Freshfields opens in Singapore

Freshfields re-opens in Singapore after five-year absence

The law firm is moving into offices alongside its former Singapore joint-venture partner as it strives to meet demand in Asean.
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Ocean Financial Centre: Home to Freshfields' new Singapore office
<div style="text-align: left;"> Ocean Financial Centre: Home to Freshfields' new Singapore office </div>

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer returns to Singapore today with the official opening of its new office in the city.

The firm, which closed its Singapore office in 2007 with a plan to focus on China, said that the practice will start with 15 to 20 lawyers, headed by partners Stephen Revell and Gavin MacLaren. “We expect to grow quickly from there,” said a spokesperson.

Revell heads Freshfields’ global capital markets practice and will relocate from Hong Kong. MacLaren joined in April from Allens Arthur Robinson, where he led the Australian firm’s Southeast Asian practice from Singapore for many years, and now leads Freshfields’ Asia energy and natural resources practice.

The firm said that it is returning to Singapore in response to strong demand from clients doing business in Asean — a region that is attracting considerable interest now that deal flow out of China has slowed down. The office will focus on corporate and finance work, as well as arbitration.

“Singapore is one of the world’s leading financial centres and an emerging regional arbitration centre,” said Robert Ashworth, Freshfields’ Asia managing partner, in a statement. “We have ambitious plans for the office.”

Lucy Reed, global head of the firm’s international arbitration group, will spearhead the development of the arbitration practice in Singapore.

The office is in Ocean Financial Centre, a new building at Raffles Place owned by K-Reit Asia. Neighbouring tenants include ANZ and BNP Paribas, but also Drew & Napier, Freshfields’ former joint venture partner before it left the city five years ago.

Even without an office in Singapore, the firm has continued to win some significant mandates in Southeast Asia, including the $2 billion initial public offering of IHH Healthcare in Malaysia and Singapore in July.

Freshfields’ other Asian offices are in Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, and it boasts more than 2,500 lawyers worldwide.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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