Nicholas Chong is a senior partner in the Dentons Rodyk Corporate group. He is a corporate and capital markets lawyer, with a focus on real estate investment trusts (REITs), debt capital markets and structured products. In addition to Singapore, he has worked in London (with a Magic Circle firm) and Malaysia.
Nicholas has advised underwriters and REITs on initial public offerings (IPOs), real estate acquisitions and disposals, equity fundraising exercises (including rights issues), convertible bonds, establishments of, and drawdowns under, medium term note programs, bank financing transactions (both secured and unsecured) and securitizations.
He has advised arrangers, dealers and issuers on bank regulatory capital issues; mainly tier one, hybrid tier one and tier two securities to meet core capital requirements, with predominantly European Union issuers. He has also advised a Malaysian bank on the first Singapore dollar denominated, Singapore law governed, innovative tier one regulatory issue by a non-Singapore issuer that was also a benchmark issue.
Nicholas has advised arrangers, dealers and issuers on convertible bonds, standalone debt issues, the establishment and updates of, and drawdowns under, both Euro and non-Euro medium term note programs, with issuers ranging from banks, corporates to regional governments.
He has advised arrangers on the establishment and updates of, and drawdowns under, limited recourse secured debt issuance programs using special purpose vehicle issuers, as well as repackagings, primarily, repackagings of bank tier one and/or hybrid issues (comprising partnership interest offerings as well as debt security offerings), both standalones and under structured note programs of SPV issuers.
He has advised arrangers, dealers and issuers on both retail and non-retail offerings of structured notes. Notable highlights include advising on the first retail standalone CDO (collateralized debt obligation) in Singapore; the first retail structured note program in Singapore; the first retail drawdown under a structured note program; the first continuously issued structured note under a retail structured note program.
He has advised on mandatory general offers, initial public offerings, rights issues, private placements for equity issuers listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited. Notably, he has advised the Stock Exchange of Singapore Limited and Singapore International Monetary Exchange Limited in relation to their demutualization and merger with the Singapore Exchange Limited.
Nicholas has been named as a Leading Individual in the Capital Markets category in Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers Global since 2010. He has been cited by Chambers as "a brilliant and extremely hard-working REITs lawyer," with the comment that "Sources praise his international mindset and thorough approach." Chambers has also described him as being "Recognised for [his] strong knowledge of regulatory issues and practical approach" and winning "praise for [his] debt expertise." Sources also say that Nicholas is known for his "extensive experience in REIT transactions," "offers sensible and constructive solutions" and "is very sound in terms of legal knowledge."
Nicholas has also been named by IFLR1000 (The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms) since 2013 as a Leading Lawyer. The publication commented that he "has been especially instrumental in boosting the firm's capital markets practice."
In The Legal 500 Asia Pacific: The Guide to Asia's Commercial Law Firms (2014), under the Capital Markets category, he was cited to have "extensive and valuable experience in trustee-related issues for REIT transactions." In the 2010-2011 edition, under the Banking, Finance and Capital Markets category, he has been described as "knowledgeable and responsive". He was also cited as being "experience(d)" in the 2008-2009 edition, under the Banking, Finance and Capital Markets category.
Nicholas graduated from National University of Singapore with LLB (Hons).