Kwong Wing Leon
Partner, Withers KhattarWong* | Singapore
Holding a senior position in any organization carries not only rewards and recognition but also numerous internal and external responsibilities.As all forms of business become more heavily regulated, many enforcement bodies are looking at ways to pin responsibility for incidents directly on senior individuals within organizations. Honesty, integrity and transparency are expected of today's senior leaders, more so than ever before. It is therefore more likely that you could find yourself in the spotlight regarding your own actions, as well as the actions of your organization, both at home and abroad.
Buying a yacht or private jet should be a pleasure, not a headache. Our global team can cover all the technical aspects of each transaction, as well as the tax treatment of luxury assets.Estate planning, wills and succession
Whether you wish to protect family assets, navigate cross-border tax issues or benefit a good cause, our private client lawyers will discuss your priorities, advise on options and put a plan in place.Divorce and family
At difficult moments in life, you need the best advice available. As one of the largest and most experienced teams of family and divorce lawyers in the world, we’re here to help you through.Negotiation
Our lawyers deserve their reputation for negotiating boldly on behalf of senior executives and employers. From incentives to exit packages, our aim is to leave you in the best possible position.
It is easy for funds and other finance providers to find themselves on the wrong side of complex and varied regulations. With detailed, global knowledge we can help you to stay compliant.Founders
Helping company founders to realise their vision is a hugely rewarding aspect of our work. From advising on tax or global expansion, to introducing you to investors, we’ll add value from the outset.Immigration
Whether you are an individual, a family or an employer, our lawyers know each country’s systems and speak the local language, helping you to navigate through what can be opaque processes.Real estate
Our lawyers have experience with all kinds of property transactions. Whether you’re a business building a global presence, or an individual looking to acquire a new home, we’re here to help.
With a team of more than 150 specialist tax lawyers, who are qualified in jurisdictions around the world, we are perfectly placed to handle even the most complex, cross-border tax issues.White collar defense and investigations
Facing investigation, regulatory or enforcement action is exceptionally complex. Our seasoned practitioners are here to support you, offering strategic advice to minimize the impact.Media and reputation
The publication of private or inaccurate information can seriously damage reputations. Should the worst happen, our media law team will quickly advise on how to mitigate any potential impact.
Represented the Company and its Chief Executive Officer, who are co-defendants in an ongoing litigation commenced by an ex-employee of the Company in respect of alleged wrongful termination of employment, and alleged defamation by the Company's Chief Executive Officer.
Advised an ex-director on his exit from the Company, as well as to attempt to negotiate a settlement for his departure.
Advised on the client's acquisition of a hotel, appropriate terms in the Sale & Purchase Agreement to regulate the takeover of the seller's employees, and reviewed and updated the full suite of employment documents.
Represented a former general manager in a wrongful termination claim.
Representing a global marketing and advertising agency in coming to a mutual termination agreement with its CEO who has been in service for more than 20 years and assisting the company in compiling a master employment contract template for its APAC region.
Representing a senior executive / co-founder in negotiating a service agreement involving share option plans of the US holding entity. The group hiring the individual is a start-up company designing and manufacturing electric vehicles, which is listed on NASDAQ.
Representing a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies in advising on their intended data transfer as a result of upcoming corporate demerger.
When our client, the MD of a leading recruitment firm, exited as director, employee and minority shareholder, we negotiated bespoke post termination restrictions and share purchase arrangements to ensure he separated on favourable terms.
Succession planning for leading hedge fund and private equity managers with assets in or connections with Italy, France, Switzerland and the US, among other jurisdictions.
We acted for the CEO of an international and award winning pharmaceutical company in relation to her acrimonious exit. As a co-founder of the business and a minority shareholder, we negotiated the terms of her multi-million pound settlement, working closing with one of the top four accountants on valuation issues.
Our client built their business up to their target size for exit and chose us to help them with their management buy-out. We made sure that their exit was as tax efficient as possible and reduced their exposure to any future disputes with the purchaser, while also structuring rewards for the key employees who had contributed to the success of the company.
When director and CEO of the Co-op Bank Plc Barry Tootell stepped down in difficult and controversial circumstances, we demonstrated our in-depth knowledge of difficult situations to advise and negotiate his exit. Futhermore, our team continued to support him on arising issues and enquiries related to his time at the Co-op, after his exit.
When Harriet Green stood down as CEO of Thomas Cook, she turned to Withers' experienced team to help her develop and implement an exit strategy. The situation became more complicated while she was on garden leave, and had to deal with an onslaught of negative press coverage around her alleged handling of the death of two children in Corfu (six years before she joined Thomas Cook). We developed a clear strategy and we closed the matter down to our client's satisfaction.
Withers was called on to act for a well-known managing partner of an international investment firm when his reputation was under threat. Our robust approach to reputation management prevented the filing of false statements in a form U-5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration) that would have had a detrimental effect on his future career and earnings.
This well-known speciality brand has annual revenues in excess of $400 million. We advised its chief executive and chief operating officer in a complex transaction to structure the buy-out of their equity interests by a private equity firm and allowing them to rollover their remaining interests into a newly formed holding company. We have developed a particular reputation for our ability to protect successful individuals in negotiations with private equity houses.
This well-known, publicly held brand has more than 1,200 retail outlets throughout the US. We negotiated a new package (valued in excess of $2 million annually) on behalf of the incoming chief executive.
As a firm, we are best known for helping globally successful individuals to protect their interests internationally - in this recent matter we helped secure water-tight contracts for two C-suite directors as they relocated from the United States to the United Kingdom, while our transatlantic team reviewed their changed tax circumstances.
Exploring stories of success with the Financial Times
Defining moments see leading founders and CEOs share the events and influences that shaped their careers and turned them into leaders.
13 January 2022 | article
Our website will give you a flavour of the advice we provide - if you would like to talk to us for more information, please contact our client services team who will be happy to assist.