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Simmons & Simmons is set to launch in South East Asia as a springboard to opening in India.
The firm also has concrete plans to open in Beijing, but is still waiting for a licence to be granted.
"We need the Beijing office for convenience, but it is not 100 per cent necessary," China managing partner Huen Wong told The Lawyer. "The city is saturated with law firms. At the moment we send teams there temporarily if they are needed."
Wong, who is based in Hong Kong, said Singapore was the most likely target as a launch pad for India. Simmons currently has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.
At present, Indian work is split between the 100-lawyer Hong Kong office and London. Hong Kong focuses on financial work in India, while the rest is covered by London, which handles a lot of offshore outsourcing work on the subcontinent.
Wong said he was expecting the Chinese Ministry of Justice to grant the firm's application for a Beijing licence very soon.