At present, foreign law firms are banned from having shares in local legal institutions. But the Legal Professional Practices law are likely to be amended which would allow the marriage to go ahead.
A 200-partner firm with 700 lawyers in Australia and Asia, Freehills' is reportedly attracted to Alban Tay's modern approach and its experience in telecoms, intellectual property, construction and corporate law.
The two firms are among the first to announce an alliance resulting from the upcoming deregulation of the Singapore market, although several other medium-sized firms are understood to be in negotiations with law practices in the area.
Alban Tay Mahtani & De Silva has 11 partners and 13 lawyers. Freehills has offices in Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and two in Vietnam