Ashurst in Asia push with key Singapore hire

Ashurst has made the first move in its plans for an Asia-focused overhaul of its international strategy, hiring an energy-focussed lawyer for its Singapore office.

Ashley Wright becomes the Singapore office’s third partner with his move from Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, where he was an associate, and will focus on oil and gas sector M&A and project finance.

As revealed in The Lawyer (11 December 2006), Ashurst senior partner Geoffrey Green was specifically targeting oil and gas lawyers to grow the Singapore office as a first step in the firm’s revamped Asian strategy.

The revised focus on Asian growth came after the firm achieved its targets for capability across Europe more than a year ahead of schedule.

Ashurst, which presently has Asian offices in Tokyo and Singapore, is also expected to launch in either Hong Kong or mainland China during the growth phase, and is one of a number of UK and US firms looking to forge closer links with Indian firms.

Singapore is a favoured staging point for a number of firms to target India with its relative geographic proximity.

Ashurst is also targeting an increase in its bengoshi ranks in Tokyo, as well as bolstering its Dubai presence by up to 15 lawyers.