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Adrian acts for banks and borrowers on project and energy finance transactions.

He has particular expertise in reserves-based and other upstream oil and gas financing. Most of the transactions he has worked on involve complex cross-border issues.

Adrian’s clients have included Commonwealth Bank of Australia, BNP Paribas, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Société Générale, Sumitomo, Mitsui Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered Bank.

Adrian led the team that won the International Financial Law Review’s Project Finance Deal of the Year and International Project Finance Team of the Year awards in 2010.


  • Leading individual – Banking & Finance (International), Singapore - Chambers Asia Pacific 2014
  • Leading individual – Banking & Finance (Expert based abroad), Indonesia - Chambers Asia Pacific 2014
  • Leading individual – Banking (Foreign firms), Singapore - IFLR 1000 2013, 2014
  • Leading individual – Project Finance (Foreign firms), Singapore - IFLR 1000 2013, 2014
  • ‘an excellent understanding of facility structures.’ - Asia Pacific Legal 500 2014
  • Commentators single out Adrian Cheng's "calm and collected negotiation style," adding that "when there is a stalemate, he is able to come up with good practical suggestions." - Chambers Asia Pacific 2014
  • Sources note that "his finance expertise and client service are both equally impressive," with one adding: "I have a very high regard for Adrian." - Chambers Asia Pacific 2013
  • "…he is both 'a very sound technical lawyer' and 'great to work with in terms of his commerciality and speed of turnaround.'" - Chambers Asia Pacific 2013


Adrian has been at Herbert Smith Freehills his entire career and he relocated from the firm's London office to Singapore in 2010.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • Standard Chartered Bank and IFC on their provision of a US$750 million syndicated facility to Cairn Energy Hydrocarbons Limited for the development of its oil and gas assets in Rajasthan (and associated pipeline)
  • BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered Bank and IFC (as co-ordinating banks) in relation to a syndicated US$250 million senior secured borrowing base facility and a US$75 million junior secured borrowing base facility to Salamander Energy to develop its oil and gas assets in Thailand and Indonesia
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank and CIMB on a US$160 million pre-development financing of BC Petroleum's interests in a Malaysian small field risk services contract 
  • BNP Paribas, Bank of Scotland, Crédit Agricole, Standard Chartered Bank and other commercial banks on Tullow Oil's plc, US$3 billion syndicated secured multi-tiered reserves based and corporate facilities
  • BNP Paribas, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Hang Seng Bank as arrangers under a US$100 million project finance facility to fund the development of the Martabe gold mine located in Indonesia