21 September 2020

Singapore's Oon & Bazul hires partner duo as it eyes M&A uptick

Ng Yi Wayn and Keith Han

Ng Yi Wayn and Keith Han

Ng Yi Wayn and Keith Han join from RHTLaw Asia and Clifford Chance Asia respectively

Singapore firm Oon & Bazul has made two new partner hires as it seeks to expand its corporate practice and restructuring team in preparation for the potential commercial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Corporate partner Ng Yi Wayn joined this month from RHTLaw Asia, where she was a partner, following the arrival of restructuring and insolvency partner Keith Han from Clifford Chance Asia in July. They boost the firm's partner count to 14.

Ng brings with her eight years of experience at RHTLaw advising on domestic and cross-border M&A, as well share disposals and other equity capital market deals. Han, meantime, arrives after almost seven years at Clifford Chance Asia—an alliance between Clifford Chance and Singapore firm Cavenagh Law—where he was a senior associate. He brings with him expertise in commercial disputes, debt restructuring and insolvency situations.

Bazul Ashhab, Oon & Bazul’s managing partner and head of dispute resolution, said: “Yi Wayn’s and Keith’s hire reflects our firm’s ambition to strengthen our bandwidth and continue to secure talent when it becomes available.”

The firm is expecting to see an increase in M&A activity given the potential rise in distressed assets over the coming months.

Bazul added: “We are certain that Singapore will continue to work very hard to overcome the unprecedented difficulty of dealing with the virus, and will continue to maintain its stature as a safe place to do business. Our confidence level is enhanced by the enquires we have received in our private wealth practice on the prospect of acquiring cash-strapped companies.”

Han, who was also previously a law clerk and assistant registrar in Singapore’s supreme court, said he expected the amount of restructuring, insolvency and disputes work to pick up significantly given the economic environment and Singapore’s ambition become a debt restructuring hub.

He added that Oon & Bazul’s status as a "conflict-free law firm" meant it was well positioned to take advantage of this trend.

Earlier this month, the Singapore Convention on Mediation came into force as the city state seeks to promote itself as a venue for commercial dispute resolutions for those not wishing to pursue litigation or arbitration proceedings.

Elsewhere in Singapore, King & Spalding hired senior energy partners Anthony Patten and Lachlan Clancy from Shearman & Sterling. Patten will remain in Singapore, with Clancy expected to move to the firm’s Tokyo office at the end of this month.

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