RPC is formalising its Singapore alliance by entering into a joint venture with Premier Law. The deal is part of plans to cash in on banking litigation work in the region and double the size of its Singapore practice.

The joint venture will be known as RPC Premier Law and will expand RPC’s corporate, dispute resolution and insurance capability in Asia. The practice will be made up of 27 legal professionals including four partners.

Banking and financial disputes will be a major practice for the firm in Singapore as Premier Law is understood to be one of the few domestic firms able to litigate against major banks due to its lack of conflicting cases. Partner Siraj Omar currently heads up Premier Law’s disputes practice.

RPC managing partner Jonathan Watmough said: “This is not a case of us planting a flag in the ground. We’ve spent several years looking for the final piece in an evolving puzzle. In Premier Law we have found the right strategic partner to allow us to offer the full suite of dispute resolution, transactional and insurance services across three of the leading financial centres in the world – London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Our disputes practices are very closely aligned both in Asia and further afield – particularly when it comes to acting adverse to the major banks – and the combination of Premier’s corporate and commercial capability with our existing presence in Hong Kong will give us the critical mass to take on new and larger deals.”

The tie-up will also allow the combined firm’s insurance and marine practices to advise on Singapore law as the jurisdiction continues to grow as a major centre for these sectors.

The Singapore firm also has a finance team practising M&A, project finance and debt restructuring with a focus on infrastructure and resources. It is led by partner Tandip Singh.

Premier Law opened in Singapore in 2007 and acts for blue chip organisations across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China.

RPC has been growing its presence in Singapore for a number of years. The firm initially opened its doors in the country in 2011 after hiring insurance and reinsurance partner Mark Errington. In 2012 RPC expanded the office by transferring legal director Jeremy Hewitt to from London to the Singapore office.

The following year the firm boosted its insurance practice after it hired Ince & Co’s insurance and reinsurance head Iain Anderson.