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Jones Day Reavis & Pogue has sent senior lawyers from its New York and Paris offices to expand its capacity in Singapore.
Emad Khalil, co-head of the firm's project finance practice, will move from New York to take responsibility for the finance side of the corporate practice in Singapore. Paris senior associate Pierre-Nicolas Ferrand will join Khalil on the finance side, while M&A could receive a boost from the relocation of a lawyer from the Frankfurt office. Partner-in-charge Jai Pathak said: "I wanted a couple of Continental lawyers because US firms often think of Asia as being linked with London or US offices, but Continental Europe gives us a lot of work." He said that the movement to Singapore had been part of the firm's agenda since the office was set up at the beginning of the year. His intention is that the team will grow from 8 to 12 lawyers by the end of the year. Pathak noted that Jones Day has ground to make up and that bringing in heavy hitters from overseas was one way to redress the local balance. He said: "We do a lot of work in the region and Singapore was the loophole. We had offices in Sydney, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo, but we were not covering South East Asia as effectively as we should have done." Of the firm's top 250 clients, 50 have head offices in the region, so a Singapore office is an essential component. The embryonic office has more work than it can handle, says Pathak, and is expecting even more as deregulation of Singapore's power industry boosts the pace of project financing instructions.