GRR 100 2018

Allen & Gledhill

Professional notice

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

Global head of restructuring and insolvencyEdwin Tong SC
Partners in restructuring team4
Restructuring lawyers in Who's Who Legal3

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.


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.

Allen & Gledhill is an award-winning full-service South-east Asian law firm. Together with our associate firm, Rahmat Lim & Partners in Malaysia and office in Myanmar, we have over 450 lawyers in the region, making it one of the largest law firms in South-east Asia.

Over 110 years old, our Firm is firmly established as a market and thought leader in Singapore and South-east Asia. We provide legal services to a wide range of premier clients, including local and multinational corporations and financial institutions. They seek us out to act in challenging, complex and significant deals, many of which are first of its kind.

Our Firm’s reputation for high-quality advice is regularly affirmed and recognised by strong rankings in leading publications, and by the various awards and accolades it has received from independent commentators and clients.

Our Restructuring & Insolvency practice

We are a top tier restructuring and insolvency practice. We assist clients on complex domestic and cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters, including banking and financial markets, corporate and commercial, hospitality, manufacturing, maritime and aviation, real estate, structured finance and tax and fraud.

Our unique offering is that our practice comprises lawyers from our disputes, mergers and acquisitions, banking and corporate and other practices. Our work seamlessly integrates the specialist expertise of other top tier practices of our Firm, including structured finance, banking, financial markets, real estate, tax, fraud investigations, shipping, and construction.  

The depth and breadth of our capabilities and our ability to draw on cross-discipline know-how enables us to anticipate issues, think laterally and provide quick and coordinated responses arising from any insolvency issues. Our clients are therefore assured of seamless access to premium legal services in all practice areas which are relevant to a successful work out or restructuring.  

Our extensive experience and fully-integrated structure enable us to be at the forefront of landmark complex restructurings in Singapore and the region such as those relating to Berau Group, Borders Group, China Fishery Group, Eastman Kodak Company, Ezra Holdings, Falcon Energy Group, Gibson Guitars, Jurong Aromatics Corporation, Marco Polo Group, Otto Marine, Parakou Shipping, PT Berlian Laju Tanker, Sembawang Engineers and Contractors Pte Ltd, Swiber, Swissco, To The New Ventures Pte Ltd and TT International Ltd.

Awards and Industry Recognition: Firm-wide

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018: Singapore National Law Firm of the Year
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018:
    1. Highest number of Band 1 rankings (13 practice areas) among Singapore law firms
    2. Largest number of Leading Lawyers among Singapore law firms (54 ranked lawyers and 21 Band 1 individuals)
  • IFLR Asia Awards 2018:
    1. Most Innovative National Firm of the Year (Singapore). Allen & Gledhill has won this award 17 times since 2000
    2. Regional Law Firm of the Year. Allen & Gledhill has won this award for the third time
    3. Most Innovative National Firm of the Year (Myanmar), first time Allen & Gledhill has won the country law firm award for Myanmar
  • IFLR1000 2018:
    1. Tier 1 rankings across all Singapore practice areas covered, namely, Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, Corporate and M&A, Project Development and Restructuring and Insolvency
    2. Highest number of leading individuals among Singapore law firms (20 Partners)
  • The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018: Highest number of Tier 1 rankings (15 practices) among Singapore law firms
  • Who’s Who Legal Awards 2017: Singapore Firm of the Year for 11 times since 2006

Awards and Industry RecognitionRestructuring & Insolvency

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018:
    • Band 1
  • IFLR1000 2018:
    • Tier 1
  • The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018:
    • Tier 1

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