Freshfields launches in Singapore five years after pulling out

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has reentered the Singapore legal services market, launching a new base there five years after it pulled out in 2006. Freshfields received regulatory approval for the office two months ago, when Singapore’s Ministry of Law granted it a Foreign Law Practice license. The Singapore office is led by the firm’s global capital markets head Stephen Revell and partner Gavin MacLaren. The firm’s co-head of global international arbitration practice Lucy Reed, who is based in Hong Kong, will also spend considerable time in Singapore to lead the firm’s arbitration practice in the South East Asia region. “We closed our Singapore office in 2006 due to the severe economic pressures. We still believe it was the right decision to make at the time,” said Robert Ashworth, Freshfields’ Asia managing partner. “But Asia is a very dynamic region, where changes are happening constantly and rapidly. So much has changed since 2006 that it’s increasingly important for us to be in the key financial centre in South East Asia. “There’s been a strong transaction flow between North Asia and South East Asia in recent years, especially in light of Chinese and Japanese investment going into Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. We covered South East Asia work out of our Hong Kong office in the past, but it’s reached a point where having a geographically conveniently located office is necessary,” said Ashworth.

Freshfields launches in Singapore five years after pulling out Thu, Sep 13, 2012