Over the past few months, Singapore’s Allen & Gledhill has declared its intention to keep expanding regionally through the opening of a rep office in Shanghai and the launch of a new alliance in Indonesia. Managing Partner Jerry Koh talks about what is driving the firm’s Asia strategy, and how it maintains the same standards across various markets.


ALB: Tell us more about what drove the opening of the Shanghai office, and the role it will play in A&G’s growth plans?

Jerry Koh: Our firm is always looking for ways to provide greater value to our clients, and we constantly engage them to better understand their needs in Singapore, and the region. In addition, we proactively monitor the economy to determine growing markets and potential opportunities for our clients.

As the largest trading partner of ASEAN ($1.2 trillion in 2022) and one of the largest foreign investors in the region as well as Singapore (about $8 billion in 2022), China is undoubtedly a key market for our clients. In turn, ASEAN countries are also investing heavily in China, with Singapore being the largest foreign investor in China since 2013.

This mutually beneficial relationship is something we have identified as an opportunity since 2018, when the governments of both countries named legal and judicial cooperation as an area of collaboration between the two countries. As one of the largest law firms in Southeast Asia, many of our clients already have a presence in China or are looking to establish one there. We also have existing relationships with Chinese enterprises who are constantly looking to diversify their investments into ASEAN.

As such, we see our representative offfice in Shanghai as a gateway to expansion, for our clients in China as well as in the region. Our team comprises of qualified, experienced, and bilingual local and international lawyers with long and extensive experience in China. With our international expertise and qualifications, local expertise and experience, familiarity with Chinese and international markets and business culture, and fluent bilingual proficiencies, we bridge the gap between Chinese and foreign parties and bring a unique, significant, and value-added set of skills to our cross-border matters.


ALB: A&G’s expansion comes at a time when Singapore law firms of different sizes have been endeavouring to become increasingly regional. What unique attributes will set the firm apart in the face of this competition?

Koh: Our motivation to expand our regional presence has always been to better serve the needs of our clients.

Our firm regularly works on many significant cross-border matters that span multiple jurisdictions in ASEAN. We have long seen the importance of having on-the-ground legal experts across the region, to ensure that our clients can receive legal advice tailored to their needs. This is why we first expanded our regional capabilities 14 years ago through our associate firm in Malaysia, Rahmat Lim & Partners. Since then, we have continued to set up more offices throughout the region, including Myanmar, Vietnam and now China, as well as working in association with AGI Legal in Indonesia.

This allows for us to have local knowledge and connections, while providing clients with seamless end-to-end service across jurisdictional borders that is tailored to their needs.

With offices in Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam and China, as well as associate firms in Malaysia (Rahmat Lim & Partners) and Indonesia (AGI Legal), the Allen & Gledhill network, collectively known as A&G Asia, now has over 600 lawyers, making it one of the largest law firms in the region.


ALB: With offices now spanning across multiple Asian jurisdictions, including alliances and partnerships, how does Allen & Gledhill ensure cohesive collaboration and consistent service quality across its regional network?

Koh: Our lawyers across A&G Asia often work closely with one another across different practice groups, as well as across jurisdictions, to deliver tailored advice that is suited to the specific needs of the matter.

All our offices have the full support of our extensive network across the major economies of ASEAN, which allow us to provide a comprehensive suite of legal services delivered by locally qualified lawyers who have deep experience working on multi-jurisdictional matters that cuts across various practice areas.

Our firm also holds firmwide events (such as our partners’ retreat and firm trip), where lawyers and staff across our regional network have the opportunity to come together for cohesion and collaboration. This ensures that we have constant engagement and communication across the network, so that we can provide seamless end-to-end services to our clients in Singapore, Asia, and the world.



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