Adam Maniam

Deputy Head, Criminal Law Practice
Director, Dispute Resolution
Director, Competition Law Practice (Disputes)


  • LL.B (Hons) National University of Singapore (2008)
  • Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore (2009)

Adam has a very active practice handling complex litigation and arbitration matters. He handles matters relating to commercial contracts, corporate disputes, banking and finance, infrastructure projects, large-scale commercial leases, trusts, bankruptcy proceedings, sale of iron ore and heavy melting scrap and tortious claims. Adam also regularly handles criminal matters, several of which have been reported in the media. These criminal matters include several notable cases under the Workplace Safety & Health Act.

He has acted for high-profile clients at all levels of the Singapore Courts as well as in both international and domestic arbitrations. He has also successfully handled cases as lead counsel before the Singapore International Commercial Court. Adam also regularly handles multi-jurisdictional disputes involving parties located in ASEAN, Asia-Pacific and other countries such as PNG, Australia and the United Kingdom

Adam has wide experience in both obtaining and resisting injunctions in Court proceedings as well as in obtaining emergency orders for arbitration proceedings.

Adam also advises on regulatory issues and has been engaged to advise on and investigate fraud, anti-money laundering and competition law issues which have arisen in both private and listed companies. He regularly handles matters involving the Competition & Consumer Commission of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department, including handling raids and investigations conducted by these authorities.

Adam graduated on the overall Dean’s List from the National University of Singapore (NUS), having been a consistent feature on the Dean’s List during his time there. He represented NUS in the 2008 Asia Pacific Regional Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition where he achieved the rare distinction of being the best oralist in the general rounds as well as the best oralist in the finals. Since 2011, he has been teaching trial advocacy at NUS and has also coached NUS moot teams.

Adam is on the panel of counsel for the Law Society of Singapore and has also been appointed by the Honourable the Chief Justice to the Inquiry Panel.

Some of the matters in which Adam has acted include the following:

  • Trust dispute involving assets estimated to be worth US$600 – US$800 million

Adam successfully acted for members of the De La Sala family in a trust dispute involving assets estimated to be worth US$600 – US$800 million. Adam acted for three directors of the companies involved in the dispute and successfully defended claims against them for breach of fiduciary duties and conspiracy.

  • Lead counsel in successful SIAC Emergency Arbitration

Adam was lead in an SIAC Emergency Arbitration application. He successfully obtained emergency orders preventing the respondent from terminating a highly lucrative licensing agreement for novel technology in the oil and gas industry.

  • Dispute involving alleged damage to more than 300 Chinese ink paintings

Adam was lead counsel for one of two defendants in an assessment of damages proceeding and subsequent appeal involving claims of more than S$2 million for alleged damage to more than 300 Chinese ink paintings. Under cross-examination by Adam, the plaintiff’s expert made several key admissions that the Court relied on in reducing the amount of damages claimed by the plaintiff by more than 70%.

  • S$80 million infrastructure arbitration

Co-counsel in an SIAC international arbitration involving a Singapore government-linked company and an Australian listed company. The dispute arose out of a major infrastructure project relating to the construction an electrical services tunnel, and involved significant legal and technical engineering issues. The quantum of the claim exceeded S$80 million.

  • S$18 million Private Banking Dispute

Successfully represented UBS AG in a S$18 million dispute where two customers sued the bank for negligent advice and various other allegations surrounding the losses suffered by a US$60 million investment portfolio in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008.

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific

International Arbitration 2023

Dispute Resolution 2021 – Next Generation Lawyer for 2 consecutive years

Sources say “Adam Maniam is exceptional. His comprehensive knowledge of the case, understanding of legal nuances and timely advice has been invaluable.”

Who’s Who Legal

Thought Leaders Global Elite Guide – Under 45: Commercial Litigation - Future Leaders 2023

Global Guide: Commercial Litigation - Future Leaders 2022 – Recommended Lawyer for 2 consecutive years

National Guide: Southeast Asia - Litigation 2022 – Recommended Lawyer for 2 consecutive years

Adam Maniam impresses market sources with his “excellent negotiating skills” and “commercial approach towards solving the legal issue”.

“Adam Maniam is singled out by clients for his first-rate advice on complex litigation matters.”

"Adam Maniam at Drew & Napier is a ‘thorough, concise and relentless’ litigator applauded for his ‘impressive preparation of briefs’.”

Asian Legal Business SE Asia Law Awards

Named Young Lawyer of the Year 2022

Asian Legal Business Asia Super 50 Disputes Lawyers 2023

Recognised as being amongst the top 50 disputes lawyers in the region for 2 consecutive years.

“Adam has very good subject knowledge, is cooperative and goes the extra mile to help the client, I found his capabilities top of the line. An excellent lawyer having equally good personal traits."

asialaw Client Service Excellence 2020 edition

Identified as one of the highest rated lawyers to work with for Dispute Resolution in Singapore.

Only lawyers with the highest overall aggregate ratings have been included. Scores are also backed up with detailed feedback based on the quality of service received.

asialaw Leading Lawyers 2023/3024 edition

“He is D&N personified. Altogether exceptional in terms of service, advocacy, attention to client's concerns and knowledge of the law. He’s a brilliant lawyer. In my opinion better than some senior counsel.”

“Mastery of the law, tactics and service to the client. First-rate advocacy.”

Sources say Adam is “a brilliant thinker with a sharp mind and a calm demeanour. His advocacy is first class and he prevails over senior SC in court in an unpresumptuous manner that delivers clarity and persuasion.

“Smart with a sharp mind and detailed knowledge of the matter. Quiet achiever and excellent on his feet. Runs rings around more senior opposing counsel.”

Singapore Business Review - Legal Luminaries

Listed as one of Singapore’s 18 most influential Lawyers under 40 in 2021

  • Appointed to the Inquiry Panel of the Law Society of Singapore
  • Appointed to the panel of counsel for the Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme
  • Adjunct tutor in advocacy courses at the National University of Singapore
  • Contributed to the Singapore Chapter in Litigation 2021 and 2022, 4th and 5th Edition – published by The Legal 500
  • Contributed to the Singapore Chapter in Litigation 2019 Second Edition – published by Chambers & Partners Global
  • Justice and the Ailing Offender – A Closer Look at Judicial Mercy in Singapore – published by the Singapore Academy of Law in Inter Se, January to June 2009
  • Pupillage and Practice: The Look before the Leap – published by the Singapore Academy of Law in Inter Se, March to April 2006