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Legal Market Overview

Singapore has successfully positioned itself at the heart of the Southeast Asia legal market. As a recognised hub for the region, its lawyers are frequently engaged in jurisdictions from Indonesia in the south to Vietnam and Myanmar in the northern reaches of the region.

As an Asia Pacific hub for projects and project finance, the legal market is also frequently engaged in transactions even further afield, including North Asia, Australia and Africa.

Top Singaporean firms such as Allen & Gledhill LLP, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP and WongPartnership LLP have widened their focus to establish offices in multiple Southeast Asian jurisdictions. Moreover, as a major international arbitration centre, its thriving arbitration community handles cases originating from around the world. The influx of international firms into Singapore to earn part of the international arbitration sector has created a hugely competitive environment with consensus amongst the profession that this market is now suffering from overcapacity.

Recent headline developments in the market include K&L Gates merging with Singapore’s Straits Law Practice LLC to provide an integrated international and local law practice. Moreover, Singapore’s premier litigator Davinder Singh SC exited Drew & Napier LLC with a team to form Davinder Singh Chambers and Darius Chan has left Norton Rose Fulbright to join Fountain Court Chambers as counsel and arbitrator. Elsewhere, Squire Patton Boggs has launched a new global commodities and shipping practice, with the addition of Barry Stimpson and Jessica Kenworthy from Reed Smith LLP.

Competition for talent remains fierce, most notably in the banking and finance segment with partner Andrew Brereton joining King & Spalding LLP from Clifford Chance, while Alexander McMyn left Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee for White & Case Pte. Ltd., this following Guan Feng Chen ’s departure from White & Case Pte. Ltd. for Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC.