Squire Sanders has formed a strategic alliance with seven-partner Indonesian firm Melli Darsa & Co in a bid to tap into one of the world’s fastest growing emerging economies.
The US firm has been considering the move as far back as 2010, when presence in the Pacific Rim, including Indonesia, was discussed during merger talks between Hammonds and Squire Sanders & Dempsey (8 November 2010).
There have been no lateral hires as a result of the association. However a source suggested the firm was already on the lookout for new talent in the region.
The firm’s launch in Singapore last year has also been a trigger to the Indonesian move (11 April 2012). The Singapore office is headed by Ignatius Hwang, formerly the Singapore managing partner of Bryan Cave (16 February 2012).
Hwang said in a statement: “We launched our office in Singapore last year with the intention that it would provide a gateway to other rapidly growing economies in South East Asia, particularly Indonesia.
”As our practice has grown, we have seen an increasing requirement from our clients for local law support on Indonesian matters, particularly in industries where we are strong, such as energy and natural resources and infrastructure.”
The firm, established in 2002 by Melli Darsa, is now called Melli Darsa & Co in Strategic Alliance with Squire Sanders.
Squire Sanders joins a growing list of international firms entering into arrangements with local Indonesian firms.
Earlier this year White & Case entered into an association with Indonesian firm MD & Partners (30 January 2013), six years after ending its association with local firm Ali Budiardjo Nugroho Reksodiputro (30 January 2013). More recently, Taylor Wessing planned further expansion across Asia after entering into a formal association with 10-partner Indonesian firm Hanafiah Ponggawa & Partners (HPRP) (8 October 2013).
Others in the region include Hogan Lovells, which entered into an association with Indonesian law firm Hermawan Juniarto in 2012 (19 April 2012), and O’Melveny & Myers, which entered into an association with Tumbuan & Partners in 2011 (8 November 2011).
It is thought that Squire Sanders is considering at least one more association move, though the firm wouldn’t reveal where.
See more details on Indonesia’s legal service market in The Lawyer’s special report: Roads-tinted view (13 August 2012).