Clifford Chance breaks Singapore tie-up

Clifford Chance and Singaporean firm WongPartnership have terminated their joint venture arrangement, as the local firm has expanded aggressively in Asia.

With liberalisation of the Singaporean market imminent, the firms have said in a statement that they wish to “pursue separate strategic initiatives,” although the split was amicable.

Clifford Chance managing partner David Childs said: “While we have enjoyed a productive joint venture with the WongPartnership for the past six years, both firms now agree that the time is right to review the way forward for our respective businesses.”

WongPartnership senior partner Alvin Yeo said that recent years had seen a significant increase in the size of the firm to 230 lawyers, amidst an expansion drive that has seen it open offices in Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

He added: “This regionalisation initiative will continue and we will focus on increasing the growth in our regional practices, while continuing to build on our reputation as one of the premier practices in Singapore.”

Clifford Chance opened in Singapore in 1981 and recently began operating its India desk out of Singapore and boosting it with the hire of Rahul Guptan from Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co (, 19 August).

Clifford Chance’s joint venture with WongPartnership will terminate on 30 April 2009.