Stone Chambers to enter Singapore

Stone Chambers will be the latest London set to expand into Singapore, as the city-state’s position as a regional disputes resolution hub strengths.

Singapore Supreme Court
Singapore Supreme Court

Stone Chambers is preparing to open an office in Singapore with London-based silk Andrew Moran QC understood to be relocating to the jurisdiction.

Moran was called to the bar in 1977 and took silk in 1994 and has a focus on maritime litigation as well as commercial disputes.

He has had a long connection with Asia, having advise and acted on instructions from Singapore and Hong Kong based solicitors for several years. He is currently an arbitrator on the panel of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration.

A spokesperson of Stone Chambers declined to comment, saying: “We are currently in discussions with the Attorney General’s Office in relation to open an office in Singapore. It’s inappropriate to make comments.”

Singapore has become an attractive proposition for sets looking for instructions from the international market. London sets 20 Essex Street and Essex Court Chambers were the first to open in the region in June 2009 (22 June 2009),followed last year by both One Essex Court and 39 Essex Street (26 June 2012).

The growing interest in Singapore comes as a result of steps to liberalise the Singaporean profession. Last year, Singapore’s parliament passed amendments to its Legal Profession Act to make it easier for English QCs to appear in the domestic courts.

Following the regulatory changes, Essex Court Chambers’ Toby Landau QC and David Joseph QC were admitted to advocate before the Singaporean High Court in a mammoth $300m legal battle for Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan and the Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group (19 July 2012).

Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance has also recently launched into local litigation in Singapore, via entering into a formal law alliance (FLA) with Singporean litigation boutique Cavenagh Law (11 December 2012).