Squire Sanders is Jakarta bound

The debate over protectionism in developing markets is a common one. In Indonesia, the expat legal community is currently raising concerns about the proposal by domestic bar association Peradi to force foreign lawyers to take an ethics exam. Many outsiders think the exam, which would have to be sat in the native language Bahasa, would be a backward step that encourages local protectionism.

Yet it hasn’t stopped a flurry of firms opening in the country. Squire Sanders is the latest firm to do just that, establishing a strategic alliance with seven-partner Indonesian firm Melli Darsa & Co.

Last month Taylor Wessing also bolstered its South East Asia presence through an Indonesian association with 10-partner Indonesian firm Hanafiah Ponggawa & Partners (HPRP).

Myanmar is another South East Asia jurisdiction that has generated tremendous interest among multinational companies and their legal advisers. Singapore-based Selvam & Partners, US-based Herzfeld Rubin Meyer & Rose, and Stephenson Harwood have all formed associations there in the last six months.

This week’s in-house interview with Qatari telecoms provider Ooredoo Asia’s general counsel provides insight into the challenges and opportunities the country offers.

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