Singapore goes Singaporous for international firms

Singapore has relaxed its restrictions on foreign law firms entering the chewing gum-free city state in a bid to become more competitive.

Singapore has relaxed its restrictions on foreign law firms entering the chewing gum-free city state in a bid to become more competitive.
The rules will make it easier for barristers to appear before Singapore courts and allow foreign law firms to take a stake in – and share profits with – local outfits (see story).

Big international firms have been clambering all over Singapore for a while now. Allen & Overy is trying to wrestle away Linklaters’ joint venture partner Allen & Gledhill (3 November 2011), Squire Sanders has launched an office (16 February 2012) and Clyde & Co has sent a London shipping partner to head its Singapore office.

It’s an exciting prospect for international firms. Singapore is a rising market in an ideal location that is far less crowded than Hong Kong.

But be warned, all you trailblazing partners from international firms. Make sure you curb any nocturnal excesses – we hear that caning is still a widely used punishment in Singapore.

It could give a whole new meaning to lockup and WIP.