Asian firms advance into China

Leading Singapore firms Colin Ng & Partners and Drew and Napier have won licences to practise in China.

The firms are the first in Singapore to gain permission on the back of China's preparations to join the World Trade Organisation.

Colin Ng & Partners is the associated firm of UK shipping specialist Sinclair Roche & Temperley.

It already has an office in Shanghai but applied for another licence following China's decision to let non-domestic firms have two offices in the country.

Colin Ng will open its second operation in Beijing while Drew and Napier will set up in Shanghai.

Last month, Ince & Co and White & Case were granted licences. Global giant Baker & McKenzie has also signalled its intent to add to its Beijing office by opening in Shanghai (The Lawyer, 5 June).

The licence wins come as the Singapore government takes steps towards allowing domestic and foreign firms with joint ventures to incorporate.