring lawyers in Who’s Who Legal1
Active cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters33
Total billable hours of the group:5,100

History of the practice

WongPartnership began handling cross-border insolvencies with the Singapore-centred collapse of marine salvage company Pan-Electric Industries in 1985. Along with the rest of the firm, its insolvency team merged with Clifford Chance in the 1990s, dividing again in 2008 when the magic circle firm secured its own licence to practice in the city state.

Although the firm lost partner Nish Shetty in the split, WongPartnership has made up numbers, taking on several leading names, including current division head Manoj Sandrasegara from Drew & Napier in 2010.

Network

The firm’s seven-partner-strong insolvency practice operates from a single office in downtown Singapore.

Who uses it?

WongPartnership’s client base includes numerous oil and gas companies, such as Swiber, Technics Oil & Gas and EMAS Chiyoda Subsea, along with affiliates to Indonesia’s Bumi Resources. Rumbles in the shipping sphere have also given the firm a strong foothold in the sector, with Korean shipper STX Pan Ocean and Altus Shipping using it as counsel.

Historic track record

In the mid-1980s, WongPartnership navigated a three-day trading halt of the Singaporean and Malay stock exchanges triggered by the collapse the aforementioned Pan-Electric. That case brought about significant changes to regulations in the securities industry in Singapore.

Partners from the firm also completed work related to the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, namely on issues arising from the default of a series of structured financial notes called Minibond that the bank had issued in Hong Kong and Singapore. They represented Singaporean asset manager TT International through a US$400 million restructure, as well as a Singaporean arm of HSBC, and receivers in Minibond matters.

Recent events

As counsel to the Hong Kong branches of two major financiers, WongPartnership successfully argued against the imposition of a worldwide moratorium by Singaporean courts in the collapse of Chinese Industrial fishing company Pacific Andes Resources Development, in September. With a worldwide moratorium blocked, the group’s parent company dropped its plans for a Singaporean scheme of arrangement and moved to join other affiliates in a Chapter 11 action in the US.

The firm also acted as counsel to a Japanese trustee in the landmark case Opti-Medix Ltd (in liquidation), which saw the Singaporean Supreme Court agree to recognise the liquidation of BVI-incorporated medical companies, affirming for the first time that bankruptcy proceedings in a company’s centre of main interests, but outside its place of incorporation, can be recognised in the city-state.

WongPartnership has a leading Restructuring & Insolvency Practice comprising of practitioners from Tier 1 ranked corporate and disputes practices. We have been at the forefront of developments to shape Singapore’s restructuring and insolvency laws, including representation on the Insolvency Law Review Committee and Committee to Strengthen Singapore as an International Centre for Debt Restructuring (2016).

Working for public and private clients with global interests, we structure multi-jurisdictional solutions to complex corporate and debt restructurings.

We advise buyers and sellers in distressed mergers and acquisitions, and issuers and investors in securities offerings relating to corporate insolvencies. We have been sought for our expertise in many high-profile out-of-court restructurings, where we advise holders of distressed investments on the practical and commercial strategies of managing their exposure to insolvency administration and implementing successful rescue attempts.

One of our greatest strengths is our ability to draw on the wealth of expertise in our other specialised practices. This enables the team to provide global and commercially feasible solutions within a legally sound framework.

We are a full service law firm headquartered in Singapore with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Yangon, and in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur (through associate firms).  

WongPartnership is proud to be listed in the inaugural edition of the Global Restructuring Review and among the Top 30 of the world's leading restructuring & insolvency firms.

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