Remainder of Freshfields’ Bangkok staff join Coudert

Coudert Brothers is set to pick up the remaining vestiges of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Bangkok office, beating DLA and Australia’s Minter Ellison to secure the deal.

Under a deal finalised last week, partners Stephen Bennett and Surasak Vajasit will be joined by a group of 11 Freshfields associates and support staff at Coudert. The US firm is also expected to take on Freshfields’ Bangkok clients. The team will join Coudert on 1 November.

A third Freshfields Bangkok partner, UK-qualified Jeremy Jennings-Mares, will return to the UK.

Freshfields is the only UK firm in Asia to operate a full equity partnership, meaning that while other firms can offset lower Asian revenues with less costly local or salaried partners, Freshfields cannot.

As first reported in The Lawyer (19 April), Freshfields announced it was axing its three-partner Bangkok office as part of a strategic review of Asia, which has already seen Singapore downsized.

The hires will see four partners in Coudert’s Bangkok office, which has been operating independently since 1993.

Coudert was unavailable for comment. Freshfields declined to comment.