Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is to pull the plug on its two-partner Singapore office.

The move will result in the relocation of the partners Bruce Cooper and Yeelong Tan to the magic circle firm’s Hong Kong office.

The rest of the legal staff in the office have been offered positions with the firm in Hong Kong. The shock move is in response to the changing patterns of demand for legal services in the region.

The closure of the Freshfields’ Singapore office will also result in the termination of the firm’s joint venture with Singapore firm Drew & Napier.

Freshfields chief executive Ted Burke said in a statement: “Our structural changes have been driven by the positive impact of China’s growth on our clients’ activity and their demand for legal services in the region.”

“We are refining our Asia strategy as we match our resources to the requirements of our core client base. We are one of the leading firms operating in China, and the growth potential is enormous for our clients and for us,” he added.

The closure of Freshfields’s Singapore office comes just under two years after the firm shut the doors on its Bangkok office.