Firm Profile


Drew & Napier LLC is one of the very few Singapore law practices with a specialist tax practice and full-time tax specialists. Named the ‘ALB Singapore Leading Tax Law Firm 2010' by Asian Legal Business, our Tax and Trust Group not only provides strong support to our Banking and Finance, and Business and Corporate Groups, but is also a dynamic practice in its own right. Our tax specialists provide advice on all areas of income tax, goods and services tax, property tax, stamp duty, estate duty, customs and excise and other taxes, duties and impositions. We are involved in tax planning, structuring and documentation.
We represent clients in disputes with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, including, where necessary, tax litigation. Submissions and representations to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore whether in respect of queries, disputes, advance rulings, settlements or investigations, are also part of our day-to-day practice. Our tax specialists are equally familiar with criminal matters such as tax evasion, as with civil matters, and have strong trial experience in tax litigation and prosecution.
The Head of the Tax Practice Group is Mr Ong Sim Ho. A sub-speciality within our tax department deals with the planning of estates and the use of trusts and multi-jurisdictional wills. We advise high networth individuals as to the most tax efficient and effective structures for estate planning, asset preservation, provision for minors and descendants and tax planning. We are also familiar with the concerns of settlors and testators.
At the request of clients we have, and continue to provide, one-on-one group seminars, training and information about trusts, wills and their use in relation to personal estate planning. 
Drew & Napier LLC is recognised by leading international publications as a premier tax firm in Singapore: 
  • Practical Law Company (PLC) Which Lawyer? Cross-border Handbook 2010/11 ranked Drew & Napier LLC in the top tier for tax for four consecutive years. 
  • Tax Directors Handbook 2011 ranked Drew & Napier LLC in the top tier for tax and called the firm’s tax practice "excellent, responsive and experienced". 
  • Practical Law Company Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2009 ranked Drew & Napier LLC as the standalone leading practice for 3 consecutive years. 
  • Asian-Counsel’s Firm of the Year 2008 survey of in-house counsel has recognised Drew & Napier LLC as a leading firm in Tax for 2 consecutive years.
  • Drew & Napier is listed in International Who's Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers 2008 as "Drew & Napier LLC prides itself on its dynamic and specialist tax practice, with full-time tax specialists covering a variety of related matters." 
  • Asian Legal Business names Drew & Napier LLC the ‘Tax & Trusts Firm of the Year’ in its ALB Deals of the Year Awards in year 2006 and year 2005. 
Experience Some of the cases we have handled include: 
  • Represented a bond trading company and obtained a landmark ruling in favour of clients on the issue pertaining to source of income arising outside Singapore. 
  • Represented an associated company of a major local bank and obtained a landmark ruling in favour of clients on the issue of taxability of share transactions.
  • Acted as tax adviser for the European investors in connection with their investment in the Singapore Flyer, a 150-metre diameter rotating giant observation wheel to be constructed next to the casino site at Marina Bay (a S$160million project). 
  • Acted as tax adviser to a leading international insurance and financial services company which has a strong and established presence in Singapore and an eminent US bank, both Fortune 500 companies, in connection with the winding up of their respective pension/provident fund. 
  • Advised on a structure and obtained a supporting tax ruling which enabled the minority shareholders to successfully exit from a family holding company with substantial shareholding in a public lcompany with a tax savings of more than S$22 million. 
  • Advised major tax EPC provider in respect of tax aspects of its EPC contract on a Singapore project. 
  • Acting as tax adviser to a leading European bank with a strong and established presence in Singapore in connection with a US$300 million investment by a leading local bank and our clients in a Singapore partnership.
  • Acting for a private wealth arm of a leading international insurance and financial services company based in the UnitedStates to set up their regional Asia Pacific private wealth office in Singapore and also to apply for trust companies license for the new set up. 
  • Acting as tax adviser to the Asia Pacific office of a leading credit card payment system administrator for the restructuring of its Asia Pacific operations. 
  • Advising a leading US bank on the tax and legal implications of their business model in Singapore under the new Trust Companies Act. 
  • Advising a Dubai based financial services group on the tax implications of relocation to Singapore. 
  • Advising a leading Swiss bankon the tax and legal impact of the new Trust Companies Act or their activities in Singapore. 
  • Advice on the income tax and stamp duty implications of a capital reduction and liquidation exercise for multinational group.
  • Acted as tax adviser for restructuring the shareholdings of a private limited companprior to its listing on SGX and achieved a taxsavings exceeding S$1million as a result of the restructuring. 
  • Setting up of approved trust companie in Singapore for American and European based banks and advising on the income tax and estate duty implications of foreign trusts. 
  • Advising a Singapore GLC and applying to the Commissioner of Stamp Duties for stamp duty exemption on the transfer of assets between associated companies.
  • Establishment of Singapore subsidiary and tax advice for a US biotech group. 
  • Appeal to the Income Tax Board of Review (“ITBR”) in a matter regarding the deductibility of retrenchment benefits for a Singapore manufacturing company
  • Tax advice to a large French multinational group on the tax implications of its Singapore subsidiary providing personal computers to its employees as part of the Group’s worldwide incentive scheme. 
  • Tax advice on sale of partnership business for a Singapore engineering firm. 
  • Tax advice to a multinational petroleum group on methods of disposing offshore income. 
  • Tax advice on use of Singapore holding company limited by guarantee and the establishment of the company for a large Australian mining group. 
  • Making legal representations on behalf of an Australian company to the Comptroller of Income Tax on why profits realized from the sale of shares in a Singapore company are not taxable. 
  • Tax advice to a bank affiliated trust company on the use of Redeemable Preference Shares in Singapore compaheld by offshore trusts. 
  • Advice on Wills and Estate Planning and probate applications and clearance of estate duty for individuals. 
  • Advising on setting up discretionary/fixed trusts for individuals and families as part of their estate and asset protection planning and to preserve the wealth within the family for future generations. 
  • Tax advice to companies and key employees on tax efficient employment packages and tax efficient retrenchment packages.


Notable Practioners 


Drew & Napier LLC has a Corporate Department with more 60 lawyers. Senior members of the Department who concentrate on Tax and Private Client Services include: 



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