Revealed: Clydes plans Asia domination with Jakarta joint venture

Clyde & Co is planning further expansion across Asia after entering into a formal association with seven-partner Indonesian firm Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo (LGS).

Michael Horn
Michael Horn

Clydes has formalised its longstanding relationship with the Jakarta-based firm with plans to focus on disputes, compliance and regulatory matters, as well as being able to share staff and benefit from the Indonesian firm’s ambitions for regional expansion.

LGS managing partner M. Idwan ‘Kiki’ Ganie said: “To implement our vision to offer Indonesia’s largest network of branches and associated offices to our clients, LGS intends to roll out offices throughout Indonesia. We have asked Clyde and Co to support such efforts with their expertise.”

LGS was originally introduced to Clydes by Singapore-based projects and resources partner Michael Horn, who will head the relationship for insurance firm.

Horn, who met LGS’ named partners after moving to Indonesia in 1992, said: “LGS lawyers will be seconded into Clyde & Co offices around the world, not necessarily only on Indonesian matters.” The associates, he added, would be placed for on a two-year rotation.

According to Horn, LGS is home to around 100 lawyers, including seven partners and several associates operating at partner level. Indonesian regulations limit secondments to a maximum of five people and a ratio of seven local lawyers to every foreign one.

He said: “LGS has plans for expansion into Bali and other cities, that set them apart because most firms don’t expand out of Jakarta. For shipping and finance you don’t need to be in a specific region but for energy, innovation and projects work it is very useful to have hubs in the regions, because that is where the commodities are”.

Horn added that there was anticipation that the Indonesian legal market would see increased deregulation with the arrival of the common market in 2015.

Until then however, the best way of creating a very close association in the region is to create a small hub in the region and tag it onto an Indonesian firm, making it easier to integrate people and technology, Horn advised.

However, Horn said Clydes was not looking to capture the value of work we send to other firms, we were looking for local specialists in our specialist areas”.

White & Case is the most recent firm to tie-up in the region, joining with MD & Partners in January, six years after ending its association with local firm Ali Budiardjo Nugroho Reksodiputro (30 January 2013).

Hogan Lovells entered into an association with Indonesian law firm Hermawan Juniarto, in a bid to strengthen its presence in the emerging South-East Asian market last year (19 April 2012), while Stephenson Harwood tied up with Indonesian firm Christian Teo Purwono & Partners at the end of 2011 (28 November 2011).

It is the latest in a string of office openings for Clydes. In the last year the firm has formed a joint law venture (JLV) with its Singaporean association firm Clasis (4 December 2012); opened in Madrid through the hire of a four-partner team from DAC Beachcroft (16 April 2013) as well as opening a fourth US base in Atlanta (19 June 2013).

In May the firm gained regulatory approval for a Beijing opening from China’s Ministry of Justice (7 May 2013).

Turnover at the firm rose by 17 per cent at the latest year end from £287m to £336.6m, while average PEP increased by 5 per cent from £550,000 to £580,000 (11 June 2013).