Krishna Ramachandra is Chairman of Selvam LLC and Managing Director of Duane Morris & Selvam in Singapore. He has a broad-based international legal career, having practiced in top law firms for over twenty-three years as a corporate finance and technology lawyer. He is head of the Corporate and TMT Practice Groups and serves as a team lead for the Fintech industry group. His practice includes M&A and capital markets, investments funds, private equity, financial technology, sports, and telecommunications, media and technology. Krishna also has significant experience in Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Korea.
Krishna advises issuers, fund managers, investment banks, venture capitalists, listed and private companies, start-ups and high net worth individuals in Asia, Europe and the U.S. on a wide range of equity and debt securities issuances, compliance and regulatory matters. His extensive experience in Mergers and Acquisitions and take-overs, private equity participation and exit strategies has led to his being regularly cited by the reputable directories as a leading lawyer.
Named to Best Lawyers 2022 for Capital Markets, Mergers and Acquisitions and Private Equity Law in Singapore, Krishna is recognized as a Notable Practitioner for Corporate/M&A (Domestic) in Singapore by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021. He is regarded as one of the most highly recommended lawyers in the practice area of Capital Markets (Foreign Firms), Corporate and M&A (Local and Foreign Firms) and TMT (Local Firms) in Singapore by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Chambers Asia Pacific, which regularly refer to "his creative yet practical and client-focused approach" and his "decisiveness and commerciality."
The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2020 and 2021 client feedback stated: “Krishna Ramachandra leads the team and has a particularly strong record in fintech and TMT” and “Krishna Ramachandra is among the leading experts worldwide in both Blockchain and TMT. Additionally, he has successfully built Duane Morris Selvam’s franchise throughout ASEAN region…” In Myanmar, Krishna is regarded as a Recommended Lawyer in Corporate and M&A and Projects.
AsiaLaw Profiles 2021 named Krishna as a Leading Lawyer in the Corporate and M&A Practice Area with client feedback describing him as “one of the sharpest people we have met in the blockchain-related capital markets regulation space. His clarity of thought is nonpareil; we were also impressed by his depth of knowledge and simplicity.” and “Extremely commercial, pragmatic and sharp. Honest with his assessments and will go out of his way to find a solution to one's issues. Wish all lawyers could advise like that.” IFLR1000 2020 and 2021 named Krishna as a "Highly Regarded Lawyer" in Singapore Capital Markets.
Listed as one of Singapore's top 100 lawyers by the Asia Business Law Journal 2019 edition, Krishna has the unique and remarkable record of being recognized as having a Leading Lawyer status in multiple jurisdictions and practice areas. His grasp of commercial issues in the corporate arena is a testament to this. Who’s Who Legal in its Entertainment and Foreign Investment Review 2020 guides named Krishna a Recommended Lawyer. Its Sports and Entertainment and M&A and Governance 2019 guides stated that "Krishna provides clients with substantial expertise in sports media rights matters, having represented clients in relation to numerous Olympic Games and FIFA World Cups" and"uses his extensive experience in telecoms and media rights to great effect for entertainment clients, with particular expertise in sports." In 2019, Krishna was appointed as the Senior Strategic Adviser to Dentsu Sports Asia Pte Ltd.
Krishna is a corporate lawyer with a very commercial approach. His practice develops according to the needs of his clients and currently due to Singapore's emergence as one of the world's leading FinTech hubs, he has more of a focus on the legal and regulatory advice relating to new financial technology business models, including crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending platforms, blockchain technology, virtual and digital currencies such as BitCoin and Ethereum, e-wallet and trading platforms. As his clients' trusted adviser, Krishna has established himself as one of Singapore's "go-to" lawyers for FinTech, having previously achieved a solid reputation in the TMT space, particularly in relation to telecommunications.
A prolific speaker at high profile events, Krishna is regularly consulted by government institutions and regulatory bodies and is particularly experienced in the fields of Capital Markets and Private Equity, where securitized token offerings are being designed with his input. Krishna is also the Senior Advisor to the Global Blockchain Foundation and the Chairman of The Helix Initiative.
"Krishna’s intellectual stamina and acute appreciation of commercial realities make him a formidable adviser – his ability to come up with creative, workable solution is second-to-none." -The Legal 500.
Krishna graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge with an LL.M. in Corporate Finance on a Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer ("Freshfields") scholarship. He articled and qualified with Freshfields in London prior to relocating to Singapore with Clifford Chance. He subsequently joined Selvam LLC and is now Managing Director of Duane Morris & Selvam LLP.
Krishna is an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and a Solicitor of England and Wales. He previously sat on The Singapore Law Society's Corporate Practice Committee for Mergers & Acquisitions and Insolvency, Corporate Commercial Matters, and Listing Matters. He speaks regularly on a wide range of topics relating to M&A, corporate governance, listings, fund raising and establishment of an Asian presence at venues around the world. Born in Sri Lanka, Krishna speaks English and Mandarin.
To the extent that the representative matters listed above fall outside the context of “permitted areas of legal practice” within the meaning of Section 36A of the Legal Profession Act (Chap. 161), they have been conducted by the above named lawyer in his/her capacity as an Advocate & Solicitor of Selvam LLC, a Singapore law practice of the Joint Law Venture.
Honors and Awards
- Recognized in Capital Markets Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law and Private Equity Law by The Best Lawyers in Singapore, 2022
- Notable Practitioner for Corporate/M&A, Singapore and General Business Law, Mayanmar – Chambers Asia Pacific 2021
- Listed in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021 for Projects and Energy - Local Firms, Corporate and M&A - Foreign Firms, Corporate and M&A - Local Firms and TMT - Local Firms, Singapore, and Corporate and M&A and Projects, Myanmar
- Leading Lawyer for Corporate and M&A – AsiaLaw Profiles 2021
- Recommended in Who's Who Legal: Entertainment and Foreign Investment Review, 2020
- Listed by IFLR1000 as Highly Regarded Lawyer for Capital Markets, 2020 and 2021
- Distinguished Practitioner for Corporate and M&A – AsiaLaw Profiles 2020
Named one of Singapore's top 100 lawyers by Asia Business Law Journal, 2019
Recognized in Capital Markets Law by The Best Lawyers in Singapore, 2020; Recognized by The Best Lawyers in Singapore since 2013
Recognized in Private Equity Law by The Best Lawyers in Singapore since 2014; recognized by The Best Lawyers in Singapore since 2013
Recognized in Mergers and Acquisitions Law by The Best Lawyers in Singapore since 2013; recognized by The Best Lawyers in Singapore since 2013
Recognized in Who's Who Legal: M&A and Governance 2019
Leading Individual for Corporate/M&A: Domestic-Singapore - Chambers Global 2019
Leading Individual for Corporate/M&A: Domestic-Singapore - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019
Listed as a Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 for Projects and Energy - Local Firms, Corporate and M&A - Foreign Firms, Corporate and M&A - Local Firms and TMT - Local Firms, Singapore
Leading Individual for Corporate M&A and Recommended Lawyer for Projects (including Energy), Myanmar - The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019
- Listed by IFLR1000 2019 as Highly Regarded Lawyer for Capital Markets
Recommended in Who's Who Legal: Sports and Entertainment, 2019
Recommended in Who's Who Legal: M&A and Governance, 2019
- Named one of Singapore's top 100 lawyers by Asia Business Law Journal, 2018
Leading Individual for Corporate/M&A: Domestic-Singapore - Chambers Global 2018
Leading Individual for Corporate M&A and Recommended Lawyer for, Projects (including Energy), Myanmar - The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018
Listed by IFLR1000 2018 as Highly Regarded Lawyer for Capital Markets
Listed as a Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 for Capital Markets - Foreign Firms, Corporate and M&A - Foreign Firms, Corporate and M&A - Local Firms and TMT - Local Firms, Singapore
Leading Individual in Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 and Chambers Global 2017 for Corporate/M&A - Local Firms
- Market-leading lawyer (Capital Markets, Corporate/M&A) - Asialaw Profiles 2017
- Global Law Expert (Corporate Law, Singapore; Corporate Finance, M&A Law and Corporate Law, Myanmar) - Global Law Experts Guide
Areas of Practice
Corporate & M&A
- Capital Markets
- Investment Funds & Private Client
- Private Equity & Venture Capital
- Telecommunications, Media and Technology
- England and Wales
- College of Law, London, Postgraduate Diploma
- University of Cambridge, LL.M.
- University of Leeds, LL.B. (Hons)
- Duane Morris & Selvam LLP/ Selvam LLC
- Clifford Chance LLP
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Chairman, The Helix Initiative
Senior Strategic Adviser, Dentsu Sports Asia Pte Ltd
Member of Global Board of Advisors of the Global Blockchain Foundation and Leader of the GBF Global Committee for Blockchain Best Practices- Legal, Tax, Compliance and Governance (GBF-GCBBP-LTCG)
- Past Member, Singapore Law Society Committee for Mergers & Acquisitions and Insolvency, Corporate Commercial Matters and Listing Matters
- Member, Singapore Institute of Directors
- Advised an Indian listed company on its takeover of a Singapore listed company.
- Advised the board of Maveric Limited on its reverse takeover by private asset owners.
- Advised British Telecommunications plc on the BT Wireless demerger and the subsequent listing of mmO2 on the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised British Telecommunications plc on their proposed trade sale of Syntegra.
- Advised the independent directors in relation to the voluntary delisting of Cathay Organisation Holdings Ltd. pursuant to Rule 1306 of the Listing Manual.
- Advised Heineken on corporate regulatory matters.
- Advised Sembawang Marine on their acquisition of certain key assets.
- Advised Nogle Group on its investment in TNG (Asia) Limited and TNG Global Limited, two affiliated digital payment companies in Hong Kong as part of a US$115 million Series A funding to support the development and regional expansion of e-wallet technology.
- Advised Vigilant Assets on the set up of its S$50 million fund catered towards investing into FinTech related businesses. The cornerstone investment is Jules Venture’s computing and coding business.
- Assisted a local company involved in the operation of web portals, who have developed a platform facilitating transactions with merchants using bitcoin, in drafting a memorandum setting out whether their business would be regulated by the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act and the Money-changing and Remittance Businesses Act.
- Assisted a company operating a cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform, who has completed an Initial Coin Offering (“ICO”), in preparing a legal memorandum in respect of responses to queries from the Monetary Authority of Singapore on whether its ICO or its business was regulated in Singapore.
- Advised on the sale of Ncell (the market-leading Nepalese telecommunication operator) by TeliaSonera to Axiata, at an enterprise value of USD 1.37 billion.
- Advised a Singapore company on the transfer of its 65% shareholding in a Tanzanian company which holds various telecommunication licenses to a Vietnamese state owned enterprise for US$65 million.
- Advised the selling shareholder of Timeturns Holding Ltd on the sale of its wholly-owned Cambodian subsidiary Latelz Company Ltd to Axiata Group Berhad, South-east Asia's second largest mobile phone provider, for US$155 million.
- Advised Maxis Communications Bhd. on telecommunication infrastructure agreements.
- Advised Morgan Stanley on worldwide technology regulatory issues.
- Advised Corus and Usinor on setting up a multimedia-based trading exchange in Europe.
- Advised various companies including media promoters on a variety of sponsorship, licensing and merchandising deals.
- Represented Dentsu Inc., a Japanese advertising and public relations company, in negotiating the licence for the media rights for the XXII Olympic Winter Games (2014) in Sochi, Russia, the Games of the XXXI Olympiad (2016) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the II Summer Youth Olympics Games (2014) in Nanjing, China for 22 Asian countries and territories with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and in drafting and negotiating a number of sub-licence agreements for those media rights with broadcast partners.
- Advised FIFA on the sale of the US$500 million Asian media rights for the World Cup 2010 and 2014.
- Advised Dentsu on various sport-related commercial agreements.
- Provided advice on sports and media related regulatory matters to a variety of sports and media promoters including Nimbus Communications Limited.
- Advised various sport-governing bodies in respect to the exploitation of their commercial and media rights.
- Advised a football club on the player contract for an ex-England under-21 international winger.
- Acted as Singapore special counsel for Nimbus Sport International in relation to its IPO on the BSE.
- Advised a global real estate company and the fund manager on the establishment of a US$200-million private equity fund in India.
- Advised Ascott Group Limited and the fund manager on the establishment of a US$500 million private equity fund (China).
- Advised a U.S. investment bank on regulatory and licensing issues in Singapore.
- Advised various hedge funds on establishment and compliance issues in Singapore.
- Advised a private equity fund focused on real estate investments in ASEAN.
- Advised a Middle Eastern fund on the setup of a sharia-compliant real estate fund.
- Advised UOB Asset Management Limited on various funds related regulatory issues involving the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
- Advised on the regulatory issues and the setting up of a trading exchange dealing in sharia-compliant royalty entitlement contracts (involving MAS and SGX).
- Advised Jefferies & Co, global coordinator, on the first dual listing of a foreign entity (Omega Navigation) on the Nasdaq and Singapore Stock Exchange valued at over US$240 million.
- Advised British and Malayan Trustees Ltd, as the trustee for Allco REIT, in relation to the initial public offering on the SGX of 321,255,000 units in Allco REIT, sponsored by the Allco Finance Group Limited of Australia.
- Advised on the S$440 million listing of K-REIT Asia on the Singapore Stock Exchange by way of an introduction.
- Advised DBS Bank Limited as manager, underwriter and placement agent in relation to the listing and quotation of Singapore Depository Shares, which represented equity shares in the capital of Varun Shipping Company Ltd. (India).
- Advised on the US$1.6 billion international offering of subordinate notes issued by United Overseas Bank Limited under Rule 144A/Regulation S.
- Advised Yellow Pages (Singapore) Limited on their S$213 million flotation on the Singapore Stock Exchange under Rule 144A/Regulation S.
- Advised the underwriters on the Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund's $460 million IPO under Rule 144A/Regulation S.
- Advised Otto Marine Ltd. on their successful IPO on the Singapore Stock Exchange in November 2008.
- Advised on the US$800 million IPO of ASTRO with international offering under Rule 144A / Regulation S (Malaysia).
- Advised Kenetics Innovations Ltd. on its admission onto the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
Advised Creative Technology on the voluntary delisting of its shares from the Nasdaq Global Market (Nasdaq).
- Advised on the US$300 million convertible bond issued by Prime Venture (Labuan)/Genting Berhad (Malaysia).
Corporate M&A / Takeovers
Financial Technology ("FinTech") and Cryptocurrencies
Telecommunications, Media and Technology
Investment Funds / Private Equity and Islamic Finance Advisory
Capital Markets (Equity and Debt)
- "one of the sharpest people we have met in the blockchain-related capital markets regulation space. His clarity of thought is nonpareil; we were also impressed by his depth of knowledge and simplicity." and "Extremely commercial, pragmatic and sharp. Honest with his assessments and will go out of his way to find a solution to one's issues. Wish all lawyers could advise like that." Asialaw Profiles 2021
- "Krishna Ramachandra is among the leading experts worldwide in both Blockchain and TMT. Additionally, he has successfully built Duane Morris Selvam’s franchise throughout ASEAN region..." The Legal 500, 2020
- "Krishna Ramachandra, the director of Duane Morris & Selvam has been the major force behind the firm and his in-depth knowledge and fair advice has been outstanding." IFLR1000, 2019
- "uses his extensive experience in telecoms and media rights to great effect for entertainment clients, with particular expertise in sports." Who’s Who Legal, 2019
- "Perfect.Outstanding in all areas." Asialaw Profiles, 2019
- "An intelligent strategist that you simply need in your corner when negotiating a difficult deal." The Legal 500, 2016
- "Krishna's intellectual stamina and acute appreciation of commercial realities make him a formidable adviser - his ability to come up with creative, workable solutions is second-to-none." The Legal 500, 2015
- "He is very insightful and knows how to identify our concerns and those of the other parties so that he can reconcile things." Chambers Asia Pacific, 2014
- " … a sharp, polished lawyer who offers clever solutions to our problems." Chambers Asia Pacific 2011, A Client's Guide
- " … wonderful interpersonal skills, and ability to see things from the client's perspective." Chambers & Partners, Client Guide 2008
- " … clients recommend 'creative and meticulous' capital markets expert Krishna Ramachandra" The Legal 500 – Asia Pacific 2009/2010
- " … clients have highlighted the 'detailed and creative' approach of Krishna Ramachandra on M&A transactions" The Legal 500 – Asia Pacific 2009/2010
- Co-author, "Chapter 12: Myanmar," The Energy Regulation and Markets Review, Tenth Edition, 2021
- Co-author, “Singapore: Mergers and Acquisitions” The Legal 500 Country Comparative Guides, April 2021
- Co-author, "Chapter 14: Myanmar," The Energy Regulation and Markets Review, Ninth Edition, 2020
- Co-author, "COVID-19 Pandemic: Relief Measures for Businesses in Myanmar," Duane Morris Alert, May 1, 2020
- Co-author, "Validity of Electronic Signatures in Myanmar," Duane Morris Alert, April 28, 2020
- Co-author, "COVID-19 in Myanmar: Impact on Commercial Contracts and Employment," Duane Morris Alert, April 14, 2020
- Co-author, "Myanmar," The Energy Regulation and Markets Review, 2019
Quoted in "How Gatecoin's Party Got Gatecrashed," CDO Trends, March 18, 2019
Co-author, "Myanmar," The Energy Regulation and Markets Review, 2018
Co-author, "Implications of Delay in Commencement of New Myanmar Companies Law 2017," Duane Morris Alert, January 9, 2018
- Featured in the Myanmar Section of Annual Review, Mergers & Acquisition, Financier Worldwide, August 2017
Featured in video series "Doing Business in Myanmar," Conventus Law, June 26, 2017
Quoted in "Even without TPP, Trump presidency promises increased activity for lawyers," Asialaw, December 1, 2016
- Co-author, "Chapter 48: Myanmar," Mergers and Acquisitions Review, 2016
- Author, "Htin Kyaw — What Now?" Acquisition International Magazine, April 1, 2016
- Quoted in "All-Round Calibre Is Key for New Awards," The Straits Times, March 27, 2016
- Co-author, "Chapter 46: Myanmar," Mergers and Acquisitions Review, 2015
- Co-author, "Myanmar Insider," Storm, February 17, 2015
Featured in "Potential and Risks of Investing in Myanmar," Conventus Law, May 19, 2014
- "Investing in ASEAN: What Foreign Investors Need to Know," Investing in ASEAN, 2011
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Interviewed on “Cryptocurrency: Flash Crashes or Avalanches of Adoption?” Your Money with Michelle Martin, MoneyFM, 15 September 2021
- Interviewed on “The Crypto Plunge: What You Need to Know,” Your Money with Michelle Martin, MoneyFM, 16 June 2021
- Interviewed on "Taproot, Bitcoin's Upcoming Update and the Lightning Network," Your Money with Michelle Martin, MoneyFM, 16 June 2021
- Interviewed on "Cefi, Defi and Cryptocurrency Trading," Your Money with Michelle Martin, MoneyFM, 25 April 2021
- Interviewed on "The Digital Asset Revolution : Watershed Moment or a False Dawn?" Your Money with Michelle Martin, MoneyFM, 19 April 2021
- Interviewed on "Possible Institutional Crypto Strategies," Your Money with Michelle Martin, MoneyFM, 29 October 2020
- Speaker, "Digital Currencies and Payment Systems. What is your business role in all of this?" Webinar, Association of Corporate Counsel, Singapore Chapter, 28 October 2020
- Interviewed on "The Tech Divide - How Will Digitalization, Digital Currencies, Payment Systems Set a New Business Order?" Your Money with Michelle Martin, MoneyFM, 26 October 2020
- Speaker, "Digitalization & Thought Leadership: How Countries and Businesses Have to Adapt to Stay Relevant," The AmCham IFS Premiere Series, 15 October 2020
- Interviewed on "Will Blockchain and Digital Currencies Reshape the Economy?" Your Money with Michelle Martin, MoneyFM, 22 September 2020
- Speaker, "Digitalization in 2020", Webinar, Duane Morris & Selvam, 14 August 2020
- Panelist, “Contracts & Compliance: Business Integrity in the Face of Adversity." Webinar, AmCham Sri Lanka, 29 July 2020
- Moderator, "Bidding for Projects in Myanmar Made Easy," Webinar, Singapore Business Federation, 21 July 2020
- Presenter, "Fireside Chat on Blockchain, Tokenization and Digitalization of Business," Spectrum Club, Singapore, May 16, 2019
- Panelist, “The Future of World AI” speaking on AI Legality, NTU, Singapore, 13 September 2019
Speaker and Moderator, World eSports & Blockchain Summit MARVELS Singapore 2019, 16 July 2019
Speaker, "Real Estate Tokenization" and Panelist on "Unlocking the True Potential of STOs", Insiders' Insights: Security Token Offerings, BitTemple, Singapore, 14 December 2018
Speaker, "Legal Perspective of Blockchain: The Future and Regulations," World Knowledge Forum, Seoul, Korea, 12 October 2018
Speaker, "Buyer Beware: Blockchain and the Legal Landscape", The Law Society of Singapore, Singapore, 6 September 2018
Speaker and Moderator, Global Blockchain Foundation Summit: ASEAN Decentralized 2.0, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 3-4 September 2018
Speaker, Global Blockchain Foundation Summit, Seoul, Korea, 12 July 2018
Panel moderator, "Innovative City: The Singapore Story," World Cities Summit, Singapore, 10 July 2018
"Singapore Firm Becomes Active in Advising Clients on Initial Coin Offerings," Interview on Primetime Asia, Channel News Asia, May 23, 2018
- "A Rising Asia: Developments and Opportunities from 'on the ground' in Singapore," San Francisco, March 2011
- "Disclosure Requirements for Listed Companies," Company and Securities Law 2009 Conference, Singapore, August 17-18, 2009
- "Due Diligence 'How Tos' for Young Corporate/Commercial Practitioners," September 9, 2008
- "Setting Up New Ventures in India: India Business Insights and Economic Outlook," Singapore, April 15, 2008
- "M&A and REITS,"Asia Business Forum's REIT Conference, February 27-28, 2008
- "Listing on AIM: Undertaking AIM Listings," June 29, 2007
- Private Equity / Investment – The 2012 Sweet Spot for Global Investment: Seizing Opportunity and Mitigating Risk in Southeast Asian Markets