Lawrence Graham (LG) has surrendered its Singapore foreign law practice licence in preparation for its merger with Wragge & Co next month.
As a result of the licence surrender, LG’s formal law alliance (FLA) with Singaporean firm PK Wong & Associates has automatically become invalid. LG launched its Singapore office two years ago by foreign a FLA with the local firm (12 February 2012).
A well-placed source at eight-lawyer PK Wong & Associates indicated that the firm is not currently in talks with other foreign firms for a tie up and its relationship will continue with LG even though the FLA has ended.
LG’s Singapore office is currently headed by former senior partner Penny Francis, who relocated from London to spearhead the Singapore launch. The office currently has three resident partners, including real estate partner Francis and private capital partners Nick Jacob and Zac Lucas.
Wragges doesn’t have an office in Singapore and its only footprint in Asia is in Guangzhou, a major city in Southern China.
It is uncertain whether the merged firm, which will be known as Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, will re-apply for a Singapore licence under the new brand with the aim of re-establishing its FLA with PK Wong & Associates.
The £170m merged firm will be led by a new eight-member management board, with just two spots taken up by Lawrence Graham partners (17 February 2014). It is understood that the merged firm will pursue a German merger and a possible merger in Canada.