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Mishcon de Reya opens office in Singapore as it shifts international focus to Asia

Posted on 5 May 2020

Mishcon de Reya has today announced the opening of a new branch office in Singapore. It will initially focus on delivering legal services to high net worth families across South East Asia. The service areas will include international tax and succession planning, and advising clients and their businesses on private capital investments, restructuring and debt financing transactions. As a licensed Foreign Law Practice in Singapore, the office will not be undertaking Singapore law related work save in those areas permitted by its licence, such as international commercial arbitration. 

Culturally and operationally, the Singapore office will be an extension of Mishcon de Reya's London office. An established and talented team will join Mishcon de Reya from Withers KhattarWong LLP in Singapore, led by Tahirah Ara, who will take up the role of Managing Partner, Singapore and Head of Asia.

Tahirah was previously a partner at Withers KhattarWong and co-head of their Business Group for Asia. Her specialist practice areas include restructuring, finance and corporate transactions. Tahirah and her team recently advised PT Bumi Resources Tbk on its successful US$4.5 billion debt restructuring, which is one of the largest and most complex debt restructurings ever completed in South East Asia. She is joined by Partner Simon Michaels, a leading international wealth planning practitioner in Singapore and Special Counsel Lawrence Altman, a US qualified finance lawyer with over 15 years' experience in Asia, both in Singapore and Thailand, along with several associates and administrative staff. 

This investment – despite the current situation - is part of the firm's 10 year vision which was set out over 3 years ago. It reflects the significant global economic developments in the past decade, including changes in the legal market, and the firm's stated ambition of connecting more deeply with its growing target market in Asia.

Commenting on the new office in Singapore, Mishcon de Reya's Executive Chair Kevin Gold said:

"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. These qualities have always been important to us but perhaps ever more so now in light of the extraordinary challenges presented by COVID-19. 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."

Tahirah Ara, Mishcon de Reya Managing Partner, Singapore and Head of Asia, said:

"In the discussions we have had with Mishcon de Reya over the past year, we have established a meaningful connection with the people that we have met and share their confidence in the firm's 10 year vision. Most importantly, Mishcon de Reya's core values and its clear commitment to them were what resonated with us.

"We believe that, as one business, we will be able to grow significantly on the back of the strong brand that the firm has nurtured and developed. Together, we look forward to continuing to provide our clients, old and new, with the highest quality legal services."

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