Canadian law firm Goodman Phillips & Vineberg is the latest firm to move into Singapore and has poached a Baker & McKenzie partner to head up the operation.

The newly opened office is the firm's third in Asia, which it says reflects the growing importance of the continent in a business context.

It will be headed by Deborah Blum, a corporate commercial lawyer who has been at Bakers' Singapore office since 1989.

She is qualified as a Canadian and English solicitor and has also practised in London at Clifford Chance and in Calgary at Whitman & Ranson.

Blum said: “I wanted to get back to my roots by joining a Canadian firm and promoting Singapore as a business centre for Canadians.”

Goodmans' Hong Kong office, which has been open for 25 years, was the first such operation by a North American firm. Its Beijing office remains the only Canadian practice in the Chinese capital.

Dale Lastman, co-chairman at the firm's Toronto office, said: “Asia is playing an increasing part in the long-term growth strategy of many Canadian companies. Coupled with our other Pacific Rim offices in Vancouver, Beijing and Hong Kong, Singapore gives us a unique ability to help Canadian companies throughout Asia and the South Pacific.”