Simmons & Simmons has announced a new joint law venture (JLV) in Singapore with local boutique JWS Asia Law. The new firm will be known as Simmons & Simmons JWS and will offer both foreign and local law advice as of today (1 November).
JWS, which was set up in 2015 by senior funds and regulatory lawyers from Singapore’s leading domestic practices, focuses on the financial institutions, asset management and investment funds sectors in Singapore and is led by three partners Jek-Aun Long, Mohammed Reza and Calvin Tan.
The move takes Simmons’ Singapore practice up to eight partners. In April, the firm hired Dentons’ former Singapore managing partner and financial markets specialist Matthew Cox, after Dentons shut down its own office in the city state in the wake of its merger with Chinese firm Dacheng.
Commenting on the JLV, managing partner Jeremy Hoyland said: ‘Simmons & Simmons JWS will form an integral part of our business in Asia alongside our offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo, and will work closely with our lawyers from right across our network.
‘Given Singapore’s increasing importance as a commodities, asset management and financial institution hub, we are excited about the opportunities this brings to further expand our leading practices in each of these areas.’
Recent activity by UK-based firms in Singapore has picked up considerably. Earlier this year, Reed Smith’s 20 -lawyer Singapore office, which opened in 2012 to support clients in the energy and natural resources sector, also entered into a formal alliance with local firm Resource Law, giving the firm the capability to practise Singapore law for the first time. Osborne Clarke also expanded its south-east Asia presence in August through its association with new Singaporean firm OC Queen Street with an initial focus on clients in the digital and fintech sectors.
Simmons’ turnover was up by 2% in 2015/16 to hit a record £295.1m, with net profit decreasing 6% to £88.8m, while PEP dropped from £600,000 to £585,000.