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Offshore firm Harneys is bolstering its Asian presence with a Singapore office, relocating two Hong Kong partners to the jurisdiction to lead the venture.
The Singapore base will be led by the firm’s global banking head Colin Riegels, alongside funds partner Lisa Pearce. Both are moving from Hong Kong and will be joined by another four lawyers, including former Allen & Overy duo counsel Shari Hawke and senior associate Richard Griffiths.
Riegels said there were “two prongs” to the firm’s decision to move into Singapore - Harneys’ expansion in Hong Kong in recent years to a 20-lawyer office, and Singapore’s growth as a jurisdiction for private wealth in particular.
“At the moment [our Asia strategy] has been entirely focused on our Hong Kong office, so we’re trying to push that model out on a wider basis,” Riegels explained. “Singapore is the obvious next step. We’ve historically done a huge amount of Singapore work over the years and clients want to be able to instruct offshore lawyers in their own town.”
The lawyers staffing the office advise on British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands law.
Riegels said he was confident that Harneys would be able to grow its offering from Singapore in line with the jurisdiction’s use for finance and private client structures.
”I see the size of the pie growing in Singapore in terms of the offshore space,” he said.