Addleshaw Goddard to launch in Singapore after six-month hiatus

Addleshaw Goddard is preparing to open its long-awaited Singapore office, with a London partner set to relocate to lead the launch.

The office is slated to open in May and will be managed by litigation partner Jamie Harrison, who joined the firm from Winston & Strawn in 2009 (19 August 2009). Managing associate Richard Wise will also relocate from London to Singapore.

Addleshaws first unveiled its plans to open an office in Singapore in May last year, with a proposed focus on international arbitration (24 May 2011).

In September 2011, the plans were brought to an abrupt halt when the firm lost Kent Phillips, who had joined Addleshaws with Harrison in 2009 and was the litigation partner who had been tasked with the launch of the Singapore office. He left to head Berwin Leighton Paisner’s Asia arbitration practice and is based in that firm’s Singapore office (27 September 2011).

Managing partner Paul Devitt said in a statement: “The opening of our first overseas office is an exciting and very significant milestone for Addleshaw Goddard and we’re delighted that Jamie and Richard will be leading such an important investment.

“Our international strategy is focused on ensuring high quality, seamless client service through our preferred friends or own offices, and also on contributing to profitable income growth.”

There has been a flurry of interest in Singapore this year since the Singaporean parliament passed amendments to its Legal Profession Act that paved the way for foreign firms to merge with local firms and made it easier for foreign QCs to appear in Singapore courts (15 February 2012).

Squire Sanders (16 February 2012), Lawrence Graham (17 February 2012) and Withers (17 February 2012) have all since announced their intentions to expand into Singapore.

Clyde & Co announced earlier this year that its senior shipping and dispute resolution partner Brian Nash had been appointed as the new managing partner for Singapore, with Nash relocating from London to the city state for the new post (15 February 2012). This followed an earlier move by the firm to enter into an association with local Singaporean firm Clasis LLC, which is a separate entity to Clydes’ Indian best friend Clasis Law (24 October 2011).

In March Allen & Overy and Singapore’s Allen & Gledhill called off tie-up talks after failing to agree terms during exploratory talks (26 March 2012).