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Sometimes something that seemed like such a good idea at the time just doesn’t work out that way. If you don’t believe us, ask Clifford Chance
The firm has just received a slap on the wrist from the Singapore’s authorities for what boils down to a PR stunt gone wrong.
In case you missed it, Singapore law minister K Shanmugam said the magic circle firm had played a “clever word game” in publicising itself as “the first full-service, integrated law practice in Singapore” after the firm entered a formal law alliance (FLA) with local firm Cavenagh Law in December 2012.
Clifford Chance had boasted that the FLA would allow it to provide local litigation advice in partnership with Cavenagh Law. The minister disagreed, adding that the magic circle firm’s statement, “could be read to mean that a foreign law firm can now practice litigation in Singapore. That would not be accurate”.
Oops. Cue a split of opinion on www.thelawyer.com, with one reader commenting: “This will reflect very badly on Clifford Chance in Singapore” while another retorts, “nonsense, it reflects very badly on a silly, protectionist local profession”.
Good to see CC’s PR team hasn’t entirely crawled back into its shell.