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Raslan Loong has become the first Malaysian law firm to open offices in Europe
A second-tier corporate outfit, Raslan Loong has entered into a joint venture with boutique German firm Reeg. Raslan Loong will take space in Reeg's Mannheim offices. Name partner Caesar Loong is in Germany to establish the office and Raslan Loong plans to allow its partners to go to Germany and use the office on an ad hoc basis. In the medium term, the firm plans to move some lawyers to the office permanently. According to Loong, the joint venture is targeted primarily at Malaysian companies wanting to invest in Germany. However, in the longer term, Loong hopes to attract a client base of EU foreign director investors interested in Malaysia. Reeg is a German corporate boutique which provides advice on South East Asian emerging market investment but also works on cross-border projects and M&A. Raslan Loong already provides limited German legal advice to Malaysian companies through its Kuala Lumpur office, but the partnership with Reeg will allow it to offer a more comprehensive package to clients. Loong said: "Germany is central to the European Union, but it's an angle most law firms don't think about. Most Malaysian firms would consider a common law country first, so we thought we'd get in and carve ourselves a niche." The two firms have had a lawyer exchange scheme and an informal client referral system for some time, but decided to formalise their relationship last year. The joint venture was launched officially last week by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was in Munich with an official Malaysian delegation. Raslan Loong did not need any permission to set up in Germany because the firm does not intend to practise local law.