London firm Mishcon de Reya has opened an office in Singapore to serve high net worth clients, saying Asia has ’outstripped’ the west over the past decade. The news comes just four months after the top-30 firm closed its first international outpost, in New York.
The Singapore branch will advise wealthy families across South East Asia on international tax and succession planning. Other service areas will include advice on private capital investments, restructuring and debt financing.
As a licensed foreign law practice in Singapore, the office will not practise Singapore law except in areas permitted by its licence, such as international commercial arbitration. A team from Singaporean firm Withers KhattarWong LLP has joined the office.
Mishcon’s executive chair Kevin Gold said: ‘Singapore is the centre of professional services talent in the region and, as such, is attracting capital from the entire region. Having a physical presence here represents our commitment to both Asia – a key growth area for our firm and the world – and its people, and will be key to enabling us to build meaningful relationships with our clients and intermediaries.
‘The review we undertook into how we meet our clients’ needs internationally was driven not only by the uncertainty of a post-Brexit UK landscape and changes to the legal market, but by the enormous macro-economic shift of the last decade where east has outstripped west in terms of economic growth and opportunity. The decision to open this office in Singapore is, in large part, a reflection of this,’ he said.
Mishcon is one of several City firms looking to take advantage of the Asian market. Last year, KPMG opened an affiliated practice in Shanghai and an independent law firm in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters operate in Singapore under the Qualifying Foreign Law Practice scheme. The programme, which has been in operation for a decade, enables foreign practices to hire Singapore-qualified lawyers and give Singaporean law advice.