BLP Singapore office to act as Asia catalyst

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is to launch in Asia with a Singapore base, giving the firm a regional hub as it seeks to extend its international network through South East Asia and India.

BLP is to open a Singapore office on Thursday 1 February following the hire of Asian heavyweight corporate M&A partner Paul Supramaniam from Latham & Watkins.

BLP managing partner Neville Eisenberg said: “Singapore is a good centre from which to access the South East Asia region. It’s growing in stature as a financial centre and is attracting increasing business from India, China and the Middle East.”

Supramaniam, who was head of English law for Latham’s Asia practice, will be the firm’s sole partner based full time in the region. He will work closely with the firm’s director of international strategy John Taylor to develop new and existing relationships with local firms.

BLP is in the process of finalising its list of preferred non-exclusive referral firms for India, where it is expected to forge links with firms in each of the major commercial centres.

“India’s part of the reason for the presence, [but] in order to fully tackle China it would require further investment,” said Eisenberg, before adding that there were no plans to open a similar small office in any of the Chinese cities.
The Singapore office mirrors BLP’s launch in Paris, which came with the hire of Antoine Maggiar from Slaughter and May.

Supramaniam’s main objective will be to manage and expand BLP’s network of non-exclusive referral firms in the region, as well as to carry out business development duties and fee-earning work.