BLP launches Myanmar partnership and Asia network

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has become the latest firm to move into Myanmar through a tie-up with local firm Legal Network Consultants (LNC). 

The Yangon-based firm is headed by Khin Mar Aye and the relationship is part of BLP’s newly-launched Asia network, which it will use to join up with other local firms across the region.

BLP is the latest in a rush of firms entering Myanmar. Baker & McKenzie was one of the first to establish a dedicated Myanmar practice in 2013 (21 January 2013) and then set foot in the region with a Yangon office in 2014, led by infrastructure and corporate partner Chris Hughes (18 February 2014). It was followed by Allen & Gledhill which launched an associate firm in Yangon (25 February 2014).

Japanese ‘big four’ firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto also confirmed it was opening in the region earlier this year (20 January 2014).

BLP currently has three offices in Asia after obtaining approval to open a representative office in Beijing in February 2013 (20 February 2013). Beijing is the firm’s first office in mainland China and is led by the firm’s former chair Peter Robinson. 

Its first Asia office was opened in Singapore in 2007 (29 January 2007) followed by an office in Hong Kong in 2011 (17 June 2011).

BLP’s Singapore office has been servicing the Myanmar region until now. It is currently home to most of BLP’s Asia-Pacific contingent and concentrates on debt issues and structuring cross-border transactions under the leadership of Alistair Duffield.

Earlier this week the firm announced the hire of Norton Rose asset finance partner Nigel Ward, who will be joining its Hong Kong office. He will be the firm’s fifth asset finance partner and has worked with clients including Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and China Development Bank.

Duffield said the opportunities in the power, oil and gas, mining, infrastructure and real estate sectors were of particular interest to BLP.