Joseph Tan merges with Koh & Choo

Joseph Tan Jude Benny, one of Singapore’s largest specialist shipping practices, is merging with corporate firm Koh & Choo.

The newly-created practice will be known as Joseph Tan Jude Benny Anne Choo.

Name partner Anne Choo will head the corporate group in the 35 fee-earner firm. Koh & Choo also gives Joseph Tan Jude Benny an IT practice for the first time.

Fellow name partner Jude Benny says that the firm could no longer concentrate solely on its traditional market.

He says: “Having consolidated our position in shipping, it became imperative for us to move into new areas of practice, especially those sectors serving the new economy. The result is our merger.”

Senior shipping partner Danny Chua says: “The merger represents synergy at its best. When we were at the Posidonia Exhibition in Piraeus, the type of enquiries we received from potential clients was for full-service legal work. We have it now. The timing is perfect.”

The 11-strong Joseph Tan Jude Benny is one of Singapore’s leading niche practices. Last September it increased its numbers after recruiting Khattar Wong & Partners’ entire 25-strong shipping team, which was led by partner Chua. And earlier this year the firm became the first Singapore practice to open in Piraeus, Greece.

Benny confirms that the firm will continue expanding in Singapore and in non-domestic, less-developed markets, particularly now that it has corporate and IT capabilities.

Clients of Joseph Tan Jude Benny include Skuld (P&I), the Danish Defence Club and Norwegian underwriters Store Brand.

Both Benny and Chua are regarded as leading practitioners in their field.

Choo has worked on a number of high-profile cases, including the acquisition of Nabisco’s food operations in Asia.

Benny says that the firm will continue developing its litigation work. “Our dispute resolution practice will draw from a very wide talent pool – most of our lawyers are experienced advocates,” he says.