Singapore firm Selvam & Partners launches in Myanmar

Singapore firm Selvam & Partners has launched an office in Yangon, Myanmar, making it the latest firm to scramble for a spot in the fast-emerging market. 

Selvam’s managing director in Singapore, Krishna Ramachandra, will lead the office, and associate director of Selvam in Singapore Benjamin Kheng will serve as a resident partner.

The new office will launch with 10 local senior and junior practitioners, including multiple former judicial officers, and advise domestic and international clients on investment and business matters including tax licensing, regulatory, market entry and reporting requirements.

Ramachandra will work on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and investment funds and private equity firms and has expertise in Islamic finance law, while Kheng will work on corporate law. The associate has several years of experience in corporate transactions and deal-making in Singapore and across the Asia-Pacific region.

Selvam entered into an enhanced joint venture with US firm Duane Morris in Singapore with the launch of Duane Morris & Selvam in 2010. Selvam’s expansion in Myanmar gives Duane Morris a foothold in the emerging market, as the US firm will be able to serve clients through two closely integrated entities – Duane Morris & Selvam (Myanmar) and Selvam & Partners.

Myanmar has seen an explosion in activity from international firms over the past two years after the country opened up its borders following a period of political reform (21 January 2013).

Stephenson Harwood, Rajah & Tann, ZICOLaw and Nishimura & Asahi have all recently set up shop in the fast-emerging country formerly known as Burma (27 August 2013).Allen & Overy, Norton Rose Fulbright and Webb Henderson have also advised on big telecoms deals in the country after securing contracts for some of the big-business telecoms deals coming out of the region (8 August 2013).

Baker & McKenzie was one of the first to establish a presence there, launching a Myanmar centre in its Thailand office in 2012 (15 August 2012).

The country’s economy grew by approximately 6.5 per cent in 2012/13 and growth is expected to accelerate rapidly according to a recent International Monetary Fund survey.