www.drewnapier.com

 

Firm Profile

 

 

Drew & Napier’s Competition Law Practice Group, established in 1999, is the oldest and largest dedicated competition law practice in Singapore. Established six years before the enactment of the Competition Act (Cap. 50B) in 2005, our experience has grown in tandem with the development of both national and sectoral competition laws in Singapore. We have also become the preferred competition law counsel of many regional companies, multinational corporations, associations and government bodies, and regularly assist them on competition matters in Singapore and ASEAN member countries. 
 
The Competition Law Practice Group, co-headed by Cavinder Bull, Senior Counsel, and Lim Chong Kin, comprises an experienced and highly qualified team who has handled competition law matters both generally under the Competition Act as well as in the carved-out sectors of telecommunications, media, energy and post. LIM CHONG KIN Director (Competition Advisory, Compliance & Transactions) We believe that the practice of competition law must be supported by a keen understanding of competition economics. 
 
Our Practice Group therefore possesses superior in-house competition economics and policy expertise led by Head of Competition and Regulatory Economics, Ng Ee Kia, Joy, who was formerly the Director of Economics at the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS). Other senior members include a former senior assistant director of CCS, a former senior investigator from an overseas competition authority, and a King’s College PhD holder in competition law. 
 
GENERAL COMPETITION 
 
The Competition Litigation team, led by Cavinder Bull, S.C., has represented clients in a wide range of contentious competition law matters for the past 10 years. These include investigations by the CCS into allegations of abuse of dominance, pricing fixing and bid-rigging cartels. The team has also acted for clients in respect of investigations by the US Department of Justice and other competition authorities in Asia.
 
RECENT PROJECTS 
 
  • Advising a leading global manufacturer of hard drives in relation to its proposed acquisition of the hard disk drive business of a multi-national electronics conglomerate; and acting as representative in the merger notification of the transaction to the CCS.
  • Advising and representing two major airlines in their notification for decision to the CCS in relation to their alliance agreement.
  • Representing SISTIC.com Pte Ltd in its appeal of the CCS’s Infringement Decision relating to its alleged abuse of dominance in the Singapore ticketing industry, having been instructed by the company under investigation to take over the matter from another law firm.
  • Undertaking a market study to identify best practices for managing a competitive media market in Singapore.
 
The Competition Advisory, Transaction and Compliance team, led by Lim Chong Kin, regularly advises clients on competition compliance, business advisory, transaction reviews and filing for guidance and decisions with CCS and other competition authorities in ASEAN. The team was responsible for successfully obtaining the first merger clearance under the Competition Act for Intel / STMicroelectronics / Francisco Partners. The team has over the years been engaged by the CCS, local and foreign sectoral regulators as well as the ASEAN Secretariat to undertake competition studies.
 
SECTORAL COMPETITION 
 
The Competition Law Practice Group is also highly recognised for its experience in acting for sectoral competition regulators in drafting and implementing complex competition legislation and regulations. For example, the team undertook the drafting of the Telecom Competition Code in 2000 and all the reviews to-date. 
The team also drafted the first Media Market Conduct Code in 2003. In addition, the team was instructed to advise on the liberalisation of the postal industry and to draft the Postal Competition Code. Lim Chong Kin also regularly represents the telecom and media regulators in appeals against their decisions. The team has advised Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) on all competition and regulatory issues in three groundbreaking infrastructure development initiatives – the establishment of the Next Generation National Broadband Network, Singapore Internet Exchange, and the National Authentication Framework. The team has also recently completed a study commissioned by the Singapore media, telecoms and competition regulators to examine competition issues in convergent media and telecommunications markets, including the state of development and competition in the pay TV market in Singapore and the effects of bundling of media and telecoms services on these convergent markets. 
 
 
  • The Competition Law Practice Group is widely recognised as one of the most well established in Singapore. Our recent accolades bear testimony to the quality of the Practice Group: 
 
  • Asian Counsel’s Firm of the Year 2009 survey recognises Drew & Napier LLC as a leading Singapore firm in anti-trust for three straight years 
 
  • Practical Law Company’s Which Lawyer? Cross Border Handbook: Competition/Antitrust 2011/2012 endorses Cavinder and Chong Kin as highly recommended lawyers in competition/anti-trust 
 
  • International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers 2010 and 2011 recognise Chong Kin for his achievements in competition and regulatory work. 
 
  • International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists 2010 and 2011 recognise Ee Kia as one of the leading competition economists in Singapore. 
 
  • The Guide to the World's Leading Competition & Antitrust Lawyers/Economists 2010 recognises Chong Kin and Ee Kia as leading individuals for competition in Singapore. 
 
OUR CAPABILITIES 
 
We advise on a full range of competition law matters, including: 
 
  • Competition Advisory & Notifications • Merger Advisory & Clearance 
  • Competition Audit, Compliance & Dawn Raid Training
  • Investigations & Dawn Raid Assistance • Sectoral Advisory & Appeals • Market Studies 
  • Legislative Drafting 
 
A broad sampling of matters handled by us includes: 
 
COMPETITION ADVISORY & NOTIFICATIONS 
 
  • Advising and representing three major airlines in their notification for decision to the CCS in relation to their joint venture agreement. A favourable decision was obtained despite the complex competition issues arising from the agreement. 
  • Acting for VISA International in its notification for decision to the CCS in relation to Multilateral Interchange Fees. 
  • Assisting a large multi-national electronics company to assess whether its distribution agreements are likely to infringe with competition law in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. 
  • Advising a multi-national pharmaceutical company on its contract terms and conditions in relation to a possible abuse of dominance. 
  • Advising a Singapore-listed company on issues relating to exclusive dealing, mandatory bundling and predatory pricing under the Media Market Conduct Code. 
  • Advising a global financial services company on issues relating to refusal to supply and their compatibility with the prohibition against abuse of dominance under Singapore competition law. 
 
MERGERS ADVISORY & CLEARANCE 
 
  • Securing Singapore’s first ever merger filing clearance under the Competition Act for STMicroelectronics and Intel, two of the world’s largest semiconductor and chip manufacturers, with respect to a US$3.6 billion proposed worldwide merger of their business units. 
  • Obtaining merger clearance from the CCS for Novartis AG, a global pharmaceutical company in relation to its acquisition of Alcon Inc, a large competitor in the eye-care industry. A Phase I clearance was successfully obtained despite the complex issues arising from the transaction. 
  • Obtaining merger approval from the CCS for Wacker Chemie AG in relation to its worldwide acquisition of sole control of two joint venture companies, Wacker Polymer Systems GmbH & Co. KG and Air Products Polymers Holdings, L.P. 
  • Advising and assisting two large automotive companies on potential competition law issues arising in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia in respect of their proposed merger. 
  • Obtaining merger clearances for four major telecommunications consolidations in Singapore under the Telecom Competition Code. 
 
COMPETITION AUDIT, COMPLICANCE & DAWN TRAINING 
 
  • Conducting a comprehensive competition law audit and training for the Malaysia operations of a leading Pan Asian FMCG company, ahead of the enforcement of the Malaysian Competition Act 2010 in January 2012. 
  • Assisting a global pet nutrition company in its competition law compliance, intellectual property and anti-corruption audit across ten jurisdictions including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and the Philippines. 
  • Advising a large international tobacco company in relation to competition and dawn raid policies; and assisted with the review of a number of internal dawn raid related documents. 
  • Acting for a Singapore listed company in conducting a comprehensive audit of its business practices, existing agreements, and business arrangements to facilitate compliance with the Competition Act. 
  • Assisting companies in the planning and execution of mock dawn raids to simulate conditions of a CCS investigation. The purpose of such exercises is to stress test the various safeguards in place, protocols and reaction procedures, and staff preparedness. We assist companies in identifying areas that require improvement, or where protocols need to be redeveloped. 
 
INVESTIGATIONS & DAWN RAID ASSISTANCE 
 
  • Representing Transtar and Regent Star in their successful appeal of the Infringement Decision of the CCS relating to price fixing in express bus services. The appeal was part of the first set of appeals ever to be taken before the Competition Appeal Board (CAB) since its creation. The CAB reduced the level of financial penalties imposed on the appellants by up to 90%. 
  • Assisting at a dawn raid conducted by the CCS at the client’s Singapore offices, and in respect of matters arising thereafter. We also advised in relation to the powers of the CCS to retain and deal with certain documents seized during the raid. 
  • Representing and successfully defending a prominent group of companies listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in respect of an investigation by the CCS. The investigation concerned allegations of abuse of dominance under section 47 of the Competition Act. 
  • Representing a multi-national company in a cartel case before CCS. The case involved allegations of bid-rigging and price fixing in multiple jurisdictions and required coordination with a worldwide legal team of advisors. 
  • Representing an American company with a Singapore subsidiary in an investigation by the United States Department of Justice’s anti-trust division into an allegation of “gun-jumping” in relation to merger issues. 
 
SECTORAL ADVISORY & APPEALS 
 
  • Advising IDA on its joint initiative with its Malaysian counterpart to reduce roaming rates between Singapore and Malaysia. We advised on the legal, competition and regulatory issues including drafting the necessary directions issued to the various local mobile operators. 
  • Advising the Singapore media regulator on the implementation of its landmark cross- carriage measure relating to the carriage of exclusively acquired channels and content by designated pay-TV providers.
  •  Advising the Minister of Trade and Industry to determine an appeal in the energy market in Singapore. 
  • Successfully defending sectoral regulators against ministerial appeals and judicial reviews of regulatory decisions. 
  • Advising the IDA on enforcement actions for contravention of the anti-competitive provisions in the Telecom Competition Code; as well as disputes and complaints under the Code (including disputes over access to critical support infrastructure and interconnection-related services). 
  • Advising the IDA on all competition matters pertaining to the rollout of Singapore’s Next Generation National Broadband Network. 
 
MARKET STUDIES 
 
  • Leading a consortium of economic consultants and eminent East-Asian competition law experts to conduct a study into the development of competition policy and law in the region; and develop best practices in the introduction and implementation of competition policy and law. 
  • Undertaking a study for the CCS on the effects of price recommendations by trade and professional associations on competition in Singapore. 
  • Undertaking a study for the CCS, the IDA and the MDA to examine competition issues in convergent media and telecommunications markets, including the state of development and competition in the pay TV market in Singapore and the effects of bundling of media and telecoms services on these convergent markets. 
  • Undertaking a study for the CCS into the medical services industry, that includes an assessment of the state of competition in the sector and the implications of fee guidelines for medical services in Singapore. Based on the findings of the study, the CCS issued its decision to reject the use of fee guidelines in the medical services sector. 
 
LEGISLATIVE DRAFTING 
 
  • Acting as lead Singapore counsel in advising the postal regulator on the liberalisation of the Singapore postal industry, including drafting of the proposed Postal Competition Code. 
  • Acting as lead Singapore counsel in the drafting of the Telecom Competition Code (2000 and 2005 revision), consolidation framework and other Code guidelines. 
  • Acting as lead Singapore counsel in advising the telecommunications regulatoin its second triennial review of the Telecom Competition Code 2005. 
  • Drafting the framework for reviewing the competitive effects of merger and acquisitions in the telecommunications industry. 
  • Drafting Singapore’s first interconnection market access and infrastructure sharing framework to regulate competition in the telecommunications industry. 
  • Drafting the Media Market Conduct Code 2003 to introduce competition regulations to the media and print industry. 
  • Drafting the amendments to the Media Market Conduct Code 2010 to introduce and implement the cross-carriage measure. 
 
Notable Practitioners

 

Cavinder Bull

 

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