Ashurst Raids Singapore’s Allen & Gledhill for 4-Lawyer Team & More Live News

Ashurst ADTLaw, the Singapore Formal Law Alliance (FLA) practice of Ashurst, has hired a corporate M&A quartet from Big Four Singapore firm Allen & Gledhill.

Joining Ashurst are former Allen & Gledhill partners Tao Koon Chiam, Xiaozheng Ko, Yi Ming Choo and counsel George Kho, according to a firm statement.

Chiam, who has practised at the Singapore firm for over 14 years, will be taking on the role of head of M&A for Southeast Asia.

Choo and Ko, who have spent nine and 12 years at Allen & Gledhill, respectively, will be joining Ashurst ADTLaw as directors, while Kho will join as an associate director.

Together, the trio advises sovereign wealth funds, corporates and startups across F&B, education, healthcare, insurance and construction industries on joint ventures and acquisitions as well as private equity investments.

According to the firm’s Asia head Jini Lee, the additions will enable the firm “to capitalize on the opportunities in the market”.

With the newcomers, Ashurst now counts 31 lawyers in its Singapore office, including 18 partners.

Last year, the firm also hired former Clifford Chance counsel, Robert Child, as a partner for its restructuring, insolvency and special situations practice in Singapore, as well as project finance partner Andrew Roche from Latham & Watkins. The firm did however lose projects partner Andrew Digges to Norton Rose Fulbright six months after Roche joined.

In May, Ashurst announced that the appointment of its new Singapore managing partner, Jean Woo, who succeeded the firm’s litigation partner Robert Palmer.

Last month, Ashurst published its financials, stating a global revenue growth of 12% to £798 million. The firm’s chief executive officer, Paul Jenkins, told Law.com International in an interview that its success in Singapore is attributable to “funds seizing opportunities in Southeast Asia, with investment in e-commerce, logistics and technology companies a prominent feature of the market not only in Singapore, but also in Indonesia and Vietnam.”

Ashurst entered into an FLA with ADTLaw in 2017 after several partners had exited the city-state office. ADTLaw was a boutique practice founded by former Rajah & Tann litigation partner Dawn Tan in 2013.

FLA arrangements in Singapore are non-exclusive but it allows foreign law firms to provide local law support, particularly on the coveted disputes front, to its clients through a separate and independent local law practice. Several other international law firms including Norton Rose Fulbright, Holman Fenwick Willan and Reed Smith operate via FLA in Singapore.

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