Addleshaws’ Singapore plans stall as launch partner defects to BLP

Addleshaw Goddard has lost the litigation partner who was preparing to launch its Singapore office to Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP).

Kent Phillips
Kent Phillips

Kent Phillips, a partner in Addleshaw Goddard’s London contentious department, is expected to join BLP in the next couple of months. He will be based in Singapore and will head the firm’s Asia arbitration practice.

Phillips was marked as the partner who would launch Addleshaws’ proposed Singapore office. The firm has said that its Singapore plans will go ahead and that it has just secured an office in the jurisdiction, but has yet to announce who will replace Phillips as its head.

In May Addleshaws unveiled plans to open offices in Singapore and Dubai later this year, revealing a redundancy consultation at the same time (24 May 2011).

“My aim is to have an arbitration team in all the key centres across the world,” said BLP’s head of international arbitration Nic Fletcher. “We’ve got the bulk of our lawyers in London, as well as lawyers in Moscow and the Gulf. Singapore was the next piece of the puzzle.

“Singapore’s a natural focus for that kind of work. The jurisdiction is attracting work from Indonesia and Malaysia and it’s very arbitration friendly – we’re seeing a lot of Singapore International Arbitration Centre clauses at the moment.”

Phillips specialises in cross-border disputes before the English courts and has experience arbitrating in a number of jurisdictions. He joined Addleshaws from Winston & Strawn in 2009 (19 August 2009).

BLP opened its Singapore office in February 2007 (29 January 2007). When Phillips joins, he will be the office’s 14th lawyer.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Addleshaws said: “Addleshaw Goddard confirms that it is in discussions with Kent Phillips who is resigning from the partnership. A leaving date has yet to be confirmed. 2011 is proving to be another year for our litigation practice of diverse and very significant UK and international cases, and we’re sorry Kent has decided to leave; he will go with our best wishes.”