Dechert looks to open in Singapore with OMM lateral hire

Dechert is understood to be in the process of hiring O’Melveny & Myers’ (OMM) Singapore partner Dean Collins as part of the firm’s plan to open an office in Singapore later this year.

Collins is qualified in England and Wales and is a partner in OMM’s fund formation practice. He has been with the firm since 2009 when he joined from Actis, a private equity house focusing on emerging markets where he was a director in London for six years (21 January 2009).

Dechert is expected to open an office in Singapore in the coming months. The firm currently has two offices in Asia, Beijing and Hong Kong. It has also obtained a licence from China’s Ministry of Justice to open an office in Shanghai (17 September 2012), but the Shanghai launch is still being finalised.

Dechert failed to respond on the Singapore partner hire and launch. However, in a recent interview, the firm’s chief executive officer Daniel O’Donnell told The Lawyer that the firm would target growth in Asia this year (5 February 2014). The move to build in Asia came after the firm reported a 6.6 per cent rise in firm-wide revenue from $725.9m in the 2012 financial year to $777.2m in 2013.

OMM has seen a number of partner and counsel departures in Asia since the firm’s long-serving Asia chair Howard Chao stepped down last year. Most recently, the firm’s Hong Kong restructuring partner Mark Fairbairn and Singapore of counsel Ashley Bell both joined DLA Piper (24 January 2014).