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Indonesia’s desirability as a foreign investment target has continued to drive growth in this dynamic emerging market, especially where the energy and natural resources sectors are concerned. Other potential high-growth sectors include financial services, consumer-led industries, and also the largely untapped infrastructure sector. Despite this optimism, there remains a lack of regulatory clarity, and recent trade restrictions on the limits of foreign ownership of banks have caused further uncertainty among foreign investors.
Interest among international firms to establish an on-the-ground presence through local alliances has intensified, as illustrated by a recent spate of associations between foreign and local law firms. Stephenson Harwood has allied with Christian Teo Purwono & Partners; Hogan Lovells has established an association with Hermawan Juniarto; and O’Melveny & Myers LLP has formed an alliance with Tumbuan & Partners. Oentoeng Suria & Partners is now associated with Ashurst LLP following the latter’s merger with Blake Dawson, and Herbert Smith Freehills has an assocation with Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung.
Improving the credibility of the local firms and tackling corruption continue to prove challenging, with firms citing difficulties in retaining talented senior-level lawyers, as well as growing competition from in-house counsel. The larger, longer-established players such as Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners are still doing well, but a growth in spin-offs has diversified the competition, with a number of medium-sized players, such as Assegaf Hamzah & Partners and Ginting & Reksodiputro in association with Allen & Overy, beginning to gain market share.