Smitha Menon - Asia Co-Chair of WLG's Restructuring & Insolvency Resolution Group

Published on Oct 13, 2022


Smitha Menon

Partner at WongPartnership
Asia Co-Chair of WLG's Restructuring & Insolvency Resolution Group

1. Share with us something new and interesting about your firm.

Our head of disputes, Chou Sean Yu, has become our Deputy Managing Partner. The firm has also been recognized as the top regional firm for Restructuring & Insolvency for the third year in a row. We were recognized as the "Restructuring and Insolvency Firm of the Year" at both the 2021 and 2022 Euromoney asialaw Awards and as the "Restructuring and Insolvency Law Firm of the Year" at the 2020 Asia Legal Business SEA Law Awards.

2. What do you look forward to as the new Restructuring & Insolvency Resolution Group Co-Chair?

Singapore is a financial services center, and as a result, most of the R&I work we see is cross-border in nature. I look forward to learning more about the restructuring regimes of other WLG jurisdictions and the on-the-ground expertise of our members. I also look forward to collaborating with the Restructuring & Insolvency Resolution Group on thought leadership initiatives such as joint articles and presentations.

3. Tells us about an interesting client matter you've worked on.

I worked on a leveraged buyout and failed joint venture involving a local homegrown business and a private equity firm. The dispute resulted in arbitration, litigation, and bankruptcy proceedings in multiple jurisdictions, including Mauritius, and the parties litigated all the way to the Privy Council. What was interesting to me was how seven years of professional fees and countless hours of management time were expended simply because expectations and personalities did not align when the parties first went into partnership. It made me appreciate the value of mediation in insolvency disputes which is now gaining traction in Asia as an optimal means of resolving distressed situations.

4. What is your favorite vacation spot?

My favorite place to vacation is in Japan.