Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein & Co has significantly bolstered its UK capability in Singapore with the appointment of a two-lawyer team from Watson Farley & Williams, led by consultant Stephen Fordham.

The Norwegian firm currently has one lawyer in Singapore who is UK-qualified, but only at a junior level.

Fordham, who prior to his time at Watson Farley was the managing partner of Sinclair Roche & Temperley’s Singapore office, is a finance partner who is both UK and Hong Kong-qualified. He will be joined by senior finance associate Chee Chuen Yee, who is UK and Singapore-qualified.

Wikborg Rein managing partner Tom Evensen said he hoped the hires would help the firm attract further work from the big international banks.

Fordham and Wikborg Rein also have a number of mutual clients, including Nordic bank Nordea.

With the arrival of Fordham and Chee, seven lawyers will now be based in Wikborg Rein’s Singapore office, which opened in 1996.

The firm has had a presence in Asia for 40 years, first opening an office in Kobe, Japan in 1965, primarily for shipping work.

Last year it opened in Shanghai, where it employs three local lawyers and one Norwegian lawyer.