10 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS HAN KUN OPENS SINGAPORE OFFICE, TROWERS UNVEILS PLANS UK law firm Trowers & Hamlins has applied to open an office in Singapore, which, if approved, will be the firm’s second in Southeast Asia. The firm is also eyeing a collaboration with local dispute resolution boutique Braddell Brothers. Trowers set up its office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2012. That office now has four partners, including Geoff Allen, who joined the firm in September last year. Abdulhaq Mohammed, a former international managing partner at Trowers, will lead the Singapore office. He specialises in sectors including real estate, hospitality and transportation, advising on projects across the Middle East and investment by overseas clients into the UK. When Trowers does open its Singapore office, it will be the latest international entrant after PRC firm Han Kun Law Offices set up shop in the city-state in June. The Singapore office became Beijing-headquartered Han Kun’s seventh location, and its first overseas branch. The office is manned by managing partner Chen Dafei, who was earlier splitting his time between the firm’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices, and Yu Lan, who was most recently a partner at Singapore’s Duane Morris & Selvam. Chen, who joined Han Kun in 2006, mainly provides legal services in capital markets, life sciences and healthcare, mergers and acquisitions, and offshore investments. Meanwhile, Yu focuses on private wealth management, financial services, and cross-border transactions. She acts for high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, family offices, and multinational companies. In a statement, Han Kun said that the Singapore office would work closely with the firm’s other offices to meet the demand for cross-border investments between China, Singapore, and Southeast Asia. The Singapore office will also provide services to Han Kun’s Chinese clients investing overseas and investors from Singapore looking to tap into the Chinese market. A&G DISPUTES QUARTET BREAKS AWAY TO SET UP SINGAPORE BOUTIQUE Four disputes lawyers have left Singapore Big Four firm Allen & Gledhill to set up a new boutique firm called Chua & Partners. They are led by Chua Kee Loon, former co-deputy head of international arbitration at A&G. Chua will be managing partner of the new firm, with the other partners being Nicholas Tan, Sheryl Koh, and Ng Si Ming. Both Tan and Ng were partners at A&G, while Koh was a senior associate. Specialising in international arbitration with a focus on commercial, energy and building disputes across the Southeast Asian region, Chua’s practice experience spans more than two decades. His experience also includes investor-state arbitrations. He joined A&G in 2013 from Rajah & Tann, and previously also worked at Jones Day. Tan specialises in international arbitration, international litigation, and arbitration-related litigation across industries such as hospitality, technology and media, energy, construction and engineering, private equity and banking and financial institutions. He joined A&G in 2013, and became a partner in 2019. Tan was at Baker McKenzie earlier in his career. Ng, who spent a decade at A&G after a short stint at Rajah & Tann, primarily focuses on international arbitration in the infrastructure, construction, and energy sector, as well as in finance and Web3. Meanwhile, Koh has experience in international arbitration and litigation across company and shareholder disagreements, construction disputes, defamation, employment issues, insolvency proceedings, investment conflicts, joint venture clashes and Web3 disputes. She had been at A&G since 2014. The establishment of Chua & Partners provides yet more evidence of the continued vibrancy of Singapore’s legal industry, particularly in the disputes space as the city-state steps up efforts to make itself a regional dispute resolution hub. Image: Natnan Srisuwan/