Ashurst Forms Singapore Law Alliance

Ashurst has entered into a formal law alliance with a Singapore law firm, a move made in the wake of several partners leaving the firm in the city-state over the past several months.

The association is with boutique firm ADTLaw, founded in 2013 by former Rajah & Tann litigation partner Dawn Tan. The nine-lawyer firm advises on disputes, mergers and acquisitions and banking and finance deals. Through the alliance Ashurst ADTLaw, the global firm will be able to access Singapore law practices in various areas, including litigation.

In addition to Tan, who practiced with Rajah & Tann between 2006 and 2010 and had been a deputy trade director at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, ADTLaw has two more directors: Lifen Tang, a former Allen & Overy associate who joined the firm in 2016, specializing in financing transactions; and Ashurst's project finance partner Patrick Phua, who has joined as an associate director.

"Entering into this alliance demonstrates our continuing commitment to and investment in Singapore and is an important step in broadening our existing client offering and driving forward our success in the market," said Paul Jenkins, Ashurst's managing partner. "Singapore is a key regional and international hub for legal services and it is of strategic importance to Ashurst."

Ashurst now has more than 40 lawyers in Singapore, including 10 partners. The local alliance follows Ashurst's recent loss of several Singapore partners, especially in the restructuring and financing space. In March, finance partner Carl Dunton was the latest to leave for Big Four auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers' legal arm. And in September 2016, the accounting firm hired former Singapore managing partner Keith McGuire. Meanwhile, then-Singapore managing partner Shaun Lascelles also left to join Vinson & Elkins in London. In October, restructuring specialist Joel Hogarth also quit the firm to join corporate advisory firm Borrelli Walsh.

Following the departures, Ashurst relocated corporate partner Simon Brown to Singapore from Brisbane, Australia. It also promoted banking lawyer Jean Woo to partner.

By Chan Wei Da
on 04-May-2017