Our man in Singapore

| 14/01/2009

(CNS): Locally based global offshore law firm Walkers is moving into the Asian markets with a new office in Singapore. The decision was driven by strong, recognised, and increasing demand for Cayman Islands and BritishVirgin Islands (BVI) legal and corporate services within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, the firm said. Walkers will be the first law firm to provide practising Cayman Islands counsel based in Singapore. (Left: John Rogers)

“In recent years, we have followed a ‘smart growth’ strategy of targeted expansion to provide a presence on the ground in the countries where our clients require the support and expertise that we offer,” said Grant Stein, global managing partner of Walkers. “The opportunities presented in Singapore make it a logical next step in the process of expanding Walkers’ global development and meeting our clients’ demands. By extending our coverage within ASEAN, we will be able to provide seamless integrated Cayman Islands and BVI offshore legal and corporate services to clients operating in this region. Singapore has enjoyed excellent growth in recent years and we have no doubt it will continue to do so in the future, despite more difficult current conditions.”

The office will open for business on 2 February and is One Raffles Quay in the heart of the Central Business District, and will be spearheaded by partners Ashley Gunning and John Rogers. With more than seven years experience in Asia, Rogers will lead the finance team in Singapore. Rogers was the first finance lawyer in Walkers’ Hong Kong office when it opened five years ago, and he already has an extensive Singapore and regional client base.

"Singapore’s position as a key South East Asian hub for many international law firms and financial institutions will provide an excellent platform for growth in Singapore, India, and all of the members of the ASEAN,” Rogers said. “With the new office, Walkers is affirming its long-term commitment to the region.”

Gunning, who spent five years in Singapore with international law firm Norton Rose before joining Walkers in 2004, will lead the investment funds and corporate groups in the new office. He has significant expertise in hedge funds and private equity, as well as general corporate matters, having worked in both the Cayman Islands and the BVI.

“Given the strength of our global operations and our existing work in the ASEAN region and India, we are tremendously excited about our launch in Singapore,” Gunning said. “As the first offshore law firm in Singapore to offer both local Cayman Islands and BVI advice, and with the extensive regional experience of the team that we are putting in place, we anticipate an excellent response from clients, appreciative of our ability to offer face-to-face meetings and real-time advice and execution.”

Walkers’ new Singapore office comes on the heels of the group’s recent expansion in Hong Kong. With ten new staff members added to the Hong Kong team in a 12-month period, Walkers relocated to new, larger premises in Alexandra House, Central, in September 2008. The entire staff in Hong Kong, including approximately 20 lawyers, will work with the team in Singapore to ensure clients have the best support possible throughout Asia.

Walkers said its dedication to Asia and the synergies between its offices in the region will provide clients with unrivalled service and the ability to offer Cayman and BVI counsel on the ground, as well as advice on Jersey law through Walkers’ global network of offices. Underpinning much of the success of Walkers’ Hong Kong and Dubai offices has been the ability to offer clients the services they require in the same time zone, and often the same city, as they are located. Walkers looks forward to emulating that success in Singapore as the firm gives its clients an even greater presence in the rapidly growing markets in Asia and the Middle East, the law firm stated.

Singapore echoes the strengths of the other six global financial centres in which Walkers has offices, the firm said. A successful and open economy, Singapore is internationally recognised for its robust and transparent regulatory regime and strong financial sector. Singapore is ranked number two in the 2008 Index of Economic Freedom by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. As a wealth centre Singapore has grown significantly, with US$500 billion in offshore assets under management in 2007, according to the Boston Consulting Group. The city-state has numerous Free Trade Agreements in place on a regional and international basis, including agreements with the United States, Australia, China, India and Japan.

 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Walkers