Clifford Chance forms Singapore alliance with litigation boutique

Clifford Chance has teamed up with Singapore litigation boutique Cavenagh Law to form an integrated full service offering in the jurisidiction under the banner ‘Clifford Chance Asia’.

The new offering takes the form of a formal law alliance (FLA) which allows the two firms to provide Singapore and international advice from an integrated platform. The Singapore government changed the law earlier this year to allow FLA firms to share profits (16 April 2012) and Clifford Chance is the first firm to form an FLA under the new rules.

Cavenagh Law is a newly-established boutique with a particular focus on dispute resolution. The firm was founded by three partners, Harpreet Singh, Paul Sandosham and Nish Shetty, who all previously practised at Singaporean firm WongPartnership.

Senior Counsel (Singapore’s QC equivalent) Singh and Sandosham both join the alliance from WongPartnership, while Shetty joined Clifford Chance’s Singapore office from WongPartnership in 2009.

Clifford Chance and WongPartnership were in a joint law venture (JLV) relationship for six years. The JLV terminated when Clifford Chance applied for a Qualified Foreign Legal Practice (QFLP) licence in 2009 (25 November 2008).

Singh, Cavenagh Law’s managing partner, commented in a statement: “The recent steps in the liberalisation process taken by the Singapore government further strengthen Singapore’s position as a pre-eminent global legal hub. As partners, we have made the conscious decision that we should be part of that evolution.”

Clifford Chance’s Asia Pacific regional managing partner Peter Charlton said in a statement: “Singapore is critical to our growth strategy in Asia Pacific – as a global and regional legal hub it is of increasing importance to the international business community.”

Clifford Chance Asia is one of only a handful of FLAs in the market. Ince & Co works in Singapore alongside Incisive Law as the Ince Law Alliance.

Another UK firm, Clyde & Co, is also planning to offer clients local litigation advice in Singapore. The firm has applied to form a JLV with local firm Clasis LLC (4 December 2012).