UK law firm Mishcon de Reya has opened an office in Singapore, its first outside its home base of London after hiring two restructuring lawyers from Withers KhattarWong.

Tahirah Ara, a former partner at Withers KhattarWong, will head the new office, as well as the Asian region for Mishcon. She will joined by NY law qualified finance and restructuring specialist Lawrence Altman, a former special counsel at  the Singapore firm, and partner Simon Michaels, who left Withers last year to head the Singapore office of Mishcon’s wealth advisory arm, MDR Mayfair.

Mishcon’s launch makes it the first foreign law firm to establish an office in Singapore since U.S. employment specialists Littler Mendelson set up shop in the city-state last November.

C&M International, the policy and regulatory affairs arm of U.S. law firm Crowell & Moring, established a presence in Singapore in February this year, but it does not provide any legal services.

Mishcon de Reya, which was founded in 1937, currently has 157 partners and legal directors. The firm’s practice areas include corporate, dispute resolution, employment, intellectual property and real estate.

Its Singapore office will advise on international tax and succession planning, private capital investments, restructuring and debt financing transactions.

The firm said that despite the current COVID crisis, which is sending the world into a financial slump, the launch of the Singapore office was “part of the firm’s 10-year vision which was decided over three years ago.”

“We are going into business with this talented team in Singapore on the basis that their values match ours, that they have obvious integrity, respect and a desire to deliver the highest quality legal services and client management,” said Kevin Gold, executive chair, in a press release. “These qualities have always been important to us but perhaps ever more so now in light of the extraordinary challenges presented by COVID-19.”


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