Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has lost two partners in Singapore, with finance partner Tahirah Ara joining Withers and office managing partner Alistair Duffield seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Both Ara and Duffield are part of a six-lawyer team which joined BLP from Holman Fenwick & Willan in 2010.

In her latest move, Ara will join Withers as a partner on 26 October. She will be joined by two associates from BLP at a later date. The team hire is part of Withers’ effort to boost its corporate and finance capabilities in the region, following its alliance with Singaporean firm KhattarWong in April. The alliance consists over 70 lawyers.

Withers managing director Margaret Robertson said: “The growth of the firm’s corporate team in Singapore is a priority task to us and Tahirah’s work with leading Asian families makes her especially well-suited to our practice.”

Ara is dual qualified in England and Wales and Singapore. She is experienced in syndicated loans, cross-border banking and finance transactions, as well as commercial agreements.

It is understood that Duffield is still exploring various different opportunities and BLP is not recruiting for a new managing partner in Singapore.

“We can confirm that Alistair has decided to retire from the BLP partnership at the end of October. Under Bob Charlton’s leadership our Asia practice, including Singapore, is in growth mode,” said the firm’s spokesperson.

BLP opened its first Asia base in Singapore in 2007 and embarked on a regional expansion last year with the launch of its newly created Asia network, which includes local firm Legal Network Consultants in Myanmar and Indonesian firm Mataram Partners. Later that year, it appointed Bob Charlton as head of Asia and Hong Kong managing partner from DLA Piper.