Singapore’s Rajah & Tann reshuffles leadership team as firm looks to the future

Shake-up is intended to give younger partners more input into how the firm is run
A photo of Kelvin Poon and Kim Beng Ng

Kelvin Poon (left) and Kim Beng Ng are promoted to joint deputy managing partners

Singapore firm Rajah & Tann has reshuffled its leadership team and refreshed its practice group heads as it seeks to groom the next generation of leaders and give younger partners a greater say in the firm’s direction.

Arbitration partners Kim Beng Ng and Kelvin Poon step up to become joint deputy managing partners, replacing Rebecca Chew, who has been in the post since 2016.

Ng, who specialises in construction, projects and infrastructure disputes, will work closely with Poon, who heads the arbitration practice and the firm’s South Asia desk, reflecting the firm’s expansion across the region. In addition to its Singapore headquarters, it has offices in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines.

Chew will now head the Rajah & Tann Foundation, which oversees the firm’s corporate social responsibility programme, alongside her existing role co-leading the firm’s Chinese investment practice.

Four partners have been promoted to the firm’s executive committee alongside Ng and Poon, including insolvency partner Sim Kwan Kiat, M&A lawyer Tracy Ang, private client expert Vikna Rajah and head of its Japanese desk Shuhei Otsuka. The executive committee is chaired by managing partner Patrick Ang, who begins his second term as managing partner.

Meantime, litigator Adrian Wong succeeds Leong Kah Wah as head of disputes, while Vikram Nair takes over from Wong as deputy head. Abdul Jabbar continues to lead the corporate department, with Sandy Foo promoted to join Evelyn Wee as co-deputy head.

Other leadership roles were allotted to partners in specialist practice groups within the corporate and dispute departments, with 13 partners given new mandates in corporate and 12 in disputes.

Ang said: “Rajah & Tann has a culture of embracing change and having each generation of partners investing in and building the firm for the next generation. The appointments today are the fruits of the labour put in by the firm’s more experienced partners who have selflessly nurtured their younger colleagues.”

He added: “The new practice and sector leadership comprises partners in their 40s who are able to inspire their colleagues towards shared goals, most important of which is to deliver consistently high levels of service to clients.”

The firm announced a 12-partner promotion round across its Asian network to equity partnership in January, four of them female. A further 20 partners were promoted to salaried partner level, of which eight were female.

Also in January, two female capital markets lawyers Annette Soh and Daphne Lam joined Rajah & Tann’s Malaysian affiliate Christopher Ong & Co as partners from Azman Davidson & Co. 

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