Clifford Chance is expanding its Asian US securities practice beyond Hong Kong.
The magic circle giant will put a team into Singapore within the next 12 months in an attempt to compete with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Shearman & Sterling, which currently dominate the US securities market in Singapore.
US securities partner Jonathan Zonis, based in Hong Kong, says the group no longer has the resources to handle the Asian workload. Zonis adds that at first the Singapore team will consist of “one partner and a few assistants”.
After Singapore, Japan is next on the firm’s agenda. Zonis says: “Tokyo is further down the line, but we’ve picked up a substantial amount of work from there.”
Clifford Chance’s Singapore joint venture with the Wong Partnership collapsed two months ago when highly-rated senior corporate partner Suet Fern Lee quit the practice (The Lawyer, 9 October).