Kennedys is set to launch a Singapore office in the summer with the aim of servicing its insurance clients.
It is the first move into another jurisdiction for Kennedys since it struck a best friends agreement with Chilean firm Acuña & Cia in October 2006.
Senior partner Nick Thomas said: “For a long time people took the view that Singapore, Greater China and Indonesia could be serviced from Hong Kong. But now it’s much more important that any firm with a South East Asia presence is based in Singapore.”
The insurance practice will initially comprise two partners and two associates.
Thomas said Kennedys’ policy would be to build a best friends relationship with a local firm, but initially it would work on a joint venture basis.
“We already know a firm out there and we’re in discussions, but we’re taking it very very slowly,” Thomas added.
Kennedys’ move comes as Lloyd’s of London builds its Singaporean market presence in a move that is likely to prompt a number of insurance companies to establish bases in the region.