Stone Chambers opens in Singapore

Stone Chambers has become the latest British set to open an office in Singapore, with Andrew Moran QC spearheading the new base.

Moran has relocated from London to Singapore and will be based there permanently. He will be supported by other Stone Chambers barristers locating to the region for extended periods of time, as well as clerks and administration.

The firm said in a statement: “This move reflects Singapore’s growing reputation as a hub for commercial dispute resolution for the Asia-Pacific region.”

Moran has more than 35 years of experience including 20 in silk. He was called to the bar in 1977 and took silk in 1994 and has a focus on maritime litigation as well as commercial disputes.

He has had a long connection with Asia, having advised and acted on instructions from Singapore and Hong Kong based solicitors for several years. He is currently an arbitrator on the panel of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration.

Singapore has become an attractive proposition for sets looking for instructions from the international market. London sets 20 Essex Street and Essex Court Chambers were the first to open in the region in June 2009 (22 June 2009), followed last year by both One Essex Court and 39 Essex Street (26 June 2012).

The growing interest in Singapore comes as a result of steps to liberalise the Singaporean profession. Last year, Singapore’s parliament passed amendments to its Legal Profession Act to make it easier for English QCs to appear in the domestic courts.

Following the regulatory changes, Essex Court Chambers’ Toby Landau QC and David Joseph QC were admitted to advocate before the Singaporean High Court in a mammoth $300m legal battle for Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan and the Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group (19 July 2012).

However, several applications to have English QCs to argue cases in the Singaporean courts have also since been rejected. Most recently, the Singapore High Court denied the application to instruct the former attorney general, Peter Goldsmith QC, to challenge anti-gay legislation in Singapore (20 September 2013).