Asia Business Law Journal names the top firms in Indonesia for 2019. Mithun Varkey reports

Indonesia has been a bright spot among otherwise gloomy emerging market countries that have taken a knock due to subdued international growth and worries over the US-China trade war. It has maintained stable economic growth, its gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 5.1% in the first quarter of 2019 and is expected to grow a notch faster at 5.2% in 2020, according to a World Bank report. A stable exchange rate and low inflation are expected to spur consumption and help the economy grow in the coming quarters.

Indonesia saw an uptick in M&A in the first half of this year, growing 88% year-on-year with a total deal value of US$17.1 billion, according to Mergermarket data. This stellar growth comes at a time when M&A activity has slumped in most other countries.

Even as the traditional resources sector recovers from a slump in commodity prices, Indonesia’s internet unicorns are firing on all cylinders and attracting investments from some of the biggest global players, opening up opportunities for all market makers, including law firms.

With a stable and growing economy and conducive political environment, the legal market in the country has good potential for growth. While there is a great deal of competition, especially with several well-established firms and international law firms with strong local alliances, Indonesia is also seeing a number of specialist and boutique firms making a mark for themselves. There are several startup firms catering to the country’s exciting entrepreneurial environment.

Asia Business Law Journal’s 2019 Indonesia Law Firm Awards presents an interesting mix of traditional independent law firms, big international players and disruptive up-and-coming startups, a picture reflective of a vibrant legal market.

We have identified one Law Firm of the Year, and three other firms that have proven to be among the best in the country. In 19 other categories, we have four winners each of equal standing. We also recognize two startup firms that are making their presence felt in the Best New Law Firms category.

Law firm awards

LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

Hadiputranto Hadinoto & Partners (HHP)

Hadiputranto Hadinoto & Partners (HHP Law), a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, with its strong presence across practice areas, has cemented its place as Indonesia’s top law firm.

One of the largest firms in the country, HPP has built a formidable reputation, having represented some of the biggest domestic and international businesses. The three-decades-old firm, with 18 partners and nearly 300 employees, moved to a new office earlier in the year as part of its expansion plans.

“HHP has been consistently showing unprecedented quality to deal with complex issues of ours, sometimes one of a kind in the industry,” says Mukhlis Ishak, vice president, tax, at Freeport Indonesia, which had engaged HHP for tax litigation. “Their comprehension is beyond tax. They are so determined and knowledgeable to navigate through all kinds of dynamics of the issues.”

law firms awardJoseph Bossard, senior legal counsel for M&A, finance and investments at Zurich Insurance, commends HHP for their pragmatic advice, responsiveness, proactive attitude, experienced lawyers’ understanding of clients’ needs, and the ability to take the lead in negotiations.

“[HHP] negotiated a major acquisition in the financial industry in Indonesia and set up a complex joint venture structure with an Indonesian bank combined with long-term distribution arrangements and services contracts,” says Bossard.

“Basically, they are quite fast and always willing to be pushed to achieve a difficult timeline,” adds Helmy Afrisa Nugroho, vice president of corporate banking – head of electricity department at Bank Mandiri.

“We had a long and tiring M&A transaction back in 2015, which finished in 2017, and HHP consistently assisted us on the deal with focus and diligence, even when the deal dragged on too long,” says Rizki Indra Kusuma, managing director, legal, at Rajawali Corp.

Law firm awards

Best overall law firms

Ali Budiardjo Nugroho Reksodiputro (ABNR) is among Indonesia’s oldest law firms and is consistently rated as among the best in the country. The firm, which has been in operation for 50 years, is held in high respect by both businesses and its peer law firms. The full-service firm has about 100 lawyers including 22 partners. ABNR has built a reputation for its work across practice areas, from more conventional sectors such as shipping, maritime and aviation to emerging legal services such as private equity and venture capital, competition and antitrust, and structured finance and securitization.

ABNR has over the years played an important role in the evolution of regulation in Indonesia, most notably in developing the country’s bankruptcy law, and building the commercial and anti-corruption courts in Jakarta.

ABNR has several partners and foreign counsel who have been recognized in 2017 by Chambers Asia, Chambers Global, The Asia Pacific Legal 500, The Asia Law Profiles and IFLR 1000 as leading individuals in their fields. A number of the firm’s lawyers actively participate in the reformation of the judicial system, academic and university life, and are the authors of numerous publications, thus contributing to the evolution and dissemination of the law in Indonesia.

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (AHP) is widely respected as a leading law firm in Indonesia. The full-service firm has time and again confirmed its preeminent position in the Indonesia legal market. The 18-year-old legal advisory firm is a go-to firm for capital markets, dispute resolution, and technology, media and telecom (TMT) work in the country.

AHP has been on a fast growth trajectory, taking both organic and inorganic growth routes. It forayed into intellectual property practice last year following its merger with a boutique firm, Dewi Soeharto Law Partnership, in June 2018. It also added forensics and fraud investigation to its repertoire of services with the hiring of leading fraud investigation specialist, Amien Sunaryadi.

“AHP has been a long-time partner of XL Axiata,” says Murni Nurdini, corporate secretary of the company. “Not only do they provide excellent advice and legal services, but also a personalized approach from almost every lawyer.

“AHP was the second law firm we engaged to assist us on our long-term incentive programme back in 2012 or 2013, where the other law firm failed to deliver quality advice and workable solutions. AHP’s legal advice exceeded our expectations in the absence of capital market regulation pertaining to share-based, long-term incentives,” says Nurdini.

AHP’s clients include Novo Nordisk, GIC Realty, Bank Permata, Unilever Indonesia, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, AIFUL Corporation, and Huawei Tech Investment. It also has an enviable list of technology companies as clients, including Indonesia’s most well-known online services such as Go-Jek, Tokopedia, Bukalapak and Traveloka.

Ginting & Reksodiputro, an associate of Allen & Overy, has notched up a reputation for being among the top legal advisory firms in Indonesia. The firm has built a stellar reputation for its financial services advisory, especially banking and finance, structured finance and securitization, and capital markets, led by founder and managing partner Daniel Ginting, who has been recognized for his work in these areas. The firm’s corporate and commercial law practice, headed by partner Harun Reksodiputro, is also highly regarded for work in M&A, joint ventures and commercial deals.

Ginting & Reksodiputro has more than 30 lawyers, including five partners. It has worked on some of the most high-profile recent deals in Indonesia, such as Gojek’s series F fundraising led by Google, JD and Tencent, Tokopedia’s US$1.1 billion series H fundraising from Softbank and Alibaba, the sale of QBE General Insurance to Great Eastern, and FWD’s acquisition of life insurer Commonwealth Life. It also advised the bookrunners on the acquisition financing for Semen Indonesia’s acquisition of Holcim Indonesia, as well as on the US$450 million syndicated financing for Titan Infra Energy. The firm has advised other top companies including ExxonMobil, Newmont Mining and GarudaFood.

Law firm awards

Best new law firms

UMBRA is an up and coming law firm that has built a niche and brand recognition for itself in a short time. The firm has handled more than 200 deals with a total volume of around US$25 billion, representing a base of clients consisting of major state-owned enterprises, and local and international private corporations in a short time.

UMBRA is the first Indonesian law firm to adopt an artificial intelligence (AI) platform for due diligence, created by Luminance AI.

The firm has created a name for itself as a leading specialist in the TMT sector. It provides advice to TMT companies on all aspects of corporate law including M&A, corporate finance, joint ventures, deal structuring, contract management, regulatory advice & licensing, and strategic alliances, as well as reorganizations, contract negotiation and corporate governance.

The firm represented Telekomunikasi Seluler and Fintek Karya Nusantara in the establishment of LinkAja, the first state-owned enterprises-supported financial technology, e-money and e-wallet company. They also represented Visionet Internasional in its acquisition of a peer-to-peer lending company to expand its business strategy in Indonesia, as well as advising major technology and telecommunications companies such as Line Plus Indonesia and Dayamitra Telekomunikasi.

“Their turnaround time is quite fast; they clearly have a bunch of bright and dedicated lawyers,” says Mariana Kamarudin, legal counsel at Imerys Asia Pacific.

“We had a good experience doing a capital increase with them. Their documentation was in order, response time was fast, and there were no issues in the process. We also had them draft our template Indonesian agency and distribution agreements, and they were able to explain why we did or did not need certain clauses, and pointed to the relevant regulations,” she says.

“In addition to legal advice, UMBRA also offer business solutions that are fair for both parties. This indicates that they understand the business,” says Zulfiqri Kamal, Asia MTO Legal Counsel at Alcon Pharmaceuticals.

“I am very happy with the services provided by UMBRA,” adds Amirza Harshad, president and director at Menteng Group (Sultan Raja Baginda). “Our company used their services during a litigation case and they have shown that they are very good in formulating strategies and analyzing details from the case throughout the whole process.”

Walalangi and Partners is a boutique law firm set up in early 2018. It is among a new crop of Indonesian law firms that are making a mark in the industry. Founded by Luky Walalangi, the firm has an association with Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi.

Among its focus areas is advising on inbound investments into Indonesia, especially from Japan, by building on its relationship with Nishimura & Asahi. “The firm has provided very practical advice in a timely manner, well considering the reality of business,” says a legal counsel at Nippon Steel Corporation.

“The firm has worked with me mainly on the issues related to an Indonesian joint venture company, which is a subsidiary of the company I work for, concerning the interpretation of its joint venture agreement, drafting additional MoUs related to the agreement and general questions regarding the Indonesian corporate law and antitrust law,” he says.

“When the joint venture agreement about the Indonesian joint venture company was totally amended and restated, the firm supported us in the negotiations with the joint venture partner. As the partner company is a state-owned enterprise and the person in charge did not seem to be authorized to make meaningful concessions over some important matters, the negotiation was occasionally stuck. But the firm patiently coped with the differences between the companies and made practical proposals, which led to the successful amendment to the agreement.”

Yoshimoto Yusuke, a lawyer at Nishimura and Asahi, says, “I have worked with Walalangi & Partners in many cases, including M&A, finance transactions and disputes. They always give me practical solutions within a short period. The lawyers understood the new industry and gave useful advice on new and unclear regulations.”

In recent deals, Walalangi advised: Mitsui in its strategic investment in the digital business of Axiata, one of the largest telecom companies in Asia with some 150 million subscribers in Southeast Asia and South Asia with businesses that include Boost, an electronic wallet service in Malaysia and Indonesia; ADA, an independent digital marketing agency; and Apigate, an application programming interface platform company.

The firm was counsel to Hokkan Holdings, one of the largest Japanese bottling and packaging companies, in its IDR1.2 trillion (US$80 million) acquisition of a beverage package manufacturing business from Deltapack Industri. It also advised Nippon Steel Corporation and its subsidiaries on various Indonesian corporate matters and investment restructuring in Indonesia.

Law firm awards

Aviation

Hanafiah Ponggawa & Partners is among Indonesia’s oldest law firms and is highly regarded among its peers. In late 2018, it formed an alliance with Dentons and is now rebranding itself as Dentons HPRP.

As a full-service firm it is recognized for its work across practice areas, however, it is easily the top aviation specialist in the market. Both in-house counsel and other Indonesian law firms consider Dentons HPRP to be one of the best in the business.

Dentons HPRP has long been dealing extensively with a variety of aviation domestic and international transactions. Some of its notable deals were negotiating and purchasing what is believed to be the largest cargo aircraft in the world. The two aircraft, usually used for military purposes, are being reconfigured to be used for non-military use for the first time.

The firm also assisted Nordic Aviation Capital, a leading aircraft leasing company focused on propeller aircraft, in its purchase and lease transactions involving Indonesian airlines including Garuda Indonesia (Persero), Citilink Indonesia, Transnusa Aviation Mandiri, Travira Air and Trigana Air. Dentons HPRP also advised Sriwijaya Air, a national airline, in the lease and purchase of 10 aircraft from several major leasing companies.

While its aviation practice is the most notable, it has a considerable presence in other practice areas as well such as M&A, real estate, TMT, capital markets, and banking and finance. Irwan Darmawan, a director at coal miner Renuka Coalindo, commends Dentons HPRP for their comprehensive and timely legal advice. “Yes, we are definitely happy with their service, which included legal due diligence, legal structuring for a transaction, and drafting an agreement to fulfil the legal structure,” says Darmawan.

TNB & Partners, which has an association with Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, has one of the strongest aviation practices in Indonesia.

TNB represents a range of aircraft financiers with aircraft leasing to major airline groups, as well as the financing arrangements that include sale and novation of aircraft. TNB partner Tasdikiah Siregar is widely recognized as one of the leading aviation lawyers in Indonesia.

The firm acted as Indonesian counsel for Merx Aviation, a leading global aircraft leasing, management and finance company in relation to several sales and purchases of aircraft over the year. These sales and purchases involved novation of leases related to aircraft leased to an Indonesian airline.

TNB also has strong corporate and commercial, and dispute resolution practices. In recent notable deals, the firm advised Kerry Logistics Network, the Hong Kong-based freight forwarding company, for its acquisition and structuring in Indonesia, and Sandvik Mining & Construction Indonesia in a payment and debt restructuring dispute.

Law firm awards

Banking & Finance

Law firm awards

Capital Markets

  • Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (AHP)
  • Hadiputranto Hadinoto & Partners (HHP)
  • Makes & Partners
  • Melli Darsa & Co (PwC Indonesia)

Makes & Partners is an independent law firm that specializes in corporate and commercial, financial services and dispute resolution practices. While it is regarded as a top law firm in the country, and much sought after for its practice specialties, it is capital markets where Makes & Partners has carved a niche out for itself.

It has experience and expertise in advising firms on a variety of capital markets transactions including initial public offerings, secondary offerings, rights issues, bond issuances, convertible bond offerings, and real estate investment trusts.

The 26-year-old firm, led by founder Yozua Makes, has an association with Singaporean law firm WongPartnership, which has helped Makes & Partners become a strong player in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. It has more than 30 lawyers, including four partners and two foreign counsel.

Melli Darsa & Co is a 17-year-old firm that joined the PwC Indonesia network two years ago. It is one of the leading capital markets law firms in the country. The firm focuses primarily on financial services, and corporate and commercial advisory. It has a strong reputation for its M&A, capital markets, corporate advisory and finance practices.

The firm earlier had an association with Squire Patton Boggs, from 2013 to 2015.

Law firm awards

Competition & antitrust

Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung (HBT) is a leading Indonesian commercial law firm and associate firm of Herbert Smith Freehills. A full-service firm, HBT has a laudable corporate and commercial, and dispute resolution track record, having worked on some of the most notable deals in the country.

The firm’s competition and antitrust practice received high praise from peers, as well as several in-house counsel.

A recent notable deal for HBT was Indonesian competition watchdog KPPU’s investigation against seven major salt producers in a high-profile allegation of a salt cartel. The firm was the adviser to Cheetham Garam Indonesia. It also advised Nippon Steel, Sumitomo, Aisin Seiki and Denso Corporation on merger control filings with the KPPU for their global investments and acquisitions.

A standout transaction that HBT was part of was Fullerton Financial Holdings’ sale of a US$4.56 billion (73.8%) stake in Indonesian-listed bank Bank Danamon Indonesia in three stages over two years to the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. It also advised Rio Tinto on the sale of its US$3.5 billion stake in Freeport’s Grasberg copper mine to Indonesian state-owned mining enterprise Inalum.

In other deals, it advised Alibaba Group in its US$1.1 billion investment into Tokopedia, JD in its US$2 billion investment in Gojek, and Alipay in its series D investment into Akulaku.

Two of the firm’s partners, Teguh Arwiko and Matthew Goerke, were promoted to Herbert Smith Freehills’ partnership earlier this year.

“HBT has advised Rio Tinto in relation to its interest in the Grasberg mine for many years, until that interest was divested in December 2018,” says a legal counsel at Rio Tinto who preferred to remain anonymous. “During that time, in the absence of our own internal lawyers in Indonesia, we relied heavily on HBT to advise, and to alert us to developments in, and requirements of, Indonesian law. The entire period was uneventful from a legal perspective, which is a testament to the effectiveness of HBT’s services, and the divestment process was similarly efficient and well managed.”

“We were happy with the services provided by HBT because they were very professional and provided all the right scenarios throughout the process,” says Jason Hatchett, president and director at Elders Indonesia. “They provided dispute resolution in remote areas, which made our lives easier knowing that the professionals were handling this. They also handled contractual services … we received very sound professional service.

Takamasa Hiraide, assistant legal manager at Sumitomo Corp, who has worked with HBT on three different deals, lauds the clarity of their advice and their professionalism. “[HBT] has given us outstanding and timely advice,” he says.

Ignatius Andy Law Offices is a boutique law firm that is perhaps best known for its competition and antitrust practice. It also provides other corporate and commercial, and dispute resolution advice.

The firm has been around for 15 years and has an enviable list of clients including major Indonesian firms such as Salim Group and Astra Group, as well multinationals like Coca-Cola, Unilever, Kraft Foods, Nestle and Carrefour.

Law firm awards

Corporate & commercial

HSEK Indonesian Legal Consultants is among the oldest and largest law firms in the country. It is a full-service firm with a robust corporate and commercial practice. It has also built a reputation for its employment, shipping, taxation, real estate and dispute resolution practices.

SSEK acted as the Indonesian counsel for Grab in the acquisition of Uber’s business and assets in Indonesia. It has advised Procter & Gamble on antitrust issues with regard to its acquisition of Merck, the worldwide consumer health business.

Bobby Noer Rahman, vice president, legal, CFLD Indonesia, says, “They are responsive and provide clear advice. They understood the basics of property laws and business strategy. They were professional in providing us the required legal assistance to have our transaction completed. They were able to provide us with a quick response once they were requested, and they could prepare all documentation required in a very tight deadline.”

Stella Eugenia Atmadja, corporate governance associate at General Electric, says: “SSEK were professional in assisting us creating 2 legal entities for our projects. Even though the lead counsel is from a Singapore law firm, they gave a major contribution to the project.

“I am very happy with Dewi Savitri Reni. She is very experienced and gave solutions to the practical problems. She was also able to communicate the matters swiftly with GE.”

law firms award

Law firm awards

Dispute Resolution

  • Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (AHP)
  • Frans Winarta & Partners (FWP)
  • Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners (HHP)
  • Soemadipradja & Taher (S&T)

Frans Winarta & Partners (FWP), founded in 1981, has grown to be one of several prominent law firms in Indonesia. FWP’s corporate and commercial law practice has rapidly grown and strengthened the firm’s reputation. Assisting various impressive names in business, the firm has gained a reputation for having an excellent understanding of key issues, from a legal and also a commercial perspective.

The firm is renowned for its expertise in the fields of civil and criminal litigation, commercial litigation, corporate and commercial law practice, alternative dispute resolution and commercial arbitration, drafting and reviewing business agreements, intellectual property rights, legal due diligence, foreign and domestic investment law, finance and banking, leasing, energy, construction, bankruptcy, consumer protection law, competition and antitrust law, property law, labour and employment law, industry and trade law, family law, and public international law. It has eight partners and 25 lawyers.

Soemadipradja & Taher (S&T) earlier this year formed a strategic alliance with leading Singapore-based law firm Allen & Gledhill (A&G). The firm was founded in 1991 by Rahmat Soemadipradja and Hafzan Taher and since then has been consistently ranked among the country’s top-tier law firms. It has built a name for itself in the dispute resolution practice.

S&T acted as legal counsel to Total E&P Indonesie in BANI arbitration proceedings initiated by Gunanusa Utama Fabricators for approximately US$41 million in compensation from delays in the construction of certain oil platforms. The firm successfully obtained a favourable award from the tribunal.

“I am happy with the services and expertise provided by Soemadipradja & Taher – they are responsive, timely, and understand what the key issues are for the client,” says Zoe Cooper Sutton, an associate with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (UK). “Their advice on the Indonesian aspects of Key Safety Systems’ US$1.6 billion acquisition of Takata stood out.”

An in-house counsel who preferred to remain anonymous praised the firm for their “strong commitment to building and developing long-term relationships with clients”.

S&T recently promoted three senior associates to partnership, two of whom were in the dispute resolution practice.

Law firm awards

Employment & industrial relations

  • Hadiputranto Hadinoto & Partners (HHP)
  • Kemalsjah & Associates
  • Makarim & Taira S
  • SSEK Indonesian Legal Consultants

Kemalsjah & Associates is a three-decades-old firm that specializes in employee benefits, immigration law, and labour and employment cases. It has advised prominent brands in Indonesia, including Garuda Indonesia, Pertamina and Freeport.

Established in 1980, Makarim & Taira S is among Indonesia’s most reputable independent full-service law firms, trusted by leading international and domestic clients. In the employment and industrial relations practice areas, Makarim & Taira S is the most highly regarded firm in the country.

“Makarim & Taira has been very supportive and responsive to our clients’ requests,” says Juwon Hwang, a foreign lawyer at Bae Kim & Lee. “Makarim & Taira has always provided timely responses. We are advising one of the major car manufacturers in connection with its business in Indonesia, and the firm has provided timely consultations and solutions.”

“They have the ability to be detailed in the subject matter on which we appointed them,” notes a corporate counsel at Golden Springs Group. “They were able to answer queries as posed and was in detail as well.”

Law firm awards

Energy, projects & infrastructure

Hermawan Juniarto & Partners is a part of the Deloitte Southeast Asia network. Hermawan Juniarto is a specialist in infrastructure and project finance through its involvement in approximately half of the public-private partnership (PPP) and infrastructure projects in Indonesia. Hermawan Juniarto serves many high-profile clients including government institutions, state-owned enterprises, international donors, and multinational and local companies.

Its infrastructure exposures cover sectors such as ports and airports, roads and toll roads, railways, water supply and water resources, power and electricity, and waste to energy. While continuing its role as a leading PPP and infrastructure legal counsel in Indonesia, Hermawan Juniarto also renders legal services across banking, corporate and commercial, M&A, capital markets, commercial disputes, restructuring, and intellectual property areas.

Hermawan Juniarto recently advised Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation on the first railway PPP project in Sulawesi, providing legal and transactional advisory services.

It provides core advisory on various areas of management support to the PPP unit of the Ministry of Finance. And it has advised the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit Project and Batam Indonesia Free Zone Authority, among others.

Law firm awards

Insurance & reinsurance

  • Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (AHP)
  • Ginting & Reksodiputro
  • Hadiputranto Hadinoto & Partners (HHP)
  • SSEK Indonesian Legal Consultants

Law firm awards

IP enforcement

  • Hadiputranto Hadinoto & Partners (HHP)
  • Januar Jahja & Partners
  • Rouse & Co (Suryomurcito & Co)
  • SKC Law

 

Januar Jahja & Partners is a boutique intellectual property law firm that was established in 1985. It is renowned for its patent and intellectual property law expertise. It has advised several international brands such as Tencent, Harley-Davidson and Intel. The firm has five main practice areas: trademarks, patents, copyrights, industrial designs, and IP litigation, and it has more than 25 professionals on its team.

Rouse & Co is an international network of IP services business focused on emerging markets and it operates in Indonesia through Suryomurcito & Co. It provides a full range of IP services with a focus on filing and prosecution, enforcement and litigation. Its clients include Starbucks, Adidas, Harley-Davidson and Sheraton Group. It has 21 lawyers on its Indonesia team.

SKC Law is an IP specialist law firm that has built a formidable reputation for its services on both IP enforcement and IP protection practices. It has several domestic and international brands among its clients including Honda, Yamaha, FIFA and Nike. The firm has three partners, Purnomo Suryomurcito and Nidya Kalangie, and solicitor and foreign advocate Andrew Conduit.

Law firm awards

IP protection

  • Biro Oktroi Roosseno
  • Hadiputranto Hadinoto & Partners (HHP)
  • Rouse (Suryomurcito & Co)
  • SKC Law

Established in 1951, Biro Oktroi Roosseno is one of the oldest intellectual property-focused firms in Indonesia. It has more than 120 employees, including qualified lawyers and 30 technical experts from various disciplines. Its clients include Toyota.

Law firm awards

Mergers & acquistions

Law firm awards

Private equity & venture capital

Law firm awards

Real estate

Leks & Co is a multi-service firm with a strong focus on real estate. The firm has in the past 10 years acquired a reputation for its real estate law expertise. It has one of the largest real estate law practices in Indonesia in terms of the number of clients and also the number of lawyers involved (litigation and non-litigation).

In notable recent deals, the firm provided ongoing retainer advisory to Deltamas Group for their new business deal developing a housing complex located in Bekasi, West Java. The firm assisted in advising on regulation and practical solutions on each transaction of the development project, ranging from land procurement, compensation to previous owners of the land, certification and construction permits, as well as transactional documents. They also advised on the development of multipurpose utilization of a high-rise building to Ciputra Group.

Its clients are some of the most well-known real estate companies in the country including Lippo Group, Jakarta Setiabudi International, Gapuraprima Group, Hari Darmawan Group and Multi Group.

Law firm awards

Restructuring, refinancing & insolvency

Mochtar Karuwin Komar (MKK) is one of Indonesia’s oldest and largest law firms, and has a stellar reputation for its financial service practice, especially its restructuring and refinance practice. Established in 1971, the firm’s founder, Mochtar Kusumaatmadja, served as minister of justice of Indonesia from 1974 to 1978, and minister of foreign affairs from 1978 to 1988.

Law firm awards

Shipping & maritime

Samuel Bonaparte is a specialist law firm focusing exclusively on shipping and maritime law. Started in 2012, the firm’s namesake founder was formerly a ship captain with AP Moller Group, and also a marine surveyor before becoming a full-time lawyer. The firm has nearly 60 employees and provides advisory for cargo recoveries, charter parties, marine casualty, ship arrests and detention, vessel classification and certification, and marine insurance. It also provides other services in other practice areas such as litigation and arbitration, aviation, banking and finance, employment and corporate and commercial.

Law firm awards

Structured finance & securitization

Law firm awards

Taxation

  • Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (AHP)
  • Hadiputranto Hadinoto & Partners (HHP)
  • Mochtar Karuwin Komar MKK)
  • SSEK Indonesian Legal Consultants

Law firm awards

Technology, media & telecoms

  • Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (AHP)
  • Arfidea Kadri Sahetapy-Engel Tisnadisastra (AKSET) Law
  • Bagus Enrico & Partners (BE Partners)
  • UMBRA

Arfidea Kadri Sahetapy-Engel Tisnadisastra (AKSET) Law, which started in 2010 with four partners and one associate, now has 40 lawyers. In 2016, it formed a collaboration with Japan’s Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (MHM). AKSET is a full-service firm and has built a reputation for its corporate and commercial, energy and resources, and employment practices. AKSET’s TMT practice is also widely recognized by its peers, and TMT clientele include international companies such as Google, Sony and NTT, as well as homegrown unicorns such as Gojek, Traveloka and Tokopedia.

AKSET was recently included in a panel of firms to assist the Committee for Acceleration of Priority Infrastructure Delivery, along with other prominent law firms in Indonesia.

AKSET assisted Kideco Jaya Agung, a coal mining company, in a lawsuit against Indonesia’s Investment Co-ordinating Board (BKPM) to the administrative court for its decree that halted the company operation. It also advised oil and gas company Petronas in administrative court against the Indonesia Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas). And it advised Japanese firm Itochu in a lawsuit against Kubotindo Engineering for bankruptcy and insolvency.

Bagus Enrico & Partners is a boutique legal advisory firm offering legal services across practice areas, however its TMT practice has earned a reputation with a list of local and international clients. It advises clients on telecommunications, data protection & privacy, e-commerce, networks and satellites, and media. It has a professional relationship with Malaysia’s Naqiz & Partners and is a member of Alfa International, a global network of independent law firms.

The judging process

The winners of Asia Business Law Journal’s Indonesia Law Firm Awards were selected based on votes, references and qualitative information received from in-house counsel and other legal professionals in Indonesia and around the world.

A voting form was posted on our website, and thousands of in-house counsel, lawyers at international law firms and other Indonesia-focused professionals were invited to vote. At the same time, Indonesian law firms were asked to make submissions in support of their candidacy for awards. These submissions, combined with research by Asia Business Law Journal’s editorial team, played a supporting role in the judging process.

All Indonesian law firms were automatically eligible for inclusion in the awards process. As always, there were no entry fees or any other requirements for entry.