Photo, Kelvin Poa

Kelvin Poa

Principal
Wong & Leow LLC

Biography

Kelvin is a principal in the Corporate & Securities and Employment Practice Groups in Singapore. He is also the chair of Baker McKenzie's Asia Pacific Private Equity Group and a member of the Global Private Equity Steering Committee. Kelvin is recognised by various legal publications as a leading lawyer for investment funds and employment in Singapore.

Practice Focus

Kelvin’s practice focuses on corporate and commercial law. He regularly works on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity (including funds formation) transactions and employment law matters.

Kelvin is a venture capital and investment funds specialist. He draws on his extensive background in venture capital and private equity — and proficiency in fund formation and structuring — to deliver innovative and workable solutions for clients. He advises leading venture capital, private equity and real estate houses to find "fund-compatible" structures for their investment acquisitions, restructurings and exits — and assists asset management clients to navigate transformational transactions or complex reorganisations successfully. A client describes him as "very knowledgeable in the venture capital and start-up space," adding, "He is quick to respond and manages to provide simple explanations to complicated matters."

In the employment space, Kelvin advises clients on all aspects of non-contentious employment issues. He has experience in drafting, negotiating and advising on employment contracts, separation agreements and termination of employment, including non-solicitation and non-competition. Kelvin’s experience also includes advising on employee incentive compensation plans, share option plans, redundancy, trade unions and collective bargaining agreements, anti-corruption laws and employment issues arising from transfers of undertaking and mergers and acquisitions.

Representative Legal Matters

Investment Funds

  • Advised Vickers Ventures on the formation of Vickers Venture Fund V, a USD 400 million venture capital fund focused on VC investments in the TMT, consumer, financial services and life sciences sectors globally.
  • Advised Vertex Ventures on the formation of Vertex Ventures SEA III, a USD 200 million venture capital fund focused on IT-related investments in Southeast Asia and India, and formation of Vertex Global Healthcare Fund I, a USD 150 million healthcare-focused venture capital fund.
  • Advised Standard Chartered/IL&FS on the formation of Standard Chartered IL&FS Asian Infrastructure Fund, a USD 1 billion Asia-focused infrastructure fund.
  • Advised a leading private equity manager on its joint venture with a government-linked sovereign wealth fund for a series of secondary transactions with a total transaction value in excess of USD 1 billion.
  • Advised Gateway Partners on the formation of Gateway Fund I, L.P., a USD 1 billion Asia- and MENA-focused private equity fund.

Employment

  • Advised a global diversified healthcare company on international aspects related to the spin-off of its biopharmaceutical division to shareholders of a newly formed US subsidiary corporation.
  • Advised a multinational company regarding a breach of the Central Provident Fund Act. Successfully achieved a 50% waiver of late payment interest with no penalties imposed on the client. •
  • Advised an international bank in the drafting of employment documents templates. Coordinated with counsels from 12 other jurisdictions to customise the templates for compliance with respect to the law in their respective jurisdictions for use by the bank’s various branch offices.
  • Reviewed and amended various employment policies on topics such as, including but not limited to, disciplinary, data protection, anti-corruption and bribery, bring-your-own-devices and retirement, for various multinational companies seeking to enter the Singapore market.
  • Advised an international management consulting firm regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants and the practical steps to take to ensure that such restrictive covenants are adhered to.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Singapore Academy of Law - Member
  • Law Society of Singapore - Member
  • Law Society of England & Wales - Member

Admissions

  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (2005)
  • Singapore (1999)

Education

  • National University of Singapore (LL.B. Honors) (1999)
  • Oxford University (Worcester College) (1997)

Languages

  • English
  • Malay

Previous Offices

  • London
  • Sydney