LSE-listed law firm DWF is closing its three-year-old office in Singapore following a strategic review of its global operations.

Apart from Singapore, the firm is also closing its Brussels office and reducing headcount in Dubai.

DWF opened its Singapore office, its first in Asia, in June 2017 after hiring a four- lawyer team from Eversheds Sutherland, which included partners Oommen Mathew and Iain Black.

The firm had been expanding steadily in Singapore since then. In 2018, it hired partners Jonathan Goacher and Babita Ambekar, with Ben Constance coming on board in early 2019. Earlier this year, the firm hired Joel Shen as a partner from Stephenson Harwood.

Constance, who serves as DWF's executive partner in Singapore, will remain a partner at the firm, although he will be operating from a different office.

With the closure of the Singapore and Brussels offices, 60 people will be leaving the firm, including 13 partners.

Sir Nigel Knowles, the group CEO, said in a statement: "Our international division is a critically important engine for growth for our business. International revenue increased by around 50 percent in the last financial year and the division now accounts for more than a quarter of all group income. It is a vital ingredient in our business model to support our global client base.”.

"The decision to close two of our smaller locations will help drive operational improvements across our business to generate more profitable growth. Longer-term, these markets remain of interest but this is the right move for DWF at this time,” he added.

The firm additionally said that there were no other immediate plans for further closures or significant reductions in any of its remaining locations.

The closure of DWF’S office comes at a time when international firms are beginning reevaluate their options in Singapore. So far this year, Eversheds Sutherland and Taylor Wessing have ended their respective joint ventures in the city-state.


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