Western firms seek to bulk up in Asia

The slowdown in China’s stellar growth may have had an impact on the entire Asia-Pacific region, but that hasn’t stopped international firms from looking east in their quest to find the next boom market.

Norton Rose Fulbright is just one example. The firm is sending global energy head Simon Currie from London to Sydney in a bid to capture a greater slice of the transactions coming out of Asia Pacific.

Then there’s Simmons & Simmons and Debevoise & Plimpton, which have both turned to rivals to bulk up their offerings in Hong Kong. The former has hired an insurance partner from Edwards Wildman while the latter has taken the head of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Asia practice.

Meanwhile Singapore continues to be a boom town, with offshore firms eyeing up their opportunities there and even the bar following suit. 39 Essex Street has expanded its presence in Singapore with 20 Essex Street member Ben Olbourne – it’s obvious that the legal market is banking on Asia’s growth story continuing for some time to come.

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