Carey Olsen has joined the increasing number of offshore firms with a Singapore presence by launching in the city-state with the hire of former Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Linda Lee.

The firm announced it was opening the office after being granted a licence by the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Singapore is the firm’s first Asian base.

Lee, who was a partner at A&O for 11 years before leaving in 2011, will head up the office. She will be supported by senior associates Elizabeth Killeen and Alan Hughes from Carey Olsen’s British Virgin Islands (BVI) corporate team.

Carey Olsen is the second offshore firm to announce a Singapore launch this year, following in the wake of BVI firm Forbes Hare. It is the ninth firm into the jurisdiction and the third Channel Islands-headquartered player, joining rivals Bedell Cristin and Collas Crill.

Managing partner Alex Ohlsson said the launch was “an important milestone” as it gave Carey Olsen’s clients access to advice in their own time zone.

Lee added the firm already had strong relationships in Asia and expected to develop these. She said the office would “grow significantly” in the future.

Recent Asian transactions for Carey Olsen include acting for West China Cement Limited, a Jersey incorporated, Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed public company on its issuance of a $400m high yield bond and advising China-based Reignwood International Investment (Group) Company on its £135m acquisition of shares in the owner of the Wentworth Golf Club in the UK.

The Singapore office will have an initial focus on corporate and commercial transactions including capital markets, mergers & acquisitions, banking & finance and investment funds.

The launch is the latest stage of Carey Olsen’s international expansion. The firm was late to follow its competitors overseas, expanding into the Cayman Islands only in 2012 and the BVI the following year.

For more on offshore firms in Singapore, see last year’s special report: Singapore focus.