Singapore-headquartered Rajah & Tann has blamed the exit of five international arbitration partners to rival Allen & Gledhill on “professional disagreements” between them and the firm.
The five-partner team, led by former head of international arbitration Chong Yee Leon, are said to have quit the firm because “they had different views of how certain initiatives within the firm should be pursued and handled”, Rajah & Tann told The Lawyer.
Chong is taking a team of four equity partners to Allen & Gledhill, they are: Allen Choong, Chua Kee Loon and foreign law partner Kamilah Kasim. The firm will also be bolstered by the arrival of partner Minn Naing Oo, who joins the firm from Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) where he was chief executive.
Allen & Gledhill chair and senior partner Lucien Wong, who now chairs SIAC board of directors (2 April 2013), said the firm was “presented with an opportunity to take on board an experienced team of five partners who will be retiring from another large Singapore law firm.
“We are pleased to be able to tap into this opportunity to enhance our bench strength.”
Rajah & Tann has named its senior partner Andre Yeap as the new head of international arbitration practice, effective from 1 May.
It is not the first time Chong has left Rajah & Tann. In 2003 Jones Day raided the firm for a team of up to 18 lawyers, including Chong (20 January 2003). He subsequently rejoined the firm.