14 from S'pore among Asia's top 40 young lawyers

SINGAPORE - An inaugural list of 40 of Asia's brightest young lawyers is dominated by Singapore-based hot shots.

Fourteen of the "Forty Under Forty - Asia's Brightest Young Legal Minds", published last month in Asian Legal Business magazine, are based in the Republic, either with local or offshore firms.

They include City Harvest defence lawyer Paul Seah, 35, and high-fliers like Ms Koh Swee Yen, 34, and Mr Jaikanth Shankar, 35, from WongPartnership and Drew & Napier, respectively.

Submissions were made in July and lawyers across Asia could be nominated, although not those in Australasia or China.

Others on the list came from cities including Hong Kong, Jakarta and Seoul.

The 40 lawyers made the cut based on quality and complexity of work, career achievements, as well as recommendations from clients.

They included law firm partner Mr Seah, who defended former City Harvest Church finance manager Sharon Tan in the recently concluded trial, one of the longest high-profile white-collar crime cases in Singapore.

His main work area is civil and commercial disputes but he also specialises in insolvency and restructuring work and has represented a wide range of clients in high-profile cases.

"I am very encouraged to have received this recognition, but a lot of the credit goes to the sterling litigation team in Tan Kok Quan Partnership," he said yesterday. "Clients often look at how effective a team is rather than an individual lawyer, and the accolade is really a reflection of how good our team is."

Ms Koh, who has a slew of heavyweight cases under her belt, was praised for her "keen sense of strategy" and "great ability to quickly grasp her clients' perspective and understand their commercial issues". She was recently involved in representing foreign investors in proceedings related to investment treaty arbitrations with a claim of more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) involved.

Ms Koh, who graduated from the National University of Singapore with first-class honours, was also featured in the Legal Media Group's "Rising Stars 2015" publication, a global legal resource for buyers of legal services.

Separately, Singaporean Jacqueline Chan was rated one of the most influential private-equity lawyers around the world under 40 earlier this month by Private Funds Management, which publishes a monthly magazine.

Ms Chan, a partner in the Singapore office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, has represented many of the largest private-equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, corporates, leading banks and financial institutions.

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