Drew & Napier

Drew & Napier LLC is one of Singapore’s leading law firms. Founded in 1889, the firm has more than 500 employees. It is regarded as one of the “Big Four” law firms in Singapore.[1]

Drew & Napier LLC
No. of offices3
No. of employees500+
Major practice areasFull service firm
Key people
  • Jimmy Yim, SC (Chairman; Managing Director, Dispute Resolution)
  • Cavinder Bull, SC (CEO)
  • Sushil Nair (Deputy CEO)
  • Tony Yeo (Managing Director, IP)
  • Randolph Khoo (Deputy Managing Director, Dispute Resolution)
  • Lim Chong Kin (Managing Director, Corporate & Finance; Head, TMT; Co-Head, Competition Law & Regulatory Practice)
  • Ong Sim Ho (Managing Director, Corporate & Finance)
Date founded1889
FounderAlfred Henry Drew; Sir Walter John Napier
Company typeLimited liability company
SloganAltogether Exceptional

Drew & Napier regularly advises governments, government institutions, regulatory authorities, financial institutions, local and multi-national corporations including Fortune 500 and blue chip companies, conglomerates, educational and non-profit organisations and high-profile individuals.

In Singapore and the Southeast Asian region, the lawyers of Drew & Napier are particularly known for their expertise in litigation, international arbitration, insolvency, intellectual property, competition law, telecommunications, media & information technology and tax matters. The firm has market-leading practices in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, employment and real estate & construction law.[2][3][4]

The chairman and chief executive officer of the firm are Senior Counsel (similar to Queen's Counsel in the United Kingdom) Jimmy Yim and Senior Counsel Cavinder Bull respectively as of March 2019.[5]

In 2020, Drew & Napier LLC initiated alliances with other influential legal firms to launch a regional network of blue-chip firms. On 2 March 2020, Drew & Napier LLC from Singapore, Shearn Delamore & Co. from Malaysia, and Makarim & Taira S. from Indonesia came together to form Drew Network Asia (DNA).

DNA is a cohesive and integrated team operating as “a firm of firms” with international perspective and strong local expertise. Each DNA firm has a track record of a client-focused approach, high quality legal advice, and cutting-edge solutions. All DNA firms have also consistently garnered client recognition and prominent accolades in the world’s most prestigious international legal publications.

Practice areasEdit

Drew & Napier is a full service law firm. The firm's lawyers have active practices in various areas below.[6]

  • Administrative & Public Law
  • Arbitration
  • Asset Recovery
  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Banking & Finance
  • Business Establishment
  • Capital Markets
  • Commercial and Corporate Litigation
  • Competition Law & Regulatory Practice
  • Competition Law Practice (Disputes)
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Corporate/M&A
  • Corporate Restructuring & Workouts
  • Corporate Secretarial, Immigration, Process Agent Services (Drewcorp)
  • Crime
  • Data Protection, Privacy and Cybersecurity
  • Drew Data Protection & Cybersecurity Academy
  • Defamation
  • Employment
  • Energy
  • Family & International Personal Relationships
  • Financial Services Regulation
  • Government
  • Greater China Desk
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Hotels & Leisure
  • India Desk
  • Indonesia Desk
  • Information Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Arbitration
  • International Trade
  • Investigations
  • Investment Funds
  • Japan Desk
  • Mediation
  • Medical Negligence
  • Natural Resources (Mineral, Oil and Gas)
  • Private Client Disputes
  • Private Equity
  • Projects, Energy & Infrastructure
  • Projects and Project Finance
  • Public International Law
  • Real Estate
  • Shipping
  • SICC Expertise
  • Sports
  • Tax & Private Client Services
  • Telecommunications, Media & Technology
  • Wills, Probate and Estate Administration


The firm was founded in 1889 when Manchester barrister Walter John Napier (later Sir) joined English solicitor Alfred Henry Drew.[7] Singapore was then a British colony.

Napier was the more prolific of the two founders and achieved many distinctions in his career. He was appointed Attorney-General of Singapore from 1907 to 1909. In 1909, he was knighted for his services.[citation needed]

In 1896, he was appointed Acting Unofficial Member of Singapore's Legislative Council, being reappointed as a full Unofficial until 1907. At that time, he was the only Unofficial Member to have ever introduced a Bill and got it passed into an Ordinance, a feat he performed twice.[citation needed]

He put out 37 Ordinances in 1907 alone, almost completely reforming the entire civil law and procedure of the Colony that year. Among others, he was responsible for the Married Women's Property and Partition Ordinances of 1902, and the important Merchant Shipping Ordinance of 1910.[citation needed]

He was also Secretary of the Straits Settlement Association from 1890, besides being a founder member of the Straits Philosophical Society. He regularly contributed articles and papers on legal subjects to the Straits Chinese Magazine. He served on the Colonial Office Committee on the Land Tenure of West African Colonies and Protectorates.

Napier was also the driving force behind the Bar Council's decision in 1892 to begin publishing the Straits Settlements Law Reports, of which he was the first editor.[citation needed]

Decades later, Drew & Napier's first Singaporean partner, Joseph Grimberg (later Senior Counsel), joined the firm in 1957 as a legal assistant (equivalent to a modern-day associate). Grimberg accelerated the pace of Asian recruitment to the more senior ranks in the office.

In 1967, he became the firm's Senior Partner at the young age of 33. He then became Judicial Commissioner in 1987, and later rejoined Drew & Napier as a consultant in 1989 until his passing in 2017.

In 2000, Drew & Napier was corporatised to form a limited liability company.

The firm came full circle in 2011 when it moved to its current location at Ocean Financial Centre, which stands on the site of its first office at 10 Collyer Quay.

In 2014, the firm celebrated its 125th anniversary with a dinner and dance in Bali.

Notable lawyersEdit

In alphabetical order of first name:

  • Andre Maniam, SC – Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court
  • David Marshall – Singapore's first Chief Minister
  • Justice Dedar Singh Gill – Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Sir Evelyn Ellis – Unofficial Member of Legislative Council and acting Attorney-General
  • George Lim, SC – Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Singapore International Mediation Centre, Former President of the Law Society of Singapore
  • G.P. Selvam – Former Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Hri Kumar Nair, SC - Deputy Attorney-General
  • Indranee Rajah, SC – Minister, Prime Minister's Office; Second Minister for Finance and Education
  • Joseph Grimberg, SC - Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court, Singapore (1987-1989); first to be appointed Senior Counsel by the Chief Justice in January 1997 when this category was introduced
  • Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash – Judge of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of Singapore
  • K. Shanmugam, SC – Minister for Law and Home Affairs
  • Lucien Wong, SC – Attorney-General of Singapore
  • Sachi Saurajen – Crown Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor
  • Judge of Appeal Steven Chong – Judge of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of Singapore
  • Professor S. Jayakumar - Former Deputy Prime Minister, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Law and Labour, and former Coordinating Minister for National Security


  • Tan Cheng Han, SC – Chairman, EW Barker Centre for Law & Business at the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore; Chairman, Singapore Exchange Regulation Co
  • Thio Shen Yi, SC - Former President of the Law Society of Singapore
  • Davinder Singh, SC – Chairman, Singapore International Arbitration Centre
  • Murgiana Haq – Former Chairperson of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Law Society of Singapore
  • Dr. Thio Su Mien – Former Law Dean of the National University of Singapore
  • Sir Walter John Napier – Unofficial Member of Singapore's Legislative Council, Attorney-General

Awards and accoladesEdit

  • Named Singapore Litigation Law Firm of the Year at the Asian Legal Business Southeast Asia Law Awards 2019 for 15 years.[8]
  • Named Regional Litigation Law Firm of the Year and Singapore Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year at the Asian Legal Business Southeast Asia Law Awards 2019.[8] Recipient of Debt Market Deal of the Year (Premium) and M&A Deal of the Year (Premium) in the 2018 awards.[9]
  • Named Employer of Choice 2020 by Asian Legal Business for 11 years.[10]
  • Ranked Band 1 by Chambers and Partners 2020 for Litigation, Intellectual Property, Restructuring & Insolvency, Telecommunications, Media & Technology (TMT), and Competition / Antitrust.[2]
  • Ranked Tier 1 by IFLR1000 2020 for Restructuring & Insolvency. Capital Markets, Banking & Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions and Project Development are leading practices.[3]
  • Ranked Tier 1 by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2020 for Dispute Resolution, Employment, Competition / Antitrust, Private Wealth, Intellectual Property, and Restructuring & Insolvency.[4]
  • Ranked Tier 1 by Asian Legal Business 2020 IP Rankings in the areas of Patents and Trademarks / Copyrights for 8 years.[11]
  • Recognised as one of the world's top 100 international arbitration practices in 2020 by the Global Arbitration Review for 11 years.[12]
  • Recognised as one of the world's top 20 international restructuring practices in 2019 by the Global Restructuring Review for 2 years.[13]
  • Named Singapore Firm of the Year at the Asialaw Regional Awards 2019.[14]
  • Named Commercial & Transactions Firm of the Year at the Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Awards 2019.[15]
  • Recipient of TMT Deal of the Year Award at the Asia Legal Awards 2019.  Previous recipient of Finance Deal of the Year: Insolvency & Restructuring and M&A Deal of the Year: Southeast Asia at the Asia Legal Awards 2018.[16]
  • The first Singapore-based law firm to win India Practice, Asian Law Firm of the Year at the inaugural Asian Legal Business India Law Awards 2019.[17]
  • Named winner of the inaugural China practice, Asian Law Firm of the Year Award at the Asian Legal Business China Law Awards 2019.[18]
  • Named Singapore Firm of the Year award for Patent at the Asia IP Awards 2019.[19] Double winner at the 2018 Asia IP Awards: Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year; Singapore Patent Firm of the Year.[20] Previous recipient of the Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year award in 2016 for 5 consecutive years.[21]
  • Named Singapore Trade Mark Prosecution Firm of the Year at the inaugural Managing Intellectual Property Asia Pacific Awards 2019.[22]  Previous winner of the 2018 Prosecution IP Firm of the Year award at the inaugural Managing Intellectual Property Asia Pacific Awards.[23] Previously recipient of the Singapore Contentious Intellectual Property Firm of the Year 2017 by Managing Intellectual Property for 5 years.[24]
  • Named National Law Firm of the Year – Singapore at the Asialaw & Benchmark Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2018.[25]
  • Named Regional and Specialist firm for India work by the India Business Law Journal in 2018 for 5 consecutive years.[26]
  • Named Southeast Asia Law Firm of the Year and Real Estate Law Firm of the Year at the Year at the Asian Legal Business Southeast Asia Law Awards 2017.[27]
  • Recipient of Matter of the Year at the Asialaw Litigation Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2017.[28]
  • Named a Top 10 firm in Asia in Asian Legal Business’ Innovative List 2016.[29]
  • Recipient of Restructuring Deal of the Year Awards at the IFLR Asia Awards 2016.[30]
  • Named Best Domestic Arbitration Firm of the Year at the Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2015.[31]
  • Recipient of M&A Deal of the Year Awards at the IFLR Asia Awards 2014.[32]

Corporate social responsibilityEdit

As part of the firm's Corporate Social Responsibility & Pro Bono Legal Services programme, Drew & Napier lawyers offer complimentary legal advice at legal clinics, assist charities and non-profit organisation with their registration procedures, agreements and other legal matters, and also act on legal matters for accused individuals without means.

The firm also supports children's charities. Lawyers and staff have sponsored, organised and attended activities for 8 children's homes and charities since the year 2000.

In 2019, Drew & Napier was conferred “The Contributor of the Year” award by The Singapore Law Society which recognises law firms that have made significant monetary contribution to the Law Society through sponsorships and donations.[33]

Drew also received the ‘Impact Award’ at Trustlaw Awards 2014,[34] and the “Best Contribution from Law Firm Award” by the Legal Aid Bureau in 2012, 2014 and 2016.[35][36][37]

The firm was the only law firm to receive an award in the ‘Large-Firm’ category in the Legal Aid Bureau Best Contribution from Law Firm Award 2012 (Large Firm – Silver Award) by the Ministry of Law in recognition of its Pro Bono contribution.[38]


  1. ^ Grace So (4 February 2016). "Big Four continue to sweep top law rankings". The Business Times. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific > Drew & Napier LLC". Chambers and Partners. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "IFLR 1000 > Drew & Napier LLC". International Financial Law Review (IFLR) 1000. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "The Legal 500 > Drew & Napier LLC". The Legal 500. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Our Senior Counsel". Drew & Napier LLC. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Our Expertise". Drew & Napier LLC. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  7. ^ Ilsa Sharp, (1990). The History of Drew & Napier, 1889-1989. Singapore: International Press Co (Pte) Ltd, Drew & Napier
  8. ^ a b "ALB Southeast Asia Law Awards 2019". Asian Legal Business. 8 June 2020.
  9. ^ Asian Legal Business. "ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2018".
  10. ^ "ALB Employer of Choice 2020". Asian Legal Business. 8 June 2020.
  11. ^ "ALB IP Rankings 2020". Asian Legal Business. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  12. ^ Global Arbitration Review. "GAR 100 - 13th Edition". Retrieved 1 Jan 2020.
  13. ^ GRR 100 - 3rd Edition, Global Restructuring Review, 26 June 2019
  14. ^ Asialaw (30 May 2019). "Asialaw Regional Awards 2019 – Winners Announced". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  15. ^ Benchmark Litigation (20 September 2019). "Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Awards 2019 – Winners revealed". Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Asia Legal Awards 2018 Winners". The Asian Lawyer. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  17. ^ "India Law Awards 2019". Asian Legal Business. Retrieved 11 Mar 2019.
  18. ^ Asian Legal Business. "ALB China Law Awards 2019".
  19. ^ Asia IP (14 January 2020). "Asia IP Awards 2019: Toasting the winners".
  20. ^ "Asia IP Awards 2018". Asia Intellectual Property. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Asia IP Awards 2016". Asia Intellectual Property. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  22. ^ Managing IP (21 March 2019). "Managing IP Asia Awards 2019 winners".
  23. ^ "Managing IP Asia Awards 2018". Managing Intellectual Property. Retrieved 21 Mar 2018.
  24. ^ "Managing IP Global Awards 2017". Managing Intellectual Property. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  25. ^ "Asialaw & Benchmark Litigation Dispute Resolution Awards 2018". Asialaw. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  26. ^ "India Regional Specialist Firms 2018". India Business Law Journal. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  27. ^ "ALB Southeast Asia Law Awards 2017". Asian Legal Business. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Asialaw Asia Pacific Litigation Dispute Resolution Awards 2017". Asialaw. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  29. ^ ALB Innovation List 2016, Asian Legal Business, 24 March 2016.
  30. ^ IFLR Asia Awards 2016, International Financial Law Review (IFLR). Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  31. ^ Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2015, Asialaw. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  32. ^ "IFLR Asia Awards 2014". International Financial Law Review (IFLR). Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  33. ^ Law Gazette, Law Society of Singapore. "Law Society Annual Dinner 2019".
  34. ^ "TrustLaw Awards 2014". Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  35. ^ Minister for Law. "Legal Aid Bureau Best Contribution from Law Firm Award 2012" (PDF).
  36. ^ Minister for Law. "Legal Aid Bureau Best Contribution from Law Firm Award 2014" (PDF).
  37. ^ Minister for Law. "Legal Aid Bureau Best Contribution from Law Firm Award 2016" (PDF).
  38. ^ Legal Aid Bureau Best Contribution from Law Firm Award, Ministry of Law, Singapore, 18 October 2012.

External linksEdit